2 Samuel 17 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
17 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men. I’ll chase David tonight. 2 I’ll catch him while he is tired and weak. I’ll frighten him so all his people will run away. But I’ll kill only King David. 3 Then I’ll bring everyone back to you. If the man you are looking for is dead, everyone else will return safely.” 4 This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the leaders of Israel.
5 But Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Arkite. I also want to hear what he says.” 6 So Hushai came to Absalom. Absalom said to him, “This is the plan Ahithophel gave. Should we follow it? If not, tell us.”
7 Hushai said to Absalom, “Ahithophel’s advice is not good this time.” 8 Hushai added, “You know your father and his men are strong. They are as angry as a bear that is robbed of its babies. Your father is a skilled fighter. He won’t stay all night with the people. 9 He is probably already hiding in a cave or some other place. If your father attacks your men first, people will hear the news. And they will think, ‘Absalom’s followers are losing!’ 10 Then even the men who are as brave as a lion will become frightened. This is because all the Israelites know your father is a fighter. They know his men are brave!
11 “This is what I suggest: Gather all the Israelites from Dan to Beersheba.[a] There will be as many people as grains of sand by the sea. Then you yourself must go into the battle. 12 We will catch David where he is hiding. We will fall on him as dew falls on the ground. We will kill him and all of his men. No one will be left alive. 13 What if David escapes into a city? Then all the Israelites will bring ropes to that city. We’ll pull that city into the valley. There won’t be even a small stone left there!”
14 Absalom and all the Israelites said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.” They said this because the Lord had planned to destroy the good advice of Ahithophel. In this way the Lord could bring disaster on Absalom.
15 Hushai told these things to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests. He told them what Ahithophel had suggested to Absalom and the elders of Israel. He also reported to them what he himself had suggested. Hushai said, 16 “Quickly! Send a message to David. Tell him not to stay tonight at the crossings into the desert. Tell him to cross over the Jordan River at once. If he crosses the river, he and all his people won’t be caught.”
17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En Rogel. They did not want to be seen going into the town. So a servant girl would go out to them and give them messages. Then Jonathan and Ahimaaz would go and tell King David.
18 But a boy saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz and told Absalom. So Jonathan and Ahimaaz ran away quickly. They went to a man’s house in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it. 19 The man’s wife spread a sheet over the opening of the well. Then she covered it with grain. No one could tell that Jonathan and Ahimaaz were hiding there.
20 Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house. They asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”
She said to them, “They have already crossed the brook.”
Absalom’s servants then went to look for Jonathan and Ahimaaz. But they could not find them. So they went back to Jerusalem.
21 After Absalom’s servants had left, Jonathan and Ahimaaz climbed out of the well. Then they went to tell King David. They said, “Hurry, cross over the river! Ahithophel has said these things against you!” 22 So David and all his people crossed the Jordan River. By dawn, everyone had crossed the Jordan.
23 Now Ahithophel saw that the Israelites did not accept his advice. So he saddled his donkey and went to his hometown. He gave orders for his family and property. Then he hung himself. After Ahithophel died, he was buried in his father’s tomb.
War Between David and Absalom
24 David arrived at Mahanaim. And Absalom and all his Israelites crossed over the Jordan River. 25 Now Absalom had made Amasa captain of the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Jether the Ishmaelite. Amasa’s mother was Abigail daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah. Zeruiah was Joab’s mother. 26 Absalom and the Israelites camped in the land of Gilead.
27 Shobi, Makir and Barzillai were at Mahanaim when David arrived. Shobi son of Nahash was from the Ammonite town of Rabbah. Makir son of Ammiel was from Lo Debar. And Barzillai was from Rogelim in Gilead. 28 They brought beds, bowls and clay pots. They brought wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans and small peas. 29 They also brought honey and milk curds, sheep, and cheese made from cows’ milk. They brought these things for David and his people. They had said, “The people have become hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert.”
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