Now it came about afterthis that 1Absalomprovided for himself a chariot and horses and fiftymen as runnersbefore him.
2Absalom used to riseearly and 2standbeside the way to the gate; and when anymanhad a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, "From whatcity are you?" And he would say, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel."
Then Absalom would say to him, "See, 3your aclaims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king."
Moreover, Absalom would say, "4Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then everymanwhohas any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice."
And when a mancamenear to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and takehold of him and 5kiss him.
In thismannerAbsalomdealt with allIsraelwhocame to the king for judgment; 6so Absalomstoleaway the hearts of the men of Israel.
Now it came about at the end of bfortyyears that Absalomsaid to the king, "Please let me go and pay my vowwhich I have vowed to the LORD, in 7Hebron.
"For your servant8vowed a vow while I was living at Geshur in Aram, saying, '9If the LORD shall indeedbring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.' "
The kingsaid to him, "Go in peace." So he arose and went to Hebron.
But Absalomsentspies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, '10Absalom is king in Hebron.' "
Then two hundredmenwent with Absalom from Jerusalem, 11who were invited and 12wentcinnocently, and they did not knowanything .
And Absalomsent for 13Ahithophel the Gilonite, David'scounselor, from his city14Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for 15the peopleincreasedcontinually with Absalom.
Then a messengercame to David, saying, "16The hearts of the men of Israel are dwith Absalom."
14Davidsaid to all his servantswho were with him at Jerusalem, "17Arise and let us flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bringdowncalamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword."
Then the king'sservantssaid to the king, "Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the kingchooses."
So the kingwent out and all his householdewith him. But 18the kinglefttenconcubines to keep the house.
The kingwent out and all the peoplefwith him, and they stopped at the lasthouse.
Now all his servantspassed on beside him, 19all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites, 20sixhundredmenwho had comegwith him from Gath, passed on before the king.
Then the kingsaid to 21Ittai the Gittite, "Why will you alsogo with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place.
"You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander with us, while 22I gowhere I will? Return and takeback your brothers; 23mercy and htruth be with you."
But Ittaianswered the king and said, "As the LORDlives, and as my lord the kinglives, surely24wherever my lord the king may be, whether for deathor for life, therealso your servant will be."
Therefore Davidsaid to Ittai, "Go and passover." So Ittai the Gittitepassedover with all his men and all the littleoneswho were with him.
While all the country was weeping with a loudvoice, all the peoplepassedover. The king also passedover25the brookKidron, and all the peoplepassedovertoward26the way of the wilderness.
Now behold, 27Zadokalso came, and all the Levites with him 28carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they setdown the ark of God, and 29Abiatharcame up untilall the people had finishedpassing from the city.
The kingsaid to Zadok, "Return the ark of God to the city. If I findfavor in the sight of the LORD, then 30He will bring me back again and show me both it and 31His habitation.
"But if He should saythus, '32I havenodelight in you,' behold, here I am, 33let Him do to me as seems goodito Him."
The kingsaid also to Zadok the priest, "Are you not 34a seer? Return to the city in peace and your 35twosons with you, your sonAhimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28"See, I am going to wait36at the fords of the wildernessuntilwordcomes from you to inform me."
Therefore Zadok and Abiatharreturned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remainedthere.
And Davidwent up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and 37his head was covered and he walked38barefoot. Then all the peoplewho were with him eachcovered his head and went up weeping as they went.
Now someone toldDavid, saying, "39Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And Davidsaid, "O LORD, I pray, 40make the counsel of Ahithophelfoolishness."
It happened as David was coming to the summit, whereGod was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the 41Architemet him with his jcoattorn and kdust on his head.
33Davidsaid to him, "If you passover with me, then you will be 42a burden to me.
"But if you return to the city, and 43say to Absalom, 'I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father'sservant in timepast, so I will now be your servant,' then you can thwart the counsel of Ahithophel for me.
"Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So it shall be that 44whatever you hear from the king'shouse, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.
36"Behold45their twosons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son and Jonathan, Abiathar's son; and 46by them you shall send me everything that you hear."
So Hushai, 47David'sfriend, came into the city, and 48Absalomcame into Jerusalem.