¶ When Ioab the son of Zaruiah perceived that the king's heart was turned again to Absalom, he sent to Thekoa, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her: feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel. And anoint not thyself with oil. But be as a woman that had long time mourned for the death of somebody. And go to the king and speak of thus manner unto him. And so Ioab taught her what she should say. And when the wife of Thekoa was come to speak with the king, she fell on her face to the ground and did obeisance and said: help me O king. And the king said unto her: what aileth thee? and she answered. I am a widow, and mine husband is dead. And thy handmaid had two sons which fought together in the fields where was no man to go between them, and the one slew the other. And behold, the whole kindred arose against thy handmaid and said: deliver us him that smote his brother: that we may kill him for the soul of his brother whom he slew, for he will destroy the heir also. And so they shall quench my sparkle which is left that he shall stir up neither name or issue upon the earth unto my husband. And the king said unto the wife: go home to thine house, and I will give a charge for thee. And the woman of Thekoa said unto the king: My lord king, the trespass be on me and on my father's house, and the king and his seat be guiltless. And then said the king: if any man say ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall no more trouble thee. Then said she: let the king remember his LORD God, that the next of the blood gather not on heaps together to destroy, and that they slay not my son. And he said: as sure as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son's head fall to the earth. Then the woman said: let thine handmaid speak one word more unto my lord the king and he said: say on. And the woman said: wherefore then hast thou determined on this same manner against the people of God? that the king should speak this thing and be faulty therein, so that the king should not fetch home again his banished. For we must needs die and perish as water spilt on the ground which can not be gathered up again and God will not take away the life but find the means that the banished be not utterly expelled from him. And now concerning that I am come to speak of this thing unto the king my lord in the presence of the people: thy handmaid thought: surely I will speak unto the king, peradventure the king will hear the request of his handmaid. And the king shall hear his handmaid and deliver her out of the hand of the man that would have destroyed me and my son also out of the inheritance of God. Then thine handmaid said: I pray God that the word of my lord the king may be immutable. For my lord the king is as an Angel of God, in hearing of good or bad: and therefore the LORD thy God be with thee. Then the king answered and said unto the woman: hide not from me I pray thee: the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said: let my lord the king say on. Then said the king: is not the hand of Ioab with thee in all this matter? And the woman answered and said: as sure as thy soul liveth my lord king, it is neither on the right hand nor on the left that my lord the king hath spoken. For thy servant Ioab he bade me, and he put all these words even in the mouth of thine handmaid. And the turning of my tale another way, that made thy servant Ioab. And so I see that my lord is wise even as an Angel of God, to understand all things that are in the earth.
¶ Then said the king to Ioab: behold, I am content to do this thing. Go therefore fetch home the lad Absalom. And Ioab fell to the ground on his face and bowed himself and blessed the king and said: now thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in the sight of my lord the king in that he hath fulfilled the request of his servant. And so Ioab arose and went to Gesur and brought Absalom to Ierusalem. Then said the king: let him turn to his own house, but see that he come not in my presence. And so Absalom went to his own house, but came not in the king's presence. Moreover in all Israel there was not so goodly a man as Absalom, or so greatly praised, from the sole of his foot to the top of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he shaved his head (for at every year's end he shaved it because it was heavy on him, and therefore he shaved it) the hair thereof weighed two hundredth sicles weight of the king's weight. And this Absalom had three sons born him and one daughter named Thamar, which was a fair woman to look upon.
¶ When Absalom had dwelt two years in Ierusalem without coming into the king's presence he sent for Ioab, to have sent him to the king. But he would not come to him. And he sent again, and for all that he would not come. Then he said unto his servants: behold, Ioab hath a parcel of land fast by mine, and hath barley therein. Go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants went and set it on fire. Then Ioab arose and came to Absalom unto his house and said unto him: wherefore have thy servants burned my field with fire? And Absalom said to Ioab: behold, I sent for thee desiring thee to come, because I would have sent thee to the king, for to say: wherefore I am come from Gesur. It had been as good for me to have bidden there still. Now therefore let me come to the king's presence, or else if there be any trespass in me, kill me. And Ioab went to the king and told him. And he sent for Absalom: which when he was come, fell to the ground on his face before the king. And the king kissed him.