2 Samuel 16-18 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
16 And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and a hundred bunches of raisins, and a hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.
2 And the king said unto Ziba, “What meanest thou by these?” And Ziba said, “The asses are for the king’s household to ride on, and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.”
3 And the king said, “And where is thy master’s son?” And Ziba said unto the king, “Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem; for he said, ‘Today shall the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of my father.’”
4 Then said the king to Ziba, “Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth.” And Ziba said, “I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king.”
5 And when King David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came forth, and cursed constantly as he came.
6 And he cast stones at David and at all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.
7 And thus said Shimei when he cursed, “Come out, come out, thou bloody man and thou man of Belial!
8 The Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son. And behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.”
9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.”
10 And the king said, “What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, ‘Curse David.’ Who shall then say, ‘Why hast thou done so?’”
11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my son, who came forth from my loins, seeketh my life. How much more now may this Benjamite do it? Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord hath bidden him.
12 It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.”
13 And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and cast dust.
14 And the king and all the people who were with him became weary and refreshed themselves there.
15 And Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.
16 And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, had come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, “God save the king! God save the king!”
17 And Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this thy kindness to thy friend? Why wentest thou not with thy friend?”
18 And Hushai said unto Absalom, “Nay; but whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide.
19 And again, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in thy father’s presence, so will I be in thy presence.”
20 Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, “Give counsel among you what we shall do.”
21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, “Go in unto thy father’s concubines, whom he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred by thy father. Then shall the hands of all who are with thee be strong.”
22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house, and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counseled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
17 Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, “Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night.
2 And I will come upon him while he is weary and weakhanded, and will make him afraid; and all the people who are with him shall flee, and I will smite the king only.
3 And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned; so all the people shall be in peace.”
4 And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
5 Then said Absalom, “Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith.”
6 And when Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom spoke unto him, saying, “Ahithophel hath spoken in this manner. Shall we do according to his word? If not, speak thou.”
7 And Hushai said unto Absalom, “The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time.
8 For,” said Hushai, “thou knowest thy father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field; and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.
9 Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place; and it will come to pass, when some of them are overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’
10 And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt; for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men.
11 Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that thou go to battle in thine own person.
12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him there shall not be left so much as one.
13 Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city; and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.”
14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, with the intent that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom.
15 Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and thus have I counseled.
16 Now therefore send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over, lest the king be swallowed up and all the people who are with him.’”
17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel, for they dared not be seen to come into the city; and a maidservant went and told them, and they went and told King David.
18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom; but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, who had a well in his court, whither they went down.
19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known.
20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said unto them, “They have gone over the brook of water.” And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 And it came to pass, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and told King David, and said unto David, “Arise, and pass quickly over the water, for thus hath Ahithophel counseled against you.”
22 Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they passed over the Jordan. By the morning light there lacked not one of them who had not gone over the Jordan.
23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose and got him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulcher of his father.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab. This Amasa was a man’s son whose name was Ithra, an Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab’s mother.
26 So Israel and Absalom pitched camp in the land of Gilead.
27 And it came to pass, when David had come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
28 brought beds and basins and earthen vessels, and wheat and barley and flour and parched corn, and beans and lentils and parched pulse,
29 and honey and butter, and sheep, and cheese from cows, for David and for the people who were with him to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”
2 And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, “I will surely go forth with you myself also.”
3 But the people answered, “Thou shalt not go forth; for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die will they care for us. But now thou art worth ten thousand of us; therefore now it is better that thou succor us from the city.”
4 And the king said unto them, “What seemeth to you best I will do.” And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
6 So the people went out into the field against Israel. And the battle was in the wood of Ephraim,
7 where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David; and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.
8 For the battle there was scattered over the face of all the country; and the woods devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9 And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak; and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth, and the mule that was under him went away.
10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab and said, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.”
11 And Joab said unto the man who told him, “And behold, thou sawest him, and why did thou not smite him there to the ground? And I would have given thee ten shekels of silver and a girdle.”
12 And the man said unto Joab, “Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ‘Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.’
13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life; for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.”
14 Then said Joab, “I may not tarry thus with thee.” And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
15 And ten young men who bore Joab’s armor compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel, for Joab held back the people.
17 And they took Absalom and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him; and all Israel fled every one to his tent.
18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the King’s Dale, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” And he called the pillar after his own name; and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s Place.
19 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, “Let me now run and bear the king tidings, how the Lord hath avenged him of his enemies.”
20 And Joab said unto him, “Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day; but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king’s son is dead.”
21 Then said Joab to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what thou hast seen.” And the Cushite bowed himself unto Joab and ran.
22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, “But come what may, let me, I pray thee, also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?”
23 “But howsoever,” said he, “let me run.” And he said unto him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran the Cushite.
24 And David sat between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man running alone.
25 And the watchman cried and told the king. And the king said, “If he be alone, there are tidings in his mouth.” And he came apace and drew near.
26 And the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called unto the gatekeeper and said, “Behold, another man running alone.” And the king said, “He also bringeth tidings.”
27 And the watchman said, “I think the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.”
28 And Ahimaaz called and said unto the king, “All is well.” And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king and said, “Blessed be the Lord thy God, who hath delivered up the men who lifted up their hand against my lord the king.”
29 And the king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” And Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was.”
30 And the king said unto him, “Turn aside and stand here.” And he turned aside and stood still.
31 And behold, the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, “Tidings, my lord the king; for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all those who rose up against thee.”
32 And the king said unto the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” And the Cushite answered, “The enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.”
33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, thus he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!”