Why Did Ahithophel Betray David

Why Did Ahithophel Betray David?

Why Did Ahithophel Betray David

Why Did Ahithophel Betray David? Ahithophel, also spelled Achitophel, in the Old Testament of the Bible is one of King David’s most trusted advisers. Unfortunately, Ahithophel took a leading part in the revolt of King David’s son, Absalom. It is worth noting that Ahithophel’s defection came as a severe blow to King David. Having consulted Ahithophel about his plans to overthrow King David from the throne, Absalom then sought advice from Hushai, another of David’s counselors. Hushai, who remained secretly loyal to the king, betrayed Absalom’s cause by opposing Ahithophel’s plan and proposing in its place a scheme of his own, which actually gave the advantage to King David. Note that Absalom accepted his plan. Having recognized that Hushai had outwitted him, Ahithophel foresaw the disastrous defeat of Absalom’s forces and decided to take his own life (2 Samuel 15:31–37; 16:20–17:23).

In addition to being a counselor of King David, Ahithophel was a man greatly renowned for his sagacity. During Absalom’s revolt, he deserted David (Psalm 41:9; 55:12–14) and supported Absalom (2 Samuel 15:12). Absalom had sought the advice of Ahithophel who advised him to have incestuous relations with his father’s concubines in order to show all of Israel how odious he was to his father (2 Samuel 16:20). King David sent his friend Hushai back to Absalom, in order to counteract the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15:31–37). Ahithophel had recommended an immediate attack on David’s camp at a point where he was weary and vulnerable in order to kill him (2 Samuel 17:1-2), whereas Hushai suggested that “the advice that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time” (2 Samuel 17:7) and recommended delay while a larger army was assembled to counter David’s alleged strength (2 Samuel 17:11-13).

Why Did Ahithophel Betray David?

What The Scriptures Say About Ahithophel

The Bible tells us that Ahithophel was originally the counselor of King David, but he later betrayed David. Ahithophel did this by aiding Absalom in his rebellion to overthrow David’s kingship. In addition, the Bible makes us understand that Ahithophel was well-known for his advice, so much so that “Absalom followed Ahithophel’s advice, just as David had done. For every word Ahithophel spoke seemed as wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God” (2 Samuel 16:23). Behold, Ahithophel had the gift of wisdom. When Absalom captured Jerusalem, Ahithophel’s first piece of advice to him was that he sleep with all his father’s concubines – in a public manner – in order to become a “stench in your father’s nostrils,” as well as strengthen his following (2 Samuel 16:21–22). In those days, taking possession of a King’s concubines was a declaration of one’s right to the throne.

This Ahithophel’s advice to Absalom was in fulfillment of God’s word to David after his adultery with Bathsheba: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel’” (2 Samuel 12:11–12). It so happened that Absalom followed the advice of Ahithophel and performed this wicked act on the top of the palace roof for all of Israel to see (2 Samuel 16:22). When Absalom began rebelling, King David knew clearly that Ahithophel’s advice would be dangerous in the hands of his son.

More Biblical Facts

King David knew how wise Ahithophel was in giving advice. With this in mind, during his escape up the Mount of Olives, David prayed to God that Ahithophel’s counsel would be turned into foolishness (2 Samuel 15:31). In answer to David’s prayer, when David reached the summit of Mount Olives, he met Hushai the Arkite. David sent Hushai back to Absalom in Jerusalem as a secret agent in the camp of the enemy to frustrate the advice of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15:32–37). Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Hushai pledged his loyalty to Absalom but began to give advice that would work for David’s benefit (2 Samuel 17:14). While in Jerusalem, Absalom decided to seek advice from his counselors on what step to take next. Ahithophel advised him to pursue David immediately with an army of twelve thousand men and “attack him while he is weary and weak” (2 Samuel 17:1).

Hushai, however, counseled Absalom to delay the attack, form a large force, and totally annihilate David and his men (verses 7–13). It so happened that Absalom chose to follow the advice of Hushai and reject Ahithophel’s counsel. It is worth noting that this was of God, since, “the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom” (verse 14). Ahithophel’s pride was injured when Absalom rejected his counsel. Following this, “he put his house in order and then hanged himself” (2 Samuel 17:23). In following Hushai’s advice, Absalom was defeated and received the punishment for rebellion (2 Samuel 18:6–15).

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Similarities Between Ahithophel And Judas Iscariot

Following Ahithophel’s betrayal of David, many scholars see or picture him as a type of Judas Iscariot. Just as David’s counselor betrayed him, so also did Jesus’ disciple Judas Iscariot betray him. Behold, there are many similarities between Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel:

  • Ahithophel and Judas Iscariot were both trusted friends who betrayed their friend (2 Samuel 15:31; Matthew 26:14–16).
  • Ahithophel and Judas Iscariot both sided with the enemy to plot their king’s death (2 Samuel 17:1–4; Luke 22:2–6).
  • Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel both hanged themselves once the betrayal was complete (2 Samuel 17:23; Matthew 27:5).
  • Judas Iscariot And Ahithophel both lacked qualities of a good friend (Proverbs 17:17).

King David laments in Psalms 41:9, “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.” This is, most immediately, a reference to the treachery of Ahithophel. But it is also a prophetic reference to Judas Iscariot, as Jesus Christ points out in John 13:18, where He quotes Psalm 41:9. Just like Judas Iscariot, Ahithophel will forever be remembered as a traitor (Mark 3:19).

Why Did Ahithophel Betray David?

Samuel-2 15:12 – “And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from his city, [even] from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.”

Samuel-2 15:31 – “And [one] told David, saying, Ahithophel [is] among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

Samuel-2 16:15 – “And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.”

Samuel-2 15:34 – “But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; [as] I [have been] thy father’s servant hitherto, so [will] I now also [be] thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

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Group 1 – Why Did Ahithophel Betray David

Samuel-2 16:20 – “Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.

Samuel-2 16:23 – “And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, [was] as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God: so [was] all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

Samuel-2 16:21 – “And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that [are] with thee be strong.”

Samuel-2 17:6 – “And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do [after] his saying? if not; speak thou.

Group 2 – Why Did Ahithophel Betray David

Samuel-2 17:15 – “Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled.”

Samuel-2 17:14 – “And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite [is] better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.”

Samuel-2 23:34 – “Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,”

Samuel-2 17:21 – “And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.

Group 3 – Why Did Ahithophel Betray David

Samuel-2 17:7 – “And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given [is] not good at this time.”

Samuel-2 17:1 – “Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night:

Samuel-2 17:23 – “And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled [his] ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.”

Chronicles-1 27:34 – “And after Ahithophel [was] Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king’s army [was] Joab.”

Chronicles-1 27:33 – “And Ahithophel [was] the king’s counsellor: and Hushai the Archite [was] the king’s companion:

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