The Counsel of Hushai and of Ahithophel
2 Samuel 17
2 Samuel 17
1 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me, I pray, choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David to-night; 2 and 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; 3 and I will bring back all the people to thee. The man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: all the people shall be in peace. 4 And the saying was right in the eyes of Absalom, and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel. 5 And Absalom said, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and we will hear also what he says. 6 And Hushai came to Absalom, and Absalom spoke to him saying, Ahithophel has spoken after this manner: shall we carry out his word? If not, speak thou. 7 And Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good. 8 And Hushai said, Thou knowest thy father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are of exasperated spirit, 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. 9 Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or some such place; and it will come to pass, when some of them fall at the first, whoever heareth it will say, There has been slaughter among the people that follow Absalom, 10 and even the valiant man whose heart is as the heart of a lion shall utterly melt; for all Israel knows that thy father is a mighty man, and they that are with him are valiant men. 11 But I counsel that all Israel be speedily gathered to 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. 12 And we shall come upon 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 that are with him there shall not be left so much as one. 13 And if he withdraw into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the torrent, until there be not one small stone found there. 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. And Jehovah had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, in order that Jehovah might bring evil upon Absalom. 15 And Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled. 16 And now 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. 17 And Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel; and the maid went and told them; and they went and told king David, for they might not be seen to come into the city. 18 But a lad saw them, and told Absalom. Then they went both of them away quickly, and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down there. 19 And the woman took and spread the covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground corn on it; and the thing was not known. 20 And Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, and said, Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said to them, They have gone over the brook of water. And they sought and could not find them, and returned to Jerusalem. 21 And it came to pass after they had departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David; and they said to David, Arise and pass quickly over the water; for thus has Ahithophel counselled against you. 22 Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over the Jordan; by the morning light there was not one of them missing that had not gone over the Jordan. 23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose and went to his house, to his city, and gave charge to his household, and hanged himself, and he died; and he was buried in the sepulchre of his father. 24 And David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom set Amasa over the host instead of Joab; which Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Jithra the Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27 And as soon as David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28 brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentils, and parched pulse, 29 and honey, and cream, and sheep, and cheese of kine to David, and to the people that were with him, to eat; for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.