April 21st 2 Samuel, 16
1: And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. 2: And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink. 3: And the king said, And where is thy master's son? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father. 4: Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king. 5: And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. 6: And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7: And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: 8: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man. 9: Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. 10: And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? 11: And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him. 12: It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day. 13: And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust. 14: And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.
16v15-23 Absalom comes to Jerusalem
15: And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16: And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David's friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king. 17: And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend? 18: And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay; but whom the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide. 19: And again, whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence. 20: Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do. 21: And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. 22: So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23: And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
2 Samuel, 17
17v1-14 Absalom confers - his advisors
1: Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: 2: And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only: 3: And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace. 4: And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel. 5: Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith. 6: And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not; speak thou. 7: And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. 8: For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9: Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. 10: And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men. 11: Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. 12: So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one. 13: Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there. 14: And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
17v15-23 David is warned to retreat
15: Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled. 16: Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him. 17: Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David. 18: Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down. 19: And the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known. 20: And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21: And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you. 22: Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan. 23: And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
17v24-29 Absalom advances on David
24: Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25: And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab's mother. 26: So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead. 27: And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28: Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse, 29: And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
2 Samuel, 18
18v1-30 Absalom dies
1: And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2: And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also. 3: But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city. 4: And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands. 5: And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom. 6: So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; 7: Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men. 8: For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. 9: And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away. 10: And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. 11: And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle. 12: And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. 13: Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me. 14: Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. 15: And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. 16: And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people. 17: And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. 18: Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place. 19: Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies. 20: And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead. 21: Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran. 22: Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? 23: But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi. 24: And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. 25: And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near. 26: And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings. 27: And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings. 28: And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king. 29: And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was. 30: And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.
18v31-19v8 David mourns Absalom
31: And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. 32: And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. 33: And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! 32: And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. 33: And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
2 Samuel, 19
1: And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. 2: And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son. 3: And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being 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, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have 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 thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well. 7: Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the LORD, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now.
19v9-43 The nation settles down
9: And all the people were at strife 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 is fled out of the land for Absalom. 10: And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back? 11: And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto 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, even to his house. 12: Ye are my brethren, ye are my bones and my flesh: wherefore then are ye the last to bring back the king? 13: And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab. 14: And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants. 15: So 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, a Benjamite, which 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 went over Jordan before the king. 18: And there went over a ferry boat 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 come over Jordan; 19: And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto 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 his heart. 20: For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come the first this day 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 have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall 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: Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him. 24: And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed 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 it came to pass, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Mephibosheth? 26: And he answered, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for thy servant said, I will saddle me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the king; because thy servant is lame. 27: And he hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in thine eyes. 28: For all of my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king: yet didst thou set thy servant among them that did eat at thine own table. What right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king? 29: And the king said unto him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land. 30: And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house. 31: And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan. 32: Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. 33: And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem. 34: And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem? 35: I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? 36: Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward? 37: Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried 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 shall seem good unto thee. 38: And the king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee. 39: And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king was come over, the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place. 40: Then 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 unto 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 Jordan? 42: And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: wherefore then be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all of the king's cost? or hath 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, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.
Today we read that David escapes from Absalom and gets to Jerusalem. Absalom confers with his advisers and David is warned to retreat. Absalom advances of David but Absalom looses his life. David however does not rejoice, rather he mourns for his son. David comes across Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth who has two donkeys and 200 loaves of bread and 100 bags of raisins and 100 summer fruits and a bottle of wine. And David said who are all these for? Ziba said the donkeys are for you to ride on and the provisions are for your men. David asked where Mephibosheth was. He said he is in Jerusalem. Then a man came out of Gera called Shimei and he threw stones at David and he said come out you man of bloody, you child of Bellial. He said God will reward you of all your mischief at the hand of Absalom. Abishai said to David let me go and kill him. David said no, if my own son seeks to kill me then how much more would this man kill me. Let him curse me because God has inspired him to curse me. Eventually Absalom arrived at Jerusalem with his trusted advisor. Absalom asked Ahithophel what he should do and he said go and have sex with your fathers concubines, in this way all Israel will know that you hate your father. Then all your men will be strong. Then Ahithophel said take 12,000 men tonight and go to find David and frighten away his men and kill him only. The idea pleased the elders of Israel and the people and they called Husai David’s man and asked him what he thought. He said it is a bad idea. He said David’s men are mighty men (they will not be afraid), but they will fight like a mother bear fighting for her cubs and David is a man of war and he will be with his men. And apart from all this David will be well hidden. And the people will hear of the battle and say that Absalom has been defeated. And the men of Absalom who are like lions will become afraid. So may l suggest that you gather all Israel and march in a set battle against David. Absalom was well pleased with this advice and in this way the LORD overcame the good advice of Ahithophel. Then Husai told Abithar the priest of the plans laid against him. David got ready for battle bit it was a bit confusing as both sides didn’t know where the other was. Jonathan and Ahimaaz were hidden in a well and a young woman had spread a cloth over the top with corn on the cloth. When Absalom’s men cane looking they didn’t find them and she said they went far across the brook but when they looked they could not find them. Then they escaped. In the morning David crossed over the Jordan with all his men. When Ahithophel heard that no body had taken his advice he went home and committed suicide. Then Absalom advanced over Jordan chasing David and he reorganised his army. When David reached Gilead the children of Ammon came and gave him huge provisions, because they said that David and his men were hungry. David reorganised his men and promoted those who he wished - heads of 1,000’s and 100’s. Then he divided his army into three men Joab, Abishai and Ittai. David assured his men that he would fight with them but they refused saying you are to valuable to us and worth 10,000 of us. So David agreed and he directed his army and gave them the plan. And he asked for gentle treatment on Absalom. The battle was fought in the woods and 20,000 died of Israel that day. David’s men won the battle and Absalom finding he was trapped escaped on an ass but as he escaped his head was caught in the branches of an oak tree and he hung there between heaven and earth. A man saw it and told Joab. Joab said why didn’t you kill him l would have given you great rewards but he said no l didn’t want to kill the kings son. Joab said l will not hold back and he took three arrows in his hand and put them into his heart, because he was still alive. Then ten men that carried Joab’s armour killed Absalom. Then Joab blew his trumpet to bring the battle to an end. Then they took Absalom down and put his body in a pit and covered him with stones. During his life Absalom had raised up a pillar to his own name. Then Ahimaaz said shall l go and tell David of the death of Absalom but Joab said no don’t tell him today. Then another day Joab told Cushi to go and tell David the news. Ahimaaz wanted to tell the news too and so he asked to run after Cushi. David’s watchman saw a runner bring a message. Then he saw another man running behind him. Ahimaaz brought good news. Saying the LORD has given deliverance to those who supported the king. David said Is Absalom well? Ahimaaz prevaricated. Then Cushi came and said I bring tidings. David asked if Absalom was well and he said may all your enemies be like he is. David went to a secret room above the gate and wept. Saying O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would God l had died for you, O Absalom, my son, my son. Then Joab was told that Davis wept and mourned. And that the victory was turned into mourning that day. The people crept back into the city. David was inconsolable. Then Joab told David that the forces of David were ashamed of him because he wept for his enemies. He said you love your enemies and hate your friends. He said if all you men who risked their lives for you had been killed today and if Absalom who wished to kill you had lived you would have been glad. All your men are prepared to leave you. So David rose and sat in the gate and all the people came to him. All the children of Israel returned to David and peace settled on the land. There broke out a discussion as to whether Shimai should be executed by David said No, there will be no blood shed today. Mephibosheth had not cared for himself after David left to safety but now that David returned he asked him why he was uncared for? But he answered that he could not eat when his best friend and protector was at risk. Then David rewarded Barzillai who fed him in his hour of need. He wanted him to come with him to Jerusalem to reward him but he said no l must stay with my people. David kissed him and blessed him. Then there was an argument between the ten tribes of Israel in the north and the tribes of Judah saying we own David more than you. Such was the division in both war and peace among the children of Israel.