II Samuel 17

Ahithophel also told Absalom that while he was busy with the concubines, Ahithophel would take 12,000 warriors and go kill David and bring the rest of the people back to Jerusalem. But Hushai was all, If I may, Sire, that’s a stupid plan. Your father and his men are seasoned warriors who cut their teeth hiding in the wilderness from Saul. This ass is not likely to find them, and if he does, he will find an enraged host that will decimate your forces. And when the people hear of your loss, they will lose heart and abandon you. No, you should wait until you gather all the Hebrews, from Dan to Beersheba, and attack David en masse and wipe his forces out.

Absalom was all, I like Hushai’s plan best. We’ll do that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some concubines to rape.

At this Ahithophel realized Absalom’s coup was doomed. He traveled back to his home, set his affairs in order and committed seppeuku. Hushai, on the other hand, hurried to Zadok and told him to get word to David to cross the Jordan as soon as possible. So Zadok’s sons set off, but someone saw them and pursued, so they stopped at the house of a sympathizer, whose wife hid them in a well and set their pursuers on a wild goose chase. When the coast was clear, they made it to David and gave him the message. David spent all night getting his followers across the Jordan. They camped in Mahanain at Shohi’s house.

The next day Absalom pursued. He put Amasa, an Ishmaelite married to Joab and Abishai’s first cousin, in charge of his forces.

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