16 1 And when David was a little past the summit, behold, Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred [loaves] of bread, and a hundred raisin-cakes, and a hundred cakes of summer fruits, and a flask of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses are for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruits for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as are faint in the wilderness may drink. 3 And the king said, And where is thy master's son? And Ziba said to the king, Behold, he abides at Jerusalem; for he said, To-day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father. 4 And the king said to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained to Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly bow myself: may I find favour in thy sight, my lord, O king.
5 And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, there came out from thence a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed, 6 and cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David; and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 And thus said Shimei as he cursed: Away, away, thou man of blood and man of Belial! 8 Jehovah has returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and Jehovah has given the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son; and behold, thou art [taken] in thine own evil, for thou art a man of blood. 9 And Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. 10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, for Jehovah has said to him, Curse David! Who shall then say, Why dost thou so? 11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, who came forth of my bowels, seeks my life: how much more now a Benjaminite? let him alone and let him curse; for Jehovah has bidden him. 12 It may be that Jehovah will look on mine affliction, and that Jehovah will requite me good for my being cursed this day. 13 And David and his men went by the way; and Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust. 14 And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.
15 Now Absalom, and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David's friend, came to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, Long live the king! Long live the king! 17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why didst thou not go with thy friend? 18 And Hushai said to Absalom, No; but whom Jehovah, and this people, and all the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide. 19 And again, whom should I serve? should it not be in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence. 20 And Absalom said to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do. 21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in to thy father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art become odious with thy father; and the hands of all that are with thee shall be strong. 22 So they spread a tent for Absalom upon the roof; and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired of the word of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
The Counsel of Ahithophel and Hushai
17 1 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me, I pray, choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David to-night; 2 and I will come upon 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 smite the king only; 3 and I will bring back all the people to thee. The man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: all the people shall be in peace. 4 And the saying was right in the eyes of Absalom, and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel. 5 And Absalom said, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and we will hear also what he says. 6 And Hushai came to Absalom, and Absalom spoke to him saying, Ahithophel has spoken after this manner: shall we carry out his word? If not, speak thou. 7 And Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good. 8 And Hushai said, Thou knowest thy father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are of exasperated spirit, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field; and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9 Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or some such place; and it will come to pass, when some of them fall at the first, whoever heareth it will say, There has been slaughter among the people that follow Absalom, 10 and even the valiant man whose heart is as the heart of a lion shall utterly melt; for all Israel knows that thy father is a mighty man, and they that are with him are valiant men. 11 But I counsel that all Israel be speedily gathered to thee, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. 12 And we shall come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one. 13 And if he withdraw into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the torrent, until there be 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. And Jehovah had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, in order that Jehovah might bring evil upon Absalom.
15 And Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled. 16 And now send quickly, and tell David saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him. 17 And Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel; and the maid went and told them; and they went and told king David, for they might not be seen to come into the city. 18 But a lad saw them, and told Absalom. Then they went both of them away quickly, and came to the house of a man at 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 ground corn on it; and the thing was not known. 20 And Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, and said, Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said to them, They have gone over the brook of water. And they sought and could not find [them], and 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 counselled 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 of them missing 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 to his house, to his city, and gave charge to his household, and hanged himself, and he died; and he was buried in the sepulchre of his father. 24 And 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; which Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Jithra the Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab's mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27 And as soon as David came 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, 28 brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched [corn], and beans, and lentils, and parched [pulse], 29 and honey, and cream, and sheep, and cheese of kine to David, and to the people that were with him, to eat; for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.
The Death of Absalom
18 1 And David marshalled 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, Thou shalt not go forth, for if we should in any case flee, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us; for thou art worth ten thousand of us; and now it is better that thou succour us out of the city. 4 And the king said to them, I will do what is good in your sight. And the king stood by the gate-side, and all the people came 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 Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom. 6 And 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 routed before the servants of David, and there was a great slaughter there that day: twenty thousand men. 8 And the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country; and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9 And Absalom found himself in the presence of David's servants. And Absalom was riding upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of the great terebinth, and his head caught in the terebinth, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away. 10 And a man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in a terebinth. 11 And Joab said to the man that told him, And behold, thou sawest [him], and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten silver pieces and a girdle. 12 And the man said to Joab, Though I should receive a thousand silver pieces in my hand, yet would I not put forth my hand against the king's son; for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Take care, whoever it be [of you], of the young man Absalom. 13 Or I should have acted falsely against mine own life, for there is no matter concealed from the king, and thou wouldest have set thyself against [me]. 14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three spears in his hand, and thrust them into Absalom's body, while he was yet alive in the midst of the terebinth. 15 And ten young men that bore Joab's armour surrounded and smote Absalom, and killed him. 16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel; for Joab kept back the people. 17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and raised a very great heap of stones upon him. And all Israel fled every one to his tent. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a monument, which is in the king's dale; for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance; and he called the monument after his own name; and it is called unto this day, Absalom's memorial.
19 And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, Let me run, I pray, and carry the king the news that Jehovah has avenged him of his enemies. 20 And Joab said to him, Thou shalt not be a bearer of news to-day, but thou shalt carry the news another day; but to-day thou shalt carry no news, because the king's son is dead. 21 Then said Joab to the Cushite, Go, tell the king what thou hast seen. And the Cushite bowed himself to Joab, and ran. 22 And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said yet again to Joab, Come what may, let me, I pray thee, also run after the Cushite. And Joab said, Why wilt thou run, my son, seeing that there is no news suited [to thee]? 23 —But, come what may, let me run. And he said to him, Run. And Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outstripped the Cushite. 24 And David sat between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate, on 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 be alone, there is news in his mouth. And he came on and drew near. 26 And the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the porter and said, Behold a man running alone. And the king said, He also is a bearer of news. 27 And the watchman said, I see the running of the foremost like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man; and comes with good news. 28 And Ahimaaz called and said to the king, Peace! And he fell down to the earth on his face before the king, and said, Blessed be Jehovah thy God, who has delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king. 29 And the king said, Is it well with the young man Absalom? And Ahimaaz said, I saw a great tumult when Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant; but I knew not 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, Let my lord the king receive good tidings, for Jehovah has avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. 32 And the king said to the Cushite, Is it well with the young man Absalom? And the Cushite said, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee for evil, be as that young man. 33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the upper chamber of the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said thus: O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died in thy stead, O Absalom, my son, my son!