1. Now it came to pass after this, Absalom prepared himself chariots and horses and fifty men to run before him.
2. And Absalom rose up early and stood beside the way of the gate. Now it was so, if any man had a suit to come before the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him and said, “What city are you from?” And he said, “Your servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.”
3. And Absalom said to him, “See! Your matters are good and right, but no one from the king will hear you.”
4. And Absalom said, “Oh, that I might be made judge in the land, so that every man who has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice!”
5. And it was so, when any man came near to bow down to him, he put forth his hand and took him and kissed him.
6. And in this way Absalom did to all Israel that came to the king for judgment. And Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7. Now it came to pass at the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the LORD in Hebron,
8. For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If the LORD will indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.’ ”
9. And the king said to him, “Go in peace.” And he arose and went to Hebron.
10. But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the ram’s horn, then you shall say, ‘Absalom reigns in Hebron!’ ”
11. And with Absalom went two hundred men invited out of Jerusalem. And they went in their innocence and did not know anything.
12. And Absalom sent for Ahithophel of Giloh, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people with Absalom grew more and more.
13. And a messenger came to David saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.”
14. And David said to all his servants with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee! For otherwise we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring evil upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”
15. And the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants will do whatever my lord the king shall choose.”
16. And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, concubines, to keep the house.
17. Then the king went forth, and all the people after him and stayed in a place that was far off.
18. And all his servants passed on beside him. And all the Cherethites,and all the
Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.
19. Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Return to your place, and stay with the king, for you are a stranger, and also an exile.
20. Since you came only yesterday,should I make you go up and down with us today? Since I am going wherever I may go, you may return and take back your brothers. May mercy and truth be with you.”
21. And Ittai answered the king and said, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will your servant be.”
22. And David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.” Then Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones with him.
23. And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over. The king imself also passed over the brook Kidron and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness.
24. And lo, Zadok came also, and all the Levites were with him, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God. And Abiathar went up until all the people had finished passing out of the city.
25. And the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I shall find favor in the eyes of the LORD,He will bring me again and show it to me, and its dwelling place also.
26. But if He says this, ‘I have no delight in you;’ behold me, and let Him do to me as seems good to Him.”
27. The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you. Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28. Behold, I will wait in the plain of the wilderness until there comes word from you to tell me.”
29. And Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem. And they remained there.
30. And David went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet. And he wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot. And of all the people with him, each man covered his head. And they went up, weeping as they went.
31. And one told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, I pray You, turn the advice of Ahithophel to foolishness.”
32. Now it came to pass when David had come to the top, where he worshiped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and earth upon his head.
33. David said to him, “If you pass on with me, then you shall be a burden to me.
34. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; I have been your father’s servant until now, and now I also will be your servant,’ then you may defeat the advice of Ahithophel for me.
35. And do you not have there with you Zadok and Abiathar the priests? And it shall be, hatever you shall hear out of the king’s house, you shall tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.
36. Behold, they have their two sons there with them, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son. And you shall send to me everything that you hear by them.”
37. And David’s friend Hushai came to the city. And Absalom came into Jerusalem.
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