2 Samuel 17:1-14New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
17 One day Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Here’s what I suggest. Choose 12,000 men. Start out tonight and go after David. 2 Attack him while he’s tired and weak. Fill him with terror. Then all the people with him will run away. Don’t strike down anyone except the king. 3 Bring all the other people back. After the man you want to kill is dead, everyone else will return to you. And none of the people will be harmed.” 4 Ahithophel’s plan seemed good to Absalom. It also seemed good to all the elders of Israel.
5 But Absalom said, “Send for Hushai, the Arkite. Then we can find out what he suggests as well.” 6 Hushai came to him. Absalom said, “Ahithophel has given us his advice. Should we do what he says? If we shouldn’t, tell us what you would do.”
7 Hushai replied to Absalom, “The advice Ahithophel has given you isn’t good this time. 8 You know your father and his men. They are fighters. They are as strong as a wild bear whose cubs have been stolen from her. Besides, your father really knows how to fight. He won’t spend the night with his troops. 9 In fact, he’s probably hiding in a cave or some other place right now. Suppose he attacks your troops first. When people hear about it, they’ll say, ‘Many of the troops who followed Absalom have been killed.’ 10 Then the hearts of your soldiers will melt away in fear. Even those as brave as a lion will be terrified. That’s because everyone in Israel knows that your father is a fighter. They know that those with him are brave.
11 “So here’s what I suggest. Bring together all the men of Israel from the town of Dan all the way to Beersheba. They are as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. You yourself should lead them into battle. 12 Then we’ll attack David no matter where we find him. As dew completely covers the ground, we’ll completely overpower his entire army. We won’t leave him or any of his men alive. 13 He might try to get away by going into a city. If he does, all of us will bring ropes to that city. We’ll drag the whole city down into the valley. Not even a pebble of that city will be left.”
14 Absalom and all the men of Israel agreed. They said, “The advice of Hushai, the Arkite, is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” The Lord had decided that Ahithophel’s good advice would fail. The Lord wanted to bring horrible trouble on Absalom.
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