2 Samuel 16:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Ahithophel answered, "Sleep with your father's concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute."

New Living Translation
Ahithophel told him, "Go and sleep with your father's concubines, for he has left them here to look after the palace. Then all Israel will know that you have insulted your father beyond hope of reconciliation, and they will throw their support to you."

English Standard Version
Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.”

New American Standard Bible
Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Ahithophel replied to Absalom, "Sleep with your father's concubines he left to take care of the palace. When all Israel hears that you have become repulsive to your father, everyone with you will be encouraged."

International Standard Version
Ahithophel responded, "Go inside and have sex with your father's mistresses , whom he left to keep the palace in order. Then everyone in Israel will hear how your father has come to hate you and everyone who has joined you will be emboldened to act."

NET Bible
Ahithophel replied to Absalom, "Have sex with your father's concubines whom he left to care for the palace. All Israel will hear that you have made yourself repulsive to your father. Then your followers will be motivated to support you."

New Heart English Bible
Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, that he has left to keep the house. Then all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Ahithophel told Absalom, "Sleep with your father's concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear about how you have made your father despise you. Everyone who is with you will support you even more."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Ahithophel said unto Absalom: 'Go in unto thy father's concubines, that he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that thou art abhorred of thy father; then will the hands of all that are with thee be strong.'

New American Standard 1977
And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father; then the hands of all that are with thee shall be strong.

King James 2000 Bible
And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto your father's concubines, which he has left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that you are abhorred by your father: then shall the hands of all that are with you be strong.

American King James Version
And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in to your father's concubines, which he has left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that you are abhorred of your father: then shall the hands of all that are with you be strong.

American Standard Version
And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, that he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then will the hands of all that are with thee be strong.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Achitophel said to Absalom: Go in to the concubines of thy father, whom he hath left to keep the house: that when all Israel shall hear that thou hast disgraced thy father, their hands may be strengthened with thee.

Darby Bible Translation
And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in to thy father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art become odious with thy father; and the hands of all that are with thee shall be strong.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in to thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred by thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong.

World English Bible
Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, that he has left to keep the house. Then all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong."

Young's Literal Translation
And Ahithophel saith unto Absalom, 'Go in unto the concubines of thy father, whom he left to keep the house, and all Israel hath heard that thou hast been abhorred by thy father, and the hands of all who are with thee have been strong.'
Study Bible
The Counsel of Ahithophel and Hushai
20Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give your advice. What shall we do?" 21Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened." 22So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.…
Cross References
2 Samuel 12:11
"Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.

2 Samuel 15:16
So the king went out and all his household with him. But the king left ten concubines to keep the house.

2 Samuel 16:20
Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give your advice. What shall we do?"

2 Samuel 17:7
So Hushai said to Absalom, "This time the advice that Ahithophel has given is not good."

2 Samuel 20:3
Then David came to his house at Jerusalem, and the king took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left to keep the house, and placed them under guard and provided them with sustenance, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as widows.
Treasury of Scripture

And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in to your father's concubines, which he has left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that you are abhorred of your father: then shall the hands of all that are with you be strong.

Go in

Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, …

Genesis 38:16 And he turned to her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray you, let …

unto thy

2 Samuel 12:11 Thus said the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against you out …

2 Samuel 15:16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the …

2 Samuel 20:3 And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten …

Genesis 35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelled in that land, that Reuben …

Leviticus 18:8 The nakedness of your father's wife shall you not uncover: it is …

Leviticus 20:11 And the man that lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's …

1 Kings 2:17,22 And he said, Speak, I pray you, to Solomon the king, (for he will …

1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and …

abhorred

Genesis 34:30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, You have troubled me to make me …

1 Samuel 13:4 And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines…

thy father

Genesis 49:3,4 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, …

then shall

1 Samuel 27:12 And Achish believed David, saying, He has made his people Israel …

the hands

2 Samuel 2:7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be you valiant: …

Zechariah 8:13 And it shall come to pass, that as you were a curse among the heathen, …

(21) And Ahithophel said.--The counsel of Ahithophel was in effect that Absalom should make the breach between him and his father absolute and irreconcilable. His followers would thus be assured of the impossibility of his securing a pardon for himself while they were left to their fate. After adopting this course, he must necessarily persist to the end. The taking of the harem of his predecessor by the incoming monarch was an Oriental custom, to the enormity of which the mind was blunted by the practice of polygamy.

Verse 21. - Ahithophel said. Ahithophel's counsel was utterly abominable, even though the deed would not be regarded by any of the Israelites as incestuous. A king inherited his predecessor's harem, and Absalom's act was a coarse and rude assertion that David's rights were at an end, and that crown and lands and property, even to his wives, now all belonged to the usurper. But, while polygamy had thus degraded the wives and concubines into mere chattels, the harem was the property most jealously guarded by its owner (2 Samuel 3:7; 1 Kings 2:22); and Absalom's act was an outrage which David could never have pardoned. And this was what Ahithophel wanted. He was afraid that if Absalom's cause began to decline, he might come to terms with his father, who would readily forgive a son if he submitted, but would certainly punish Ahithophel. For his own selfish purposes, therefore, he led Absalom on to a crime which rendered a reconciliation with David impossible, and pledged all the conspirators to carry out the matter to the bitter end; and that end could only be the death of David if the conspiracy succeeded. But this bitterness to David would vex all moderate men, and weaken Absalom's cause. It was of advantage only to such as were deeply committed to the rebellion, and bent on killing David. To him it was terrible sorrow; for he knew that this open shame was the punishment of his own secret infamy (2 Samuel 12:11, 12); and in it, again, he saw the meshes of the avenger's net tightening around him. And Ahithophel said unto Absalom,.... Either immediately of himself, without consulting with others; or after a consultation had been held between them, he as the president of it, and their mouth, gave the following advice; though the former seems most correct:

go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left, to keep the house; and lie with them; there were ten of them, 2 Samuel 15:16,

and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father; this fact will be so abominable to him, and he will so highly resent it, as never to forgive thee, and be reconciled unto thee:

then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong; he intimates that they were now weak, and did not act with spirit; they were fearful that David and Absalom would be reconciled, and then they should be reckoned traitors, and fall a sacrifice to David's vengeance, for their treason against him: but by Absalom's taking such a step as this, which would make him for ever the object of his father's hatred, their hands and hearts would be strengthened, and their fears removed, and they would not have the least jealousy of a reconciliation between them, and of their being left to the resentment of David. Some think this was not his only reason for giving this counsel, but also to revenge David's abuse of Bathsheba, his son's daughter, as she is supposed to be; see Gill on 2 Samuel 15:12; however, it was so ordered in Providence, that this advice should be given and taken, to fulfil the prophecy of the Lord to Nathan, 2 Samuel 12:11. 21. Ahithophel said unto Absalom—This councillor saw that now the die was cast; half measures would be inexpedient. To cut off all possibility of reconciliation between the king and his rebellious son, he gave this atrocious advice regarding the treatment of the royal women who had been left in charge of the palace. Women, being held sacred, are generally left inviolate in the casualties of war. The history of the East affords only one parallel to this infamous outrage of Absalom. 16:15-23 The wisest counsellors of that age were Ahithophel and Hushai: Absalom thinks himself sure of success, when he has both; on them he relies, and consults not the ark, though he had that with him. But miserable counsellors were they both. Hushai would never counsel him to do wisely. Ahithophel counselled him to do wickedly; and so did as effectually betray him, as he did, who was designedly false to him: for they that advise men to sin, certainly advise them to their hurt. After all, honesty is the best policy, and will be found so in the long run. Ahithophel gave wicked counsel to Absalom; to render himself so hateful to his father, that he would never be reconciled to him; this cursed policy was of the devil. How desperately wicked is the human heart!
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OT History: 2 Samuel 16:21 Ahithophel said to Absalom Go (2Sa iiSam 2 Sam ii sam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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