2 Samuel 15Expanded Bible (EXB)
Absalom Plans to Take David’s Kingdom
15 After this, Absalom got a chariot and horses for himself and fifty men to run before him [C to signal his power and claim of heir to the throne]. 2 Absalom would get up early and stand near the city gate [C the hub of the town for judicial, business, and social interaction]. Anyone who had a ·problem [suit; petition; case] for the king to ·settle [judge] would come here. When someone came, Absalom would call out and say, “What city are you from?”
The person would answer, “·I’m [L Your servant is] from one of the tribes of Israel.”
3 Then Absalom would say, “Look, your claims are ·right [sound/valid and just], but the king has no ·one [representative; deputy] to listen to you.” 4 Absalom would also say, “I wish someone would ·make [appoint] me judge in this land! Then people with ·problems [any suit/complaint/case or cause] could come to me, and I ·could help them get [would give them] justice.”
5 People would come near Absalom to ·bow to [prostrate themselves before] him. When they did, Absalom would reach out his hand and take hold of them and kiss them [C to show he treated them as his equals]. 6 Absalom did that to all the Israelites who came to King David for ·decisions [judgment]. In this way, Absalom stole the hearts of all Israel.
7 After four[a] years Absalom said to King David, “Please let me go to Hebron. I want to carry out my ·promise [vow] that I made to the Lord 8 while ·I [L your servant] was living in Geshur in Aram. I said, ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I will ·worship [offer devotion/a sacrifice to] him in Hebron.’”
9 The king said, “Go in peace.”
So Absalom went to Hebron. 10 But he sent ·secret messengers [spies; or runners] through all the tribes of Israel. They told the people, “When you hear the trumpets, say this: ‘Absalom is the king ·at [in] Hebron!’”
11 Absalom ·had invited [took] two hundred men to go with him. So they went from Jerusalem with him [L innocently], ·but they didn’t know [not knowing] what he was planning. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, ·one of the people who advised David [David’s counselor], to come from his hometown of Giloh. So ·Absalom’s plans were working very well [the conspiracy grew stronger]. More and more people began to support him.
13 A messenger came to David, saying, “The ·Israelites are giving their loyalty to [L hearts of the people/Israelites are with] Absalom.”
14 Then David said to all his ·officers [officials; L servants] who were with him in Jerusalem, “We must ·leave [flee] quickly! If we don’t, we won’t be able to ·get away from [escape] Absalom. We must hurry before he ·catches [overtakes] us and ·destroys us and kills the people of Jerusalem [L brings disaster and puts the city to the sword].”
15 The king’s ·officers [officials; L servants] said to him, “We will do anything you ·say [decide; L choose].”
16 The king set out with everyone in his house, but he left ten ·slave women [L concubines; C secondary wives; 3:7] to take care of the palace. 17 The king left [L on foot] with all his people following him, and they stopped at ·a house far away [the last house]. 18 All the king’s ·servants [men; officers; officials] passed by him—the Kerethites and Pelethites [C foreign mercenaries who served as the king’s bodyguards], ·all those from Gath, and the six hundred men who had followed him [or and the six hundred men from Gath].
19 The king said to Ittai, a man from Gath, “Why are you also going with us? Turn back and stay with ·King Absalom [L the king] because you are a foreigner. ·This is not [L …—an exile from] your homeland. 20 You joined me only ·a short time ago [L yesterday]. Should I make you wander with us when I don’t even know where I’m going? Turn back and take your ·brothers [kinsmen; people] with you. May ·kindness [faithful love] and ·loyalty [faithfulness; truth] be shown to you.”
21 But Ittai said to the king, “As surely as the Lord lives and as ·you live [L my lord the king lives], I will ·stay with you [L go wherever my lord the king goes], whether it means life or death.”
22 David said to Ittai, “Go, march on.” So Ittai from Gath and all his people with their ·children [families] marched on. 23 All the people ·cried loudly [wept out loud] as ·everyone [the people] passed by. King David crossed the Kidron Valley, and then all the people went on to the ·desert [wilderness]. 24 Zadok and all the Levites with him carried the Ark of the ·Agreement with God [Covenant/Treaty of God]. They set it down, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had ·left [marched out of] the city.
25 The king said to Zadok, “Take the Ark of God back into the city. If ·the Lord is pleased with me [L I find favor in the Lord’s sight/eyes], he will bring me back and will let me see both it and ·Jerusalem [L its dwelling place/tent/Tabernacle] again. 26 But if the Lord says ·he is not pleased with me [L “I take no delight in you”], ·I am ready [here I am]. He can do ·what he wants with me [L to me what is good in his sight/eyes].”
27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “·Aren’t you a seer [or Do you understand]? Go back to the city ·in peace [quietly] and take your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan with you. 28 I will wait near the ·crossings into the desert [fords in the wilderness; C shallow crossing points of the Jordan River] until I hear from you.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the Ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30 David went up the ·Mount [L Ascent] of Olives, crying as he went. He covered his head and went barefoot [C signs of mourning]. All the people with David covered their heads also and cried as they went. 31 Someone told David, “Ahithophel is one of the ·people with Absalom who made secret plans against you [conspirators with Absalom].”
So David prayed, “Lord, please ·make [turn] Ahithophel’s ·advice foolish [counsel into foolishness].”
32 When David reached the top of the mountain where people ·used to worship [worshiped] God, Hushai the Arkite came to meet him. Hushai’s coat was torn, and there was dirt on his head [C a sign of mourning or distress]. 33 David said to Hushai, “If you go with me, you will be ·just one more person for me to take care of [L a burden]. 34 But if you return to the city, you can ·make Ahithophel’s advice useless [thwart/frustrate/counter Ahithophel’s counsel]. Tell Absalom, ‘I am your servant, my king. In the past I served your father, but now I will serve you.’ 35 The priests Zadok and Abiathar will [L they not…?] be with you. Tell them everything you hear in the royal palace. 36 Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan are with them. Send them to tell me everything you hear.” 37 So David’s friend Hushai ·entered [returned to] Jerusalem just as Absalom arrived.
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