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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: June 2014

12 - Ahitophel to Eliam, his Son


You will by now have found my body, which I ask you to bury in the tomb of our fathers. You will also find documents with this letter that will show that all the affairs of the household are in order and which contain my wishes as to how the property is to be divided between you and your brothers. You will find, I trust, that no debts remain to be paid. Eleazer ben Shimon has no claim on the lower field.

I write this letter to you, Eliam my son, to let you understand my recent actions and your duty now as head of our ancient house. To be brief, Absalom's rebellion is doomed. David will return to Jerusalem and will seek to exact his vengeance on me for my part in these events. It is better by far that I should die now by my own hand. My body can be buried with proper ceremony in the tomb of our fathers rather than suffer the indignities of torture and execution and being thrown to the dogs. It is better for me, but more importantly better also for you and for our household. I pray that David will recall what he owes you as one of his thirty mighty men, but you must remember this, I died by my own hand. No man shed my blood and so you have no duty to avenge me.