17 Then said Ahithophel unto Absolom: I pray thee, let me choose for myself twelve thousand men, and arise and pursue David to-night;
2 and let me come upon him when he is weary and weak-handed, so shall I strike him with terror, and all the people who are with him shall flee,—then will I smite the king alone:
3 that I may bring back all the people unto thee,—when all return—[save] the man whom thou art seeking, all the people will be at peace.
4 And the saying was right in the eyes of Absolom,—and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel.
5 Then said Absolom, I pray you, call ye Hushai the Archite also,—and let us hear what is in his mouth also.
6 And when Hushai came in unto Absolom, Absolom spake unto him, saying—After this manner hath Ahithophel spoken, shall we do what he saith? if not, thou speak.
7 Then said Hushai unto Absolom,—Not good is the counsel that Ahithophel hath given—at this time.
8 And Hushai said—Thou knowest thy father and his men—that men of might they are, and embittered in soul they are, like a bear bereaved of her young in the field,—thy father also is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.
9 Lo! by this time, hath he hidden himself in some pit, or other place,—and it shall be as soon as he falleth upon them at the first, that he that hearkeneth for tidings will hear [of it] and will say—There is a defeat among the people that are following Absolom:
10 then will even the son of valour himself whose heart is as the heart of a lion utterly melt,—for all Israel do know that a man of might is thy father, and that sons of valour are they who are with him.
11 Therefore I counsel—that there be a general gathering together unto thee of all Israel, from Dan even unto Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude,—and that thine own presence be going on in their midst.
12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he hath been found, yea we shall be upon him, as when the dew falleth upon the ground,—and there shall not be left of him or of the men that are with him so much as one.
13 But if into a city he withdraw, then will all Israel bring up unto that city ropes,—and we will drag it down unto the ravine, until there be not found in that place so much as a small stone.
14 Then said Absolom and all the men of Israel, Better is the counsel of Hushai the Archite, than the counsel of Ahithophel. Yahweh, indeed, had given charge to frustrate the wise counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Yahweh might bring upon Absolom ruin.
15 So Hushai said unto Zadok and unto Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absolom and the elders of Israel,—and thus and thus have I counselled.
16 Now, therefore, send quickly, and tell David, saying,—Do not lodge to-night in the waste plains of the wilderness, thou must even pass over, lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people who are with him.
17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En-rogel, and a maidservant was to go and tell them, and they were to go and tell King David,—for they might not be seen to enter the city.
18 And though a young man did see them, and told Absolom, yet they both departed quickly, and entered the house of a man in Bahurim, and he had a well in his court into which they went down;
19 and the woman took and spread the cover over the face of the well, and spread thereon her pounded corn,—so nothing was known.
20 Then came the servants of Absolom unto the woman in the house, and said—Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said to them—They have passed over the stream of water. And when they had searched and not found, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 And it came to pass, after those had gone, that these came up out of the well, and went and told King David,—and said unto David—Arise ye and pass quickly over the water, for thus and thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.
22 So David arose and all the people who were with him, and passed over the Jordan,—by the morning light so much as one was not lacking, who had not passed over the Jordan.
23 Now, when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass and arose and went unto his own house unto his own city, and gave charge unto his household, and hanged himself,—and died, and was buried in the grave of his father.
24 When David had come to Mahanaim, Absolom had passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
25 Now Absolom had appointed Amasa instead of Joab over the army,—Amasa being the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Ishmaelite, who went in unto Abigail, daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, mother of Joab.
26 And Israel and Absolom encamped in the land of Gilead.
27 And it came to pass, when David entered Mahanaim, that Shobi son of Nahash of Rabbah of the sons of Ammon and Machir son of Ammiel of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
28 brought sleeping rugs and basins and earthen vessels, and wheat and barley and meal and roasted corn,—and beans and lentils and parched pulse;
29 and honey and cream and sheep and cheese of kine, for David and for the people that were with him to eat,—for they said, The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.