1It was told Joab, Behold, the king weeps and mourns for Absalom.
2The victory that day was turned into mourning to all the people; for the
people heard say that day, The king grieves for his son.
3The people got
them by stealth that day into the city, as people who are ashamed steal away
when they flee in battle.
4The king covered his face, and the king cried
with a loud voice, my son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!
into the house to the king, and said, You have shamed this day the faces of
all your servants, who this day have saved your life, and the lives of your
sons and of your daughters, and the lives of your wives, and the lives of
6in that you love those who hate you, and hate those who
love you. For you have declared this day, that princes and servants are
nothing to you: for this day I perceive that if Absalom had lived, and all we
had died this day, then it had pleased you well.
7Now therefore arise, go
forth, and speak comfortably to your servants; for I swear by Yahweh, if you
don’t go forth, there will not stay a man with you this night: and that will
be worse to you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth
8Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. They told to all
the people, saying, Behold, the king is sitting in the gate: and all the
people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his tent.
9All the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel,
saying, The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us
out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land from
10Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now
therefore why don’t you speak a word of bringing the king back?
11King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak to
the elders of Judah, saying, Why are you the last to bring the king back
to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, to
bring him to his house.
12You are my brothers, you are my
bone and my flesh: why then are you the last to bring back the king?
13Say you to Amasa, Aren’t you my bone and my flesh? God do so to
me, and more also, if you aren’t captain of the army before me continually in
the room of Joab.
14He bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as
the heart of one man; so that they sent to the king, saying,
Return you, and all your servants.
15So the king returned, and came to
the Jordan. Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king
over the Jordan.
16Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was of
Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David.
17There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of
the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and
they went through the Jordan in the presence of the king.
18A ferry boat went
to bring over the king’s household, and to do what he
thought good. Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, when he was
come over the Jordan.
19He said to the king, Don’t let my lord impute
iniquity to me, neither do you remember that which your servant did
perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king
should take it to his heart.
20For your servant does know that I have
sinned: therefore, behold, I am come this day the first of all the house of
Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.
21But Abishai the son of
Zeruiah answered, Shall Shimei not be put to death for this, because he
cursed Yahweh’s anointed?
22David said, What have I to do with you,
you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be adversaries to me?
shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for don’t I know that
I am this day king over Israel?
23The king said to Shimei, You shall not
die. The king swore to him.
24Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to
meet the king; and he had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard,
nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came
home in peace.
25It happened, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the
king, that the king said to him, Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?
26He answered, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for your servant
said, I will saddle me a donkey, that I may ride thereon, and go with the
king; because your servant is lame.
27He has slandered your servant to my
lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore what
is good in your eyes.
28For all my father’s house were but dead men
before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your
own table. What right therefore have I yet that I should cry any more to the
29The king said to him, Why speak you any more of your matters? I
say, You and Ziba divide the land.
30Mephibosheth said to the king, yes,
let him take all, because my lord the king is come in peace to his own house.
31Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim; and he went over the
Jordan with the king, to conduct him over the Jordan.
32Now Barzillai was
a very aged man, even eighty years old: and he had provided the king with
sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man.
king said to Barzillai, Come you over with me, and I will sustain you with me
34Barzillai said to the king, How many are the days of the
years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
this day eighty years old: can I discern between good and bad? can your
servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of
singing men and singing women? why then should your servant be yet a burden
to my lord the king?
36Your servant would but just go over the Jordan
with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward?
37Please let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city,
by the grave of my father and my mother. But behold, your servant Chimham;
let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good to
38The king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to
him that which shall seem good to you: and whatever you shall require of me,
that will I do for you.
39All the people went over the Jordan, and the
king went over: and the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he
returned to his own place.
40So the king went over to Gilgal, and Chimham
went over with him: and all the people of Judah brought the king over, and
also half the people of Israel.
41Behold, all the men of Israel came to
the king, and said to the king, Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen
you away, and brought the king, and his household, over the Jordan, and all
David’s men with him?
42All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel,
Because the king is a close relative to us: why then are you angry for
this matter? have we eaten at all at the king’s cost? or has he given us any
43The men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have
ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than
you: why then did you despise us, that our advice should not be
first had in bringing back our king? The words of the men of Judah were
fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.