1 And Dawid numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.
2 And Dawid sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Yoav, and a third part under the hand of Avishai the son of Tseruyah, Yoav’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, “I will surely go forth with you myself also.”
3 But the people answered, “You shalt not go forth; for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us. Bbut now you are worth ten thousand of us; therefore now it is better that you succour us out of the city.”
4 And the king said unto them, “What seemeth you best I will do.” And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
5 And the king commanded Yoav and Avishai and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Avshalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Avshalom.
6 So the people went out into the field against Yisrael; and the battle was in the wood of Efrayim;
7 Where the people of Yisrael were slain before the servants of Dawid, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.
8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9 And Avshalom met the servants of Dawid. And Avshalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
10 And a certain man saw it, and told Yoav, and said, “Behold, I saw Avshalom hanged in an oak!”
11 And Yoav said unto the man that told him, “And, behold, you sawest him, and why didst you not smite him there to the ground? And I would have given you ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.”
12 And the man said unto Yoav, “Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king charged you and Avishai and Ittai, saying, ‘Beware that none touch the young man Avshalom!”
13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and you yourself wouldest have set yourself against me.”
14 Then said Yoav, “I may not tarry thus with you.” And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Avshalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
15 And ten young men that bare Yoav’s armour compassed about and smote Avshalom, and slew him.
16 And Yoav blew the shofar, and the people returned from pursuing after Yisrael; for Yoav held back the people.
17 And they took Avshalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him; and all Yisrael fled every one to his tent.
18 Now Avshalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king’s dale; for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” And he called the pillar after his own name; and it is called unto this day: Avshalom’s Monument.
19 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, “Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that יהוה hath avenged him of his enemies.”
20 And Yoav said unto him, “You shalt not bear tidings this day, but you shalt bear tidings another day; but this day you shalt bear no tidings, because the king’s son is dead.”
21 Then said Yoav to Kushi, “Go tell the king what you have seen.” And Kushi bowed himself unto Yoav, and ran.
22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Yoav, “But howsoever, let me, I pray you, also run after Kushi.” And Yoav said, “Why wilt you run, my son, seeing that you have no tidings ready?”
23 “But howsoever,” said he, “let me run.” And he said unto him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Kushi.
24 And Dawid 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 looked, and behold a man running alone.
25 And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, “If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth.” And he came apace, and drew near.
26 And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, “Behold another man running alone!” And the king said, “He also bringeth tidings.”
27 And the watchman said, “Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.”
28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, “All is well!” And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, “Blessed be יהוה your God (Elohim), who hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord (adoni) the king.”
29 And the king said, “Is the young man Avshalom safe?” And Ahimaaz answered, “When Yoav sent the king’s servant, and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was.”
30 And the king said unto him, “Turn aside, and stand here.” And he turned aside, and stood still.
31 And, behold, Kushi came; and Kushi said, “Tidings, my lord (adoni) the king; for יהוה hath avenged you this day of all them that rose up against you.
32 And the king said unto Kushi, “Is the young man Avshalom safe?” And Kushi answered, “The enemies of my lord (adoni) the king, and all that rise against you to do you 43charm (raah), be as that young man is!”
33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, thus he said: “O my son Avshalom, my son, my son Avshalom! If only I had died for you, O Avshalom, my son, my son!”