2 Samuel 15 New Life Version (NLV)
Absalom Becomes Friends with Men Of Israel
15 After this, Absalom got a war-wagon and horses, and fifty men to run in front of him. 2 He used to get up early and stand beside the way to the gate. When any man had a problem to be decided upon by the king, Absalom would call to him and say, “What city are you from?” And he would answer, “Your servant is from one of the families of Israel.” 3 Then Absalom would say to him, “Your side of the problem is good and right. But there is no man to listen to you for the king.” 4 And Absalom would say, “If only I were chosen to be the one to be judge in the land! Then every man who has a problem could come to me. And I would do for him what is right and fair.” 5 When a man came near to put his face to the ground in front of him, Absalom would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 He acted this way toward all those of Israel who came with a problem for the king to judge. So Absalom became friends with the men of Israel.
7 At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, “I ask you, let me go to Hebron and keep my promise that I have promised to the Lord. 8 For your servant made a promise while I was living at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If the Lord will bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’” 9 And the king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he got up and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent men to go in secret through all the families of Israel. He said to them, “As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, then say, ‘Absalom is king at Hebron.’” 11 With Absalom went 200 men from Jerusalem. They had been asked to come, and did not know what Absalom had planned. 12 While Absalom was giving gifts on the altar in worship, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, from his city Giloh. He was the man who talked with David about what to do. The plans against David became strong. For more and more people joined Absalom.
David Runs from Jerusalem
13 Then a man came to David with news, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Get up and let us run. Or else none of us will be safe from Absalom. Hurry and go, or he will be quick to catch us and bring trouble upon us. He would destroy the city with the sword.” 15 The king’s servants said to him, “See, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king chooses.” 16 So the king left with all those of his house. But he left ten of his women to take care of the house. 17 The king left with all the people, and they stopped at the last house. 18 All his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, Pelethites, Gittites, and 600 men who had come with him from Gath. They all passed by the king.
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you go with us also? Return and stay with the king. For you are from another land and have been driven from your home. 20 You came only yesterday. Should I make you go with us today, when I do not know where I am going? Return with your brothers. May loving-kindness and faith be with you.” 21 But Ittai said to the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, your servant will be where my lord the king may be, in death or in life.” 22 So David said to him, “Go then, pass on.” And Ittai the Gittite passed on, with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 All the country was crying with a loud voice as all the people passed by. The king crossed the river Kidron, and all the people went on toward the desert.
24 Zadok came also, with all the Levites who carried the special box with the Law of God. Abiathar had the special box of God put down until all the people had passed out of the city. 25 The king said to Zadok, “Return the special box of God to the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will have me return. And He will have me see both it and His family. 26 But if He says, ‘I have no joy in you,’ then here I am. Let Him do to me what He thinks is good.” 27 And the king said to Zadok the religious leader, “Are you not a man who speaks for God? Return to the city in peace with Abiathar and your two sons, your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. 28 See, I will wait in the desert by the place where the river is crossed, until I hear from you.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar returned the special box of God to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30 David went up the Mount of Olives and cried as he went. His head was covered and he wore no shoes. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up crying as they went. 31 Now David was told, “Ahithophel is among those who are making plans with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, make the words of Ahithophel foolish.” 32 As David was coming to the top of the mountain, where God was worshiped, Hushai the Archite met him. His coat was torn and there was dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be trouble for me. 34 But if you return to the city, you can bring trouble to the words of Ahithophel for me. Say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king. I will work for you as I have worked for your father in the past.’ Then you can make the words of Ahithophel foolish for me. 35 Will not Zadok and Abiathar the religious leaders be there with you? Tell Zadok and Abiathar whatever you hear from the king’s house. 36 Their two sons are with them there, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. By them you can send me news of all that you hear.” 37 So David’s friend Hushai came into Jerusalem, just as Absalom was coming into the city.