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Shimei, Shimi, Shimhi [Shĭm'eī, Shī'mī, Shĭm'hī]—jehovah is fame or famous.

Shimei, we are told, was a popular name among the Hebrews, being especially common in Levitical circles. But of the majority of men bearing it, little is known apart from the name.

1. The Benjamite of the clan of Saul, son of Gera who cursed David when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5, 7, 13; 19:16, 18, 21, 23). Although we have little knowledge of this most prominent Shimei, what we do know proves him to be, as Dr. Alexander Whyte expresses it, “A reptile of the royal house of Saul.” This Shimei can be described as:

The Man Who Hated the Truth He Knew

This man who lived to curse knew only too well that David had never shed a single drop of Saul’s blood, but it was not in his interest to admit the truth he knew. Because of his tribal and family connections it was natural for Shimei to be David’s bitter enemy, and to heap his curses and insults upon the fugitive monarch.

When, however, David triumphantly returned after Absalom’s tragic death, Shimei met the king with a hypocritical repentance. David accepted his apology and gave an oath that he would not put him to death. When further resistance was useless, Shimei feigned obedience to David, but in his heart was still bitterly opposed to him.

On his deathbed David’s last words to Solomon about Shimei’s blood being spilt, cause one to wonder whether David’s long-suppressed revenge upon his enemy found utterance. Solomon would not allow Shimei to go beyond the walls of Jerusalem. All the time he remained in his city of refuge he was safe. If he passed without it, he would die. Shimei kept this arrangement for three years, then broke it on some trifling occasion and justly forfeited his life. At the command of Solomon he was executed by Benaiah. This was the last of those acts of justice on offenders against David which Solomon performed.

How do we act when men say all manner of evil against us falsely? Do we see the Lord in it all, and that He will work out our salvation in spite of adverse and sore criticisms and circumstances? Do we rest in the fact that the Lord will look upon our affliction and will requite us good for all evil, if only we wisely and silently and adoringly submit ourselves to it?

2. A Courtier, Shimei by name, an officer of David, remained true to the king when Adonijah sought to usurp the throne (1 Kings 1:8).

3. A son of Elah, one of the twelve purveyors of Solomon, in Benjamin (1 Kings 4:18). This Shimei has been identified as the one above in 1 Kings 1:8.

4. A son of Gershon, son of Levi, who founded a subdivision of the tribal family of Gershon (Exod. 6:17).

5. A grandson of Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim king of Judah. A prince of the royal house (1 Chron. 3:19).

6. A son of Zacchur, the Benjamite with sixteen sons and six daughters (1 Chron. 4:26, 27).

7. A Reubenite, son of Gog (1 Chron. 5:4).

8. A Merarite, son of Libni (1 Chron. 6:29).

9. Father of a chief family in Judah (1 Chron. 8:21).

10. A Levite of the family of Laadan—grandson of Levi (1 Chron. 23:9).

11. A Levite to whom the tenth lot fell in the singing service of the Tabernacle during David’s time. A son of Jeduthun (1 Chron. 25:3, 17).

12. A Ramathite who was overseer in David’s vineyards (1 Chron. 27:27).

13. A descendant of Heman, who took part in the cleansing of the Temple in Hezekiah’s time (2 Chron. 29:14).

14. A Levite and brother of Conaniah, who had charge of the tithes (2 Chron. 31:12, 13).

15. A Levite who had taken a strange wife (Ezra 10:23).

16. One of the family of Hashum who put away his wife (Ezra 10:33).

17. A son of Bani, who also put away his strange wife (Ezra 10:38).

18. A Benjamite, son of Kish and grandfather of Mordecai (Esther 2:5).

19. A representative, perhaps of the Gershonites who participated in mourning for national guilt (Zech. 12:13).

Devotional content drawn from All the Men of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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