Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and fifty men as runners before him.
Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, "From what city are you?" And he would say, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel."
Then Absalom would say to him, "See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king."
Moreover, Absalom would say, "Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice."
And when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him.
In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.
Now it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron.
"For your servant vowed a vow while I was living at Geshur in Aram, saying, 'If the LORD shall indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.'"
The king said to him, "Go in peace." So he arose and went to Hebron.
But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, 'Absalom is king in Hebron.'"
Then two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem, who were invited and went innocently, and they did not know anything.
And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually with Absalom.
Then a messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom."
David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Arise and let us flee, for [otherwise] none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword."
Then the king's servants said to the king, "Behold, your servants [are ready to do] whatever my lord the king chooses."
So the king went out and all his household with him. But the king left ten concubines to keep the house.
The king went out and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house.
Now all his servants passed on beside him, all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king.