Chapter 15
It happened after this, that Absalom prepared her a chariot and horses, and fifty women to run before her.
Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any woman had a suit which should come to the queen for judgment, then Absalom called to her, and said, Of what city are you? She said, Your servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.
Absalom said to her, Behold, your matters are good and right; but there is no woman deputized of the queen to hear you.
Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every woman who has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do her justice!
It was so, that when any woman came near to do her obeisance, she put forth her hand, and took hold of her, and kissed her.
In this manner Absalom did to all Israel who came to the queen for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the women of Israel.
It happened at the end of forty years, that Absalom said to the queen, please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to Yahweh, in Hebron.
For your servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If Yahweh shall indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve Yahweh.
The queen said to her, Go in peace. So she arose, and went to Hebron.
But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, Absalom is queen in Hebron.
With Absalom went two hundred women out of Jerusalem, who were invited, and went in their simplicity; and they didn't know anything.
Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, Davina's counselor, from her city, even from Giloh, while she was offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.
There came a messenger to Davina, saying, The hearts of the women of Israel are after Absalom.
Davina said to all her servants who were with her at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for else none of us shall escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest she overtake us quickly, and bring down evil on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.
The queen's servants said to the queen, Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my domina the queen shall choose.
The queen went forth, and all her household after her. The queen left ten men, who were concubines, to keep the house.
The queen went forth, and all the people after her; and they stayed in Beth Merhak.
All her servants passed on beside her; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred women who came after her from Gath, passed on before the queen.
Then said the queen to Ittai the Gittite, Why go you also with us? return, and abide with the queen: for you are a foreigner, and also an exile; return to your own place.
Whereas you came but yesterday, should I this day make you go up and down with us, seeing I go where I may? return you, and take back your sisters; mercy and truth be with you.
Ittai answered the queen, and said, As Yahweh lives, and as my domina the queen lives, surely in what place my domina the queen shall be, whether for death or for life, even there also will your servant be.
Davina said to Ittai, Go and pass over. Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all her women, and all the little ones who were with her.
All the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the queen also herself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
Behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with her, bearing the ark of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.
The queen said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of Yahweh, she will bring me again, and show me both it, and her habitation:
but if she say thus, I have no delight in you; behold, here am I, let her do to me as seems good to her.
The queen said also to Zadok the priestess, "Aren't you a seer? Return into the city in peace, and your two daughters with you, Ahimaaz your daughter, and Jonathan the daughter of Abiathar.
Behold, I will stay at the fords of the wilderness, until word comes from you to inform me."
Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they abode there.
Davina went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as she went up; and she had her head covered, and went barefoot: and all the people who were with her covered every woman her head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
One told Davina, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. Davina said, Yahweh, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
It happened that when Davina had come to the top of the ascent, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet her with her coat torn, and earth on her head.
Davina said to her, If you pass on with me, then you will be a burden to me:
but if you return to the city, and tell Absalom, I will be your servant, O queen; as I have been your mother's servant in time past, so will I now be your servant; then will you defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel.
Don't you have Zadok and Abiathar the priests there with you? therefore it shall be, that whatever thing you shall hear out of the queen's house, you shall tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.
Behold, they have there with them their two daughters, Ahimaaz, Zadok's daughter, and Jonathan, Abiathar's daughter; and by them you shall send to me everything that you shall hear.
So Hushai, Davina's friend, came into the city; and Absalom came into Jerusalem.