David and Ziba
1When David began to walk down the mountain, he met Mephibosheth's servant Ziba. Ziba was waiting for him with two donkeys. They carried 200 loaves of bread, 100 cakes of figs and 100 cakes of grapes that someone had dried. They also brought a skin that was full of wine. #16:1 Ziba looked after all Mephibosheth's land (2 Samuel 9:7-10).
2The king asked Ziba, ‘Why have you brought these?’
Ziba answered, ‘The donkeys are for the king's family to ride. The bread and fruit are for the men to eat. And the wine is so that the very tired men in the desert will feel better.’
3The king asked, ‘Where is your master's grandson?’
Ziba answered, ‘He is staying in Jerusalem. He thinks that they will give him back his grandfather Saul's kingdom.’
4Then the king said to Ziba, ‘All that Mephibosheth had is now yours.’
‘I am your servant’, said Ziba. ‘I hope that I will always give you pleasure.’
Shimei throws stones at David and he shouts bad names at David
5Shimei, son of Gera, came out to meet David. David was coming near to the city called Bahurim. Shimei was from the same family as Saul. Soldiers and David's special men were all round David. But Shimei shouted bad words about David as he came. 6He threw stones at David and at all his officers. 7He said, ‘Get out! Get out! You are a man who has killed many people. So you are a wicked man! 8You killed a lot of Saul's people. And this is how the LORD is paying you for that. Saul was king but you became king instead. The LORD has given the kingdom to your son, Absalom. God is punishing you for the murders that you did!’ #16:8 Bahurim was east of the Hill of Olives.
9Then Zeruiah's son, Abishai, said to the king, ‘This man is like a dog. He should not say these bad things to you. There is no reason for us to let him live. Can I go there and cut off his head?’
10‘You and I think about this in a different way, you sons of Zeruiah’, said the king. ‘He might be saying these bad things because the LORD has said to him, “Say bad things about David.” So we cannot ask why he says them.’
11Then David spoke to Abishai and to all his officers. ‘My son, my own son is trying to kill me. So it is not a surprise that this descendant of Benjamin is angry. He hates me. Do not touch him. The LORD has told him that he should say these things. 12Perhaps the LORD will see how much it makes me sad. Perhaps he will do good things for me because Shimei is saying bad things today.’ 13David and his men continued to walk along the road. Shimei walked along the hill, where he could see them. He shouted. And he threw stones and dirt at them as he walked. 14The king and all his men were very tired when they reached the River Jordan. So they rested there.
Hushai and Ahithophel have different ideas
15So now all Israel's men had come to Jerusalem with Absalom. And Ahithophel was with him. 16Then David's friend, Hushai from the place called Archi, went to Absalom. He said, ‘I pray that the king will live for all time! I pray that the king will live for all time!’
17Absalom asked Hushai, ‘Is this how you show your love for your friend? Why did you not go with him?’
18Hushai replied, ‘No, I will follow the man that the LORD has chosen. I will stay by all Israel's men and with the man that these people have chosen. I will be his man. 19Clearly, I should work for the son. As I worked for your father, so I will work for you.’
20Absalom said to Ahithophel, ‘Have you any ideas? What do you think that we should do?’
21Ahithophel answered, ‘Sleep with your father's lady friends that are here in his house. Then all the people in Israel will know that you have made your father very angry. Then they will want to help you much more.’ 22So they put up a tent for Absalom on the roof. There he went in to his father's ladies and all Israel watched him.
23In those days, men thought that Ahithophel's words were like the word of God. David and Absalom both believed that.