2 Samuel 19:1-43, NLT
2 Samuel 19
Joab Rebukes the King
1*19:1 Verses 19:1-43 are numbered 19:2-44 in Hebrew text.Word soon reached Joab that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom.
5Then Joab went to the king’s room and said to him, “We saved your life today and the lives of your sons, your daughters, and your wives and concubines. Yet you act like this, making us feel ashamed of ourselves.
8So the king went out and took his seat at the town gate, and as the news spread throughout the town that he was there, everyone went to him.
Meanwhile, the Israelites who had supported Absalom fled to their homes.
11Then King David sent Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, to say to the elders of Judah, “Why are you the last ones to welcome back the king into his palace? For I have heard that all Israel is ready.
14Then Amasa*19:14 Or David; Hebrew reads he. convinced all the men of Judah, and they responded unanimously. They sent word to the king, “Return to us, and bring back all who are with you.”
David’s Return to Jerusalem
15So the king started back to Jerusalem. And when he arrived at the Jordan River, the people of Judah came to Gilgal to meet him and escort him across the river.
David’s Mercy to Shimei
As the king was about to cross the river, Shimei fell down before him.
21Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shimei should die, for he cursed the Lord’s anointed king!”
22“Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah!” David exclaimed. “Why have you become my adversary*19:22 Or my prosecutor. today? This is not a day for execution, for today I am once again the king of Israel!”
David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth
24Now Mephibosheth,*19:24 Mephibosheth is another name for Merib-baal. Saul’s grandson, came down from Jerusalem to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet, trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes since the day the king left Jerusalem.
26Mephibosheth replied, “My lord the king, my servant Ziba deceived me. I told him, ‘Saddle my donkey*19:26 As in Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions; Hebrew reads I will saddle a donkey for myself. so I can go with the king.’ For as you know I am crippled.
29“You’ve said enough,” David replied. “I’ve decided that you and Ziba will divide your land equally between you.”
30“Give him all of it,” Mephibosheth said. “I am content just to have you safely back again, my lord the king!”
David’s Kindness to Barzillai
31Barzillai of Gilead had come down from Rogelim to escort the king across the Jordan.
34“No,” he replied, “I am far too old to go with the king to Jerusalem.
38“Good,” the king agreed. “Kimham will go with me, and I will help him in any way you would like. And I will do for you anything you want.”
40The king then crossed over to Gilgal, taking Kimham with him. All the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel escorted the king on his way.
An Argument over the King
41But all the men of Israel complained to the king, “The men of Judah stole the king and didn’t give us the honor of helping take you, your household, and all your men across the Jordan.”
42The men of Judah replied, “The king is one of our own kinsmen. Why should this make you angry? We haven’t eaten any of the king’s food or received any special favors!”
43“But there are ten tribes in Israel,” the others replied. “So we have ten times as much right to the king as you do. What right do you have to treat us with such contempt? Weren’t we the first to speak of bringing him back to be our king again?” The argument continued back and forth, and the men of Judah spoke even more harshly than the men of Israel.