2 Samuel 15-19 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Absalom Makes Secret Plans Against David
15 Some time later, Absalom got a chariot and horses for himself. He also got 50 men to run in front of him. 2 He would get up early. He would stand by the side of the road that led to the city gate. Sometimes a person would come with a case for the king to decide. Then Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “I’m from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Absalom would say, “Look, your claims are based on the law. So you have every right to make them. But the king doesn’t have anyone here who can listen to your case.” 4 Absalom would continue, “I wish I were appointed judge in the land! Then anyone who has a case or a claim could come to me. I would make sure they are treated fairly.”
5 Sometimes people would approach Absalom and bow down to him. Then he would reach out his hand. He would take hold of them and kiss them. 6 Absalom did that to all the Israelites who came to the king with their cases or claims. That’s why the hearts of the people were turned toward him.
7 After Absalom had lived in Jerusalem for four years, he went and spoke to the king. He said, “Let me go to Hebron. I want to keep a promise I made to the Lord. 8 When I was living at Geshur in Aram, I made a promise. I said, ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I’ll go to Hebron and worship him there.’ ”
9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron.
10 Then Absalom sent messengers secretly to all the tribes of Israel. They said, “Listen for the sound of trumpets. As soon as you hear them, say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron.’ ” 11 Absalom had taken 200 men from Jerusalem with him to Hebron. He had invited them to be his guests. They went without having any idea what was going to happen. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel. Ahithophel was David’s adviser. He came to Absalom from Giloh, his hometown. The number of people who followed Absalom kept growing. So he became more and more able to carry out his plans against David.
David Runs Away From Absalom
13 A messenger came and spoke to David. He told him, “The hearts of the Israelites are turned toward Absalom.”
14 Then David spoke to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem. He said, “Come on! We have to leave right away! If we don’t, none of us will escape from Absalom. He’ll move quickly to catch up with us. He’ll destroy us. His men will kill everyone in the city with their swords.”
15 The king’s officials answered him, “You are our king and master. We’re ready to do anything you want.”
16 The king started out. Everyone in his whole family went with him. But he left ten concubines behind to take care of the palace. 17 So the king and all those with him left. They stopped at the edge of the city. 18 All of David’s officials marched past him. All the Kerethites and Pelethites marched along with them. And all of the 600 men who had come with him from Gath marched in front of him.
19 The king spoke to Ittai. He was from Gath. The king said to him, “Why do you want to come along with us? Go back. Stay with King Absalom. You are an outsider. You left your own country. 20 You came to join me only a short time ago. So why should I make you wander around with us now? I don’t even know where I’m going. So go on back. Take your people with you. And may the Lord be kind and faithful to you.”
21 But Ittai replied to the king, “You are my king and master. I want to be where you are. It doesn’t matter whether I live or die. And that’s just as sure as the Lord and you are alive.”
22 David said to Ittai, “Go ahead then. Keep marching with my men.” So Ittai, the Gittite, kept marching. All his men and their families marched with him.
23 All the people in the countryside wept out loud as David and all his followers passed by. The king went across the Kidron Valley. He and all the people with him moved on toward the desert.
24 Zadok also went with them. Some of the Levites went with him. They were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark. Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had left the city.
25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If the Lord is pleased with me, he’ll bring me back. He’ll let me see the ark again. He’ll also let me see Jerusalem again. That’s the place where he lives. 26 But suppose he says, ‘I am not pleased with you.’ Then I accept that. Let him do to me what he thinks is best.”
27 The king said again to Zadok the priest, “Do you understand? Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you. Also take Abiathar and his son Jonathan with you. 28 I’ll wait at the place in the desert where we can go across the Jordan River. I’ll wait there until you send word to let me know what’s happening.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem. They stayed there.
30 But David went on up the Mount of Olives. He was weeping as he went. His head was covered, and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too. And they were weeping as they went up. 31 David had been told, “Ahithophel, along with Absalom, is one of the people making secret plans against you.” So David prayed, “Lord, make Ahithophel’s advice look foolish.”
32 David arrived at the top of the Mount of Olives. That’s where people used to worship God. Hushai, the Arkite, was there to meet him. His robe was torn. There was dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be too much trouble for me. 34 So return to the city. Say to Absalom, ‘Your Majesty, I’ll be your servant. In the past, I was your father’s servant. But now I’ll be your servant.’ If you do that, you can help me by making sure Ahithophel’s advice fails. 35 Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, will be there with you. Tell them everything you hear in the king’s palace. 36 They have their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan there with them. Send them to tell me everything you hear.”
37 So David’s trusted friend Hushai went to Jerusalem. He arrived just as Absalom was entering the city.
David and Ziba
16 David went just beyond the top of the Mount of Olives. Ziba was waiting there to meet him. He was Mephibosheth’s manager. He had several donkeys with saddles on them. They were carrying 200 loaves of bread and 100 raisin cakes. They were also carrying 100 fig cakes and a bottle of wine. The bottle was made out of animal skin.
2 The king asked Ziba, “Why have you brought all these things?”
Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride on. The bread and fruit are for the people to eat. The wine will make those who get tired in the desert feel like new again.”
3 Then the king asked, “Where is your master’s grandson Mephibosheth?”
Ziba said to him, “He’s staying in Jerusalem. He thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will cause me to rule once again over my grandfather Saul’s kingdom.’ ”
4 Then the king said to Ziba, “Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth belongs to you now.”
“You are my king and master,” Ziba said. “I make myself humble in front of you. I bow down to you. May you be pleased with me.”
Shimei Curses David
5 King David approached Bahurim. As he did, a man came out toward him. The man was from the same family group that Saul was from. His name was Shimei. He was the son of Gera. As he came out of the town, he cursed David. 6 He threw stones at David and all his officials. He did it even though all the troops and the special guard were there. They were to the right and left of David. 7 As Shimei cursed, he said, “Get out! Get out, you murderer! You are a worthless and evil man! 8 You spilled the blood of a lot of people in Saul’s family. You took over his kingdom. Now the Lord is paying you back. He has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have been destroyed because you are a murderer!”
9 Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, spoke to the king. He said, “King David, why should we let this dead dog curse you? Let me go over there. I’ll cut off his head.”
10 But the king said, “You and Joab are sons of Zeruiah. What does this have to do with you? Maybe the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David.’ If he did, who can ask him, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ”
11 Then David spoke to Abishai and all his officials. He said, “My very own son Absalom is trying to kill me. How much more should this man from Benjamin want to kill me! Leave him alone. Let him curse. The Lord has told him to do it. 12 Maybe the Lord will see how much I’m suffering. Maybe he’ll bring back to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse I’m hearing today.”
13 So David and his men kept going along the road. At the same time, Shimei was going along the hillside across from him. He was cursing David as he went. He was throwing stones at David. He was showering him with dirt. 14 The king and all the people with him came to the place they had planned to go to. They were very tired. So David rested there.
Ahithophel and Hushai Give Advice to Absalom
15 During that time, Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem. Ahithophel was with him. 16 Then Hushai, the Arkite, went to Absalom. He said to him, “May the king live a long time! May the king live a long time!” Hushai was David’s trusted friend.
17 Absalom said to Hushai, “So this is the way you show love to your friend? If he’s your friend, why didn’t you go with him?”
18 Hushai said to Absalom, “Why should I? You are the one the Lord has chosen. These people and all the men of Israel have also chosen you. I want to be on your side. I want to stay with you. 19 After all, who else should I serve? Shouldn’t I serve the king’s son? I will serve you, just as I served your father.”
20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?”
21 Ahithophel answered, “Your father left some concubines behind to take care of the palace. Go and sleep with them. Then all the Israelites will hear about it. They will hear that you have made your father hate you. Everyone with you will be encouraged to give you more support.” 22 So they set up a tent for Absalom on the roof of the palace. He went in and slept with his father’s concubines. Everyone in Israel saw it.
23 In those days the advice Ahithophel gave was as good as advice from someone who asks God for guidance. That’s what David and Absalom thought about all of Ahithophel’s advice.
17 One day Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Here’s what I suggest. Choose 12,000 men. Start out tonight and go after David. 2 Attack him while he’s tired and weak. Fill him with terror. Then all the people with him will run away. Don’t strike down anyone except the king. 3 Bring all the other people back. After the man you want to kill is dead, everyone else will return to you. And none of the people will be harmed.” 4 Ahithophel’s plan seemed good to Absalom. It also seemed good to all the elders of Israel.
5 But Absalom said, “Send for Hushai, the Arkite. Then we can find out what he suggests as well.” 6 Hushai came to him. Absalom said, “Ahithophel has given us his advice. Should we do what he says? If we shouldn’t, tell us what you would do.”
7 Hushai replied to Absalom, “The advice Ahithophel has given you isn’t good this time. 8 You know your father and his men. They are fighters. They are as strong as a wild bear whose cubs have been stolen from her. Besides, your father really knows how to fight. He won’t spend the night with his troops. 9 In fact, he’s probably hiding in a cave or some other place right now. Suppose he attacks your troops first. When people hear about it, they’ll say, ‘Many of the troops who followed Absalom have been killed.’ 10 Then the hearts of your soldiers will melt away in fear. Even those as brave as a lion will be terrified. That’s because everyone in Israel knows that your father is a fighter. They know that those with him are brave.
11 “So here’s what I suggest. Bring together all the men of Israel from the town of Dan all the way to Beersheba. They are as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. You yourself should lead them into battle. 12 Then we’ll attack David no matter where we find him. As dew completely covers the ground, we’ll completely overpower his entire army. We won’t leave him or any of his men alive. 13 He might try to get away by going into a city. If he does, all of us will bring ropes to that city. We’ll drag the whole city down into the valley. Not even a pebble of that city will be left.”
14 Absalom and all the men of Israel agreed. They said, “The advice of Hushai, the Arkite, is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” The Lord had decided that Ahithophel’s good advice would fail. The Lord wanted to bring horrible trouble on Absalom.
15 Hushai spoke to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests. He said, “Ahithophel has given advice to Absalom and the elders of Israel. He suggested that they should do one thing. But I suggested something else. 16 Send a message right away. Tell David, ‘Don’t spend the night in the desert at a place where people cross the Jordan River. Make sure you go on across. If you don’t, you and all the people with you will be swallowed up.’ ”
17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel just outside Jerusalem. They knew they would be in danger if anyone saw them entering the city. A female servant was supposed to go and tell them what had happened. Then they were supposed to go and tell King David. 18 But a young man saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz and told Absalom about it. So the two men left right away. They went to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard. They climbed down into it. 19 The man’s wife got a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well. Then she scattered grain on the covering. So no one knew that the men were hiding in the well.
20 Absalom’s men came to the house. They asked the woman, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”
She answered, “They went across the brook.” When the men looked around, they didn’t find anyone. So they returned to Jerusalem.
21 After they had gone, Jonathan and Ahimaaz climbed out of the well. They went to tell King David what they had found out. They said to him, “Go across the river right away. Ahithophel has told Absalom how to come after you and strike you down.” 22 So David and all the people with him started out. They went across the Jordan River. By sunrise, everyone had crossed over.
23 Ahithophel saw that his advice wasn’t being followed. So he put a saddle on his donkey. He started out for his house in his hometown. When he arrived, he made everything ready for his death. He made out his will. Then he killed himself. And so he died and was buried in his father’s tomb.
24 David went to Mahanaim. Absalom went across the Jordan River with all the men of Israel. 25 Absalom had made Amasa commander of the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of Jether. Jether belonged to the family line of Ishmael. He had married Abigail. She was the daughter of Nahash and the sister of Zeruiah. Zeruiah was the mother of Joab. 26 Absalom and the Israelites camped in the land of Gilead.
27 David came to Mahanaim. Shobi, the son of Nahash, met him there. Shobi was from Rabbah in the land of Ammon. Makir, the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, met him there too. So did Barzillai from Rogelim in the land of Gilead. 28 They brought beds, bowls and clay pots. They brought wheat, barley, flour, and grain that had been cooked. They brought beans and lentils. 29 They brought honey, butter, sheep, and cheese that was made from cows’ milk. They brought all that food for David and his people to eat. They said, “These people have become tired. They’ve become hungry and thirsty in the desert.”
18 David brought together the men with him. He appointed commanders of thousands over some of them. He appointed commanders of hundreds over the others. 2 Then David sent out his troops in military groups. One group was under the command of Joab. Another was under Joab’s brother Abishai, the son of Zeruiah. The last was under Ittai, the Gittite. The king told the troops, “You can be sure that I myself will march out with you.”
3 But the men said, “You must not march out. If we are forced to run away, our enemies won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care. But you are worth 10,000 of us. So it would be better for you to stay here in the city. Then you can send us help if we need it.”
4 The king said, “I’ll do what you think is best.”
So the king stood beside the city gate. His whole army marched out in groups of hundreds and groups of thousands. 5 The king gave an order to Joab, Abishai and Ittai. He commanded them, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom. Do it for me.” All the troops heard the king give the commanders that order about Absalom.
6 David’s army marched out of the city to fight against Israel. The battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7 There David’s men won the battle over Israel’s army. A huge number of men were wounded or killed that day. The total number was 20,000. 8 The fighting spread out over the whole countryside. But more men were killed in the forest that day than out in the open.
9 Absalom happened to come across some of David’s men. He was riding his mule. The mule went under the thick branches of a large oak tree. Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in the air. The mule he was riding kept on going.
10 One of David’s men saw what had happened. He told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”
11 Joab said to the man, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him down right there? Then I would have had to give you four ounces of silver and a soldier’s belt.”
12 But the man replied, “I wouldn’t do anything to hurt the king’s son. I wouldn’t do it even for 25 pounds of silver. We heard the king’s command to you and Abishai and Ittai. He said, ‘Be careful not to hurt the young man Absalom. Do it for me.’ 13 Suppose I had put my life in danger by killing him. The king would have found out about it. Nothing is hidden from him. And you wouldn’t have stood up for me.”
14 Joab said, “I’m not going to waste any more time on you.” So he got three javelins. Then he went over and plunged them into Absalom’s heart. He did it while Absalom was still hanging there alive in the oak tree. 15 Ten of the men carrying Joab’s armor surrounded Absalom. They struck him and killed him.
16 Then Joab blew his trumpet. He ordered his troops to stop chasing Israel’s army. 17 Joab’s men threw Absalom into a big pit in the forest. They covered him with a large pile of rocks. While all of that was going on, all the Israelites ran back to their homes.
18 Earlier in his life Absalom had set up a pillar in the King’s Valley. He had put it up as a monument to himself. He thought, “I don’t have a son to carry on the memory of my name.” So he named the pillar after himself. It is still called Absalom’s Monument to this day.
David Mourns Over Absalom
19 Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, said to Joab, “Let me run and take the news to the king. Let me tell him that the Lord has shown that David is in the right. The Lord has done this by saving David from his enemies.”
20 “I don’t want you to take the news to the king today,” Joab told him. “You can do it some other time. But you must not do it today, because the king’s son is dead.”
21 Then Joab said to a man from Cush, “Go. Tell the king what you have seen.” The man bowed down in front of Joab. Then he ran off.
22 Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, spoke again to Joab. He said, “I don’t care what happens to me. Please let me run behind the man from Cush.”
But Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.”
23 He said, “I don’t care what happens. I want to run.”
So Joab said, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran across the plain of the Jordan River. As he ran, he passed the man from Cush.
24 David was sitting in the area between the inner and outer gates of the city. The man on guard duty went up to the roof over the entrance of the gate by the wall. As he looked out, he saw someone running alone. 25 The guard called out to the king and reported it.
The king said, “If the runner is alone, he must be bringing good news.” The runner came closer and closer.
26 Then the man on guard duty saw another runner. He called out to the man guarding the gate. He said, “Look! There’s another man running alone!”
The king said, “He must be bringing good news too.”
27 The man on guard duty said, “I can see that the first one runs like Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok.”
“He’s a good man,” the king said. “He’s bringing good news.”
28 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “Everything’s all right!” He bowed down in front of the king with his face toward the ground. He said, “You are my king and master. Give praise to the Lord your God! He has handed over to you those who lifted their hands to kill you.”
29 The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”
Ahimaaz answered, “I saw total disorder. I saw it just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me to you. But I don’t know what it was all about.”
30 The king said, “Stand over there and wait.” So he stepped over to one side and stood there.
31 Then the man from Cush arrived. He said, “You are my king and master. I’m bringing you some good news. The Lord has shown that you are in the right. He has done this by rescuing you today from all those trying to kill you.”
32 The king asked the man from Cush, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”
The man replied, “King David, may your enemies be like that young man. May all those who rise up to harm you be like him.”
33 The king was very upset. He went up to the room over the entrance of the gate and wept. As he went, he said, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! I wish I had died instead of you. Absalom! My son, my son!”
19 Someone told Joab, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom. He’s filled with sadness because his son has died.” 2 The army had won a great battle that day. But their joy turned into sadness. That’s because someone had told the troops, “The king is filled with sorrow because his son is dead.” 3 The men came quietly into the city that day. They were like fighting men who are ashamed because they’ve run away from a battle. 4 The king covered his face. He cried loudly, “My son Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”
5 Then Joab went into the king’s house. He said to him, “Today you have made all your men feel ashamed. They have just saved your life. They have saved the lives of your sons and daughters. And they have saved the lives of your wives and concubines. 6 You love those who hate you. You hate those who love you. The commanders and their troops don’t mean anything to you. You made that very clear today. I can see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. 7 Now go out there and cheer up your men. If you don’t, you won’t have any of them left with you by sunset. That will be worse for you than all the troubles you have ever had in your whole life. That’s what I promise you in the Lord’s name.”
8 So the king got up and took his seat in the entrance of the city gate. His men were told, “The king is sitting in the entrance of the gate.” Then all of them came and stood in front of him.
While all of that was going on, the Israelites had run back to their homes.
David Returns to Jerusalem
9 People from all the tribes of Israel began to argue among themselves. They were saying, “The king saved us from the power of our enemies. He saved us from the power of the Philistines. But now he has left the country to escape from Absalom. 10 We anointed Absalom to rule over us. But he has died in battle. So why aren’t any of you talking about bringing the king back?”
11 King David sent a message to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests. David said, “Speak to the elders of Judah. Tell them I said, ‘News has reached me where I’m staying. People all over Israel are talking about bringing me back to my palace. Why should you be the last to do something about it? 12 You are my relatives. You are my own flesh and blood. So why should you be the last to bring me back?’ 13 Say to Amasa, ‘Aren’t you my own flesh and blood? You will be the commander of my army for life in place of Joab. If that isn’t true, may God punish me greatly.’ ”
14 So the hearts of all the men of Judah were turned toward David. All of them had the same purpose in mind. They sent a message to the king. They said, “We want you to come back. We want all your men to come back too.” 15 Then the king returned. He went as far as the Jordan River.
The men of Judah had come to Gilgal to welcome the king back. They had come to bring him across the Jordan. 16 Shimei, the son of Gera, was among them. Shimei was from Bahurim in the territory of Benjamin. He hurried down to welcome King David back. 17 There were 1,000 people from Benjamin with him. Ziba, the manager of Saul’s house, was with him too. And so were Ziba’s 15 sons and 20 servants. All of them rushed down to the Jordan River. That’s where the king was. 18 They went across at the place where people usually cross it. Then they brought the king’s family back over with them. They were ready to do anything he wanted them to do.
Shimei, the son of Gera, had also gone across the Jordan. When he did, he fell down flat with his face toward the ground in front of the king. 19 He said to him, “You are my king and master. Please don’t hold me guilty. Please forgive me for the wrong things I did on the day you left Jerusalem. Please forget all about them. 20 I know I’ve sinned. But today I’ve come down here to welcome you. I’m the first member of Joseph’s whole family to do it.”
21 Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, said, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for what he did? He cursed you. And you are the Lord’s anointed king.”
22 But David replied, “You and Joab are sons of Zeruiah. What does this have to do with you? 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 again?” 23 So the king made a promise to Shimei. He said to him, “You aren’t going to be put to death.”
24 Mephibosheth was Saul’s grandson. He had also gone down to welcome the king back. He had not taken care of his feet. He hadn’t trimmed his mustache or washed his clothes. He hadn’t done any of those things from the day the king left Jerusalem until the day he returned safely. 25 He came from Jerusalem to welcome the king. The king asked him, “Mephibosheth, why didn’t you go with me?”
26 He said, “You are my king and master. I’m not able to walk. So I thought, ‘I’ll have a saddle put on my donkey. I’ll ride on it. Then I can go with the king.’ But my servant Ziba turned against me. 27 He has told you lies about me. King David, you are like an angel of God. So do what you wish. 28 You should have put all the members of my grandfather’s family to death, including me. Instead, you always provided what I needed. So what right do I have to make any more appeals to you?”
29 The king said to him, “You don’t have to say anything else. I order you and Ziba to divide up Saul’s land between you.”
30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “I’m happy that you have returned home safely. So just let Ziba have everything.”
31 Barzillai had also come down to go across the Jordan River with the king. He wanted to send the king on his way from there. Barzillai was from Rogelim in the land of Gilead. 32 He was very old. He was 80 years old. He had given the king everything he needed while the king was staying in Mahanaim. That’s because Barzillai was very wealthy. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Come across the river with me. Stay with me in Jerusalem. I’ll take good care of you.”
34 But Barzillai said to the king, “I won’t live for many more years. So why should I go up to Jerusalem with you? 35 I’m already 80 years old. I can hardly tell the difference between what is enjoyable and what isn’t. I can hardly taste what I eat and drink. I can’t even hear the voices of male and female singers anymore. So why should I add my problems to yours? 36 I’ll go across the Jordan River with you for a little way. Why should you reward me by taking care of me? 37 Let me go back home. Then I can die in my own town. I can be buried there in the tomb of my father and mother. But let Kimham take my place. Let him go across the river with you. Do for him whatever you wish.”
38 The king said, “Kimham will go across with me. I’ll do for him whatever you wish. And I’ll do for you anything you wish.”
39 So all the people went across the Jordan River. Then the king crossed over. The king kissed Barzillai and said goodbye to him. And Barzillai went back home.
40 After the king had gone across the river, he went to Gilgal. Kimham had gone across with him. All the troops of Judah and half of the troops of Israel had taken the king across.
41 Soon all the men of Israel were coming to the king. They were saying to him, “Why did the men of Judah take you away from us? They are our relatives. What right did they have to bring you and your family across the Jordan River? What right did they have to bring all your men over with you?”
42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel. They said, “We did that because the king is our close relative. So why should you be angry about what happened? Have we eaten any of the king’s food? Have we taken anything for ourselves?”
43 Then the men of Israel answered the men of Judah. They said, “We have ten of the 12 tribes in the kingdom. So we have a stronger claim on David than you have. Why then are you acting as if you hate us? Weren’t we the first ones to talk about bringing back our king?”
But the men of Judah argued their side even more forcefully than the men of Israel.
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