Reply To: Who was Ahithophel in the bible

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Ahithophel was counselor to David and Absalom. David’s son Solomon once wrote,

“The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful” (Proverbs 22:12).

Perhaps he had in mind Ahithophel, David’s former counselor who betrayed him and joined in Absalom’s rebellion. Ahithophel was apparently a trusted adviser to David, and his son Eliam was even listed among David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 23:34).

When Absalom staged his rebellion, however, Ahithophel chose to become Absalom’s adviser against David. He failed to anticipate, however, that the Lord Himself was working against him so ultimately his counsel would come to nothing.

… For the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.(2 Samuel 17:14)

David sent his friend Hushai to act as a mole, deceiving Absalom into thinking he was giving him good counsel but all the while leading him into error. Against the advice of Ahithophel, Hushai convinced Absalom not to pursue David’s fleeing forces immediately, and Absalom’s error allowed David to escape. This rejection of Ahithophel’s counsel was too great a shame for Ahithophel to bear, and he committed suicide.

Ahithophel’s life demonstrates that no one, no matter how learned or experienced, is wise enough to overcome the will of the Lord. It is all too easy to become puffed up with our own knowledge (I Corinthians 8:1) and to begin to rely on ourselves to make good decisions, rather than relying on God and seeking His will.