2 Samuel 19-21 World English Bible

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David Returns to Jerusalem

19 1  It was told Joab, “Behold, the king weeps and mourns for Absalom.” 2  The victory that day was turned into mourning to all the people; for the people heard it said that day, “The king grieves for his son.” 3  The people snuck into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. 4  The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!” 5  Joab came into the house to the king, and said, “You have shamed this day the faces of all your servants, who this day have saved your life, and the lives of your sons and of your daughters, and the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines; 6  in that you love those who hate you, and hate those who love you. For you have declared this day, that princes and servants are nothing to you. For today I perceive that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it would have pleased you well. 7  Now therefore arise, go out, and speak to comfort your servants; for I swear by Yahweh, if you don’t go out, not a man will stay with you this night. That would be worse to you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth until now.” 8  Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. They told to all the people, saying, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” All the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his tent.

9  All the people were at strife throughout all 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 has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10  Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why don’t you speak a word of bringing the king back?” 11  King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house? Since the speech of all Israel has come to the king, to return him to his house. 12  You are my brothers, you are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?’ 13  Say to Amasa, ‘Aren’t you my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if you aren’t captain of the army before me continually in the room of Joab.’” 14  He bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15  So the king returned, and came to the Jordan. Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king over the Jordan.

16  Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was of Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David. 17  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 went through the Jordan in the presence of the king. 18  A ferry boat went to bring over the king’s household, and to do what he thought good. Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, when he was come over the Jordan. 19  He said to the king, “Don’t let my lord impute iniquity to me, neither do you remember that which your servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. 20  For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” 21  But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall Shimei not be put to death for this, because he cursed Yahweh’s anointed?” 22  David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be adversaries to me? Shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? For don’t I know that I am this day king over Israel?” 23  The king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” The king swore to him.

24  Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25  It happened, when he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26  He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said, I will saddle me a donkey, that I may ride thereon, and go with the king; because your servant is lame. 27  He has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God. Do therefore what is good in your eyes. 28  For all my father’s house were but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right therefore have I yet that I should cry any more to the king?” 29  The king said to him, “Why do you speak any more of your matters? I say, you and Ziba divide the land.” 30  Mephibosheth said to the king, “Yes, let him take all, because my lord the king has come in peace to his own house.”

31  Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim; and he went over 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 sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. 33  The king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem.” 34  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 your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be yet a burden to my lord the king? 36  Your servant would but just go over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37  Please let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city, by the grave of my father and my mother. But behold, 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 that which shall seem good to you. Whatever you require of me, that I will do for you.” 39  All the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. Then the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned to his own place.

40  So the king went over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him. All the people of Judah brought the king over, and also half the people of Israel. 41  Behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king, and his household, over the Jordan, and all David’s men with him?” 42  All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative to us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s cost? Or has he given us any gift?” 43  The men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, “We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more claim to David than you. Why then did you despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king?” The words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

The Revolt of Sheba

20 1  There happened to be there a base fellow, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew the 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  So all the men of Israel went up from following David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah joined with their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem. 3  David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in custody, and provided them with sustenance, but didn’t go in to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood.

4  Then said the king to Amasa, “Call me the men of Judah together within three days, and be here present.” 5  So Amasa went to call the men of Judah together; but he stayed longer than the set time which he had appointed him. 6  David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than did Absalom. Take your lord’s servants, and pursue after him, lest he get himself fortified cities, and escape out of our sight.” 7  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 to meet them. Joab was girded with his apparel of war that he had put on, and thereon was a sash with a sword fastened on his waist in its sheath; and as he went forth it fell out. 9  Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10  But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s hand. So he struck him with it in the body, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and didn’t strike him again; and he died. Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri. 11  There stood by him one of Joab’s young men, and said, “He who favors Joab, and he who is for David, let him follow Joab!” 12  Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the midst of the highway. When the man saw that all the people stood still, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a garment over him, when he saw that everyone who came by him 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  He went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth Maacah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him. 15  They came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maacah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart; and all the people who were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down. 16  Then a wise woman cried out of the city, “Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, ‘Come near here, that I may speak with you.’” 17  He came near to her; and the woman said, “Are you Joab?”

He answered, “I am.”

Then she said to him, “Hear the words of your handmaid.”

He answered, “I do hear.” 18  Then she spoke, saying, “They were used to say in old times, “They shall surely ask counsel at Abel; and so they settled it. 19  I am among those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the inheritance of Yahweh?” 20  Joab answered, “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 the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against David. Deliver him only, and I will depart from the city.”

The woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” 22  Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. They cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. He blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

David's Officers

23  Now Joab was over all the army of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites; 24  and Adoram was over the men subject to forced labor; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25  and Sheva was scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26  and also Ira the Jairite was chief minister to David.

The Avenging of the Gibeonites

21 1  There was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David sought the face of Yahweh. Yahweh said, “It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites.” 2  The king called the Gibeonites, and said to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn to them: and Saul sought to kill 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 you may bless the inheritance of Yahweh?” 4  The Gibeonites said to him, “It is no matter of silver or gold between us and Saul, or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.”

He said, “Whatever you say, that will I do for you.” 5  They said to the king, “The man who consumed us, and who devised against us, that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the borders of Israel, 6  let seven men of his sons be delivered to us, and we will hang them up to Yahweh in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of Yahweh.”

The king said, “I will give them.” 7  But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of Yahweh’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8  But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9  He delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the mountain before Yahweh, and all seven of them fell together. They were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, at the beginning of barley harvest.

10  Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water was poured on them from the sky. She allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day, nor the animals of the field by night. 11  It was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12  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 street of Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, in the day that the Philistines killed Saul in Gilboa; 13  and he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son: and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14  They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. After that God was entreated for the land.

Abishai Rescues David from the Giant

15  The Philistines had war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. David grew faint; 16  and Ishbibenob, who was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. 17  But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall go no more out with us to battle, that you don’t quench the lamp of Israel.”

The Giants Slain by David's Men

18  It came to pass after this, that there was again war with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was of the sons of the giant. 19  There was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite’s brother, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20  There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant. 21  When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, killed him. 22  These four were born to the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

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