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2 Samuel 15

1 After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
2 And Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. And so it was, whenever anyone who had a dispute came to the king for judgment, that Absalom would call to him and say, What city are you from? And he would say, Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.
3 Then Absalom would say to him, Behold, your case is good and right; but there is no one from the king to hear you.
4 Moreover Absalom would say, Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has a dispute or case could come to me, and I would give him justice.
5 And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he put out his hand and took him and kissed him.
6 In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. Thus Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And it came to pass after forty years that Absalom said to the king, Please, let me go to Hebron and pay the vow which I have vowed unto Jehovah.
8 For your servant has vowed a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Syria, saying, If Jehovah brings me back to Jerusalem, then I shall serve Jehovah.
9 And the king said to him, Go in peace. So he arose and went to Hebron.
10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the shofar, then you shall say, Absalom is king in Hebron!
11 And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently and did not know anything.
12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city, from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased.
13 And a messenger came to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.
14 And David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; or we shall not escape before Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring evil upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.
15 And the king's servants said to the king, We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.
16 And the king went out with all his household at his feet. But the king left ten women, concubines, to keep the house.
17 And the king went out with all the people at his feet, and stopped at the last house of the settlement.
18 And all his servants passed before him; and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, were passing on before the king.
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, Why are you also going with us? Return to your place and remain with the king. For you are a foreigner and also an exile.
20 You came only recently. Should I make you go here and there with us this day, since I am going wherever I can? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you.
21 And Ittai answered the king and said, As Jehovah lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be.
22 And David said to Ittai, Go, and cross over. Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over.
23 And all the land was weeping with a loud voice, and all the people were crossing over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.
24 And behold Zadok 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 Abiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over out of the city.
25 And the king said to Zadok, Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of Jehovah, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place.
26 But if He says thus: I have not delighted in you, then behold, here am I, let Him do to me as is good in His eyes.
27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28 See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to report to me.
29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.
30 And David went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went up; and he had his head covered and was going barefoot. And all the people with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.
31 And someone reported to David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O Jehovah, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!
32 And it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he bowed down before God, that behold Hushai the Archite was coming to meet him with his tunic torn and earth on his head.
33 And David said to him, If you go on with me, then you will become a burden to me.
34 But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, I will be your servant, O king; as I was your father's servant previously, so I will now also be your servant, then you may frustrate the counsel of Ahithophel for me.
35 And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king's house, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.
36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son; and by their hands you shall send to me everything you hear.
37 So Hushai, David's friend, went into the city. And Absalom came into Jerusalem.
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