1 IT WAS told Joab, Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.
2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for they heard it said, The king grieves for his son.
3 The people slipped into the city stealthily that day as humiliated people steal away when they flee in battle.
4 But the king covered his face and cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
5 And Joab came into the house to the king and said, You have today covered the faces of all your servants with shame, who this day have saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines.
6 For you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have declared today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for today I see that if Absalom had lived and all the rest of us had died, you would be well pleased.
7 So now arise, go out and speak kindly and encouragingly to your servants; for I swear by the Lord that if you do not go, not a man will remain with you this night. And this will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now.
8 Then the king arose and sat in the gate. And all [his followers] were told, The king is sitting in the gate, and they all came before the king. Now Israel [Absalom's troops] had fled, every man to his home.
9 And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king delivered us from the hands of our enemies, and he saved us from the hands of the Philistines. And now he has fled out of the land from Absalom.
10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. So now, why do you say nothing about bringing back the king?
11 And King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Say to the elders of Judah, Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king, to bring him to his house?
12 You are my kinsmen; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?
13 And say to Amasa, Are you not of my bone and of my flesh? May God do so to me, and more also, if you are not commander of my army hereafter in place of Joab.
14 He inclined the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man, so they sent word to [him], Return, you and all your servants.
15 So [David] returned and came to the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king, to conduct him over the Jordan.
16 And Shimei son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, hastily came down with the men of Judah to meet King David,
17 And 1,000 men of Benjamin with him. And Ziba, the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants with him, rushed to the Jordan and pressed quickly into the king's presence.
18 And there went over a ferryboat to bring over the king's household and to do what he thought good. And Shimei son of Gera fell down before the king as David came to the Jordan,
19 And said to the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity to me and hold me guilty, nor remember what your servant did the day my lord went out of Jerusalem [when Shimei grossly insulted David]; may the king not take it to heart.
20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore, behold, I am today the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.
21 But Abishai son of Zeruiah said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord's anointed?
22 David said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be an adversary to me today? Shall anyone be put to death today in Israel? For do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?
23 Therefore the king said to Shimei, You shall not die [at my hand]. And the king gave him his oath. [I Kings 2:44-46.]
24 Mephibosheth the son [grandson] of Saul came down to meet the king, and had not dressed his feet, trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes from the day the king left until he returned in peace and safety.
25 And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, David said to him, Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?
26 He said, My lord O king, my servant [Ziba] deceived me; for I said, Saddle me the donkey that I may ride on it and go to the king, for your servant is lame [but he took the donkey and left without me].
27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But the king is as an angel of God; so do what is good in your eyes.
28 For all of my father's house were but doomed to death before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right therefore have I to cry any more to the king?
29 The king said to him, Why speak any more of your affairs? I say, You and Ziba divide the land.
30 Mephibosheth said to the king, Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has returned home in safety and peace.
31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim and went on to the Jordan with the king to conduct him over the Jordan.
32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even eighty years old; and he had provided the king with food while he remained at Mahanaim, for he was a very great man.
33 And the king said to Barzillai, Come over with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.
34 And Barzillai said to the king, How much longer have I to live, that it would be worthwhile for me to go up with the king to Jerusalem?
35 I am this day eighty years old. Could I now [be useful as a counselor to] discern between good and evil? Can your servant appreciate what I eat or drink? Can I any longer enjoy the voices of singing men and women? Why then should your servant be still a burden to my lord the king?
36 Your servant will only go over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward?
37 Let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city and be buried by the grave of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king. And do to him what shall seem good to you.
38 The king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him what seems good to you; and whatever you ask of me I will do for you.
39 So all the people went over the Jordan. When the king had crossed over, he kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and [the great man] returned to his own place.
40 Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him; and all the people of Judah and also half the people of Israel escorted the king.
41 And all the men of Israel came to the king and said to him, Why have our kinsmen, the men of Judah, stolen you away and have brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all David's men with him?
42 But all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us. Why then be angry about it? Have we eaten at all at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?
43 Then the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, We have ten [tribes'] shares in the king; and we have more right to David than you have. Why then did you despise and ignore us? Were we not the first to speak of our bringing back our king? But the words of the men of Judah were more violent than the charges of the men of Israel.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation