15 And after this Absalom set up a carriage and ponies, with fifty men running before him; 2 and the first thing in the morning Absalom would be standing beside the road to the gate, and to every man who had a lawsuit to come to the king for trial Absalom called out “What city are you from?” and he said “Your servant is from such a tribe of Israel,” 3 and Absalom said to him “Look here, your case is all right and in order, but you have nobody from the king to hear you”; 4 and Absalom said “If only I were made judge in the country! and every man who had a lawsuit should come to me, and I would give him his rights.” 5 And when a man approached to do reverence to him, he would put out his hand and catch hold of him and kiss him. 6 And Absalom did the like to all the Israelites who came to the king to have cases tried; and Absalom cajoled the men of Israel.
7* And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king “Let me go and pay my vow that I have made to Jehovah at Hebron. 8* For your servant made a vow when I was living at Geshur in Syria, ‘If Jehovah shall bring me back to Jerusalem, I will worship Jehovah.’” 9 And the king said to him “Go, and good betide you”; and he went off to Hebron. 10 And Absalom sent emissaries through all the tribes of Israel with the message “When you hear the sound of the ram-horn, say ‘Absalom is declared king at Hebron.’” 11 And with Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem as guests, who went in good faith and had no knowledge of anything. 12* And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, when he was offering the sacrifices; and the revolutionary movement became powerful, and the people with Absalom grew more and more numerous.
13* And the news came to David that the feeling of the men of Israel was on Absalom’s side; 14 and David said to all his officers who were with him at Jerusalem “Let us get away right off, because there is not going to be anything left of us with what Absalom is doing; be quick about going, for fear he should come quick and catch us here and slam the worst on us, and massacre the city”; 15 and the king’s officers said to the king “Just as your majesty pleases, your servants are ready.” 16 And the king went out with all his family behind him; but the king left ten concubine wives to keep the house. 17* And the king went out, and all the people behind him, and stood at Beth-hammerhak, 18 with all his soldiers passing by on one side of him, and all the Cretans and Pletans, and all the Gathites, six hundred men, who had come behind him from Gath, passing by before the king.
19 And the king said to Ittai the Gathite “Why should you too go with us? go back and stay with the king, because you are a foreigner, and an exile from your place to boot. 20 It was yesterday you came, and today should I take you back and forth to go with us while I go where I may go? Go back, and take your brothers back with you; and may Jehovah do friendlily and faithfully by you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king “By Jehovah and by your majesty’s life, at the place where your majesty is, be it for death or be it for life, there your servant will be.” 22 And David said to Ittai “Pass on”; and Ittai the Gathite went past, and all his men and all the women and children he had with him.
23** And all the country was weeping loudly, and all the people going across, and the king going across in Kidron Arroyo, and all the people. going across along and beside the road to the Wilderness Olive-Tree, 24** and on came also Sadok and Abiathar carrying the ark of God’s covenant; and they set the ark down, and Abiathar went up till all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25* And the king said to Sadok “Take the ark of God back to the city and let it stay in its place; if I have Jehovah’s goodwill he will bring me back and let me see him and his ground; 26 but if he says ‘I am not pleased with you,’ here I am; let him do as seems best to him.” 27** And the king said to Priest Sadok “Look here: go back to the city, you and Abiathar, and good betide you; and both your sons with you, your son Ahimaʽas and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. 28 Look here, I am delaying at the Wilderness Fords till word comes from you, reporting to me.” 29* And Sadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and it remained there. 30 But David went up the Olive Slope weeping all the way, with a muffled head and walking barefoot; and all the people that were with him muffled their heads and went up weeping all the way.
31* And David had been told “Ahithophel is among the ones who are with Absalom conducting the revolution”; and David had said “Make Ahithophel’s policy foolish, Jehovah my God.” 32* And as David came to the crest where one does reverence to God, he found Hushai the Arkite coming to meet him with his tunic torn and earth on his head; 33 and David said to him “If you go over with me you will be a clog on me, 34 but if you go back to the city and say to Absalom ‘I will be your servant, your majesty; I was your father’s servant in the past, and now I am yours’ you may balk Ahithophel’s policy for me. 35 You see, you will have with you there Priests Sadok and Abiathar, and every piece of news that you hear from the palace you will tell to Priests Sadok and Abiathar. 36 There with them they have their two sons, Sadok’s Ahimaʽas and Abiathar’s Jonathan, and you will send me by them every piece of news that you hear.” 37 And David’s friend Hushai went into the city as Absalom was coming to Jerusalem.