Joab Reproves David

1 Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.”

2 The victory that day was turned into mourning among all the people, for the people heard it said that day, “The king is grieving for his son.”

3 The people went quietly into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face and cried with a loud voice, “My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!”

5 Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have shamed all your servants who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, and the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, 6 in that you love those who hate you, and hate those who love you. For you have declared today that leaders and servants are nothing to you. For today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you well. 7 Now therefore get up, go out, and say something to comfort your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you don’t go out, not a man will stay with you this night. That would be worse for you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth until now.”

David Restored as King

8 Then the king got up and sat in the gate. They said to all the people, “Look, the king is sitting in the gate.” All the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his tent. 9 All the people were in conflict 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 has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why are you not saying a word about bringing the king back?”

11 King 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? Since the words of all Israel have come to the king, to return him to his house. 12 You are my brothers. You are my flesh and blood. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?’ 13 Say to Amasa, ‘Aren’t you my flesh and blood? The Lord do so to me, and more also, if you aren’t captain of the army before me continually instead of Joab.’ ” 14 He moved the hearts of all the men of Judah, as one man, so that they sent to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.”

David Returns to Jerusalem

15 So the king returned and came to the Jordan. Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king and bring him over the Jordan. 16 Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was of Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David. 17 There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of Saul’s house, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him, and they went through the Jordan in the presence of the king.

Shimel Pardoned

18 A ferry boat went to bring over the king’s household and to do what he thought was good. Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, when he had come over the Jordan. 19 He said to the king, “Don’t let my lord impute iniquity to me, or 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 heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore I have come today as the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.”

21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?”

22 David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be adversaries to me today? Shall any man be put to death today in Israel? For don’t I know that I am king over Israel today?” 23 The king said to Shimei, “You will not die.” The king swore to him.

24 Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and he had neither groomed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25 When he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?”

26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ because your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king, but my lord the king is like an angel of God. Therefore do what is good in your eyes. 28 For 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 king?”

29 The king said to him, “Why do you continue speaking of these matters of yours? I have declared, you and Ziba divide the land.”

30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Yes, let him take all of it, because my lord the king has come in peace to his own house.”

David’s Kindness to Barzillai

31 Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and he went over the Jordan with the king to escort him across the Jordan. 32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man at 80 years old. He had provided the king with sustenance while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem.”

34 Barzillai said to the king, “How many days and years of my life are left, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am 80 years old today. Can I discern between what is good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear the voice of singing men and singing women any more? Why then should your servant be a burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant would only just make it across the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city, by the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him go over with my lord the king and do to him what shall seem good to you.”

38 The king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good to you. Whatever you request of me, that I will do for you.”

39 All the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. Then the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own place. 40 So the king went over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him. All the people of Judah brought the king over and also half the people of Israel.

Contention over the King

41 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?”

42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative to us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten anything at all at the king’s expense? Or has he given us any gift?”

43 The men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and we have also more claim to 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.

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