put words in someone’s mouth

to misrepresent a person’s opinions or what someone has said; to suggest what someone should say
—I did not say that I agreed with him. Stop putting words in my mouth. 

After the death of Saul, David took over the throne. While David was a great king, his life was not without struggles. Some were caused by his own sins, and others were caused by the sins of his sons, beginning with his oldest, Amnon. Amnon was filled with lust for his half sister, Tamar and raped her. Two years later, Absalom (full brother to Tamar and half brother to Amnon) took revenge by having his servants kill Amnon. After this murder, Absalom fled. Joab, the commander of David’s army, wanted the king to allow Absalom to return, so he came up with a plan. He told a woman to pretend that she was a widow in mourning and to tell a story to King David:

“Go to the king and speak to him in the following fashion.” Then Joab told her what to say [put the words in her mouth]. (2 Samuel 14:3)

The story that the woman told to the king was this:

Your servant has two sons. When the two of them got into a fight in the field, there was no one present who could intervene. One of them struck the other and killed him. Now the entire family has risen up against your servant, saying, “Turn over the one who struck down his brother, so that we can execute him and avenge the death of his brother whom he killed. In so doing we will also destroy the heir.” They want to extinguish my remaining coal, leaving no one on the face of the earth to carry on the name of my husband.” (2 Samuel 14:6,7)

When David said that he would protect her son from harm, the woman challenged the king to show the same mercy to his own son and let him come back safely. The plan worked, and Absalom returned.

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