17 Aug. 2 Samuel 17:1-29

17 Aug.  Hushai persuades Absalom not to pursue David

“Ahithophel said to Absalom, ‘Let me choose 12,000 men and chase David tonight. I’ll catch him while he is tired and weak, and I’ll frighten him so all his people will run away. But I’ll kill only King David. Then I’ll bring everyone back to you. If the man you are looking for is dead, everyone else will return safely.’ This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the leaders of Israel.”

“But Absalom said, ‘Now call Hushai the Arkite, so I can hear what he says.’ When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, ‘This is the plan Ahithophel gave. Should we follow it? If not, tell us.’”

“Hushai said to Absalom, ‘Ahithophel’s advice is not good this time… You know your father and his men are strong… Your father is a skilled fighter. He won’t stay all night with the army. He is probably already hiding in a cave or some other place. If the first attack fails, people will hear the news and think, “Absalom’s followers are losing!”’…”

“’This is what I suggest: gather all the Israelites from Dan to Beersheba. There will be as many people as grains of sand by the sea. Then you yourself must go into the battle. We will go to David wherever he is hiding. We will fall on him as dew falls on the ground. We will kill him and all of his men so that no one will be left alive.’…”

“Absalom and all the Israelites said, ‘The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.’ (The LORD had planned to destroy the good advice of Ahithophel so the LORD could bring disaster on Absalom.)”

“Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had suggested to Absalom and the elders of Israel. He also reported to them what he himself had suggested. Hushai said, ‘Quickly! Send a message to David. Tell him not to stay tonight at the crossings into the desert but to cross over the Jordan River at once. If he crosses the river, he and all his people won’t be destroyed.’”

“Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En Rogel. They did not want to be seen going into the city, so a servant girl would go out to them and give them messages. Then Jonathan and Ahimaaz would go and tell King David.”

“But a boy saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz and told Absalom. So Jonathan and Ahimaaz left quickly and went to a man’s house in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it. The man’s wife spread a sheet over the opening of the well and covered it with grain. No one could tell anyone was hiding there…”

“After Absalom’s servants left, Jonathan and Ahimaaz climbed out of the well and went to tell King David. They said, ‘Hurry, cross over the river! Ahithophel has said these things against you!’ So David and all his people crossed the Jordan River. By dawn, everyone had crossed the Jordan…”

“David arrived at Mahanaim… Shobi, Makir and Barzillai were at Mahanaim when David arrived… They brought beds, bowls, clay pots, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, small peas, honey, milk curds, sheep and cheese made from cow’s milk for David and his people. They said, ‘The people are hungry and tired and thirsty in the desert.’”

          (2 Samuel 17:1-29)



When Absalom called together his chief supporters, Ahithophel advised Absalom to pursue David immediately with a small force and to kill him. He pointed out that David would be tired and weary, and suggested that, in the panic, his followers would run away.

Hushai, however, reminded the elders that David was a skilled soldier, and would already be hiding where his pursuers would not find him.  He persuaded Absalom to consolidate his position before attacking David with a large army.

Hushai then asked Zadok the priest to send a message secretly to David, urging him not to spend the night at the fords across the River Jordan. Zadok’s son Ahimaaz, and Abiathar’s son Jonathan, were waiting at the spring of En Rogel (the ‘well of the fuller’) on the outskirts of Jerusalem, to receive the message.

Unfortunately they were spotted by a boy who informed Absalom, and they were forced to hide in a well in the courtyard of a house at Bahurim. Eventually, however, they escaped and took the message to David.

On receiving Hushai’s warning, David immediately crossed the River Jordan during the night, and the following day reached the well-defended city of Mahanaim on the north bank of the River Jabbok, where he was welcomed by the people and was able to gather reinforcements around him (see 12 on the map on 27 July).

The photo (by David Bjorgen) shows the River Jordan near Jericho.

You can read more about David and Absalom @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/30-israel-becomes-a-kingdom-under-saul-and-david/absaloms-flight-amp-his-rebellion-against-david

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