2 Samuel Chapter 15 to 16 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Absalom Makes Many Friends

15 After this, Absalom got a chariot* and horses for himself. He had 50 men run in front of him {while he drove the chariot}. 2Absalom got up early and stood near the gate.* Absalom watched for any person with problems who was going to King David for judgment. Then Absalom would talk to that person. Absalom would say, “What city are you from?” The man would answer, “I am from such and such family group in Israel.” 3Then Absalom would say to this man, “Look, you are right, but King David won’t listen to you.” 4Absalom would also say, “Oh, I wish someone would make me a judge in this country! Then I could help every man who comes to me with a problem. I would help him get a fair solution to his problem.” 5And if a person came to Absalom and started to bow down to him, Absalom would {treat him like a close friend}—Absalom would reach out and touch that person and kiss him. 6Absalom did that to all the Israelites who came to King David for judgment. In this way, Absalom won the hearts of all the people of Israel.

Absalom Plans to Take David’s Kingdom

7After four years,* Absalom said to King David, “Please let me go to complete my special promise that I made to the Lord at Hebron. 8I made that promise while I was still living in Geshur, Aram. I said, ‘If the Lord brings me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’” 9King David said, “Go in peace.” Absalom went to Hebron. 10But Absalom sent spies through all the family groups of Israel. These spies told the people, “When you hear the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom has become the king at Hebron!’” 11Absalom invited 200 men to go with him. Those men left Jerusalem with him, but they did not know what he was planning. 12Ahithophel was one of David’s advisers. Ahithophel was from the town of Giloh. While Absalom was offering sacrifices,* he called Ahithophel to come from his city (Giloh). Absalom’s plans were working very well and more and more people began to support him.

David Learns About Absalom’s Plans

13A man came in to tell the news to David. The man said, “The people of Israel are beginning to follow Absalom.” 14Then David said to all of his officers who were with him in Jerusalem, “We must escape! {If we don’t escape}, then Absalom will not let us get away. Let’s hurry before Absalom catches us. He will destroy us all. And he will kill the people of Jerusalem.” 15The king’s officers told him, “We will do anything you tell us.”

David and His People Escape

16King David went out with all of the people in his house. The king left ten of his wives* to take care of the house. 17The king went out with all of his people following him. They stopped at the last house. 18All of his officers passed by the king. And all of the Kerethites, all of the Pelethites, and the Gittites (600 men from Gath) passed by the king. 19The king said to Ittai from Gath, “Why are you also going with us? Turn back and stay with the new king (Absalom). You are a foreigner. This is not your homeland. 20Only yesterday you came to join me. Must you now wander from place to place with me? No! Take your brothers and go back. May kindness and loyalty be shown to you.” 21But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as long as you live, I will stay with you. {I will be with you} in life or death!” 22David said to Ittai, “Come, let’s go cross Kidron Brook.” So Ittai from Gath and all of his people and their children crossed over {Kidron Brook}. 23All the people* were crying loudly. King David crossed over Kidron Brook. Then all of the people went out to the desert. 24Zadok and all of the Levites with him were carrying the Box of God’s Agreement.* They set down God’s Holy Box. And Abiathar said prayers* until all of the people had left Jerusalem. 25King David said to Zadok, “Take God’s Holy Box* back to Jerusalem. If the Lord is pleased with me, then he will bring me back and let me see Jerusalem and his temple. 26But if the Lord says that he is not pleased with me, then he can do anything he wants to me.” 27The king said to Zadok the priest, “You are a seer.* Go back to the city in peace. Take your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28I will be waiting near the places where people go across the river into the desert. I will wait there until I hear from you.” 29So Zadok and Abiathar took God’s Holy Box* back to Jerusalem and stayed there.

David’s Prayer Against Ahithophel

30David went up the Mount of Olives. He was crying. He covered his head and he went without shoes on his feet. All of the people with David also covered their heads. They went with David, crying. 31A person told David, “Ahithophel is one of the people who made plans with Absalom.” Then David prayed, “Lord, I ask you to make Ahithophel’s advice useless.” 32David came to the top of the mountain. This was where he often worshiped God. At that time, Hushai the Arkite came to him. Hushai’s coat was torn, and there was dust on his head.* 33David said to Hushai, “If you go with me, then you will be just one more person to care for. 34But if you go back to Jerusalem, you can make Ahithophel’s advice become useless. Tell Absalom, ‘King, I am your servant. I served your father, but now I will serve you.’ 35The priests Zadok and Abiathar will be with you. You must tell them everything you hear in the king’s house. 36Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan will be with them. You will send them to tell me everything you hear.” 37Then David’s friend Hushai went into the city. And Absalom arrived at Jerusalem.

chariot(s) A small wagon used in war. gate This was where people came to do all of their business. This was also where many court cases were held. four years Some ancient writings say “40 years.” sacrifice(s) A gift to God. Usually it was a special animal that was killed and burned on an altar.  wives Literally, “concubines,” women servants that were like wives. people Literally, “country.” Box of God’s Agreement, God’s Holy Box Also called “The Ark of the Covenant,” the box containing the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments written on them and the other things that proved God was with the people of Israel during their time in the Sinai Desert. said prayers Literally, “went up.” This could mean, “burn incense,” “offer sacrifices,” or it might simply mean that Abiathar stood to one side, by the Holy Box, until all of the people passed by. seer Another name for a prophet. coat was torn … head This showed he was very sad.

Ziba Meets David

16 David went a short way over the top {of the Mount of Olives} and met Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth. Ziba had two donkeys with saddles on them. The donkeys also carried 200 loaves of bread, 100 bunches of raisins, 100 summer fruits, and a wineskin full of wine. 2King David said to Ziba, “What are these things for?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride on. The bread and the summer fruit are for the servants to eat. And the wine is refreshment for whoever begins to feel weak in the desert.” 3Then the king asked, “And where is Mephibosheth?”* Ziba answered the king, “Mephibosheth is staying in Jerusalem. He thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will give my grandfather’s* kingdom back to me.’” 4Then the king said to Ziba, “{Because of that,} I now give you everything that belonged to Mephibosheth.” Ziba said, “I bow {to you}. I hope I will always be able to please you.”

Shimei Curses David

5David came to Bahurim. A man from Saul’s family came out from Bahurim. This man’s name was Shimei son of Gera. Shimei came out saying bad things to David. And he kept saying bad things again and again. 6Shimei began throwing stones at David and his officers. But the people and the soldiers gathered around David—they were all around him. 7Shimei cursed David. He said, “Get out, get out, you no-good murderer!* 8The Lord is punishing you. Why? Because you killed people in Saul’s family. You stole Saul’s place as king. But now the same bad things are happening to you. The Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Why? Because you are a murderer.”* 9Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse you, my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off Shimei’s head.” 10But the king answered, “What can I do, sons of Zeruiah? Sure, Shimei is cursing me. But the Lord told him to curse me.” 11David also said to Abishai and all his servants, “Look, my very own son (Absalom) is trying to kill me. This man (Shimei) from the family group of Benjamin has more right to kill me. Let him alone. Let him keep on saying bad things to me. The Lord told him to do this. 12Maybe the Lord will see the wrong things that are happening to me. Then maybe the Lord will give me something good for every bad thing that Shimei says today.” 13So David and his men went on {their way} down the road. But Shimei kept following David. Shimei walked on the other side of the road by the side of the hill. Shimei kept saying bad things to David on his way. Shimei also threw stones and dirt at David. 14King David and all his people came to {the Jordan River}. The king and his people were tired. So they rested and refreshed themselves there. 15Absalom, Ahithophel, and all the people of Israel came to Jerusalem. 16David’s friend, Hushai the Arkite, came to Absalom. Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17Absalom answered, “Why are you not loyal to your friend {David}? Why did you not leave {Jerusalem} with your friend?” 18Hushai said, “I belong to the person that the Lord chooses. These people and the people of Israel chose you. I will stay with you. 19In the past, I served your father. So, now I should serve David’s son. I will serve you.”

Absalom Asks Ahithophel for Advice

20Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Please tell us what we should do.” 21Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Your father left some of his wives* here to take care of the house. Go and have sexual relations with them. Then all the Israelites will hear that your father hates you. And all of your people will be encouraged to give you more support.” 22Then they put up a tent for Absalom on the roof of the house.* And Absalom had sexual relations with his father’s wives.* All the Israelites saw it. 23At that time, the advice of Ahithophel was very {important} to both David and Absalom. It was as {important as} God’s word to a man.

Mephibosheth Literally, “your master’s grandson.” grandfather’s Literally, “father’s.” murderer Literally, “man of blood.” wives Literally, “concubines,” women servants that were like wives. roof of the house The houses had flat roofs which were often used as an extra room.

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