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1 MOREOVER, AHITHOPHEL said to Absalom, Let me choose 12,000 men and I will set out and pursue David this night.
2 I will come upon him while he is exhausted and weak, and cause him to panic; all the people with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone.
3 I will bring back all the people to you. [The removal of] the man whom you seek is the assurance that all will return; and all the people will be at peace.
4 And what he said pleased Absalom well and all the elders of Israel.
5 Absalom said, Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he says.
6 When Hushai came, Absalom said to him, Ahithophel has counseled thus. Shall we do what he says? If not, speak up.
7 And Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time.
8 For, said Hushai, you know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are embittered and enraged like a bear robbed of her whelps in the field. And your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.
9 Behold, he is hidden even now in some pit or other place; and when some of them are overthrown at the first, whoever hears it will say, There is a slaughter among the followers of Absalom.
10 And even he who is brave, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and that those who are with him are brave men.
11 Therefore I counsel that all [the men of] Israel be gathered to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in your own person.
12 So shall we come upon [David] some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew settles [unseen and unheard] on the ground; and of him and of all the men with him there shall not be left so much as one.
13 If he withdraws into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the ravine until not one pebble is left there.
14 Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than that of Ahithophel. For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom.
15 Then said Hushai to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and thus have I counseled.
16 Now send quickly and tell David, Lodge not this night at the fords [at the Jordan] of the wilderness, but by all means pass over, lest the king be swallowed up and all the people with him.
17 Now [the youths] Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed at En-rogel, for they must not be seen coming into the city. But a maidservant went and told them, and they went and told King David.
18 But a lad saw them and told Absalom; but they left quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court, and they went down into it.
19 And the woman spread a covering over the well's mouth and spread ground corn on it; and the thing was not discovered.
20 For 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 went over the brook of water. When they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 After they had departed, the boys came up out of the well and went and told King David, and said, Arise and pass quickly over the river Jordan; for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.
22 David arose and all the people with him and passed over the Jordan. By daybreak, not one was left who had not crossed.
23 But when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey, went home to his city, put his household in order, and hanged himself and died, and was buried in the tomb of his father.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
25 Absalom made Amasa captain of the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of an [Ishmaelite] named Ithra, who married Abigail daughter of Nahash, [half sister of David and] sister of Zeruiah, Joab's mother.
26 So Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.
27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash of Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir son of Ammiel of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim
28 Brought beds, basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched [pulse–seeds of peas and beans],
29 Honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of cows for David and the people with him to eat; for they said, The people are hungry, weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation