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[188] However, the king sent a message to his son beforehand, as he was coming, and commanded him to retire to his own house, for he was not yet in such a disposition as to think fit at present to see him. Accordingly, upon the father's command, he avoided coming into his presence, and contented himself with the respects paid him by his own family only. Now his beauty was not impaired, either by the grief he had been under, or by the want of such care as was proper to be taken of a king's son, for he still surpassed and excelled all men in the tallness of his body, and was more eminent [in a fine appearance] than those that dieted the most luxuriously; and indeed such was the thickness of the hair of his head, that it was with difficulty that he was polled every eighth day; and his hair weighed two hundred shekels 1 which are five pounds. However, he dwelt in Jerusalem two years, and became the father of three sons, and one daughter; which daughter was of very great beauty, and which Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, took to wife afterward, and had by her a son named Abijah. But Absalom sent to Joab, and desired him to pacify his father entirely towards him; and to beseech him to give him leave to come to him to see him, and speak with him. But when Joab neglected so to do, he sent some of his own servants, and set fire to the field adjoining to him; which, when Joab understood, he came to Absalom, and accused him of what he had done; and asked him the reason why he did so. To which Absalom replied, that "I have found out this stratagem that might bring thee to us, while thou hast taken no care to perform the injunction I laid upon thee, which was this, to reconcile my father to me; and I really beg it of thee, now thou art here, to pacify my father as to me, since I esteem my coming hither to be more grievous than my banishment, while my father's wrath against me continues." Hereby Joab was persuaded, and pitied the distress that Absalom was in, and became an intercessor with the king for him. And when he had discoursed with his father, he soon brought him to that amicable disposition towards Absalom, that he presently sent for him to come to him; and when he had cast himself down upon the ground, and had begged for the forgiveness of his offenses, the king raised him up, and promised him to forget what he had formerly done.

2

1 Of this weight of Absalom's hair, how in twenty or thirty years it might well amount to two hundred shekels, or to somewhat above six pounds avoirdupois, see the Literal Accomplishment of Prophecies, p. 77, 78. But a late very judicious author thinks that the LXXX. meant not its weight, but its value, Was twenty shekels. — Dr. Wall's Critical Notes on the Old Testament, upon 2 Samuel 14:26. It does not appear what was Josephus's opinion: he sets the text down honestly as he found it in his copies, only he thought that "at the end of days," when Absalom polled or weighed his hair, was once a week.

2 CONCERNING THE INSURRECTION OF ABSALOM AGAINST DAVID AND CONCERNING AHITHOPHEL AND HUSHAI; AND CONCERNING ZIBA AND SHIMEI; AND HOW AHITHOPHEL HANGED HIMSELF.

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