The 1527 Original Word of God In English


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The Second Book of Samuel

also called the second book of the kings


Chapters 1-7 | 8-14 | 15-19 | 20-end | Next Book


The 15th Chapter

      After this Absalom gat him chariots and horses and fifty men to run before him. And thereto he used to rise up early in the mornings and to stand by the ways side that led to the gate of the city. And all the men of Israel that had complaints and came to the king for Judgement, he called unto him and said: of what city art thou? And when the other answered: thy servant is of such a tribe of Israel. Then said Absalom unto him: see, thy matter is good and righteous, and yet no man is deputed of the king to hear thee. Then Absalom said moreover: Oh, that I were a judge in the land, and that all men which have pleas and matter in the law, should come to me. For I would do them justice. And also when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand and took him to him and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for Judgement, and therewith stole the hearts of the men of Israel. And at forty years end Absalom said unto the king: let me go I pray thee to Hebron, and pay my vow which I have vowed, unto the Lord: for thy servant vowed a vow when I was in Gesur in the land of Siria saying: if the Lord shall bring me again to Jerusalem, I will serve the Lord. And the king said: go in peace. And so he arose and went to Hebron.
      Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel saying: as soon as ye hear the voice of the trumpet blow, say: Absalom reigneth king in Hebron. And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem that were called. And they went with pure hearts and knew nothing of the matter. And Absalom sent also for Ahitophel the Gilonite Davids counsellor, and fetched him out of his city Giloh, when he sacrificed sacrifices. And there was wrought strong treason. And the people drew to Absalom in great multitude. And there came a messenger to David and said: the hearts of the men of Israel are to follow Absalom. Then said David unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem: up and let us flee, for we shall not else escape from Absalom. Make speed to depart: lest he come suddenly and catch us and bring some mischief upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. And the kings servants said to him: behold thy servants are ready to whatsoever my Lord the king shall appoint.
      And the king and all his household departed afoot. And he left behind him ten wives that were his concubines, to keep the house. And so the king and all the people went out afoot and tarried far from the house. And all his servants went by his side. And all the Cerethites and all the Phelethites, and all the Hethites even six hundred men which were come afoot from Geth, went before the king. Then said the king to Ethai the Gethite, wherefore shouldest thou go with us also? Return and abide with the king, for thou art a stranger and art removed from thine own place. Thou camest but yesterday, and should I unquiet thee today to go with us? I will go whither I go. But return thou and carry again thy brethren. Mercy and truth be with thee. And Ethai answered the king and said: as surely as the Lord liveth, and as surely as my Lord the king liveth, in what place my Lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there will thy servant be. Then said the king to Ethai, I come and go forward. And Ethai the Gethite went forth, and all his men, and all the children that were with him. And all the country wept with a loud voice. And all the people went forward the straight way to the wilderness. And behold, Sadock and all the Levites were with him and bare the ark of the appointment of God. And when they had fetched down the Ark of God, Abiathar came up, until the people were all come over, out of the city. Then said the king unto Sadock: Carry the Ark of God again into the city. If I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and show me both it and the tabernacle thereof also. But and if the Lord thus say: I have no lust unto thee. Behold, here am I, let him do with me what seemeth best in his eyes.
      The king said also unto Sadock the priest thou art a Sear. Return therefore into the city in peace. And take your two sons with you: Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathas the son of Abiathar. And see, I will tarry in the fields of the wilderness until there come some word from you to be told me. And so Sadock and Abiathar carried the Ark of God again to Jerusalem, and they tarried there. And David went up on mount olivet and wept as he went, and had his head covered and went thereto barefoot. And all the people that was with him, had every man his head covered, and as they went wept also. And one told David saying: Ahitophel is one of them that have conspired with Absalom. Then said David: O' Lord, turn the counsel of Ahitophel unto foolishness.
      When David was come to the top of the mount and had bowed himself unto God: behold, Husai the Arachite came against him with his coat torn and earth upon his head. Unto whom David said: if thou go with me thou shalt be a burden unto me. And if thou return to the city: then shalt thou say unto Absalom I will be thy servant O king: thus long have I been thy fathers servant, and now I am thine. And destroy me the counsel of Ahitophel. And thou hast there with thee Sadock and Abiathar the priests, unto which thou shalt show all that thou canst hear out of the kings house. And behold, ye have there with you their two sons: Ahimaaz Sadocks son, and Jonathas Abiathars son, by which ye shall send me all that ye can hear. And so Husai Davids friend gat him to the city. And Absalom also entered into Jerusalem.




The 16th Chapter

      And when David was a little past the top of the hill: behold Ziba the servant of Miphiboseth came against him with a couple of Asses saddled, and upon them two hundred leaves and one hundred bunches of *Resinges, and an hundred frayls of dried figs, and a bottle of wine. Then said the king to Ziba: what hast thou there? And Ziba said: Asses for the kings household to ride on, and bread and fruit for the young men to eat, and wine to drink, if any man faint in the wilderness. Then said the king: where is thy masters son? and Ziba said unto the king: behold, he tarrieth still at Jerusalem. For he said: this day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father. Then said the king to Ziba: behold, thine are all that pertained to Miphiboseth. And Ziba answered: I beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight my Lord king.
      And when king David came to Bahurim: behold, thence came out a man of the kindred of the house of Saul named Semei the son of Gera, and he came out cursing. And thereto he cast stones at David and at all the servants of king David, all the people and all the men of war going part on his right hand, and part on his left. And thus said this Semei as he cursed: come forth, come forth thou blood shedder and thou unthrifty man. The Lord hath brought upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned, and he hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son. And thou art wrapped about with thine own mischief, because thou art a blood shedder.
      Then said Abisai the son of Zaruiah unto the king: why doth this dead dog curse my Lord the king? let me go and take off the head of him. And the king said: what have I to do with you ye sons of Zaruiah: let him curse: for the Lord hath bid him curse David. And who dare presume to say wherefore doth he so? And David said to Abisai, and to all his servants: behold, my son which came out of mine own bowels seeketh my life. How much more may this son of Jemini do it? Suffer him therefore to curse, for the Lord hath bidden him: haply the Lord will look on my wretchedness, and do me good for his cursing this day. And thus as David and his men went by the way, Semei went along on the hills side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him and cast dust. And the king and all that were with him came weary, and refreshed themselves there.
      And Absalom and all the people of the men of Israel came to Jerusalem and Ahitophel with him. And as soon as he was come: Husai the Arachite went unto Absalom and said unto him: God save the king, God save the king. And Absalom said again to Husai: is this the kindness thou owest to thy friend? Why wentest thou not with him? And Husai said unto Absalom: nay not so, but whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I dwell. And furthermore unto whom shall I do service but even to his son? And as I was servant before with thy father, even so shall I be with thee. Then spake Absalom to Ahitophel give counsel what is best for us to do. And Ahitophel said unto Absalom: get thee in unto thy fathers concubines which he hath left to keep the house. For when all Israel shall hear that thou hast made thy father to stink, then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. And so they pitched Absalom a tent upon the top of the house. And he went in unto his fathers concubines in the sight of all Israel.
      And the counsel of Ahitophel which he counselled in those days, was as a man had asked counsel of God: even so was all the counsel of Ahitophel, both unto David and also unto Absalom.


*Resinges (raisins), cap R.




The 17th Chapter

      Then Ahitophel said unto Absalom: let me choose out, I pray thee, twelve thousand men. And I will up and follow after David by night. And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will fear him, that all the people that are with him shall flee. And so will I smite the king only, and will bring again all the people unto thee. And when all these men which thou seekest are turned to thee, all the people shall have rest. And the saying pleased Absalom well and all the elders of Israel. Then said Absalom: call also Husai the Arachite and let us hear his sentence. When Husai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him saying: Ahitophel hath given such counsel: whether it be best we do after his saying or not, tell thou.
      Then said Husai to Absalom: the counsel that Ahitophel hath given is not good at this time. For (said Husai) thou knowest thy father and the men that are with him, how that they be strong men. And they be chafed in their minds, even as a bear robbed of her whelps. And thy father is a man practiced in war, and will not lie a nights among the common people. Behold he lurketh now in some cave or in some other place. And thereto though some of his men be overthrown at the first brunt, yet they that hear it will think the people that followeth Absalom be put to the worse. By the reason whereof the best men thou hast whose hearts are as the hearts of Lions, shall shrink thereat. For all Israel knoweth that thy father is a man, and that they which be with him be children of activity.
      But my counsel is, that all Israel be gathered unto thee, from Dan to Bersabe, as the sand of the sea in number, and that thou go to battle in thine own person. And we will come upon him in one place or other, where we shall find him, and we will pitch a field against him, even as thick as the dew falleth on the ground. And there shall not one of them be left, neither he nor any of all that are with him. Moreover if he take a town then shall all the men of Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one stone found upon another. And Absalom and all the men of Israel said: that the counsel of Husai the Arachite was better than the counsel of Ahitophel. For it was even the Lords determination to destroy the counsel of Ahitophel: which was good, that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom. Then said Husai unto Sadock and Abiathar the priests: of this and that manner did Ahitophel and the elders of Israel counsel Absalom. And thus and thus have I counselled. Now therefore send quickly and show David saying: tarry not all night in the fields of the wilderness, but get thee over, lest the king be devoured and all the people that are with him. Now Jonathas and Ahimaaz abode by the well rogell: for they might not be seen to come in to the city. And a wench went and told them. And they to go and showed king David.
      Nevertheless there was a lad saw them which told it to Absalom. But they went both of them away quickly and came to a mans house in Bahurim, which had a well in his yard, into which they went down. And the wife took and spread a coverlet on the top of the well and strewed thereon steeped barley to dry. And the thing was not spied. And when Absaloms servants came to the wife to the house and asked where one Ahimaaz and Jonathas were, the wife said unto them: they be gone over the little brook of water. And when they had sought them and could not find them, then they returned to Jerusalem. And as soon as they were departed, the other came out of the well, and went and told king David and said unto him: up and get you quickly over the water for such counsel hath Ahitophel given. Then David arose and all the people that were with him, and they were come over Jordan be that it was day, that there lacked not one of them that was not come over Jordan. And when Ahitophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his Ass and arose and gat him home to his own house and to his own city, and put his household in order and hanged himself and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
      Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, both he and all the men of Israel with him. And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host in the stead of Joab, which Amasa was a mans son named Jethra a Jezrahelite that went into Abigail the daughter of Naah sister to Zaruiah Joabs mother. And Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Galaad. And when David was come to Mahanaim, Sobi the son of Naah out of Rabath the city of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Amiel out of Lodaber and Berzelai the Galaadite out of Rogelim, brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels: and also corn, barley, flour and parched corn, beans and rice honey, butter, sheep and cheese of kine, for David and all the people that were with him to eat. For they supposed that the people should be hungry, fainty, and thirsty in the wilderness.




The 18th Chapter

      And the king numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and of hundreds over them. And he sent one part of them with Joab, and another part with Abisai the son of Zaruiah Joabs brother, and the third part with Ethai the Gethite. And the king said unto the people: shall I go with you? And the people answered: nay, for if we flee, our adversaries will not care for us: neither though half of us were slain, shall they regard us. But thou were worth ten thousand of us. And therefore it is better that thou be ready to succour us out of the city. Then said the king: what seemeth you best, that will I do.
      And the king stood up by the Gates side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands. And the king commanded Joab, Abisai, and Ethai saying: entreat me *Jently my son Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge over Absalom. And the people went out into the field against Israel, and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim. Where the people of Israel were put to the worse before the servants of David, and there was a great slaughter that day, even of twenty thousand men. And the field was fought in divers places, all abroad upon the earth. And the woods devoured more people that day than did the sword. And it chanced Absalom to come before the servants of David riding upon a Mule which carried him under the thick boughs of a great Oak. And his head caught in the Oak, and he was left between heaven and earth, and the Mule that was under him went his way. And one that saw it told Joab saying: behold, I saw Absalom hang in an Oak: and Joab said unto him that told him: lo, sawest thou him? And why didst thou not there smite him to the ground, that I should have given thee ten sickles of silver and a soldiers girdle.
      And the man answered Joab: though I had a thousand sickles of silver told in my hand yet would I not stretch out mine hand against the kings son. For we heard with our ears when the king charged thee, Abisai and Ethai, saying: spare me the lad Absalom. Moreover though I had jeopardied my life and done falsely thereto, yet could nought of all the matter have been hid from the king: yea and thou thyself wouldest be against me. Then said Joab I may not stand tarrying with thee.
      And therewith he took three spears in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive on the body of the tree. And ten servants that bare Joabs weapons, turned and smote Absalom and slew him. Then Joab blew a trumpet, and the people returned from following Israel: for Joab spared the people. And they took Absalom and cast him into a great pit that was in the wood, and cast a mighty great heap of stones upon him. And all Israel fled every man to his tent. And this Absalom yet in his lifetime, took and reared up a pillar, which is yet in kings dale. For he said: I have no male child. And therefore to keep my name in remembrance do I it. And he called the pillar after his own name. And it is called unto this day, Absaloms pillar.
      Then said Ahimaaz the son of Sadock: let me run I pray thee, and bear the king tidings, how that the Lord hath judged him quit of the hands of all his enemies. And Joab said unto him: thou art no man to bear tidings today: thou shalt bear tidings another time: but today thou shalt bear none, because the kings son is dead. Then said Joab to Chusi: go and tell the king what thou hast seen. And Chusi bowed himself unto Joab and ran. Then said Ahimaaz the son of Sadock again to Joab: come what come will, let me run I pray thee after Chusi. And Joab said: wherefore shouldest thou run my son? for and thou run thou gettest no reward: well come what will let me run. And he said unto him: run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the plain and overran Chusi.
      And David sat between the two gates. And the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes and saw: and behold, there came a man running alone. And the watchman called and told the king. And the king said: if he come alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came and drew nigh. And the watchman saw another man running, and called unto the porter and said: behold there cometh another running alone. And the king answered: he is also a tidings bringer. And the watchman said: me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Sadock. And the king said: he is a good man and cometh with good tidings. And Ahimaaz called and said to the king: good tidings, and bowed himself to the earth upon his face before the king and said: blessed be the Lord thy God which hath shut up all the men that lifted up their hands against my Lord the king. And the king said: is the lad Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered I saw a great ado, when the kings servant Joab sent me thy servant. But I know not what it was. And the king said: turn and stand here. And he turned and stood.
      And behold Chusi came and said: tidings my Lord the king, the Lord hath quit thee this day out of the hands of all that rose against thee. And the king said to Chusi: is the lad Absalom safe? And Chusi answered: the enemies of my Lord the king and all that rise against thee, to have thee, be as thy lad is. And the king was moved and went up to a chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went thus he said: my son Absalom, my son, my son, my son Absalom, would to God I had died for thee Absalom, my son, my son.


*Jently (Gently)




The 19th Chapter

      And it was told Joab, how that the king wept and mourned for Absalom. And the victory was turned that day into mourning unto all the people. For the people heard say that day, how the king sorrowed for his son, and the people went stealing into the city, as people confounded steal away, when they flee in battle. And the king hid his face and cried with a loud voice: my son Absalom, Absalom my son my son.
      And Joab went into the house to the king and said: thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life and the lives of thy sons and daughters, and the lives of thy wives and concubines, in that thou lovest thine enemies and hatest thy friends. Thou hast declared this day that thou camest neither for thy Lords nor servants. For this day I do perceive, if Absalom had lived, and all we died this day, that then it had pleased thee well. Now therefore up and come out, and speak kindly unto thy servants, I swear by the Lord except thou come out, there will not tarry one man with thee this night. And that will be worse unto thee, than all the evil that fell on thee from thine youth unto this hour. Then the king arose and sat down in the Gate. And it was told unto all the people, how the king sat in the Gate. And then all the people came before the king. But Israel fled every man to his tent.
      And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel saying: the king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies. And he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines. And now he is fled out of the land for Absalom. But Absalom whom we anointed over us is dead in battle. Now therefore why are ye so still, that ye bring not the king again. And king David sent to Sadock and Abiathar the priests saying: speak unto the elders of Juda and say: why should ye be the last that should bring again the king to his house, seeing that such tidings is come from all Israel unto the king even to his house? ye are my brethren, my bones and my flesh: wherefore then should ye be the last that should come to bring the king home again? And say to Amasa: art thou not my bone and my flesh? And God do so to me and so thereto: except thou be captain of the Host to me for ever in the room of Joab. And he bowed the hearts of all the men of Juda, as a man would bow the heart of one man: so that they sent word to the king, that he should return with all his servants. And the king returned and came to Jordan. And Juda came to Galgal for to go against the king to convey him over Jordan. And Semei the son of Gera the son of Jemini which was of Bahurim, hasted and came with the men of Juda against king David, and a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul and his fifteen sons and twenty servants with him. And they whipt over Jordan before the King. And there went over a Boat to carry over the kings household and to do him pleasure.
      And Semei the son of Gera fell before the king, as he was come over Jordan and said unto him: let not my Lord impute wickedness unto me, nor let him not remember the wickedness that thy servant did, when my Lord the king departed out of Jerusalem that the king should take it to heart. For thy servant doth know how that I have done amiss. And therefore behold, I am the first this day of all the house of Joseph that am come to meet my Lord the king. But Abisai the son of Zaruiah answered and said: shall Semei not die for that cause: which cursed the Lords anointed? And the king said: what matter is between you and me ye sons of Zaruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? There shall no man die this day in Israel: for I know that I am this day king over Israel. And the king said unto Semei: thou shalt not die, and sware unto him.
      And Miphiboseth the son of Saul came to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet nor shaved his beard nor washed his clothes from the time the king departed, until he came again in peace. And when he was come to Jerusalem toward the king, the king said unto him: wherefore went not thou with me Miphiboseth? And he said: my Lord king, my servant deceived me. For thy servant said: that I would have mine Ass saddled to ride thereon, for to go to the king, because thy servant is lame. And he hath thereto complained on thy servant unto my Lord the king. But my Lord the king is as an Angel of God: do therefore what seemeth best in thine eyes. For all my fathers house were but dead men unto my Lord the king: and yet didst thou put me among them that eat at thine own table. What right therefore have I yet, to cry any more unto the king? And the king said: it needeth thee not to speak any more, for I have said: that thou and Ziba shall divide the lands between you. And Miphiboseth said unto the king: yee let him take all: for so much as my Lord the king is come in peace unto his own house.
      And Berselai the Galaadite came from Rogelim and went over Jordan with the king, to accompany him over Jordan: which Berselai was a very aged man, even four score years old, and had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim: for he was a man of very great substance. And the king said unto Berselai: come thou with me, that I may feed thee with me in Jerusalem. But Berselai said unto the king: of what age am I of, that I should go with the king into Jerusalem. I am this day four score year old: and therefore cannot discern savory from unsavory, neither hath thy servant pleasure in that he eateth or drinketh: nor yet delectation in the songs of men or women. It is no need that thy servant be a burden unto my Lord the king: let thy servant go a little way over Jordan with the king: for why should the king render me such a reward? But let thy servant turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, by the grave of my father and mother. But lo here is thy servant Chamaam: let him go with my Lord the King, and do to him, what shall please thee.
      And the king answered: Chamaam shall go with me. And I will do to him that thou shalt be content with. And thereto whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that same will I do for thee. And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king was come over Jordan, he kissed Berselai and took his leave of him, and he went back again unto his own place. And then the king went to Galgal, and Chamaam went with him. Now all the men of Juda were at the bringing over of the king, and but half the men of Israel.
      Wherefore all the men of Israel came to the king and said unto him: why have our brethren the men of Juda stolen thee away, and have brought the king and his household and all Davids men with him over Jordan? And all the men of Juda answered the men of Israel: for the king is near of kin to us: wherefore be ye angry for that matter? think ye that we eat of the kings cost, or that the king giveth us any gifts? And the men of Israel answered the men of Juda and said: we have ten parts in the king, and have thereto more right to David than ye. Why then did ye despise us, that our advice had not been first had in restoring our king again? And the words of the men of Juda were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.


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