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2 Samuel 16

1 David started down the other side of the Mount of Olives. He met Ziba, the chief servant of Mephibosheth. Ziba had two donkeys that were carrying two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred clusters of raisins, a hundred figs, and some wine.

2 »What is all this?« David asked. Ziba said: »The donkeys are for your family to ride. The bread and fruit are for the people to eat. The wine is for them to drink in the desert when they are tired out.«

3 »Where is your master Saul’s grandson?« The king asked. »He stayed in Jerusalem,« said Ziba. He said: »Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather’s kingdom.«

4 The king told Ziba: »In that case everything that belonged to Mephibosheth now belongs to you. I sincerely thank you,« said Ziba, »I hope to remain in your good graces, Your Majesty.«

5 King David arrived at Bahurim. A man who was a distant cousin of Saul came out cursing. His name was Shimei, son of Gera.

6 Shimei threw stones at David and his officials. This was in spite of the fact that his men and his bodyguards surrounded David.

7 Shimei cursed him and said: »Get out! Get out you murderer!

8 »You took Saul’s kingdom. Now Jehovah is punishing you for murdering so many of Saul’s family. Jehovah has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. You are ruined, you bloodthirsty murderer!«

9 Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king: »Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over there and cut off his head!«

10 »What business is this of yours?« The king said to Abishai and his brother Joab. »If Jehovah told him to curse me who am I to stop him?«

11 David said to Abishai and to all his officials: »My own son is trying to kill me. Why should you be surprised at this Benjaminite? Jehovah told him to curse. Leave him alone and let him curse.

12 »Perhaps Jehovah will acknowledge my misery and give me some blessings to take away this curse.«

13 David and his men continued along the road. Shimei kept up with them. He walked on the hillside. He cursed and threw stones and dirt at them as he went.

14 The king and all the people with him finally arrived at their destination and rested there.

15 Absalom and all Israel’s troops came to Jerusalem. Ahithophel was with him.

16 David’s friend Hushai from Archi’s family came to Absalom. He said: »Long live the king! Long live the king!«

17 »Is this how loyal you are to your friend?« Absalom asked Hushai. »Why did you not go with him?«

18 Hushai answered: »Jehovah and the people of Israel have chosen you to be king. I cannot leave. I must stay and serve the one they have chosen.

19 »After all it seems right for me to serve you, just as I served your father.«

20 Absalom turned to Ahithophel and said: »Give us your advice! What should we do?«

21 Ahithophel answered: »Some of your father’s wives were left here to take care of the palace. You should have sex with them. Then everyone will find out that you have publicly disgraced your father. This will make you and your followers even more powerful.«

22 They pitched a tent for Absalom on the palace roof. There in the sight of everyone Absalom went in and had intercourse with his father’s concubines.

23 Any advice that Ahithophel gave in those days was accepted as though it were the very word of God. David and Absalom followed it.

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