April 11

2 Samuel 15:23 — 17:29

 And all the people of the land were weeping with a loud voice, and all the people were crossing over, and the king was standing by the torrent valley of Kidron, and all the people were crossing over upon the open road to the wilderness. 24 And here also there were Zadok and with him all the Levites carrying the ark of the covenant of the [true] God; and they proceeded to set the ark of the [true] God down by Abiathar until all the people completed crossing over from the city. 25 But the king said to Zadok: “Take the ark of the [true] God back to the city. If I shall find favor in the eyes of Jehovah, he will also certainly bring me back and let me see it and its abiding place. 26 But if this is what he should say, ‘I have found no delight in you,’ here I am, let him do to me just as it is good in his eyes.” 27 And the king went on to say to Zadok the priest: “You are a seer, are you? Do return to the city in peace, and also Ahimaaz your son and Jonathan the son of Abiathar, the two sons of YOU men, with YOU. 28 See, I am lingering by the fords of the wilderness until word comes from YOU men to inform me.” 29 Accordingly Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of the [true] God back to Jerusalem, and they continued to dwell there.

30 And David was going up by the ascent of the Olives, weeping as he went up, with his head covered; and he was walking barefoot, and all the people that were with him covered each one his head, and they went up weeping as they went up. 31 And to David the report was made, saying: “Ahithophel himself is among those conspiring with Absalom.” At this David said: “Turn, please, the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness, O Jehovah!”

32 And it came about that when David himself came to the summit where people used to bow down to God, here to meet him was Hushai the Archite, with his robe ripped apart and dirt upon his head. 33 However, David said to him: “If you actually went across with me, you would then certainly become a load upon me. 34 But if you return to the city and you actually say to Absalom, ‘I am your servant, O King. I used to prove myself the servant of your father, even I at that time, but now even I am your servant,’ you must then frustrate the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests there with you? And it must occur that everything that you may hear from the house of the king you should tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Look! There with them are their two sons, Ahimaaz belonging to Zadok and Jonathan belonging to Abiathar; and by means of them YOU men must send to me everything that YOU may hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s companion, came into the city. As for Absalom, he proceeded to come into Jerusalem.

16 When David himself had crossed over a little beyond the summit, there was Ziba the attendant of Mephibosheth to meet him with a couple of asses saddled and upon them two hundred loaves of bread and a hundred cakes of raisins and a hundred loads of summer fruit and a large jar of wine. 2 Then the king said to Ziba: “What do these things mean on your part?” To this Ziba said: “The asses are for the household of the king to ride, and the bread and the load of summer fruit are for the young men to eat, and the wine is for the one tired out in the wilderness to drink.” 3 The king now said: “And where is the son of your master?” At this Ziba said to the king: “There he is dwelling in Jerusalem; for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give back to me the royal rule of my father.’” 4 The king then said to Ziba: “Look! Yours is everything that belongs to Mephibosheth.” Upon that Ziba said: “I do bow down. Let me find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.”

5 And King David came as far as Bahurim, and, look! coming out from there was a man of the family of Saul’s house, and his name was Shimei, the son of Gera, coming out and calling down evil as he came out. 6 And he began throwing stones at David and at all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the mighty men were at his right and at his left. 7 And this is what Shimei said as he called down evil: “Get out, get out, you bloodguilty man and good-for-nothing man! 8 Jehovah has brought back upon you all the bloodguilt for the house of Saul in place of whom you have ruled as king; and Jehovah gives the kingship into the hand of Absalom your son. And here you are in your calamity, because you are a bloodguilty man!”

9 Finally Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king: “Why should this dead dog call down evil upon my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and take off his head.” 10 But the king said: “What do I have to do with YOU men, YOU sons of Zeruiah? Thus let him call down evil, because Jehovah himself has said to him, ‘Call down evil upon David!’ So who should say, ‘Why did you do that way?’” 11 And David went on to say to Abishai and all his servants: “Here my own son, who has come forth out of my own inward parts, is looking for my soul; and how much more now a Benjaminite! Let him alone that he may call down evil, for Jehovah has said so to him! 12 Perhaps Jehovah will see with his eye, and Jehovah will actually restore to me goodness instead of his malediction this day.” 13 With that David and his men kept going on in the road, while Shimei was walking on the side of the mountain, walking abreast of him that he might call down evil; and he kept throwing stones while abreast of him, and he threw a lot of dust.

14 At length the king and all the people that were with him arrived tired. So they refreshed themselves there.

15 As for Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, they entered Jerusalem; and Ahithophel was with him. 16 And it came about that, as soon as Hushai the Archite, David’s companion, came in to Absalom, Hushai proceeded to say to Absalom: “Let the king live! Let the king live!” 17 At this Absalom said to Hushai: “This is the loving-kindness of yours toward your companion, is it? Why did you not go with your companion?” 18 So Hushai said to Absalom: “No; but the one whom Jehovah has chosen and also this people and all the men of Israel, his I shall become, and with him I shall dwell. 19 And for the second time [I must say], Whom shall I myself serve? Is it not before his son? Just as I served before your father, so I shall prove to be before you.”

20 Later Absalom said to Ahithophel: “YOU men, give counsel on YOUR part. What shall we do?” 21 Then Ahithophel said to Absalom: “Have relations with the concubines of your father, whom he left behind to take care of the house. And all Israel will certainly hear that you have made yourself foul-smelling to your father, and the hands of all those who are with you will certainly become strong.” 22 Accordingly they pitched a tent for Absalom upon the roof, and Absalom began to have relations with the concubines of his father under the eyes of all Israel.

23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, with which he counseled in those days, was just as when a man would inquire of the word of the [true] God. That was the way all the counsel of Ahithophel was both to David and to Absalom.

17 And Ahithophel proceeded to say to Absalom: “Let me choose, please, twelve thousand men and rise up and chase after David tonight. 2 And I shall come upon him when he is weary and feeble in both hands, and I shall certainly drive him into trembling; and all the people that are with him will have to flee, and I shall certainly strike down the king by himself. 3 And let me bring all the people back to you. Equivalent to the returning of all is the man whom you are seeking; [and] all the people will themselves come to be at peace.” 4 And the word was just right in the eyes of Absalom and in the eyes of all the older men of Israel.

5 However, Absalom said: “Call, please, Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what is in his mouth, even his.” 6 So Hushai came in to Absalom. Then Absalom said to him: “According to this word is the way Ahithophel spoke. Shall we act upon his word? If not, you yourself speak.” 7 At this Hushai said to Absalom: “The counsel with which Ahithophel has counseled is not good in this instance!”

8 And Hushai went on to say: “You yourself well know your father and the men of his, that they are mighty, and they are bitter of soul, like a female bear that has lost her cubs in the field; and your father is a warrior, and he will not spend the night with the people. 9 Look! Now he is in hiding in one of the hollows or in one of the other places; and it will certainly occur that, just as soon as he falls upon them at the start, the one hearing of it will then be bound to hear and say, ‘A defeat has taken place among the people that are following Absalom!’ 10 And even the valiant man whose heart is as the heart of the lion will himself surely soften in weakness; for all Israel is aware that your father is a mighty man and so, too, are the valiant men that are with him. 11 I myself do say in counsel: Let all Israel without fail be gathered to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, as the sand particles that are by the sea for multitude, with your own person going into the fight. 12 And we must come against him in one of the places where he is certain to be found, and we ourselves will be upon him just as the dew falls upon the ground; and there will certainly not be left even a single one among him and all the men that are with him. 13 And if it is into some city that he will withdraw, all Israel must also carry ropes to that city, and we shall certainly drag it down to the torrent valley, until there shall not be found there even a pebble.”

14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said: “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel!” And Jehovah himself had given command to frustrate the counsel of Ahithophel although good, in order that Jehovah might bring calamity upon Absalom.

15 Later Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests: “This and that was the way that Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the older men of Israel; and this and that was the way that I myself counseled. 16 And now send speedily and tell David, saying, ‘Do not lodge in the desert plains of the wilderness tonight, but you also ought to cross over without fail, for fear that the king and all the people that are with him may be swallowed up.’”

17 As Jonathan and Ahimaaz were standing at En-rogel, a maidservant went off and told them. So they themselves went off, as they had to tell King David; for they were not able to appear entering the city. 18 However, a young man got to see them and told Absalom. So the two of them went off speedily and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard; and they went down into it. 19 After that the woman took and spread out a screen over the face of the well and heaped up cracked grain upon it; and not a thing became known of it. 20 The servants of Absalom now came to the woman at her house and said: “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” At this the woman said to them: “They passed on from here to the waters.” Then they kept on searching, and they did not find them and so returned to Jerusalem.

21 And it came about after their going away that then they came up out of the well and went on and told King David and said to David: “YOU people, rise up and speedily pass over the waters; for this is the way that Ahithophel counseled against YOU.” 22 Immediately David rose up and also all the people that were with him, and they kept crossing the Jordan until the morning became light, until not a one was lacking that had not passed over the Jordan.

23 As for Ahithophel, he saw that his counsel had not been acted upon, and he proceeded to saddle an ass and rise up and go off to his house at his own city. Then he gave commands to his household and strangled himself and thus died. So he was buried in the burial place of his forefathers.

24 As for David, he came to Mahanaim, and Absalom himself crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Amasa was the one whom Absalom put in the place of Joab over the army; and Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who had relations with Abigail the daughter of Nahash, the sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom took up camping in the land of Gilead.

27 And it came about that, as soon as David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim 28 [brought] beds and basins and potter’s vessels, and wheat and barley and flour and roasted grain and broad beans and lentils and parched grain; 29 and honey and butter and sheep and curds of cattle they brought forward for David and the people that were with him to eat, for they said: “The people are hungry and tired and thirsty in the wilderness.”