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CHAPTER 17 Jul. 31 
Absalom Accepts Hushai's Counsel
Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight. 2I will come on him while he is weary and exhausted, and will make him afraid. All the people who are with him shall flee. I will strike the king only; 3and I will bring back all the people to you. The man whom you seek is as if all returned; and so all the people shall be in peace. 4The saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel. 5Then Absalom said, Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he says. 6When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him saying, Ahithophel has spoken like this. Shall we do what he says? If not, speak up. 7Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time. 8Hushai said moreover, You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are bitter in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9Behold, he is now hidden in some pit, or in some other place. It will happen, when some of them have fallen at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom!’ 10Even he who is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11But I advise that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you go to battle in your own person. 12So shall we come on him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light on him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him we will not leave so much as one. 13Moreover, if he be gone into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there isn’t one small stone found there. 14Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For Yahweh had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Yahweh might bring evil on Absalom. 15Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Ahithophel counselled Absalom and the elders of Israel that way; and I have counselled this way. 16Now therefore send quickly and tell David saying, ‘Don’t lodge this night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people who are with him’.
Warning Sent to David
17Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En Rogel; and a female servant used to go and tell them; and they went and told king David. For they didn’t want to be seen to come into the city. 18But a boy saw them, and told Absalom. Then they both went away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down there. 19The woman took and spread the covering over the well’s mouth, and spread out bruised grain on it; and nothing was known. 20Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house; and they said, Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan? The woman said to them, They have gone over the brook of water. When they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21It happened, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David; and they said to David, Arise and pass quickly over the water; for thus has Ahithophel counselled against you. 22Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they passed over the Jordan. By the morning light there lacked not one of them who had not gone over the Jordan. 23When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey, and arose, and went home, to his city, and set his house in order, and hanged himself; and he died, and was buried in the tomb of his father. 24Then David came to Mahanaim. Absalom passed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25Absalom set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man, whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27It happened, when David had come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28brought beds, basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans, lentils, roasted grain, 29honey, butter, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David, and for the people who were with him, to eat: for they said, The people are hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.


17:11 As the sand that is by the sea for multitude- Baptism means that we are now the seed of Abraham, and the promised blessings are right now being fulfilled in us (Acts 3:27-29). Israel were multiplied as the sand on the sea shore (1 Kings 4:20), they possessed the gates of their enemies (Dt. 17:2; 18:6)- all in antitype of how Abraham's future seed would also receive the promised blessings in their mortal experience, as well as in the eternal blessedness of the future Kingdom.
17:14 Ahithophel advised Absalom to attack and kill righteous king David without any more delay. Absalom refused this advice. The inspired record comments: “For Yahweh had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel”. Was it really good counsel? Not in God’s eyes. It was only ‘good’ for Absalom from a fleshly viewpoint. And yet the record speaks from Absalom’s perspective; it speaks of something definitely evil as being “good” within the context in which it was given. Thus the record here refers to men’s bad thinking as if it is correct. This principle explains why the New Testament uses the language of demons to describe mental illness, even though demons don’t exist and God is all powerful.

17:20 They have gone over the brook of water- The Hebrew is ambiguous; they were literally over the water in that they were hiding over a well (:18). See on 16:18.

17:23 Ahithophel was like so many people- giving up his life, even if not everyone does it by suicide, because he felt he had failed, he ran out of highway and lost his political power to others. For those in Christ, life becomes valuable; we number our days with wisdom (Ps. 90:12). We no longer fear failure, for firstly we know there is forgiveness in Christ; and secondly, our realization will be that we’re on a journey, living the real life of ultimate discovery and adventure, able to live with the fears which this presents to us. Failure is no longer a problem to us; for the aim of the Kingdom is ever before us. Our failures are nothing more than temporary setbacks, as the baby who stretches out her hands to the lamp on the ceiling and cries because she can’t reach it. We take them all, even our sins, in the spirit of the cross- the supreme failure which became the supreme triumph of God and the spiritual person.