Bible, King James Version
 And David numbered the people that were with him, and
set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.
 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 unto the people, I will
surely go forth with you myself also.
 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 succour us out of the
 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.
 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.
 So the people went out into the field against Israel:
and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim;
 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.
 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.
 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 taken
up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under
him went away.
 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said,
Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
 And Joab said unto 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.
 And the man said unto Joab, 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 thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none
touch the young man Absalom.
 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against
mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou
thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
 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
 And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed
about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned
from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.
 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.
 Now Absalom 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,
 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run,
and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of
 And Joab said unto 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.
 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou
hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.
 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab,
But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And
Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast
no tidings ready?
 But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto
him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran
 And David 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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 the LORD thy God, which hath delivered
up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the
 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.
 And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand
here. And he turned aside, and stood still.
 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.
 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man
Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the
king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that
young man is.
 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! would God I had died for
thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!