2 Samuel 15

1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that, when any man had a suit which should come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him, and said, Of what city are you? And he said, Your slave is of one of the tribes of Israel.

3 And Absalom said to him, See, your matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear you.

4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice!

5 And it was so, that, when any man came near to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took hold of him, and kissed him.

6 And on this manner Absalom did to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

7 And it came to pass at the end of four years, that Absalom said to the king, I pray you, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to Yahweh, in Hebron.

8 For your slave vowed a vow while I remained at Geshur in Syria, saying, If Yahweh will indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve Yahweh.

9 And the king said to him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.

10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you{+} hear the sound of the trumpet, then you{+} will say, Absalom is king in Hebron.

11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, who were invited, and went in their simplicity; and they didn't know anything.

12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.

13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.

14 And David said to all his slaves who were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for else none of us will escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, or else he will overtake us quickly, and bring down evil on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.

15 And the king's slaves said to the king, Look, your slaves are ready to do whatever my lord the king will choose.

16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, who were concubines, to keep the house.

17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him; and they tarried in Beth-merhak.

18 And all his slaves passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.

19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, Why do you also go with us? Return, and remain with the king: for you are a foreigner, and also an exile; [return] to your own place.

20 Whereas you came but yesterday, should I this day make you go up and down with us, seeing I go where I may? Return, and take back your brothers with you; and may Yahweh show you mercy and truth.

21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As Yahweh lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in what place my lord the king will be, whether to death or to life, even there also will your slave be.

22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones who were with him.

23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.

24 And, look, Zadok also [came], and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had finished passing out of the city.

25 And the king said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I will find favor in the eyes of Yahweh, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation:

26 but if he says thus, I have no delight in you; look, here I am, let him do to me as is good in his eyes.

27 The king said also to Zadok the priest, Do you see? Return into the city in peace, and your{+} two sons with you{+}, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.

28 See, I will tarry at the fords of the wilderness, until there comes word from you{+} to inform me.

29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar 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, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot: and all the people who were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O Yahweh, I pray you, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

32 And it came to pass, that, when David came to the top [of the ascent], where God was worshiped, look, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth on his head.

33 And David said to him, If you pass on with me, then you will be a burden to me:

34 but if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, I will be your slave, O king; as I have been your father's slave in time past, so I will now be your slave; then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel.

35 And don't you have there with you Zadok and Abiathar the priests? Therefore it will be, that whatever thing you will hear out of the king's house, you will tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.

36 Look, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son; and by them you{+} will send to me everything that you{+} will hear.

37 So Hushai, David's friend, came into the city; and Absalom came into Jerusalem.