2 Samuel 15 ©

Absalom, having stolen the hearts of the people by subtle practices, v. 1, etc., goes under the pretense of a vow, with his father’s leave, to Hebron, but makes there, with Ahithophel’s aid, a great conspiracy, aspiring to be king, 7. David, hearing thereof, escapes in haste with all his men out of Jerusalem, leaving there only some of his concubines, 13.


AND it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to 1run before him.


And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the 2gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of 3one of the tribes of Israel.


And Absalom said unto him, 4See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no 5man deputed of the king to hear thee.


Absalom said moreover, 6Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!


And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.


7And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom 8stole the hearts of the men of Israel.


¶And it came to pass after 9forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my 10vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in 11Hebron.


For 12thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at 13Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me 14again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will 15serve the LORD.


And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.


¶But Absalom sent 16spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom 17reigneth in Hebron.


And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were 18called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.


And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from 19Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.


¶And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.


And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else 20escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and 21bring evil upon us, and smite the 22city 23with the edge of the sword.


And the king's servants said unto the king, 24Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.


And the king went forth, and all his household 25after him. And the king left 26ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.


And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was 27far off.


And all his 28servants passed on beside him; and all thea29Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which 30came after him 31from Gath, passed on before the king.


¶Then said the king to 32Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the 33king: for thou art a 34stranger, and also an exile.


Whereas thou camest but 35yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: 36mercy and truth be with thee.


And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.


And David said to Ittai, Go and pass 37over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.


And all the 38country wept with a 39loud voice, and all the people 40passed over: the king also himself passed over the brookb41Kidron, and all the people passed over, 42toward the way of the 43wilderness.


¶And lo 44Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and 45Abiathar 46went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.


And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and 47his habitation:


But if he thus say, 48I have no delight in thee; 49behold, here am I, let him do to me 50as seemeth good unto him.


The king said also unto Zadok the priest, 51Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.


See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come 52word from you to certify me.


Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there.


¶And David went up by the ascent 53of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head 54covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.


55And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, 56turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.


¶And it came to pass, that when David was come to the 57top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat 58rent, and earth upon his head:


Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto 59me:


But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be 60thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father’s servant 61hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.


62And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.


Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by 63them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear.


So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.