118 THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE
by David and Absalom to be the same as if it had come from God himself. And Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me now pick out twelve thousand men, and set out and follow David to-night. Thus I will come upon him when he is tired and weak and will frighten him, and all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring back all the people to you as the bride turns to her husband. Seek only the life of one man, and all the people will be at peace." This advice pleased Absalom and all the leaders of Israel.
Then Absalom said, "Call now Hushai and let us hear also what he has to say." When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, "Thus Ahithophel has spoken; shall we act as he advises? If not, you advise us." Then Hushai said to Absalom, "The advice that Ahithophel has given this time is not good. You know that your father and his men are mighty warriors and are now angry, like a bear robbed of her cubs. Your father is also a soldier and will not stay at night with the people. Even now he has hidden himself in one of the caves or in some other place. If some of the people fall at first, whoever hears it will say, 'There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.' Then even he who is brave, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will completely lose courage; for all Israel knows that your father is a great warrior, and they who are with him are brave men. But I advise, let all the Israelites be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as many as the sand that is by the sea, with you yourself marching in the midst of them. In this way we will come upon him in some place where he will be found, and we will fall upon him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him not even one shall be left. If he goes into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will pull it down into the valley, until not even a small stone is found there."
Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The advice of Hushai is better than the advice of Ahithophel." For Jehovah had planned to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, so that Jehovah might bring evil upon Absalom.
Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, "This is what Ahithophel advised Absalom and the leaders of Israel; and this is what I advised. So now send quickly and say to David, 'Do not spend this night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, for fear that David and all the people with him be killed.' "