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19 [a]Then it was reported to Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and he mourns for Absalom.” 2 So the [b]victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, because the people heard it said that day, “The king is in mourning over his son.” 3 And the people entered the city surreptitiously that day, just as people who are humiliated surreptitiously flee in battle. 4 And the king covered his face and [c]cried out with a loud voice, “My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have shamed [d]all your servants, who have saved your life today and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, 6 by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have revealed today that [e]commanders and servants are nothing to you; for I know today that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then it would be right [f]as far as you are concerned. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak [g]kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, no man will stay the night with you, and this will be worse for you than all the misfortune that has [h]happened to you from your youth until now!”
8 So the king got up and sat at the gate. When they told all the people, saying, “Behold, the king is sitting at the gate,” then all the people came before the king.
Now Israel had fled, each to his tent. 9 And all the people were quarreling throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king rescued us from the [i]hands of our enemies and saved us from the [j]hands of the Philistines, but now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 However, Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now then, why are you silent about bringing the king back?”
11 Then King David sent word to Zadok and 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 word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house? 12 You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do so to me, and more so, if you will not be commander of the army [k]for me continually, in place of Joab.’” 14 So he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15 The king then returned and came as far as the Jordan. And the men of Judah came to Gilgal in order to go to meet the king, to escort the king across the Jordan.
16 Then Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 And there 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 rushed to the Jordan before the king. 18 Then they crossed the shallow places repeatedly to bring over the king’s household, and to do what was good in his sight. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan. 19 And he said to the king, “May my lord not consider me guilty, nor call to mind what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king went out from Jerusalem, so that the king would [l]take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; so behold, I have come today, the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” 21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah responded, “Should Shimei not be put to death for this, the fact that he cursed the Lord’s anointed?” 22 David then said, “What [m]is there between you and me, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be an adversary to me today? Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?” 23 So the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” The king also swore to him.
24 Then Mephibosheth the [n]grandson of Saul came down to meet the king; but he had neither [o]tended to his feet, nor [p]trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes since the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25 And it was when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 So he said, “My lord the king, my servant betrayed me; for your servant said, ‘I will [q]saddle the donkey for myself so that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ since your servant cannot walk. 27 Furthermore, he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like the angel of God, therefore do what is good in your sight. 28 For all my father’s household was only people worthy of death to my lord the king; yet you placed your servant among those who ate at your own table. So what right do I still have, that I should [r]complain anymore to the king?” 29 So the king said to him, “Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have [s]decided, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.’” 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.”
31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; and he went on to the Jordan with the king to [t]escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was very old: eighty years old; and he had provided the king food while he stayed in Mahanaim, for he was a very great man. 33 So the king said to Barzillai, “You cross over with me, and I will provide you food in Jerusalem with me.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “How long [u]do I still have to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am [v]now eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I still hear the voice of men and women singing? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant would merely cross over the Jordan with the king. So why should the king compensate me with this reward? 37 Please let your servant return, so that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. However, here is your servant Chimham; let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what is good in your sight.” 38 And the king answered, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what is good in your sight; and whatever you [w]require of me, I will do for you.” 39 All the people crossed over the Jordan and the king crossed too. The king then kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place.
40 Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him; and all the people of Judah and also half the people of Israel [x]accompanied the king. 41 And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why have our brothers, the men of Judah, abducted you and brought the king and his household and all David’s men with him, over the Jordan?” 42 Then all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative to [y]us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all [z]at the king’s expense, or has anything been taken for us?” 43 But the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “[aa]We have ten parts in the king, therefore [ab]we also have more claim on David than you. Why then did you treat [ac]us with contempt? Was it not [ad]our [ae]advice first to bring back [af]our king?” Yet the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.