2 Samuel
Chapter 14

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1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.

2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead:

3 And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.

4 And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.

5 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead.

6 And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him.

7 And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.

8 And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee.

9 And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne be guiltless.

10 And the king said, Whosoever saith ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.

11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

12 Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on.

13 And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished.

14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.

15 Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid.

16 For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.

17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.

18 Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.

19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:

20 To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.

21 And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.

22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.

23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.

24 And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face.

25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.

27 And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance.

28 So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face.

29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.

30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.

31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?

32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.

33 So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.

Commentary for 2 Samuel 14

Joab procures Absalom's recall. (1-20) Absalom recalled. (21-24) His personal beauty. (25-27) He is admitted to his father's presence. (28-33)1-20 We may notice here, how this widow pleads God's mercy, and his clemency toward poor guilty sinners. The state of sinners is a state of banishment from God. God pardons none to the dishonour of his law and justice, nor any who are impenitent; nor to the encouragement of crimes, or the hurt of others.

21-24 David was inclined to favour Absalom, yet, for the honour of his justice, he could not do it but upon application made for him, which may show the methods of Divine grace. It is true that God has thoughts of compassion toward poor sinners, not willing that any should perish; yet he is only reconciled to them through a Mediator, who pleads on their behalf. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and Christ came to this land of our banishment, to bring us to God.

25-27 Nothing is said of Absalom's wisdom and piety. All here said of him is, that he was very handsome. A poor commendation for a man that had nothing else in him valuable. Many a polluted, deformed soul dwells in a fair and comely body. And we read that he had a very fine head of hair. It was a burden to him, but he would not cut it as long as he could bear the weight. That which feeds and gratifies pride, is not complained of, though uneasy. May the Lord grant us the beauty of holiness, and the adorning of a meek and quiet spirit! Only those who fear God are truly happy.

28-33 By his insolent carriage toward Joab, Absalom brought Joab to plead for him. By his insolent message to the king, he gained his wishes. When parents and rulers countenance such characters, they will soon suffer the most fatal effects. But did the compassion of a father prevail to reconcile him to an impenitent son, and shall penitent sinners question the compassion of Him who is the Father of mercies?

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 2 Samuel 14

  • Charley
    your life is separated all right heaven or hell.mark 8-36
    what does it profit a man if he would gain the whole world
    and lose his soul what can a man gain in exchange for his
    soul. jesus christ alone saves from hell
  • Biblefan
    there's a pattern in many of these chapters(especially involving david) David is very objective when hearing a tale about "someone else's foibles" and is able to readily dispense wisdom when the matter doesn't appear to relate to him directly. Afterwards the talebearer turns around and points the finger back at David(remember Bathsheeba and the lamb analogy). David at least shows repentance.
  • KieranC
    Choices in life not made with God's consent will lead to a distancing from The Father.
  • April
    Yeah, I agree Disciple.I know alot of people still today struggle with pressure to look good in order to fit n,wear what's n styleuse our bodies to get stuff,this can take away a persons character,Did GOD make a mistake in how he made u?,people don't get to see the REAL you,imagen what HE sees when he looks at us,we ARE beautiful,not bc of our earthly appearance,he LOVES you,if only u could c AMEN
  • A disciple
    April; You say it! Young people especially are vulnerable to that seducing spirit; but nowadays folks hold on to that uncleanness right up into their retirement years. A pretty face and a pleasant voice and some understanding and skill to make melody and play instruments; and the heart is drawn away captive. But these days it isn't even beauty anymore, but violence and filth and blasphemy!
  • April
    I must ask,what is it with the vanity complex?think of Lucifer and how he thought he was so beautiful and should be worshiped and a percentage of the the angels followed and were decieved and blinded by his beauty and the way he used words, here it speaks of Absalome with perfect hair, it even speaks of how much it weighs,I think of 1Samuel Ch16:8.just because they're handsome doesn't mean NOTHING
  • A disciple
    ".. and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth." Joab thought Absalom should be the king after David; which was apparently what many in Israel also wanted. The world doesn't want a man of God and the right ways of the LORD to rule over them, and they will conspire to overthrow him.
  • Breeze
    To Kathleen, if you'll notice Absolam is not a righteous man. In trying to understand if something is biblical or not, look at the character of the man. Now in 1 Corinthians, I believe, it talks about nature itself teaches that it is a shame for a man to have long hair. And as I said before, Absolam was not righteous. There is exception with Samson, but as it applies most often long hair is bad.
  • Kathleen Sabado for verse 26
    1 Corithians 11:14 I can 't see any other references of having long hair being shameful on men . What makes him think this? There are several passages that, seem to me, that he just decided using his own preferance. If Jesus or rules handed down from past religious practices? Didn 't The men often have long hair? Obviously, I am not well educated on the bible. I apologize if this question is so simple it offends you. However, I have questions from time to time and the answers are important to me. Thank you for your assistance and patience.
    Sometimes, it hurts deeply when the one you seek his good turns round to dig a deep pit for your downfall. Joab sought the restoration of Absalom who later set his field on fire for not promptly responding to his call. That is why it 's good to first seek the face of God before choosing a friend or life partner. This may either mar or enhance your going to heaven.

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Bible Trivia

In 2 Sam. 14, how did the wise woman disguise herself?
  • As a shepherd
  • As a mourner
  • As a guard
  • As the king