2Samuel (NAB) 11
11 1 At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David rose from his siesta and strolled about on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful.3 David had inquiries made about the woman and was told, "She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of (Joab's armor-bearer) Uriah the Hittite."4 Then David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he had relations with her, at a time when she was just purified after her monthly period. She then returned to her house.5 But the woman had conceived, and sent the information to David, "I am with child."
6 David therefore sent a message to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David.7 When he came, David questioned him about Joab, the soldiers, and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well.8 David then said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and bathe your feet." Uriah left the palace, and a portion was sent out after him from the king's table.9 But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down to his own house.10 David was told that Uriah had not gone home. So he said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why, then, did you not go down to your house?"11 Uriah answered David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are lodged in tents, and my lord Joab and your majesty's servants are encamped in the open field. Can I go home to eat and to drink and to sleep with my wife? As the LORD lives and as you live, I will do no such thing."12 Then David said to Uriah, "Stay here today also, I shall dismiss you tomorrow." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the day following,13 David summoned him, and he ate and drank with David, who made him drunk. But in the evening he went out to sleep on his bed among his lord's servants, and did not go down to his home.
14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab which he sent by Uriah.15 In it he directed: "Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead."16 So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew the defenders were strong.17 When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab, some officers of David's army fell, and among them Uriah the Hittite died.18 Then Joab sent David a report of all the details of the battle,19 instructing the messenger, "When you have finished giving the king all the details of the battle,20 the king may become angry and say to you: 'Why did you go near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall above?21 Who killed Abimelech, son of Jerubbaal? Was it not a woman who threw a millstone down on him from the wall above, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall?' Then you in turn shall say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.'"22 The messenger set out, and on his arrival he relayed to David all the details as Joab had instructed him. 23 He told David: "The men had us at a disadvantage and came out into the open against us, but we pushed them back to the entrance of the city gate.24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall above, and some of the king's servants died, among them your servant Uriah."25 David said to the messenger: "This is what you shall convey to Joab: 'Do not be chagrined at this, for the sword devours now here and now there. Strengthen your attack on the city and destroy it.' Encourage him."26 When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband had died, she mourned her lord.27 But once the mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her into his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. But the LORD was displeased with what David had done.
12 1 The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, he said: "Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. 2 The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers.3 But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She shared the little food he had and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom. She was like a daughter to him.4 Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he would not take from his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Instead he took the poor man's ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor."5 David grew very angry with that man and said to Nathan: "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death!6 He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold because he has done this and has had no pity."7 Then Nathan said to David: "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king of Israel. I rescued you from the hand of Saul.8 I gave you your lord's house and your lord's wives for your own. I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were not enough, I could count up for you still more.9 Why have you spurned the LORD and done evil in his sight? You have cut down Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you took his wife as your own, and him you killed with the sword of the Ammonites.10 Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.'11 Thus says the LORD: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.12 You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'"13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan answered David: "The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die.14 But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die."
15 Then Nathan returned to his house. The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David, and it became desperately ill.
16 David besought God for the child. He kept a fast, retiring for the night to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth.17 The elders of his house stood beside him urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor would he take food with them.18 On the seventh day, the child died. David's servants, however, were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said: "When the child was alive, we spoke to him, but he would not listen to what we said. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do some harm!"19 But David noticed his servants whispering among themselves and realized that the child was dead. He asked his servants, "Is the child dead?" They replied, "Yes, he is."20 Rising from the ground, David washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the house of the LORD and worshiped. He returned to his own house, where at his request food was set before him, and he ate.21 His servants said to him: "What is this you are doing? While the child was living, you fasted and wept and kept vigil; now that the child is dead, you rise and take food."22 He replied: "While the child was living, I fasted and wept, thinking, 'Perhaps the LORD will grant me the child's life.'23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."
24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went and slept with her; and she conceived and bore him a son, who was named Solomon. The LORD loved him25 and sent the prophet Nathan to name him Jedidiah, on behalf of the LORD.
26 Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured this royal city.27 He sent messengers to David with the word: "I have fought against Rabbah and have taken the water-city.28 Therefore, assemble the rest of the soldiers, join the siege against the city and capture it, lest it be I that capture the city and it be credited to me."29 So David assembled the rest of the soldiers and went to Rabbah. When he had fought against it and captured it,30 he took the crown from Milcom's head. It weighed a talent, of gold and precious stones; it was placed on David's head. He brought out immense booty from the city, 31 and also led away the inhabitants, whom he assigned to work with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, or put to work at the brickmold. This is what he did to all the Ammonite cities. David and all the soldiers then returned to Jerusalem.
13 1 Some time later the following incident occurred. David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David's son Amnon loved her.2 He was in such straits over his sister Tamar that he became sick; since she was a virgin, Amnon thought it impossible to carry out his designs toward her.3 Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, son of David's brother Shimeah, who was very clever.4 He asked him, "Prince, why are you so dejected morning after morning? Why not tell me?" So Amnon said to him, "I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."5 Then Jonadab replied, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to visit you, say to him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and encourage me to take food. If she prepares something appetizing in my presence, for me to see, I will eat it from her hand.'"6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to visit him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and prepare some fried cakes before my eyes, that I may take nourishment from her hand."7 David then sent home a message to Tamar, "Please go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some nourishment for him."8 Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was in bed. Taking dough and kneading it, she twisted it into cakes before his eyes and fried the cakes.9 Then she took the pan and set out the cakes before him. But Amnon would not eat; he said, "Have everyone leave me." When they had all left him,10 Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the nourishment into the bedroom, that I may have it from your hand." So Tamar picked up the cakes she had prepared and brought them to her brother Amnon in the bedroom.11 But when she brought them to him to eat, he seized her and said to her, "Come! Lie with me, my sister!"12 But she answered him, "No my brother! Do not shame me! That is an intolerable crime in Israel. Do not commit this insensate deed.13 Where would I take my shame? And you would be a discredited man in Israel. So please, speak to the king; he will not keep me from you."14 Not heeding her plea, he overpowered her; he shamed her and had relations with her.15 Then Amnon conceived an intense hatred for her, which far surpassed the love he had had for her. "Get up and leave," he said to her.16 She replied, "No, brother, because to drive me out would be far worse than the first injury you have done me." He would not listen to her,17 but called the youth who was his attendant and said, "Put her outside, away from me, and bar the door after her."18 Now she had on a long tunic, for that is how maiden princesses dressed in olden days. When his attendant put her out and barred the door after her,19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long tunic in which she was clothed. Then, putting her hands to her head, she went away crying loudly.20 Her brother Absalom said to her: "Has your brother Amnon been with you? Be still now, my sister; he is your brother. Do not take this affair to heart." But Tamar remained grief-stricken and forlorn in the house of her brother Absalom.
21 King David, who got word of the whole affair, became very angry. He did not, however, spark the resentment of his son Amnon, whom he favored because he was his first-born.22 Absalom, moreover, said nothing at all to Amnon, although he hated him for having shamed his sister Tamar.
23 After a period of two years, Absalom had shearers in Baalhazor near Ephraim, and he invited all the princes.24 Absalom went to the king and said: "Your servant is having shearers. Please, your majesty, come with all your retainers to your servant."25 But the King said to Absalom, "No, my son, all of us should not go lest we be a burden to you." And though Absalom urged him, he refused to go and began to bid him good-bye.26 Absalom then said, "If you will not come yourself, please let my brother Amnon come to us." The king asked him, "Why should he go to you?"27 At Absalom's urging, however, he sent Amnon and all the other princes with him. Absalom prepared a banquet fit for royalty.28 But he had instructed his servants: "Now watch! When Amnon is merry with wine and I say to you, 'Kill Amnon,' put him to death. Do not be afraid, for it is I who order you to do it. Be resolute and act manfully."29 When the servants did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded, all the other princes rose, mounted their mules, and fled.
30 While they were still on the road, a report reached David that Absalom had killed all the princes and that not one of them had survived.31 The king stood up, rent his garments, and then lay on the ground. All his servants standing by him also rent their garments.32 But Jonadab, son of David's brother Shimeah, spoke up: "Let not my lord think that all the young princes have been killed! Amnon alone is dead, for Absalom was determined on this ever since Amnon shamed his sister Tamar.33 So let not my lord the king put faith in the report that all the princes are dead. Amnon alone is dead."34 Meanwhile, Absalom had taken flight. Then the servant on watch looked about and saw a large group coming down the slope from the direction of Bahurim. He came in and reported this, telling the king that he had seen some men coming down the mountainside from the direction of Bahurim.35 So Jonadab said to the king: "There! The princes have come. It is as your servant said."36 No sooner had he finished speaking than the princes came in, weeping aloud. The king, too, and all his servants wept very bitterly.
37 But Absalom, who had taken flight, went to Talmai, son of Ammihud, king of Geshur,38 and stayed in Geshur for three years.
39 The king continued during all that time to mourn over his son; but his longing reached out for Absalom as he became reconciled to the death of Amnon.
14 1 When Joab, son of Zeruiah, observed how the king felt toward Absalom,2 he sent to Tekoa and brought from there a gifted woman, to whom he said: "Pretend to be in mourning. Put on mourning apparel and do not anoint yourself with oil, that you may appear to be a woman who has been long in mourning for a departed one.3 Then go to the king and speak to him in this manner." And Joab instructed her what to say.4 So the woman of Tekoa went to the king and fell prostrate to the ground in homage, saying, "Help, your majesty!"5 The king said to her, "What do you want?" She replied: "Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead.6 Your servant had two sons, who quarreled in the field. There being no one to part them, one of them struck his brother and killed him.7 Then the whole clan confronted your servant and demanded: 'Give up the one who killed his brother. We must put him to death for the life of his brother whom he has slain; we must extinguish the heir also.' Thus they will quench my remaining hope and leave my husband neither name nor posterity upon the earth." 8 The king then said to the woman: "Go home. I will issue a command on your behalf."9 The woman of Tekoa answered him, "Let me and my family be to blame, my lord king; you and your throne are innocent."10 Then the king said, "If anyone says a word to you, have him brought to me, and he shall not touch you again."11 But she went on to say, "Please, your majesty, keep in mind the LORD your God, that the avenger of blood may not go too far in destruction and that my son may not be done away with." He replied, "As the LORD lives, not a hair of your son shall fall to the ground."12 The woman continued, "Please let your servant say still another word to my lord the king." He replied, "Speak."13 So the woman said: "Why, then, do you think of this same kind of thing against the people of God? In pronouncing as he has, the king shows himself guilty, for not bringing back his own banished son.14 We must indeed die; we are then like water that is poured out on the ground and cannot be gathered up. Yet, though God does not bring back life, he does take thought how not to banish anyone from him. 15 And now, if I have presumed to speak of this matter to your majesty, it is because the people have given me cause to fear. And so your servant thought: 'Let me speak to the king. Perhaps he will grant the petition of his maidservant.16 For the king must surely consent to free his servant from the grasp of one who would seek to destroy me and my son as well from God's inheritance.'"17 And the woman concluded: "Let the word of my lord the king provide a resting place; indeed, my lord the king is like an angel of God, evaluating good and bad. The LORD your God be with you." 18 The king answered the woman, "Now do not conceal from me anything I may ask you!" The woman said, "Let my lord the king speak."19 So the king asked, "Is Joab involved with you in all this?" And the woman answered: "As you live, my lord the king, it is just as your majesty has said, and not otherwise. It was your servant Joab who instructed me and told your servant all these things she was to say.20 Your servant Joab did this to come at the issue in a roundabout way. But my lord is as wise as an angel of God, so that he knows all things on earth."
21 Then the king said to Joab: "I hereby grant this request. Go, therefore, and bring back young Absalom."22 Falling prostrate to the ground in homage and blessing the king, Joab said, "This day I know that I am in good favor with you, my lord the king, since the king has granted the request of his servant."23 Joab then went off to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.24 But the king said, "Let him go to his own house; he shall not appear before me." So Absalom went off to his house and did not appear before the king.
25 In all Israel there was not a man who could so be praised for his beauty as Absalom, who was without blemish from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.26 When he shaved his head-- which he used to do at the end of every year, because his hair became too heavy for him-- the hair weighed two hundred shekels according to the royal standard.27 Absalom had three sons born to him, besides a daughter named Tamar, who was a beautiful woman.
28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without appearing before the king.29 Then he summoned Joab to send him to the king, but Joab would not come to him. Although he summoned him a second time, Joab refused to come.30 He therefore instructed his servants: "You see Joab's field that borders mine, on which he has barley. Go, set it on fire." And so Absalom's servants set the field on fire. Joab's farmhands came to him with torn garments and reported to him what had been done.31 At this, Joab went to Absalom in his house and asked him, "Why have your servants set my field on fire?"32 Absalom answered Joab: "I was summoning you to come here, that I may send you to the king to say: 'Why did I come back from Geshur? I would be better off if I were still there!' Now, let me appear before the king. If I am guilty, let him put me to death."33 Joab went to the king and reported this. The king then called Absalom, who came to him and in homage fell on his face to the ground before the king. Then the king kissed him.
15 1 After this Absalom provided himself with chariots, horses, and fifty henchmen.2 Moreover, Absalom used to rise early and stand alongside the road leading to the gate. If someone had a lawsuit to be decided by the king, Absalom would call to him and say, "From what city are you?" And when he replied, "Your servant is of such and such a tribe of Israel,"3 Absalom would say to him, "Your suit is good and just, but there is no one to hear you in the king's name."4 And he would continue: "If only I could be appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a lawsuit to be decided might come to me and I would render him justice."5 Whenever a man approached him to show homage, he would extend his hand, hold him, and kiss him.6 By behaving in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king for judgment, Absalom was stealing away the loyalties of the men of Israel.
7 After a period of four years, Absalom said to the king: "Allow me to go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD.8 For while living in Geshur in Aram, your servant made this vow: 'If the LORD ever brings me back to Jerusalem, I will worship him in Hebron.'"9 The king wished him a safe journey, and he went off to Hebron.10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout the tribes of Israel to say, "When you hear the sound of the horn, declare Absalom king in Hebron."11 Two hundred men had accompanied Absalom from Jerusalem. They had been invited and went in good faith, knowing nothing of the plan.12 Absalom also sent to Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, an invitation to come from his town, Giloh, for the sacrifices he was about to offer. So the conspiracy gained strength, and the people with Absalom increased in numbers.
13 An informant came to David with the report, "The Israelites have transferred their loyalty to Absalom."14 At this, David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem: "Up! Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us, then visit disaster upon us and put the city to the sword."15 The king's officers answered him, "Your servants are ready, whatever our lord the king chooses to do."16 Then the king set out, accompanied by his entire household, except for ten concubines whom he left behind to take care of the palace.17 As the king left the city, with all his officers accompanying him, they halted opposite the ascent of the Mount of Olives, at a distance,18 while the whole army marched past him.As all the Cherethites and Pelethites, and the six hundred men of Gath who had accompanied him from that city, were passing in review before the king,19 he said to Ittai the Gittite: "Why should you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and you, too, are an exile from your own country.20 You came only yesterday, and shall I have you wander about with us today, wherever I have to go? Return and take your brothers with you, and may the LORD be kind and faithful to you."21 But Ittai answered the king, "As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, your servant shall be wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life."22 So the king said to Ittai, "Go, then, march on." And Ittai the Gittite, with all his men and all the dependents that were with him, marched on.23 Everyone in the countryside wept aloud as the last of the soldiers went by, and the king crossed the Kidron Valley with all the soldiers moving on ahead of him by way of the Mount of Olives, toward the desert.
24 Zadok, too (with all the Levite bearers of the ark of the covenant of God), and Abiathar brought the ark of God to a halt until the soldiers had marched out of the city.25 Then the king said to Zadok: "Take the ark of God back to the city. If I find favor with the LORD, he will bring me back and permit me to see it and its lodging.26 But if he should say, 'I am not pleased with you,' I am ready; let him do to me as he sees fit."27 The king also said to the priest Zadok: "See to it that you and Abiathar return to the city in peace, and both your sons with you, your own son Ahimaaz, and Abiathar's son Jonathan.28 Remember, I shall be waiting at the fords near the desert until I receive information from you."29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and remained there.
30 As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. All those who were with him also had their heads covered and were weeping as they went.
31 When David was informed that Ahithophel was among the conspirators with Absalom, he said, "O LORD, turn the counsel of Ahithophel to folly!"
32 When David reached the top, where men used to worship God, Hushai the Archite was there to meet him, with rent garments and dirt upon his head.33 David said to him: "If you come with me, you will be a burden to me.34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, 'Let me be your servant, O king; I was formerly your father's servant, but now I will be yours,' you will undo for me the counsel of Ahithophel.35 You will have the priests Zadok and Abiathar there with you. If you hear anything from the royal palace, you shall report it to the priests Zadok and Abiathar,36 who have there with them both Zadok's son Ahimaaz and Abiathar's son Jonathan. Through them you shall send on to me whatever you hear."37 So David's friend Hushai went into the city of Jerusalem as Absalom was about to enter it.
16 1 David had gone a little beyond the top when Ziba, the servant of Meribbaal, met him with saddled asses laden with two hundred loaves of bread, an ephah of cakes of pressed raisins, an ephah of summer fruits, and a skin of wine.2 The king said to Ziba, "What do you plan to do with these?" Ziba replied: "The asses are for the king's household to ride on. The bread and summer fruits are for your servants to eat, and the wine for those to drink who are weary in the desert."3 Then the king said, "And where is your lord's son?" Ziba answered the king, "He is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, 'Now the Israelites will restore to me my father's kingdom.'"4 The king therefore said to Ziba, "So! Everything Meribbaal had is yours." Then Ziba said: "I pay you homage, my lord the king. May I find favor with you!"
5 As David was approaching Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera of the same clan as Saul's family, was coming out of the place, cursing as he came.6 He threw stones at David and at all the king's officers, even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard, were on David's right and on his left.7 Shimei was saying as he cursed: "Away, away, you murderous and wicked man!8 The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul, in whose stead you became king, and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer." 9 Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and lop off his head."10 But the king replied: "What business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, 'Why are you doing this?'"11 Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants: "If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life, how much more might this Benjaminite do so! Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.12 Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day."13 David and his men continued on the road, while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside, all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.14 The king and all the soldiers with him arrived at the Jordan tired out, and stopped there for a rest.
15 In the meantime Absalom, accompanied by Ahithophel, entered Jerusalem with all the Israelites.16 When David's friend Hushai the Archite came to Absalom, he said to him: "Long live the king! Long live the king!"17 But Absalom asked Hushai: "Is this your devotion to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?"18 Hushai replied to Absalom: "On the contrary, I am his whom the LORD and all this people and all Israel have chosen, and with him I will stay.19 Furthermore, as I was in attendance upon your father, so will I be before you. Whom should I serve, if not his son?"
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Offer your counsel on what we should do."21 Ahithophel replied to Absalom: "Have relations with your father's concubines, whom he left behind to take care of the palace. When all Israel hears how odious you have made yourself to your father, all your partisans will take courage."22 So a tent was pitched on the roof for Absalom, and he visited his father's concubines in view of all Israel.23 Now the counsel given by Ahithophel at that time was as though one had sought divine revelation. Such was all his counsel both to David and to Absalom.
17 1 Ahithophel went on to say to Absalom: "Please let me choose twelve thousand men, and be off in pursuit of David tonight.2 If I come upon him when he is weary and discouraged, I shall cause him panic. When all the people with him flee, I shall strike down the king alone.3 Then I can bring back the rest of the people to you, as a bride returns to her husband. It is the death of only one man you are seeking; then all the people will be at peace."4 This plan was agreeable to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.
5 Then Absalom said, "Now call Hushai the Archite also; let us hear what he too has to say."6 When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him: "This is what Ahithophel proposed. Shall we follow his proposal? If not, speak up."7 Hushai replied to Absalom, "This time Ahithophel has not given good counsel."8 And he went on to say: "You know that your father and his men are warriors, and that they are as fierce as a bear in the wild robbed of her cubs. Moreover, since your father is skilled in warfare, he will not spend the night with the people.9 Even now he lies hidden in one of the caves or in some other place. And if some of our soldiers should fall at the first attack, whoever hears of it will say, 'Absalom's followers have been slaughtered.'10 Then even the brave man with the heart of a lion will lose courage. For all Israel knows that your father is a warrior and that those who are with him are brave.11 "This is what I counsel: Let all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba, who are as numerous as the sands by the sea, be called up for combat; and go with them yourself.12 We can then attack him wherever we find him, settling down upon him as dew alights on the ground. None shall survive-- neither he nor any of his followers.13 And if he retires into a city, all Israel shall bring ropes to that city and we can drag it into the gorge, so that not even a pebble of it can be found."14 Then Absalom and all the Israelites pronounced the counsel of Hushai the Archite better than that of Ahithophel. For the LORD had decided to undo Ahithophel's good counsel, in order thus to bring Absalom to ruin.
15 Then Hushai said to the priests Zadok and Abiathar: "This is the counsel Ahithophel gave Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is what I counseled.16 So send a warning to David immediately, not to spend the night at the fords near the desert, but to cross over without fail. Otherwise the king and all the people with him will be destroyed."17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, since they could not risk being seen entering the city. A maidservant was to come with information for them, and they in turn were to go and report to King David.18 But an attendant saw them and informed Absalom. They sped on their way and reached the house of a man in Bahurim who had a cistern in his courtyard. They let themselves down into this,19 and the housewife took the cover and spread it over the cistern, strewing ground grain on the cover so that nothing could be noticed.20 When Absalom's servants came to the woman at the house, they asked, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" The woman replied, "They went by a short while ago toward the water." They searched, but found no one, and so returned to Jerusalem.21 As soon as they left, Ahimaaz and Jonathan came up out of the cistern and went on to inform King David. They said to him: "Leave! Cross the water at once, for Ahithophel has given the following counsel in regard to you."
22 So David and all his people moved on and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, there was no one left who had not crossed.23 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not acted upon, he saddled his ass and departed, going to his home in his own city. Then, having left orders concerning his family, he hanged himself. And so he died and was buried in his father's tomb.
24 Now David had gone to Mahanaim when Absalom crossed the Jordan accompanied by all the Israelites.25 Absalom had put Amasa in command of the army in Joab's place. Amasa was the son of an Ishmaelite named Ithra, who had married Abigail, daughter of Jesse and sister of Joab's mother Zeruiah.26 Israel and Absalom encamped in the territory of Gilead.27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi, son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Machir, son of Ammiel from Lodebar, and Barzillai, the Gileadite from Rogelim,28 brought couches, coverlets, basins and earthenware, as well as wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils,29 honey, butter and cheese from the flocks and herds, for David and those who were with him to eat; for they said, "The people have been hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert."
2Samuel (NAB) 11