Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: 2 and I will come on him while he is weary and weak-handed, and will make him afraid; and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will strike down the king only; 3 and I will bring back all the people to you: the man whom you seek is as if all returned; so all the people shall be in peace. 4 And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
5 Then Absalom said, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he says. 6 And when Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, Ahithhophel has spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? If not, you speak. 7 And Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good. 8 Hushai said moreover, You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are bitter in soul, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9 Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them are fallen at the first, that whoever hears it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. 10 And even he that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and they that are with him are valiant men. 11 But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you go to battle in your own person. 12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will fall upon him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men that are with him we will not leave so much as one. 13 Moreover, if he withdraws into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there is not one small stone found there. 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For Yahweh had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Yahweh might bring evil upon Absalom.
15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, In this manner and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counseled. 16 Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Do not lodge this night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over; lest the king is swallowed up, and all the people that are with him. 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En-rogel; and a maid-servant used to go and tell them; and they went and told king David: for they were not able to be seen to come into the city. 18 But a lad saw them, and told Absalom: and they both went away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down there. 19 And the woman took and spread the covering over the well’s mouth, and spread bruised grain on it; and nothing was known. 20 And Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house; and they said, Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said to them, They have gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 And it came to pass, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David; and they said to David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water; for thus has Ahithophel counseled against you. 22 Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over the Jordan: by the morning light there was not one lacking that had not gone over the Jordan. 23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, 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 sepulchre of his father.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom set Amasa over the host instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man, whose name was Ithra the Israelite, that went in to Abigal the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.
27 And it came to pass, when David had come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28 brought beds, and basins, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and meal, and parched grain, and beans, and lentils, and parched vegetables, 29 and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of the herd, 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.
And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2 And David sent forth the people, a third part under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also. 3 But the people said, You shall not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but you are worth ten thousand of us; therefore now it is better that you are ready to help us out of the city. 4 And the king said to them, What seems best to you I will do. And the king stood by the gate-side, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
6 So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim. 7 And the people of Israel were defeated there before the servants of David, and there was a great slaughter there that day of twenty thousand men. 8 For the battle was there spread over the face of all the country; and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9 And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. And Absalom was riding upon his mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between heaven and earth: and the mule that was under him went on. 10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak. 11 And Joab said to the man that told him, And, behold, you saw it, and why didn’t you strike him there to the ground? And I would have given you ten pieces of silver, and a girdle. 12 And the man said to Joab, Though I should receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, yet I would not put forth my hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that no one touches the young man Absalom. 13 Otherwise if I had dealt falsely against his life. (and there is no matter hid from the king,) then you yourself would have set yourself against me. 14 Then Joab said, I may not wait like this with you. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the middle of the oak. 15 And ten young men that bore Joab’s armor surrounded and struck Absalom, and killed him.
16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel; for Joab held back the people. 17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into the great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of stones: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself the pillar, which is in the king’s valley; for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name; and it is called Absalom’s monument, to this day.
19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that Yahweh has avenged him of his enemies. 20 And Joab said to him, You shall not be the bearer of tidings this day, but you shall bear tidings another day; but this day you shall bear no tidings, because the king’s son is dead. 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, Go, tell the king what you have seen. And the Cushite bowed himself to Joab, and ran. 22 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said yet again to Joab, But come what may, let me, I pray you, also run after the Cushite. And Joab said, Why will you run, my son, seeing that you will have no reward for the tidings? 23 But come what may, he said, I will run. And he said to him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the Plain, and outran the Cushite.
24 Now David was sitting between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate to the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, a man running alone. 25 And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he is alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came swiftly and drew near. 26 and the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the porter, and said, Behold, another man running alone. And the king said, He also brings tidings. 27 And the watchman said, I think the running of the man in front is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and comes with good tidings.
28 And Ahimaaz called, and said to the king, All is well. And he bowed himself before the king with his face to the earth, and said, Blessed be Yahweh your Elohim, who has delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my sovereign the king. 29 And the king said, is it well with the young man Absalom? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king’s servant, even me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was. 30 And the king said, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.
31 And, behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, Tidings for my sovereign the king; for Yahweh has avenged you this day of all them that rose up against you. 32 And the king said to the Cushite, Is it well with the young man Absalom? And the Cushite answered, The enemies of my sovereign the king, and all that rise up against you to do you harm, are as that young man is. 33 And the king was very moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! If only I had died for you. O Absalom, my son, my son!
And it was told to Joab, Behold, the king weeps and mourns for Absolom. 2 And the victory that day was turned into mourning to all the people; for the people heard say that day, The king grieves for his son. 3 And the people went by stealth that day into the city, as people that are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. 4 And the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son! 5 And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, You have shamed this day the faces of all your servants, who this day have saved your life, and the lives of your sons and of your daughters, and the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines; 6 in that you love them that hate you, and hate them that love you. For you have declared this day, that princes and servants are nothing to you: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it would have pleased you well. 7 Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably to your servants; for I swear by Yahweh, if you do not go forth, not a man will stay with you this night: and that will be worse to you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth until now. 8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told it to all the people, saying, Behold, the king is sitting in the gate: and all the people came before the king.
Now Israel had fled every man to his tent. 9 And all the people were arguing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you not speak a word of bringing the king back?
11 And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house? since the speech of all Israel has come to the king, to bring him to his house. 12 You are my brethren, you are my bone and my flesh: why then are you the last to bring back the king? 13 And say you to Amasa, Are you not my bone and my flesh? Elohim do so to me, and more also, if you are not captain of the army before me continually in the room of Joab. 14 And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent to the king, saying, Return, you and all your servants. 15 So the king returned, and came to the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king over the Jordan.
16 And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was of Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David. 17 And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went through the Jordan in the presence of the king. 18 And there went over a ferry boat to bring over the king’s household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, when he had come over the Jordan. 19 And he said to the king, Let not my sovereign impute iniquity to me, neither shall you remember that which your servant did perversely the day that my sovereign the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I have come this day the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my sovereign the king.
21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed Yahweh’s anointed? 22 And David said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be adversaries to me? Shall any man be put to death this day in Israel? For do not I know that I am this day king over Israel? 23 And the king said to Shimei, You shall not die. And the king swore to him.
24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25 And it came to pass, when he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth? 26 And he answered, My sovereign, O king, my servant deceived me: for your servant said, I will saddle an ass, that I may ride on it and go with the king; because your servant is lame. 27 And he has slandered your servant to my sovereign the king; but my sovereign the king is as an angel of Elohim: do therefore what is good in your eyes. 28 For all my father’s house were but dead men before my sovereign the king; yet you set your servant among them that ate at your own table. What right therefore have I yet that I should cry any more to the king? 29 And the king said to him, Why do you speak any more of your matters? I say, You and Ziba divide the land. 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, Yes, let him take all, forasmuch as my sovereign the king has come in peace to his own house.
31 And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim; and he went over the Jordan with the king, to conduct him over the Jordan. 32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even eighty years old: and he had provided the king with sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. 33 And the king said to Barzillai, Come over with me, and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem. 34 And Barzillai said to the king, How many are the days of the years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am this day eighty years old: can I discern between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be yet a burden to my Sovereign the king? 36 Your servant would but just go over the Jordan with the king: and why should the king reward me with such a reward? 37 Let your servant, I pray you, turn back again, that I may die in my own city, by the grave of my father and my mother. But behold, your servant Chimham; let him go over with my sovereign the king; and do to him what shall seem good to you. 38 And the king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good to you: and whatever you shall require of me, that will I do for you. 39 And all the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over: and the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned to his own place.
40 So the king went over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him: and all the people of Judah brought the king over, and also half the people of Israel. 41 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king, and his household, over the Jordan, and all David’s men with him? 42 And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: why then are you angry for this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s cost? Or has he given us any gift? 43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said. We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than you: why then did you despise us, that our advice should not be had first in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.
And there happened to be there a base fellow, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew the trumpet, and said, We have no portion in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. 2 So all the men of Israel went up from following David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah stayed by their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.
3 And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and provided them with sustenance, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood.
4 Then the king to Amasa said, Call for me the men of Judah together within three days, and you be present here. 5 So Amasa went to call the men of Judah together; but he took longer than the set time which he had appointed him. 6 And David said to Abishai, Now will Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take your master’s servants, and pursue after him, lest he gets himself fortified cities, and escapes out of our sight. 7 And there went out after him Joab’s men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men; and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. And Joab was clothed with his apparel of war that he had put on, and on it was a girdle with a sword fastened on his loins in the sheath of it; and as he went forth it fell out. 9 And Joab said to Amasa, Is it well with you, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s hand: so he stabbed him with it in the body, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and did not strike him again; and he died.
And Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 And there stood by him one of Joab’s young men, and said, He that favors Joab, and he that is for David, let him follow Joab. 12 And Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a garment over him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still. 13 When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth-maacah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went after him also. 15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart; and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down. 16 Then a wise woman cried out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, to Joab, Come near here, that I may speak with you. 17 And he came near to her; and the woman said, Are you Joab? And he answered, I am. Then she said to him, Hear the words of your handmaid. And he answered, I do hear. 18 Then she spoke, saying, They were accustomed to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. 19 I am of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: you seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why will you swallow up the inheritance of Yahweh? 20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. 21 The matter is not so: but a man of the hill-country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against David; deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall. 22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. And he blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.
23 Now Joab was over all the host of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was over the men subject to taskwork; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25 and Sheva was scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and also Ira the Jairite was chief minister to David.