1And Aḥithophel said to Aḇshalom, “Please let me choose twelve thousand men, and let me arise and pursue Dawiḏ tonight,
2and come upon him while he is weary and weak. And I shall make him afraid and all the people who are with him shall flee. And I shall strike the sovereign alone,
3and bring back all the people to you. When all return except the man whom you seek, all the people should be at peace.”
4And the saying pleased Aḇshalom and all the elders of Yisra’ĕl.
5But Aḇshalom said, “Now call Ḥushai the Arkite also, and let us hear what he says too.”
6And Ḥushai came to Aḇshalom, and Aḇshalom spoke to him, saying, “Aḥithophel has spoken according to this word. Should we do as he says? If not, speak up.”
7And Ḥushai said to Aḇshalom, “The advice that Aḥithophel has given is not good at this time.”
8And Ḥushai said, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are as bitter in being as a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is a man of battle, and would not spend the night with the people.
9“See, by now he is hidden in some pit, or in some place. And it shall be, when some of them fall at the first, that whoever hears it shall say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who are following Aḇshalom.’
10“And even he who is brave, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, would utterly melt. For all Yisra’ĕl knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are brave men.
11“But I advise: Let all Yisra’ĕl without fail be gathered to you, from Dan to Be’ĕrsheḇa, as numerous as the sand by the sea, and that you yourself go to battle.
12“And we shall come upon him in some place where he is found, and fall on him as the dew falls on the ground. And there shall be left of him and of all the men with him not even one.
13“And if he withdraws into a city, then all Yisra’ĕl shall bring ropes to that city. And we shall pull it into the wadi, until there is not one small stone found there.”
14Aḇshalom and all the men of Yisra’ĕl then said, “The advice of Ḥushai the Arkite is better than the advice of Aḥithophel.” For יהוה had ordained to nullify the good advice of Aḥithophel, for the sake of יהוה bringing evil upon Aḇshalom.
15Ḥushai then said to Tsaḏoq and to Eḇyathar the priests, “Aḥithophel has advised Aḇshalom and the elders of Yisra’ĕl such and such, but I have advised so and so.
16“And now, send hastily and inform Dawiḏ, saying, ‘Do not spend this night in the desert plains of the wilderness, but pass over without fail, lest the sovereign and all the people with him be swallowed up.’ ”
17And Yehonathan and Aḥima‛ats were stationed at Ěn Roḡĕl, and a female servant would come and inform them, and they would go and inform Sovereign Dawiḏ, for they could not be seen entering the city.
18But a youth saw them, and informed Aḇshalom. So the two of them went away at once and came to a man’s house in Baḥurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down into it.
19And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground grain on it, so the matter was not known.
20And the servants of Aḇshalom came to the woman at the house and said, “Where are Aḥima‛ats and Yehonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have passed over the stream of water.” And they looked and did not find them, and returned to Yerushalayim.
21And it came to be, after they had left, that they came up out of the well and went and informed Sovereign Dawiḏ, and said to Dawiḏ, “Arise and pass over the water quickly. For thus Aḥithophel has advised against you.”
22And Dawiḏ and all the people who were with him rose up and passed over the Yardĕn. And by morning light not even one remained who had not gone over the Yardĕn.
23And Aḥithophel saw that his advice was not followed, so he saddled his donkey, and rose up and went home to his house, to his city. Then he gave command to his house, and hanged himself, and died. And he was buried in his father’s burial-site.
24And Dawiḏ came to Maḥanayim. And Aḇshalom passed over the Yardĕn, he and all the men of Yisra’ĕl with him.
25And Aḇshalom appointed Amasa over the army instead of Yo’aḇ. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Yithra, a Yisra’ĕli, who had gone in to Aḇiḡayil the daughter of Naḥash, sister of Tseruyah, Yo’aḇ’s mother.
26And Yisra’ĕl and Aḇshalom encamped in the land of Gil‛aḏ.
27And it came to be, when Dawiḏ had come to Maḥanayim, that Shoḇi son of Naḥash from Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Maḵir son of Ammi’ĕl from Lo Ḏeḇar, and Barzillai the Gil‛aḏite from Roḡelim,
28brought beds and basins, and earthen vessels and wheat, and barley and flour, and roasted grain and beans, and lentils, and parched vegetables,
29and honey and curds, and sheep and cheese of the herd, for Dawiḏ and the people who were with him to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”