Absalom used to get up early and stand by the road leading to the city gate. When anyone had a case to be tried by King David, Absalom would ask, "Which city are you from?" After the person had told him which tribe in Israel he was from,
Absalom would say, "Your case is good and proper, but the king hasn't appointed anyone to hear it."
He would add, "I wish someone would make me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a case to be tried could come to me, and I would make sure that he got justice."
When anyone approached him and bowed down, Absalom would reach out, take hold of him, and kiss him.
This is what he did for all Israelites who came to the king to have him try their case. So Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel.
Four years later Absalom said to the king, "Let me go to Hebron and keep the vow I made to the LORD.
I made a vow while I was living at Geshur in Aram. I said, 'If the LORD will bring me back to Jerusalem, I will serve the LORD.'"
"Go in peace," the king told him. So he went to Hebron.
But Absalom sent his loyal supporters to all the tribes of Israel and said, "When you hear the sound of the ram's horn, say, 'Absalom has become king in Hebron.'"
Two hundred men invited from Jerusalem went with Absalom. They went innocently, knowing nothing [about Absalom's plans].
While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, David's adviser, to come from his home in Giloh. Meanwhile, the conspiracy grew stronger, and the number of people siding with Absalom kept getting larger.