1And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me now choose 12,000 men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight.
2I will come on him while he is weary and exhausted and will make him afraid. All the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king,
3and I will bring back all the people to you. The death of the man whom you seek will mean everyone will return, then all the people will be at peace.”
4And that word was right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.
7Then Hushai said to Absalom, “The advice that Ahithophel has given this time is not good.”
8And Hushai said, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men and their souls are bitter, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Your father is a man of war and will not spend the night with the people.
9Behold, he has now hidden himself in some pit or in some other place. And it will be that when he falls on them at the first attack, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom!’
10Even he who is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will melt, yes, melt with fear, because all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and those who are with him are valiant men.
11So I advise that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in your own person.
12So will we come on him in some place where he will be found, and we will land on him as the dew falls on the ground, and there will not be left to him, or to all the men who are with him, even one.
13And if he gathers himself into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river valley until there is not one small stone found there.”
14Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For Yahweh had commanded to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel in order that Yahweh might bring evil on Absalom.
15Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel that way, and I have advised this way.
16So now send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend this night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, lest the king be swallowed up, and also all the people who are with him.’”
17Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En-rogel, and a female servant was to go to tell them, and they were to go and tell king David, for they could not be seen coming into the city.
18But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So they both went away quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down in there.
19The woman took and spread a covering over the top of the well and spread out grain on it so that nothing was noticeable.
20Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house and they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.” When they had searched but could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21Then, after they had departed, they came up out of the well and went and told king David. And they said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly, for thus and so has Ahithophel advised against you.”
22Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed over the Jordan. By the morning light not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.
23When Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went home to his city and set his house in order and hanged himself. And he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.
24And David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
25Absalom set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.
26Now Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.
27And when David had come 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,
28brought beddings, basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils, roasted grain,
29honey, butter, sheep, and cheese of the herd for David and for the people who were with him to eat, for they said, “The people are hungry and tired and thirsty in the wilderness.”