After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty footmen to run ahead of him.
He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where they were from, and they would tell him their tribe.
Then Absalom would say, "You've really got a strong case here! It's too bad the king doesn't have anyone to hear it.
I wish I were the judge. Then people could bring their problems to me, and I would give them justice!"
And when people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn't let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and embraced them.
So in this way, Absalom stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.
After four years, a Absalom said to the king, "Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the LORD in fulfillment of a vow I made to him.
For while I was at Geshur, I promised to sacrifice to him in Hebron if he would bring me back to Jerusalem."
"All right," the king told him. "Go and fulfill your vow." So Absalom went to Hebron.
But while he was there, he sent secret messengers to every part of Israel to stir up a rebellion against the king. "As soon as you hear the trumpets," his message read, "you will know that Absalom has been crowned king in Hebron."
He took two hundred men from Jerusalem with him as guests, but they knew nothing of his intentions.
While he was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, one of David's counselors who lived in Giloh. Soon many others also joined Absalom, and the conspiracy gained momentum.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)