A messenger told David that everyone in Israel is following Absalom (v. 13). David was in Jerusalem when he heard this and he told all of his officials that they need to leave quickly or none of them will be able to escape from Absalom (vv. 14-15). David left ten of his wives behind to take care of the palace but the rest of his family, officials, and soldiers went with him and stopped at the last house at the edge of the city (vv. 16-17). David watched all 600 of his troops and their commander Ittai, march past (v. 18). David stops Ittai and asks him not to leave with them, but to go back and join the new king (vv. 19-20)!” Ittai says he will stay with him no matter if it costs him his life (v. 21).
David crosses over the Brook Kidron with Attai with all his men (v. 22). While the country was weeping all the people crossed over and went on their way toward the wilderness (v. 23). Zadok and all the Levites came carrying the Ark of the Covenant and set it down while Abiathar (the priest) came up (and officiated) until all the people finished passing the city (v. 24). Then the king told Zadok to take the Ark back to its rightful place in Jerusalem (v. 25). David says, “If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place, but if He says I have no delight in you let Him do to me as it seems good to Him” (v. 26). David asks Zadok if he plans to return to Jerusalem (as priest) with his two sons (v. 27). He says he will wait at the river crossing until he hears from them (v. 28). Zadok and Abiathar take the sacred chest back into Jerusalem and stay there (v. 29). David went up on the Mount of Olives barefoot and crying to show his sorrow (v. 30). Someone tells David that Ahithophel is helping Absalom plot against him (v. 31).
He meets Hushai, the Archite, on the top of Mount of Olives at a place of worship (v. 32). David tells him to go back and tell Absalom that you will serve him, just as you served your father in the past” (vv. 33-34). If you do that you can help me ruin Ahithophel’s plans. You can tell Zadok and Abiathar everything you hear and they can send their sons to tell me what you have heard” (vv. 35-36). Hushai sneaks back into Jerusalem just about the same time Absalom is coming in (v. 37).
And a messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom." Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword." And the king's servants said to the king, "Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides." So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left ten concubines to keep the house. And the king went out, and all the people after him. And they halted at the last house. And all his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath, passed on before the king. Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you." But Ittai answered the king, "As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be." And David said to Ittai, "Go then, pass on." So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness. And Abiathar came up, and behold, Zadok came also with all the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God until the people had all passed out of the city. Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. But if he says, 'I have no pleasure in you,' behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him." The king also said to Zadok the priest, "Are you not a seer? Go back to the city in peace, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me." So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there. But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. And it was told David, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And David said, "O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness." While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. David said to him, "If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, 'I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father's servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,' then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So whatever you hear from the king's house, tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. Behold, their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son, and by them you shall send to me everything you hear." So Hushai, David's friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.
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II Samuel 12:1-14Nathan Rebukes David
II Samuel 12:15-31David’s Punishment And Conquests
II Samuel 13:1-22Amnon Disgraces Tamar
II Samuel 13:23-33Absalom Murders His Brother
II Samuel 13:34-39Absalom Flees to Geshur
II Samuel 14:1-24Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
II Samuel 14:25-33David Forgives Absalom
II Samuel 15:1-12Absalom Rebels Against David
II Samuel 15:13-37David Escapes From Jerusalem
II Samuel 16:1-23Shimei Curses David
II Samuel 17:1-14The Advice of Ahithopel And Hushai
II Samuel 17:15-29Hushai Warns David to Escape
II Samuel 18:1-18Joab Kills Abasalom
II Samuel 18:19-33David Hears of Absalom’s Death