David Returns to Jerusalem
19 1 And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weeps and mourns for Absalom. 2 And the victory that day was [turned] into mourning for all the people; for the people heard say that day, The king is grieved for his son. 3 And the people stole away that day into the city, as people steal away when ashamed of fleeing in battle. 4 And the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, My son Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son! 5 And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast put to shame this day the faces of all thy servants who have this day saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives and the lives of thy concubines; 6 in that thou lovest them that hate thee, and hatest those that love thee. For thou hast declared this day, that neither princes nor servants are anything to thee: for to-day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died to-day, then it would have been right in thine eyes. 7 But now arise, go forth, and speak consolingly to thy servants; for I swear by Jehovah, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night; and that would be worse to thee than all the evil that has befallen thee from thy youth until now. 8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told all the people, saying, Behold, the king is sitting in the gate. And all the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his tent.
9 And all the people were at strife throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land because of Absalom. 10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle; and now why are ye silent as to bringing the king back? 11 And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak to the elders of Judah saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, to his house. 12 Ye are my brethren, ye are my bone and my flesh; and why will ye be the last to bring back the king? 13 And say to Amasa, Art thou not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually instead of Joab. 14 And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah as of one man; and they sent to the king, Return, thou and all thy servants. 15 And the king returned and came as far as the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over the Jordan.
16 And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, who was of Bahurim, hasted and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David. 17 And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they forded the Jordan before the king. 18 And a ferry boat passed to and fro to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was [just] crossing over the Jordan. 19 And he said to the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity to me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to heart. 20 For thy servant knows that I have sinned; and behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king. 21 And Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Should not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed Jehovah's anointed? 22 And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries to me? Should there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel? 23 And the king said to Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king swore to him.
24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. Now he had neither washed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came [again] in peace. 25 And as soon as Jerusalem came to meet the king, the king said to him, Why didst thou not go with me, Mephibosheth? 26 And he said, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me; for thy servant said, I will saddle me the ass, and ride thereon, and go with the king; for thy servant is lame. 27 And he has slandered thy servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God; do therefore what is good in thy sight. 28 For all my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king; and thou didst set thy servant among them that eat at thine own table. What further right therefore have I? and for what should I cry any more to the king? 29 And the king said to him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land. 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, Let him even take all, since my lord the king is come again in peace to his own house.
31 And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over the Jordan with the king, to conduct him over the Jordan. 32 And Barzillai was very aged, eighty years old; and it was he that had maintained the king while he abode at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. 33 And the king said to Barzillai, Pass thou over with me, and I will maintain thee with me in Jerusalem. 34 And Barzillai said to the king, How many are the days of the years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am this day eighty years old: can I discern between good and bad? can thy servant taste what I eat and what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? and why should thy servant be yet a burden to my lord the king? 36 Thy servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king; and why should the king recompense it to me with this reward? 37 Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham: let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what seems good to thee. 38 And the king said, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which seems good to thee; and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee. 39 And all the people went over the Jordan; and the king went over; and the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned to his own place.
40 And the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him; and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel. 41 And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over the Jordan? 42 And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to me; and why then are ye angry for this matter? have we eaten anything which came from the king, or has he given us any present? 43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, I have ten parts in the king and I have also more right in David than thou; and why didst thou slight me? and was not my advice the first, to bring back my king? And the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.
The Revolt of Sheba
20 1 And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite; and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no portion in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, Israel. 2 Then all the men of Israel went up from after David, following Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah clave to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem. 3 And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women, concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in a house of confinement and maintained them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.
4 And the king said to Amasa, Call me the men of Judah together within three days, and do thou attend here. 5 So Amasa went to call together [the men of] Judah; but he delayed longer than the set time which he had appointed him. 6 And David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom. Take thou thy lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him fortified cities and escape our sight. 7 And there went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men; and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came before them. And Joab was girded with his coat, his dress, and upon it was the girdle of the sword which was fastened on his loins in its sheath; and as he went forth it fell out. 9 And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou well, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. 10 And Amasa had taken no notice of the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him with it in the belly and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. And Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 And one of Joab's young men stood by [Amasa] and said, He that favours Joab, and he that is for David, let him follow Joab. 12 Now Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, when he saw that every one that came by stood still. 13 When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri,
14 who went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth-Maacah, and all the Berim; and they gathered together, and went also after him. 15 And they came and besieged him in Abel-Beth-Maacah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it was raised in the trench; and all the people that were with Joab sapped the wall, to throw it down. 16 And a wise woman cried out of the city, Hear, hear: say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee. 17 And he came near to her; and the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he said, I [am he]. And she said to him, Listen to the words of thy handmaid. And he said, I am listening. 18 And she spoke saying, They were wont to speak in old time saying, Just inquire in Abel; and so they ended. 19 I am peaceable [and] faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of Jehovah? 20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. 21 The matter is not so; but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David: give up him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall. 22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.
23 And Joab was over all the host of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was over the levy; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 and Sheva was scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and Ira also, the Jairite, was David's chief ruler.
The Avenging of the Gibeonites
21 1 And there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of Jehovah. And Jehovah said, It is for Saul, and for [his] house of blood, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2 And the king called the Gibeonites, and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remainder of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn to them; and Saul sought to smite them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.) 3 And David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and with what shall I make atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of Jehovah? 4 And the Gibeonites said to him, As to Saul and his house, it is with us no question of receiving silver or gold, neither is it for us to have any man put to death in Israel. And he said, What ye say will I do for you. 5 And they said to the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in all the borders of Israel, 6 let seven men of his sons be given up to us, and we will hang them up to Jehovah in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of Jehovah. And the king said, I will give [them]. 7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of Jehovah's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 And the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she had borne to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of [the sister of] Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; 9 and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill before Jehovah. And they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the first days of the harvest, in the beginning of barley harvest.
10 Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water poured on them out of the heavens, and suffered neither the fowl of the heavens to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 11 And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-Gilead, who had stolen them from the open place of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, the day the Philistines had smitten Saul in Gilboa; 13 and he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. 14 And they buried [them] with the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the sepulchre of Kish his father; and they did all that the king had commanded. And afterwards God was propitious to the land.
Abishai Rescues David from the Giant
15 And the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought with the Philistines. And David was exhausted. 16 And Ishbibenob, who was of the children of Raphah—the weight of his lance was three hundred shekels of bronze, and he was girded with new [armour]—thought to smite David. 17 And Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the lamp of Israel.
The Giants Slain by David's Men
18 And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines, at Gob; then Sibbechai the Hushathite smote Saph, who was of the children of Raphah. 19 And there was again a battle at Gob with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, smote Goliath the Gittite; now the shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam. 20 And there was again a battle, at Gath; and there was a man [there] of great stature, that had on each hand six fingers, and on each foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to Raphah. 21 And he defied Israel; but Jonathan the son of Shimea David's brother smote him. 22 These four were born to Raphah, in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.