1And it came to be after this that Aḇshalom prepared a chariot and horses for himself, and fifty men to run before him.
2And Aḇshalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. And it came to be, whenever anyone who had a complaint came to the sovereign for a right-ruling, that Aḇshalom would call to him and say, “What city are you from?” And when he said, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Yisra’ĕl,”
3Aḇshalom would say to him, “Look, your matters are good and right, but you have nobody from the sovereign to hear you.”
4And Aḇshalom would say, “Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any complaint or case would come to me, and I shall let right be done to him.”
5And it came to be, whenever anyone came near him to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him.
6And Aḇshalom did this to all Yisra’ĕl who came to the sovereign for right-ruling. And Aḇshalom stole the hearts of the men of Yisra’ĕl.
7And it came to be at the end of forty years#Forty years: Some manuscipts have four years. that Aḇshalom said to the sovereign, “Please, let me go to Ḥeḇron and pay the vow which I vowed to יהוה.
8“For your servant vowed a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If יהוה indeed brings me back to Yerushalayim, then I shall serve יהוה.’ ”
9And the sovereign said to him, “Go in peace.” And he rose up and went to Ḥeḇron.
10But Aḇshalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Yisra’ĕl, saying, “As soon as you hear the voice of the shophar, then you shall say, ‘Aḇshalom is sovereign in Ḥeḇron!’ ”
11And with Aḇshalom went two hundred men from Yerushalayim who were invited, and they went along unsuspectingly, and did not know the matter at all.
12Aḇshalom also sent for Aḥithophel the Gilonite, counsellor of Dawiḏ, from his city, from Giloh, while he slaughtered slaughterings. And it came to be that the conspiracy became potent, for the people with Aḇshalom kept increasing.
13Then a messenger came to Dawiḏ, saying, “The hearts of the men of Yisra’ĕl are with Aḇshalom.”
14And Dawiḏ said to all his servants who were with him at Yerushalayim, “Rise up, and let us flee, for none of us shall escape from Aḇshalom. Go in haste, lest he overtake us quickly and bring evil upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”
15And the sovereign’s servants said to the sovereign, “Look, your servants shall do according to all my master the sovereign chooses.”
16And the sovereign went out, and all his household at his feet. But the sovereign left ten women, concubines, to look after the house.
17So the sovereign went out, and all the people at his feet, and they stood still at the last house.
18And all his servants were passing on at his side. And all the Kerĕthites, and all the Pelĕthites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, were passing on before the sovereign.
19And the sovereign said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you go, you also, with us? Turn back and remain with the sovereign, for you are a foreigner, and also an exile from your own place.
20“You came yesterday, and should I today make you wander up and down with us, when I am going wherever I am going? Return, and take your brothers back. Loving-commitment and truth be with you.”
21And Ittai answered the sovereign and said, “As יהוה lives, and as my master the sovereign lives, in whatever place my master the sovereign is, whether in death or life, let your servant also be there.”
22Therefore Dawiḏ said to Ittai, “Go, and pass over.” And Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him passed over.
23And all the land was weeping with a loud voice, and all the people were passing over. And the sovereign himself was passing over the wadi Qiḏron, and all the people were passing over toward the way of the wilderness.
24And see, Tsaḏoq also came, and all the Lĕwites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of Elohim. And they set down the ark of Elohim, and Eḇyathar went up until all the people completed passing over from the city.
25And the sovereign said to Tsaḏoq, “Take the ark of Elohim back to the city. If I find favour in the eyes of יהוה, then He shall bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling.
26“But if He says thus, ‘I have not delighted in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good in His eyes.”
27And the sovereign said to Tsaḏoq the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Aḥima‛ats your son, and Yehonathan son of Eḇyathar.
28“See, I am waiting in the desert plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”
29And Tsaḏoq and Eḇyathar took the ark of Elohim back to Yerushalayim, and they remained there.
30And Dawiḏ 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 their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.
31And Dawiḏ was informed, saying, “Aḥithophel is among the conspirators with Aḇshalom.” And Dawiḏ said, “O יהוה, I pray You, make the counsel of Aḥithophel foolish!”
32And it came to be that Dawiḏ came to the summit, where he bowed himself before Elohim, and saw Ḥushai the Arkite, coming to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head.
33And Dawiḏ said to him, “If you pass on with me, then you shall become a burden to me,
34but if you return to the city, and say to Aḇshalom, ‘I am your servant, O sovereign – once servant of your father, but now I am your servant,’ then you shall nullify the counsel of Aḥithophel for me.
35“And are not Tsaḏoq and Eḇyathar the priests with you there? And it shall be that every matter you hear from the sovereign’s house, you should report to Tsaḏoq and Eḇyathar the priests.
36“See, there with them are their two sons, Aḥima‛ats, Tsaḏoq’s son, and Yehonathan, Eḇyathar’s son. And by them you shall send me every matter you hear.”
37And Ḥushai, Dawiḏ’s friend, went into the city. And Aḇshalom came into Yerushalayim.