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pet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron. And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called, and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.

And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong ; for the people increased continually with Absalom. And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom

And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee : for we shall not else escape from Absalom; make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.

And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.' And the king went forth, and all his household, and people after him.

And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over : the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness.

And, lo, Zadok also and all the Levites were 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 done passing out of the city.

And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city : If I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again and shew me both it, and his habitation. But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee: behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.

Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem : and they tarried there.

And David went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered ; and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

LESSON XCV. 2 SAMUEL, CHAP. XVIII.

THEN David came to Mahanaim: and Absalom passed over to Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. And Absalom, with his men, pitched in the land of Gilead.

And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.

And David sent forth the 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 thou art worth ten thousand of us : therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city.

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 Absalom's 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 reeeive 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 oak.

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 life-time 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, Absalom's place.

Then said Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, Let me now run and bear the king tidings, how the Lord hath avenged him of his enemies. 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 Cushi.

And David sat between the two gates ; and the watchman went up to the roof of 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 to the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings.

And the watchman said, Methinketh 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 which lifted up their hand against my lord the king.

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 ! Then David went back to his house at Jerusalem.

LESSON XCVI. 1 Kings, CHAP. I. When king David was old and stricken in years, then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king; and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

And his father had not displeased him at any time in

saying, Why hast thou done so ? and he also was a very goodly man: and his mother bare him after Absalom.

And he conferred with Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah, helped him.

But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.

And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen, and fat cattle, by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel, and called all his brethren, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah, the king's servants : But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.

Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.

Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne ? Why then doth Adonijah reign? .

Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.

And Bath-sheba went into the king's chamber. And Bath-sheba bowed and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou ?

And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the Lord thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne.

And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth ; and now, my lora the king, thou knowest it not: and he hath slain oxen, and fat cattle, and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host : but Solomon thy servant hath he not called.

And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with

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