2 Samuel - Chapter 14
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2 Joab therefore sent to Tekoa for a wise woman. 'Pretend to be in mourning,' he said. 'Dress yourself in mourning, do not perfume yourself; act like a woman who has long been mourning for the dead.
7 And now the whole clan has risen against your servant. "Give up the man who killed his brother," they say, "so that we can put him to death, to atone for the life of the brother whom he has murdered; and thus we shall destroy the heir as well." By this means, they will extinguish the ember still left to me, leaving my husband neither name nor survivor on the face of the earth,'
10 'Bring me the man who threatened you,' the king replied, 'and he shall never hurt you again.'
11 She then said, 'Let the king be pleased to pronounce the name of Yahweh your God, so that the avenger of blood may not do greater harm and destroy my son.' 'As Yahweh lives,' he said, 'not one of your son's hairs shall fall to the ground!'
13 The woman said, 'Why then has the king, who by giving this verdict has condemned himself, conceived the idea, against God's people's interests, of not bringing home the son whom he has banished?
14 We are all mortal; we are like water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again, nor does God raise up a corpse; let the king therefore make plans for his banished son not to remain far away from him in exile.
15 'Now, the reason why I came to speak about this to my lord the king is that I was being intimidated, and your servant thought, "I shall speak to the king; perhaps the king will do what his servant asks.
19 'Is not Joab's hand behind you in all this?' the king asked. The woman replied, 'As you live, my lord king, I cannot escape what my lord the king says, either to right or to left. Yes, it was your servant Joab who gave me my orders; he put all these words into your servant's mouth.
22 Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself and blessed the king. 'My lord king,' Joab said, 'today your servant knows that he has won your favour, since the king has done what his servant asked.'
23 Joab then set off, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.
24 The king, however, said, 'Let him retire to his own house; he is not to appear in my presence.' So Absalom retired to his own house and was not received by the king.
27 To Absalom were born three sons and one daughter called Tamar; she was a beautiful woman.
28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without being received by the king.
30 At this, Absalom said to his retainers, 'Look, Joab's field is next to mine and he has barley in it; go and set it on fire.' Absalom's retainers set fire to the field.
31 Joab then stirred himself, went to Absalom in his house and asked, 'Why have your retainers set my field on fire?'
32 Absalom replied to Joab, 'Look, I sent word to you: Come here, so that I can send you to the king to say, "Why come back from Geshur? Better for me to have been there still!" Now I want to be received by the king, and if I am guilty, let him put me to death!'
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 29:1-2, 3-4, 8, 9-10
Gospel, Mark 8:14-21
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