1After this, Absalom got himself a chariot, horses, and fifty men to run before him.15:1 1Sm 8:11; 1Kg 1:5
2He would get up early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate.15:2 Ru 4:1–11; 2Sm 19:8; Jb 29:7 Whenever anyone had a grievance to bring before the king for settlement, Absalom called out to him and asked, “What city are you from?” If he replied, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel,”
3Absalom said to him, “Look, your claims are good and right, but the king does not have anyone to listen to you.”
4He added, “If only someone would appoint me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a grievance or dispute could come to me, and I would make sure he received justice.”
5When a person approached to pay homage to him, Absalom reached out his hand, took hold of him, and kissed him.15:5 Gn 29:13; Ex 18:7; 1Sm 10:1; 2Sm 19:39
6Absalom did this to all the Israelites who came to the king for a settlement. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7When four15:7 Some LXX mss, Syr, Vg; other LXX mss, MT read 40 years had passed, Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go to Hebron to fulfill a vow I made to the Lord.
11Two hundred men from Jerusalem went with Absalom. They had been invited and were going innocently, for they did not know the whole situation.
13Then an informer came to David and reported, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”
15The king’s servants said to the king, “Whatever my lord the king decides, we are your servants.”
16Then the king set out, and his entire household followed him. But he left behind ten concubines to take care of the palace.
17So the king set out, and all the people followed him. They stopped at the last house
19The king said to Ittai of Gath,15:19 2Sm 18:2 “Why are you also going with us? Go back and stay with the new king since you’re both a foreigner and an exile from your homeland.
20Besides, you only arrived yesterday; should I make you wander around with us today while I go wherever I can? Go back and take your brothers with you. May the Lord show you15:20 LXX; MT omits Lit May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness.”
22“March on,” David replied to Ittai. So Ittai of Gath marched past with all his men and the dependents who were with him.
23Everyone in the countryside was weeping loudly while all the people were marching out of the city. As the king was crossing the Kidron Valley, all the people were marching past on the road that leads to the wilderness.
24Zadok was also there, and all the Levites with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set the ark of God down, and Abiathar offered sacrifices15:24 Or Abiathar went up until the people had finished marching past.15:24 2Sm 8:17; 20:25
25Then the king instructed Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city.15:25 1Sm 4:3 If I find favor with the Lord, he will bring me back and allow me to see both it and its15:25 Or his dwelling place.15:25 Ps 43:3
27The king also said to the priest Zadok,15:27 2Sm 8:17; 20:25–26; 1Kg 1:7–8 “Look,15:27 LXX; MT reads “Are you a seer? return to the city in peace and your two sons with you: your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan.
28Remember, I’ll wait at the fords15:28 Alt Hb tradition reads plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”
29So Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30David was climbing the slope of the Mount of Olives,15:30 Zch 14:4; Mt 21:1; 24:3; 26:30; Ac 1:12 weeping as he ascended. His head was covered,15:30 Est 6:12; Jr 14:3–4 and he was walking barefoot.15:30 Jb 12:17,19; Is 20:2–4; Mc 1:8 All of the people with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they ascended.
31Then someone reported to David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.”
“Lord,” David pleaded, “please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!” 15:31 2Sm 16:21; 17:14,23
32When David came to the summit where he used to worship God, Hushai the Archite15:32 Jos 16:2 was there to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head.
33David said to him, “If you go away with me, you’ll be a burden to me,
34but if you return to the city and tell Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, Your Majesty! Previously, I was your father’s servant, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can counteract Ahithophel’s counsel for me.
35Won’t the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Report everything you hear from the palace to the priests Zadok and Abiathar.
36Take note: their two sons are there with them—Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. Send them to tell me everything you hear.”
Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard
Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.