1 Therfor Dauid, whanne the puple `was biholdun, ordeynede tribunes and centuriouns on hem.
2 And he yaf the thridde part of the puple vndur the hond of Joab; and the thridde part vndur the hond of Abisai, sone of Saruye, brother of Joab; and the thridde part vndur the hond of Ethai, that was of Geth. And the kyng seide to the puple, Also Y schal go out with you.
3 And the puple answeride, Thou schalt not go out; for whether we fleen, it schal not perteyne to hem bi greet werk of vs; whether half the part fallith doun of vs, thei schulen not recke ynow, for thou art rekynyd for ten thousynde; therfor it is betere, that thou be to vs in the citee in stronge hold.
4 `To whiche the kyng seide, Y schal do this, that semeth riytful to you. Therfor the kyng stood bisidis the yate, and the puple yede out bi her cumpenyes, bi hundridis and bi thousyndis.
5 And the king comaundide to Joab, and to Abisai, and Ethai, and seyde, Kepe ye to me the child Absolon. And al the puple herde the kyng comaundinge to alle the princes for Absolon.
6 Therfor the puple yede out in to the feeld ayens Israel; and the batel was maad in the forest of Effraym.
7 And the puple of Israel was slayn there of the oost of Dauid, and a greet sleyng of twenti thousynde was maad in that dai.
8 Forsothe the batel was scaterid there on the face of al erthe, and many mo weren of the puple whiche the forest wastide, than thei whiche the swerd deuourid in that dai.
9 Sotheli it bifeld, that Absalon sittinge on a mule, cam ayens the seruauntis of Dauid; and whanne the mule hadde entrid vndur a thicke ook, and greet, the heed of Absolon cleuyde to the ook; and whanne he was hangid bitwixe heuene and erthe, the mule, on which he sat, passide.
10 Sotheli `sum man siy this, and telde to Joab, and seide, Y siy Absolon hange on an ook.
11 And Joab seide to the man that `hadde telde to hym, If thou siyest, whi persidist thou not hym to the erthe, and Y schulde haue youe `to thee ten siclis of siluer, and a girdil?
12 And he seide to Joab, Thouy thou paiedist in myn hondis a thousynde platis of siluer, Y nolde sende myn hond in to the sone of the king; for the while we herden, the kyng comaundide to thee, and to Abisai, and to Ethai, and seide, Kepe ye to me the child Absolon.
13 But and if Y hadde do ayens my lijf hardili, this myyte not be hid fro the kyng, and thou woldist stonde on the contrarye side.
14 And Joab seide, Not as thou wolt, `Absolon schal be kept, but Y schal asaile hym bifor thee. Therfore Joab took thre speris in his hond, and fitchide tho in the herte of Absolon. And whanne he spraulide, yit cleuynge in the ook,
15 ten yonge squieris of Joab runnen, and smytiden, and killiden hym.
16 Sotheli Joab sownede with a clarioun, and withhelde the puple, lest it pursuede Israel fleynge, and he wolde spare the multitude.
17 And thei token Absolon, and castiden forth him in to a greet dich in the forest, and baren togidere a ful greet heep of stoonys on hym; forsothe al Israel fledde in to his tabernaclis.
18 Forsothe Absolon, while he lyuyde yit, hadde reisid to hym a memorial, which is in the valey of the kyng; for he seide, Y haue no sone, and this schal be the mynde of my name; and he clepide `the memorial bi his name, and it is clepid the Hond, `that is, werk, of Absolon `til to this dai.
19 Forsothe Achymaas, sone of Sadoch, seide, Y schal renne, and Y schal telle to the kyng, that the Lord hath maad doom to hym of the hond of hise enemyes.
20 To whom Joab seide, Thou schalt not be messanger in this dai, but thou schalt telle in another dai; I nyle that thou telle to dai, for the sone of the kyng is deed.
21 And Joab seide to Chusi, Go thou, and telle to the kyng tho thingis that thou hast seyn. Chusi worschypide Joab, and ran.
22 Eft Achymaas, sone of Sadoch, seide to Joab, What lettith, if also Y renne aftir Chusi? And Joab seide to hym, What wolt thou renne, my sone? Come thou hidur, thou schalt not be a berere of good message.
23 Which answeride, `What sotheli if Y schal renne? And Joab seide to hym, Renn thou. Therfor Achymaas ran bi the weie of schortnesse, `and sped, and passide Chusi.
24 Forsothe Dauid sat bitwixe twei yatis; sotheli the spiere, that was in the hiynesse of the yate on the wal, reiside the iyen, and siy a man aloone rennynge;
25 and the spiere criede, and schewide to the kyng. And the kyng seide to hym, If he is aloone, good message is in his mouth.
26 Sotheli while he hastide, and neiyede neer, the spiere siy another man rennynge; and the spiere criede `in the hiynesse, and seide, Another man rennynge aloone apperith to me. And the kyng seide to hym, And this man is a good messanger.
27 Sotheli the spiere seide, Y biholde the rennyng of the formere, as the rennyng of Achymaas, sone of Sadoch. And the kyng seide, He is a good man, and he cometh bryngynge a good message.
28 Forsothe Achymaas criede, and seide to the kyng, Heil kyng! And he worschipide the kyng lowli bifor hym to erthe, and seide, Blessid be thi Lord God, that closide togidere the men, that reisyden her hondis ayens my lord the kyng.
29 And the kyng seide, Whether pees is to the child Absolon? And Achymaas seide, Y siy, `that is, Y herde, a great noise, whanne Joab, thi seruaunt, thou kyng, sente me thi seruaunt; Y kan noon othir thing.
30 To whom the kyng seide, Passe thou, and stonde here. And whanne he hadde passid, and stood, Chusi apperide;
31 and he cam and seide, My lord the kyng, Y brynge good message; for the Lord hath demed to dai for thee of the hond of alle men that risiden ayens thee.
32 Forsothe the kyng seide to Chusi, Whether pees is to the child Absolon? To whom Chusi answeride, and seide, The enemyes of my lord the kyng, and alle men that risiden ayens hym in to yuel, be maad as the child.
33 Therfor the kyng was sory, and stiede in to the soler of the yate, and wepte, and spak thus goynge, My sone, Absolon! Absolon, my sone! who yyueth to me, that Y die for thee? Absolon, my sone! my sone, Absolon!