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II Samuel 14

1Yoav son of Tzeruya could see that the king's mind was on Avshalom;

אוַיֵּדַע יוֹאָב בֶּן־צְרֻיָה כִּי־לֵב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם׃

2so Yoav sent to Tekoa and brought a clever woman from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; put on mourning clothes and don't anoint yourself with oil; and act like a woman who has grieved a long time over a departed one.

va-yish-LAKH yo-AV t'-KO-ah va-yi-KAKH mi-SHAM i-SHAH kha-kha-MAH va-YO-mer ay-LE-ha hit-a-b'-lee NA v'-liv-shee NA vig-day AY-vel v'-al ta-SU-khee SHE-men v'-ha-YEET k'-i-SHAH ZEH ya-MEEM ra-BEEM mit-a-BE-let al MAYT

בוַיִּשְׁלַח יוֹאָב תְּקוֹעָה וַיִּקַּח מִשָּׁם אִשָּׁה חֲכָמָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ הִתְאַבְּלִי־נָא וְלִבְשִׁי־נָא בִגְדֵי־אֵבֶל וְאַל־תָּסוּכִי שֶׁמֶן וְהָיִית כְּאִשָּׁה זֶה יָמִים רַבִּים מִתְאַבֶּלֶת עַל־מֵת׃

 14:2   So Yoav sent to Tekoa

Ariel view of Tekoa

According to Rashi, the biblical town of Tekoa, located near both Yerushalayim and Chevron, was well known for its abundance of both olive oil and wisdom.  Today, the modern community of Tekoa is an important part of the Gush Etzion region of Judea. It is home to over 750 Jewish families, and is known throughout Israel as a community where Orthodox and secular Jews live together in mutual respect and harmony.  It is also known for its efforts to forge peaceful ties with neighboring Arab villages.

3Go to the king and say to him thus and thus.” And Yoav told her what to say.

גוּבָאת אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְדִבַּרְתְּ אֵלָיו כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיָּשֶׂם יוֹאָב אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים בְּפִיהָ׃

4The woman of Tekoa came to the king, flung herself face down to the ground, and prostrated herself. She cried out, “Help, O king!”

דוַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה הַתְּקֹעִית אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַתִּפֹּל עַל־אַפֶּיהָ אַרְצָה וַתִּשְׁתָּחוּ וַתֹּאמֶר הוֹשִׁעָה הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

5The king asked her, “What troubles you?” And she answered, “Alas, I am a widow, my husband is dead.

הוַיֹּאמֶר־לָהּ הַמֶּלֶךְ מַה־לָּךְ וַתֹּאמֶר אֲבָל אִשָּׁה־אַלְמָנָה אָנִי וַיָּמָת אִישִׁי׃

6Your maidservant had two sons. The two of them came to blows out in the fields where there was no one to stop them, and one of them struck the other and killed him.

ווּלְשִׁפְחָתְךָ שְׁנֵי בָנִים וַיִּנָּצוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם בַּשָּׂדֶה וְאֵין מַצִּיל בֵּינֵיהֶם וַיַּכּוֹ הָאֶחָד אֶת־הָאֶחָד וַיָּמֶת אֹתוֹ׃

7Then the whole clan confronted your maidservant and said, ‘Hand over the one who killed his brother, that we may put him to death for the slaying of his brother, even though we wipe out the heir.' Thus they would quench the last ember remaining to me, and leave my husband without name or remnant upon the earth.”

זוְהִנֵּה קָמָה כָל־הַמִּשְׁפָּחָה עַל־שִׁפְחָתֶךָ וַיֹּאמְרוּ תְּנִי אֶת־מַכֵּה אָחִיו וּנְמִתֵהוּ בְּנֶפֶשׁ אָחִיו אֲשֶׁר הָרָג וְנַשְׁמִידָה גַּם אֶת־הַיּוֹרֵשׁ וְכִבּוּ אֶת־גַּחַלְתִּי אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁאָרָה לְבִלְתִּי שום־[שִׂים־] לְאִישִׁי שֵׁם וּשְׁאֵרִית עַל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה׃

8The king said to the woman, “Go home. I will issue an order in your behalf.”

חוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה לְכִי לְבֵיתֵךְ וַאֲנִי אֲצַוֶּה עָלָיִךְ׃

9And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord king, may the guilt be on me and on my ancestral house; Your Majesty and his throne are guiltless.”

טוַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה הַתְּקוֹעִית אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ עָלַי אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ הֶעָוׂן וְעַל־בֵּית אָבִי וְהַמֶּלֶךְ וְכִסְאוֹ נָקִי׃

10The king said, “If anyone says anything more to you, have him brought to me, and he will never trouble you again.”

יוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמְדַבֵּר אֵלַיִךְ וַהֲבֵאתוֹ אֵלַי וְלֹא־יֹסִיף עוֹד לָגַעַת בָּךְ׃

11She replied, “Let Your Majesty be mindful of Hashem your God and restrain the blood avenger bent on destruction, so that my son may not be killed.” And he said, “As Hashem lives, not a hair of your son shall fall to the ground.”

יאוַתֹּאמֶר יִזְכָּר־נָא הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מהרבית [מֵהַרְבַּת] גֹּאֵל הַדָּם לְשַׁחֵת וְלֹא יַשְׁמִידוּ אֶת־בְּנִי וַיֹּאמֶר חַי־יְהֹוָה אִם־יִפֹּל מִשַּׂעֲרַת בְּנֵךְ אָרְצָה׃

12Then the woman said, “Please let your maidservant say another word to my lord the king.” “Speak on,” said the king.

יבוַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה תְּדַבֶּר־נָא שִׁפְחָתְךָ אֶל־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּבָר וַיֹּאמֶר דַּבֵּרִי׃

13And the woman said, “Why then have you planned the like against Hashem's people? In making this pronouncement, Your Majesty condemns himself in that Your Majesty does not bring back his own banished one.

יגוַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה וְלָמָּה חָשַׁבְתָּה כָּזֹאת עַל־עַם אֱלֹהִים וּמִדַּבֵּר הַמֶּלֶךְ הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה כְּאָשֵׁם לְבִלְתִּי הָשִׁיב הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־נִדְּחוֹ׃

14We must all die; we are like water that is poured out on the ground and cannot be gathered up. Hashem will not take away the life of one who makes plans so that no one may be kept banished.

ידכִּי־מוֹת נָמוּת וְכַמַּיִם הַנִּגָּרִים אַרְצָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא יֵאָסֵפוּ וְלֹא־יִשָּׂא אֱלֹהִים נֶפֶשׁ וְחָשַׁב מַחֲשָׁבוֹת לְבִלְתִּי יִדַּח מִמֶּנּוּ נִדָּח׃

15And the reason I have come to say these things to the king, my lord, is that the people have frightened me. Your maidservant thought I would speak to Your Majesty; perhaps Your Majesty would act on his handmaid's plea.

טווְעַתָּה אֲשֶׁר־בָּאתִי לְדַבֵּר אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲדֹנִי אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה כִּי יֵרְאֻנִי הָעָם וַתֹּאמֶר שִׁפְחָתְךָ אֲדַבְּרָה־נָּא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אוּלַי יַעֲשֶׂה הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־דְּבַר אֲמָתוֹ׃

16For Your Majesty would surely agree to deliver his handmaid from the hands of anyone [who would seek to] cut off both me and my son from the heritage of Hashem.

טזכִּי יִשְׁמַע הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהַצִּיל אֶת־אֲמָתוֹ מִכַּף הָאִישׁ לְהַשְׁמִיד אֹתִי וְאֶת־בְּנִי יַחַד מִנַּחֲלַת אֱלֹהִים׃

17Your maidservant thought, ‘Let the word of my lord the king provide comfort; for my lord the king is like an angel of Hashem, understanding everything, good and bad.' May Hashem your God be with you.”

יזוַתֹּאמֶר שִׁפְחָתְךָ יִהְיֶה־נָּא דְּבַר־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ לִמְנוּחָה כִּי כְּמַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים כֵּן אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ לִשְׁמֹעַ הַטּוֹב וְהָרָע וַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יְהִי עִמָּךְ׃

18In reply, the king said to the woman, “Do not withhold from me anything I ask you!” The woman answered, “Let my lord the king speak.”

יחוַיַּעַן הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאִשָּׁה אַל־נָא תְכַחֲדִי מִמֶּנִּי דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי שֹׁאֵל אֹתָךְ וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה יְדַבֶּר־נָא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

19The king asked, “Is Yoav in league with you in all this?” The woman replied, “As you live, my lord the king, it is just as my lord the king says. Yes, your servant Yoav was the one who instructed me, and it was he who told your maidservant everything she was to say.

יטוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ הֲיַד יוֹאָב אִתָּךְ בְּכָל־זֹאת וַתַּעַן הָאִשָּׁה וַתֹּאמֶר חֵי־נַפְשְׁךָ אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם־אִשׁ לְהֵמִין וּלְהַשְׂמִיל מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי־עַבְדְּךָ יוֹאָב הוּא צִוָּנִי וְהוּא שָׂם בְּפִי שִׁפְחָתְךָ אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃

20It was to conceal the real purpose of the matter that your servant Yoav did this thing. My lord is as wise as an angel of Hashem, and he knows all that goes on in the land.”

כלְבַעֲבוּר סַבֵּב אֶת־פְּנֵי הַדָּבָר עָשָׂה עַבְדְּךָ יוֹאָב אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַאדֹנִי חָכָם כְּחָכְמַת מַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים לָדַעַת אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ׃

21Then the king said to Yoav, “I will do this thing. Go and bring back my boy Avshalom.”

כאוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־יוֹאָב הִנֵּה־נָא עָשִׂיתִי אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וְלֵךְ הָשֵׁב אֶת־הַנַּעַר אֶת־אַבְשָׁלוֹם׃

22Yoav flung himself face down on the ground and prostrated himself. Yoav blessed the king and said, “Today your servant knows that he has found favor with you, my lord king, for Your Majesty has granted his servant's request.”

כבוַיִּפֹּל יוֹאָב אֶל־פָּנָיו אַרְצָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ וַיְבָרֶךְ אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב הַיּוֹם יָדַע עַבְדְּךָ כִּי־מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־דְּבַר עבדו [עַבְדֶּךָ׃]

23And Yoav went at once to Geshur and brought Avshalom to Yerushalayim.

כגוַיָּקָם יוֹאָב וַיֵּלֶךְ גְּשׁוּרָה וַיָּבֵא אֶת־אַבְשָׁלוֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃

24But the king said, “Let him go directly to his house and not present himself to me.” So Avshalom went directly to his house and did not present himself to the king.

כדוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ יִסֹּב אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וּפָנַי לֹא יִרְאֶה וַיִּסֹּב אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וּפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ לֹא רָאָה׃

25No one in all Yisrael was so admired for his beauty as Avshalom; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head he was without blemish.

כהוּכְאַבְשָׁלוֹם לֹא־הָיָה אִישׁ־יָפֶה בְּכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַלֵּל מְאֹד מִכַּף רַגְלוֹ וְעַד קָדְקֳדוֹ לֹא־הָיָה בוֹ מוּם׃

26When he cut his hair—he had to have it cut every year, for it grew too heavy for him—the hair of his head weighed two hundred shekalim by the royal weight.

כווּבְגַלְּחוֹ אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ וְהָיָה מִקֵּץ יָמִים לַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר יְגַלֵּחַ כִּי־כָבֵד עָלָיו וְגִלְּחוֹ וְשָׁקַל אֶת־שְׂעַר רֹאשׁוֹ מָאתַיִם שְׁקָלִים בְּאֶבֶן הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

27Avshalom had three sons and a daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a beautiful woman.

כזוַיִּוָּלְדוּ לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם שְׁלוֹשָׁה בָנִים וּבַת אַחַת וּשְׁמָהּ תָּמָר הִיא הָיְתָה אִשָּׁה יְפַת מַרְאֶה׃

28Avshalom lived in Yerushalayim two years without appearing before the king.

כחוַיֵּשֶׁב אַבְשָׁלוֹם בִּירוּשָׁלִַם שְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים וּפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ לֹא רָאָה׃

29Then Avshalom sent for Yoav, in order to send him to the king; but Yoav would not come to him. He sent for him a second time, but he would not come.

כטוַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־יוֹאָב לִשְׁלֹחַ אֹתוֹ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא אָבָה לָבוֹא אֵלָיו וַיִּשְׁלַח עוֹד שֵׁנִית וְלֹא אָבָה לָבוֹא׃

30So [Avshalom] said to his servants, “Look, Yoav's field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” And Avshalom's servants set the field on fire.

לוַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־עֲבָדָיו רְאוּ חֶלְקַת יוֹאָב אֶל־יָדִי וְלוֹ־שָׁם שְׂעֹרִים לְכוּ והוצתיה [וְהַצִּיתוּהָ] בָאֵשׁ וַיַּצִּתוּ עַבְדֵי אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת־הַחֶלְקָה בָּאֵשׁ׃

31Yoav came at once to Avshalom's house and said to him, “Why did your servants set fire to my field?”

לאוַיָּקָם יוֹאָב וַיָּבֹא אֶל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם הַבָּיְתָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לָמָּה הִצִּיתוּ עֲבָדֶךָ אֶת־הַחֶלְקָה אֲשֶׁר־לִי בָּאֵשׁ׃

32Avshalom replied to Yoav, “I sent for you to come here; I wanted to send you to the king to say [on my behalf]: ‘Why did I leave Geshur? I would be better off if I were still there. Now let me appear before the king; and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death!'”

לבוַיֹּאמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־יוֹאָב הִנֵּה שָׁלַחְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר בֹּא הֵנָּה וְאֶשְׁלְחָה אֹתְךָ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ לֵאמֹר לָמָּה בָּאתִי מִגְּשׁוּר טוֹב לִי עֹד אֲנִי־שָׁם וְעַתָּה אֶרְאֶה פְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאִם־יֶשׁ־בִּי עָוׂן וֶהֱמִתָנִי׃

33Yoav went to the king and reported to him; whereupon he summoned Avshalom. He came to the king and flung himself face down to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Avshalom.

לגוַיָּבֹא יוֹאָב אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּגֶּד־לוֹ וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיָּבֹא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לוֹ עַל־אַפָּיו אַרְצָה לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשַּׁק הַמֶּלֶךְ לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם׃