Ahitophel (Hebrew: אחיתופל; "Brother of Insipidity", or "Impiety") was a counselor of King David and a man greatly renowned for his sagacity. At the time of Absalom's revolt he deserted David (Psalm. 41:9; 55:12–14) and espoused the cause of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:12).
David sent his old friend Hushai back to Absalom, in order that he might counteract the counsel of Ahitophel (2 Sam. 15:31–37). Ahitophel, seeing that his good advice against David had not been followed due to Hushai's influence, correctly predicted that the revolt would fail. He then left the camp of Absalom at once. He returned to Giloh, his native place, and after arranging his worldly affairs, hanged himself, and was buried in the sepulcher of his fathers (2 Sam. 17:1–23).
A man named Ahitophel is also mentioned in 2 Samuel 23:34, and he is said to be the father of Eliam. Since 2 Samuel 11:3 notes that Eliam is the father of Bathsheba, some scholars suggest that the Ahitophel of 2 Samuel 15 may in fact be Bathsheba's grandfather. Levenson and Halpern, for example, note that "the narrator is sufficiently subtle (or guileless) to have Bathsheba's grandfather... instigate the exaction of YHWH's pound of flesh," as Nathan's curse in 2 Samuel 12:11 comes to fruition.