Old Testament in a year – Day 176

2 Samuel 16: 15 - 18: 18

15Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16When Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, had come to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”
17Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your kindness to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?”
18Hushai said to Absalom, “No; but whomever the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, I will be his, and I will stay with him. 19Again, whom should I serve? Shouldn’t I serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so I will be in your presence.”
20Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your counsel what we shall do.”
21Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines that he has left to keep the house. Then all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong.”
22So they spread a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23The counsel of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man enquired at the inner sanctuary of God. All the counsel of Ahithophel both was like this with David and with Absalom.
1Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight. 2I will come on him while he is weary and exhausted, and will make him afraid. All the people who are with him will flee. I will strike the king only, 3and I will bring back all the people to you. The man whom you seek is as if all returned. All the people shall be in peace.”
4The saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel. 5Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let’s hear likewise what he says.”
6When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken like this. Shall we do what he says? If not, speak up.”
7Hushai said to Absalom, “The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good.” 8Hushai said moreover, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are fierce in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9Behold, he is now hidden in some pit, or in some other place. It will happen, when some of them have fallen at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter amongst the people who follow Absalom!’ 10Even he who is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you go to battle in your own person. 12So we will come on him in some place where he will be found, and we will light on him as the dew falls on the ground, then we will not leave so much as one of him and of all the men who are with him. 13Moreover, if he has gone into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there isn’t one small stone found there.”
14Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil on Absalom. 15Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “Ahithophel counselled Absalom and the elders of Israel that way; and I have counselled this way. 16Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, ‘Don’t lodge tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people who are with him.’”
17Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En Rogel; and a female servant used to go and tell them; and they went and told king David. For they might not be seen to come into the city. 18But a boy saw them, and told Absalom. Then they both went away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down there. 19The woman took and spread the covering over the well’s mouth, and spread out crushed grain on it; and nothing was known. 20Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house; and they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”
The woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.”
When they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21After they had departed, they came up out of the well, and went and told king David; and they said to David, “Arise and pass quickly over the water; for thus has Ahithophel counselled against you.”
22Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they passed over the Jordan. By the morning light there lacked not one of them who had not gone over the Jordan. 23When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey, arose, and went home, to his city, and set his house in order, and hanged himself; and he died, and was buried in the tomb of his father. 24Then David came to Mahanaim. Absalom passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25Absalom set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27When David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28brought beds, basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans, lentils, roasted grain, 29honey, butter, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David, and for the people who were with him, to eat; for they said, “The people are hungry, weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.”
1David counted the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2David sent the people out, a third part under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the people, “I will also surely go out with you myself.”
3But the people said, “You shall not go out; for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore now it is better that you are ready to help us out of the city.”
4The king said to them, “I will do what seems best to you.”
The king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. 5The king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom.” All the people heard when the king commanded all the captains concerning Absalom.
6So the people went out into the field against Israel; and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim. 7The people of Israel were struck there before David’s servants, and there was a great slaughter there that day of twenty thousand men. 8For the battle was there spread over the surface of all the country, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. 9Absalom happened to meet David’s servants. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the sky and earth; and the mule that was under him went on. 10A certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.”
11Joab said to the man who told him, “Behold, you saw it, and why didn’t you strike him there to the ground? I would have given you ten pieces of silver, and a sash.”
12The man said to Joab, “Though I should receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I still wouldn’t stretch out my hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ‘Beware that no one touch the young man Absalom.’ 13Otherwise if I had dealt falsely against his life (and there is no matter hidden from the king), then you yourself would have set yourself against me.”
14Then Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this with you.” He took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the middle of the oak. 15Ten young men who bore Joab’s armour surrounded and struck Absalom, and killed him. 16Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel; for Joab held the people back. 17They took Absalom and cast him into a great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of stones. Then all Israel fled, each to his own tent. 18Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself the pillar which is in the king’s valley, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in memory.” He called the pillar after his own name. It is called Absalom’s monument, to this day.
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