2 Samuel 19:1-8

Joab warns King David

1 Someone told Joab that the king was very sad and he was weeping because Absalom was dead. 2 All the people heard the news that the king was very sad about his son's death. King David's army had won the battle, so everyone should have been very happy. But instead, they were all sad. 3 The soldiers came very quietly back into Mahanaim city. It seemed like they were ashamed because they had run away from the battle. 4 The king covered his face and he cried, ‘Absalom, Absalom! My son, my son!’

5 Then Joab went to see the king in his room. He said to the king, ‘Today you have made your men feel ashamed. But the army has saved your life today. We have saved the lives of your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your slave wives. 6 You seem to love the people who hate you. And you seem to hate the people who love you! You have shown today that your officers and soldiers are not important to you. It seems that you would be happy if Absalom were still alive, and all the rest of us were dead. 7 Now go out and speak to your soldiers. Thank them that they have fought well. If you do not do that, none of your men will remain here tonight. I tell you in the Lord's name, that will certainly happen. That would bring worse trouble to you than anything that has happened in your whole life.’

8 So the king went out from his room. He went to sit by the city's gate. People heard the news, ‘The king is sitting by the gate.’ So they all came there to listen to him.

David returns to Jerusalem as king

At this time, the Israelite soldiers had run back to their own homes.