2 Samuel 15:13-37

2 Samuel 15:13-37 The Message (MSG)

Someone came to David with the report, “The whole country has taken up with Absalom!” “Up and out of here!” called David to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem. “We’ve got to run for our lives or none of us will escape Absalom! Hurry, he’s about to pull the city down around our ears and slaughter us all!” The king’s servants said, “Whatever our master, the king, says, we’ll do; we’re with you all the way!” So the king and his entire household escaped on foot. The king left ten concubines behind to tend to the palace. And so they left, step by step by step, and then paused at the last house as the whole army passed by him—all the Kerethites, all the Pelethites, and the six hundred Gittites who had marched with him from Gath, went past. The king called out to Ittai the Gittite, “What are you doing here? Go back with King Absalom. You’re a stranger here and freshly uprooted from your own country. You arrived only yesterday, and am I going to let you take your chances with us as I live on the road like a gypsy? Go back, and take your family with you. And God’s grace and truth go with you!” But Ittai answered, “As GOD lives and my master the king lives, where my master is, that’s where I’ll be—whether it means life or death.” “All right,” said David, “go ahead.” And they went on, Ittai the Gittite with all his men and all the children he had with him. The whole country was weeping in loud lament as all the people passed by. As the king crossed the Brook Kidron, the army headed for the road to the wilderness. Zadok was also there, the Levites with him, carrying GOD’s Chest of the Covenant. They set the Chest of God down, Abiathar standing by, until all the people had evacuated the city. Then the king ordered Zadok, “Take the Chest back to the city. If I get back in GOD’s good graces, he’ll bring me back and show me where the Chest has been set down. But if he says, ‘I’m not pleased with you’—well, he can then do with me whatever he pleases.” The king directed Zadok the priest, “Here’s the plan: Return to the city peacefully, with Ahimaaz your son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son, with you. I’ll wait at a spot in the wilderness across the river, until I get word from you telling us what’s up.” So Zadok and Abiathar took the Chest of God back to Jerusalem and placed it there, while David went up the Mount of Olives weeping, head covered but barefooted, and the whole army was with him, heads covered and weeping as they ascended. David was told, “Ahithophel has joined the conspirators with Absalom.” He prayed, “Oh, GOD—turn Ahithophel’s counsel to foolishness.” As David approached the top of the hill where God was worshiped, Hushai the Arkite, clothes ripped to shreds and dirt on his head, was there waiting for him. David said, “If you come with me, you’ll be just one more piece of luggage. Go back to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I’m ready to be your servant, O King; I used to be your father’s servant, now I’m your servant.’ Do that and you’ll be able to confuse Ahithophel’s counsel for me. The priests Zadok and Abiathar are already there; whatever information you pick up in the palace, tell them. Their two sons—Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan—are there with them—anything you pick up can be sent to me by them.” Hushai, David’s friend, arrived at the same time Absalom was entering Jerusalem.

2 SAMUEL 15:13-37 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise and let us flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” Then the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king chooses.” So the king went out and all his household with him. But the king left ten concubines to keep the house. The king went out and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house. Now all his servants passed on beside him, all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king. Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why will you also go with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place. You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander with us, while I go where I will? Return and take back your brothers; mercy and truth be with you.” But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” Therefore David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.” So Ittai the Gittite passed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people passed over. The king also passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness. 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 passing from the city. 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 again and show me both it and His habitation. But if He should say thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” The king said also 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. See, I am going to wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” Therefore Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there. And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went. Now someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, I pray, make the counsel of Ahithophel foolishness.” It happened as David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the Archite met him with his coat torn and dust on his head. David said to him, “If you pass over with me, then you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so I will now be your servant,’ then you can thwart the counsel of Ahithophel for me. Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests 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. Behold their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything that you hear.” So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 15:13-37 New Living Translation (NLT)

A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!” “Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.” “We are with you,” his advisers replied. “Do what you think is best.” So the king and all his household set out at once. He left no one behind except ten of his concubines to look after the palace. The king and all his people set out on foot, pausing at the last house to let all the king’s men move past to lead the way. There were 600 men from Gath who had come with David, along with the king’s bodyguard. Then the king turned and said to Ittai, a leader of the men from Gath, “Why are you coming with us? Go on back to King Absalom, for you are a guest in Israel, a foreigner in exile. You arrived only recently, and should I force you today to wander with us? I don’t even know where we will go. Go on back and take your kinsmen with you, and may the LORD show you his unfailing love and faithfulness.” But Ittai said to the king, “I vow by the LORD and by your own life that I will go wherever my lord the king goes, no matter what happens—whether it means life or death.” David replied, “All right, come with us.” So Ittai and all his men and their families went along. Everyone cried loudly as the king and his followers passed by. They crossed the Kidron Valley and then went out toward the wilderness. Zadok and all the Levites also came along, carrying the Ark of the Covenant of God. They set down the Ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until everyone had passed out of the city. Then the king instructed Zadok to take the Ark of God back into the city. “If the LORD sees fit,” David said, “he will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle again. But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him.” The king also told Zadok the priest, “Look, here is my plan. You and Abiathar should return quietly to the city with your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. I will stop at the shallows of the Jordan River and wait there for a report from you.” So Zadok and Abiathar took the Ark of God back to the city and stayed there. David walked up the road to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His head was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning. And the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they climbed the hill. When someone told David that his adviser Ahithophel was now backing Absalom, David prayed, “O LORD, let Ahithophel give Absalom foolish advice!” When David reached the summit of the Mount of Olives where people worshiped God, Hushai the Arkite was waiting there for him. Hushai had torn his clothing and put dirt on his head as a sign of mourning. But David told him, “If you go with me, you will only be a burden. Return to Jerusalem and tell Absalom, ‘I will now be your adviser, O king, just as I was your father’s adviser in the past.’ Then you can frustrate and counter Ahithophel’s advice. Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, will be there. Tell them about the plans being made in the king’s palace, and they will send their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan to tell me what is going on.” So David’s friend Hushai returned to Jerusalem, getting there just as Absalom arrived.

2 Samuel 15:13-37 King James Version (KJV)

And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house. And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee. And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him. And all 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. And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were 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. And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation: But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me. Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there. And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head: Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me: But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel. And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear. So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 15:13-37 New Century Version (NCV)

A messenger came to David, saying, “The Israelites are giving their loyalty to Absalom.” Then David said to all his officers who were with him in Jerusalem, “We must leave quickly! If we don’t, we won’t be able to get away from Absalom. We must hurry before he catches us and destroys us and kills the people of Jerusalem.” The king’s officers said to him, “We will do anything you say.” The king set out with everyone in his house, but he left ten slave women to take care of the palace. The king left with all his people following him, and they stopped at a house far away. All the king’s servants passed by him—the Kerethites and Pelethites, all those from Gath, and the six hundred men who had followed him. The king said to Ittai, a man from Gath, “Why are you also going with us? Turn back and stay with King Absalom because you are a foreigner. This is not your homeland. You joined me only a short time ago. Should I make you wander with us when I don’t even know where I’m going? Turn back and take your brothers with you. May kindness and loyalty be shown to you.” But Ittai said to the king, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will stay with you, whether it means life or death.” David said to Ittai, “Go, march on.” So Ittai from Gath and all his people with their children marched on. All the people cried loudly as everyone passed by. King David crossed the Kidron Valley, and then all the people went on to the desert. Zadok and all the Levites with him carried the Ark of the Agreement with God. They set it down, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had left the city. The king said to Zadok, “Take the Ark of God back into the city. If the LORD is pleased with me, he will bring me back and will let me see both it and Jerusalem again. But if the LORD says he is not pleased with me, I am ready. He can do what he wants with me.” The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Aren’t you a seer? Go back to the city in peace and take your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan with you. I will wait near the crossings into the desert until I hear from you.” So Zadok and Abiathar took the Ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there. David went up the Mount of Olives, crying as he went. He covered his head and went barefoot. All the people with David covered their heads also and cried as they went. Someone told David, “Ahithophel is one of the people with Absalom who made secret plans against you.” So David prayed, “LORD, please make Ahithophel’s advice foolish.” When David reached the top of the mountain where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite came to meet him. Hushai’s coat was torn, and there was dirt on his head to show how sad he was. David said to Hushai, “If you go with me, you will be just one more person for me to take care of. But if you return to the city, you can make Ahithophel’s advice useless. Tell Absalom, ‘I am your servant, my king. In the past I served your father, but now I will serve you.’ The priests Zadok and Abiathar will be with you. Tell them everything you hear in the royal palace. Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan are with them. Send them to tell me everything you hear.” So David’s friend Hushai entered Jerusalem just as Absalom arrived.

2 Samuel 15:13-37 American Standard Version (ASV)

And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said unto all his servants that 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 upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. And the king’s servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall choose. And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, that were concubines, to keep the house. And the king went forth, and all the people after him; and they tarried in Beth-merhak. And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men that came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return, and abide with the king: for thou art a foreigner, and also an exile; return to thine own place. Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us, seeing I go whither I may? return thou, and take back thy brethren; mercy and truth be with thee. And Ittai answered the king, and said, As Jehovah liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, even there also will thy servant be. And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him. And all 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. And, lo, 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. And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of Jehovah, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation: but if he say thus, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art thou not a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. See, I will tarry at the fords of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me. Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they abode there. And David 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 that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O Jehovah, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. And it came to pass, that, when David was come to the top of the ascent, where God was worshipped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head. And David said unto him, If thou passest on with me, then thou wilt be a burden unto me: but if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father’s servant in time past, so will I now be thy servant; then wilt thou defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king’s house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them ye shall send unto me everything that ye shall hear. So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city; and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 15:13-37 New International Version (NIV)

A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.” Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.” The king’s officials answered him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.” The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at the edge of the city. All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king. The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the LORD show you kindness and faithfulness.” But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.” David said to Ittai, “Go ahead, march on.” So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him. The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the wilderness. Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city. Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.” The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you understand? Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you, and also Abiathar’s son Jonathan. You and Abiathar return with your two sons. I will wait at the fords in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there. But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up. Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “LORD, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.” When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head. David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘Your Majesty, I will be your servant; I was your father’s servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can help me by frustrating Ahithophel’s advice. Won’t the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Tell them anything you hear in the king’s palace. Their two sons, Ahimaaz son of Zadok and Jonathan son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear.” So Hushai, David’s confidant, arrived at Jerusalem as Absalom was entering the city.

2 SAMUEL 15:13-37 The Amplified Bible (AMP)

Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, let us flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom! Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” The king’s servants said to him, “Listen, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.” So the king left, and all his household with him. But the king left behind ten women who were concubines to take care of the house (palace). The king left, and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house. All of David’s servants passed on beside him, and all the Cherethites, Pelethites and the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king. Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you go with us, too? Go back and stay with the king [of your own country], for you are a foreigner and an exile as well; return to your own place. You came only yesterday, so should I make you wander with us today while I go where I will? Return and take your brothers back with you also. May lovingkindness and faithfulness be with you.” But Ittai answered the king, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, most certainly wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or life, there will your servant be also.” So David said to Ittai, “Go on and cross over [the Brook Kidron].” So Ittai the Gittite crossed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people crossed over. The king also crossed the Brook Kidron, and all the people went on toward the way of the wilderness [that lies between Jerusalem and the Jordan River]. Now 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 [the priest] came up [and officiated] until all the people had finished passing from the city. Then the king told Zadok, “Take the ark of God back to [its rightful place in] the city [of Jerusalem, the capital]. If I find favor in the LORD’S sight, He will bring me back again and let me see both it and His dwelling place (habitation). But if He should say, ‘I have no delight in you,’ then here I am; let Him do to me what seems good to Him.” The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace [you and Abiathar], and your two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. See, I am going to wait at the fords [of the Jordan] in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” So Zadok and Abiathar brought the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they stayed there. And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot [in despair]. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went. David was told, “Ahithophel [your counselor] is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “O LORD, I pray You, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.” It happened when David came to the summit [of the Mount of Olives], where he worshiped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his tunic torn and dust on his head [as if in mourning]. David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in the past, so I will be your servant now;’ then you can thwart (make useless) the advice of Ahithophel for me. Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So it shall be that every word you hear from the king’s palace, you shall report it to them. Their two sons are there with them, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send to me everything that you hear.” So Hushai, David’s friend, returned to the city, and [at about the same time] Absalom came into Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 15:13-37 English Standard Version (ESV)

And a messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom." Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword." And the king's servants said to the king, "Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides." So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left ten concubines to keep the house. And the king went out, and all the people after him. And they halted at the last house. And all his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath, passed on before the king. Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you." But Ittai answered the king, "As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be." And David said to Ittai, "Go then, pass on." So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness. And Abiathar came up, and behold, Zadok came also with all the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God until the people had all passed out of the city. Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. But if he says, 'I have no pleasure in you,' behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him." The king also said to Zadok the priest, "Are you not a seer? Go back to the city in peace, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me." So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there. But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. And it was told David, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And David said, "O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness." While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. David said to him, "If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, 'I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father's servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,' then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So whatever you hear from the king's house, tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. Behold, their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son, and by them you shall send to me everything you hear." So Hushai, David's friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.