1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared for him a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate. And it was so, that, when any man had a suit which should come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him, and said, Of what city are thou? And he said, Thy
3 And Absalom said to him, See, thy matters are good and right, but there is no man appointed by the king to hear thee.
4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any suit or case might come to me, and I would do for him justice!
5 And it was so, that, when any man came near to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took hold of him, and kissed him.
6 And on this manner Absalom did to all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Absalom said to the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to LORD, in Hebron.
8 For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If LORD shall indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve LORD.
9 And the king said to him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.
10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom is king in Hebron.
11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem who were invited, and went in their simplicity. And they did not know anything.
12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually with Absalom.
13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
14 And David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee, for otherwise none of us shall escape from Absalom. Make speed to depart, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring down evil upon us, and smit
15 And the king's servants said to the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king shall choose.
16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, who were concubines, to keep the house.
17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and they remained in Beth-merhak.
18 And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, Why do thou also go with us? Return, and abide with the king, for thou are a foreigner, and also an exile. [Return] to thine own place.
20 Whereas thou came but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us, seeing I go where I may? Return thou, and take back thy brothers. Mercy and truth be with thee.
21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, even there thy servant will also be.
22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.
23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over. The king himself also passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness.
24 And, lo, Zadok also [came], and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished passing out of the city.
25 And the king said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city. If I shall find favor in the eyes of LORD he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation.
26 But if he says thus, I have no delight in thee, behold, here I am. Let him do to me as seems good to him.
27 The king said also to Zadok the priest, Are thou [not] a seer? Return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28 See, I will remain at the fords of the wilderness until there comes word from you to report to me.
29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem, and they abode there.
30 And David went up by the ascent of the [mount of] Olives, and wept as he went up, and he had his head covered, and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they we
31 And it was told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
32 And it came to pass, that, when David came to the top [of the ascent], where God was worshipped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn, and dirt upon his head.
33 And David said to him, If thou pass on with me, then thou will be a burden to me,
34 but if thou return to the city, and say to Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king. As I have been thy father's servant in time past, so I will now be thy servant, then thou will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel.
35 And have thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? Therefore it shall be, that whatever thing thou shall hear out of the king's house, thou shall tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.
36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son. And by them ye shall send to me everything that ye shall hear.
37 So Hushai, David's friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.