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And after a time, Saul arose, having three thousand chosen men with him, and went again to seek David. And when Saul had pitched his camp by the way, David came secretly and took away Saul's spear, and a cruse of water that stood by Saul's bolster while he slept. Then David went and stood on a hill-top afar off, and cried and said, “Where now is the king's spear and the cruse of water that was by his bolster ?” And Saul heard the voice and said, “Is that thy voice, my son David ?” And David said, “It is my voice; my lord ! oh, king! Wherefore doth my lord pursue thy servant ? for what have I done? Then said Saul, “I have sinned! Return, my son David : for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day : behold, I have played the fool and have erred exceedingly. And David answered and said, “Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.” So David went on his way and Saul returned to his place.
And it came to pass that the Philistines fought against Israel. Jonathan was slain in the battle, and the battle also went sore against Saul and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded. Then he said unto his armor-bearer, “Draw thy sword and thrust me through, lest the Philistines fall upon me and slay me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he was afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell upon it; and when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men.
THE LOVE OF DAVID AND JONATHAN.
And when they told David that Saul and Jonathan were both slain, he lamented over them, saying:
“Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives,
“From the blood of the slain,
From the fat of the mighty,
“Oh, Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places !
“How are the mighty fallen,
The Story of Absalom.
(From the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th Chapters of 2 SAMUEL.)
In all Israel, there was none so much praised for his beauty as Absalom the Son of David, the King; from the sole of his foot, even to the crown of his head, there was no blemish in him ; and when he cut off his hair, at every year's end, because. it was heavy upon him, the hair of his head weighed two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
And it came to pass that Absalom wished to make himself king, in the place of his father David. And Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And he stood in the gate, and when any one passed for to go to the king for judgment, Absalom called unto him and said, “There is no one deputed of the king to hear thee! Oh, that I were King, that every man which had any suit or cause would come unto me, and I would do him justice.” And when any man came nigh unto him, to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. And he sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying: “ As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet,
ye shall say, 'Absalom reigneth in Hebron.” And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.
And then came a messenger unto David, saying: “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, “ Arise : let us flee! for else we shall not escape from Absalom.”
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 were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
And there came forth a man whose name was Shimei; and cursed as he came. And he cast stones at king David, and at all the servants of king David. And one of the servants said unto the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord, the king? Let me go over I pray thee and take off his head ?” And the king said: “Let him curse; behold, my son, even mine own son, seeketh my life; how much more may this Benjamite do it? Let him alone; and let him curse. It may be that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.” And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill-side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.
And Absalom and all the people that were with him came to Jerusalem.
And David arose, and all the people that were with him, and passed over Jordan : by the morning light there was not one of them that was not gone over Jordan.
Then Absalom passed over Jordan also, he and all the men of Israel with him, to fight against David.
Then David numbered the people that were with him, and sent them forth, under the hand of Joab and Abishai, his captains. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands. And the King commanded his captains, 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 unto the battle; and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim. And there was a great slaughter that day. 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 my hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son ; for in our hearing the king charged thee, 'Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.” Then said Joab, “I may not thus tarry;"