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2 Samuel 16 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

16 When David had gone over the top of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, met him with a pair of saddled donkeys. They were loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 bunches of raisins, 100 pieces of ripened fruit, and a full wineskin.

“Why did you bring these?” David asked Ziba.

“The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride on,” Ziba answered. “The bread and the ripe fruit are for your servants to eat. The wine is for those who become tired and thirsty in the desert.”

“Where is your master Saul’s grandson?” the king asked.

“He’s staying in Jerusalem,” Ziba answered the king. “He said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather’s kingdom.’”

The king told Ziba, “In that case everything that belonged to Mephibosheth now belongs to you.”

“I sincerely thank you,” said Ziba. “I hope to remain in your good graces, Your Majesty.”

When King David came to Bahurim, a man who was a distant cousin of Saul came out cursing. His name was Shimei, son of Gera. He threw stones at David and David’s servants, although all the people and all the warriors were shielding David. Shimei cursed and said, “Get out! Get out, you bloodthirsty man! You worthless person! The Lord is paying you back for all the blood you spilled in the family of Saul, whom you succeeded as king. The Lord is giving the kingship to your son Absalom. Now you’re in trouble because you’re a bloodthirsty man.”

Abishai, Zeruiah’s son, asked the king, “Why should this dead dog curse you, Your Majesty? Let me go over there and tear off his head.”

10 But the king said, “You don’t think like me at all, sons of Zeruiah. Let him curse. If the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ should anyone ask, ‘Why do you do that?’” 11 David told Abishai and all his servants, “My own son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. Why, then, shouldn’t this Benjaminite do this? Leave him alone. Let him curse, since the Lord has told him to do it. 12 Maybe the Lord will see my misery and turn his curse into a blessing for me today.”

13 As David and his men went along the road, Shimei was walking along the hillside parallel to him. Shimei cursed, hurled stones, and threw dirt at David. 14 The king and all the people with him finally arrived at their destination and rested there.

Absalom Enters Jerusalem

15 Meanwhile, Absalom and all Israel’s troops came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him. 16 When David’s friend Hushai from Archi’s family came to Absalom, he said, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

17 “Is that how loyal you are to your friend?” Absalom asked Hushai. “Why didn’t you go with him?”

18 Hushai answered Absalom, “No, I want to be with the one whom the Lord, these people, and all Israel have chosen. I will be his friend and stay with him. 19 And besides, whom should I serve? Shouldn’t it be his son? As I served your father, so I’ll serve you.”

20 Then Absalom asked Ahithophel, “What’s your advice? What should we do?”

21 Ahithophel told Absalom, “Sleep with your father’s concubines[a] whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear about how you have made your father despise you. Everyone who is with you will support you even more.”

22 So a tent was put up on the roof for Absalom, and he slept with his father’s concubines in plain sight of Israel.

23 In those days both David and Absalom thought that Ahithophel’s advice was like getting an answer from God.


  1. 2 Samuel 16:21 A concubine is considered a wife except she has fewer rights under the law.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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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