2 Samuel, Chapter 17

- י ח ו -

Ahithophel’s Advice Is Discarded and He Commits Suicide

Absalom has settled in Jerusalem and is now planning his next steps. Ahithophel offers Absalom sound advice—act swiftly and kill David before he runs off and reorganizes. Ahithophel tells Absalom that once his father is killed, everyone will follow him and there won’t be any need for a large battle. However, Absalom hesitates and asks Hushai, who is in fact David’s secret agent, for his counsel, as well. In contrast to Ahithophel, Hushai suggests that Absalom recruit more men so that the king will be effectively defeated and all threats eliminated. 

While Absalom raises a larger army, David manages to cross into the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Ahithophel, whose advice was rejected, commits suicide because he understands that he has no future once his leader is toppled. Absalom’s hesitance and procrastination will cost him his life. As David leaves Jerusalem, he leaves behind hidden sparks that continue to feed his spiritual flames and allow him to emerge victorious later on. We must leave sparks everywhere we go, because they might help us or others in the future.

“Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only: And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace” (2 Samuel 17:1-3)

Diligence is the consistent series of choices we make to engage in spiritual work – to act, do, learn, and achieve more.