Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him.
Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts1 of the men of Israel.
At the end of foura years, Absalom said to the king, "Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD.
While your servant was living at Geshur2 in Aram, I made this vow:3 'If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the LORD in Hebron.b ' "
The king said to him, "Go in peace." So he went to Hebron.
Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets,4 then say, 'Absalom is king in Hebron.' "
Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter.
While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel5 the Gilonite, David's counselor,6 to come from Giloh,7 his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom's following kept on increasing.8