(ah hith' oh fel) HEBREW: AHITOPEL
"brother of folly"

At first a wise counselor to King David, Ahithophel, who came from Giloh in the highlands of Judah, proved disloyal, joining the revolt of Absalom against the king. As he fled from Jerusalem, David asked the Lord to "turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness" (2 Sam. 15:31). David's spy Hushai infiltrated Absalom's court to counter the advice of Ahithophel - which until that time had been esteemed by both David and Absalom "as if one consulted the oracle of God" (2 Sam. 16:23).

Ahithophel counseled Absalom to attack David immediately with 12,000 men before the king could regroup his weary forces. Hushai suggested caution and dissuaded Absalom from taking Ahithophel's advice. Knowing his position was in jeopardy, Ahithophel returned to Giloh and committed suicide by hanging himself.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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