2 Samuel - Chapter 18
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2 David divided the army into three groups, one under the command of Joab, another under the command of Abishai son of Zeruiah and brother of Joab, and the third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. David then said to the troops, 'I shall take the field in person with you.'
3 But the troops replied, 'You are not to take the field. No one will bother about us if we run away, they will not even bother about us if half of us are killed, but you are ten thousand times more valuable. So it is better if you stay inside the town, in case we need reinforcements.'
4 David said, 'I will do what you think best.' And the king stood beside the gate as the troops marched out by their hundreds and their thousands.
5 The king gave orders to Joab, Abishai and Ittai, 'For my sake, treat young Absalom gently!' And the troops all heard the king give all the commanders these orders about Absalom.
9 Absalom happened to run into some of David's guards. Absalom was riding his mule and the mule passed under the thick branches of a great oak. Absalom's head got caught in the oak and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule he was riding went on.
10 Someone saw this and reported to Joab, 'I have just seen Absalom hanging from an oak.'
11 Joab said to the man who had informed him, 'If you saw him, why did you not strike him to the ground then and there? I would have made it my business to give you ten silver shekels and a belt!'
12 The man replied to Joab, 'Even if I could feel the weight of a thousand silver shekels in my hand, I would not lift my hand against the king's son. In our own hearing, the king gave you and Abishai and Ittai these orders, "For my sake, spare young Absalom."
14 Joab then said, 'I cannot waste time arguing with you!' And, taking three darts in his hand, he planted them in Absalom's heart, while he was still alive, deep in the oak-tree.
15 Ten soldiers, Joab's armour-bearers, then came in close, struck Absalom and killed him.
17 They took Absalom, flung him into a deep pit in the forest and raised a huge cairn over him. All the Israelites had fled, dispersing to their homes.
18 Now, during his lifetime, Absalom had made and erected a pillar to himself, which is in the Valley of the King. 'I have no son', he said, 'to preserve the memory of my name.' He gave his own name to the pillar, and today it is still called Absalom's Monument.
22 But Ahimaaz son of Zadok persisted. 'Come what may,' he said to Joab, 'please let me run after the Cushite.' 'My son,' Joab said, 'why run? You will get no reward for your news.'
24 David was sitting between the two gates. The sentry, having gone up to the roof of the gate, looked out from the ramparts and saw a man running alone.
25 The sentry called down to the king and told him. The king said, 'If he is alone, he is bringing good news.'
26 As the man drew steadily nearer, the lookout man saw another man running, and the sentry above the gate shouted, 'Here comes another man, running alone!' David said, 'He too is a bearer of good news.'
28 Ahimaaz went up to the king. 'All hail!' he said, prostrating himself on the ground before the king. 'Blessed be Yahweh your God', he said, 'who has handed over the men who rebelled against my lord the king!'
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35
Gospel, Luke 24:1-12
Reading 2, Genesis 22:1-18
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