Joab Disapproves of David’s Mourning

19 [a]Then it was reported to Joab, “Behold, (A)the king is weeping and he mourns for Absalom.” So the [b]victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, because the people heard it said that day, “The king is in mourning over his son.” And the people entered the city surreptitiously that day, just as people who are humiliated surreptitiously flee in battle. And the king (B)covered his face and [c]cried out with a loud voice, “(C)My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!” Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have shamed [d]all your servants, who have saved your life today and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have revealed today that [e]commanders and servants are nothing to you; for I know today that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then it would be right [f]as far as you are concerned. Now therefore arise, go out and speak [g]kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, (D)no man will stay the night with you, and this will be worse for you than all the misfortune that has [h]happened to you from your youth until now!”

David Restored as King

So the king got up and sat at the gate. When they told all the people, saying, “Behold, the king is (E)sitting at the gate,” then all the people came before the king.

Now (F)Israel had fled, each to his tent. And all the people were quarreling throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, “(G)The king rescued us from the [i]hands of our enemies and (H)saved us from the [j]hands of the Philistines, but now (I)he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 However, Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now then, why are you silent about bringing the king back?”

11 Then King David sent word to (J)Zadok and 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 word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house? 12 You are my brothers; (K)you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to (L)Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? (M)May God do so to me, and more so, if you will not be (N)commander of the army [k]for me continually, (O)in place of Joab.’” 14 So he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah (P)as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15 The king then returned and came as far as the Jordan. And the men of Judah came to (Q)Gilgal in order to go to meet the king, to escort the king across the Jordan.

16 Then (R)Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and (S)Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they rushed to the Jordan before the king. 18 Then they crossed the shallow places repeatedly to bring over the king’s household, and to do what was good in his sight. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan. 19 And he said to the king, “(T)May my lord not consider me guilty, nor call to mind what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king went out from Jerusalem, so that the king would [l]take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; so behold, I have come today, (U)the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” 21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah responded, “(V)Should Shimei not be put to death for this, (W)the fact that he cursed the Lords anointed?” 22 David then said, “(X)What [m]is there between you and me, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be an adversary to me today? (Y)Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?” 23 So the king said to Shimei, “(Z)You shall not die.” The king also swore to him.

24 Then (AA)Mephibosheth the [n]grandson of Saul came down to meet the king; but (AB)he had neither [o]tended to his feet, nor [p]trimmed his mustache, nor (AC)washed his clothes since the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25 And it was when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “(AD)Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 So he said, “My lord the king, my servant betrayed me; for your servant said, ‘I will [q]saddle the donkey for myself so that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ (AE)since your servant cannot walk. 27 Furthermore, (AF)he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is (AG)like the angel of God, therefore do what is good in your sight. 28 For (AH)all my father’s household was only people worthy of death to my lord the king; (AI)yet you placed your servant among those who ate at your own table. So what right do I still have, that I should [r]complain anymore to the king?” 29 So the king said to him, “Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have [s]decided, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.’” 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.”

31 Now (AJ)Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; and he went on to the Jordan with the king to [t]escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was very old: eighty years old; and he had (AK)provided the king food while he stayed in Mahanaim, for he was a very great man. 33 So the king said to Barzillai, “You cross over with me, and I will provide you food in Jerusalem with me.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “(AL)How long [u]do I still have to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am [v]now (AM)eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I still hear (AN)the voice of men and women singing? (AO)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. So why should the king compensate me with this reward? 37 Please let your servant return, so that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. However, here is your servant (AP)Chimham; let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what is good in your sight.” 38 And the king answered, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what is good in your sight; and whatever you [w]require of me, I will do for you.” 39 All the people crossed over the Jordan and the king crossed too. The king then (AQ)kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place.

40 Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him; and all the people of Judah and also (AR)half the people of Israel [x]accompanied the king. 41 And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “(AS)Why have our brothers, (AT)the men of Judah, abducted you and brought the king and his household and all David’s men with him, over the Jordan?” 42 Then all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because (AU)the king is a close relative to [y]us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all [z]at the king’s expense, or has anything been taken for us?” 43 But the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “[aa](AV)We have ten parts in the king, therefore [ab]we also have more claim on David than you. Why then did you treat [ac]us with contempt? Was it not [ad]our [ae]advice first to bring back [af]our king?” Yet the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.


  1. 2 Samuel 19:1 Ch 19:2 in Heb
  2. 2 Samuel 19:2 Lit salvation
  3. 2 Samuel 19:4 Lit the king cried
  4. 2 Samuel 19:5 Lit the faces of all
  5. 2 Samuel 19:6 Or princes
  6. 2 Samuel 19:6 Lit in your eyes
  7. 2 Samuel 19:7 Lit to the heart of your
  8. 2 Samuel 19:7 Lit come upon
  9. 2 Samuel 19:9 Lit palm
  10. 2 Samuel 19:9 Lit palm
  11. 2 Samuel 19:13 Lit before me
  12. 2 Samuel 19:19 Lit set
  13. 2 Samuel 19:22 Lit to me and to you; an ancient idiom
  14. 2 Samuel 19:24 Lit son
  15. 2 Samuel 19:24 Lit done
  16. 2 Samuel 19:24 Lit done
  17. 2 Samuel 19:26 I.e., have the donkey saddled
  18. 2 Samuel 19:28 Lit cry out
  19. 2 Samuel 19:29 Lit said
  20. 2 Samuel 19:31 Lit send
  21. 2 Samuel 19:34 Lit are the days of the years of my life
  22. 2 Samuel 19:35 Lit today
  23. 2 Samuel 19:38 Lit choose
  24. 2 Samuel 19:40 Lit crossed over with
  25. 2 Samuel 19:42 Lit me
  26. 2 Samuel 19:42 Lit from the king
  27. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  28. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  29. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  30. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  31. 2 Samuel 19:43 Lit word
  32. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb

Sheba’s Revolt

20 Now (A)a worthless man happened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of (B)Bichri, a Benjaminite; and he blew the trumpet and said,

(C)We have no share in David,
Nor do we have an inheritance in (D)the son of Jesse;
(E)Every man to his tents, Israel!”

So all the men of Israel [a]withdrew from following David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah [b]remained loyal to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.

Then David came to his house in Jerusalem, and (F)the king took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left behind to take care of the house, and put them in custody and provided them with food, but did not [c]have relations with them. So they were locked up until the day of their death, living as widows.

Now the king said to (G)Amasa, “Summon the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself.” So Amasa went to summon the men of Judah, but he was (H)delayed longer than the set time which he had designated for him. And David said to (I)Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom; (J)take your lord’s servants and pursue him, so that he does not find for himself fortified cities and escape from our sight.” So Joab’s men went out after him, (K)along with the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the warriors; and they left Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. When they were at the large stone which is in (L)Gibeon, Amasa came [d]to meet them. Now Joab was dressed in his military attire, and over it he had a belt with a sword in its sheath strapped on at his waist; and as he went forward, it fell out. And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it going well for you, my brother?” And (M)Joab took hold of Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.

Amasa Murdered

10 But Amasa was not on guard against the sword which was in Joab’s hand, so (N)he struck him in the belly with it and spilled out his intestines on the ground, and did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Now one of Joab’s young men stood by him and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, (O)follow Joab!” 12 But Amasa was wallowing in his own blood in the middle of the road. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa from the road to the field and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still.

Revolt Put Down

13 As soon as he was removed from the road, all the men went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.

14 Now he went on through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, that is, Beth-maacah, and all the Berites; and they assembled and went after him as well. 15 And they came and besieged him in (P)Abel Beth-maacah, and (Q)they [e]built up an assault ramp against the city, and it stood against the outer rampart; and all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction in order to topple the wall. 16 Then (R)a wise woman called out from the city, “Listen, listen! Please tell Joab, ‘Come here that I may speak with you.’” 17 So he approached her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” And he answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your slave.” And he said, “I am listening.” 18 Then she spoke, saying, “In the past they used to say, ‘They will undoubtedly ask advice at Abel,’ and that is how they ended a dispute. 19 I am one of those who are ready for peace and faithful in Israel. (S)You are trying to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up (T)the inheritance of the Lord?” 20 Joab replied, “Far be it, far be it from me that I would consume or destroy! 21 Such is not the case. But a man from (U)the hill country of Ephraim, (V)Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has raised his hand against King David. Only turn him over, and I will depart from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman (W)wisely came to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So (X)he blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, each to his tent. Joab also returned to the king at Jerusalem.

23 (Y)Now Joab was in command of the entire army of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was over the forced labor, and (Z)Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the secretary; 25 and Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and (AA)Abiathar were priests; 26 Ira the Jairite also was a priest to David.


  1. 2 Samuel 20:2 Lit went up
  2. 2 Samuel 20:2 Lit clung to
  3. 2 Samuel 20:3 Lit come in to
  4. 2 Samuel 20:8 Lit before
  5. 2 Samuel 20:15 Lit poured out

Gibeonite’s Revenge

21 Now there was (A)a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and (B)David sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, “It is because of Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites, and (C)the sons of Israel had [a]made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to [b]kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah). David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? And how can I make amends, so that you will bless (D)the inheritance of the Lord?” Then the Gibeonites said to him, “(E)For us it is not a matter of silver or gold with Saul or his house, nor is it for us to put anyone to death in Israel.” Nevertheless David said, “I will do for you whatever you say.” So they said to the king, “(F)The man who destroyed us and who planned [c]to eliminate us so that we would not exist within any border of Israel— let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will [d]hang them (G)before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, (H)the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”

But the king spared (I)Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, (J)because of the oath of the Lord which was between them, between David and Saul’s son Jonathan. So the king took the two sons of (K)Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of [e](L)Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the (M)Meholathite. Then he handed them over to the Gibeonites, and they [f]hanged them on the mountain before the Lord, so that the seven of them fell together; and they were put to death in the first days of harvest at (N)the beginning of barley harvest.

10 (O)And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until [g]it rained on them from the sky; and (P)she [h]allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day nor the wild animals by night. 11 When it was reported to David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 then David went and took (Q)the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of (R)Beth-shan, (S)where the Philistines had hanged them on the day (T)the Philistines struck and killed Saul in Gilboa. 13 He brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan, and they gathered the bones of those who had been [i]hanged. 14 Then they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the country of Benjamin in (U)Zela, in the grave of his father Kish; So they did everything that the king commanded, and after that (V)God responded to prayer for the land.

15 Now when (W)the Philistines were at war with Israel again, David went down, and his servants with him; and when they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was (X)among the descendants of the [j]giant, the weight of whose spear was [k]three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, [l]had strapped on a new sword, and he [m]intended to kill David. 17 But (Y)Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “(Z)You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish (AA)the lamp of Israel.”

18 (AB)Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then (AC)Sibbecai the Hushathite struck and killed Saph, who was among the descendants of the [n]giant. 19 And there was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite [o]killed [p]Goliath the Gittite, (AD)the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 And there was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also had been born (AE)to the [q]giant. 21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck and killed him. 22 (AF)These four were born to the [r]giant at Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.


  1. 2 Samuel 21:2 Lit sworn to
  2. 2 Samuel 21:2 Lit strike
  3. 2 Samuel 21:5 Lit against us that we are eliminated from
  4. 2 Samuel 21:6 Or expose them
  5. 2 Samuel 21:8 As in some ancient versions and two Heb mss; MT Michal
  6. 2 Samuel 21:9 Or exposed them
  7. 2 Samuel 21:10 Lit water gushed forth
  8. 2 Samuel 21:10 Lit gave
  9. 2 Samuel 21:13 Or exposed
  10. 2 Samuel 21:16 Heb Raphah
  11. 2 Samuel 21:16 About 9 lb. or 4 kg
  12. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit and he had strapped
  13. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit said
  14. 2 Samuel 21:18 Heb Raphah
  15. 2 Samuel 21:19 Lit struck
  16. 2 Samuel 21:19 In 1 Chr 20:5, Lahmi, the brother of Goliath
  17. 2 Samuel 21:20 Heb Raphah
  18. 2 Samuel 21:22 Heb Raphah

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