The Counsel of Ahithophel and Hushai
1Moreover Ahith´ophel said unto Ab´salom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: 2and 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: 3and 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. 4And the saying pleased Ab´salom well, and all the elders of Israel.
5Then said Ab´salom, Call now Hu´shai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith. 6And when Hu´shai was come to Ab´salom, Ab´salom spake unto him, saying, Ahith´ophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not, speak thou. 7And Hu´shai said unto Ab´salom, The counsel that Ahith´ophel hath given is not good at this time. 8For, said Hu´shai, 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. 9Behold, 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 Ab´salom. 10And 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. 11Therefore 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. 12So 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. 13Moreover 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. 14And Ab´salom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hu´shai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahith´ophel. For the Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahith´ophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring evil upon Ab´salom.
15Then said Hu´shai unto Zadok and to Abi´athar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahith´ophel counsel Ab´salom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counseled. 16Now 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. 17Now Jonathan and Ahim´a-az stayed by En–ro´gel; 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. 18Nevertheless, a lad saw them, and told Ab´salom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahu´rim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down. 19And the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known. 20And when Ab´salom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahim´a-az 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.
21And 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 Ahith´ophel counseled against you. 22Then 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.
23And when Ahith´ophel 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.
24Then David came to Mahana´im. And Ab´salom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25And Ab´salom made Ama´sa captain of the host instead of Jo´ab: which Ama´sa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Ab´igail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeru-i´ah Jo´ab's mother. 26So Israel and Ab´salom pitched in the land of Gil´e-ad.
27And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahana´im, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Am´mi-el of Lo–de´bar, and Barzil´lai the Gil´e-adite of Ro´gelim, 28brought beds, and basins, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentils, and parched pulse, 29and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.