HUSHAI (hū’shī, hū’shā-ī). One of David’s two leading men, an Arkite (2Sam.15.32, 2Sam.15.37; 2Sam.16.16-2Sam.16.18; 2Sam.17.5-2Sam.17.15; 1Chr.27.33)—the friend and counselor of David who overthrew the counsels of Ahithophel. The Arkite clan occupied Ataroth, a border town of Ephraim (Josh.16.2, Josh.16.7).
HUSHAI hŏŏsh’ ī (חוּשַׁ֥י). 1. An Archite, from the territory W of Bethel (Josh 16:1, 2) who held the position of trust called “king’s friend” to David (1 Chron 27:33). When Absalom rebelled, Hushai came out to join the fleeing king, but David asked him to return to Jerusalem and to pretend to favor Absalom, in order that he might defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, David’s counselor, who had gone over to Absalom (2 Sam 15:32-37). Ahithophel and Hushai both advised Absalom how to defeat David (2 Sam 16:15-17:4), but Absalom adopted Hushai’s advice. Hushai then sent word to David to escape across the Jordan (2 Sam 17:15-22). When Ahithophel found that his advice was not taken, he hanged himself (2 Sam 17:23).
2. In 1 Kings 4:16 RSV, “Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth,” Hushai is the father of one of the twelve officers who provisioned King Solomon’s court. He may be the same Hushai as 1 above, but the geographical indications render this improbable.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
hut’-shi, hus’-sha-i (chushay, Chousei; Josephus, Chousi): An Archite, native of Archi or Erech(?), West of Bethel on the northern border of Benjamin and southern border of Joseph (Jos 16:2). Hushai was one of David’s most faithful and wise counselors. When David was fleeing from Jerusalem and Absalom, Hushai met him, having his coat rent and earth on his head. The king persuaded him to return to Jerusalem, feign submission to Absalom, and try to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel (2Sa 15:32 f). Whatever Absalom decided on, Hushai was to send word to David through two young men, sons of the priests Zadok and Abiathar (2Sa 15:34-36). Hushai obeyed, and succeeded in persuading Absalom to adopt his counsel rather than that of Ahithophel (2Sa 16:16-17:14). He sent word to David of the nature of Ahithophel’s counsel, and the king made good his escape that night across the Jordan. The result was the suicide of Ahithophel and the ultimate defeat and death of Absalom.