Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, "Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do such and such, but I have advised them to do so and so.
Now send a message immediately and tell David, 'Do not spend the night at the fords in the desert;1 cross over without fail, or the king and all the people with him will be swallowed up.2' "
Jonathan3 and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel.4 A servant girl was to go and inform them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they could not risk being seen entering the city.
But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So the two of them left quickly and went to the house of a man in Bahurim.5 He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it.
His wife took a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well and scattered grain over it. No one knew anything about it.620
When Absalom's men came to the woman7 at the house, they asked, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" The woman answered them, "They crossed over the brook."a The men searched but found no one, so they returned to Jerusalem.
After the men had gone, the two climbed out of the well and went to inform King David. They said to him, "Set out and cross the river at once; Ahithophel has advised such and such against you."
So David and all the people with him set out and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, no one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.
When Ahithophel saw that his advice8 had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order9 and then hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father's tomb.
David went to Mahanaim,10 and Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel.
Absalom had appointed Amasa11 over the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Jether,b12 an Israelitec who had married Abigail,d the daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah the mother of Joab.