1 And it came to be after this that Aḇshalom prepared a chariot and horses for himself, and fifty men to run before him.
2 And Aḇshalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. And it came to be, whenever anyone who had a complaint came to the sovereign for a right-ruling, that Aḇshalom would call to him and say, “What city are you from?” And when he said, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Yisra’ĕl,”
3 Aḇshalom would say to him, “Look, your matters are good and right, but you have nobody from the sovereign to hear you.”
4 And Aḇshalom would say, “Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any complaint or case would come to me, and I shall let right be done to him.”
5 And it came to be, whenever anyone came near him to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him.
6 And Aḇshalom did this to all Yisra’ĕl who came to the sovereign for right-ruling. And Aḇshalom stole the hearts of the men of Yisra’ĕl.
7 And it came to be at the end of four years that Aḇshalom said to the sovereign, “Please, let me go to Ḥeḇron and pay the vow which I vowed to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.
8 “For your servant vowed a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 indeed brings me back to Yerushalayim, then I shall serve 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.’ ”
9 And the sovereign said to him, “Go in peace.” And he rose up and went to Ḥeḇron.
10 But Aḇshalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Yisra’ĕl, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the ram’s horn, then you shall say, ‘Aḇshalom is sovereign in Ḥeḇron!” ’
11 And with Aḇshalom went two hundred men from Yerushalayim who were invited, and they went along unsuspectingly, and did not know the matter at all.
12 Aḇshalom also sent for Aḥithophel the Gilonite, counsellor of Dawiḏ, from his city, from Giloh, while he was bringing offerings. And it came to be that the conspiracy became strong, for the people with Aḇshalom kept increasing.
13 Then a messenger came to Dawiḏ, saying, “The hearts of the men of Yisra’ĕl are with Aḇshalom.”
14 And Dawiḏ said to all his servants who were with him at Yerushalayim, “Rise up, and let us flee, for none of us shall escape from Aḇshalom. Go in haste, lest he overtake us quickly and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.”
15 And the sovereign’s servants said to the sovereign, “Look, your servants do according to all my master the sovereign chooses.”
16 And the sovereign went out, and all his household at his feet. But the sovereign left ten women, concubines, to look after the house.
17 So the sovereign went out, and all the people at his feet, and they stood still at the last house.
18 And all his servants were passing on at his side. And all the Kerĕthites, and all the Pelĕthites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, were passing on before the sovereign.
19 And the sovereign said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you go, you also, with us? Turn back and remain with the sovereign, for you are a foreigner, and also an exile from your own place.
20 “You came yesterday, and should I today make you wander up and down with us, when I am going wherever I am going? Return, and take your brothers back. Kindness and truth be with you.”
21 And Ittai answered the sovereign and said, “As 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 lives, and as my master the sovereign lives, in whatever place my master the sovereign is, whether in death or life, let your servant also be there.”
22 Therefore Dawiḏ said to Ittai, “Go, and pass over.” And Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him passed over.
23 And all the land was weeping with a loud voice, and all the people were passing over. And the sovereign himself was passing over the wadi Qiḏron, and all the people were passing over toward the way of the wilderness.
24 And see, Tsaḏoq also, and all the Lĕwites with him, bearing the ark of the Covenant of Elohim. And they put down the ark of Elohim, and Eḇyathar went up until all the people completed passing over from the city.
25 And the sovereign said to Tsaḏoq, “Take the ark of Elohim back to the city. If I find favour in the eyes of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, then He shall bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling.
26 “But if He says thus, ‘I have not delighted in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as is good in His eyes.”
27 And the sovereign said to Tsaḏoq the kohĕn, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Aḥima’ats your son, and Yahonathan son of Eḇyathar.
28 “See, I am waiting in the desert plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”
29 And Tsaḏoq and Eḇyathar took the ark of Elohim back to Yerushalayim, and they remained there.
30 And Dawiḏ went up by the ascent of the Olives, and wept as he went up. And he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.
31 And Dawiḏ was informed, saying, “Aḥithophel is among the conspirators with Aḇshalom.” And Dawiḏ said, “O 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, I pray You, make the counsel of Aḥithophel foolish!”
32 And it came to be that Dawiḏ came to the summit, where he bowed himself before Elohim, and saw Ḥushai the Arkite, came to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head.
33 And Dawiḏ said to him, “If you pass on with me, then you shall become a burden to me,
34 but if you return to the city, and say to Aḇshalom, ‘I am your servant, O sovereign – once servant of your father, but now I am your servant,’ then you shall nullify the counsel of Aḥithophel for me.
35 “And are not Tsaḏoq and Eḇyathar the kohenim with you there? And it shall be that every matter you hear from the sovereign’s house, you should report to Tsaḏoq and Eḇyathar the kohenim.
36 “See, there with them are their two sons, Aḥima’ats, Tsaḏoq’s son, and Yahonathan, Eḇyathar’s son. And by them you shall send me every matter you hear.”
37 And Ḥushai, Dawiḏ’s friend, went into the city. And Aḇshalom came into Yerushalayim.