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2 Samuel 19 New Life Version (NLV)

19 Then Joab was told, “See, the king is crying. He is filled with sorrow for Absalom.” So the happiness of winning the battle that day was changed to sorrow for all the people. For they heard that day, “The king is filled with sorrow for his son.” So the people were quiet as they went in secret into the city that day. They acted like people who are ashamed when they run away from a battle. The king covered his face and cried out with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have covered the faces of all your servants with shame. Today they have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, your wives and the women who act as your wives. But you love those who hate you, and hate those who love you. You have shown today that rulers and servants are nothing to you. For today I see that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, you would be pleased. So now get up and go out and speak in kindness to your servants. I swear by the Lord that if you do not, for sure not a man will stay with you this night. And this will be worse for you than all the bad things that have happened to you since you were young.” So the king got up and sat in the gate. When they told all the people, “See, the king is sitting in the gate,” then all the people came to the king.

David Returns to Jerusalem

Now every man of Israel had run to his tent. And all the people in all the family groups of Israel were arguing. They said, “The king saved us from those who hate us. He saved us from the Philistines. But now he has run from Absalom and away from the land. 10 We chose Absalom to rule over us and he has died in battle. So now why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”

11 Then King David sent word to Zadok and Abiathar the religious leaders, saying, “Speak to the leaders of Judah. Say to them, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house? I have heard from all Israel for me to return to my house. 12 You are my brothers. You are my bone and my flesh. Why 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 also, if you will not be the captain of my army at all times instead of Joab.’” 14 He changed the hearts of all the men of Judah as if they were one man. So they sent word to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15 So the king returned and came as far as the Jordan. Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and bring him over the Jordan.

16 Then Gera’s son Shimei, the Benjamite from Bahurim, came down in a hurry with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 There were 1,000 men of Benjamin with him. And Ziba the servant of the family of Saul came with his fifteen sons and twenty servants. They rushed to the king at the Jordan. 18 They crossed the river to bring over those of the king’s house, and to do what pleased him. Gera’s son Shimei fell down in front of the king as he was about to cross the Jordan.

David Is Good to Shimei

19 He said to the king, “Let not my lord think I am guilty. Do not remember what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king left Jerusalem. Let not the king take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned. So I have come today. I am the first of all the family of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.” 21 But Zeruiah’s son Abishai answered, “Should not Shimei be put to death for this? He spoke against the Lord’s chosen one.” 22 But David said, “What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah? Why should you be against me this day? Should any man be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that this day I am king of Israel?” 23 The king said to Shimei, “You will not die.” And the king gave him his promise.

David Is Good to Mephibosheth

24 Then Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth came down to meet the king. He had not dressed his feet, trimmed the hair of his face, or washed his clothes, from the day the king left until the day he returned in peace. 25 When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, David said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered, “O my lord the king, my servant lied to me. Your servant had said to him, ‘Get a donkey ready for me to travel on, so I may go with the king.’ Because your servant cannot walk. 27 And he has spoken against me to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God. So do what you think is best. 28 For all those of my father’s house were nothing but dead men in front of my lord the king. But you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I have to complain any more to the king?” 29 The king said to him, “Why speak any more of how things are with you? I have decided that you and Ziba should divide the land.” 30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him take it all, since my lord the king has come home and is safe.”

David Is Good to Barzillai

31 Now Barzillai of Gilead had come down from Rogelim. He went on to the Jordan with the king, to lead him over the river. 32 Barzillai was eighty years old. He had given food to the king while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very rich man. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “You cross over with me, and I will take care of you with me in Jerusalem.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “How much longer have I to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am now eighty years old. Can I know the difference between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear the voice of singing men and women any more? Why should your servant be an added problem to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will only cross over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king reward me in this good way? 37 Let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king. And do for him what is good in your eyes.” 38 The king answered, “Chimham will cross over with me. And I will do for him what is pleasing to you. I will do for you whatever you ask.” 39 All the people crossed over the Jordan, and the king also. Then the king kissed Barzillai and prayed that good would come to him. And Barzillai returned to his own home.

Judah and Israel Argue over the King

40 The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him. And all the people of Judah and half the people of Israel went with the king.

41 Then all the men of Israel came to the king and said to him, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away? Why have they brought the king and those of his family 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 brother to us. Why are you angry about this? Has the king paid for our food? Has he given us any gift?” 43 But the men of Israel said to the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king. So we have more right to David than you. Why then did you hate us? Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?” But the words of the men of Judah had more anger than the words of the men of Israel.

New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969, 2003 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.

2 Samuel 19 New International Version (NIV)

19 [a]Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, “The king is grieving for his son.” The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle. The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now.”

So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men were told, “The king is sitting in the gateway,” they all came before him.

Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes.

David Returns to Jerusalem

Throughout the tribes of Israel, all the people were arguing among themselves, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies; he is the one who rescued us from the hand of the Philistines. But now he has fled the country to escape from Absalom; 10 and Absalom, whom we anointed to rule over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”

11 King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests: “Ask the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his palace, since what is being said throughout Israel has reached the king at his quarters? 12 You are my relatives, my own flesh and blood. So why should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my own flesh and blood? May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you are not the commander of my army for life in place of Joab.’”

14 He won over the hearts of the men of Judah so that they were all of one mind. They sent word to the king, “Return, you and all your men.” 15 Then the king returned and went as far as the Jordan.

Now the men of Judah had come to Gilgal to go out and meet the king and bring him across the Jordan. 16 Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, hurried down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 With him were a thousand Benjamites, along with Ziba, the steward of Saul’s household, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants. They rushed to the Jordan, where the king was. 18 They crossed at the ford to take the king’s household over and to do whatever he wished.

When Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell prostrate before the king 19 and said to him, “May my lord not hold me guilty. Do not remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind. 20 For I your servant know that I have sinned, but today I have come here as the first from the tribes of Joseph to come down and meet my lord the king.”

21 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this? He cursed the Lord’s anointed.”

22 David replied, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? What right do you have to interfere? Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Don’t I know that today I am king over Israel?” 23 So the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king promised him on oath.

24 Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, also went down to meet the king. He had not taken care of his feet or trimmed his mustache or washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned safely. 25 When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?”

26 He said, “My lord the king, since I your servant am lame, I said, ‘I will have my donkey saddled and will ride on it, so I can go with the king.’ But Ziba my servant betrayed me. 27 And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king. My lord the king is like an angel of God; so do whatever you wish. 28 All my grandfather’s descendants deserved nothing but death from my lord the king, but you gave your servant a place among those who eat at your table. So what right do I have to make any more appeals to the king?”

29 The king said to him, “Why say more? I order you and Ziba to divide the land.”

30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him take everything, now that my lord the king has returned home safely.”

31 Barzillai the Gileadite also came down from Rogelim to cross the Jordan with the king and to send him on his way from there. 32 Now Barzillai was very old, eighty years of age. He had provided for the king during his stay in Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and stay with me in Jerusalem, and I will provide for you.”

34 But Barzillai answered the king, “How many more years will I live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? 35 I am now eighty years old. Can I tell the difference between what is enjoyable and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats and drinks? Can I still hear the voices of male and female singers? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will cross over the Jordan with the king for a short distance, but why should the king reward me in this way? 37 Let your servant return, that I may die in my own town near the tomb of my father and mother. But here is your servant Kimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him whatever you wish.”

38 The king said, “Kimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him whatever you wish. And anything you desire from me I will do for you.”

39 So all the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed over. The king kissed Barzillai and bid him farewell, and Barzillai returned to his home.

40 When the king crossed over to Gilgal, Kimham crossed with him. All the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel had taken the king over.

41 Soon all the men of Israel were coming to the king and saying to him, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, steal the king away and bring him and his household across the Jordan, together with all his men?”

42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “We did this because the king is closely related to us. Why are you angry about it? Have we eaten any of the king’s provisions? Have we taken anything for ourselves?”

43 Then the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king; so we have a greater claim on David than you have. Why then do you treat us with contempt? Weren’t we the first to speak of bringing back our king?”

But the men of Judah pressed their claims even more forcefully than the men of Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 19:1 In Hebrew texts 19:1-43 is numbered 19:2-44.
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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