MOREOVER Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David this night;
And I will overtake him while he is weary and weak, and I will throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him shall flee, and I will kill the king only;
And I will bring back all the people to you, just as those whom you sought have come back;
so all the people shall be in peace.
And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
Then Absalom said, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us likewise hear what he has to say.
And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, Ahithophel has spoken after this manner;
shall we do what he has said?
If not, you speak.
And Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time.
For said Hushai to Absalom.
You know well that your father and his servants are mighty men, and they are furious as a bear that devours the prey in the field;
moreover, your father is a man of war, and will not spend the night with the people.
Behold now, he has hidden in one of the countries or in some other place;
and when we attack them according to the first counsel, then the rumor will spread that there has been a great slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.
Even though he is valiant and his heart is as the heart of a lion, he shall utterly melt;
for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and that those who are with him are valiant men.
Therefore I counsel that when all Israel is gathered to you from Dan to Beer-sheba, then you yourself march in their midst.
So we shall go against him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falls on the ground;
and of him and of all the men who are with him there shall not be left even one.
Moreover, if he should enter into a city, then all Israel shall cast ropes on it, and we will drag it into the valley, and they shall leave there not even a cricket.
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 decreed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel so that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and all the men of Israel;
and thus and thus have I counseled.
Now therefore send quickly and tell David, saying, Do not spend the night in the plain of the wilderness, but pass over, lest you and all the people who are with you be destroyed.
Now Nathan and Ahimaaz were standing by the side of the fountain of the palace, so they might not be seen to enter the city;
and a maidservant went and told them;
and they went and told King David.
Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom;
but they both went away, and came into the house of a man of Beth-hurim 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 put barley upon it;
and the thing was not known.
And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, Where are Ahimaaz and Nathan?
And the woman said to them, They have gone from here, for they wanted water;
but when they could not find any, they returned to Jerusalem.
And after Absalom’s servants had gone, they came up out of the well and went and told King David, and said to him, Arise and cross quickly over the water;
for thus has Ahithophel counselled against you.
Then David arose and all the people who were with him and they crossed the Jordan;
by early morning there was not one left who had not crossed the Jordan.
And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass and arose and went home to his city;
and he put his household in order and hanged himself and died and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
And David came to Mahanaim.
And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
And Absalom had appointed Amasa over the army instead of Joab.
Amasa was the son of an Israelite whose name was Ithra, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zoriah Joab’s mother.
So Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.
When David came to Mahanaim.
Abishai, the son of Nahash of Rabbath of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Gamil of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Dobelin
Brought beds and carpets and earthen vessels and wheat and barley and parched wheat and flour and beans and lentils
And honey and butter and sheep and cheese of cows, and offered them to David, and to the people who were with him, to eat;
for they said, The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.