2 Samuel 16

David and Ziba

1 When David had passed beyond the top of the Mount of Olives, he met Mephibosheth's servant Ziba. Ziba was waiting there for him with two donkeys. The donkeys were ready for people to ride them. They also carried 200 loaves of bread, 100 blocks of raisins, 100 blocks of figs and a leather bag of wine.

16:1Ziba looked after all Mephibosheth's land. See 2 Samuel 9:7-10.

2 The king asked Ziba, ‘Why have you brought all these things?’

Ziba answered, ‘The donkeys are for the king's family to ride. The bread and the fruit are for the young men to eat. The wine will help people who become weak when you travel through the desert.’

3 The king asked, ‘Where is your master's grandson?’

16:3Mephibosheth was King Saul's grandson.

Ziba answered, ‘He is staying in Jerusalem. He thinks that the Israelites will now give back to him his grandfather Saul's kingdom.’

4 Then the king said to Ziba, ‘Everything that Mephibosheth had will now belong to you.’

Ziba said, ‘Thank you, sir. I hope that you will always be pleased with me.’

Shimei curses David

5 King David and his people arrived near Bahurim town. Gera's son Shimei came out to meet David. He was a relative of Saul. Shimei cursed David in a loud voice as he came towards him. 6 He threw stones at David and at the king's officers. There was a big group of people and brave soldiers all around David. 7 Shimei said, ‘Go away! Get out of here! You are a murderer, a wicked man! 8 The Lord has punished you because of all the people that you killed from Saul's family. You made yourself king, instead of Saul. But now the Lord has given the kingdom to your son, Absalom. All this trouble has come to you because you are a murderer!’

16:5Bahurim was east of the Mount of Olives.

9 Then Zeruiah's son, Abishai, said to the king, ‘This man is only a useless dog! He must not curse you, my lord the king. I should go and cut off his head!’

10 The king said, ‘No! You sons of Zeruiah should not tell me what to do! Perhaps he is cursing me because the Lord has said to him, “Curse David.” Then we cannot say that he is wrong to curse me.’

11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his officers, ‘My own son is trying to kill me. Now this man from Benjamin's tribe wants to do the same thing. The Lord has told him to do this, so do not stop him cursing me. 12 Perhaps the Lord will understand my trouble. He may see how Shimei is cursing me and he may bless me instead.’

13 David and his men continued to walk along the road. Shimei walked along the side of the hill, near the road. As he went, he cursed David and he threw stones and dirt at David and his people. 14 When King David and all the people who were with him reached the Jordan river, they were tired and weak. So they rested there.

Ahithophel gives advice to Absalom

15 So Absalom and all the Israelites who were with him arrived in Jerusalem. Ahithophel came with him. 16 David's friend, Hushai the Arkite, had also come there. He went to Absalom and he said to him, ‘May the king live for ever! May the king live for ever!’

17 Absalom asked Hushai, ‘Why have you not been faithful to your friend David? Why did you not go with him?’

18 Hushai replied, ‘No, I will serve you. You are the king that the Lord has chosen. And all these people and the men of Israel have chosen you too. So I will stay with you. 19 I served your father when he was king. So now it is surely right for me to serve you, his son.’

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, ‘What do you think that we should do now? What is your advice?’

21 Ahithophel answered, ‘Sleep with your father's slave wives that are here. He left them to take care of his palace. Then all the people in Israel will know that you have insulted your father. They will know that he must now hate you. That will help your own men to be strong.’

22 So they put up a tent for Absalom on the roof of the palace. There he had sex with his father's slave wives, and all the Israelites could see him.

23 In those days, people thought that Ahithophel's words were as good as a message from God. So Absalom trusted Ahithophel as his advisor, as David had done too.