1It happened after this, that Absalom prepared him a chariot and
horses, and fifty men to run before him.
2Absalom rose up early, and
stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man had a suit
which should come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him, and
said, Of what city are you? He said, Your servant is of one of the tribes of
3Absalom said to him, Behold, your matters are good and right;
but there is no man deputized of the king to hear you.
moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any
suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice!
5It was so,
that when any man came near to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and
took hold of him, and kissed him.
6In this manner Absalom did to all
Israel who came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the
men of Israel.
7It happened at the end of forty years, that Absalom said
to the king, please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to Yahweh,
8For your servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in
Syria, saying, If Yahweh shall indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I
will serve Yahweh.
9The king said to him, Go in peace. So he arose, and
went to Hebron.
10But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of
Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then
you shall say, Absalom is king in Hebron.
11With Absalom went two
hundred men out of Jerusalem, who were invited, and went in their simplicity;
and they didn’t know anything.
12Absalom sent for Ahithophel the
Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he was
offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy was strong; for the people increased
continually with Absalom.
13There came a messenger to David, saying, The
hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
14David said to all his
servants who were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for else
none of us shall escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake
us quickly, and bring down evil on us, and strike the city with the edge of
15The king’s servants said to the king, Behold, your servants
are ready to do whatever my lord the king shall choose.
16The king went
forth, and all his household after him. The king left ten women, who were
concubines, to keep the house.
17The king went forth, and all the people
after him; and they stayed in Beth Merhak.
18All his servants passed on
beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the
Gittites, six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the
19Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Why go you also with us?
return, and abide with the king: for you are a foreigner, and also an exile;
return to your own place.
20Whereas you came but yesterday,
should I this day make you go up and down with us, seeing I go where I may?
return you, and take back your brothers; mercy and truth be with you.
21Ittai answered the king, and said, As Yahweh lives, and as my lord the
king lives, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether for death
or for life, even there also will your servant be.
22David said to Ittai,
Go and pass over. Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the
little ones who were with him.
23All the country wept with a loud voice,
and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook
Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
24Behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, bearing
the ark of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God; and
Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.
25The king said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I
shall find favor in the eyes of Yahweh, he will bring me again, and show me
both it, and his habitation:
26but if he say thus, I have no delight in
you; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seems good to him.
said also to Zadok the priest, “Aren’t you a seer? Return into the city in
peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of
28Behold, I will stay at the fords of the wilderness, until
word comes from you to inform me.”
29Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried
the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they abode there.
30David went up
by the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he
had his head covered, and went barefoot: and all the people who were with him
covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
31One told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with
Absalom. David said, Yahweh, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into
32It happened that when David had come to the top of the
ascent, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet
him with his coat torn, and earth on his head.
33David said to him, If
you pass on with me, then you will be a burden to me:
34but if you return
to the city, and tell Absalom, I will be your servant, O king; as I have been
your father’s servant in time past, so will I now be your servant; then will
you defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel.
35Don’t you have Zadok and
Abiathar the priests there with you? therefore it shall be, that whatever
thing you shall hear out of the king’s house, you shall tell it to Zadok and
Abiathar the priests.
36Behold, they have there with them their two sons,
Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you
shall send to me everything that you shall hear.
David’s friend, came into the city; and Absalom came into Jerusalem.