2 Samuel 17
New American Standard Bible►► 

Hushai’s Counsel

1Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose twelve thousand men and let me set out and pursue David tonight. 2And I will [a]attack him while he is weary and [b]exhausted and startle him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike and kill the king when he is alone, 3and I will bring all the people back to you. [c]The return of everyone depends on the man whom you are seeking; then all the people will be at peace.” 4And the [d]plan pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

5Nevertheless, Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let’s hear what [e]he has to say.” 6When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to [f]him, “Ahithophel has [g]proposed this plan. Should we [h]carry out his plan? If not, say so yourself.” 7So Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the advice that Ahithophel has [i]given is not good.” 8Then Hushai said, “You yourself know your father and his men, that they are warriors and they are [j]fierce, like a bear deprived of her cubs in the field. And your father is an [k]expert in warfare, and he will not spend the night with the people. 9Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the ravines, or in another place; and it will be that when he falls on them at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom!’ 10And even the one who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will completely despair; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11But I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, like the sand that is by the sea in abundance; and that [l]you personally go into battle. 12Then we will come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will [m]fall on him just as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him, not even one will be left. 13And if he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the [n]valley until not even a pebble is 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 the LORD had ordained to foil the good advice of Ahithophel, in order for the LORD to bring disaster on Absalom.

Hushai’s Warning Saves David

15Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “[o]This is what Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do, and [p]this is what I have advised. 16Now then, send a messenger quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend the night at the river crossing places of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, or else the king and all the people who are with him will be [q]destroyed.’” 17Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, and a female servant would go and inform them, and they would go and inform King David, for they could not allow themselves to be seen entering the city. 18But a boy did see them, and he told Absalom; so the two of them left quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down [r]into it. 19And the woman [s]took a cover and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered barley meal on it, so that nothing was known. 20Then Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have crossed the brook of water.” And when they searched and did not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21It came about after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and reported to King David; and they said to David, “Set out and cross over the water quickly, because this is what Ahithophel has advised against you.” 22Then David and all the people who were with him set out and crossed the Jordan; by [t]dawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan.

23Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been [u]followed, he saddled his donkey and set out and went to his home, to his city, and [v]set his house in order, and hanged himself; so he died and was buried in his father’s grave.

24Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25Absalom put Amasa [w]in command of the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was [x]Ithra the Israelite, who [y]had relations with Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.

27Now when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28brought beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, roasted seeds, 29honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him, to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and exhausted and thirsty in the wilderness.”

[a] 2 Lit come upon
[b] 2 Lit slack of hands
[c] 3 Lit As the return of the whole is the man whom you seek
[d] 4 Lit word was pleasing in the sight of
[e] 5 Lit is in his mouth--even he
[f] 6 Lit him, saying
[g] 6 Lit spoken according to this word
[h] 6 Lit do his word
[i] 7 Lit advised
[j] 8 Lit bitter of soul
[k] 8 Lit man of war
[l] 11 Lit your face goes
[m] 12 Lit settle down
[n] 13 Or wadi; i.e., a dry stream bed
[o] 15 Lit According to this and this
[p] 15 Lit According to this and this
[q] 16 Lit swallowed up
[r] 18 Lit there
[s] 19 Lit took and spread the covering
[t] 22 Lit the light of the morning
[u] 23 Lit done
[v] 23 Lit ordered in regard to
[w] 25 Lit over the army
[x] 25 In 1 Chr 2:17, Jether the Ishmaelite
[y] 25 Lit came in to

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