2 Samuel 15:1-18Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Absalom Usurps the Throne
15 After this Ab′salom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Ab′salom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate; and when any man had a suit to come before the king for judgment, Ab′salom would call to him, and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” 3 Ab′salom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right; but there is no man deputed by the king to hear you.” 4 Ab′salom said moreover, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a suit or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” 5 And whenever a man came near to do obeisance to him, he would put out his hand, and take hold of him, and kiss him. 6 Thus Ab′salom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Ab′salom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And at the end of four[a] years Ab′salom said to the king, “Pray let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebron. 8 For your servant vowed a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the Lord.’” 9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose, and went to Hebron. 10 But Ab′salom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Ab′salom is king at Hebron!’” 11 With Ab′salom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their simplicity, and knew nothing. 12 And while Ab′salom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for[b] Ahith′ophel the Gi′lonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Ab′salom kept increasing.
David Flees from Jerusalem
13 And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Ab′salom.” 14 Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee; or else there will be no escape for us from Ab′salom; go in haste, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring down evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.” 16 So the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten concubines to keep the house. 17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him; and they halted at the last house. 18 And all his servants passed by him; and all the Cher′ethites, and all the Pel′ethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath, passed on before the king.