1. When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Meribbaal's retainer, Ziba, met him with a pair of donkeys, saddled and laden with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of the season's fruits, and a skin of wine.
2. The king said to Ziba, 'What are you going to do with that?' 'The donkeys', Ziba replied, 'are for the king's family to ride, the bread and the fruit for the soldiers to eat, the wine is for drinking by those who get exhausted in the desert.'
3. The king asked 'And where is your master's son?' Ziba replied to the king, 'Why, he has stayed in Jerusalem because, he says, "Today, the House of Israel will give me back my father's kingdom." '
4. Then the king said to Ziba, 'Everything owned by Meribbaal is yours.' Ziba said, 'I prostrate myself! May I be worthy of your favour, my lord king!'
5. As David was reaching Bahurim, out came a man of the same clan as Saul's family. His name was Shimei son of Gera and, as he came, he uttered curse after curse
6. and threw stones at David and at all King David's retinue, even though the whole army and all the champions formed an escort round the king on either side.
7. The words of his curse were these, 'Off with you, off with you, man of blood, scoundrel!
8. Yahweh has paid you back for all the spilt blood of the House of Saul whose sovereignty you have usurped; and Yahweh has transferred the sovereign power to Absalom your son. Now your wickedness has overtaken you, man of blood that you are.'
9. Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, 'Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut his head off.'
10. But the king replied, 'What concern is my business to you, sons of Zeruiah? Let him curse! If Yahweh has said to him, "Curse David!" what right has anyone to say, "Why have you done so?" '
11. David said to Abishai and all his retinue, 'Why, the son sprung from my own body is now seeking my life; all the more reason for this Benjaminite to do so! Let him curse on, if Yahweh has told him to!
12. Perhaps Yahweh will look on my wretchedness and will repay me with good for his curses today.'
13. So David and his men went on their way, and Shimei kept pace with him along the opposite mountainside, cursing as he went, throwing stones and flinging dust.
14. The king and all the people who were with him arrived exhausted at . . . . . . and there they drew breath.
15. Absalom entered Jerusalem with all the men of Israel; with him was Ahithophel.
16. When Hushai the Archite, David's friend, reached Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, 'Long live the king! Long live the king!'
17. Absalom said to Hushai, 'Is this your faithful love for your friend? Why didn't you go away with your friend?'
18. Hushai replied to Absalom, 'No, the man whom Yahweh and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen, he is the man for me, and with him will I stay!
19. Besides, whom should I serve, if not his son? As I served your father, so shall I serve you.'
20. Absalom said to Ahithophel, 'Think carefully. What shall we do?'
21. Ahithophel replied to Absalom, 'Go to your father's concubines whom he left to look after the palace; then all Israel will hear that you have thoroughly antagonised your father, and the resolution of all your supporters will be strengthened.'
22. So a tent was pitched for Absalom on the flat roof and, with all Israel watching, Absalom went to his father's concubines.
23. At the time, whatever advice Ahithophel gave was treated like a decision obtained from God; as by David, so by Absalom, was all Ahithophel's advice regarded.