2 Samuel 15:1-14

Absalom Makes Secret Plans Against David

15 Some time later, Absalom got a chariot and horses for himself. He also got 50 men to run in front of him. He would get up early. He would stand by the side of the road that led to the city gate. Sometimes a person would come with a case for the king to decide. Then Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “I’m from one of the tribes of Israel.” Absalom would say, “Look, your claims are based on the law. So you have every right to make them. But the king doesn’t have anyone here who can listen to your case.” Absalom would continue, “I wish I were appointed judge in the land! Then anyone who has a case or a claim could come to me. I would make sure they are treated fairly.”

Sometimes people would approach Absalom and bow down to him. Then he would reach out his hand. He would take hold of them and kiss them. Absalom did that to all the Israelites who came to the king with their cases or claims. That’s why the hearts of the people were turned toward him.

After Absalom had lived in Jerusalem for four years, he went and spoke to the king. He said, “Let me go to Hebron. I want to keep a promise I made to the Lord. When I was living at Geshur in Aram, I made a promise. I said, ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I’ll go to Hebron and worship him there.’ ”

The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron.

10 Then Absalom sent messengers secretly to all the tribes of Israel. They said, “Listen for the sound of trumpets. As soon as you hear them, say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron.’ ” 11 Absalom had taken 200 men from Jerusalem with him to Hebron. He had invited them to be his guests. They went without having any idea what was going to happen. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel. Ahithophel was David’s adviser. He came to Absalom from Giloh, his hometown. The number of people who followed Absalom kept growing. So he became more and more able to carry out his plans against David.

David Runs Away From Absalom

13 A messenger came and spoke to David. He told him, “The hearts of the Israelites are turned toward Absalom.”

14 Then David spoke to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem. He said, “Come on! We have to leave right away! If we don’t, none of us will escape from Absalom. He’ll move quickly to catch up with us. He’ll destroy us. His men will kill everyone in the city with their swords.”