2 Samuel 18:1-17View Full Chapter
1David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds.
2David sent out his troops, a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, “I myself will surely march out with you.”
3But the men said, “You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us.
4The king answered, “I will do whatever seems best to you.” So the king stood beside the gate while all his men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands.
5The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders. 6David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men.
8The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.
9Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.
10When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”
11Joab said to the man who had told him this, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels
13And if I had put my life in jeopardy
17They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes.