Various interpretations are given to the epithet "The Archite." According to one opinion it was because he was one of David's highest officials (from the Greek archē, "chief of government"); according to another it is the name of his birthplace; and others that he was so called "because through him the house of David was to be put on a firm footing, and through him the house of David was to be kept in good repair," the word ארך in Aramaic meaning to keep in good order (Mid. Ps. 3:3).
The name Hushai itself is most probably a short form of the name Ahishai, Ahushai.
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Hushai or Chusai was a friend of David and a spy according to the Hebrew Bible.
Hushai was an Archite, that is, possibly a native of Archi, a place south of the portion of Ephraim, near Bethel (Joshua 16:2). He is called in 1 Chronicles 27:33 "the king's friend". This title is similar to that of counselor given to Ahitophel, or that of leader of the army to Joab. We see a like use of the term in 1 Kings 4:5. In the Books of the Maccabees it is an official title given by the Seleucids to persons of confidence who have important military or civil functions (1 Maccabees 2:18; 3:38; 6:10, 14, 28; 7:6-8; etc.). It is likely then, that Hushai's title of "friend" of King David does not imply the intimate relations suggested by the term.
Nevertheless, the account that is given of him during Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 15-17) shows that in his case the title was not merely official. Just after David has heard of the treason of his counselor Ahitophel, he is met, on his way up the Mount of Olives by Hushai, whose garments are rent and whose head is covered with dust. He is probably an old man, for David tells him he would be a burden in the flight. But the king does honour to Hushai's cleverness by sending him to Jerusalem to "defeat the counsel of Ahitophel". Hushai persuades Absalom to take him into his confidence, and, in the council held shortly afterwards in regard to the measures to be taken against David, he obtains a delay which secures the safety of the king. He is able likewise to convey information to David through Zadok, Abiathar, and their sons.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed (1913). "Chusai". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. The original article was by Joseph P. Thomas.