2 Samuel 16 Good News Translation (GNT)
David and Ziba
16 When David had gone a little beyond the top of the hill, he was suddenly met by Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, who had with him a couple of donkeys loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred bunches of fresh fruit, and a leather bag full of wine. 2 King David asked him, “What are you going to do with all that?”
Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for Your Majesty's family to ride, the bread and the fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is for them to drink when they get tired in the wilderness.”
3 “Where is Mephibosheth, the grandson of your master Saul?” the king asked him.
“He is staying in Jerusalem,” Ziba answered, “because he is convinced that the Israelites will now restore to him the kingdom of his grandfather Saul.”
4 The king said to Ziba, “Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth is yours.”
“I am your servant,” Ziba replied. “May I always please Your Majesty!”
David and Shimei
5 When King David arrived at Bahurim, one of Saul's relatives, Shimei son of Gera, came out to meet him, cursing him as he came. 6 Shimei started throwing stones at David and his officials, even though David was surrounded by his men and his bodyguards. 7 Shimei cursed him and said, “Get out! Get out! Murderer! Criminal! 8 You took Saul's kingdom, and now the Lord is punishing you for murdering so many of Saul's family. The Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom, and you are ruined, you murderer!”
9 Abishai, whose mother was Zeruiah, said to the king, “Your Majesty, why do you let this dog curse you? Let me go over there and cut off his head!”
10 “This is none of your business,” the king said to Abishai and his brother Joab. “If he curses me because the Lord told him to, who has the right to ask why he does it?” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his officials, “My own son is trying to kill me; so why should you be surprised at this Benjaminite? The Lord told him to curse; so leave him alone and let him do it. 12 Perhaps the Lord will notice my misery[a] and give me some blessings to take the place of his curse.” 13 So David and his men continued along the road. Shimei kept up with them, walking on the hillside; he was cursing and throwing stones and dirt at them as he went. 14 The king and all his men were worn out when they reached the Jordan,[b] and there they rested.
Absalom in Jerusalem
15 Absalom and all the Israelites with him entered Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with them. 16 When Hushai, David's trusted friend, met Absalom, he shouted, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”
17 “What has happened to your loyalty to your friend David?” Absalom asked him. “Why didn't you go with him?”
18 Hushai answered, “How could I? I am for the one chosen by the Lord, by these people, and by all the Israelites. I will stay with you. 19 After all, whom should I serve, if not my master's son? As I served your father, so now I will serve you.”
20 Then Absalom turned to Ahithophel and said, “Now that we are here, what do you advise us to do?”
21 Ahithophel answered, “Go and have intercourse with your father's concubines whom he left behind to take care of the palace. Then everyone in Israel will know that your father regards you as his enemy, and your followers will be greatly encouraged.” 22 So they set up a tent for Absalom on the palace roof, and in the sight of everyone Absalom went in and had intercourse with his father's concubines.
23 Any advice that Ahithophel gave in those days was accepted as though it were the very word of God; both David and Absalom followed it.
2 Samuel 16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
16 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth[a] met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, carrying two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred bunches of raisins, one hundred of summer fruits, and one skin of wine. 2 The king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine is for those to drink who faint in the wilderness.” 3 The king said, “And where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “He remains in Jerusalem; for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather’s kingdom.’” 4 Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth[b] is now yours.” Ziba said, “I do obeisance; let me find favor in your sight, my lord the king.”
Shimei Curses David
5 When King David came to Bahurim, a man of the family of the house of Saul came out whose name was Shimei son of Gera; he came out cursing. 6 He threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; now all the people and all the warriors were on his right and on his left. 7 Shimei shouted while he cursed, “Out! Out! Murderer! Scoundrel! 8 The Lord has avenged on all of you the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, disaster has overtaken you; for you are a man of blood.”
9 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord has bidden him. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on my distress,[c] and the Lord will repay me with good for this cursing of me today.” 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, throwing stones and flinging dust at him. 14 The king and all the people who were with him arrived weary at the Jordan;[d] and there he refreshed himself.
The Counsel of Ahithophel
15 Now Absalom and all the Israelites[e] came to Jerusalem; Ahithophel was with him. 16 When Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 Hushai said to Absalom, “No; but the one whom the Lord and this people and all the Israelites have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 Moreover, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? Just as I have served your father, so I will serve you.”
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your counsel; what shall we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, the ones he has left to look after the house; and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom upon the roof; and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the oracle[f] of God; so all the counsel of Ahithophel was esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.
2 Samuel 16 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
16 When David had gone a little past the summit, there was Tziva, the servant of M’fivoshet, who met him with a pair of donkeys saddled and on them 200 loaves of bread, 100 bunches of raisins, 100 pieces of summer fruit and a skin of wine. 2 The king said to Tziva, “What do you mean by these?” Tziva replied, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on; the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat; and the wine is for those who collapse in the desert to drink.” 3 The king asked, “Where is your master’s [grand]son?” Tziva answered the king, “He’s staying in Yerushalayim, because he said, ‘Today the house of Isra’el will restore my father’s kingship to me.’” 4 The king said to Tziva, “Everything that belongs to M’fivoshet is now yours.” Tziva answered, “I bow down before you; may I find favor in your sight, my lord, king.”
5 When King David arrived at Bachurim, there came out from there a man from Sha’ul’s family named Shim‘i the son of Gera; and he came out pronouncing curses 6 and throwing stones at David and all King David’s servants; even though all the people, including his bodyguard, surrounded him right and left. 7 When Shim‘i cursed, he said, “Get out of here! Get out of here, you killer, you good-for-nothing! 8 Adonai has brought back on you all the blood of the house of Sha’ul. You usurped his kingship, but Adonai has handed over the kingdom to Avshalom your son. Now your own evil has overtaken you, because you are a man of blood!”
9 Avishai the son of Tz’ruyah said to the king, “Why allow this dead dog to curse my lord the king? Just let me go over and remove his head!” 10 The king said, “Do you sons of Tz’ruyah and I have anything in common? Let him curse. If Adonai tells him, ‘Curse David,’ who has the right to ask, ‘Why are you doing it?’” 11 David then said to Avishai and all his servants, “Look, my own son, who came from my own body, seeks my life. So how much more now this Binyamini! Let him alone; and let him curse, if Adonai told him to. 12 Maybe Adonai will notice how I’m treating him, and Adonai will reward me with good instead of his curses.” 13 So David and his men went on their way, while on the opposite hillside Shim‘i kept pace with him, cursing, throwing stones and flinging dust as he went. 14 The king and all the people with him arrived exhausted, so he rested there.
15 Meanwhile Avshalom and all the people, the men of Isra’el, came to Yerushalayim; Achitofel was with him. 16 Hushai the Arki, David’s friend, came to Avshalom and said to him, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 Avshalom asked Hushai, “Is this how you show kindness to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?” 18 Hushai replied, “No, but whomever Adonai and this people and all the men of Isra’el choose, his I will be; and with him I will stay. 19 Moreover, whom should I serve? Shouldn’t I serve in the presence of his son? Just as I have served in your father’s presence, so will I be in your presence.”
20 Avshalom said to Achitofel, “Give your advice as to what we should do.” 21 Achitofel answered Avshalom, “Go in, and sleep with your father’s concubines, the ones he left to take care of the palace. All Isra’el will hear that your father utterly despises you, and this will strengthen the position of all those who are on your side.” 22 So they set up a tent for Avshalom on the roof of the palace; and Avshalom went in to sleep with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Isra’el. 23 In those days Achitofel’s advice was regarded as highly as if someone had sought out the word of God; it was this way with Achitofel’s advice both to David and to Avshalom.
2 Samuel 16 The Message (MSG)
16 Shortly after David passed the crest of the hill, Mephibosheth’s steward Ziba met him with a string of pack animals, saddled and loaded with a hundred loaves of bread, a hundred raisin cakes, a hundred baskets of fresh fruit, and a skin of wine.
2 The king said to Ziba, “What’s all this?”
“The donkeys,” said Ziba, “are for the king’s household to ride, the bread and fruit are for the servants to eat, and the wine is for drinking, especially for those overcome by fatigue in the wilderness.”
3 The king said, “And where is your master’s grandson?”
“He stayed in Jerusalem,” said Ziba. “He said, ‘This is the day Israel is going to restore my grandfather’s kingdom to me.’”
4 “Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth,” said the king, “is now yours.”
Ziba said, “How can I ever thank you? I’ll be forever in your debt, my master and king; may you always look on me with such kindness!”
5-8 When the king got to Bahurim, a man appeared who had connections with Saul’s family. His name was Shimei son of Gera. As he followed along he shouted insults and threw rocks right and left at David and his company, servants and soldiers alike. To the accompaniment of curses he shouted, “Get lost, get lost, you butcher, you hellhound! God has paid you back for all your dirty work in the family of Saul and for stealing his kingdom. God has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Look at you now—ruined! And good riddance, you pathetic old man!”
9 Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “This mangy dog can’t insult my master the king this way—let me go over and cut off his head!”
10 But the king said, “Why are you sons of Zeruiah always interfering and getting in the way? If he’s cursing, it’s because God told him, ‘Curse David.’ So who dares raise questions?”
11-12 “Besides,” continued David to Abishai and the rest of his servants, “my own son, my flesh and bone, is right now trying to kill me; compared to that this Benjaminite is small potatoes. Don’t bother with him; let him curse; he’s preaching God’s word to me. And who knows, maybe God will see the trouble I’m in today and exchange the curses for something good.”
13 David and his men went on down the road, while Shimei followed along on the ridge of the hill alongside, cursing, throwing stones down on them, and kicking up dirt.
14 By the time they reached the Jordan River, David and all the men of the company were exhausted. There they rested and were revived.
15 By this time Absalom and all his men were in Jerusalem.
And Ahithophel was with them.
16 Soon after, Hushai the Arkite, David’s friend, came and greeted Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”
17 Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this the way you show devotion to your good friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend David?”
18-19 “Because,” said Hushai, “I want to be with the person that God and this people and all Israel have chosen. And I want to stay with him. Besides, who is there to serve other than the son? Just as I served your father, I’m now ready to serve you.”
20 Then Absalom spoke to Ahithophel, “Are you ready to give counsel? What do we do next?”
21-22 Ahithophel told Absalom, “Go and sleep with your father’s concubines, the ones he left to tend to the palace. Everyone will hear that you have openly disgraced your father, and the morale of everyone on your side will be strengthened.” So Absalom pitched a tent up on the roof in public view, and went in and slept with his father’s concubines.
23 The counsel that Ahithophel gave in those days was treated as if God himself had spoken. That was the reputation of Ahithophel’s counsel to David; it was the same with Absalom.