THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE - complete online book

Selections From The Old And New Testaments in Simple English.

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116
THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE
to him every man who had a suit that was to come before the ruler for judgment and say, "Of what city are you?" When the man replied, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel," Absalom would say to him, "Your claims are good and right; but the ruler has not appointed any one to hear you. Oh, that some one would make me judge in the land, so that every man who has any com­plaint or cause would come to me, and I would see that he received justice!" And whenever a man came near to bow before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. In this way Absalom treated all the Israelites who came to David for jus­tice. Thus, Absalom stole from David the hearts of the Israelites.
At the end of four years, Absalom said to his father, "I should like to go and keep my promise, which I have made to Jehovah in Hebron." David said to him, "Go in peace." So he went to Hebron; but Absalom sent messengers to all the tribes of Israel to say, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, cry, 'Absalom has become ruler in Hebron.' ' With Absalom there went two hun­dred men from Jerusalem, who were invited and went innocently, knowing nothing at all of what he was going to do. Absalom also sent for Ahithophel, David's adviser, from the city of Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the plot was strong, for more and more people kept going over to Absalom.
When a messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of Israel have gone over to Absalom," David said to all his ser­vants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Up, let us flee; for, if we do not, none of us will escape from Absalom. Go at once, or he may quickly overtake us and bring evil upon us and kill the people of the city." Then David's servants said to him, "It shall be done as our lord wishes; we are your servants."
So David and all the people who followed him went out and stood at the last house, while all the officers and the royal body-guard and all the men of Ittai the Gittite, the six hundred who had followed him from Gath, passed on before him.
Then David said to Ittai, "Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the new ruler, for you are a foreigner and away from your own land. Yesterday you came, and to-day shall I make you go up and down the land with us, while I go where I may ? Go back and take your men with you, and may Jehovah show you kind­ness and faithfulness." But Ittai answered, "As surely as Jehovah lives and as my lord the ruler of Israel lives, wherever my lord is,
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