2 Samuel 19
Holman Christian Standard Bible
David’s Kingdom Restored
19 It was reported to Joab, “The king is weeping. He’s mourning over Absalom.” 2 That day’s victory was turned into mourning for all the troops because on that day the troops heard, “The king is grieving over his son.” 3 So they returned to the city quietly that day like people come in when they are humiliated after fleeing in battle. 4 But the king hid his face(A) and cried out at the top of his voice, “My son Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”
5 Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have shamed all your soldiers—those who rescued your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, your wives, and your concubines. 6 You love your enemies and hate those who love you! Today you have made it clear that the commanders and soldiers mean nothing to you. In fact, today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, it would be fine with you![a]
7 “Now get up! Go out and encourage[b] your soldiers, for I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will remain with you tonight.(B) This will be worse for you than all the trouble that has come to you from your youth until now!”
8 So the king got up and sat in the gate,(C) and all the people were told: “Look, the king is sitting in the gate.” Then they all came into the king’s presence.
Meanwhile, each Israelite had fled to his tent.(D) 9 All the people among all the tribes of Israel were arguing: “The king delivered us from the grasp of our enemies,(E) and he rescued us from the grasp of the Philistines,(F) but now he has fled from the land because of Absalom.(G) 10 But Absalom, the man we anointed over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about restoring the king?”
11 King David sent word to the priests, Zadok and Abiathar:(H) “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to restore the king to his palace? The talk of all Israel has reached the king at his house. 12 You are my brothers, my flesh and blood.(I) So why should you be the last to restore the king?’ 13 And tell Amasa,(J) ‘Aren’t you my flesh and blood? May God punish me and do so severely if you don’t become commander of the army from now on instead of Joab!’”
14 So he won over[c] all the men of Judah, and they sent word to the king: “Come back, you and all your servants.” 15 Then the king returned. When he arrived at the Jordan, Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and escort him across the Jordan.
16 Shimei son of Gera,(K) a Benjaminite from Bahurim, hurried down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 There were 1,000 men from Benjamin with him. Ziba, an attendant from the house of Saul,(L) with his 15 sons and 20 servants also rushed down to the Jordan ahead of the king. 18 They forded the Jordan to bring the king’s household across and do whatever the king desired.[d]
When Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell down before the king 19 and said to him, “My lord, don’t hold me guilty, and don’t remember your servant’s wrongdoing on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem.(M) May the king not take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned. But look! Today I am the first one of the entire house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.”
21 Abishai son of Zeruiah asked, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?”(N)
22 David answered, “Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything?(O) Have you become my adversary today? Should any man be killed in Israel today? Am I not aware that today I’m king over Israel?” 23 So the king said to Shimei, “You will not die.” Then the king gave him his oath.(P)
24 Mephibosheth,(Q) Saul’s grandson, also went down to meet the king. He had not taken care of his feet, 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, “Mephibosheth, why didn’t you come with me?”
26 “My lord the king,” he replied, “my servant Ziba betrayed me. Actually your servant said: ‘I’ll saddle the donkey for myself[e] so that I may ride it and go with the king’—for your servant is lame.(R) 27 Ziba slandered your servant to my lord the king.(S) But my lord the king is like the Angel of God,(T) so do whatever you think best.[f] 28 For my grandfather’s entire family deserves death from my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table.(U) So what further right do I have to keep on making appeals to the king?”
29 The king said to him, “Why keep on speaking about these matters of yours? I hereby declare: you and Ziba are to divide the land.”(V)
30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Instead, since my lord the king has come to his palace safely, let Ziba take it all!”
31 Barzillai the Gileadite(W) had come down from Rogelim and accompanied the king to the Jordan River to see him off at the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very old man—80 years old—and since he was a very wealthy man, he had provided for the needs of the king while he stayed in Mahanaim.(X)
33 The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me, and I’ll provide for you[g] at my side in Jerusalem.”
34 Barzillai replied to the king, “How many years of my life are left that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king? 35 I’m now 80 years old.(Y) Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or drinks? Can I still hear the voice of male and female singers? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?(Z) 36 Since your servant is only going with the king a little way across the Jordan, why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant return so that I may die in my own city near the tomb of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham:(AA) let him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him what seems good to you.”[h]
38 The king replied, “Chimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good to you,[i] and whatever you desire from me I will do for you.” 39 So all the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed. The king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and Barzillai returned to his home.
40 The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him. All the troops of Judah and half of Israel’s escorted the king. 41 Suddenly, all the men of Israel came to the king. They asked him, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, take you away secretly and transport the king and his household across the Jordan, along with all of David’s men?”
42 All the men of Judah responded to the men of Israel, “Because the king is our relative. Why does this make you angry? Have we ever eaten anything of the king’s or been honored at all?”[j]
43 The men of Israel answered the men of Judah: “We have 10 shares in the king,(AB) so we have a greater claim to David than you. Why then do you despise us? Weren’t we the first to speak of restoring our king?”(AC) But the words of the men of Judah were harsher than those of the men of Israel.
- 2 Samuel 19:6 Lit be right in your eyes
- 2 Samuel 19:7 Lit speak to the heart of
- 2 Samuel 19:14 Lit he turned the heart of
- 2 Samuel 19:18 Lit do what is good in his eyes
- 2 Samuel 19:26 LXX, Syr, Vg read said to him, ‘Saddle the donkey for me
- 2 Samuel 19:27 Lit do what is good in your eyes
- 2 Samuel 19:33 LXX reads for your old age; Ru 4:15
- 2 Samuel 19:37 Lit what is good in your eyes
- 2 Samuel 19:38 Lit what is good in your eyes
- 2 Samuel 19:42 LXX reads king’s or has he given us a gift or granted us a portion
2 Samuel 19
New International Version
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.”(A)
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,(B)” 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.(C) But now he has fled the country to escape from Absalom;(D) 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(E) 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,(F) ‘Are you not my own flesh and blood?(G) May God deal with me, be it ever so severely,(H) if you are not the commander of my army for life in place of Joab.(I)’”
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(J) to go out and meet the king and bring him across the Jordan. 16 Shimei(K) 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,(L) the steward of Saul’s household,(M) 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.(N) 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.”
22 David replied, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah?(R) What right do you have to interfere? Should anyone be put to death in Israel today?(S) 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.(T)
24 Mephibosheth,(U) 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,(V) Mephibosheth?”
26 He said, “My lord the king, since I your servant am lame,(W) I said, ‘I will have my donkey saddled and will ride on it, so I can go with the king.’ But Ziba(X) my servant betrayed me. 27 And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king. My lord the king is like an angel(Y) of God; so do whatever you wish. 28 All my grandfather’s descendants deserved nothing but death(Z) from my lord the king, but you gave your servant a place among those who eat at your table.(AA) 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(AB) 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(AC) 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(AD) 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?(AE) Why should your servant be an added(AF) 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(AG) and mother. But here is your servant Kimham.(AH) 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,(AI) 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?”(AJ)
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(AK) 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.
- 2 Samuel 19:1 In Hebrew texts 19:1-43 is numbered 19:2-44.