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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 the young men that bare Joab's armor compassed about and smote Absalom and slew him. And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after the army of Absalom. And they took Absalom and cast him into a great pit into the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him : and all his army fled.
And David sat between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate 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 the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, “ Behold, another man running alone!”
And the foremost, when he drew near, called and said unto the king, “ All is well !”
And he fell down on his face before the king, and said, “ Blessed be the Lord thy God which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king !"
And the king said, “Is Absalom safe ?"
And the messenger answered “ When Joab sent thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was.”
And the king said, “ Turn aside and stand here ;” and he turned aside and stood still. And behold the second messenger came and 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, “Is the young man Absalom safe ?”
And he 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!”
And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. But the king covered his face, and cried with a loud voice, “ O my son Absalom! 0 Absalom, my son, my son!”
The Story of the Wisdom of Solomou.
(From the 3d Chapter of 1 Kings.)
SOLOMON loved the Lord. And the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and said, “ Ask what I shall give thee." And Solomon said, “Give unto thy servant an understanding heart, that I may discern between good and bad.” And the speech pleased the Lord. And God said unto him, “Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life: neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
There came two women to king Solomon, and stood before him. And one woman said, “O my Lord, I and this woman dwell in one house together; and there was no one save we two in the house; and this woman's child died in the night, because she overlaid it. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I arose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son.” And the other woman said, “Nay: but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son.” And this said, “No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son.” Thus they spake before the king. Then said the king, “ The one saith, “This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead:' and the other saith,
Nay, but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living."" And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” And they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, “Divide the living child into two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.” Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for she loved her son, and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it.” But the other said, “ Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.” Then the king answered and said, “ Give the living child to the woman who said, “In no wise slay it :' she is the mother thereof." And all Israel feared the king; for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him.
The Story of Elijah Fed by Ravens, and the
Udidow's Cruse of Oil.
(From the 17th Chapter of 1 Kings.)
Now there was a famine in the land; and the Lord said unto Elijah, the prophet, “Go and hide thyself by the brook that is before Jordan. · And thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So Elijah went, and did according to the word of the Lord : for he went and dwelt by the brook; and the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
And it came to pass after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. And the word of the Lord came unto him saying, “ Arise ; get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there : behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks : and he called to her, and said, “ Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, “Bring me, I pray thee,