2 Samuel 16

Ziba, A False Servant

1When David was a little past the summit [of the Mount of Olives], behold, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, met him with a team of saddled donkeys, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred clusters of raisins, a hundred summer fruits, and a jug of wine. 2The king said to Ziba, “Why do you have these?” Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household (family) to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine is for anyone to drink who becomes weary in the wilderness.” 3Then the king said, “And where is your master’s son [Mephibosheth]?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.’” 4Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, everything that belonged to Mephibosheth is [now] yours.” Ziba said, “I bow down [in honor and gratitude]; let me find favor in your sight, O my lord the king.”

David Is Cursed 5When King David came to Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera, came out from there. He was of the family of Saul’s household and he was cursing continually as he came out. 6He threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; yet all the people and all the warriors remained on his right and on his left. 7This is what Shimei said as he cursed: “Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, you worthless and useless man! 8“The LORD has returned upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hands of Absalom your son. And behold, you are caught in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed!”

9Then Abishai [David’s nephew], the son of Zeruiah, said to the king, “Why should this dead dog (despicable person) curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10But the king said, “What business is this of yours, O sons of Zeruiah? If Shimei is cursing because the LORD said to him, ‘Curse David,’ then who should say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Look, my son [Absalom] who came from my own body, is seeking my life; how much more [reason] now [does] this Benjamite [have to curse me]? Let him alone and let him curse, for [it could be that] the LORD has told him [to do it]. 12“Perhaps the LORD will look on the wrong done to me [by Shimei, if he is acting on his own]; and [in that case perhaps] the Lord will this day return good to me in place of his cursing.” 13So David and his men went on the road; and Shimei went along on the hillside close beside David and cursed as he went and threw stones and dust at him. 14The king and all the people who were with him arrived [at the Jordan River] weary, and he refreshed himself there.

Absalom Enters Jerusalem 15Then Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, entered Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16Now it happened when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to him, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18Hushai said to Absalom, “No! For whomever the LORD and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen [as king], I will be his, and I will remain with him. 19“Besides, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of David’s son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so I shall serve in your presence.”

20Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give me your advice. What should we do?” 21Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left behind to take care of the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened [by your boldness and audacity].” 22So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof [of the king’s palace], and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23The advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man had consulted the word of God; that is how all Ahithophel’s counsel was regarded by both David and Absalom.