This is a minor adaptation of the WEB to include nuanced meanings of particular ancient words for placenames, God and others of special interest. In general square brackets: are used to indicated words not found in the original text. It also indicates the 5 books of the Psalms; and a few passages considered by some to be of questionable authenticity.
1David numbered the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2David sent forth the people, a third part under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the people, "I will surely go forth with you myself also." 3But the people said, "You shall not go forth; for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore now it is better that you are ready to help us out of the city." 4The king said to them, "I will do what seems best to you." The king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. 5The king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom." All the people heard when the king commanded all the captains concerning Absalom. 6So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim. 7The people of Israel were struck there before the servants of David, and there was a great slaughter there that day of twenty thousand men. 8For the battle was there spread over the surface of all the country; and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. 9Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the sky and earth; and the mule that was under him went on. 10A certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, "Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak." 11Joab said to the man who told him, "Behold, you saw it, and why didn't you strike him there to the ground? I would have given you ten pieces of silver, and a sash." 12The man said to Joab, "Though I should receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I still wouldn't put forth my hand against the king's son; for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, 'Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.' 13Otherwise if I had dealt falsely against his life (and there is no matter hidden from the king), then you yourself would have set yourself against me." 14Then Joab said, "I'm not going to wait like this with you." He took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. 15Ten young men who bore Joab's armor surrounded and struck Absalom, and killed him. 16Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing