¶ After this Absalom gat him chariots and horses and fifty men to run before him. And thereto he used to rise up early in the mornings and to stond by the way's side that led to the gate of the city. And all the men of Israel that had complaints and came to the king for judgement, he called unto him and said: of what city art thou? And when the other answered: thy servant is of such a tribe of Israel. Then said Absalom unto him: see, thy matter is good and righteous, and yet no man is deputed of the king to hear thee. Then Absalom said moreover: Oh, that I were a judge in the land, and that all men which have pleas and matter in the law, should come to me. For I would do them justice. And also when any man came nye to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand and took him to him and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgement, and therewith stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
¶ And at forty years' end Absalom said unto the king: let me go I pray thee to Hebron, and pay my vow which I have vowed, unto the LORD: for thy servant vowed a vow when I was in Gesur in the land of Siria saying: if the LORD shall bring me again to Ierusalem, I will serve the LORD. And the king said: go in peace. And so he arose and went to Hebron. Then Absalom sent spies thorowout all the tribes of Israel saying: as soon as ye hear the voice of the trumpet blow, say: Absalom reigneth king in Hebron. And with Absalom went two hundredth men out of Ierusalem that were called. And they went with pure hearts and wist nothing of the matter. And Absalom sent also for Ahitophel the Gilonite David's counsellor, and fetched him out of his city Giloh, when he sacrificed sacrifices. And there was wrought strong treason. And the people drew to Absalom in great multitude.
¶ And there came a messenger to David and said: the hearts of the men of Israel are to follow Absalom. Then said David unto all his servants that were with him at Ierusalem: up and let us flee, for we shall not else escape from Absalom. Make speed to depart: lest he come suddenly and catch us and bring some mischief upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. And the king's servants said to him: behold thy servants are ready to whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. And the king and all his household departed afoot. And he left behind him ten wives that were his concubines, to keep the house. And so the king and all the people went out afoot and tarried far from the house. And all his servants went by his side. And all the Cerethites and all the Phelethites, and all the Hethites even six hundredth men which were come afoot from Geth, went before the king. Then said the king to Ethai the Gethite, wherefore shouldest thou go with us also? Return and abide with the king, for thou art a stranger and art removed from thine own place. Thou camest but yesterday, and should I unquiet thee today to go with us? I will go whither I go. But return thou and carry again thy brethren. Mercy and truth be with thee. And Ethai answered the king and said: as surely as the LORD liveth, and as surely as my lord the king liveth, in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there will thy servant be. Then said the king to Ethai, come and go forward. And Ethai the Gethite went forth, and all his men, and all the children that were with him. And all the country wept with a loud voice. And all the people went forward the straight way to the wilderness.
¶ And behold, Sadock and all the Levites were with him and bare the ark of the appointment of God. And when they had fetched down the Ark of God, Abiathar came up, until the people were all come over, out of the city. Then said the king unto Sadock: Carry the Ark of God again 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 the tabernacle thereof also. But and if the Lord thus say: I have no lust unto thee. Behold, here am I, let him do with me what seemeth best in his eyes. The king said also unto Sadock the priest thou art a Sear. Return therefore into the city in peace. And take your two sons with you: Ahimaaz thy son, and Ionathas the son of Abiathar. And see, I will tarry in the fields of the wilderness until there come some word from you to be told me. And so Sadock and Abiathar carried the Ark of God again to Ierusalem, and they tarried there. And David went up on mount olivet and wept as he went, and had his head covered and went thereto barefoot. And all the people that was with him, had every man his head covered, and as they went wept also.
¶ And one told David saying: Ahitophel is one of them that have conspired with Absalom. Then said David: O LORD, turn the counsel of Ahitophel unto foolishness. When David was come to the top of the mount and had bowed himself unto God: behold, Husai the Arachite came against him with his coat torn and earth upon his head. Unto whom David said: if thou go with me thou shalt be a burden unto me. And if thou return to the city: then shalt thou say unto Absalom I will be thy servant O king: thus long have I been thy father's servant, and now I am thine. And destroy me the counsel of Ahitophel. And thou hast there with thee Sadock and Abiathar the priests, unto which thou shalt shew all that thou canst hear out of the king's house. And behold, ye have there with you their two sons: Ahimaaz Sadock's son, and Ionathas Abiathar's son, by which ye shall send me all that ye can hear. And so Husai David's friend gat him to the city. And Absalom also entered into Ierusalem.