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The Bible in Living English
17 And Ahithophel said to Absalom “Let me pick out twelve thousand men and be off tonight to pursue your father, 2 and come upon him while he is tired and disheartened, and take him by surprise; and all the people he has with him will run, and I will strike down the a king alone, 3 and bring all the people back to you as a bride comes back to her husband; you want only one man’s life, and all the people will be unharmed”; 4 and the idea suited Absalom and all the elders, of Israel. 5 And Absalom said “Call Hushai the Arkite too, and let us hear what he too has to say.” 6 And Hushai came to Absalom, and Absalom said to him “This was Ahithophel’s idea: shall we do as he says? if not, tell us yours.” 7 And Hushai said to Absalom “The advice Ahithophel has given is not good this time.” 8 And Hushai said “You yourself know your father and his men to be champion warriors; and they are in as bad a temper as a bear out on the range that has lost her cubs. And your father is an old soldier and will not spend the night with the troops: 9 there he is now hiding in one of the sinkholes, or in some place; and when he falls on them at the start, anyone who hears of it will hear and say ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who are on Absalom’s side’; 10 and even a brave man with a heart like a lion’s will melt right down; for all Israel knows that your father is a champion and those who are with him are brave men. 11 But, I advise, let all Israel be brought together to you, from Dan to Beer-Shebaʽ, in numbers like the sand by the sea, with your person going among them; 12 and we will come to him at some place where he may be found, and light on him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him there will not be a single one left; 13 and if he retreats to a city, all Israel shall carry ropes to the city, and we will drag it to the arroyo till there is not even a pebble to be found a there.” 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said “Hushai the Arkite’s policy is better than Ahithophel’s,” Jehovah having ordained to balk Ahithophel’s good policy, to the end that Jehovah might bring mischief on Absalom. 15 And Hushai said to Priests Sadok and Abiathar “Ahithophel has given Absalom and the elders of Israel such and such advice, and I have given such and such. 16 Now send quickly and tell David ‘Do not halt at the Wilderness Fords for tonight, but do make good the crossing, for fear the king and all the people that are with him should be wiped out.’” 17 And Jonathan and Ahimaʽas were posted at ʽEn-Rogel, and the maid would go and bring word to them, and they would go and bring word to King David, because they could not be seen going into the city. 18 But a boy saw them and told Absalom; and they both hurried to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they got down there, 19* and the woman took a mat and slid it over the top of the well and spread out pounded fruit on it, and nothing showed. 20* And Absalom’s officers came to the woman in the house and said “Where are Ahimaʽas and Jonathan?” and the woman said to them “They went over the water”; and they looked and did not find them, and went back to Jerusalem. 21 And after they had gone they came up out of the well and went and told King David “Up, go over the water quickly, because Ahithophel has been proposing such and such a policy against you”; 22 and David and all the people he had with him rose and went over the Jordan; by morning there was not a single one lacking that had not gone over the Jordan. 23 And Ahithophel saw that his policy was not followed, and he saddled his donkey and went off home to his city and made his will and hanged himself; and he was buried in his ancestral tomb. 24 And David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom went over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him; 25 and Absalom set ʽAmasa over the army in place of Joab; ʽAmasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had gone in to Abigal the daughter of Nahash the sister of Joab’s mother Serujah. 26 And the Israelites and Absalom camped in Gilead. 27 And when David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Bene-ʽAmmon, and Makir the son of ʽAmmiel from Lo-Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought bedsteads and rugs and basins and crockery, and wheat and barley and meal and roasted grain and beans and lentils 29* and honey and butter and sheep and clotted cream, and offered it for eating to David and the people he had with him; for they thought “The people have grown hungry and faint and thirsty in the wilderness.”