1 And it came to pass after this, that Abshalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men who ran before him.
2 And Abshalom rose up early, and stood on the side of the way to the gate: and it happened, that whenever a man who had a controversy came to the king for judgment, Abshalom called to him, and said, From what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.
3 And Abshalom said unto him, See, thy words are good and right; but no one listeneth to thee on the part of the king.
4 And Abshalom said, Oh, if there were but one to appoint me judge in the land, so that every man who may have any controversy or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!
5 And it happened, that when a man came nigh to bow down to him, he used to put forth his hand, and laid hold of him, and kissed him.
6 And Abshalom did after this manner to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: and thus did Abshalom steal the heart of the men of Israel.
7 And it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Abshalom said unto the king, Let me go, I pray thee, and fulfill my vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord, at Hebron.
8 For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the Lord will ever bring me back again to Jerusalem, then will I serve the Lord.
9 And the king said unto him, Go in peace: and he arose, and went to Hebron.
10 But Abshalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, When ye hear the sound of the cornet, then shall ye say, Abshalom is become king at Hebron.
11 And with Abshalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, who were invited, and going in their simplicity; and they knew of nothing whatever.
12 And Abshalom sent for Achithophel the Gilomite, Davids counsellor, from his city, from Giloh, while he offered the sacrifices. And the conspiracy became strong; and the people increased continually with Abshalom.
13 And there came a newsbearer to David, saying, the heart of the men of Israel is turned after Abshalom.
14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for there will not else be any escape for us from Abshalom: make haste, to depart, lest he make haste and overtake us suddenly and overwhelm us with evil, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.
15 And the kings servants said unto the king, In accordance with all that my Lord the king may choose, are thy servants ready.
16 And the king went forth, and all his household in his train. And the king left behind ten women, who were concubines, to guard the house.
17 And the king went forth, and all the people in his train, and tarried in a place that was far off.
18 And all his servants passed on alongside of him, and all the Kerethites, and all the Pelethites; and all the Gittites, six hundred men, who were come in his train from Gath, passed on before the king.
19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore wilt thou also go with us? turn back and abide with the king; for thou art a stranger, and also an exile from thy place.
20 Yesterday thou camest; and today should I move thee about with us to wander? seeing that I go whither I may: return thou, and take back thy brethren with thee, in kindness and truth.
21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my Lord the king liveth, surely in whatever place my Lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, even there will thy servant be.
22 And David said then to Ittai, Go and pass on. And Ittai the Gittite passed on, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.
23 And all the people of the country wept with a loud voice, as all the people passed on: and the king passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, along the way to the wilderness.
24 And lo, Zadok also, and all the Levites with him, were bearing the ark of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God; and Ebyathar went up, until all the people had finished passing out of the city.
25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city; if I shall find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back again, and show me both it, and his dwelling;
26 But if he should thus say, I have no delight in thee: here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good in his eyes.
27 The king said also unto Zadok the priest, If thou see the justice of this, return to the city in peace: and your two sons, Achimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Ebyathar, are with you.
28 See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to bring me news.
29 Zadok therefore and Ebyathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they remained there.
30 And David went up by the ascent of the mount of Olives, weeping as he went up, and had his head covered, and he was walking barefoot: and all the people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
31 And some one told David, saying, Achithophel is among the conspirators with Abshalom. And David said, I pray thee, turn into foolishness the counsel of Achithophel, O Lord!
32 And it came to pass, that, when David was come to the top, where he used to bow himself down to God, behold, Chushai the Arkite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head.
33 And David said unto him, If thou passest on with me, thou wouldst be a burden unto me;
34 But if thou shouldst return to the city, and say unto Abshalom, Thy servant will I be, O king; thy fathers servant have I been this long time past, and now will I also be thy servant: then mightest thou defeat for me the counsel of Achithophel.
35 And, behold, thou hast with thee there Zadok and Ebyathar the priests; therefore shall it be, that what thing soever thou mayest hear out of the kings house, shalt thou tell to Zadok and Ebyathar the priests.
36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons. Achimaaz for Zadok, and Jonathan for Ebyathar: and ye shall send by means of them unto me whatever thing ye can hear.
37 So Chushai, Davids friend, came into the city, as Abshalom had just resolved to enter into Jerusalem.