1. When David had gone a little beyond the summit, Ziba the steward of Mepibaal met him with saddled asses laden with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred summer fruits and a skin of wine.

2. The king then asked Ziba, "Why have you brought these?" Ziba answered, "The asses are for the king's household to ride on. The bread and summer fruit are for your servants to eat, while the wine is drink for those who faint in the desert."

3. Then the king asked him, "Where is your master's son?" Ziba replied, "He is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, 'Today the Israelites will give me back my father's kingdom!"

4. To this, the king said, "Everything that belongs to Mepibaal is now yours." And Ziba said, "I pay homage to my lord the king. May I always find favor with you."

5. When King David came to Bahurim, a man from the clan of Saul's family named Shimei, son of Gera, came out cursing him.

6. He threw stones at David and his officers although the king's men and warriors flanked the king on the right and left.

7. Shimei said as he cursed, "Go away! Go away! You bloodthirsty good-for-nothing!

8. Yahweh has brought down on your head all the blood of the family of Saul. You became king in his place, but God has now placed the kingdom in the hands of your son Absalom. Ruin has come upon you because you are a bloodthirsty man."

9. Then Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go and cut his head off."

10. But the king said, "Why should I listen to you, sons of Zeruiah? If Yahweh has ordered him to curse me, who shall ask him why he acts like this?"

11. Then David said to Abishai and his officers, "If my own son wants to kill me, how much more this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse me if Yahweh has ordered him to do so.

12. Perhaps Yahweh will look on my affliction and turn to good things the curses heaped on me today."

13. So David and his men went their way while Shimei, following on the hillside opposite him, continued to curse as he threw stones and flung dust at him.

14. The king, together with his men, arrived exhausted at the Jordan where he refreshed himself.

15. Now Absalom, accompanied by Ahitophel, entered Jerusalem with all the Israelites.

16. When Hushai the Archite, David's friend, appeared before Absalom and exclaimed, "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, I will be with the one Yahweh and this people and the Israelites have chosen, and with him I will remain.

19. Whom am I now to serve? Are you not his son? As I have served your father, so will I serve you."

20. Then Absalom said to Ahitophel, "Have a meeting to decide what we shall do."

21. Ahitophel said to Absalom, "Go and be with the concubines your father has left to keep his house. When the Israelites hear that you have made yourself odious to your father, all those of your party will be strengthened."

22. So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the terrace and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of the Israelites.

23. In those days, Ahitophel's counsel was deemed as sound as the oracle of God, and so it was deemed by both David and Absalom.



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