Add parallel Print Page Options

Absalom Calls for Hushai’s Counsel

17 Then Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight. (A)And I will come upon him while he is weary with his hands falling limp and throw him into utter fright, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then (B)I will strike down the king alone, and I will cause all the people to return to you. [a]The return of everyone depends on the man you seek; then all the people will be at (C)peace.” And the word was right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

Then Absalom said, “Call now (D)Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what is also in his mouth.” Then Hushai came to Absalom. And Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken [b]thus. Shall we [c]carry out his word? If not, you speak.” And Hushai said to Absalom, “(E)This time the counsel that Ahithophel has counseled is not good.” Then Hushai said, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men and they are bitter of soul, (F)like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is a man of war, and will not spend the night with the people. Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the [d]caves or in another place; and it will be [e]when he falls on them at the first attack, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even the one who is a man of valor, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, (G)will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and those who are with him are men of valor. 11 But I counsel that all Israel be utterly gathered to you, (H)from Dan even to Beersheba, (I)as the sand that is by the sea in abundance, and that [f]you personally go into battle. 12 So we shall come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will set down on him (J)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. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall carry ropes to that city, and we will (K)drag it into the [g]valley until not even a small stone is found there.” 14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For (L)Yahweh had [h]ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that Yahweh might bring calamity on Absalom.

Hushai Informs David

15 Then (M)Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “[i]This is what Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel, and [j]this is what I have counseled. 16 So now, send quickly and inform David, saying, ‘(N)Do not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’” 17 (O)Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at (P)En-rogel, and a servant-woman would go and inform them, and they would go and inform King David, for they could not be seen entering the city. 18 But a boy did see them and informed Absalom; so the two of them went quickly and came to the house of a man (Q)in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down [k]into it. 19 And (R)the woman [l]took a covering and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered crushed grain on it, so that nothing was known. 20 Then Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And (S)the woman said to them, “They have crossed the brook of water.” And when they searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21 Now it happened after they went away, that they came up out of the well and went and informed King David; and they said to David, “(T)Arise and cross over the water quickly for thus Ahithophel has counseled against you.” 22 Then David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed the Jordan; and by [m]dawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan.

23 Now Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not [n]followed. So he [o]saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to (U)his city, and [p](V)set his house in order, and (W)strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.

24 Now David came to (X)Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom set (Y)Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was [q]Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of (Z)Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.

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


  1. 2 Samuel 17:3 Lit Like the return of the whole is the man whom you seek
  2. 2 Samuel 17:6 Lit according to this word
  3. 2 Samuel 17:6 Lit do
  4. 2 Samuel 17:9 Lit pits
  5. 2 Samuel 17:9 Lit according to a falling among them
  6. 2 Samuel 17:11 Lit your face go
  7. 2 Samuel 17:13 Or wadi
  8. 2 Samuel 17:14 Lit commanded
  9. 2 Samuel 17:15 Lit Thus and thus
  10. 2 Samuel 17:15 Lit Thus and thus
  11. 2 Samuel 17:18 Lit there
  12. 2 Samuel 17:19 Lit took and spread the covering
  13. 2 Samuel 17:22 Lit the light of the morning
  14. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit done
  15. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit bound
  16. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit gave charge to
  17. 2 Samuel 17:25 In 1 Chr 2:17, Jether the Ishmaelite