1: And David numbered the people that [were] with him, and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds. 2: And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also. 3: But the people answered, Thou 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: but now [thou art] worth ten thousand of us: therefore now [it is] better that thou shouldst succor us out of the city. 4: And the king said to them, What seemeth to 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 Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, [Deal] gently for my sake with the young man, [even] with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom. 6: So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; 7: Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, 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 Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom 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 suspended between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that [was] under him went away. 10: And a certain man saw [it], and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak. 11: And Joab said to the man that told him, And behold, thou sawest [him], and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten [shekels] of silver, and a girdle. 12: And the man said to Joab, Though I should receive a thousand [shekels] of silver in my hand, [yet] would I not put forth my hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none [touch] the young man Absalom. 13: Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against my own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldst have set thyself against [me]. 14: Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he [was] yet alive in the midst of the oak. 15: And ten young men that bore Joab's armor compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. 16: And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel: for Joab restrained the people. 17: And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. 18: Now Absalom in his life-time had taken and raised 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 to this day, Absalom's place. 19: Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and inform the king, how the LORD hath avenged himself of his enemies. 20: And Joab said to him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead. 21: Then said Joab to Cushi, Go, tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself to Joab, and ran. 22: Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But however, let me also, I pray thee, run after Cushi. And Joab said, Why wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? 23: But however, [said he], let me run. And he said to him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran Cushi. 24: And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate to the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. 25: And the watchman called, and told the king. And the king said, If he [is] 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 to the porter, and said, Behold [another] man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings. 27: And the watchman said, I think 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 news. 28: And Ahimaaz called, and said to the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed [be] the LORD thy God, who hath delivered up the men that raised their hand against my lord the king. 29: And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and [me] thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what [it was]. 30: And the king said [to him], Turn aside, [and] stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still. 31: And behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. 32: And the king said to Cushi, [Is] the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, May the enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do [thee] hurt, 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 Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! O that I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!