Absalom turns against King David
1 Some time later, Absalom bought a chariot and some horses. He had 50 men who ran in front of the chariot to give him honour. 2 Every day, he got up early in the morning. Then he went to stand at the side of the road near the city's gate. He called out to anyone who was bringing a problem for the king to judge. He would ask them, ‘Which town have you come from?’ Then the man would tell Absalom which tribe of Israel he belonged to. 3 Then Absalom would say, ‘I am sure that you are right. You deserve to receive justice. But the king has not given any of his officers authority to listen to you.’ 4 Absalom would also say, ‘I think that I should have authority to be a judge in Israel. Then when people have a problem to take to court, they could come to me. I would make sure that they receive justice.’
5 When anyone bent his body down low to give honour to Absalom, Absalom would reach out and pull the man towards him. He would kiss the man. 6 Absalom did this to all the Israelites who came to Jerusalem to ask the king for justice. In that way, Absalom turned the people of Israel so that they became faithful to him.
7 After four years, Absalom said to the king, ‘Please let me go to Hebron. I need to make a sacrifice to the Lord, as I promised to do. 8 When I was living at Geshur with the Arameans, I made this promise: “If the Lord brings me back to live in Jerusalem, I will go to Hebron and I will worship him there.” ’
9 The king said, ‘Yes, you may go.’ So Absalom left Jerusalem and he went to Hebron.
10 Then Absalom sent his men to go secretly to all the tribes of Israel. They took this message to the people: ‘When you hear the noise of trumpets, then you must shout, “Absalom has become king in Hebron.” ’
11 200 men had gone with Absalom from Jerusalem. He had asked them to go with him as his friends. They trusted him and they did not know about his ideas. 12 Absalom offered his sacrifices as he had promised to do. But at the same time he sent men to fetch Ahithophel from Giloh, where he lived. Ahithophel was King David's advisor. More and more people agreed to join Absalom and turn against David. So Absalom was becoming more powerful.