2 Samuel 15-17 NASB
1 Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men [a]to run ahead of him. 2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the road to the gate; and when any man who had a lawsuit was to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call out to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your [b]claims are good and right, but you have no one to listen to you on the part of the king.” 4 Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that someone would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has a lawsuit or claim could come to me, and I would give him justice!” 5 And whenever a man approached to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom dealt this way with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel.
7 Now it came about at the end of [c]four years that Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have made to the Lord, in Hebron. 8 For your servant made a vow while I was living in Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’” 9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he got up and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron!’” 11 Then two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem, who were invited and went [d]innocently, for they did not know anything. 12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people continually increased with Absalom.
13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the people of Israel are [e]with Absalom.” 14 So David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “Arise and let’s flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go quickly, or he will hurry and overtake us, and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 Then the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants will do whatever my lord the king chooses.” 16 So the king left, and all his household [f]with him; but the king left ten concubines behind to take care of the house. 17 The king left, and all the people [g]with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 Now all of his servants passed by beside him, and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had come [h]with him from Gath, passed by before the king.
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you go with us too? Return and stay with [i]your king, since you are a foreigner and an exile as well; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, so should I make you wander with us today, while I go wherever I go? Return and take your brothers back; mercy and [j]truth be with you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there assuredly shall your servant be!” 22 Then David said to Ittai, “Go and cross over the brook Kidron.” So Ittai the Gittite crossed over with all his men and all the [k]little ones who were with him. 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people were crossing over. The king was also crossing over the brook Kidron, and all the people were crossing over toward the way of the wilderness.
24 Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25 And the king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then He will bring me back and show me both it and His habitation. 26 But if He says this: ‘I have no delight in you,’ then here I am, let Him do to me as seems good [l]to Him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I am going to wait at the river crossing places of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there.
30 And David was going up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, and his head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his own head, and they were going up, weeping as they went. 31 Now someone informed David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “Lord, please make the advice of Ahithophel foolish.”
32 It happened as David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the Archite met him with his [m]coat torn, and [n]dust on his head. 33 And David said to him, “If you go over with me, then you will become a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; even as I was your father’s servant in time past, so now I will also be your servant,’ then you can foil the advice of Ahithophel for me. 35 Are Zadok and Abiathar the priests not with you there? So it shall be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold their two sons are there with them, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything that you hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.
1 Now when David had gone on a little beyond the summit, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him with a team of saddled donkeys, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred summer fruits, and a jug of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, “Why do you have these?” And Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride, the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat, and the wine, for whoever is weary in the wilderness to drink.” 3 Then the king said, “And where is your master’s son?” And Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.’” 4 So the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.” And Ziba said, “I prostrate myself; may I find favor in your sight, my lord, the king!”
5 When King David came to Bahurim, behold, a man was coming out from there from the family of the house of Saul, and his name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he was coming out, cursing as he came. 6 He also threw stones at David and all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the warriors were on his right and on his left. 7 This is what Shimei said when he cursed: “Go away, go away, you man of bloodshed and worthless man! 8 The Lord has brought back upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have become king; and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. And behold, you are caught in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed!”
9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Now let me go over and [o]cut off his head.” 10 But the king said, “[p]What business of mine is yours, you sons of Zeruiah? If he curses, and if the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who should say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my son who came out of my own body seeks my life; how much more now this Benjaminite? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him. 12 Perhaps the Lord will look on my [q]misery and [r]return good to me instead of his cursing this day.” 13 So David and his men went on the road; and Shimei kept going on the hillside close beside him, and as he went he cursed and threw stones and dirt at him. 14 And the king and all the people who were with him arrived exhausted, and he refreshed himself there.
15 Then Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, entered Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 Now it came about, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 But Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your [s]loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 So Hushai said to Absalom, “No! For whomever the Lord, this people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I shall be, and with him I shall remain. 19 Besides, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? Just as I have served in your father’s presence, so I shall be in your presence.”
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your advice. What should we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Have relations with your father’s concubines, whom he has left behind to take care of the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself repulsive to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom had relations with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he [t]gave in those days, was taken as though one inquired of the word of God; so was all the advice of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absalom.
1 Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose twelve thousand men and let me set out and pursue David tonight. 2 And I will [u]attack him while he is weary and [v]exhausted and startle him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike and kill the king when he is alone, 3 and I will bring all the people back to you. [w]The return of everyone depends on the man whom you are seeking; then all the people will be at peace.” 4 And the [x]plan pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.
5 Nevertheless, Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let’s hear what [y]he has to say.” 6 When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to [z]him, “Ahithophel has [aa]proposed this plan. Should we [ab]carry out his plan? If not, say so yourself.” 7 So Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the advice that Ahithophel has [ac]given is not good.” 8 Then Hushai said, “You yourself know your father and his men, that they are warriors and they are [ad]fierce, like a bear deprived of her cubs in the field. And your father is an [ae]expert in warfare, and he will not spend the night with the people. 9 Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the ravines, or in another place; and it will be that when he falls on them at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom!’ 10 And even the one who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will completely despair; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 But I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, like the sand that is by the sea in abundance; and that [af]you personally go into battle. 12 Then we will come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will [ag]fall on him just as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him, not even one will be left. 13 And if he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the [ah]valley until not even a pebble is found there.” 14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to foil the good advice of Ahithophel, in order for the Lord to bring disaster on Absalom.
15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “[ai]This is what Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do, and [aj]this is what I have advised. 16 Now then, send a messenger quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend the night at the river crossing places of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, or else the king and all the people who are with him will be [ak]destroyed.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, and a female servant would go and inform them, and they would go and inform King David, for they could not allow themselves to be seen entering the city. 18 But a boy did see them, and he told Absalom; so the two of them left quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down [al]into it. 19 And the woman [am]took a cover and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered barley meal on it, so that nothing was known. 20 Then Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have crossed the brook of water.” And when they searched and did not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 It came about after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and reported to King David; and they said to David, “Set out and cross over the water quickly, because this is what Ahithophel has advised against you.” 22 Then David and all the people who were with him set out and crossed the Jordan; by [an]dawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan.
23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been [ao]followed, he saddled his donkey and set out and went to his home, to his city, and [ap]set his house in order, and hanged himself; so he died and was buried in his father’s grave.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Absalom put Amasa [aq]in command of the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was [ar]Ithra the Israelite, who [as]had relations with Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.
27 Now when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, roasted seeds, 29 honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him, to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and exhausted and thirsty in the wilderness.”