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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 20th Chapter

      And there happened to be an unthrifty fellow named Seba the son of Bochri a man of *Gemini which blew a trumpet and said: we have no part in David, nor inheritance in the son of Isai, O Israel, let us depart therefore every man to his tent. And all Israel went from David and followed Seba the son of Bochri. But the men of Juda cleaved fast unto the king, from Jordan to Jerusalem.
      And when David was come to his house to Jerusalem, he took the ten wives his concubines that he had left behind him to keep the house, and put them in ward and ministered all things unto them: but lay no more with them. And so they were enclosed unto the day of the death of them, and lived a widows life.
      Then said the king to Amasa: call me the men of Juda together within three days and present thyself here. And Amasa went to gather the men of Juda together: but tarried longer than the time which was appointed him. Wherefore the king said to Abisai: now shall Seba the son of Bochri be worse to us than Absalom. Take thou therefore thy Lords servants and follow after him: lest he get him walled cities and escape us. And there went out after him Joabs men and the Cerethites and the Phelethites and the men of might. And they departed out of Jerusalem to follow after Seba the son of Bochri. And when they were come to the great stone in Gabaon, Amasa met them. And Joab had his garment that he had about him, gird unto him, and had girded there on a knife joined fast to his loins, in such a sheath that as he went it fell sometimes out. And Joab said to Amasa: are all things in rest and peace my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the chin with the right hand, as though he would have kissed him. And Amasa took no heed to the knife that was in Joabs hand, with which Joab smote him in the short ribs, and shed out his bowels to the ground and smote him but one stroke, and he died.
      And then Joab and Amisai his brother followed after Seba the son of Bochri. And one of Joabs men that stood by him said: what is he that he would be as Joab, and what is he that would be unto David instead of Joab? And Amasa lay wallowing in blood in the midst of the way. And there was a man that saw all the people stand still. And when he saw that all that came by him stood still, he rolled Amasa out of the way into the field and cast a cloth upon him. And as soon as he was tumbled out of the way, all the people went after Joab to follow after Seba the son of Bochri.
      And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, Bethmaacah and all Barim. And the people gathered unto him and went also after him. And they came and besieged him in Abel Bethmaacah. And they cast up a bank against the city. And it was besieged. All the people that was with Joab labored busily to overthrow the wall. Then cried a wise woman out of the city, hear hear, bid I pray you Joab that he come hither, that I may speak with him. When Joab was come the woman said: art thou Joab? And Joab answered that am I. And she said to him: hear the words of thy handmaid? And he said: I am ready to hear. And she said: it hath been a common saying in the old time, men must ask of Abel, and then go and finish the work. Abel is one of the quietest and faithfullest cities that are in Israel. And thou goest about to destroy a city that is as a mother in Israel. Why devourest thou the inheritance of the Lord?
      And Joab answered and said: God forbid, God forbid it me, that I should either devour or destroy it. The matter is not so: But there is a man of mount Ephraim, Seba the son of Bochri by name, which hath lifted up his hand against king David. Deliver us him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab: Behold, his head shall be thrown through the wall to thee. And then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they smote off the head of Seba son of Bochri, and cast it to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they scattered from the city every man to his tent, and Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.
      And Joab was over all the host of Israel. And Banaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cerethites and the Phelethites. And Aduram was over the tribute. And Jehosaphat the son of Ahilud was Recorder. Sema was scribe. And Sadock and Abiathar were priests. And Ira the Jairite was likewise Davids priest.


*Gemini (Jemini)




The 21st Chapter

      Then there fell an hunger in the days of David three years, year by year. And David enquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered: it is for Sauls sake and the house of blood, because he slew the Gabeonites. And the king called the Gabeonites and said unto them. Now these Gabeonites are not of the children of Israel, but a remnant of the Ammonites, and the children of Israel sware unto them. And yet Saul sought to slay them, for a zeal that he had to the children of Israel and of Juda. Wherefore David said unto them: what shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I content you that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord?
      And the Cabaonites said unto him: we have no matter of silver or of gold with Saul or with his house: neither have we any man that we would kill in Israel. Then he said: what say ye that I shall do for you? and they said unto the king: the man that consumed and imagined to bring us to nought, him we ought to destroy, that nought of him continue in any of the coasts of Israel, let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, that we may hang them up unto the Lord, in Gabaah of Saul the lords elect. And David said: I will give them you.
      But the king had compassion on Miphiboseth the son of Jonathas, the son of Saul, because of the Lords oath that was between them: that is to say between David and Jonathas the son of Saul. But he took the two sons of Rezphah the daughter of Aiah which she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Miphiboseth, and the five sons of Michol the daughter of Saul which she bare to Adriel the son of Berselai the Molathite, and delivered them unto the hands of the Gabeonites, which hanged them in the hill before the Lord. And they fell all seven together in the first days of harvest: even in the beginning of barley harvest.
      And Rezphah the daughter of Aiah took Sackcloth and spread it under her upon the Rock, even from the beginning of harvest until rain dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the Air to fall on them by day nor beasts of the field by night. And when it was told David what Rezphah the daughter of Aiah the concubine of Saul had done, he went and took the bones of Saul, and of Jonathas his son, and of the men of Jabes in Galaad, which they had stolen from the street of Bethsan, where the Philistines had hanged them in the days when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gelboe. And he brought thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathas his son, and they fetched away the bones of them that were hanged, and buried them with the bones of Saul and Jonathas his son in the country of Benjamin, in Zela, in the sepulcher of Cis his father. And when they had performed all that the King commanded, God was then at one with the land.
      And the Philistines had yet again war with Israel. And David went down and his servants with him, and fought with the Philistines. And David waxed fainty, and Jesbi of Nob one of the sons of Haraphah whose spear head weighed three hundred sickles of brass, and was girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. But Abisai the son of Zaruiah succoured him and smote the Philistine and killed him. Then the servants of David sware unto him saying: Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that the light of Israel be not put out. And there was yet after this battle with the Philistines at Nob, in which Sobochai the Husathite slew Saph of the sons of Haraphah.
      And there was yet the third battle in Gob, with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of the Jaere Orgim, a Bethlehemite slew one Goliath a Gethite: the staff of whose spear was as great as a weavers cloth beam.
      And there was yet battle in Geth, where was a man of a size and had on every hand six fingers and on every foot six toes: twenty four in all. And was also of the kindred of Haraphah, and defied Israel. And Jonathas the son of Samach the brother of David slew him. These four were of the sons of Haraphah in Geth, and were overthrown by the hand of David and by the hands of his servants.




The 22nd Chapter

      And David spake the words of this song unto the Lord, what time the Lord had delivered him out of the hands of all his enemies, and out of the hands of Saul.
      And he said: The Lord is my *rock, my castle and my deliverer. God is my strength, and in him will I trust: my shield and the horn that defendeth me: mine high hold and refuge: O' my Saviour, save me from wrong.
       I will praise and call on the Lord, and so shall be saved from mine enemies. For the waves of death have closed me about, and the floods of Belial have feared me. The cords of hell have compassed me about, and the snares of death have overtaken me. In my tribulation I called to the Lord, and cried to my God. And he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry entered into his ears. And the earth trembled and quake, and the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was angry.
      Smoke went up out of his nostrils, and consuming fire out of his mouth, that coals were kindled of him. And he bowed heaven and came down, and darkness underneath his feet. And he rode upon Cherub and flew: and appeared upon the wings of the wind. And he made darkness a tabernacle round about him, with water gathered together in thick clouds. Of the brightness, that was before him, coals were set on fire.
      The Lord thundered from heaven, and the most high put out his voice. And he shot arrows and scattered them, and hurled lightning and turmoiled them. And the bottom of the sea appeared, and the foundations of the world were seen, by the reason of the rebuking of the Lord, and through the blasting of the breath of his nostrils. He sent from on high and fetched me, and plucked me out of mighty waters.
      He delivered me from my mighty enemy, and from them that hated me and were too strong for me. When they had compassed me in the day of my tribulation, the Lord stayed me up. And he brought me out into roomth, and delivered me, because he delighted in me.
      The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness, and according to the pureness of my hands he dealt with me. For I kept the ways of the Lord, and did no wickedness forsaking my God. But I had all his laws in my sight, and I turned my face from none of his ordinances. But was pure unto him ward, and kept myself from wickedness.
      And the Lord did to me again, according to my righteousness, and after my pureness that I had in his sight. With the holy thou shalt be holy, and with the man that is uncorrupt, thou shalt be uncorrupt. With the pure thou shalt be pure, and with the froward thou shalt be froward also. And the people that are in adversity, thou shalt help. And on the proud shalt thou cast thine eyes. Thou art my light, O' Lord, and the Lord shall light my darkness.
      With thy help I will run through an Host of men, and by the aid of my God will spring over a wall. The way of God is undefiled, and the word of the Lord fined as gold, and he a shield to all that trust in him.
      Who is a God save the Lord, and who mighty save our God? God is my strength in war, and riddeth the way clear before me. And maketh my feet as swift as an hinds, and setteth me fast upon my high hold.
      And teacheth my hands to fight, that a bow of brass is too weak for mine arms.
      And thou hast saved me with thy shield, and keptest me ever in meekness. And thou madest me space to walk in, that my feet should not stumble. I followed mine enemies and destroyed them, and turned not again until I had consumed them.
      I wasted them and so clouted them, that they could not arise: but fell under my feet.
      And thou compassed me about with might to battle, and madest them that rose against me to stoop under me.
      And thou madest mine enemies to turn their backs to me, and them that hated me, and I destroyed them. They looked for help: But none came to save them: unto the Lord they cried, but he heard them not.
      And I will beat them as small as the dust of the earth, and will stamp them as the dirt of the street, and will spread them abroad.
      And thou delivered me from the dissension of my people, and keepest me to be an head over nations, for the people which I knew not became my servants.
      And the aliens crouched unto me, and obeyed me at a word.
      And the aliens that shrink away shall tremble for fear in their defended places.
      The Lord live, and blessed be he that is my strength: and exalted be God the strength that saveth me. It is God that avengeth me, and bringeth down the people under me. And delivereth me from mine enemies: thou liftest me up on high from them that rise against me, and deliverest me from the wicked men.
      And therefore I will praise thee O' Lord among the heathen, and will sing unto thy name. For thy great and manifold saving of thy king, and showing mercy unto thine anointed, even to David, and his seed for ever.


*this word rock appears to be in very bold face in the original.




The 23rd Chapter

      These be the last sayings of David. David the son of Isai said: And the man is lifted up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob and pleasant Psalmist of Israel said: the spirit of the Lord spake in me, and his words were on my tongue. The God of Israel spake unto me, and the strength of Israel said: he that beareth rule over men, he that ruleth justly in the fear of God. And he shall be as the morning light, when the *son shineth in a morning in which are no clouds to let the brightness, and as the grass of the earth is by the virtue of the rain. And is not mine house so with God? in that he hath made with me an everlasting covenant perfect in all points: and in that he shall fulfil all that is healthsome unto me, and all my desires thereto. When the unthrifty men are all of them as thorns taken out of their places, which cannot be taken with hands. But the man that shall touch them, must be armed with iron on a long helve. And then shall they be burned with fire to sit thereby.
       These be the names of the mighty men that were about David: Joseb of Sebeth the Thachmonite, first of three, otherwise called Adino the Azonite, which slew eight hundred at one time. And next to him Eleazar the son of Dodi the son of Ahohi, one of the three principal that were with David, which when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together in battle (and the men of Israel were gone up) arose and laid on the Philistines until his hand ached and cleaved unto the sword. And the Lord made a great victory the same day. And the people returned and went after him only to spoil. After him was Sema the son of Ageh the Hararite (which when the Philistines were gathered together in Lahaia where was a parcel of land full of rice, and the people were fled for fear of the Philistines) stood in the midst of the said ground, and defended it and slew the Philistines. And the Lord gave him a great victory.
      And these three of the thirty of the Lords went down and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave Odolom. And the Host of the Philistines had pitched in the valley of Giants. And David was then in an hold. And the Soldiers of the Philistines were then in Bethlehem. And David longed and said: Oh, that I had of the water that is in the well in the gate of Bethlehem for to drink. And anon the three mighty brake through the Host of the Philistines and fetched water out of the well of Bethlehem that was in the gate, and took and brought it to David: Nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but offered it unto the Lord and said: the Lord forbid that I should do so, should I drink the blood of men that were in jeopardy of their lives? and so he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men. Then Abisai the brother of Joab, the son of Saruiah: he was a captain over the three, and he lifted up his spear against three hundred and slew them, and was named with the three. For he was nobler man than the three and was their captain. How be it he attained not unto those three in acts.
      Then Banaiah the son of Jehoiada the son of a lusty man valiant in acts of Rabzeel, he slew two lions of Moab. He went down and slew a lion in a pit in time of Snow. And he slew an Egyptian a goodly man, which had a spear in his hand. And Banaiah went down to him with a staff and plucked the spear out of the Egyptians hand and slew him with his own spear: Such things did Banaiah the son of Jehoiada and was the noblest of thirty: But not like to any of the three in facts of war. And David made him of his counsel. Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty. Then Elehanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem: Semah the Harodite: Elica the Harodite: Helez the Palitite: Ira the son of Akes the Thekoite: Abiezer of Anathoth: Mobonai the Husathite: Zelmon an Ahohite: Maharai the Netophathite: Heleb the son of Baanah an Netophathite: Ithai the son of Ribai of Gabaah a city of the children of Benjamin: Banaiah the Pharathonite: Hedai of the river of Gaas: Abialbon the Arbathite: Asmaueth a Berhomite: Elithaba a Salabonite: Of the sons of Jasen Jonathas: Semah the Harorite: Ahiam the son of Sarar an Ararite: Eliphelet the son of Aasbai the son of a Maachathite: Eliam the son of Ahitophel the Gilonite: Hezrai the Carmelite: Pharai the Arbite: Igaal the son of Nathan of Zobah: Bani the Gadite: Zelec an Ammonite: Naharai a Berothite the Harnessbearer of Joab the son of Zaruiah: Ira the Jethrite: Gareb the Jethrite: Uriah the Hethite: in all thirty and seven.


*sonne; exactly as in the original, else where sun is written sunne.




The 24rd Chapter

     And the Lord was wrath again against Israel, and stirred up David against them saying: go and number both Israel and Juda. And forthwith the king said to Joab the captain of his Host: go abroad I pray thee, throughout all the tribes of Israel, even from Dan to Bersabe, and number the people that I may know the number of them. And Joab said unto the king: I beseech that the Lord thy God make the people as many more as they be: yea and an hundred times so many more, and that the eyes of my Lord the king may see them. But how is it that my Lord the king hath a lust in this thing? Notwithstanding the kings words prevailed against Joab and against all the captains of the Host.
      Then Joab and the captains of the Host went out from the king, to view the people of Israel. And they passed over Jordan and pitched in Aroer on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the valley of Gad and so forth to Jazer. And then they went to Galaad and to the nether land of Hodesi, and from thence to Dan Jaan, and about to Sidon, and came to the strong town of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hevites and of the Cananites, and then went out to the South of Juda even to Bersabe. And so when they had been abroad throughout all the land they returned to Jerusalem again at the end of nine months and twenty days. And then Joab delivered up the reckoning of the number of the people unto the king. And there were found in Israel nine hundred thousand men of might that drew swords. And the men of Juda were five hundred thousand men.
      And Davids heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And he said unto the Lord: I have sinned exceedingly in that I have done. And now Lord take away the trespass of thy servant: for I have done foolishly. And when David was up in a morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad Davids sear, saying: go and say unto David, thus saith the Lord: I offer thee three things, choose which of them I shall do to thee.
      And Gad came to David and showed him and said unto him: whether wilt thou have seven years hunger in thy land, or that thou flee three months before thine enemies and they following thee, or that there be three days of pestilence in thy land. Now understand and see, what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. Then said David unto Gad: I am in a marvelous strait. But let me fall I pray thee, into the hands of the Lord, for much is his mercy, and let me not fall into the hands of men.
      And the Lord sent a pestilence in Israel from the morning unto the end of the time appointed. And there died of the people between Dan and Bersabe seventy thousand men. And when the Angel stretched out his hand unto Jerusalem to have destroyed it, the Lord had compassion to do that evil, and said to the Angel that destroyed the people: it is sufficient: let thine hand cease. And the Angel was at the threshing place of Areunah the Jebusite. Then spake David unto the Lord when he saw the Angel that smote the people, and said: lo, it is I that have sinned, and I that have done wickedly. But these sheep what have they done? let I pray thee thine hand be on me and on my fathers house.
      And Gad came the same day to David and said unto him: go up and rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshing floor of Areunah the Jebusite. And David according to the saying of Gad went up as the Lord commanded. And when Areunah looked and saw the king and his servants coming toward him, he went out: and bowed himself to the king flat on his face to the ground, and said: wherefore is my Lord the king come to his servant? And David said: to buy the threshing floor of thee, for to make an altar unto the Lord that the plague may cease from the people.
      And Areunah said unto the king: let my Lord the king take and offer what seemeth him good in his eyes: Behold oxen for sacrifice, and sleds and the other instruments of the oxen for wood. And Areunah the kings friend gave all to the king, and said moreover unto the king: the Lord: the Lord thy God accept thee. But the king said unto Areunah: not so, but I will buy it of thee at a price, and will not offer sacrifice unto the Lord my God that shall cost me nought. And so David bought the threshing floor, and the oxen for fifty sickles of silver. And David built there an altar unto the Lord and offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings. And so the Lord was agreed with the land. And the plague ceased from Israel.


The end of the Second Book of Samuel: which they commonly call the second of the kings.


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