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Hushai was a friend of David. David had some very interesting—yet loyal—friends during his reign as king of Israel. Hushai is among the more intriguing ones, largely due to the fact that he may not have even been a native Israelite.
While David was fleeing from Saul, he occasionally took refuge among non-Israelite peoples, such as the Philistines and the Moabites. During this time, he may have forged some lasting relationships, because some of the names listed among David’s most loyal soldiers and friends do not appear to be Israelite (2 Samuel 23).
Hushai is described as an Arkite, a name that is associated elsewhere with Canaanites and other non-Israelite peoples (Genesis 10:15–19; 1 Chronicles 1:13–16). Even so, Hushai demonstrated himself as a faithful friend of David during the rebellion of David’s son Absalom. As David was fleeing Jerusalem, he sent Hushai back to the city to act as a mole in the service of Absalom.
When Absalom was seeking advice regarding whether he should pursue David, Hushai was able to foil the wise advice of Ahithophel and keep Absalom from overtaking David. He also sent messengers to notify David of the situation (2 Samuel 16–17). Because of Hushai’s advice, David was kept safe—and eventually Absalom was killed.
Other associates of David who may not have been Israelites include Igal from Zobah (a kingdom north of Israel), Zelek the Ammonite (a kingdom to the east of Israel), Uriah the Hittite (Canaanites who lived all along the eastern Mediterranean coast), and the Kerethites and Pelethites (who appear to have been associated with the Philistines along the southwest coast of Israel).