1 When David had gone over the top ⌊of the Mount of Olives⌋, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, met him with a pair of saddled donkeys. They were loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 bunches of raisins, 100 pieces of ripened fruit, and a full wineskin.
2 “Why did you bring these?” David asked Ziba.
“The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride on,” Ziba answered. “The bread and the ripe fruit are for ⌊your⌋ servants to eat. The wine is for those who become tired and thirsty in the desert.”
3 “Where is your master Saul’s grandson?” the king asked.
“He’s staying in Jerusalem,” Ziba answered the king. “He said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather’s kingdom.’ ”
4 The king told Ziba, “In that case everything that belonged to Mephibosheth now belongs to you.”
“I sincerely thank you,” said Ziba. “I hope to remain in your good graces, Your Majesty.”
5 When King David came to Bahurim, a man who was a distant cousin of Saul came out cursing. His name was Shimei, son of Gera. 6 He threw stones at David and David’s servants, although all the people and all the warriors were shielding David. 7 Shimei cursed and said, “Get out! Get out, you bloodthirsty man! You worthless person! 8 The Lord is paying you back for all the blood you spilled in the family of Saul, whom you succeeded as king. The Lord is giving the kingship to your son Absalom. Now you’re in trouble because you’re a bloodthirsty man.”
9 Abishai, Zeruiah’s son, asked the king, “Why should this dead dog curse you, Your Majesty? Let me go over there and tear off his head.”
10 But the king said, “You don’t think like me at all, sons of Zeruiah. Let him curse. If the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ should anyone ask, ‘Why do you do that?’” 11 David told Abishai and all his servants, “My own son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. Why, then, shouldn’t this Benjaminite do this? Leave him alone. Let him curse, since the Lord has told him to do it. 12 Maybe the Lord will see my misery and turn his curse into a blessing for me today.”
13 As David and his men went along the road, Shimei was walking along the hillside parallel to him. Shimei cursed, hurled stones, and threw dirt at David. 14 The king and all the people with him finally arrived ⌊at their destination⌋ and rested there.
Absalom Enters Jerusalem
15 Meanwhile, Absalom and all Israel’s troops came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him. 16 When David’s friend Hushai from Archi’s family came to Absalom, he said, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”
17 “Is that how loyal you are to your friend?” Absalom asked Hushai. “Why didn’t you go with him?”
18 Hushai answered Absalom, “No, I want to be with the one whom the Lord, these people, and all Israel have chosen. I will be his ⌊friend⌋ and stay with him. 19 And besides, whom should I serve? Shouldn’t it be his son? As I served your father, so I’ll serve you.”
20 Then Absalom asked Ahithophel, “What’s your advice? What should we do?”
21 Ahithophel told Absalom, “Sleep with your father’s concubines #A concubine is considered a wife except she has fewer rights under the law. whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear about how you have made your father despise you. Everyone who is with you will support you even more.”
22 So a tent was put up on the roof for Absalom, and he slept with his father’s concubines in plain sight of Israel.
23 In those days both David and Absalom thought that Ahithophel’s advice was like getting an answer from God.