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2 Samuel 15Amplified Bible (AMP)

Absalom’s Conspiracy

15 After this, Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men as runners before him. He would get up early and stand beside the road to the gate [of the city, where court was held]; and when any man who had a dispute came to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man appointed as the king’s agent to listen to you.” Moreover Absalom would say, “Oh, that I were appointed judge in the land! Then every man who had a dispute could come to me and I would get justice for him.” And whenever a man approached to bow down before him, he would put out his hand, take hold of him, and kiss him. This is how Absalom dealt with everyone in Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

And after [a]four years, Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have made to the Lord at [b]Hebron [my birthplace]. For your servant made a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram (Syria), ‘If the Lord will in fact bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord [by offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving].’” And [David] the king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’” 11 Then two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited [as guests to his sacrificial feast] went with Absalom. They went innocently and knew nothing [about his plan against David]. 12 And Absalom sent for [c]Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, while he was offering sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom increased continually.

David Flees Jerusalem

13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 David said to all his [d]servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, let us flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom! Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 The king’s servants said to him, “Listen, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.” 16 So the king left, and all his household [e]with him. But the king left behind ten women who were [f]concubines to take care of the house (palace). 17 The king left, and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 All of David’s [g]servants passed on beside him, and all the Cherethites, Pelethites and the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king.

19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you go with us, too? Go back and stay with the king [of your own country], for you are a foreigner and an exile as well; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, so should I make you wander with us today while I go where I will? Return and take your brothers back with you also. May lovingkindness and faithfulness be with you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, most certainly wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or life, there will your servant be also.” 22 So David said to Ittai, “Go on and cross over [the Brook Kidron].” So Ittai the Gittite crossed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people crossed over. The king also crossed the Brook Kidron, and all the people went on toward the way of the wilderness [that lies between Jerusalem and the Jordan River].

24 Now Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar [the priest] came up [and officiated] until all the people had finished passing from the city. 25 Then the king told Zadok, “Take the ark of God back to [its rightful place in] the city [of Jerusalem, the capital]. If I find favor in the Lord’s sight, He will bring me back again and let me see both it and His dwelling place (habitation). 26 But if He should say, ‘I have no delight in you,’ then here I am; let Him do to me what seems good to Him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace [you and Abiathar], and your two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I am going to wait at the [h]fords [of the Jordan] in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar brought the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they stayed there.

30 And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot [in despair]. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went. 31 David was told, “Ahithophel [your counselor] is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “O Lord, I pray You, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”

32 It happened when David came to the summit [of the Mount of Olives], where he worshiped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his tunic torn and dust on his head [as if in mourning]. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in the past, so I will be your servant now;’ then you can thwart (make useless) the advice of Ahithophel for me. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So it shall be that every word you hear from the king’s palace, you shall report it to them. 36 Their two sons are there with them, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send to me everything that you hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, returned to the city, and [at about the same time] Absalom came into Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 15:7 The Hebrew text reads “forty years.” The LXX, Syriac, and writings of Josephus read “four years.” Absalom would be about thirty years old at this time.
  2. 2 Samuel 15:7 David had moved the capital from Hebron to Jerusalem, but Hebron was still an important city.
  3. 2 Samuel 15:12 Ahithophel, one of David’s wisest and most trusted advisers, was the father of Eliam, Bathsheba’s father. Ahithophel’s alliance with Absalom may have been an act of revenge motivated by David’s sin against his granddaughter and her murdered husband.
  4. 2 Samuel 15:14 This would have included various officials, guards, staff, and other members of David’s court and household.
  5. 2 Samuel 15:16 Lit at his feet.
  6. 2 Samuel 15:16 See note Gen 22:24.
  7. 2 Samuel 15:18 See note v 14.
  8. 2 Samuel 15:28 I.e. narrow or shallow places where a river may be crossed by wading.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

2 Samuel 15New International Version (NIV)

Absalom’s Conspiracy

15 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. 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.” Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.” And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”

Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.

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. While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.[b]’”

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, 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 the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.

David Flees

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, or none of us will escape from Absalom. 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 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 and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.

19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. 20 You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander 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]

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.”

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.

23 The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the wilderness.

24 Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar 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 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.

27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you understand? Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you, and also Abiathar’s son Jonathan. You and Abiathar return with your two sons. 28 I will wait at the fords 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 as he went; his head 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 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 the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be a burden 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,’ then you can help me by frustrating 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. 36 Their two sons, Ahimaaz son of Zadok and Jonathan son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear.”

37 So Hushai, David’s confidant, arrived at Jerusalem as Absalom was entering the city.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 15:7 Some Septuagint manuscripts, Syriac and Josephus; Hebrew forty
  2. 2 Samuel 15:8 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew does not have in Hebron.
  3. 2 Samuel 15:20 Septuagint; Hebrew May kindness and faithfulness be with you
New International Version (NIV)

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