1. Then Ahithophel said to Absalom: “I will choose for myself twelve thousand men, and rising up, I will pursue David this night.
2. And rushing against him, for he is weary and has weakened hands, I will strike him. And when all the people who are with him will have fled, I will strike down the king in isolation.
3. And I will lead back the entire people, returning in the manner of one man. For you are seeking only one man. And all the people shall be in peace.”
4. And this word pleased Absalom and all those greater by birth of Israel.
5. But Absalom said, “Summon Hushai the Archite, and let us hear what he also may say.”
6. And when Hushai had gone to Absalom, Absalom said to him: “Ahithophel has spoken a word in this manner. Should we do it or not? What counsel do you give?”
7. And Hushai said to Absalom, “The counsel that Ahithophel has given at this time is not good.”
8. And again Hushai declared, “You know your father, and the men who are with him, to be very strong and bitter in soul, comparable to a bear raging in the forest when her young have been taken away. Moreover, your father is a man of war, and so he will not live among the people.
9. Perhaps now he hides in pits, or in another place, wherever he wills. And if by chance, in the beginning, anyone may fall, whoever hears about it, no matter what he has heard, will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who were following Absalom.’
10. And even the very strong, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will be weakened out of fear. For all the people of Israel know your father to be a valiant man, and that all who are with him are robust.
11. But this seems to me to be the right counsel: Let all of Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, like the sand of the sea which is innumerable. And you will be in their midst.
12. And we shall rush against him in whatever place he will have been found. And we shall cover him, as the dew usually falls upon the ground. And we shall not leave behind even one of the men who are with him.
13. And if he will enter into any city, all of Israel shall encircle that city with ropes. And we will pull it into the torrent, so that there may not be found even one small stone from it.”
14. And Absalom, with all the men of Israel, said: “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” So, by an act of the Lord, the useful counsel of Ahithophel was defeated, in order that the Lord might lead evil over Absalom.
15. And Hushai said to the priests, Zadok and Abiathar: “Ahithophel gave counsel to Absalom and to the elders of Israel in this and that manner. And I gave counsel in such and such a manner.
16. Now therefore, send quickly, and report to David, saying: ‘You shall not stay this night in the plains of the desert. Instead, without delay, go across. Otherwise the king may be engulfed, and all the people who are with him.’ ”
17. But Jonathan and Ahimaaz remained beside the Fountain of Rogel. And a handmaid went away and reported it to them. And they set out, so that they might carry the report to king David. For they could not be seen, nor enter into the city.
18. But a certain young man saw them, and he revealed it to Absalom. Yet truly, they traveled quickly and entered into the house of a certain man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court, and they descended into it.
19. Then a woman took and spread a covering over the mouth of the well, as if drying hulled barley. And so the matter was hidden.
20. And when the servants of Absalom had entered into the house, they said to the woman, “Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman responded to them, “They passed through hurriedly, after they had taken a little water.” But those who were seeking them, when they had not found them, returned to Jerusalem.
21. And when they had gone, they ascended from the well. And traveling, they reported to king David, and they said: “Rise up, and go across the river quickly. For Ahithophel has given a counsel of this kind against you.”
22. Therefore, David rose up, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed over the Jordan, until first light. And not even one of them was left behind who had not crossed over the river.
23. Then Ahithophel, seeing that his counsel had not been done, saddled his donkey, and he rose up and went away to his own house and to his own city. And putting his house in order, he killed himself by hanging. And he was buried in the sepulcher of his father.
24. Then David went to the encampment, and Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
25. Truly, Absalom appointed Amasa in place of Joab over the army. Now Amasa was the son of a man who was called Ithra of Jezrael, who entered to Abigail, the daughter of Nahash, the sister of Zeruiah, who was the mother of Joab.
26. And Israel made camp with Absalom in the land of Gilead.
27. And when David had arrived at the encampment, Shobi, the son of Nahash, from Rabbah, of the sons of Ammon, and Machir, the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai, the Gileadite of Rogelim,
28. brought to him bedding, and tapestries, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and meal, and cooked grain, and beans, and lentils, and fried chick peas,
29. and honey, and butter, sheep and fattened calves. And they gave these to David and to the people who were with him to eat. For they suspected that the people were faint with hunger and thirst in the desert.