1Joab son of Zeruiah knew that King David missed Absalom very much. 2So Joab sent ˻messengers˼ to Tekoa to bring a wise woman from there. Joab said to this wise woman, “Please pretend to be very sad. Put on clothes of sadness. Don’t dress up. Act like a woman who has been crying many days for someone that died. 3Go to the king and talk to him using these words ˻that I tell you˼.” Then Joab told the wise woman what to say. 4Then the woman from Tekoa talked to the king. She bowed with her face to the ground. Then she said, “King, please help me!” 5King David said to her, “What’s your problem?” The woman said, “I am a widow. My husband is dead. 6I had two sons. They were out in the field fighting. There was no one to stop them. One son killed the other son. 7Now the whole family is against me. They said to me, 'Bring us the son who killed his brother and we will kill him. Why? Because he killed his brother.’ My son is like the last spark of a fire. If they kill my son, then that fire will burn out and be finished. He is the only son left alive to get his father’s property. So my ˻dead˼ husband’s property will go to someone else and his name will be removed from the land.” 8Then the king said to the woman, “Go home. I will take care of things for you.” 9The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “Let the blame be on me, my lord and king! You and your kingdom are innocent.” 10King David said, “If someone is saying bad things to you, then bring that person to me. He won’t bother you again.” 11The woman said, “Please, use the name of the Lord your God and swear ˻(promise)˼ that you will stop those people. They want to punish my son for murdering his brother. Swear that you won’t let them destroy my son.” David said, “As the Lord lives, ˻no one will hurt your son˼. Not even one hair from your son’s head will fall to the ground.” 12The woman said, “My lord and king, please let me say something else to you.” The king said, “Speak.” 13Then the woman said, “Why have you planned these things against the people of God? Yes, when you say these things, you show you are guilty. Why? Because you have not brought back the son that you forced to leave home. 14We will all die some day. We will be like water that is spilled on the ground. No person can gather this water back from the ground. You know God forgives people. God made plans for people who are forced to run away for safety—God doesn’t force them to run away from him! 15My lord and king, I came to say these words to you. Why? Because the people made me afraid. I said to myself, 'I will talk to the king. Maybe the king will help me. 16The king will listen to me and save me from the man who wants to kill me and my son. That man just wants to keep us from getting the things God gave us.’ 17I know that the words of my lord the king will give me rest, because you are like an angel from God. You know what is good and what is bad. And the Lord your God is with you.” 18King David answered the woman, “You must answer the question I will ask you.” The woman said, “My lord and king, please ask your question.” 19The king said, “Did Joab tell you to say all these things?” The woman answered, “As you live, my lord and king, you are right! Your officer Joab did tell me to say these things. 20˻Joab did these things˼ so that you would see things differently. My lord, you are as wise as God’s angel. You know everything that happens on earth.” 21The king said to Joab, “Look, I will do what I promised. Now please bring back the young man Absalom.” 22Joab bowed with his face on the ground. He blessed King David, and said, “Today I know that you are pleased with me. I know because you have done what I asked.” 23Then Joab got up and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24But King David said, “Absalom can go back to his own house. He can’t come to see me.” So Absalom went back to his own house. Absalom could not go to see the king. 25People really bragged about how good-looking Absalom was. No man in Israel was as handsome as Absalom. There was not a blemish on Absalom—from his head to his feet. 26At the end of every year, Absalom cut the hair from his head and weighed it. The hair weighed about five pounds. 27Absalom had three sons and one daughter. This daughter’s name was Tamar. Tamar was a beautiful woman. 28Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two full years without being allowed to visit King David. 29Absalom sent ˻messengers˼ to Joab. ˻These messengers asked Joab to˼ send Absalom to the king. But Joab would not come to Absalom. Absalom sent ˻a message˼ a second time. But Joab still refused to come. 30Then Absalom said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to my field. He has barley growing in that field. Go burn the barley.” So Absalom’s servants went and started a fire in Joab’s field. 31Joab got up and came to Absalom’s house. Joab said to Absalom, “Why did your servants burn my field?” 32Absalom said to Joab, “I sent a message to you. I asked you to come here. I wanted to send you to the king. I wanted you to ask him why he asked me to come home from Geshur. ˻I can’t see him, so˼ it would have been better for me to stay in Geshur. Now let me see the king. If I have sinned, then he can kill me!” 33Then Joab came to the king and told him ˻what Absalom said˼. The king called for Absalom. Absalom came to the king and bowed low on the ground before the king. The king kissed Absalom.