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2 Samuel 16:15 - 17:23

Absalom Enters Jerusalem

15 Now Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, had entered Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.
16 And it happened that when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 And Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your lovingkindness to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 Then Hushai said to Absalom, “No! For whom Yahweh, this people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 Besides, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so I will be in your presence.” 20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your advice. What shall we do?” 21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious 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 went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 Now the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counseled in those days, was as if one asked of the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absalom.

Absalom Calls for Hushai’s Counsel

Then Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight.
2 And I will come upon him while he is weary with his hands falling limp and throw him into utter fright, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone, 3 and I will cause all the people to return to you. The return of everyone depends on the man you seek; then all the people will be at peace.” 4 And the word was right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel. 5 Then Absalom said, “Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what is also in his mouth.” 6 Then Hushai came to Absalom. And Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken thus. Shall we carry out his word? If not, you speak.” 7 And Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has counseled is not good.” 8 Then Hushai said, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men and they are bitter of soul, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is a man of war, and will not spend the night with the people. 9 Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the caves or in another place; and it will be when he falls on them at the first attack, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even the one who is a man of valor, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and those who are with him are men of valor. 11 But I counsel that all Israel be utterly gathered to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea in abundance, and that you personally go into battle. 12 So we shall come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will set down on him 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 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall carry ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the valley until not even a small stone is found there.” 14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For Yahweh had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that Yahweh might bring calamity on Absalom.

Hushai Informs David

15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “This is what Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is what I have counseled.
16 So now, send quickly and inform David, saying, ‘Do not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, and a servant-woman would go and inform them, and they would go and inform King David, for they could not be seen entering the city. 18 But a boy did see them and informed Absalom; so the two of them went quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down into it. 19 And the woman took a covering and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered crushed grain 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 could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 Now it happened after they went away, that they came up out of the well and went and informed King David; and they said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly for thus Ahithophel has counseled against you.” 22 Then David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed the Jordan; and by dawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan. 23 Now Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed. So he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.