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2 Samuel 17

1 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I shall arise and pursue David tonight.

2 I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and make him afraid. And all the people who are with him will flee, and I will strike only the king.

3 Then I shall bring back all the people to you. When all return, except the man whom you seek, all the people shall be at peace.

4 And the words were agreeable to the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

5 And Absalom said, Now call Hushai the Archite also, and we shall hear from his mouth.

6 And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, Ahithophel has spoken according to these words. Shall we do as 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 bitter of soul, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.

9 Behold now, he is hidden in some pit, or in some other place. And it will be, when some of them fall at first, that whoever hears it will say, There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.

10 And even he who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will faint and melt away. For all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men.

11 Therefore I counsel that all Israel be assembled and gathered to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, like the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person.

12 Thus we shall come upon him in some place where he may be found, and we shall fall upon him as the dew falls on the ground. And of him and all the men who are with him there shall not be left so much as one.

13 Moreover, if he has withdrawn into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city; and we shall pull it into the river, until there is not one pebble found there.

14 So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For Jehovah had purposed to frustrate the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Jehovah might bring calamity upon Absalom.

15 And Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, Thus and so has Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so I have counseled.

16 Now therefore, send quickly and report to David, saying, Do not spend the night by the fords of the plains of the wilderness, but quickly cross over, that the king and all the people with him not be swallowed up.

17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed at En Rogel, for they dared not be seen coming into the city; so a slave girl came and reported to them, and they went and reported to King David.

18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and reported to Absalom. But both of them went away quickly and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down into it.

19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground grain on it; and the thing was not discovered.

20 And 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 crossed over the water brook. And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21 Now it came to pass, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and reported to King David, and said to David, Arise and cross over the water quickly; for thus has Ahithophel counseled against you.

22 So David and all the people with him arose and crossed over the Jordan. By morning light not one of them was left who had not crossed over the Jordan.

23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not carried out, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city, put his house in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb.

24 Then David went to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.

25 And Absalom set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. This Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Jithra, an Israelite, who had gone in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.

26 So Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

27 And it happened, when David had come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the children of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim,

28 brought beds and basins, earthen vessels and wheat, barley and flour, roasted grain and beans, lentils and roasted seeds,

29 honey and curds, sheep and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him to eat. For they said, The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.

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