2 Samuel 17:1-25

2 Samuel 17:1-3-24-26 The Message (MSG)

Next Ahithophel advised Absalom, “Let me handpick twelve thousand men and go after David tonight. I’ll come on him when he’s bone tired and take him by complete surprise. The whole army will run off and I’ll kill only David. Then I’ll bring the army back to you—a bride brought back to her husband! You’re only after one man, after all. Then everyone will be together in peace!” Absalom thought it was an excellent strategy, and all the elders of Israel agreed. But then Absalom said, “Call in Hushai the Arkite—let’s hear what he has to say.” So Hushai came and Absalom put it to him, “This is what Ahithophel advised. Should we do it? What do you say?” Hushai said, “The counsel that Ahithophel has given in this instance is not good. You know your father and his men, brave and bitterly angry—like a bear robbed of her cubs. And your father is an experienced fighter; you can be sure he won’t be caught napping at a time like this. Even while we’re talking, he’s probably holed up in some cave or other. If he jumps your men from ambush, word will soon get back, ‘A slaughter of Absalom’s army!’ Even if your men are valiant with hearts of lions, they’ll fall apart at such news, for everyone in Israel knows the kind of fighting stuff your father’s made of, and also the men with him. “Here’s what I’d advise: Muster the whole country, from Dan to Beersheba, an army like the sand of the sea, and you personally lead them. We’ll smoke him out wherever he is, fall on him like dew falls on the earth, and, believe me, there won’t be a single survivor. If he hides out in a city, then the whole army will bring ropes to that city and pull it down and into a gully—not so much as a pebble left of it!” Absalom and all his company agreed that the counsel of Hushai the Arkite was better than the counsel of Ahithophel. (GOD had determined to discredit the counsel of Ahithophel so as to bring ruin on Absalom.) Then Hushai told the priests Zadok and Abiathar, “Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel thus and thus, and I advised them thus and thus. Now send this message as quickly as possible to David: ‘Don’t spend the night on this side of the river; cross immediately or the king and everyone with him will be swallowed up alive.’” Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting around at En Rogel. A servant girl would come and give them messages and then they would go and tell King David, for it wasn’t safe to be seen coming into the city. But a soldier spotted them and told Absalom, so the two of them got out of there fast and went to a man’s house in Bahurim. He had a well in his yard and they climbed into it. The wife took a rug and covered the well, then spread grain on it so no one would notice anything out of the ordinary. Shortly, Absalom’s servants came to the woman’s house and asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman said, “They were headed toward the river.” They looked but didn’t find them, and then went back to Jerusalem. When the coast was clear, Ahimaaz and Jonathan climbed out of the well and went on to make their report to King David, “Get up and cross the river quickly; Ahithophel has given counsel against you!” David and his whole army were soon up and moving and crossed the Jordan. As morning broke there was not a single person who had not made it across the Jordan. When Ahithophel realized that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and left for his hometown. After making out his will and putting his house in order, he hanged himself and died. He was buried in the family tomb. About the time David arrived at Mahanaim, Absalom crossed the Jordan, and the whole army of Israel with him. Absalom had made Amasa head of the army, replacing Joab. (Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra, an Ishmaelite who had married Abigail, daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah, the mother of Joab.) Israel and Absalom set camp in Gilead.

2 Samuel 17:1-25 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted and terrify him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone, and I will bring back all the people to you. The return of everyone depends on the man you seek; then all the people will be at peace.” So the plan pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel. Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Ahithophel has spoken thus. Shall we carry out his plan? If not, you speak.” So Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the advice that Ahithophel has given is not good.” Moreover, Hushai said, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men and they are fierce, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is an expert in warfare, and will not spend the night with the people. 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.’ And even the one who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will completely lose heart; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and those who are with him are valiant men. But I counsel that all Israel be surely 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. So we shall come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will fall 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. If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the valley until not even a small stone is found there.” Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring calamity on Absalom. 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. Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, or else the king and all the people who are with him will be destroyed.’ ” Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, and a maidservant would go and tell them, and they would go and tell King David, for they could not be seen entering the city. But a lad did see them and told Absalom; so the two of them departed quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down into it. And the woman took a covering and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered grain on it, so that nothing was known. 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. It came about after they had departed that they came up out of the well and went and told King David; and they said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly for thus Ahithophel has counseled against you.” 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. Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, 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. Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.

2 Samuel 17:1-25 New Living Translation (NLT)

Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek. Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel. But then Absalom said, “Bring in Hushai the Arkite. Let’s see what he thinks about this.” When Hushai arrived, Absalom told him what Ahithophel had said. Then he asked, “What is your opinion? Should we follow Ahithophel’s advice? If not, what do you suggest?” “Well,” Hushai replied to Absalom, “this time Ahithophel has made a mistake. You know your father and his men; they are mighty warriors. Right now they are as enraged as a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs. And remember that your father is an experienced man of war. He won’t be spending the night among the troops. He has probably already hidden in some pit or cave. And when he comes out and attacks and a few of your men fall, there will be panic among your troops, and the word will spread that Absalom’s men are being slaughtered. Then even the bravest soldiers, though they have the heart of a lion, will be paralyzed with fear. For all Israel knows what a mighty warrior your father is and how courageous his men are. “I recommend that you mobilize the entire army of Israel, bringing them from as far away as Dan in the north and Beersheba in the south. That way you will have an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. And I advise that you personally lead the troops. When we find David, we’ll fall on him like dew that falls on the ground. Then neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. And if David were to escape into some town, you will have all Israel there at your command. Then we can take ropes and drag the walls of the town into the nearest valley until every stone is torn down.” Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the LORD had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster on Absalom! Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had said to Absalom and the elders of Israel and what he himself had advised instead. “Quick!” he told them. “Find David and urge him not to stay at the shallows of the Jordan River tonight. He must go across at once into the wilderness beyond. Otherwise he will die and his entire army with him.” Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been staying at En-rogel so as not to be seen entering and leaving the city. Arrangements had been made for a servant girl to bring them the message they were to take to King David. But a boy spotted them at En-rogel, and he told Absalom about it. So they quickly escaped to Bahurim, where a man hid them down inside a well in his courtyard. The man’s wife put a cloth over the top of the well and scattered grain on it to dry in the sun; so no one suspected they were there. When Absalom’s men arrived, they asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman replied, “They were here, but they crossed over the brook.” Absalom’s men looked for them without success and returned to Jerusalem. Then the two men crawled out of the well and hurried on to King David. “Quick!” they told him, “cross the Jordan tonight!” And they told him how Ahithophel had advised that he be captured and killed. So David and all the people with him went across the Jordan River during the night, and they were all on the other bank before dawn. When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb. David soon arrived at Mahanaim. By now, Absalom had mobilized the entire army of Israel and was leading his troops across the Jordan River. Absalom had appointed Amasa as commander of his army, replacing Joab, who had been commander under David. (Amasa was Joab’s cousin. His father was Jether, an Ishmaelite. His mother, Abigail daughter of Nahash, was the sister of Joab’s mother, Zeruiah.)

2 Samuel 17:1-25 King James Version (KJV)

Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only: And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace. And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel. Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith. And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not; speak thou. And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men. Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beer–sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one. Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there. And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom. Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled. Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him. Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En–rogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David. Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down. And the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known. And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you. Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan. And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father. Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab's mother.

2 Samuel 17:1-25 New Century Version (NCV)

Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men and chase David tonight. I’ll catch him while he is tired and weak, and I’ll frighten him so all his people will run away. But I’ll kill only King David. Then I’ll bring everyone back to you. If the man you are looking for is dead, everyone else will return safely.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the leaders of Israel. But Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Arkite, so I can hear what he says.” When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “This is the plan Ahithophel gave. Should we follow it? If not, tell us.” Hushai said to Absalom, “Ahithophel’s advice is not good this time.” Hushai added, “You know your father and his men are strong. They are as angry as a bear that is robbed of its cubs. Your father is a skilled fighter. He won’t stay all night with the army. He is probably already hiding in a cave or some other place. If the first attack fails, people will hear the news and think, ‘Absalom’s followers are losing!’ Then even the men who are as brave as lions will be frightened, because all the Israelites know your father is a fighter. They know his men are brave! “This is what I suggest: Gather all the Israelites from Dan to Beersheba. There will be as many people as grains of sand by the sea. Then you yourself must go into the battle. We will go to David wherever he is hiding. We will fall on him as dew falls on the ground. We will kill him and all of his men so that no one will be left alive. If David escapes into a city, all the Israelites will bring ropes to that city and pull it into the valley. Not a stone will be left!” Absalom and all the Israelites said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.” (The LORD had planned to destroy the good advice of Ahithophel so the LORD could bring disaster on Absalom.) Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had suggested to Absalom and the elders of Israel. He also reported to them what he himself had suggested. Hushai said, “Quickly! Send a message to David. Tell him not to stay tonight at the crossings into the desert but to cross over the Jordan River at once. If he crosses the river, he and all his people won’t be destroyed.” Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En Rogel. They did not want to be seen going into the city, so a servant girl would go out to them and give them messages. Then Jonathan and Ahimaaz would go and tell King David. But a boy saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz and told Absalom. So Jonathan and Ahimaaz left quickly and went to a man’s house in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it. The man’s wife spread a sheet over the opening of the well and covered it with grain. No one could tell that anyone was hiding there. Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” She said to them, “They have already crossed the brook.” Absalom’s servants then went to look for Jonathan and Ahimaaz, but they could not find them. So they went back to Jerusalem. After Absalom’s servants left, Jonathan and Ahimaaz climbed out of the well and went to tell King David. They said, “Hurry, cross over the river! Ahithophel has said these things against you!” So David and all his people crossed the Jordan River. By dawn, everyone had crossed the Jordan. When Ahithophel saw that the Israelites did not accept his advice, he saddled his donkey and went to his hometown. He left orders for his family and property, and then he hanged himself. He died and was buried in his father’s tomb. David arrived at Mahanaim. And Absalom and all his Israelites crossed over the Jordan River. Absalom had made Amasa captain of the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Jether the Ishmaelite. Amasa’s mother was Abigail daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.

2 Samuel 17:1-25 American Standard Version (ASV)

Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: and I will come upon him while he is weary and weak-handed, and will make him afraid; and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only; and I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace. And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel. Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith. And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not, speak thou. And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given this time is not good. Hushai said moreover, Thou knowest thy father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field; and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them are fallen at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. And even he that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they that are with him are valiant men. But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together unto thee, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground; and of him and of all the men that are with him we will not leave so much as one. Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there. And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For Jehovah had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Jehovah might bring evil upon Absalom. Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled. Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him. Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En-rogel; and a maid-servant used to go and tell them; and they went and told king David: for they might not be seen to come into the city. But a lad saw them, and told Absalom: and they went both of them away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down thither. And the woman took and spread the covering over the well’s mouth, and strewed bruised grain thereon; and nothing was known. And Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house; and they said, Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They are gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David; and they said unto David, Arise ye, and pass quickly over the water; for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you. Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over the Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over the Jordan. And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home, unto his city, and set his house in order, and hanged himself; and he died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father. Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. And Absalom set Amasa over the host instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man, whose name was Ithra the Israelite, that went in to Abigal the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.

2 Samuel 17:1-25 New International Version (NIV)

Ahithophel said to Absalom, “I would choose twelve thousand men and set out tonight in pursuit of David. I would attack him while he is weary and weak. I would strike him with terror, and then all the people with him will flee. I would strike down only the king and bring all the people back to you. The death of the man you seek will mean the return of all; all the people will be unharmed.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel. But Absalom said, “Summon also Hushai the Arkite, so we can hear what he has to say as well.” When Hushai came to him, Absalom said, “Ahithophel has given this advice. Should we do what he says? If not, give us your opinion.” Hushai replied to Absalom, “The advice Ahithophel has given is not good this time. You know your father and his men; they are fighters, and as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Besides, your father is an experienced fighter; he will not spend the night with the troops. Even now, he is hidden in a cave or some other place. If he should attack your troops first, whoever hears about it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the troops who follow Absalom.’ Then even the bravest soldier, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a fighter and that those with him are brave. “So I advise you: Let all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba—as numerous as the sand on the seashore—be gathered to you, with you yourself leading them into battle. Then we will attack him wherever he may be found, and we will fall on him as dew settles on the ground. Neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it down to the valley until not so much as a pebble is left.” Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom. Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, “Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do such and such, but I have advised them to do so and so. Now send a message at once and tell David, ‘Do not spend the night at the fords in the wilderness; cross over without fail, or the king and all the people with him will be swallowed up.’ ” Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel. A female servant was to go and inform them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they could not risk being seen entering the city. But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So the two of them left at once and went to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it. His wife took a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well and scattered grain over it. No one knew anything about it. When Absalom’s men came to the woman at the house, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman answered them, “They crossed over the brook.” The men searched but found no one, so they returned to Jerusalem. After they had gone, the two climbed out of the well and went to inform King David. They said to him, “Set out and cross the river at once; Ahithophel has advised such and such against you.” So David and all the people with him set out and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, no one was left who had not crossed the Jordan. When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb. David went to Mahanaim, and Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. Absalom had appointed Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of Jether, an Ishmaelite who had married Abigail, the daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah the mother of Joab.

2 Samuel 17:1-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Then, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose 12,000 men, and I will set out and pursue David tonight. I will strike while he is weary and exhausted, and terrify him; and all the people with him will flee [in terror]. Then I will attack the king alone, and I will bring all the people [who follow David] back to you. The return of everyone depends on the [death of the] man you are seeking; then all the people will be at peace [and accept you as king].” So the plan pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel. Nevertheless, Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Ahithophel has advised this [plan of action]. Should we do what he says? If not, you speak [and explain why not].” So Hushai said to Absalom, “Ahithophel has not given good advice this time.” And Hushai said, “You know your father and his men, that they are brave men, and they are enraged and fierce, like a bear deprived of her cubs in the field. Your father is a [shrewd] man of war, and will not spend the night with the people [knowing that you seek his life]. Behold, he has hidden himself [even] now in one of the ravines or in another place; and when some of your troops fall at the first attack, whoever hears about it will say, ‘There has been a defeat among the people who follow Absalom.’ And even the one who is brave, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will completely lose heart and melt away; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are brave men. But I advise that all [the men of] Israel be summoned to you, from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south], like the sand that is by the sea in abundance, and that you personally go into battle. So shall we come upon David in one of the places where he can be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls [unseen and unheard] on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him, not even one will be left. If he retreats into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the ravine until not even a pebble [of it] is found there.” Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than that of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to thwart the good advice of Ahithophel, so that the LORD could bring disaster upon Absalom. Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “This is the advice that Ahithophel gave to Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is the advice that I have given. Now then, send word quickly and tell David, ‘Do not spend the night at the fords [on the west side of the Jordan] in the wilderness, but by all means cross over [to the east side of the river], or else the king and all the people with him will be destroyed [if Ahithophel is allowed by Absalom to lead an attack].’ ” Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz [the priests’ sons] were staying at En-rogel, and a maidservant [appearing to go for water] would go and tell them [what was happening], and they would go [secretly] and inform King David; for they could not [allow themselves to] be seen coming into the city [of Jerusalem]. But a boy saw them and told Absalom; so the two of them left quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and [with his permission] they went down into it. And the woman [of the house] took a covering and spread it over the mouth of the well and scattered grain on it; so nothing was discovered. Then Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have crossed over the brook.” When they searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. After they left, Jonathan and Ahimaaz came up out of the well and went and informed King David, and said to David, “Arise and cross over the Jordan River quickly, for Ahithophel has advised [an attack] against you.” Then David and all the people who were with him departed and crossed over the Jordan. By daybreak, not even one was left who had not crossed the Jordan. Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out and went to his home, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself. So he died and was buried in the tomb of his father. Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. Absalom put Amasa in command of the army instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Israelite, who had married Abigail the daughter of Nahash, [the half sister of David and] the sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.

2 Samuel 17:1-25 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel. Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Thus has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do as he says? If not, you speak.” Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.” Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men. But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom. Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Thus and so did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so have I counseled. Now therefore send quickly and tell David, ‘Do not stay tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’” Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel. A female servant was to go and tell them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they were not to be seen entering the city. But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So both of them went away quickly and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard. And they went down into it. And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth and scattered grain on it, and nothing was known of it. When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.” And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told King David. They said to David, “Arise, and go quickly over the water, for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.” Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed the Jordan. By daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan. When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father. Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married Abigal the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.