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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Shmuel II - II Samuel - Chapter 15

Shmuel II - II Samuel - Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

1And it came to pass after this, that Absalom made for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men were running before him.   אוַיְהִי מֵאַחֲרֵי כֵן וַיַּעַשׂ לוֹ אַבְשָׁלוֹם מֶרְכָּבָה וְסֻסִים וַחֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ רָצִים לְפָנָיו:
and fifty men were running before him: They all had their spleen and the flesh of the soles of their feet cut off.  
2And Absalom would rise up, and stand beside the path of the gate; and it was [when] any man that would have a suit [due] to come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him and he said: "From what city are you?" and he said: "Of one of the tribes of Israel is your servant.   בוְהִשְׁכִּים אַבְשָׁלוֹם וְעָמַּד עַל יַד דֶּרֶךְ הַשָּׁעַר וַיְהִי כָּל הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה לּוֹ רִיב לָבוֹא אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ לַמִּשְׁפָּט וַיִּקְרָא אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמֶר אֵי מִזֶּה עִיר אַתָּה וַיֹּאמֶר מֵאַחַד שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדֶּךָ:
And Absalom would rise: Each morning.  
Of one of the tribes of Israel is your servant: From such-and-such a tribe.  
3And Absalom said to him: "See your words are good and right; but there is none of the king's [judges] to hear you."   גוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְשָׁלוֹם רְאֵה דְבָרֶיךָ טוֹבִים וּנְכֹחִים וְשֹׁמֵעַ אֵין לְךָ מֵאֵת הַמֶּלֶךְ:
4And Absalom said, "Oh, who will appoint me judge in the land, and every man who has a quarrel or suit, will come to me, then I will [surely] do him justice."   דוַיֹּאמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם מִי יְשִׂמֵנִי שֹׁפֵט בָּאָרֶץ וְעָלַי יָבוֹא כָּל אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה לּוֹ רִיב וּמִשְׁפָּט וְהִצְדַּקְתִּיו:
I would surely do him justice: I would judge him righteously.  
5And it would be, when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, that he put forth his hand and took hold of him, and kissed him.   הוְהָיָה בִּקְרָב אִישׁ לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֹת לוֹ וְשָׁלַח אֶת יָדוֹ וְהֶחֱזִיק לוֹ וְנָשַׁק לוֹ:
6And Absalom did likewise to all the Israelites that came to the king for judgment. And Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.   ווַיַּעַשׂ אַבְשָׁלוֹם כַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה לְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ לַמִּשְׁפָּט אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיְגַנֵּב אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת לֵב אַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
7And it came to pass at the end of forty years; and Absalom said to the king; "Allow me to go, I beg you, and pay my vow which I have vowed to the Lord in Hebron.   זוַיְהִי מִקֵּץ אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵלֲכָה נָּא וַאֲשַׁלֵּם אֶת נִדְרִי אֲשֶׁר נָדַרְתִּי לַיהֹוָה בְּחֶבְרוֹן:
at the end of forty years: [from the time] that the Israelites requested a king from Samuel, came about [this] rebellion and drop [of prestige] in the monarchy.  
allow me to go, I beg you: to Hebron.  
and pay my vow: Our Rabbis have stated: “To fetch lambs from Hebron, for there were fat lambs there.”  
8For your servant vowed a vow during my stay in Geshur in Aram, saying: 'If the Lord shall bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord'."   חכִּי נֵדֶר נָדַר עַבְדְּךָ בְּשִׁבְתִּי בִגְשׁוּר בַּאֲרָם לֵאמֹר אִם יָשׁוֹב (כתיב יָשֹׁיב) יְשִׁיבֵנִי יְהֹוָה יְרוּשָׁלַםִ וְעָבַדְתִּי אֶת יְהֹוָה:
9And the king said to him: "Go in peace." And he arose and went to Hebron.   טוַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לֵךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ חֶבְרוֹנָה:
10And Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the shofar, then you shall say: 'Absalom is king in Hebron'."   יוַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְשָׁלוֹם מְרַגְּלִים בְּכָל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר כְּשָׁמְעֲכֶם אֶת קוֹל הַשֹּׁפָר וַאֲמַרְתֶּם מָלַךְ אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּחֶבְרוֹן:
11And with Absalom went two hundred men [that were] invited; and went in their innocence; and did not know of anything.   יאוְאֶת אַבְשָׁלוֹם הָלְכוּ מָאתַיִם אִישׁ מִירוּשָׁלַםִ קְרֻאִים וְהֹלְכִים לְתֻמָּם וְלֹא יָדְעוּ כָּל דָּבָר:
that were invited and went in their innocence: It is explained in T.P. Sotah that he requested his father to write for him that any two people that he would ask to go with him, should go, and he showed this [decree] to two people here, then to two others [elsewhere], and so he did many times.  
12And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, from Giloh, as he offered the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, and the people with Absalom were steadily increasing.   יבוַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת אֲחִיתֹפֶל הַגִּילֹנִי יוֹעֵץ דָּוִד מֵעִירוֹ מִגִּלֹה בְּזָבְחוֹ אֶת הַזְּבָחִים וַיְהִי הַקֶּשֶׁר אַמִּץ וְהָעָם הוֹלֵךְ וָרָב אֶת אַבְשָׁלוֹם:
13And the messenger came to David saying, "The hearts of the people of Israel are after Absalom."   יגוַיָּבֹא הַמַּגִּיד אֶל דָּוִד לֵאמֹר הָיָה לֶב אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֲרֵי אַבְשָׁלוֹם:
14And David said to all his servants that were with him in Jerusalem: "Arise and let us flee, for there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly lest he hurry and overtake us, and bring upon us evil, and smite the city with the edge of the sword."   ידוַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד לְכָל עֲבָדָיו אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בִירוּשָׁלַםִ קוּמוּ וְנִבְרָחָה כִּי לֹא תִהְיֶה לָּנוּ פְלֵיטָה מִפְּנֵי אַבְשָׁלֹם מַהֲרוּ לָלֶכֶת פֶּן יְמַהֵר וְהִשִּׂגָנוּ וְהִדִּיחַ עָלֵינוּ אֶת הָרָעָה וְהִכָּה הָעִיר לְפִי חָרֶב:
15And the king's servants said to the king, "Whatever my lord the king shall choose, behold your servants [are ready to do]."   טווַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ הִנֵּה עֲבָדֶיךָ:
16And the king went forth, and all his household were right behind him. And the king led the ten women (who were) concubines to keep the house.   טזוַיֵּצֵא הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל בֵּיתוֹ בְּרַגְלָיו וַיַּעֲזֹב הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת עֶשֶׂר נָשִׁים פִּלַגְשִׁים לִשְׁמֹר הַבָּיִת:
17And the king went forth, and all the people were right behind him: and they remained standing at the farthest house.   יזוַיֵּצֵא הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל הָעָם בְּרַגְלָיו וַיַּעַמְדוּ בֵּית הַמֶּרְחָק:
at the farthest house: in a distant place.  
18And all his servants passed on beside him, and all the archers and all the slingers, and all the Gittites, six hundred men that came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.   יחוְכָל עֲבָדָיו עֹבְרִים עַל יָדוֹ וְכָל הַכְּרֵתִי וְכָל הַפְּלֵתִי וְכָל הַגִּתִּים שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר בָּאוּ בְרַגְלוֹ מִגַּת עֹבְרִים עַל פְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ:
beside him: he stood and they passed by.  
19And the king said to Ittai the Gittite; 'Why do you also go with us? return, and abide with the king; for you are a foreigner, and if you are wont to wander, [go to] your own place.   יטוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל אִתַּי הַגִּתִּי לָמָה תֵלֵךְ גַּם אַתָּה אִתָּנוּ שׁוּב וְשֵׁב עִם הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי נָכְרִי אַתָּה וְגַם גֹּלֶה אַתָּה לִמְקוֹמֶךָ:
with the king: with Absalom.  
for you are a foreigner: Now we flee without provision or food, and because you are a gentile you will not [readily] find [anyone] to take pity.  
and if you are wont to wander, [go to] your own place: and if you wish to wander from the king because you do not desire to be with him, return to your own place, for your travel with me is not advisable, since [just] yesterday you came.  
20[Only] yesterday you came, and today I should move you about with us, seeing that I go wherever I can go? Return and take back your brothers with you, (and do) kindness and truth (to them)."   כתְּמוֹל | בּוֹאֶךָ וְהַיּוֹם אֲנִיעֲךָ (כתיב אֲנִועֲךָ) עִמָּנוּ לָלֶכֶת וַאֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ עַל אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ שׁוּב וְהָשֵׁב אֶת אַחֶיךָ עִמָּךְ חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת:
and today I should move you about with us?: For I have no place where I can settle you so that you be spared, since from day to day, I go wherever chance takes me. When I hear that the pursuers are here, I run there. Now Jonathan also translates אתה למקומך וגם גולה as: and if you are wont to wander, go you to your own place.  
kindness and truth: I thank you for the kindness and truth that you have done with me.  
21And Ittai answered the king and said, 'As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, that in the place where my lord the king shall be, whether for life or for death, for there shall your servant be.'   כאוַיַּעַן אִתַּי אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמַר חַי יְהֹוָה וְחֵי אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי (כתיב אם) בִּמְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה שָּׁם | אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם לְמָוֶת אִם לְחַיִּים כִּי שָׁם יִהְיֶה עַבְדֶּךָ:
22And David said to Ittai, "Go and pass over." And Ittai the Gittite passed over and [so did] all his men and all the little ones that were with him.   כבוַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל אִתַּי לֵךְ וַעֲבֹר וַיַּעֲבֹר אִתַּי הַגִּתִּי וְכָל אֲנָשָׁיו וְכָל הַטַּף אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ:
go and pass over: with the rest of the people, seeing that you do not desire to separate from me.  
23And all the land wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over; and the king passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness.   כגוְכָל הָאָרֶץ בּוֹכִים קוֹל גָּדוֹל וְכָל הָעָם עֹבְרִים וְהַמֶּלֶךְ עֹבֵר בְּנַחַל קִדְרוֹן וְכָל הָעָם עֹבְרִים עַל פְּנֵי דֶרֶךְ אֶת הַמִּדְבָּר:
and all the people passed over: from the king and on. Since David was standing still, they are referred to as passing over.  
24And lo, Zadok also [came], and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar went up, until all the people had finished passing out of the city.   כדוְהִנֵּה גַם צָדוֹק וְכָל הַלְוִיִּם אִתּוֹ נֹשְׂאִים אֶת אֲרוֹן בְּרִית הָאֱלֹהִים וַיַּצִּקוּ אֶת אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים וַיַּעַל אֶבְיָתָר עַד תֹּם כָּל הָעָם לַעֲבוֹר מִן הָעִיר:
set down: Heb. ויציקו, similar to ויציגו, to set down, [as indicated by Jonathan’s translation]: they set down the ark. They placed it to a side and the people passed by, since David desired to carry it with him.  
and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished, etc.: This is an inverted verse: “They set down the ark of God until all the people had finished passing!”  
went up: On that day he [Abiathar] was removed from the [High] Priesthood because he had inquired of the Urim and Tumim but was not answered and Zadok entered in his stead. So we learned in Seder Olam and Seder Yoma.  
25And the king said to Zadok, "Carry back the ark of God to the city; if I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, then He will bring me back, and He will show me it, and His habitation.   כהוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְצָדוֹק הָשֵׁב אֶת אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים הָעִיר אִם אֶמְצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וֶהֱשִׁבַנִי וְהִרְאַנִי אֹתוֹ וְאֶת נָוֵהוּ:
26But if so [He] says, 'I do not want you,' behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good in His eyes."   כווְאִם כֹּה יֹאמַר לֹא חָפַצְתִּי בָּךְ הִנְנִי יַעֲשֶׂה לִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר טוֹב בְּעֵינָיו:
27And the king said to Zadok the priest: 'Do you (not) see? return to the city in peace, and Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar, your two sons, [shall be] with you.   כזוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל צָדוֹק הַכֹּהֵן הֲרוֹאֶה אַתָּה שֻׁבָה הָעִיר בְּשָׁלוֹם וַאֲחִימַעַץ בִּנְךָ וִיהוֹנָתָן בֶּן אֶבְיָתָר שְׁנֵי בְנֵיכֶם אִתְּכֶם:
Do you [not] see: If you see that it is a sensible plan then return to the city, etc.  
Your two sons [shall be] with you: Through them you can inform me about what you hear from the house of the king, and based on your information I will be able to [plan an] escape.  
28See, I will tarry in the plains of the wilderness, until there comes word from you to announce to me.'   כחרְאוּ אָנֹכִי מִתְמַהְמֵהַּ בְּעַרְבוֹת (כתיב בְּעַבְרוֹת) הַמִּדְבָּר עַד בּוֹא דָבָר מֵעִמָּכֶם לְהַגִּיד לִי:
29And Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem, and they abode there.   כטוַיָּשֶׁב צָדוֹק וְאֶבְיָתָר אֶת אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים יְרוּשָׁלָםִ וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם:
30And David went up by the ascent of the [mount of] olives, weeping as he went up. And he had his head covered and he went barefoot; and (of) all the people that were with him every man covered his head, weeping as they went up.   לוְדָוִד עֹלֶה בְמַעֲלֵה הַזֵּיתִים עֹלֶה | וּבוֹכֶה וְרֹאשׁ לוֹ חָפוּי וְהוּא הֹלֵךְ יָחֵף וְכָל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ חָפוּ אִישׁ רֹאשׁוֹ וְעָלוּ עָלֹה וּבָכֹה:
by the ascent of the olives: by the Mount of Olives.  
his head covered: wrapped around in the manner of mourners.  
covered: wrapped.  
31And [someone] told David saying, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And David said, "Make foolish, I beg you, the counsel of Ahithophel, O' Lord."   לאוְדָוִד הִגִּיד לֵאמֹר אֲחִיתֹפֶל בַּקּשְׁרִים עִם אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד סַכֶּל נָא אֶת עֲצַת אֲחִיתֹפֶל יְהֹוָה:
and [someone] told David: and the informer told to David.  
among the conspirators: Heb. סכל, make foolishfrustrated [by making foolish] similar to: “And the fool (והסכל) multiplies his words” (Eccl. 10:14).  
32And David was coming to the top where he would prostrate himself to God, and behold, towards him [came] Hushai the Archite with his shirt torn, and earth upon his head.   לבוַיְהִי דָוִד בָּא עַד הָרֹאשׁ אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה שָׁם לֵאלֹהִים וְהִנֵּה לִקְרָאתוֹ חוּשַׁי הָאַרְכִּי קָרוּעַ כֻּתָּנְתּוֹ וַאֲדָמָה עַל רֹאשׁוֹ:
coming to the top: to the top of the mount.  
where he would prostrate himself to God: Where he was wont to prostrate himself. When he would come to Jerusalem he would see from there the tent containing the ark and would prostrate himself.  
33And David said to him, "If you pass on with me you will be a burden to me.   לגוַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ דָּוִד אִם עָבַרְתָּ אִתִּי וְהָיִתָ עָלַי לְמַשָּׂא:
34But if you return to the city and you say to Absalom, 'I O' king will be your servant, just as I was previously your father's servant,' and now I am your servant; then you will (be able) to frustrate for me the counsel of Ahithophel.   לדוְאִם הָעִיר תָּשׁוּב וְאָמַרְתָּ לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם עַבְדְּךָ אֲנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶהְיֶה עֶבֶד אָבִיךָ וַאֲנִי מֵאָז וְעַתָּה וַאֲנִי עַבְדֶּךָ וְהֵפַרְתָּה לִי אֵת עֲצַת אֲחִיתֹפֶל:
just as I was previously father’s servant: as if [it were written]: “and I was previously your father’s servant”; for it is an inverted sentence.  
35And have you not there with you Zadok and Abiathar the priest? And it shall [therefore] be that everything you hear from the king's house, you shall tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.   להוַהֲלוֹא עִמְּךָ שָׁם צָדוֹק וְאֶבְיָתָר הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהָיָה כָּל הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמַע מִבֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ תַּגִּיד לְצָדוֹק וּלְאֶבְיָתָר הַכֹּהֲנִים:
36And, behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz to Zadok, and Jonathan to Abiathar, and through them you shall send to me everything you hear."   לוהִנֵּה שָׁם עִמָּם שְׁנֵי בְנֵיהֶם אֲחִימַעַץ לְצָדוֹק וִיהוֹנָתָן לְאֶבְיָתָר וּשְׁלַחְתֶּם בְּיָדָם אֵלַי כָּל דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמָעוּ:
37And Hushai the Archite, the friend of David, came into the city, and Absalom [was] coming to Jerusalem.   לזוַיָּבֹא חוּשַׁי רֵעֶה דָוִד הָעִיר וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם יָבוֹא יְרוּשָׁלָםִ:
(was) coming to Jerusalem: contemplated coming to Jerusalem.  
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