The Nation complains about Judah
David grieves for Absalom
was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.”
for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning,
because on that day the troops heard it said, “The king is grieving
for his son.”
men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed
when they flee from battle.
king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom,
my son, my son!”
grief of David over Absalom's death is so great it gets conveyed
to his troops.]
Joab scolds him
Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have
humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the
lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and
love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have
made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing
to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive
today and all of us were dead.
go out and encourage your men. I swear by the LORD that if you
don't go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This
will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on
you from your youth till now.”
the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men
were told, “The king is sitting in the gateway,” they all came
before him. Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes.
is furious that David's grief over the death of a son ho had tried
to kill him meant more than his concern for his men who had remained
loyal to him and fought for him. The king eventually appears in
The nation wonders about the future
the tribes of Israel, all the people were arguing among themselves,
saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies; he
is the one who rescued us from the hand of the Philistines. But
now he has fled the country to escape from Absalom;
Absalom, whom we anointed to rule over us, has died in battle.
So why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”
whole affair has caused doubts to arise in the nation and some
are wondering why they are not bringing David back as king from
Mahanaim where he still is.]
David challenges Judah's elders about bringing him back
David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests: “Ask
the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the
king back to his palace, since what is being said throughout Israel
has reached the king at his quarters?
are my relatives, my own flesh and blood. So why should you be
the last to bring back the king?'
say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my own flesh and blood? May God deal
with me, be it ever so severely, if you are not the commander
of my army for life in place of Joab.' ”
won over the hearts of the men of Judah so that they were all
of one mind. They sent word to the king, “Return, you and all
king hears these questions and challenges the elders back in Jerusalem,
via the priests. He also declares to Amasa, general over Israel's
army, that he will make him top commander, displacing Joab, who
he clearly no longer trusts. The word is sent back for him to
return to Judah.]
A Welcome Party go to meet David
the king returned and went as far as the Jordan. Now the men of
Judah had come to Gilgal to go out and meet the king and bring
him across the Jordan.
son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, hurried down with the
men of Judah to meet King David.
him were a thousand Benjamites, along with Ziba, the steward of
Saul's household, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants. They
rushed to the Jordan, where the king was.
crossed at the ford to take the king's household over and to do
whatever he wished.
welcome party sets out from Judah to meet David as he crosses
the Jordan on his return.]
Shimei pleads and is spared
Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell prostrate before
said to him, “May my lord not hold me guilty. Do not remember
how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem.
May the king put it out of his mind.
I your servant know that I have sinned, but today I have come
here as the first from the tribes of Joseph to come down and meet
my lord the king.”
Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shouldn't Shimei be put to death
for this? He cursed the LORD's anointed.”
replied, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah?
What right do you have to interfere? Should anyone be put to death
in Israel today? Don't I know that today I am king over Israel?”
the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king promised
him on oath.
who had cursed David on his departure begs for forgiveness and
despite Abishai wanting to kill him, David spares him.]
Mephibosheth meets David
Saul's grandson, also went down to meet the king. He had not taken
care of his feet or trimmed his mustache or washed his clothes
from the day the king left until the day he returned safely.
he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why
didn't you go with me, Mephibosheth?”
said, “My lord the king, since I your servant am lame, I said,
‘I will have my donkey saddled and will ride on it, so I can go
with the king.' But Ziba my servant betrayed me.
he has slandered your servant to my lord the king. My lord the
king is like an angel of God; so do whatever you wish.
my grandfather's descendants deserved nothing but death from my
lord the king, but you gave your servant a place among those who
eat at your table. So what right do I have to make any more appeals
to the king?”
king said to him, “Why say more? I order you and Ziba to divide
said to the king, “Let him take everything, now that my lord the
king has returned home safely.”
greets David and says Ziba had left him helpless and that is why
he had not been able to come previously. David, still in conciliatory
mode, gives them equal shares.]
Barzillai says farewell to David
the Gileadite also came down from Rogelim to cross the Jordan
with the king and to send him on his way from there.
Barzillai was very old, eighty years of age. He had provided for
the king during his stay in Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy
king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and stay with me in
Jerusalem, and I will provide for you.”
Barzillai answered the king, “How many more years will I live,
that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king?
am now eighty years old. Can I tell the difference between what
is enjoyable and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats
and drinks? Can I still hear the voices of male and female singers?
Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?
servant will cross over the Jordan with the king for a short distance,
but why should the king reward me in this way?
your servant return, that I may die in my own town near the tomb
of my father and mother. But here is your servant Kimham. Let
him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him whatever you
king said, “Kimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for
him whatever you wish. And anything you desire from me I will
do for you.”
all the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed over.
The king kissed Barzillai and bid him farewell, and Barzillai
returned to his home.
had been a supporter and provisions provider for David during
his stay at Mahanaim but
is now an old man and although David offers him his support in
Jerusalem, Barzillai asks to be excused because of his age. However
he does request that Kimhan [that some versions suggest was his
son] be allowed to return to Jerusalem with David, and David consents
The Nation complains about Judah
the king crossed over to Gilgal, Kimham crossed with him. All
the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel had taken the
all the men of Israel were coming to the king and saying to him,
“Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, steal the king away and
bring him and his household across the Jordan, together with all
the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “We did this because
the king is closely related to us. Why are you angry about it?
Have we eaten any of the king's provisions? Have we taken anything
the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares
in the king; so we have a greater claim on David than you have.
Why then do you treat us with contempt? Weren't we the first to
speak of bringing back our king?” But the men of Judah pressed
their claims even more forcefully than the men of Israel.
he returns, other elders of Israel come to David and complain
that Judah had acted without their help. There is clearly upset
between the main nation and Judah.]
TO CHAPTER 20