15 And it came to pass, after this, that Absolom prepared him chariots and horses,—and fifty men to run before him.
2 And Absolom used to rise up early, and take his stand beside the way of the gate,—and so it was—when any man who had a controversy would come unto the king for judgment, then Absolom called unto him, and said: Of what city art thou? And he said, Of one of the tribes of Israel is thy servant. And Absolom said unto him,
3 See! thy cause is good and right,—but to hear it thou hast no one from the king.
4 And Absolom said, Oh would that I were appointed to judge in the land! that unto me might come every man having a complaint or a defence, then would I see him righted.
5 Moreover, so it used to be that when any man came near to do him homage, he would put forth his hand and lay hold of him and kiss him.
6 And Absolom did after this manner to all Israel who came for judgment unto the king,—so Absolom stole away the heart of the men of Israel.
7 And it came to pass, at the end of forty years, that Absolom said unto the king—Let me go, I pray thee, that I may pay my vow which I have vowed unto Yahweh in Hebron;
8 for thy servant vowed a vow while I abode in Geshur in Syria, saying,—If Yahweh will but bring me back unto Jerusalem, then will I serve Yahweh,
9 And the king said unto him—Go and prosper! So he arose and went to Hebron.
10 And Absolom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying,—When ye hear the sound of the horn, then shall ye say, Absolom hath become king in Hebron!
11 And with Absolom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, who having been bidden, were going in their simplicity,—neither knew they anything.
12 And Absolom sent and called Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, out of his city, out of Gilo, when he was offering sacrifices,—and so it was that the conspiracy was strong, and the people went on multiplying with Absolom.
13 Then came one bearing tidings unto David, saying,—It hath come about that the heart of the men of Israel goeth after Absolom.
14 Then said David to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem—Arise and let us flee, or we shall have no way of escape from the face of Absolom,—make speed to depart, lest he make speed and so overtake us, and bring down misfortune upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.
15 And the king’s servants said unto the king,—According to all that my lord the king shall choose, here are thy servants.
16 So the king went forth with all his household attending him,—but the king left ten women who were concubines to keep the house.
17 Thus then the king went forth with all the people attending him,—and they came to a stand at a place that was far off.
18 And all his servants were passing on beside him, and all the Cherethites and all the Pelethites,—and all the Gittites—six hundred men, who had accompanied him from Gath—were passing on before the king.
19 Then said the king unto Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore shouldest thou also go with us? return and abide with the king, for a stranger art thou, moreover also an exile art thou from thine own country.
20 Only yesterday camest thou, and to-day shall I let thee wander with us on our journey, seeing that I am going whithersoever I may? Return and take back thy brethren with thee, and may Yahweh deal with thee in lovingkindness and faithfulness.
21 But Ittai answered the king and said,—By the life of Yahweh and by the life of my lord the king, surely in whatsoever place my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there will thy servant be.
22 Then said David unto Ittai—Go and pass on. So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones that were with him.
23 And all the land was weeping with a loud voice, and all the people were passing on,—the king also was passing on through the torrent-bed of Kidron, and all the people were passing on over the face of the way leading 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 Abiathar went up,—until all the people had made an end of passing over out of the city.
25 Then said the king unto Zadok, Take back the ark of God into the city,—if I find favour in the eyes of Yahweh, then will he bring me back, and let me see both him and his habitation,
26 but if thus he say, I have no delight in thee, here I am let him do unto me as may be good in his eyes.
27 And the king said unto Zadok the priest, Art thou not a seer? return into the city in peace,—and Ahimaaz thine own son, and Jonathan son of Abiathar—your two sons with you.
28 See! I am tarrying in the waste plains of the wilderness—until there come word from you to tell me.
29 So Zadok and Abiathar took back the ark of God to Jerusalem,—and abode there.
30 Now David was going up by the ascent of Olivet weeping as he went up, with his head covered, himself passing on barefoot,—and all the people who were with him covered every man his head, and went up weeping as they went.
31 And unto David it was told, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absolom. And David said, Turn to foolishness, I pray thee, the counsel of Ahithophel, O Yahweh.
32 And it came to pass, when David reached the summit, where he bowed himself down unto God, that lo! there met him Hushai the Archite, his tunic rent, and earth upon his head.
33 And David said unto him,—If thou pass over with me, then shalt thou become unto me a burden;
34 but if to the city thou return, then canst thou say unto Absolom—Thy servant I, O king, will be, as the servant of thy father I was formerly, so will I now be thy servant: thus shalt thou frustrate for me the counsel of Ahithophel.
35 And hast thou not with thee there Zadok and Abiathar the priests? so then it shall be that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the house of the king, thou shalt tell to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests.
36 Lo! they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz for Zadok, and Jonathan for Abiathar,—so shall ye send by their hand unto me, everything which ye shall hear.
37 So Hushai, David’s friend, went into the city,—when Absolom was about to enter Jerusalem.