1 Sometime afterward, Avshalom provided himself with a chariot, horses, and fifty outrunners.
א וַיְהִי מֵאַחֲרֵי כֵן וַיַּעַשׂ לוֹ אַבְשָׁלוֹם מֶרְכָּבָה וְסֻסִים וַחֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ רָצִים לְפָנָיו׃
2 Avshalom used to rise early and stand by the road to the city gates; and whenever a man had a case that was to come before the king for judgment, Avshalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” And when he answered, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe in Yisrael,”
3 Avshalom would say to him, “It is clear that your claim is right and just, but there is no one assigned to you by the king to hear it.”
4 And Avshalom went on, “If only I were appointed judge in the land and everyone with a legal dispute came before me, I would see that he got his rights.”
ד וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם מִי־יְשִׂמֵנִי שֹׁפֵט בָּאָרֶץ וְעָלַי יָבוֹא כָּל־אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־יִהְיֶה־לּוֹ־רִיב וּמִשְׁפָּט וְהִצְדַּקְתִּיו׃
5 And if a man approached to bow to him, [Avshalom] would extend his hand and take hold of him and kiss him.
ה וְהָיָה בִּקְרָב־אִישׁ לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוׂת לוֹ וְשָׁלַח אֶת־יָדוֹ וְהֶחֱזִיק לוֹ וְנָשַׁק לוֹ׃
ח כִּי־נֵדֶר נָדַר עַבְדְּךָ בְּשִׁבְתִּי בִגְשׁוּר בַּאֲרָם לֵאמֹר אִם־ישיב [יָשׁוֹב] יְשִׁיבֵנִי יְהֹוָה יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְעָבַדְתִּי אֶת־יְהֹוָה׃
9 The king said to him, “Go in peace”; and so he set out for Chevron.
ט וַיֹּאמֶר־לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לֵךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ חֶבְרוֹנָה׃
יא וְאֶת־אַבְשָׁלוֹם הָלְכוּ מָאתַיִם אִישׁ מִירוּשָׁלִַם קְרֻאִים וְהֹלְכִים לְתֻמָּם וְלֹא יָדְעוּ כָּל־דָּבָר׃
12 Avshalom also sent [to fetch] Achitofel the Gilonite, David‘s counselor, from his town, Giloh, when the sacrifices were to be offered. The conspiracy gained strength, and the people supported Avshalom in increasing numbers.
14 Whereupon David said to all the courtiers who were with him in Yerushalayim, “Let us flee at once, or none of us will escape from Avshalom. We must get away quickly, or he will soon overtake us and bring down disaster upon us and put the city to the sword.”
15 The king’s courtiers said to the king, “Whatever our lord the king decides, your servants are ready.”
טו וַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַר אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ הִנֵּה עֲבָדֶיךָ׃
16 So the king left, followed by his entire household, except for ten concubines whom the king left to mind the palace.
טז וַיֵּצֵא הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־בֵּיתוֹ בְּרַגְלָיו וַיַּעֲזֹב הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת עֶשֶׂר נָשִׁים פִּלַגְשִׁים לִשְׁמֹר הַבָּיִת׃
17 The king left, followed by all the people, and they stopped at the last house.
יז וַיֵּצֵא הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־הָעָם בְּרַגְלָיו וַיַּעַמְדוּ בֵּית הַמֶּרְחָק׃
18 All his followers marched past him, including all the Cherethites and all the Pelethites; and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had accompanied him from Gath, also marched by the king.
יח וְכָל־עֲבָדָיו עֹבְרִים עַל־יָדוֹ וְכָל־הַכְּרֵתִי וְכָל־הַפְּלֵתִי וְכָל־הַגִּתִּים שֵׁשׁ־מֵאוֹת אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ בְרַגְלוֹ מִגַּת עֹבְרִים עַל־פְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃
19 And the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you too go with us? Go back and stay with the [new] king, for you are a foreigner and you are also an exile from your country.
יט וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־אִתַּי הַגִּתִּי לָמָּה תֵלֵךְ גַּם־אַתָּה אִתָּנוּ שׁוּב וְשֵׁב עִם־הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי־נָכְרִי אַתָּה וְגַם־גֹּלֶה אַתָּה לִמְקוֹמֶךָ׃
20 You came only yesterday; should I make you wander about with us today, when I myself must go wherever I can? Go back, and take your kinsmen with you, [in] true faithfulness.”
כ תְּמוֹל בּוֹאֶךָ וְהַיּוֹם אנועך [אֲנִיעֲךָ] עִמָּנוּ לָלֶכֶת וַאֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ עַל אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ שׁוּב וְהָשֵׁב אֶת־אַחֶיךָ עִמָּךְ חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת׃
21 Ittai replied to the king, “As Hashem lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, there your servant will be, whether for death or for life!”
כא וַיַּעַן אִתַּי אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמַר חַי־יְהֹוָה וְחֵי אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי אִם־בִּמְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה־שָּׁם אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם־לְמָוֶת אִם־לְחַיִּים כִּי־שָׁם יִהְיֶה עַבְדֶּךָ׃
22 And David said to Ittai, “Then march by.” And Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the children who were with him marched by.
כב וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־אִתַּי לֵךְ וַעֲבֹר וַיַּעֲבֹר אִתַּי הַגִּתִּי וְכָל־אֲנָשָׁיו וְכָל־הַטַּף אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ׃
23 The whole countryside wept aloud as the troops marched by. The king crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the troops crossed by the road to the wilderness.
כג וְכָל־הָאָרֶץ בּוֹכִים קוֹל גָּדוֹל וְכָל־הָעָם עֹבְרִים וְהַמֶּלֶךְ עֹבֵר בְּנַחַל קִדְרוֹן וְכָל־הָעָם עֹבְרִים עַל־פְּנֵי־דֶרֶךְ אֶת־הַמִּדְבָּר׃
24 Then Tzadok appeared, with all the Leviim carrying the Aron Brit Hashem; and they set down the Aron of Hashem until all the people had finished marching out of the city. Evyatar also came up.
כד וְהִנֵּה גַם־צָדוֹק וְכָל־הַלְוִיִּם אִתּוֹ נֹשְׂאִים אֶת־אֲרוֹן בְּרִית הָאֱלֹהִים וַיַּצִּקוּ אֶת־אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים וַיַּעַל אֶבְיָתָר עַד־תֹּם כָּל־הָעָם לַעֲבוֹר מִן־הָעִיר׃
25 But the king said to Tzadok, “Take the Aron of Hashem back to the city. If I find favor with Hashem, He will bring me back and let me see it and its abode.
כה וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְצָדוֹק הָשֵׁב אֶת־אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים הָעִיר אִם־אֶמְצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וֶהֱשִׁבַנִי וְהִרְאַנִי אֹתוֹ וְאֶת־נָוֵהוּ׃
26 And if He should say, ‘I do not want you,’ I am ready; let Him do with me as He pleases.”
כו וְאִם כֹּה יֹאמַר לֹא חָפַצְתִּי בָּךְ הִנְנִי יַעֲשֶׂה־לִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר טוֹב בְּעֵינָיו׃
28 Look, I shall linger in the steppes of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”
כח רְאוּ אָנֹכִי מִתְמַהְמֵהַּ בעברות [בְּעַרְבוֹת] הַמִּדְבָּר עַד בּוֹא דָבָר מֵעִמָּכֶם לְהַגִּיד לִי׃
כט וַיָּשֶׁב צָדוֹק וְאֶבְיָתָר אֶת־אֲרוֹן הָאֱלֹהִים יְרוּשָׁלִָם וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם׃
30 David meanwhile went up the slope of the [Mount of] Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he walked barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they went up.
v’-da-VID o-LEH v’-ma-a-LAY ha-zay-TEEM o-LEH u-vo-KHEH v’-ROSH LO kha-FUY v’-HU ho-LAYKH ya-KHAYF v’-khol ha-AM a-sher i-TO kha-FU EESH ro-SHO v’-a-LU a-LOH u-va-KHOH
ל וְדָוִד עֹלֶה בְמַעֲלֵה הַזֵּיתִים עֹלֶה וּבוֹכֶה וְרֹאשׁ לוֹ חָפוּי וְהוּא הֹלֵךְ יָחֵף וְכָל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ חָפוּ אִישׁ רֹאשׁוֹ וְעָלוּ עָלֹה וּבָכֹה׃
In distress, King David ascends the Mount of Olives, Har HaZeitim (הר הזיתים), the mountain just east of the Temple Mount that later becomes a very significant location for the Jewish people. During the time of the Beit Hamikdash, the red heifer, whose ashes are needed for complete ritual purification, is to be slaughtered on Har HaZeitim, in view of the Temple. Har HaZeitim is also home to the most important Jewish cemetery in Israel, due to its proximity to the Temple Mount. In fact, there is a tradition, based on a verse in Zecharya (14:4), that those who are buried on Har HaZeitim will be the first to be resurrected in the times of Mashiah. Har HaZeitim gets its name from the many olive trees that once grew there. According the Sages, the olive branch brought back to Noach in the mouth of the dove was taken from an olive tree on Har HaZeitim.Comment
32 When David reached the top, where people would prostrate themselves to Hashem, Hushai the Archite was there to meet him, with his robe torn and with earth on his head.
לב וַיְהִי דָוִד בָּא עַד־הָרֹאשׁ אֲשֶׁר־יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה שָׁם לֵאלֹהִים וְהִנֵּה לִקְרָאתוֹ חוּשַׁי הָאַרְכִּי קָרוּעַ כֻּתָּנְתּוֹ וַאֲדָמָה עַל־רֹאשׁוֹ׃
33 David said to him, “If you march on with me, you will be a burden to me.
לג וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ דָּוִד אִם עָבַרְתָּ אִתִּי וְהָיִתָ עָלַי לְמַשָּׂא׃
34 But if you go back to the city and say to Avshalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; I was your father’s servant formerly, and now I will be yours,’ then you can nullify Achitofel‘s counsel for me.