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2 Samuel 17

Hushai Frustrates Ahithophel’s Advice (17:1–29)

Unfortunately, someone saw the two sons and reported the matter to Absalom. So the two sons went to the house of a friendly family and hid in their well (verses 18–19). Absalom’s men failed to find them and returned to Jerusalem (verse 20).

21–23 Jonathan and Ahimaaz then went to David and gave him the message that he should cross over the Jordan that night. So David and all his people crossed the Jordan under the cover of darkness (verse 22).

Meanwhile Ahithophel went to his house and committed suicide (verse 23). He may have realized that Hushai’s plan was designed to save David’s life and restore him to the throne. If that happened, Ahithophel would be condemned for his disloyalty to David and would face the death penalty. Therefore, he chose to end his own life rather than be put to death by others.

24–26 After David and his people had crossed the Jordan, Absalom and his forces also crossed over in pursuit of them. David went to the fortified city of Mahanaim (2 Samuel 2:8), while Absalom and the Israelites camped nearby. Thus both sides were now facing each other in the land of Gilead, a part of Israel that lay east of the Jordan River.

Since Joab, the former commander of Israel’s army, had remained loyal to David, Absalom chose a new commander, Amasa, who was a nephew of David and a cousin of both Joab and Absalom (verse 25).

27–29 When David and his people arrived in Mahanaim, a number of friends brought them muchneeded provisions. It also appears that in the course of his flight David had been able to accumulate a sizable army (see 2 Samuel 18:1).

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