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2 Samuel 17 (New American Standard)

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Hushai's Counsel

1 Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight. 2 "1I will come upon him while he is weary and aexhausted and terrify him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then 2I will strike down the king alone, 3 and I will bring back all the people to you. bThe return of everyone depends on the man you seek; then all the people will be at 3peace." 4 So the cplan pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel. 5 Then Absalom said, "Now call 4Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what dhe has to say." 6 When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to ehim, "Ahithophel has spoken fthus . Shall we gcarry out his plan? If not, you speak." 7 So Hushai said to Absalom, "5This time the advice that Ahithophel has hgiven is not good." 8 Moreover, Hushai said, "You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men and they are ifierce , 6like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is an jexpert in warfare, and will not spend the night with the people. 9 "Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the kcaves or in another place; and it will be lwhen he falls on them at the first attack, that whoever hears it will say, 'There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.' 10 "And even the one who is valiant , whose heart is like the heart of a lion, 7will completely mlose heart; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 "But I counsel that all Israel be surely gathered to you, 8from Dan even to Beersheba, 9as the sand that is by the sea in abundance, and that nyou personally go into battle. 12 "So we shall come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will ofall on him 10as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him, not even one will be left. 13 "If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will 11drag it into the pvalley until not even a small stone is found there." 14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel." For 12the LORD had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring calamity on Absalom.

Hushai's Warning Saves David

15 Then 13Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, "qThis is what Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel, and rthis is what I have counseled. 16 "Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, '14Do not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, or else the king and all the people who are with him will be sdestroyed.' " 17 15Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at 16En-rogel, and a maidservant would go and tell them, and they would go and tell King David, for they could not be seen entering the city. 18 But a lad did see them and told Absalom; so the two of them departed quickly and came to the house of a man 17in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down tinto it. 19 And 18the woman utook a covering and spread it over the well's mouth and scattered grain on it, so that nothing was known. 20 Then Absalom's servants came to the woman at the house and said, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" And 19the woman said to them, "They have crossed the brook of water." And when they searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 It came about after they had departed that they came up out of the well and went and told King David; and they said to David, "20Arise and cross over the water quickly for thus Ahithophel has counseled against you." 22 Then David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed the Jordan; and by vdawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan. 23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not wfollowed, he xsaddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to 21his city, and y22set his house in order, and 23strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father. 24 Then David came to 24Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Absalom set 25Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was zIthra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of 26Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab's mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead. 27 Now when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi 27the son of Nahash from 28Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, 29Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and 30Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought 31beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched seeds, 29 honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and for the people who were with him, 32to eat; for they said, "The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness."
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