Meanwhile, Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him.
Then Hushai the Arkite, David's friend, went to Absalom and said to him, "Long live the king! Long live the king!"
Absalom asked Hushai, "Is this the love you show your friend? Why didn't you go with your friend?"
Hushai said to Absalom, "No, the one chosen by the LORD, by these people, and by all the men of Israel--his I will be, and I will remain with him.
Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve the son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you."
Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give us your advice. What should we do?"
Ahithophel answered, "Lie with your father's concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench in your father's nostrils, and the hands of everyone with you will be strengthened."
So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.
Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel's advice.
Ahithophel said to Absalom, "I would choose twelve thousand men and set out tonight in pursuit of David.
I would attack him while he is weary and weak. I would strike him with terror, and then all the people with him will flee. I would strike down only the king
and bring all the people back to you. The death of the man you seek will mean the return of all; all the people will be unharmed."
This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.
But Absalom said, "Summon also Hushai the Arkite, so we can hear what he has to say."
When Hushai came to him, Absalom said, "Ahithophel has given this advice. Should we do what he says? If not, give us your opinion."
Hushai replied to Absalom, "The advice Ahithophel has given is not good this time.
You know your father and his men; they are fighters, and as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Besides, your father is an experienced fighter; he will not spend the night with the troops.
Even now, he is hidden in a cave or some other place. If he should attack your troops first, whoever hears about it will say, 'There has been a slaughter among the troops who follow Absalom.'
Then even the bravest soldier, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a fighter and that those with him are brave.
"So I advise you: Let all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba--as numerous as the sand on the seashore--be gathered to you, with you yourself leading them into battle.
Then we will attack him wherever he may be found, and we will fall on him as dew settles on the ground. Neither he nor any of his men will be left alive.
If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it down to the valley until not even a piece of it can be found."
Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel." For the LORD had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.