Ziba, a False Servant
1 When David was a little past the summit [of the Mount of Olives], behold, Ziba, the servant of (a)Mephibosheth, met him with a team of saddled donkeys, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred clusters of raisins, a hundred summer fruits, and a (b)jug of wine. 2 The king said to Ziba, “Why do you have these?” Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household (family) to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine is for anyone to drink who becomes weary in the wilderness.” 3 Then the king said, “And where is your (c)master’s son [Mephibosheth]?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my (d)father.’” 4 Then the king said to Ziba, “(e)Behold, everything that belonged to Mephibosheth is [now] yours.” Ziba said, “I bow down [in honor and gratitude]; let me find favor in your sight, O my lord the king.”
David Is Cursed
5 When King David came to Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera, came out from there. He was of the family of Saul’s household and he was cursing continually as he came out. 6 He threw stones at David and at all the (f)servants of King David; yet all the people and all the warriors remained on his right and on his left. 7 This is what Shimei said as he cursed: “Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, you worthless and useless man! 8 The Lord has returned upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hands of Absalom your son. And behold, you are caught in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed!”
9 Then Abishai [David’s nephew], the son of Zeruiah, said to the king, “Why should this dead dog (despicable person) curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “(g)What business is this of yours, O sons of Zeruiah? If Shimei is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ then who should say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Look, my son [Absalom] who came from my own body, is seeking my life; how much more [reason] now [does] this Benjamite [have to curse me]? Let him alone and let him curse, for [it could be that] the Lord has told him [to do it]. 12 Perhaps the Lord will look on the wrong done to me [by Shimei, if he is acting on his own]; and [in that case perhaps] the Lord will this day return good to me in place of his cursing.” 13 So David and his men went on the road; and Shimei went along on the hillside close beside David and cursed as he went and threw stones and dust at him. 14 The king and all the people who were with him arrived [at the Jordan River] weary, and he refreshed himself there.
Absalom Enters Jerusalem
15 Then Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, entered Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 Now it happened when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to him, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 Hushai said to Absalom, “No! For whomever the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen [as king], I will be his, and I will remain with him. 19 Besides, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of David’s son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so I shall serve in your presence.”
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give me your advice. What should we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s (h)concubines, whom he has left behind to take care of the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened [by your boldness and audacity].” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof [of the king’s palace], and (i)Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.(A) 23 The advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man had consulted the word of God; that is how all Ahithophel’s counsel was regarded by both David and Absalom.
a. 2 Samuel 16:1: The lame son of Jonathan who was the son of King Saul.
b. 2 Samuel 16:1: This was a bag made from almost the entire skin of an animal. New wine was always put in a new bag so that the bag would stretch as the wine continued to ferment, and then the bag would harden.
c. 2 Samuel 16:3: I.e. Saul’s grandson.
d. 2 Samuel 16:3: The reference is to his dead grandfather, King Saul.
e. 2 Samuel 16:4: Because the rebellion was in progress it was easy for Ziba to trick David with the gifts and his lie.
f. 2 Samuel 16:6: See note 15:14.
g. 2 Samuel 16:10: Lit What to me and to you.
h. 2 Samuel 16:21: See note Gen 22:24.
i. 2 Samuel 16:22: This outrageous act was an assumption of absolute power, and signified an irreversible break in Absalom’s relationship with his father. Nathan the prophet had prophesied that David would be publicly humiliated in this way.