Saul’s grandson helps David. Shimei curses David. Absalom enters Jerusalem. UPDATED.
VERSE 1. When David was a little past the top, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him with a couple of donkeys saddled, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, and one hundred clusters of raisins, and one hundred summer fruits, and a container of wine.
Mephibosheth. He was Saul’s grandson.
Out of gratitude for kindness in the past, Mephibosheth’s servant Ziba provides David with donkeys and provision.
VERSE 2. The king said to Ziba, “What do you mean by these?” Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that those who are faint in the wilderness may drink.”
VERSE 3. The king said, “Where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is staying in Jerusalem; for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore me the kingdom of my father.’ ”
Today … Israel will restore me the kingdom. Mephibosheth has turned against David, hoping to become king like his grandfather.
This is the inevitable outcome in any power structure. The most power-hungry people constantly scheme against each other, hoping to become the supreme ruler.
VERSE 4. Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.” Ziba said, “I bow down. Let me find favor in your sight, my lord, O king.”
all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours. David gave Mephibosheth’s entire pension to Ziba.
VERSE 5. When king David came to Bahurim, behold, a man of the family of Saul’s house came out, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera. He came out and cursed as he came.
VERSE 6. He cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.
When they read this chapter, many Christians feel sorry for David. However, these complaints are valid. David had earned them:
man of blood. David was constantly entering into battles and slaughtering the enemy.
wicked fellow. David had become morally derelict, as evidenced by his decision to not defend a rape victim. Rather, he supported a known rapist.
In our day, just as they feel sorry for David, many Christians defend powerful men who are accused by women of sexual assault.
This is a great stain on the entire Christian movement.
VERSE 8. The LORD has returned on you all the blood of Saul’s house, in whose place you have reigned! The LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son! Behold, you are caught by your own mischief, because you are a man of blood!”
VERSE 9. Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please let me go over and take off his head.”
this dead dog. In those days, to refer to someone as a “dog” was a bad thing. And to refer to yourself as a “dog” was a way of referring to yourself as worthless.
1 Samuel 24:14. Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?
2 Samuel 9:8. He bowed down, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look at such a dead dog as I am?”
2 Samuel 16:9. Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please let me go over and take off his head.”
Ecclesiastes 9:4. For to him who is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
VERSE 10. The king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Because he curses, and because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David;’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ”
VERSE 11. David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, “Behold, my son, who came out of my bowels, seeks my life. How much more this Benjamite, now? Leave him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD has invited him.
let him curse; for the LORD has invited him. Perhaps David was aware of how evil he had become.
He says to leave Shemei alone, even though Shemei was throwing rocks at David.
This reminds us of something said by Gamaleil. He was a leading authority in the Sanhedrin. And a morally upright person. He told the Sanhedrin to leave the new Christian movement alone:
Acts 5:38. Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown.
VERSE 12. It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me good for the cursing of me today.”
VERSE 13. So David and his men went by the way; and Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him, and cursed as he went, threw stones at him, and threw dust.
VERSE 14. The king, and all the people who were with him, came weary; and he refreshed himself there.
VERSE 15. Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.
VERSE 16. When Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, had come to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”
Long live the king! Absalom is greeted as a liberator.
VERSE 17. Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your kindness to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?”
VERSE 18. Hushai said to Absalom, “No; but whomever the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, I will be his, and I will stay with him.
VERSE 19. Again, whom should I serve? Shouldn’t I serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so I will be in your presence.”
VERSE 20. Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your counsel what we shall do.”
VERSE 21. Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines that he has left to keep the house. Then all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong.”
VERSE 22. So they spread a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
Absalom went in to his father’s concubines. Absalom has sex with his father’s concubines.
VERSE 23. The counsel of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man inquired at the inner sanctuary of God. All the counsel of Ahithophel both was like this with David and with Absalom.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.