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2 Samuel Chapter 19 | Parsha:

1The king was shaken. He went up to the upper chamber of the gateway and wept, moaning these words as he went, “My son Absalom! O my son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son!”

2Joab was told that the king was weeping and mourning over Absalom. 3And the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops, for that day the troops heard that the king was grieving over his son. 4The troops stole into town that day like troops ashamed after running away in battle. 5The king covered his face and the king kept crying aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”

6Joab came to the king in his quarters and said, “Today you have humiliated all your followers, who this day saved your life, and the lives of your sons and daughters, and the lives of your wives and concubines, 7by showing love for those who hate you and hate for those who love you. For you have made clear today that the officers and men mean nothing to you. I am sure that if Absalom were alive today and the rest of us dead, you would have preferred it. 8Now arise, come out and placate your followers! For I swear by the Lord that if you do not come out, not a single man will remain with you overnight; and that would be a greater disaster for you than any disaster that has befallen you from your youth until now.” 9So the king arose and sat down in the gateway; and when all the troops were told that the king was sitting in the gateway, all the troops presented themselves to the king.
Now the Israelites had fled to their homes.
10All the people throughout the tribes of Israel were arguing: Some said, “The king saved us from the hands of our enemies, and he delivered us from the hands of the Philistines; and just now he had to flee the country because of Absalom. 11But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle; why then do you sit idle instead of escorting the king back?” 12The talk of all Israel reached the king in his quarters. So King David sent this message to the priests Zadok and Abiathar: “Speak to the elders of Judah and say, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his palace? 13You are my kinsmen, my own flesh and blood! Why should you be the last to escort the king back?’ 14And to Amasa say this, ‘You are my own flesh and blood. May God do thus and more to me if you do not become my army commander permanently in place of Joab!’” 15So [Amasa] swayed the hearts of all the Judites as one man; and they sent a message to the king: “Come back with all your followers.”

16The king started back and arrived at the Jordan; and the Judites went to Gilgal to meet the king and to conduct the king across the Jordan. 17Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, hurried down with the Judites to meet King David, 18accompanied by a thousand Benjaminites. And Ziba, the servant of the House of Saul, together with his fifteen sons and twenty slaves, rushed down to the Jordan ahead of the king 19while the crossing was being made, to escort the king’s family over, and to do whatever he wished. Shimei son of Gera flung himself before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan. 20He said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty, and do not remember the wrong your servant committed on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem; let Your Majesty give it no thought. 21For your servant knows that he has sinned; so here I have come down today, the first of all the House of Joseph, to meet my lord the king.” 22Thereupon Abishai son of Zeruiah spoke up, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for that—insulting the Lord’s anointed?” 23But David said, “What has this to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should cross me today? Should a single Israelite be put to death today? Don’t I know that today I am again king over Israel?” 24Then the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die”; and the king gave him his oath.

25Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul, also came down to meet the king. He had not pared his toenails, or trimmed his mustache, or washed his clothes from the day that the king left until the day he returned safe. 26When he came [from] Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why didn’t you come with me, Mephibosheth?” 27He replied, “My lord the king, my own servant deceived me. Your servant planned to saddle his ass and ride on it and go with Your Majesty—for your servant is lame. 28[Ziba] has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like an angel of the Lord; do as you see fit. 29For all the members of my father’s family deserved only death from my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your table. What right have I to appeal further to Your Majesty?” 30The king said to him, “You need not speak further. I decree that you and Ziba shall divide the property.” 31And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him take it all, as long as my lord the king has come home safe.”

32Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelin and passed on to the Jordan with the king, to see him off at the Jordan. 33Barzillai was very old, eighty years of age; and he had provided the king with food during his stay at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 34The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me, and I will provide for you in Jerusalem at my side.” 35But Barzillai said to the king, “How many years are left to me that I should go up with Your Majesty to Jerusalem? 36I am now eighty years old. Can I tell the difference between good and bad? Can your servant taste what he eats and drinks? Can I still listen to the singing of men and women? Why then should your servant continue to be a burden to my lord the king? 37 Your servant could barely cross the Jordan with your Majesty! Why should Your Majesty reward me so generously? 38Let your servant go back, and let me die in my own town, near the graves of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him cross with my lord the king, and do for him as you see fit.” 39And the king said, “Chimham shall cross with me, and I will do for him as you see fit; and anything you want me to do, I will do for you.”

40All the troops crossed the Jordan; and when the king was ready to cross, the king kissed Barzillai and bade him farewell; and [Barzillai] returned to his home. 41The king passed on to Gilgal, with Chimham accompanying him; and all the Judite soldiers and part of the Israelite army escorted the king across.

42Then all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why did our kinsmen, the men of Judah, steal you away and escort the king and his family across the Jordan, along with all David’s men?” 43All the men of Judah replied to the men of Israel, “Because the king is our relative! Why should this upset you? Have we consumed anything that belongs to the king? Has he given us any gifts?” 44But the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and in David, too, we have more than you. Why then have you slighted us? Were we not the first to propose that our king be brought back?” However, the men of Judah prevailed over the men of Israel.

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