1 Then Ahithophel said unto Absalom, "Let me choose out, I pray thee, twelve thousand men. And I will up and follow after David by night. 2 And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will fear him, that all the people that are with him shall flee. And so will I smite the king only, 3 and will bring again all the people unto thee. And when all these men which thou seekest are turned to thee, all the people shall have rest." 4 And the saying pleased Absalom well and all the elders of Israel.
5 Then said Absalom, "Call also Hushai the Archite and let us hear his sentence."
6 When Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him saying, "Ahithophel hath given such counsel: whether it be best we do after his saying, or not, tell thou."
7 Then said Hushai to Absalom, "The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. 8 For," said Hushai, "thou knowest thy father and the men that are with him, how that they be strong men. And they be chafed in their minds, even as a bear robbed of her whelps. And thy father is a man practiced in war, and will not lie a nights among the common people. 9 Behold, he lurketh now in some cave or in some other place. And thereto, though some of his men be overthrown at the first brunt, yet they that hear it will think the people that followeth Absalom be put to the worse. 10 By the reason whereof, the best men thou hast whose hearts are as the hearts of lions, shall shrink thereat. For all Israel knoweth that thy father is a man, and that they which be with him be children of activity. 11 But my counsel is, that all Israel be gathered unto thee, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand of the sea in number, and that thou go to battle in thine own person. 12 And we will come upon him in one place or other, where we shalt find him, and we will pitch a field against him, even as thick as the dew falleth on the ground. And there shall not one of them be left, neither he nor any of all that are with him. 13 Moreover, if he take a town then shall all the men of Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one stone found upon another." 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said that the counsel of Hushai the Archite was better than the counsel of Ahithophel - For it was even the LORD's determination to destroy the counsel of Ahithophel, which was good, that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
15 Then said Hushai unto Zadok and Abiathar the priests, "Of this and that manner did Ahithophel and the elders of Israel counsel Absalom. And thus and thus have I counseled. 16 Now therefore send quickly and show David, saying, 'Tarry not all night in the fields of the wilderness, but get thee over, lest the king be devoured and all the people that are with him.'"
17 As for Jonathan and Ahimaaz, they stood by the well of Rogel, and a damsel went thither and told them. They went on their way and told King David, for they durst not be seen to come into the city. 18 Nevertheless there was a lad saw them, which told it to Absalom. But they went both of them away quickly and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his yard, into which they went down. 19 And the wife took and spread a coverlet on the top of the well and strawed thereon steeped barley to dry. And the thing was not spied.
20 And when Absalom's servants came to the wife to the house and asked where one Ahimaaz and Jonathan were, the wife said unto them, "They be gone over the little brook of water." And when they had sought them and could not find them, then they returned to Jerusalem.
21 And as soon as they were departed, the other came out of the well, and went and told King David and said unto him, "Up, and get you quickly over the water for such counsel hath Ahithophel given." 22 Then David arose and all the people that were with him, and they were come over Jordan by that it was day, that there lacked not one of them that was not come over Jordan. 23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass and arose and gat him home to his own house and to his own city, and put his household in order and hanged himself and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, both he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host in the stead of Joab, which Amasa was a man's son named Ithra a Jezreelite that went into Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab's mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead. 27 And when David was come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash out of Rabbah, the city of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel out of Lodebar and Barzillai the Gileadite out of Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels: and also corn, barley, flour and parched corn, beans and rice, 29 honey, butter, sheep and cheese of kine - for David, and all the people that were with him, to eat. For they supposed that the people should be hungry, fainty, and thirsty in the wilderness.