2 Samuel 15

1 It happened after this, that Avshalom prepared him a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
2 Avshalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man had a suit which should come to the king for judgment, then Avshalom called to him, and said, Of what city are you? He said, Your servant is of one of the tribes of Yisra'el.
3 Avshalom said to him, Behold, your matters are good and right; but there is no man deputized of the king to hear you.
4 Avshalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice!
5 It was so, that when any man came near to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took hold of him, and kissed him.
6 In this manner Avshalom did to all Yisra'el who came to the king for judgment: so Avshalom stole the hearts of the men of Yisra'el.
7 It happened at the end of forty years, that Avshalom said to the king, please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hevron.
8 For your servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Aram, saying, If the LORD shall indeed bring me again to Yerushalayim, then I will serve the LORD.
9 The king said to him, Go in shalom. So he arose, and went to Hevron.
10 But Avshalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Yisra'el, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the shofar, then you shall say, Avshalom is king in Hevron.
11 With Avshalom went two hundred men out of Yerushalayim, who were invited, and went in their simplicity; and they didn't know anything.
12 Avshalom sent for Achitofel the Giloni, David's counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Avshalom.
13 There came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Yisra'el are after Avshalom.
14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Yerushalayim, Arise, and let us flee; for else none of us shall escape from Avshalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring down evil on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.
15 The king's servants said to the king, Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king shall choose.
16 The king went forth, and all his household after him. The king left ten women, who were concubines, to keep the house.
17 The king went forth, and all the people after him; and they stayed in Beit-Merhak.
18 All his servants passed on beside him; and all the Kereti, and all the Peleti, and all the Gitti, six hundred men who came after him from Gat, passed on before the king.
19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Why go you also with us? return, and abide with the king: for you are a foreigner, and also an exile; [return] to your own place.
20 Whereas you came but yesterday, should I this day make you go up and down with us, seeing I go where I may? return you, and take back your brothers; mercy and truth be with you.
21 Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, even there also will your servant be.
22 David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones who were with him.
23 All the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
24 Behold, Tzadok also [came], and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God; and Avyatar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.
25 The king said to Tzadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation:
26 but if he say thus, I have no delight in you; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seems good to him.
27 The king said also to Tzadok the Kohen, "Aren't you a seer? Return into the city in shalom, and your two sons with you, Achima`atz your son, and Yonatan the son of Avyatar.
28 Behold, I will stay at the fords of the wilderness, until word comes from you to inform me."
29 Tzadok therefore and Avyatar carried the ark of God again to Yerushalayim: and they abode there.
30 David went up by the ascent of the [Mount of] Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot: and all the people who were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
31 One told David, saying, Achitofel is among the conspirators with Avshalom. David said, LORD, please turn the counsel of Achitofel into foolishness.
32 It happened that when David had come to the top [of the ascent], where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Arki came to meet him with his coat torn, and dirt on his head.
33 David said to him, If you pass on with me, then you will be a burden to me:
34 but if you return to the city, and tell Avshalom, I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father's servant in time past, so will I now be your servant; then will you defeat for me the counsel of Achitofel.
35 Don't you have Tzadok and Avyatar the Kohanim there with you? therefore it shall be, that whatever thing you shall hear out of the king's house, you shall tell it to Tzadok and Avyatar the Kohanim.
36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Achima`atz, Tzadok's son, and Yonatan, Avyatar's son; and by them you shall send to me everything that you shall hear.
37 So Hushai, David's friend, came into the city; and Avshalom came into Yerushalayim.