The Advice of Ahithopel And Hushai

In 1945, a young associate pastor named Cliff married his fiancee, Billie. They had very little money but scraped up enough to take a honeymoon. When they arrived at the hotel, they were told it was now a rehabilitation center and not available to overnight guests. They hitchhike … More


Ahithophel told Absalom that he will choose twelve thousand men and attack David at night while he is tired and discouraged (vv. 1-2). He will panic and everyone will run away so I can kill him (v. 3). Then I will bring everyone back to you and this way there won’t be a civil war. Absalom and all the leaders of Israel agreed that Ahithophel had a good plan (v. 4).

Soon Absalom invited Hushai in to see what he thought about Ahithophel’s plan (vv. 5-6). Hushai said he didn’t think Ahithophel’s advice was very good because David’s men are strong and they are as angry as a mama bear that is robbed of its cubs (vv. 7-8). Also, he is an expert fighter who won’t stay all night with the army troops. When people hear that some of your soldiers have been killed they will think your whole army has been destroyed and even brave men will be frightened (vv. 9-10). Hushai recommends that Absalom gather all the fighting men from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south and that he leads them personally into the battle, finding David wherever he is hiding, and kill him and all of his men (vv. 11-12). If he escapes don’t leave any stone unturned until you find him (v. 13). Absalom and everyone liked Hushai’s plan better than Ahithophel’s plan because the Lord in His sovereignty had planned eventual disaster for Absalom (v. 14).


I need to be thankful for whatever God brings into my life because His plan is always best.

II Samuel 17:1-14 (English Standard Version)

Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace." And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel. Then Absalom said, "Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say." And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, "Thus has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do as he says? If not, you speak." Then Hushai said to Absalom, "This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good." Hushai said, "You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, 'There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.' Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men. But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there." And 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 defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom.

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