2 Samuel 19 World English Bible (WEB)
19 Joab was told, “Behold, the king weeps and mourns for Absalom.” 2 The victory that day was turned into mourning among all the people; for the people heard it said that day, “The king grieves for his son.”
3 The people sneaked into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!”
5 Joab came into the house to the king, and said, “Today you have shamed the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life, and the lives of your sons and of your daughters, and the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines; 6 in that you love those who hate you, and hate those who love you. For you have declared today, that princes and servants are nothing to you. For today I perceive that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died today, then it would have pleased you well. 7 Now therefore arise, go out, and speak to comfort your servants; for I swear by Yahweh, if you don’t go out, not a man will stay with you this night. That would be worse to you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth until now.”
8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. They told to all the people, saying, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” All the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his tent. 9 All the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why don’t you speak a word of bringing the king back?”
11 King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house? Since the speech of all Israel has come to the king, to return him to his house. 12 You are my brothers. You are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?’ 13 Say to Amasa, ‘Aren’t you my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if you aren’t captain of the army before me continually instead of Joab.’” 14 He bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as one man; so that they sent to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.”
15 So the king returned, and came to the Jordan. Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king over the Jordan. 16 Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was of Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David. 17 There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of Saul’s house, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went through the Jordan in the presence of the king. 18 A ferry boat went to bring over the king’s household, and to do what he thought good. Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, when he had come over the Jordan. 19 He said to the king, “Don’t let my lord impute iniquity to me, or remember that which your servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore behold, I have come today as the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.”
21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed Yahweh’s anointed?”
22 David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be adversaries to me today? Shall any man be put to death today in Israel? For don’t I know that I am king over Israel today?” 23 The king said to Shimei, “You will not die.” The king swore to him.
24 Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither groomed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25 When he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?”
26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said, I will saddle me a donkey, that I may ride on it, and go with the king; because your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king, but my lord the king is as an angel of God. Do therefore what is good in your eyes. 28 For all my father’s house were but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right therefore have I yet that I should cry any more to the king?”
29 The king said to him, “Why do you speak any more of your matters? I say, you and Ziba divide the land.”
30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Yes, let him take all, because my lord the king has come in peace to his own house.” 31 Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim; and he went over the Jordan with the king, to conduct him over the Jordan. 32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even eighty years old. He had provided the king with sustenance while he stayed at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem.” 34 Barzillai said to the king, “How many are the days of the years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am eighty years old, today. Can I discern between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear the voice of singing men and singing women any more? Why then should your servant be a burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant would but just go over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city, by the grave of my father and my mother. But behold, your servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good to you.”
38 The king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good to you. Whatever you request of me, that I will do for you.”
39 All the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. Then the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned to his own place. 40 So the king went over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him. All the people of Judah brought the king over, and also half the people of Israel. 41 Behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king, and his household, 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 relative to us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s cost? Or has he given us any gift?”
43 The men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, “We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more claim to David than you. Why then did you despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king?” The words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words 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.