¶ Then Ahitophel said unto Absalom: let me choose out, I pray thee, twelve thousand men. And I will up and follow after David by night. And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will fear him, that all the people that are with him shall flee. And so will I smite the king onely, and will bring again all the people unto thee. And when all these men which thou seekest are turned to thee, all the people shall have rest. And the saying pleased Absalom well and all the elders of Israel. Then said Absalom: call also Husai the Arachite and let us hear his sentence. When Husai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him saying: Ahitophel hath given such counsel: whether it be best we do after his saying or not, tell thou. Then said Husai to Absalom: the counsel that Ahitophel hath given is not good at this time. For (said Husai) thou knowest thy father and the men that are with him, how that they be strong men. And they be chafed in their minds, even as a bear robbed of her whelps. And thy father is a man practised in war, and will not lie a nights among the common people. Behold he lurketh now in some cave or in some other place. And thereto though some of his men be overthrown at the first brunt, yet they that hear it will think the people that followeth Absalom be put to the worse. By the reason whereof the best men thou hast whose hearts are as the hearts of Lions, shall shrink thereat. For all Israel knoweth that thy father is a man, and that they which be with him be children of activity. But my counsel is, that all Israel be gathered unto thee, from Dan to Bersabe, as the sand of the sea in number, and that thou go to battle in thine own person. And we will come upon him in one place or other, where we shalt find him, and we will pitch a field against him, even as thick as the dew falleth on the ground. And there shall not one of them be left, neither he nor any of all that are with him. Moreover if he take a town then shall all the men of Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one stone found upon another. And Absalom and all the men of Israel said: that the counsel of Husai the Arachite was better than the counsel of Ahitophel. For it was even the LORD's determination to destroy the counsel of Ahitophel: which was good, that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
¶ Then said Husai unto Sadock and Abiathar the priests: of this and that manner did Ahitophel and the elders of Israel counsel Absalom. And thus and thus have I counselled. Now therefore send quickly and shew David saying: tarry not all night in the fields of the wilderness, but get thee over, lest the king be devoured and all the people that are with him. Now Ionathas and Ahimaaz abode by the well rogell: for they might not be seen to come in to the city. And a wench went and told them. And they to go and shewed king David. Nevertheless there was a lad saw them which told it to Absalom. But they went both of them away quickly and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his yard, into which they went down. And the wife took and spread a coverlet on the top of the well and strawed thereon steeped barley to dry. And the thing was not spied. And when Absalom's servants came to the wife to the house and asked where one Ahimaaz and Ionathas were, the wife said unto them: they be gone over the little brook of water. And when they had sought them and could not find them, then they returned to Ierusalem. And as soon as they were departed, the other came out of the well, and went and told king David and said unto him: up and get you quickly over the water for such counsel hath Ahitophel given.
¶ Then David arose and all the people that were with him, and they were come over Iordan be that it was day, that there lacked not one of them that was not come over Iordan. And when Ahitophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his Ass and arose and gat him home to his own house and to his own city, and put his household in order and hanged himself and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father. Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Iordan, both he and all the men of Israel with him. And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host in the stead of Ioab, which Amasa was a man's son named Iethra a Iezrahelite that went into Abigail the daughter of Naah sister to Zaruiah Ioab's mother. And Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead. And when David was come to Mahanaim, Sobi the son of Naah out of Rabath the city of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Amiel out of Lodaber and Berzelai the Gileadite out of Rogelim, brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels: and also corn, barley, flour and parched corn, beans and rice honey, butter, sheep and cheese of kine, for David and all the people that were with him to eat. For they supposed that the people should be hungry, fainty, and thirsty in the wilderness.