2 Samuel 19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Joab Reproves David’s Lament
19 It was told to Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 So the victory on that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard it said on that day, “The king grieves for his son.” 3 The people stole into the city [of Mahanaim] that day, as people who are humiliated and ashamed steal away when they retreat in battle. 4 But the king covered his face and cried out with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have put all your servants to shame who this day have saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters, and the lives of your wives and [a]concubines. 6 For you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have shown today that commanders and servants are nothing to you; for today I know that if Absalom had lived and all the rest of us had died today, then you would be pleased. 7 So now stand up, go out and speak kindly and encouragingly to your servants; for I swear by the Lord that if you do not go out, not a man will stay with you tonight. And this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.”
David Restored as King
8 Then the king stood and sat at the gate [of Mahanaim]. And they told all the people, “The king is sitting at the gate,” and all the people came before the king.
But Israel [Absalom’s troops] had fled, every man to his tent. 9 All the people were quarreling throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king rescued us from the hands of our enemies, and he saved us from the hands of the Philistines, but now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. So now, why are you [leaders] doing nothing about bringing back the king?”
11 Then King David sent word to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house [in Jerusalem], since the word of all Israel has come to the king, and to his house? 12 You are my brothers (relatives, relations); you are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?’ 13 Say to Amasa [the commander of Absalom’s troops], ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do so to me, and more also, if you will not be commander of my army from now on in place of Joab.’” 14 In this way he changed the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man, so they sent word to the king, “Return, you and all your [b]servants.” 15 So David returned and came to the Jordan. And [supporters from] Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king, to escort him across the Jordan.
16 Then Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men [from the tribe of] of Judah to meet King David, 17 and a thousand men [from the tribe] of Benjamin with him. And Ziba, the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants with him, rushed down to the Jordan before the king. 18 Then they [repeatedly] crossed the ford to bring over the king’s household (family), and to do what pleased him. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan, 19 and said to the king, “Let not my lord consider me guilty, nor remember what your servant did [c]wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem, so that the king would take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore, behold, I have come today, the first of all the [d]house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.” 21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah said, “Should not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?” 22 David said, “What [e]business is this of yours, 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 today I am king over Israel?” 23 Therefore the king said to Shimei, “You shall not be put to death.” And so the king gave him his promise.
24 Then Mephibosheth the [grand]son of Saul came down to meet the king, but he had not cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned in peace and safety. 25 And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He said, “My lord the king, my servant [Ziba] betrayed me; for I said, ‘Saddle a donkey for me so that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ for your servant is lame [but he took the donkeys and left without me]. 27 Further, he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like the angel of God; so do what is good in your eyes. 28 For were not all of my father’s household (family) nothing but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. So what right do I still have to cry out anymore to the king [for help]?” 29 The king said to him, “Why speak anymore of your affairs? I have said, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.’” 30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has returned to his own house in safety and peace.”
31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim and went on to the Jordan with the king to escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very old man, eighty years old; and he had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very great and wealthy man. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and I will provide for you in Jerusalem with me.” 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 this day eighty years old. Can I [be useful to advise you to] discern between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or drink? Can I still hear the voices of singing men and women? 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. Why should the king compensate me with this reward? 37 Please let your servant return, so that I may die in my own city [and be buried] by the grave of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham [my son]; let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what seems good to you.” 38 The king answered, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good to you; and whatever you ask of me, I will do for you.” 39 So all the people crossed over the Jordan. When the king had crossed over, he kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place.
40 Then 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 accompanied the king. 41 And all the men of Israel came to the king and said to him, “Why have our brothers (relatives), the men [from the tribe] of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king and his household and all David’s men with him over the Jordan [instead of waiting for us to arrive]?” 42 Then all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative to us. So why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s expense? Or has anything been taken for us?” 43 Then the men of [f]Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten [tribes’] shares in the king, and we have more claim on David than you. Why then did you treat us with contempt and ignore us [by rushing ahead]? Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?” [g]But the words of the men of Judah were harsher than those of the men of Israel.
2 Samuel 19 New International Version (NIV)
19 [a]Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 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.” 3 The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle. 4 The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”
5 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. 6 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. 7 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.”
8 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
9 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.