Zadok1 was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark2 of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar3 offered sacrificesa until all the people had finished leaving the city.
Then the king said to Zadok, "Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD's eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place4 again.
But if he says, 'I am not pleased with you,' then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.5"
The king also said to Zadok the priest, "Aren't you a seer?6 Go back to the city in peace, with your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan7 son of Abiathar. You and Abiathar take your two sons with you.
I will wait at the fords8 in the desert until word comes from you to inform me."
So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there.
But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping9 as he went; his head10 was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up.
Now David had been told, "Ahithophel11 is among the conspirators with Absalom." So David prayed, "O LORD, turn Ahithophel's counsel into foolishness."
When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai12 the Arkite13 was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust14 on his head.
David said to him, "If you go with me, you will be a burden15 to me.
But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, 'I will be your servant, O king; I was your father's servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,'16 then you can help me by frustrating17 Ahithophel's advice.
Won't the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Tell them anything you hear in the king's palace.1836
Their two sons, Ahimaaz19 son of Zadok and Jonathan20 son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear."
So David's friend Hushai21 arrived at Jerusalem as Absalom22 was entering the city.