1David went a short way over the top ˻of the Mount of Olives˼ and met Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth. Ziba had two donkeys with saddles on them. The donkeys also carried 200 loaves of bread, 100 bunches of raisins, 100 summer fruits, and a wineskin full of wine. 2King David said to Ziba, “What are these things for?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride on. The bread and the summer fruit are for the servants to eat. And the wine is refreshment for whoever begins to feel weak in the desert.” 3Then the king asked, “And where is Mephibosheth?” Ziba answered the king, “Mephibosheth is staying in Jerusalem. He thinks, 'Today the Israelites will give my grandfather’s kingdom back to me.’” 4Then the king said to Ziba, “˻Because of that,˼ I now give you everything that belonged to Mephibosheth.” Ziba said, “I bow ˻to you˼. I hope I will always be able to please you.” 5David came to Bahurim. A man from Saul’s family came out from Bahurim. This man’s name was Shimei son of Gera. Shimei came out saying bad things to David. And he kept saying bad things again and again. 6Shimei began throwing stones at David and his officers. But the people and the soldiers gathered around David—they were all around him. 7Shimei cursed David. He said, “Get out, get out, you no-good murderer! 8The Lord is punishing you. Why? Because you killed people in Saul’s family. You stole Saul’s place as king. But now the same bad things are happening to you. The Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Why? Because you are a murderer.” 9Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse you, my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off Shimei’s head.” 10But the king answered, “What can I do, sons of Zeruiah? Sure, Shimei is cursing me. But the Lord told him to curse me.” 11David also said to Abishai and all his servants, “Look, my very own son ˻(Absalom)˼ is trying to kill me. This man ˻(Shimei)˼ from the family group of Benjamin has more right to kill me. Let him alone. Let him keep on saying bad things to me. The Lord told him to do this. 12Maybe the Lord will see the wrong things that are happening to me. Then maybe the Lord will give me something good for every bad thing that Shimei says today.” 13So David and his men went on ˻their way˼ down the road. But Shimei kept following David. Shimei walked on the other side of the road by the side of the hill. Shimei kept saying bad things to David on his way. Shimei also threw stones and dirt at David. 14King David and all his people came to ˻the Jordan River˼. The king and his people were tired. So they rested and refreshed themselves there. 15Absalom, Ahithophel, and all the people of Israel came to Jerusalem. 16David’s friend, Hushai the Arkite, came to Absalom. Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17Absalom answered, “Why are you not loyal to your friend ˻David˼? Why did you not leave ˻Jerusalem˼ with your friend?” 18Hushai said, “I belong to the person that the Lord chooses. These people and the people of Israel chose you. I will stay with you. 19In the past, I served your father. So, now I should serve David’s son. I will serve you.” 20Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Please tell us what we should do.” 21Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Your father left some of his wives here to take care of the house. Go and have sexual relations with them. Then all the Israelites will hear that your father hates you. And all of your people will be encouraged to give you more support.” 22Then they put up a tent for Absalom on the roof of the house. And Absalom had sexual relations with his father’s wives. All the Israelites saw it. 23At that time, the advice of Ahithophel was very ˻important˼ to both David and Absalom. It was as ˻important as˼ God’s word to a man.
2 Samuel 16