Mephibosheth’s Servant

16 When(A) David was a little past the top of the mountain, there was (B)Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth, who met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred summer fruits, and a skin of wine. And the king said to Ziba, “What do you mean to do with these?”

So Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for (C)those who are faint in the wilderness to drink.”

Then the king said, “And where is your (D)master’s son?”

(E)And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.’ ”

So the king said to Ziba, “Here, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.”

And Ziba said, “I humbly bow before you, that I may find favor in your sight, my lord, O king!”

Shimei Curses David

Now when King David came to (F)Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was (G)Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You [a]bloodthirsty man, (H)you [b]rogue! The Lord has (I)brought upon you all (J)the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a [c]bloodthirsty man!”

Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this (K)dead dog (L)curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!”

10 But the king said, (M)“What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because (N)the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ (O)Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ”

11 And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how (P)my son who (Q)came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on [d]my affliction, and that the Lord will (R)repay me with (S)good for his cursing this day.” 13 And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and [e]kicked up dust. 14 Now the king and all the people who were with him became weary; so they refreshed themselves there.

The Advice of Ahithophel

15 Meanwhile (T)Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem; and Ahithophel was with him. 16 And so it was, when Hushai the Archite, (U)David’s friend, came to Absalom, that (V)Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

17 So Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? (W)Why did you not go with your friend?”

18 And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, but whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel choose, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 Furthermore, (X)whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so will I be in your presence.”

20 Then Absalom said to (Y)Ahithophel, “Give advice as to what we should do.”

21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s (Z)concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you (AA)are abhorred by your father. Then (AB)the hands of all who are with you will be strong.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines (AC)in the sight of all Israel.

23 Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel (AD)both with David and with Absalom.

The Advice of Ahithophel and Hushai

17 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is (AE)weary and weak, and make him [f]afraid. And all the people who are with him will flee, and I will (AF)strike only the king. Then I will bring back all the people to you. When all return except the man whom you seek, all the people will be at peace.” And the saying pleased Absalom and all the (AG)elders of Israel.

The Advice of Hushai

Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he (AH)says too.” And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken in this manner. Shall we do as he says? If not, speak up.”

So Hushai said to Absalom: “The advice that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time. For,” said Hushai, “you know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are enraged in their minds, like (AI)a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not camp with the people. Surely by now he is hidden in some pit, or in some other place. And it will be, when some of them are overthrown at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even he who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will (AJ)melt completely. For all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 Therefore I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, (AK)from Dan to Beersheba, (AL)like the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we will come upon him in some place where he may be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground. And of him and all the men who are with him there shall not be left so much as one. 13 Moreover, if he has withdrawn into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city; and we will (AM)pull it into the river, until there is not one small stone found there.”

14 So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For (AN)the Lord had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring disaster on Absalom.

Hushai Warns David to Escape

15 (AO)Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Thus and so Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so I have advised. 16 Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend this night (AP)in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily cross over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’ ” 17 (AQ)Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz (AR)stayed at (AS)En Rogel, for they dared not be seen coming into the city; so a female servant would come and tell them, and they would go and tell King David. 18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom. But both of them went away quickly and came to a man’s house (AT)in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down into it. 19 (AU)Then the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground grain on it; and the thing was not known. 20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”

So (AV)the woman said to them, “They have gone over the water brook.”

And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 Now it came to pass, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and told King David, and said to David, (AW)“Arise and cross over the water quickly. For thus has Ahithophel advised against you.” 22 So David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed over the Jordan. By morning light not one of them was left who had not gone over the Jordan.

23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to (AX)his house, to his city. Then he [g]put his (AY)household in order, and (AZ)hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb.

24 Then David went to (BA)Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom made (BB)Amasa captain of the army instead of Joab. This Amasa was the son of a man whose name was [h]Jithra, an [i]Israelite, who had gone in to (BC)Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 So Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

27 Now it happened, when David had come to Mahanaim, that (BD)Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the people of Ammon, (BE)Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and (BF)Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds and basins, earthen vessels and wheat, barley and flour, parched grain and beans, lentils and parched seeds, 29 honey and curds, sheep and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty (BG)in the wilderness.”

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 16:7 Lit. man of bloodshed
  2. 2 Samuel 16:7 worthless man
  3. 2 Samuel 16:8 Lit. man of bloodshed
  4. 2 Samuel 16:12 So with Kt., LXX, Syr., Vg.; Qr. my eyes; Tg. tears of my eyes
  5. 2 Samuel 16:13 Lit. dusted him with dust
  6. 2 Samuel 17:2 tremble with fear
  7. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit. gave charge concerning his house
  8. 2 Samuel 17:25 Jether, 1 Chr. 2:17
  9. 2 Samuel 17:25 So with MT, some LXX mss., Tg.; some LXX mss. Ishmaelite (cf. 1 Chr. 2:17); Vg. of Jezrael