The Message

2 Samuel 17

11-3 Next Ahithophel advised Absalom, “Let me handpick twelve thousand men and go after David tonight. I’ll come on him when he’s bone tired and take him by complete surprise. The whole army will run off and I’ll kill only David. Then I’ll bring the army back to you—a bride brought back to her husband! You’re only after one man, after all. Then everyone will be together in peace!”

Absalom thought it was an excellent strategy, and all the elders of Israel agreed.

But then Absalom said, “Call in Hushai the Arkite—let’s hear what he has to say.”

So Hushai came and Absalom put it to him, “This is what Ahithophel advised. Should we do it? What do you say?”

7-10 Hushai said, “The counsel that Ahithophel has given in this instance is not good. You know your father and his men, brave and bitterly angry—like a bear robbed of her cubs. And your father is an experienced fighter; you can be sure he won’t be caught napping at a time like this. Even while we’re talking, he’s probably holed up in some cave or other. If he jumps your men from ambush, word will soon get back, ‘A slaughter of Absalom’s army!’ Even if your men are valiant with hearts of lions, they’ll fall apart at such news, for everyone in Israel knows the kind of fighting stuff your father’s made of, and also the men with him.

11-13 “Here’s what I’d advise: Muster the whole country, from Dan to Beersheba, an army like the sand of the sea, and you personally lead them. We’ll smoke him out wherever he is, fall on him like dew falls on the earth, and, believe me, there won’t be a single survivor. If he hides out in a city, then the whole army will bring ropes to that city and pull it down and into a gully—not so much as a pebble left of it!”

14 Absalom and all his company agreed that the counsel of Hushai the Arkite was better than the counsel of Ahithophel. (God had determined to discredit the counsel of Ahithophel so as to bring ruin on Absalom.)

15-16 Then Hushai told the priests Zadok and Abiathar, “Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel thus and thus, and I advised them thus and thus. Now send this message as quickly as possible to David: ‘Don’t spend the night on this side of the river; cross immediately or the king and everyone with him will be swallowed up alive.’”

17-20 Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting around at En Rogel. A servant girl would come and give them messages and then they would go and tell King David, for it wasn’t safe to be seen coming into the city. But a soldier spotted them and told Absalom, so the two of them got out of there fast and went to a man’s house in Bahurim. He had a well in his yard and they climbed into it. The wife took a rug and covered the well, then spread grain on it so no one would notice anything out of the ordinary. Shortly, Absalom’s servants came to the woman’s house and asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”

The woman said, “They were headed toward the river.”

They looked but didn’t find them, and then went back to Jerusalem.

21 When the coast was clear, Ahimaaz and Jonathan climbed out of the well and went on to make their report to King David, “Get up and cross the river quickly; Ahithophel has given counsel against you!”

22 David and his whole army were soon up and moving and crossed the Jordan. As morning broke there was not a single person who had not made it across the Jordan.

23 When Ahithophel realized that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and left for his hometown. After making out his will and putting his house in order, he hanged himself and died. He was buried in the family tomb.

24-26 About the time David arrived at Mahanaim, Absalom crossed the Jordan, and the whole army of Israel with him. Absalom had made Amasa head of the army, replacing Joab. (Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra, an Ishmaelite who had married Abigail, daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah, the mother of Joab.) Israel and Absalom set camp in Gilead.

27-29 When David arrived at Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Ammonite Rabbah, and Makir son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim brought beds and blankets, bowls and jugs filled with wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans and lentils, honey, and curds and cheese from the flocks and herds. They presented all this to David and his army to eat, “because,” they said, “the army must be starved and exhausted and thirsty out in this wilderness.”

New American Standard Bible

2 Samuel 17

Hushai’s Counsel

1Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and [a]exhausted and terrify him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone, and I will bring back all the people to you. [b]The return of everyone depends on the man you seek; then all the people will be at peace.” So the [c]plan pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what [d]he has to say.” When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to [e]him, “Ahithophel has spoken [f]thus. Shall we [g]carry out his plan? If not, you speak.” So Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the advice that Ahithophel has [h]given is not good.” Moreover, Hushai said, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men and they are [i]fierce, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is an [j]expert in warfare, and will not spend the night with the people. Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the [k]caves or in another place; and it will be [l]when he falls on them at the first attack, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even the one who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will completely [m]lose heart; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 But I counsel that all Israel be surely gathered to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea in abundance, and that [n]you personally go into battle. 12 So we shall come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will [o]fall on him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him, not even one will be left. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the [p]valley until not even a small stone is found there.” 14 Then Absalom 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 thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring calamity on Absalom.

Hushai’s Warning Saves David

15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “[q]This is what Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel, and [r]this is what I have counseled. 16 Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, or else the king and all the people who are with him will be [s]destroyed.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, and a maidservant would go and tell them, and they would go and tell King David, for they could not be seen entering the city. 18 But a lad did see them and told Absalom; so the two of them departed quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down [t]into it. 19 And the woman [u]took a covering and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered grain on it, so that nothing was known. 20 Then Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have crossed the brook of water.” And when they searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21 It came about after they had departed that they came up out of the well and went and told King David; and they said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly for thus Ahithophel has counseled against you.” 22 Then David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed the Jordan; and by [v]dawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan.

23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not [w]followed, he [x]saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and [y]set his house in order, and strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.

24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was [z]Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.

27 Now when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched seeds, 29 honey, curds, 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 and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”

Notas al pie

  1. 2 Samuel 17:2 Lit slack of hands
  2. 2 Samuel 17:3 Lit Like the return of the whole is the man whom you seek
  3. 2 Samuel 17:4 Lit word was pleasing in the sight of
  4. 2 Samuel 17:5 Lit is in his mouth—even he
  5. 2 Samuel 17:6 Lit him, saying
  6. 2 Samuel 17:6 Lit according to this word
  7. 2 Samuel 17:6 Lit do his word
  8. 2 Samuel 17:7 Lit advised
  9. 2 Samuel 17:8 Lit bitter of soul
  10. 2 Samuel 17:8 Lit man of war
  11. 2 Samuel 17:9 Lit pits
  12. 2 Samuel 17:9 Lit according to a falling among them
  13. 2 Samuel 17:10 Lit melt
  14. 2 Samuel 17:11 Lit your face go
  15. 2 Samuel 17:12 Lit settle down
  16. 2 Samuel 17:13 Or wadi
  17. 2 Samuel 17:15 Lit Thus and thus
  18. 2 Samuel 17:15 Lit Thus and thus
  19. 2 Samuel 17:16 Lit swallowed up
  20. 2 Samuel 17:18 Lit there
  21. 2 Samuel 17:19 Lit took and spread the covering
  22. 2 Samuel 17:22 Lit the light of the morning
  23. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit done
  24. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit bound
  25. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit gave charge to
  26. 2 Samuel 17:25 In 1 Chr 2:17, Jether the Ishmaelite