1. Now it was told to Joab, “Behold, the king weeps and mourns for Absalom.”
2. Then the victory that day was turned into mourning to all the people, for the people heard it said that day how the king was grieved for his son.
3. And the people went up secretly into the city that day as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
4. But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
5. And Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today shamed the faces of all your servants, for they have saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters today, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines.
6. By loving your enemies and hating those who love you, you have declared today that there are neither commanders nor servants to you, for I know that today if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you very much!
7. And now get up and go out. Speak to the heart of your servants, for I swear by the LORD if you do not go out, not a man shall stay with you tonight. Then it will be worse for you than all the evil which has come to you from your youth until now.”
8. Then the king arose and sat in the gate. And they told it to the people, saying, “Behold, the king sits in the gate!” And all the p eople came before the king. (For Israel had fled, every one to his tent.)
9. Now it came to pass, all the people quarreled throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines. And now he has fled out of the land from Absalom.
10. And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. And now why do you not speak a word about 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 you the last to bring the king back to his house? For the word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house.
12. You are my brothers and my flesh and my bone. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?’
13. And you say to Amasa, ‘Are you not of my bone and of my flesh? May God do so to me, and more also, if you are not commander of the army before me all the days instead of Joab.’ ”
14. And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as one man, so that they sent to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.”
15. And the king returned and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan.
16. And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David.
17. And a thousand men of Benjamin were with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him. And they went over Jordan before the king.
18. And they had crossed over the ford 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 had come over Jordan.
19. And he said to the king, “Let not my lord charge iniquity to me. Do not remember he perverse way your servant acted in the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, for the king to take it to his heart,
20. For your servant knows that I have sinned. Now, behold, I come today, 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 and said, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this because he cursed the LORD’S anointed?”
22. And David said, “What do I have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be my foes today? Shall there be any man put to death today in Israel? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?”
23. And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king swore to him.
24. And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. And he had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his moustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until he came in peace.
25. And it came to pass when he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?”
26. And he answered, “My lord, O, king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said, ‘I will saddle me a donkey so that I may ride on it and go to the king’ because your servant is lame.
27. And he spoke slander against your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is as an angel of God. And do what is good in your eyes,
28. For all my father’s house were but dead men before my lord the king. And you set your servant among those eating at your own table. What right then have I to cry to the king any more?”
29. And the king said to him, “Why do you speak any more of your matters? I have said, ‘You and Ziba divide the land.’ ”
30. And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Yes, let him take all because my lord the king has come in peace to his own house.”
31. And Barzillai of Gilead came down from Rogelim and went over Jordan with the king to conduct him over Jordan.
32. And Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. And he had provided food for the king while he abode at Mahanaim, for he was a very great man.
33. And the king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem.”
34. And Barzillai said to the king, “How long do I have to live that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
35. I am eighty years old today, and can I discern between good and evil? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I any more hear the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant still be a burden to my lord the king?
36. Your servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king. And why should the king repay me with such a reward?
37. Please let your servant return so that I may die in my own city by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold your servant Chimham, let him go over with my lord the king. Now do to him what shall seem good to you.”
38. And the king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me and I will do to him that which shall seem good to you. And whatever you shall ask of me, that I will do for you.”
39. And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king had come over, the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him. And he returned to his place.
40. And the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. And all the people of Judah were bringing 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 brothers, the men of Judah stolen you away and have brought the king and his household, and all David’s men with him, over Jordan?”
42. And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is near to us. Why then are you angry for this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s cost? Or has he given us any gift?”
43. And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “We have ten parts in the king, therefore we also have more right in David than you. Why then did you despise us, so that our advice should not be sought first in bringing back our king?” And the words of the men of Judah were more fierce than the words of the men of Israel.
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