| 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!
| 1 -
Joab He was responsible for Absalom's death.
2 - Turned into mourning They had reason to rejoice that the matter was settled, the conflict over.
3 - By stealth They should have been rejoicing in victory but David's attitude made them stop rejoicing.
4 - O Absalom Those with adult children who have become unfaithful to the Lord can understand David's feelings but feelings are not to be our guide.
| 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.
| 5 -
... servants David had acted selfishly.
7 - Go forth ... if not The nation was unstable with many who had been loyal to Absalom and the army was disappointed.
|.8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.||8 - King ... sat in the gate In response to the advice of Joab. This was important to influence the attitude of the people.|
¶ 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
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?
|9 - People were at strife "The kingdom was completely disorganized. The sentiments of three different parties are represented in 2Sa 19:9,10: the royalists, the adherents of Absalom who had been very numerous, and those who were indifferent to the Davidic dynasty. In these circumstances the king was right in not hastening back, as a conqueror, to rescind his throne. A re-election was, in some measure, necessary. He remained for some time on the other side of Jordan, in expectation of being invited back. That invitation was given without, however, the concurrence of Judah." (JFB).|
| 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.
|13 - Say ye to Amasa He was commander under Absalom. 1ch0213.|
| 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.
16 - Shimei He had cursed David when David was fleeing from Absalom 2sa1607.
18 - Went over a ferry boat ... Better translated "and they crossed the ford to bring over the king's household" (RSV).
Illustration, bridge over Jordan. Built in later times, from The Desire of Ages, 1898.
| 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.
|23 - Not die ... sware unto him He kept the promise but it apparently became evident that Shimei was still a traitor and Solomon was charged to put him to death 1ki0208, 1ki0244.|
¶ 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?
- Son of Saul More specifically Mephibosheth was a grandson.
Refraining from shaving and washing was in loyalty to David.
25 - It came to pass The narrative is interrupted to expand on the actions of Mephibosheth.
26 - Deceived Ziba, who was to have taken care of Mephibosheth had deceived both his master and David. See 2sa09.
| 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.
|Divide the land This was a lazy and unfair solution.|
| 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?
|31 - Barzillai "The rank, great age, and chivalrous devotion of this Gileadite chief wins our respect. His declining to go to court, his recommendation of his son, his convoy across the Jordan, and his parting scene with the king, are interesting incidents. What mark of royal favor was bestowed on Chimham has not been recorded; but it is probable that David gave a great part of his personal patrimony in Beth-lehem to Chimham and his heirs in perpetuity (Jer 41:17)." (JFB).|
| 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
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.
- Chimham "It is generally understood that this was Barzillai's
son; and this is probable from 1Ki
2:7, where, when David was dying, he said, Show kindness to the sons
of Barzillai: and it is very probable that this Chimham was one of them.
41:17 mention is made of the habitation of Chimham, which was near
to Bethlehem; and it is reasonably conjectured that David had left that
portion, which was probably a part of his paternal estate, to this son
of Barzillai." (Clarke).
39 - All ... people went over The word, "people," was used for followers of David 2sa1517, 2sa1523, 2sa1614, 2sa1702, 2sa1801-4... For Absalom was called "Israel." 2sa1615, 2sa1715.
| 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?
|40 - All ... Judah They had been active in restoring David to the throne. Fewer people would be expected from the rest of the country of Israel because of the distance for travel.|
|.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.||-|