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2 Samuel 16 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Ziba Meets David

16 David passed a short way over the top of the Mount of Olives. There Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, met David. Ziba had two donkeys with saddles on them. They carried 200 loaves of bread, 100 cakes of raisins and 100 cakes of figs. They also carried leather bags full of wine. The king asked Ziba, “What are these things for?”

Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for your family to ride. The bread and cakes of figs are for the servants to eat. And the wine is for anyone to drink who becomes weak in the desert.”

The king asked, “Where is Mephibosheth?”

Ziba answered him, “Mephibosheth is staying in Jerusalem. He thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will give my father’s kingdom back to me!’”

Then the king said to Ziba, “All right. Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth, I now give to you!”

Ziba said, “I bow to you. I hope I will always be able to please you.”

Shimei Curses David

As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out from there. He was from Saul’s family group. His name was Shimei son of Gera. Shimei came out, cursing David as he came. He began throwing stones at David and his officers. But the people and soldiers gathered all around David. Shimei cursed David. He said, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you troublemaker. The Lord is punishing you for the people in Saul’s family you killed! You took Saul’s place as king! But now the Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom! Now you are ruined because you are a murderer!”

Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse you, the king? Let me go over and cut off his head!”

10 But the king answered, “This does not concern you, sons of Zeruiah! If he is cursing me because the Lord told him to, who can question him?”

11 David also said to Abishai and all his officers, “My own son is trying to kill me! This man is a Benjaminite and has more right to kill me! Leave him alone. Let him curse me. The Lord told him to do this. 12 Maybe the Lord will see my misery. Then maybe he will repay me with something good for the curses Shimei says today!”

13 So David and his men went on down the road. But Shimei kept following David. Shimei walked on the hillside on the other side of the road. He kept cursing David and throwing stones and dirt at him. 14 The king and all his people arrived at the Jordan. They were very tired. So they rested there.

15 Meanwhile, Absalom, Ahithophel and all the men of Israel arrived at Jerusalem. 16 David’s friend Hushai the Arkite came to Absalom. He said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

17 Absalom asked, “Why are you not loyal to your friend David? Why didn’t you leave Jerusalem with your friend?”

18 Hushai said, “I belong to the one chosen by the Lord and by these people and all the men of Israel. I will stay with you. 19 In the past I served your father. So whom should I serve now? David’s son! I will serve you.”

Ahithophel’s Advice

20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Please tell us what we should do.”

21 Ahithophel said, “Your father left behind some of his slave women who give birth to his children. He left them here to take care of the palace. Have physical relations with them. Then all the Israelites will hear that your father is your enemy. And all your people will be encouraged to give you more support.” 22 So they put up a tent for Absalom on the flat roof[a] of the palace. Everyone in Israel could see it. And Absalom had physical relations with his father’s slave women.

23 At that time people thought Ahithophel’s advice was as reliable as God’s own word. Both David and Absalom thought it was that reliable.


  1. 16:22 roof In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship and as a place to sleep in the summer.
International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

2 Samuel 16 New International Version (NIV)

David and Ziba

16 When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine.

The king asked Ziba, “Why have you brought these?”

Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the wilderness.”

The king then asked, “Where is your master’s grandson?”

Ziba said to him, “He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will restore to me my grandfather’s kingdom.’”

Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.”

“I humbly bow,” Ziba said. “May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.”

Shimei Curses David

As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul’s family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out. He pelted David and all the king’s officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David’s right and left. As he cursed, Shimei said, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has given the kingdom into the hands of your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer!”

Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head.”

10 But the king said, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this?’”

11 David then said to Abishai and all his officials, “My son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.

13 So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt. 14 The king and all the people with him arrived at their destination exhausted. And there he refreshed himself.

The Advice of Ahithophel and Hushai

15 Meanwhile, Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him. 16 Then Hushai the Arkite, David’s confidant, went to Absalom and said to him, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

17 Absalom said to Hushai, “So this is the love you show your friend? If he’s your friend, why didn’t you go with him?”

18 Hushai said to Absalom, “No, the one chosen by the Lord, by these people, and by all the men of Israel—his I will be, and I will remain with him. 19 Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve the son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you.”

20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?”

21 Ahithophel answered, “Sleep with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

23 Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel’s advice.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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