17:16 Now send word quickly to David and warn him, 1 “Don’t spend the night at the fords of the desert 2 tonight. Instead, be sure you cross over, 3 or else the king and everyone who is with him may be overwhelmed.” 4
17:17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying in En Rogel. A female servant would go and inform them, and they would then go and inform King David. It was not advisable for them to be seen going into the city. 17:18 But a young man saw them on one occasion and informed Absalom. So the two of them quickly departed and went to the house of a man in Bahurim. There was a well in his courtyard, and they got down in it. 17:19 His wife then took the covering and spread it over the top of the well and scattered some grain over it. No one was aware of what she had done.
17:20 When the servants of Absalom approached the woman at her home, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman replied to them, “They crossed over the stream.” Absalom’s men 5 searched but did not find them, so they returned to Jerusalem. 6
17:21 After the men had left, Ahimaaz and Jonathan 7 climbed out of the well. Then they left and informed King David. They advised David, “Get up and cross the stream 8 quickly, for Ahithophel has devised a plan to catch you.” 9
1 tn Heb “send quickly and tell David saying.”
2 tn Or “wilderness” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV, TEV).
3 tn That is, “cross over the Jordan River.”
4 tn Heb “swallowed up.”
5 tn Heb “they”; the referents (Absalom’s men) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Heb “they”; the referents (Ahimaaz and Jonathan) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
8 tn Heb “the water.”
9 tn Heb “for thus Ahithophel has devised against you.” The expression “thus” is narrative shorthand, referring to the plan outlined by Ahithophel (see vv. 1-3). The men would surely have outlined the plan in as much detail as they had been given by the messenger.