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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Shmuel II - II Samuel - Chapter 18

Shmuel II - II Samuel - Chapter 18

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Chapter 18

1And David numbered the people that were with him, and he placed over them captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds.   אוַיִּפְקֹד דָּוִד אֶת הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ וַיָּשֶׂם עֲלֵיהֶם שָׂרֵי אֲלָפִים וְשָׂרֵי מֵאוֹת:
2And David sent forth the people, a third in the hands of Joab, a third in the hands of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third under the hands of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, "I, too, will go forth with you."   בוַיְשַׁלַּח דָּוִד אֶת הָעָם הַשְּׁלִשִׁית בְּיַד יוֹאָב וְהַשְּׁלִשִׁית בְּיַד אֲבִישַׁי בֶּן צְרוּיָה אֲחִי יוֹאָב וְהַשְּׁלִשִׁת בְּיַד אִתַּי הַגִּתִּי וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל הָעָם יָצֹא אֵצֵא גַּם אֲנִי עִמָּכֶם:
3And the people said, "You shall not go forth; for if we flee they will not pay attention to us; [now] even if half of us should die, they [still] will not pay attention to us, for now you are [equal to] ten thousand of us; and therefore now it is better that you be for us from the city as aid."   גוַיֹּאמֶר הָעָם לֹא תֵצֵא כִּי אִם נֹס נָנוּס לֹא יָשִֹימוּ אֵלֵינוּ לֵב וְאִם יָמֻתוּ חֶצְיֵנוּ לֹא יָשִֹימוּ אֵלֵינוּ לֵב כִּי עַתָּה כָמֹנוּ עֲשָׂרָה אֲלָפִים וְעַתָּה טוֹב כִּי תִהְיֶה לָּנוּ מֵעִיר לַעְזוֹר (כתיב לַעְזֹיר) :
they will not pay attention to us: lit., set heart to us. It will not be important to them to overpower us and to boast, since you are not [taking part] in the battle.  
For now: with you in your full glory, you are of equal import to us all.  
that you be for us from the city as aid: And now it is better that you pray for us from the city for support.  
4And the king said to them: "What seems best to you, I will do." And the king stood by the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands.   דוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִיטַב בְּעֵינֵיכֶם אֶעֱשֶֹה וַיַּעֲמֹד הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל יַד הַשַּׁעַר וְכָל הָעָם יָצְאוּ לְמֵאוֹת וְלַאֲלָפִים:
5And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai saying: "Deal gently for me with the youth, with Absalom." And all the people heard when the king commanded all the captains regarding Absalom.   הוַיְצַו הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת יוֹאָב וְאֶת אֲבִישַׁי וְאֶת אִתַּי לֵאמֹר לְאַט לִי לַנַּעַר לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם וְכָל הָעָם שָׁמְעוּ בְּצַוֹּת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת כָּל הַשָּׂרִים עַל דְּבַר אַבְשָׁלוֹם:
deal gently with the youth: If he chances to come before you in battle, take pity on him.  
6And the people went out into the field against Israel; and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim.   ווַיֵּצֵא הָעָם הַשָּׂדֶה לִקְרַאת יִשְׂרָאֵל וַתְּהִי הַמִּלְחָמָה בְּיַעַר אֶפְרָיִם:
in the forest of Ephraim: Now how was there a forest belonging to Ephraim on the Eastern bank of the Jordan since no portion was granted [anyone] there other than to the children of Gad, Reuben, and Menashe? However, because Joshua had placed as a condition [for the division of the Land of Israel] that anyone may pasture in the forests, and since this forest was so close to Ephraim, [but for the Jordan separating them] that they [the people of Ephraim] would pasture their animals there, it was called the forest of Ephraim.  
7And the people of Israel were beaten there before the servants of David, and the slaughter there, on that day, was very great, twenty thousand men.   זוַיִּנָּגְפוּ שָׁם עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי עַבְדֵי דָוִד וַתְּהִי שָׁם הַמַּגֵּפָה גְדוֹלָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא עֶשְׂרִים אָלֶף:
8And the battle spread from there over the face of all the land; and the forest devoured more of the people, than the sword devoured on that day.   חוַתְּהִי שָׁם הַמִּלְחָמָה נָפֹצֶת (כתיב נָפֹצֶות) עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ וַיֶּרֶב הַיַּעַר לֶאֱכֹל בָּעָם מֵאֲשֶׁר אָכְלָה הַחֶרֶב בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא:
and the forest devoured: the wild beasts of the forest. So did Jonathan translate it.  
9And Absalom chanced to come before the servants of David. And Absalom was riding upon his mule, and the mule came under the thick boughs of the great terebinth, and his head caught hold in the terebinth, and he was placed between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was beneath him passed on.   טוַיִּקָּרֵא אַבְשָׁלוֹם לִפְנֵי עַבְדֵי דָוִד וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם רֹכֵב עַל הַפֶּרֶד וַיָּבֹא הַפֶּרֶד תַּחַת שׂוֹבֶךְ הָאֵלָה הַגְּדוֹלָה וַיֶּחֱזַק רֹאשׁוֹ בָאֵלָה וַיֻּתַּן בֵּין הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ וְהַפֶּרֶד אֲשֶׁר תַּחְתָּיו עָבָר:
And Absalom chanced to come: Heb. ויקרא, an expression of a chance happening.  
and he was placed between the heaven and earth: Our Rabbis have stated: We drew his sword to cut his hair but saw Gehinnom open up beneath him.  
10And a man saw it and told Joab. And he said, "Behold I saw Absalom hanging in a terebinth."   יוַיַּרְא אִישׁ אֶחָד וַיַּגֵּד לְיוֹאָב וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה רָאִיתִי אֶת אַבְשָׁלֹם תָּלוּי בָּאֵלָה:
11And Joab said to the man who told him, "Now if you had seen it, then why did you not smite him there to the ground? And it would have been [incumbent] upon me to give you ten [pieces of] silver, and a belt."   יאוַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב לָאִישׁ הַמַּגִּיד לוֹ וְהִנֵּה רָאִיתָ וּמַדּוּעַ לֹא הִכִּיתוֹ שָׁם אָרְצָה וְעָלַי לָתֶת לְךָ עֲשָֹרָה כֶסֶף וַחֲגֹרָה אֶחָת:
12And the man said to Joab: "Though I should weigh on my palms a thousand [pieces] of silver, I would not stretch out my hand against the king's son, because before our ears did the king charge you and Abishai and Ittai saying, 'Take care whoever [it may be] of the youth, of Absalom.'   יבוַיֹּאמֶר הָאִישׁ אֶל יוֹאָב וְלוּ (כתיב וְלֻא) אָנֹכִי שֹׁקֵל עַל כַּפַּי אֶלֶף כֶּסֶף לֹא אֶשְׁלַח יָדִי אֶל בֶּן הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי בְאָזְנֵינוּ צִוָּה הַמֶּלֶךְ אֹתְךָ וְאֶת אֲבִישַׁי וְאֶת אִתַּי לֵאמֹר שִׁמְרוּ מִי בַּנַּעַר בְּאַבְשָׁלוֹם:
whoever it be: into whomever’s hand he enters shall care for him.  
13Even if I would deal falsely with myself, now nothing can be hidden from the king, and you [yourself] would stand from afar."   יגאוֹ עָשִֹיתִי בְנַפְשִׁי (כתיב בְנַפְשִׁו) שֶׁקֶר וְכָל דָּבָר לֹא יִכָּחֵד מִן הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאַתָּה תִּתְיַצֵּב מִנֶּגֶד:
14And Joab said, "I shall no longer request of you." And he took three darts in his hand and thrust them into Absalom's heart while he was yet alive in the heart of the terebinth.   ידוַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב לֹא כֵן אֹחִילָה לְפָנֶיךָ וַיִּקַּח שְׁלשָׁה שְׁבָטִים בְּכַפּוֹ וַיִּתְקָעֵם בְּלֵב אַבְשָׁלוֹם עוֹדֶנּוּ חַי בְּלֵב הָאֵלָה:
I shall no longer request of you: I shall no longer make any request of you, but will go [instead] myself.  
15And there circled about ten young men who were Joab's armor bearers, and they struck Absalom, and killed him.   טווַיָּסֹבּוּ עֲשָׂרָה נְעָרִים נֹשְׂאֵי כְּלֵי יוֹאָב וַיַּכּוּ אֶת אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיְמִתֻהוּ:
16And Joab blew with a shofar, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel; for Joab held back the people.   טזוַיִּתְקַע יוֹאָב בַּשֹּׁפָר וַיָּשָׁב הָעָם מִרְדֹף אַחֲרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי חָשַֹךְ יוֹאָב אֶת הָעָם:
17And they took Absalom, and they cast him in the forest, into the great pit, and they placed over him a very large heap of stones; and all of Israel fled each to his tents.   יזוַיִּקְחוּ אֶת אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיַּשְׁלִיכוּ אֹתוֹ בַיַּעַר אֶל הַפַּחַת הַגָּדוֹל וַיַּצִּבוּ עָלָיו גַּל אֲבָנִים גָּדוֹל מְאֹד וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל נָסוּ אִישׁ לְאֹהָלָיו (כתיב לְאֹהָלָו) :
18And Absalom had taken and established for himself in his lifetime, the monument which is in the king's valley for he said, "I have no son in order to cause (people) to remember my name;" and he called the monument after his own name, and they called it Yad Absalom until this day.   יחוְאַבְשָׁלֹם לָקַח וַיַּצֶּב לוֹ בְחַיָּיו (כתיב בְחַיָּו) אֶת מַצֶּבֶת אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵמֶק הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי אָמַר אֵין לִי בֵן בַּעֲבוּר הַזְכִּיר שְׁמִי וַיִּקְרָא לַמַּצֶּבֶת עַל שְׁמוֹ וַיִּקָּרֵא לָהּ יַד אַבְשָׁלוֹם עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה:
I have no son: I have no son who will replace me and be of similar stature to me.  
in order to cause [people] to remember my name: I shall erect for myself a stone monument, and it was an impressive structure.  
19And Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok said, "Let me now run and bring news to the king that the Lord has avenged him from the hand of his enemies."   יטוַאֲחִימַעַץ בֶּן צָדוֹק אָמַר אָרוּצָה נָּא וַאֲבַשְּׂרָה אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי שְׁפָטוֹ יְהֹוָה מִיַּד אֹיְבָיו:
20And Joab said to him: "You are not the man to bring news this day, but you shall [perhaps] bring news another day, but this day you shall not bring news, because the king's son is dead."   כוַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יוֹאָב לֹא אִישׁ בְּשׂרָה אַתָּה הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וּבִשַּׂרְתָּ בְּיוֹם אַחֵר וְהַיּוֹם הַזֶּה לֹא תְבַשֵּׂר כִּי עַל ( כֵּן קרי ולא כתיב ) בֶּן הַמֶּלֶךְ מֵת:
bring news another day: The news of another deliverance.  
because: Because the king’s son died, it is not good for you [to bring] this news.  
21And Joab said to the Cushite "Go tell the king what you have seen." And the Cushite bowed down to Joab, and ran.   כאוַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב לַכּוּשִׁי לֵךְ הַגֵּד לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ כוּשִׁי לְיוֹאָב וַיָּרֹץ:
22And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok continued again, and said to Joab, "Come what may, please allow me to run after the Cushite." And Joab said, "Why should you [desire] to run, my son, since for you there is no [reward] given for the news!"   כבוַיֹּסֶף עוֹד אֲחִימַעַץ בֶּן צָדוֹק וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל יוֹאָב וִיהִי מָה אָרֻצָה נָּא גַם אָנִי אַחֲרֵי הַכּוּשִׁי וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב לָמָּה זֶּה אַתָּה רָץ בְּנִי וּלְכָה אֵין בְּשׂוֹרָה מֹצֵאת:
since for you there is no [reward] given for the news: No reward for the news shall be made available today.  
23"But, come what may," [he said], "I will run." And he said to him, "Run" And Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and he went ahead of the Cushite.   כגוִיהִי מָה אָרוּץ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ רוּץ וַיָּרָץ אֲחִימַעַץ דֶּרֶךְ הַכִּכָּר וַיַּעֲבֹר אֶת הַכּוּשִׁי:
Come what may: As if to say: So what if I gain no reward.  
and he went ahead of the Cushite: [Jonathan renders:] He went ahead of the Cushite.  
24And David sat between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate to the wall, and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold [there was] a man running alone.   כדוְדָוִד יוֹשֵׁב בֵּין שְׁנֵי הַשְּׁעָרִים וַיֵּלֶךְ הַצֹּפֶה אֶל גַּג הַשַּׁעַר אֶל הַחוֹמָה וַיִּשָּׂא אֶת עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה אִישׁ רָץ לְבַדּוֹ:
25And the watchman called out, and told the king. And the king said, "If he is alone, he has news to tell." And he came nearer and nearer.   כהוַיִּקְרָא הַצֹּפֶה וַיַּגֵּד לַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם לְבַדּוֹ בְּשׂוֹרָה בְּפִיו וַיֵּלֶךְ הָלוֹךְ וְקָרֵב:
26And the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the gatekeepers, and he said, "Behold, there is a man running alone." And the king said, "This one also brings news."   כווַיַּרְא הַצֹּפֶה אִישׁ אַחֵר רָץ וַיִּקְרָא הַצֹּפֶה אֶל הַשֹּׁעֵר וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה אִישׁ רָץ לְבַדּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ גַּם זֶה מְבַשֵּׂר:
27And the watchman said, "I see the running of the first one is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok." And the king said, "This is a good man, and he [surely] comes with good news."   כזוַיֹּאמֶר הַצֹּפֶה אֲנִי רֹאֶה אֶת מְרוּצַת הָרִאשׁוֹן כִּמְרֻצַת אֲחִימַעַץ בֶּן צָדוֹק וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אִישׁ טוֹב זֶה וְאֶל בְּשׂוֹרָה טוֹבָה יָבוֹא:
28And Ahimaaz called, and said to the king, "Peace" And he bowed down to the king on his face, to the ground, and said, "Blessed is the Lord your God who has delivered up the men that raised up their hand against my lord the king."   כחוַיִּקְרָא אֲחִימַעַץ וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ שָׁלוֹם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ לְאַפָּיו אָרְצָה וַיֹּאמֶר בָּרוּךְ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר סִגַּר אֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר נָשְׂאוּ אֶת יָדָם בַּאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ:
29And the king said, "[Is there] peace with the young man Absalom?" And Ahimaaz answered, "I saw a great crowd when Joab sent the servant of the king and [me] your servant, but I did not know what it was."   כטוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ שָׁלוֹם לַנַּעַר לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיֹּאמֶר אֲחִימַעַץ רָאִיתִי הֶהָמוֹן הַגָּדוֹל לִשְׁלֹחַ אֶת עֶבֶד הַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹאָב וְאֶת עַבְדֶּךָ וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי מָה:
a great crowd: Tumultuous and moving [constantly] about in battle.  
when Joab sent the servant of the king and [me] your servant: This is surely an inverted verse [which is correctly understood as follows]: אתעבד המלך ואתעבדיך לשלח יואב. After Joab sent the servant of the king [the one who is running behind me].  
and your servant: [referring to himself.] I did not know what transpired afterwards.  
30And the king said, "Turn aside and stand there." And he turned aside and stood.   לוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ סֹב הִתְיַצֵּב כֹּה וַיִּסֹּב וַיַּעֲמֹד:
turn aside and stand here: Turn to another side and stand here and let us hear what this one has to say.  
31And, behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, "Let my lord the king receive the tidings that the Lord has avenged you today from all that rose up against you."   לאוְהִנֵּה הַכּוּשִׁי בָּא וַיֹּאמֶר הַכּוּשִׁי יִתְבַּשֵּׂר אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי שְׁפָטְךָ יְהֹוָה הַיּוֹם מִיַּד כָּל הַקָּמִים עָלֶיךָ:
32And the king said to the Cushite, "Is all well with the young man Absalom?" And the Cushite said, "Let the enemies of my lord the king [all] be like that young man, and so with all those that have risen against you for evil."   לבוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל הַכּוּשִׁי הֲשָׁלוֹם לַנַּעַר לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיֹּאמֶר הַכּוּשִׁי יִהְיוּ כַנַּעַר אֹיְבֵי אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר קָמוּ עָלֶיךָ לְרָעָה:
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