In 2 Samuel 18:1–5. David has successfully eluded Absalom ands found some security and with his supplies replenished. He quickly took measures to reorganize his troops and prepare them for the inevitable encounter with Absalom.
A third of his troops he assigned to Joab; a third to Abishai, Joab’s brother; and a third to Ittai. David determined that he would lead the attack personally, but his comrades dissuaded him.
He was worth 10,000 of them, they said. If half of them died all would go on. But if he died the whole cause would be lost. Reluctantly David agreed to remain behind but commanded his officers that they not harm Absalom in the battle.