2 Samuel 15:1-37, NLT
2 Samuel 15
1After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him.
5When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them.
7After four years,*15:7 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads forty years. Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and fulfill a vow I made to him.
9“All right,” the king told him. “Go and fulfill your vow.”
So Absalom went to Hebron.
David Escapes from Jerusalem
13A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!”
14“Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.”
15“We are with you,” his advisers replied. “Do what you think is best.”
16So the king and all his household set out at once. He left no one behind except ten of his concubines to look after the palace.
19Then the king turned and said to Ittai, a leader of the men from Gath, “Why are you coming with us? Go on back to King Absalom, for you are a guest in Israel, a foreigner in exile.
21But Ittai said to the king, “I vow by the Lord and by your own life that I will go wherever my lord the king goes, no matter what happens—whether it means life or death.”
22David replied, “All right, come with us.” So Ittai and all his men and their families went along.
23Everyone cried loudly as the king and his followers passed by. They crossed the Kidron Valley and then went out toward the wilderness.
24Zadok and all the Levites also came along, carrying the Ark of the Covenant of God. They set down the Ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices*15:24 Or Abiathar went up. until everyone had passed out of the city.
25Then the king instructed Zadok to take the Ark of God back into the city. “If the Lord sees fit,” David said, “he will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle*15:25 Hebrew and his dwelling place. again.
27The king also told Zadok the priest, “Look,*15:27a As in Greek version; Hebrew reads Are you a seer? or Do you see? here is my plan. You and Abiathar*15:27b Hebrew lacks and Abiathar; compare 15:29. should return quietly to the city with your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan.
30David walked up the road to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His head was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning. And the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they climbed the hill.
32When David reached the summit of the Mount of Olives where people worshiped God, Hushai the Arkite was waiting there for him. Hushai had torn his clothing and put dirt on his head as a sign of mourning.
37So David’s friend Hushai returned to Jerusalem, getting there just as Absalom arrived.