1. And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds over them.
2. And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also.
3. But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city.
4. And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
5. And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
6. So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim;
7. Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.
8. For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.