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2 Samuel 16:15-23

Context
The Advice of Ahithophel

16:15 Now when Absalom and all the men 1  of Israel arrived in Jerusalem, 2  Ahithophel was with him. 16:16 When David’s friend Hushai the Arkite came to Absalom, Hushai said to him, 3  “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

16:17 Absalom said to Hushai, “Do you call this loyalty to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?” 16:18 Hushai replied to Absalom, “No, I will be loyal to the one whom the Lord, these people, and all the men of Israel have chosen. 4  16:19 Moreover, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you.” 5 

16:20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?” 16:21 Ahithophel replied to Absalom, “Have sex with 6  your father’s concubines whom he left to care for the palace. All Israel will hear that you have made yourself repulsive to your father. Then your followers will be motivated to support you.” 7  16:22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, 8  and Absalom had sex with 9  his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

16:23 In those days Ahithophel’s advice was considered as valuable as a prophetic revelation. 10  Both David and Absalom highly regarded the advice of Ahithophel. 11 

1 tn Heb “and all the people, the men of Israel.”

2 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

3 tn Heb “to Absalom.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun “him” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

4 tn Heb “No for with the one whom the Lord has chosen, and this people, and all the men of Israel, I will be and with him I will stay.” The translation follows the Qere and several medieval Hebrew mss in reading לוֹ (lo, “[I will be] to him”) rather than the MT לֹא (lo’, “[I will] not be”), which makes very little sense here.

5 tn Heb “Just as I served before your father, so I will be before you.”

6 tn Heb “go to”; NAB “have (+ sexual NCV) relations with”; TEV “have intercourse with”; NLT “Go and sleep with.”

7 tn Heb “and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.”

8 sn That is, on top of the flat roof of the palace, so it would be visible to the public.

9 tn Heb “went to”; NAB “he visited his father’s concubines”; NIV “lay with his father’s concubines”; TEV “went in and had intercourse with.”

10 tn Heb “And the advice of Ahithophel which he advised in those days was as when one inquires of the word of God.”

11 tn Heb “So was all the advice of Ahithophel, also to David, also to Absalom.”



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