15:7 After four 1 years Absalom said to the king, “Let me go and repay my vow that I made to the Lord while I was in Hebron. 15:8 For I made this vow 2 when I was living in Geshur in Aram: ‘If the Lord really does allow me to return to Jerusalem, 3 I will serve the Lord.’” 15:9 The king replied to him, “Go in peace.” So Absalom 4 got up and went to Hebron.
15:10 Then Absalom sent spies through all the tribes of Israel who said, “When you hear the sound of the horn, you may assume 5 that Absalom rules in Hebron.” 15:11 Now two hundred men had gone with Absalom from Jerusalem. Since they were invited, they went naively and were unaware of what Absalom was planning. 6 15:12 While he was offering sacrifices, Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s adviser, 7 to come from his city, Giloh. 8 The conspiracy was gaining momentum, and the people were starting to side with Absalom.
1 tc The MT has here “forty,” but this is presumably a scribal error for “four.” The context will not tolerate a period of forty years prior to the rebellion of Absalom. The Lucianic Greek recension (τέσσαρα ἔτη, tessara ete), the Syriac Peshitta (’arba’ sanin), and Vulgate (post quattuor autem annos) in fact have the expected reading “four years.” Most English translations follow the versions in reading “four” here, although some (e.g. KJV, ASV, NASB, NKJV), following the MT, read “forty.”
2 tn Heb “for your servant vowed a vow.” The formal court style of referring to one’s self in third person (“your servant”) has been translated here as first person for clarity.
4 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Absalom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
5 tn Heb “say.”
6 tn Heb “being invited and going naively and they did not know anything.”
7 tn Traditionally, “counselor,” but this term is more often associated with psychological counseling today, so “adviser” was used in the translation instead.
8 tn Heb “Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, the adviser of David, from his city, from Giloh, while he was sacrificing.” It is not entirely clear who (Absalom or Ahithophel) was offering the sacrifices.