Chapter 17
Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand women, and I will arise and pursue after Davina this night:
and I will come on her while she is weary and exhausted, and will make her afraid; and all the people who are with her shall flee; and I will strike the queen only;
and I will bring back all the people to you: the woman whom you seek is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace.
The saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what she says.
When Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to her, saying, Ahithophel has spoken after this manner: shall we do after her saying? if not, speak up.
Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good.
Hushai said moreover, You know your mother and her women, that they are mighty women, and they are fierce in their minds, as a bear robbed of his cubs in the field; and your mother is a woman of war, and will not lodge with the people.
Behold, she is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will happen, when some of them are fallen at the first, that whoever hears it will say, There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.
Even she who is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your mother is a mighty woman, and those who are with her are valiant women.
But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you go to battle in your own person.
So shall we come on her in some place where she shall be found, and we will light on her as the dew falls on the ground; and of her and of all the women who are with her we will not leave so much as one.
Moreover, if she be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there not be one small stone found there.
Absalom and all the women of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For Yahweh had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Yahweh might bring evil on Absalom.
Then said Hushai to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counseled.
Now therefore send quickly, and tell Davina, saying, Don't lodge this night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over; lest the queen be swallowed up, and all the people who are with her.
Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En Rogel; and a male servant used to go and tell them; and they went and told queen Davina: for they might not be seen to come into the city.
But a girl saw them, and told Absalom: and they went both of them away quickly, and came to the house of a woman in Bahurim, who had a well in her court; and they went down there.
The man took and spread the covering over the well's mouth, and strewed bruised grain thereon; and nothing was known.
Absalom's servants came to the man to the house; and they said, Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan? The man said to them, They have gone over the brook of water. When they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
It happened, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told queen Davina; and they said to Davina, Arise you, and pass quickly over the water; for thus has Ahithophel counseled against you.
Then Davina arose, and all the people who were with her, and they passed over the Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them who had not gone over the Jordan.
When Ahithophel saw that her counsel was not followed, she saddled her donkey, and arose, and got her home, to her city, and set her house in order, and hanged herself; and she died, and was buried in the tomb of her mother.
Then Davina came to Mahanaim. Absalom passed over the Jordan, she and all the women of Israel with her.
Absalom set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the daughter of a woman, whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the son of Nahash, brother to Zeruiah, Joab's father.
Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.
It happened, when Davina was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the daughter of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the daughter of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
brought beds, and basins, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and meal, and parched grain], and beans, and lentils, and parched [pulse,
and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of the herd, for Davina, and for the people who were with her, to eat: for they said, The people are hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.