2 Samuel 15
English Standard Version
15 After this Absalom (A)got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside (B)the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” 3 Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” 4 Then Absalom would say, (C)“Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” 5 And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And at the end of four[a] years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebron. 8 For your servant (D)vowed a vow (E)while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to[b] the Lord.’” 9 The king said to him, (F)“Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom is king at Hebron!’” 11 With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem (G)who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. 12 And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for[c] (H)Ahithophel the Gilonite, (I)David's counselor, from his city (J)Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom (K)kept increasing.
David Flees Jerusalem
13 And a messenger came to David, saying, (L)“The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” 14 Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us (M)flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 And the king's servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.” 16 So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left (N)ten concubines to keep the house. 17 And the king went out, and all the people after him. And they halted at the last house.
18 And (O)all his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from (P)Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to (Q)Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go (R)I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the Lord show[d] steadfast love and faithfulness to you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king, (S)“As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, (T)wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 22 And David said to Ittai, “Go then, pass on.” So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed (U)the brook (V)Kidron, and all the people passed on toward (W)the wilderness.
24 And (X)Abiathar came up, and behold, (Y)Zadok came also with all the Levites, (Z)bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God until the people had all passed out of the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will (AA)bring me back and let me see both it and his (AB)dwelling place. 26 But if he says, ‘I have no (AC)pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, (AD)let him do to me what seems good to him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a (AE)seer? Go back[e] to the city in peace, with (AF)your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at (AG)the fords of (AH)the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.
30 But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, (AI)barefoot and (AJ)with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, (AK)weeping as they went. 31 And it was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, please (AL)turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”
32 While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai (AM)the Archite came to meet him (AN)with his coat torn and (AO)dirt on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be (AP)a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, (AQ)‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father's servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So whatever you hear from the king's house, (AR)tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold, (AS)their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son, (AT)and by them you shall send to me everything you hear.” 37 So Hushai, (AU)David's friend, came into the city, (AV)just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 15
New International Version
15 In the course of time,(A) Absalom provided himself with a chariot(B) and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate.(C) Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.”(D) 4 And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land!(E) Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”
5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts(F) of the people of Israel.
7 At the end of four[a] years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the Lord. 8 While your servant was living at Geshur(G) in Aram, I made this vow:(H) ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.[b]’”
9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron.
10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets,(I) then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’” 11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel(J) the Gilonite, David’s counselor,(K) to come from Giloh,(L) his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.(M)
13 A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.”
14 Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee,(N) or none of us will escape from Absalom.(O) We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.”
15 The king’s officials answered him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.”
16 The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines(P) to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at the edge of the city. 18 All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites(Q) and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.
19 The king said to Ittai(R) the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner,(S) an exile from your homeland. 20 You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander(T) about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness.”[c](U)
21 But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”(V)
22 David said to Ittai, “Go ahead, march on.” So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.
24 Zadok(Y) was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark(Z) of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar(AA) offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city.
25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place(AB) again. 26 But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.(AC)”
27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you understand?(AD) Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you, and also Abiathar’s son Jonathan.(AE) You and Abiathar return with your two sons. 28 I will wait at the fords(AF) in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30 But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping(AG) as he went; his head(AH) was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up. 31 Now David had been told, “Ahithophel(AI) is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “Lord, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”
32 When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai(AJ) the Arkite(AK) was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust(AL) on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be a burden(AM) to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘Your Majesty, I will be your servant; I was your father’s servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,’(AN) then you can help me by frustrating(AO) Ahithophel’s advice. 35 Won’t the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Tell them anything you hear in the king’s palace.(AP) 36 Their two sons, Ahimaaz(AQ) son of Zadok and Jonathan(AR) son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear.”