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2 Samuel chapter 15

New International Version

1 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, 'What town are you from?' He would answer, 'Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.' 3 Then Absalom would say to him, 'Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.' 4 And Absalom would add, 'If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.'
5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.
7 At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, 'Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD. 8 While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: 'If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the LORD in Hebron.''
9 The king said to him, 'Go in peace.' So he went to Hebron.
10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, 'As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, 'Absalom is king in Hebron.'' 11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom's following kept on increasing.
13 A messenger came and told David, 'The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.'
14 Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, 'Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.'
15 The king's officials answered him, 'Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.'
16 The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at the edge of the city. 18 All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.
19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, 'Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. 20 You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the LORD show you kindness and faithfulness.'
21 But Ittai replied to the king, 'As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.'
22 David said to Ittai, 'Go ahead, march on.' So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.
23 The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the wilderness.
24 Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city.
25 Then the king said to Zadok, 'Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD's eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. 26 But if he says, 'I am not pleased with you,' then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.'
27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, 'Do you understand? Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you, and also Abiathar's son Jonathan. You and Abiathar return with your two sons. 28 I will wait at the fords in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.' 29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30 But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up. 31 Now David had been told, 'Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.' So David prayed, 'LORD, turn Ahithophel's counsel into foolishness.'
32 When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, 'If you go with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, 'Your Majesty, I will be your servant; I was your father's servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,' then you can help me by frustrating Ahithophel's advice. 35 Won't the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Tell them anything you hear in the king's palace. 36 Their two sons, Ahimaaz son of Zadok and Jonathan son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear.'
37 So Hushai, David's confidant, arrived at Jerusalem as Absalom was entering the city.
English Standard Version

1 After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,#8221; 3 Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” 4 Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” 5 And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron. 8 For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the LORD will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the LORD.’” 9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom is king at Hebron!’” 11 With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. 12 And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.
13 And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” 14 Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.” 16 So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left ten concubines to keep the house. 17 And the king went out, and all the people after him. And they halted at the last house.
18 And all his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 22 And David said to Ittai, “Go then, pass on.” So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness.
24 And Abiathar came up, and behold, Zadok came also with all the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God until the people had all passed out of the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. 26 But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Go back to the city in peace, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.
30 But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. 31 And it was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”
32 While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So whatever you hear from the king’s house, tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold, their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son, and by them you shall send to me everything you hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.
King James Version

1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. 3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. 4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! 5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. 6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron. 8 For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD. 9 And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron. 11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. 12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counseller, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.
13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. 14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. 15 And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. 16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house. 17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. 18 And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. 20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee. 21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. 22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him. 23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, 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. 25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation: 26 But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. 27 The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me. 29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there. 30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. 32 And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head: 33 Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me: 34 But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear. 37 So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.
New American Standard Bible

1 Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the road to the gate; and when any man who had a lawsuit was to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call out to him and say, 'From what city are you?' And he would say, 'Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.' 3 Then Absalom would say to him, 'See, your claims are good and right, but you have no one to listen to you on the part of the king.' 4 Moreover, Absalom would say, 'Oh that someone would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has a lawsuit or claim could come to me, and I would give him justice!' 5 And whenever a man approached to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom dealt this way with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel.
7 Now it came about at the end of four years that Absalom said to the king, 'Please let me go and pay my vow which I have made to the LORD, in Hebron. 8 For your servant made a vow while I was living in Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the LORD will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.’?' 9 The king said to him, 'Go in peace.' So he got up and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, 'As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron!’?' 11 Then two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem, who were invited and went innocently, for they did not know anything. 12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people continually increased with Absalom.
13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, 'The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.' 14 So David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, 'Arise and let’s flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go quickly, or he will hurry and overtake us, and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.' 15 Then the king’s servants said to the king, 'Behold, your servants will do whatever my lord the king chooses.' 16 So the king left, and all his household with him; but the king left ten concubines behind to take care of the house. 17 The king left, and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 Now all of his servants passed by beside him, and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed by before the king.
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, 'Why should you go with us too? Return and stay with your king, since you are a foreigner and an exile as well; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, so should I make you wander with us today, while I go wherever I go? Return and take your brothers back; mercy and truth be with you.' 21 But Ittai answered the king and said, 'As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there assuredly shall your servant be!' 22 Then David said to Ittai, 'Go and cross over the brook Kidron.' So Ittai the Gittite crossed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people were crossing over. The king was also crossing over the brook Kidron, and all the people were crossing over toward the way of the wilderness.
24 Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25 And the king said to Zadok, 'Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the LORD, then He will bring me back and show me both it and His habitation. 26 But if He says this: ‘I have no delight in you,’ then here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.' 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, 'Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I am going to wait at the river crossing places of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.' 29 So Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there.
30 And David was going up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, and his head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his own head, and they were going up, weeping as they went. 31 Now someone informed David, saying, 'Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.' And David said, 'LORD, please make the advice of Ahithophel foolish.'
32 It happened as David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the Archite met him with his coat torn, and dust on his head. 33 And David said to him, 'If you go over with me, then you will become a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; even as I was your father’s servant in time past, so now I will also be your servant,’ then you can foil the advice of Ahithophel for me. 35 Are Zadok and Abiathar the priests not with you there? So it shall be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold their two sons are there with them, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything that you hear.' 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.
New Living Translation

1 After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him. 2 He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where in Israel they were from, and they would tell him their tribe. 3 Then Absalom would say, 'You've really got a strong case here! It's too bad the king doesn't have anyone to hear it. 4 I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment, and I would give them justice!'
5 When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn't let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. 6 Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.
7 After four years, Absalom said to the king, 'Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the LORD and fulfill a vow I made to him. 8 For while your servant was at Geshur in Aram, I promised to sacrifice to the LORD in Hebron if he would bring me back to Jerusalem.'
9 'All right,' the king told him. 'Go and fulfill your vow.' So Absalom went to Hebron. 10 But while he was there, he sent secret messengers to all the tribes of Israel to stir up a rebellion against the king. 'As soon as you hear the ram's horn,' his message read, 'you are to say, 'Absalom has been crowned king in Hebron.'' 11 He took 200 men from Jerusalem with him as guests, but they knew nothing of his intentions. 12 While Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, one of David's counselors who lived in Giloh. Soon many others also joined Absalom, and the conspiracy gained momentum.
13 A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, 'All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!'
14 'Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!' David urged his men. 'Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.'
15 'We are with you,' his advisers replied. 'Do what you think is best.'
16 So the king and all his household set out at once. He left no one behind except ten of his concubines to look after the palace. 17 The king and all his people set out on foot, pausing at the last house 18 to let all the king's men move past to lead the way. There were 600 men from Gath who had come with David, along with the king's bodyguard.
19 Then the king turned and said to Ittai, a leader of the men from Gath, 'Why are you coming with us? Go on back to King Absalom, for you are a guest in Israel, a foreigner in exile. 20 You arrived only recently, and should I force you today to wander with us? I don't even know where we will go. Go on back and take your kinsmen with you, and may the LORD show you his unfailing love and faithfulness.'
21 But Ittai said to the king, 'I vow by the LORD and by your own life that I will go wherever my lord the king goes, no matter what happens--whether it means life or death.'
22 David replied, 'All right, come with us.' So Ittai and all his men and their families went along.
23 Everyone cried loudly as the king and his followers passed by. They crossed the Kidron Valley and then went out toward the wilderness.
24 Zadok and all the Levites also came along, carrying the Ark of the Covenant of God. They set down the Ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until everyone had passed out of the city.
25 Then the king instructed Zadok to take the Ark of God back into the city. 'If the LORD sees fit,' David said, 'he will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle again. 26 But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him.'
27 The king also told Zadok the priest, 'Look, here is my plan. You and Abiathar should return quietly to the city with your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar's son Jonathan. 28 I will stop at the shallows of the Jordan River and wait there for a report from you.' 29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the Ark of God back to the city and stayed there.
30 David walked up the road to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His head was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning. And the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they climbed the hill. 31 When someone told David that his adviser Ahithophel was now backing Absalom, David prayed, 'O LORD, let Ahithophel give Absalom foolish advice!'
32 When David reached the summit of the Mount of Olives where people worshiped God, Hushai the Arkite was waiting there for him. Hushai had torn his clothing and put dirt on his head as a sign of mourning. 33 But David told him, 'If you go with me, you will only be a burden. 34 Return to Jerusalem and tell Absalom, 'I will now be your adviser, O king, just as I was your father's adviser in the past.' Then you can frustrate and counter Ahithophel's advice. 35 Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, will be there. Tell them about the plans being made in the king's palace, 36 and they will send their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan to tell me what is going on.'
37 So David's friend Hushai returned to Jerusalem, getting there just as Absalom arrived.
Christian Standard Bible

1 After this, Absalom got himself a chariot, horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 He would get up early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone had a grievance to bring before the king for settlement, Absalom called out to him and asked, "What city are you from? " If he replied, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel," 3 Absalom said to him, "Look, your claims are good and right, but the king does not have anyone to listen to you." 4 He added, "If only someone would appoint me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a grievance or dispute could come to me, and I would make sure he received justice." 5 When a person approached to pay homage to him, Absalom reached out his hand, took hold of him, and kissed him. 6 Absalom did this to all the Israelites who came to the king for a settlement. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 When four years had passed, Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go to Hebron to fulfill a vow I made to the Lord. 8 For your servant made a vow when I lived in Geshur of Aram, saying, 'If the Lord really brings me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.' "
9 "Go in peace," the king said to him. So he went to Hebron.
10 Then Absalom sent agents throughout the tribes of Israel with this message: "When you hear the sound of the ram's horn, you are to say, 'Absalom has become king in Hebron! ' "
11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem went with Absalom. They had been invited and were going innocently, for they did not know the whole situation. 12 While he was offering the sacrifices, Absalom sent for David's adviser Ahithophel the Gilonite, from his city of Giloh. So the conspiracy grew strong, and the people supporting Absalom continued to increase.
13 Then an informer came to David and reported, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom."
14 David said to all the servants with him in Jerusalem, "Get up. We have to flee, or we will not escape from Absalom! Leave quickly, or he will overtake us quickly, heap disaster on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword."
15 The king's servants said to the king, "Whatever my lord the king decides, we are your servants." 16 Then the king set out, and his entire household followed him. But he left behind ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, and all the people followed him. They stopped at the last house 18 while all his servants marched past him. Then all the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and the people of Gath-- six hundred men who came with him from there--marched past the king.
19 The king said to Ittai of Gath, "Why are you also going with us? Go back and stay with the new king since you're both a foreigner and an exile from your homeland. 20 Besides, you only arrived yesterday; should I make you wander around with us today while I go wherever I can? Go back and take your brothers with you. May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness."
21 But in response, Ittai vowed to the king, "As the Lord lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king is, whether it means life or death, your servant will be there! "
22 "March on," David replied to Ittai. So Ittai of Gath marched past with all his men and the dependents who were with him. 23 Everyone in the countryside was weeping loudly while all the people were marching out of the city. As the king was crossing the Kidron Valley, all the people were marching past on the road that leads to the wilderness.
24 Zadok was also there, and all the Levites with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set the ark of God down, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until the people had finished marching past. 25 Then the king instructed Zadok, "Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor with the Lord, he will bring me back and allow me to see both it and its dwelling place. 26 However, if he should say, 'I do not delight in you,' then here I am--he can do with me whatever pleases him."
27 The king also said to the priest Zadok, "Look, return to the city in peace and your two sons with you: your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar's son Jonathan. 28 Remember, I'll wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me." 29 So Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30 David was climbing the slope of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he ascended. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. All of the people with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they ascended.
31 Then someone reported to David, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.""Lord," David pleaded, "please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness! "
32 When David came to the summit where he used to worship God, Hushai the Archite was there to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, "If you go away with me, you'll be a burden to me, 34 but if you return to the city and tell Absalom, 'I will be your servant, Your Majesty! Previously, I was your father's servant, but now I will be your servant,' then you can counteract Ahithophel's counsel for me. 35 Won't the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Report everything you hear from the palace to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. 36 Take note: their two sons are there with them--Zadok's son Ahimaaz and Abiathar's son Jonathan. Send them to tell me everything you hear." 37 So Hushai, David's personal adviser, entered Jerusalem just as Absalom was entering the city.

What does 2 Samuel chapter 15 mean?

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