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2 Samuel chapter 16

1
When David had gone a little beyond the summit, Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, was right there to meet him. He had a pair of saddled donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 [bunches] of summer fruit, and a skin of wine.
2
The king said to Ziba, "Why do you have these?" Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride, the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat, and the wine is for those who become exhausted to drink in the desert."
3
"Where is your master's son?" the king asked. "Why, he's staying in Jerusalem," Ziba replied to the king, "for he said, 'Today, the house of Israel will restore my father's kingdom to me.'"
4
The king said to Ziba, "All that belongs to Mephibosheth is now yours!" "I bow [before you]," Ziba said. "May you look favorably on me, my lord the king!"
5
When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached.
6
He threw stones at David and at all the royal servants, the people and the warriors on David's right and left.
7
Shimei said as he cursed: "Get out, get out, you worthless murderer!
8
The LORD has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you rule, and the LORD has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because you're a murderer!"
9
Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut his head off!"
10
The king replied, "Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses [me] this way because the LORD told him, 'Curse David!' Therefore, who can say, 'Why did you do that?'"
11
Then David said to Abishai and all his servants, "Look, my own son, my own flesh and blood, intends to take my life-- how much more now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse [me]; the LORD has told him to.
12
Perhaps the LORD will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimei's curses today."
13
So David and his men proceeded along the road as Shimei was going along the ridge of the hill opposite him. As Shimei went, he cursed [David], and threw stones and dirt at him.
14
Finally, the king and all the people with him arrived exhausted, so they rested there.
15
Now Absalom and all the Israelites came to Jerusalem. Ahithophel was also with him.
16
When David's friend Hushai the Archite came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, "Long live the king! Long live the king!"
17
"Is this your loyalty to your friend?" Absalom asked Hushai. "Why didn't you go with your friend?"
18
"Not at all," Hushai answered Absalom. "I am on the side of the one that the LORD, the people, and all the men of Israel have chosen. I will stay with him.
19
Furthermore, whom will I serve if not his son? As I served in your father's presence, I will also serve in yours."
20
Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give [me] your advice. What should we do?"
21
Ahithophel replied to Absalom, "Sleep with your father's concubines he left to take care of the palace. When all Israel hears that you have become repulsive to your father, everyone with you will be encouraged."
22
So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.
23
Now the advice Ahithophel gave in those days was like someone asking about a word from God-- such was the regard that both David and Absalom had for Ahithophel's advice.

2 Samuel chapter 17

1
Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose 12,000 men, and I will set out in pursuit of David tonight.
2
I will attack him while he is weak and weary, throw him into a panic, and all the people with him will scatter. I will strike down only the king
3
and bring all the people back to you. When everyone returns [except] the man you're seeking, all the people will be at peace."
4
This proposal seemed good to Absalom and all the elders of Israel.
5
Then Absalom said, "Summon Hushai the Archite also. Let's hear what he has to say as well."
6
So Hushai came to Absalom, and Absalom told him: "Ahithophel offered this proposal. Should we carry out his proposal? If not, what do you say?"
7
Hushai replied to Absalom, "The advice Ahithophel has given this time is not good."
8
Hushai continued, "You know your father and his men. They are warriors and are desperate like a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Your father is an experienced soldier who won't spend the night with the people.
9
He's probably already hiding in one of the caves or some other place. If some of our troops fall first, someone is sure to hear and say, 'There's been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.'
10
Then, even a brave man with the heart of a lion will melt because all Israel knows that your father and the valiant men with him are warriors.
11
Instead, I advise that all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba-- as numerous as the sand by the sea-- be gathered to you and that you personally go into battle.
12
Then we will attack David wherever we find him, and we will descend on him like dew on the ground. Not even one will be left of all the men with him.
13
If he retreats to some city, all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag its [stones] into the valley until not even a pebble can be found there."
14
Since the LORD had decreed that Ahithophel's good advice be undermined in order to bring about Absalom's ruin, Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than Ahithophel's advice."
15
Hushai then told the priests Zadok and Abiathar, "This is what Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is what I advised.
16
Now send someone quickly and tell David, 'Don't spend the night at the wilderness ford [of the Jordan], but be sure to cross over, or the king and all the people with him will be destroyed.'"
17
Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, where a servant girl would come and pass along information to them. They in turn would go and inform King David, because they dared not be seen entering the city.
18
However, a young man did see them and informed Absalom. So the two left quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it.
19
Then his wife took the cover, placed it over the mouth of the well, and scattered grain on it so nobody would know anything.
20
Absalom's servants came to the woman at the house and asked, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" "They passed by toward the water," the woman replied to them. The men searched but did not find [them], so they returned to Jerusalem.
21
After they had gone, Ahimaaz and Jonathan climbed out of the well and went and informed King David. They told him, "Get up and immediately ford the river, for Ahithophel has given this advice against you."
22
So David and all the people with him got up and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, there was no one who had not crossed the Jordan.
23
When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He set his affairs in order and hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father's tomb.
24
David had arrived at Mahanaim by the time Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel.
25
Now Absalom had appointed Amasa over the army in Joab's place. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Israelite;Ithra had married Abigail daughter of Nahash. Abigail was a sister to Zeruiah, Joab's mother.
26
And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.
27
When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Machir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim
28
brought beds, basins, and pottery items. [They also brought] wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils,
29
honey, curds, sheep, and cheese from the herd for David and the people with him to eat. They had reasoned, "The people must be hungry, exhausted, and thirsty in the desert."

2 Samuel chapter 18

1
David reviewed his troops and appointed commanders of hundreds and of thousands over them.
2
He then sent out the troops, one third under Joab, one third under Joab's brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and one third under Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the troops, "I will also march out with you."
3
"You must not go!" the people pleaded. "If we have to flee, they will not pay any attention to us. Even if half of us die, they will not pay any attention to us because you are worth 10,000 of us. Therefore, it is better if you support us from the city."
4
"I will do whatever you think is best," the king replied to them. So he stood beside the gate while all the troops marched out by hundreds and thousands.
5
The king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, "Treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake." All the people heard the king's orders to all the commanders about Absalom.
6
Then David's forces marched into the field to engage Israel in battle, which took place in the forest of Ephraim.
7
The people of Israel were defeated by David's soldiers, and the slaughter there was vast that day-- 20,000 [casualties].
8
The battle spread over the entire region, and that day the forest claimed more people than the sword.
9
Absalom was riding on his mule when he happened to meet David's soldiers. When the mule went under the tangled branches of a large oak tree, Absalom's head was caught fast in the tree. The mule under him kept going, so he was suspended in midair.
10
One of the men saw [him] and informed Joab. He said, "I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree!"
11
"You just saw [him]!" Joab exclaimed. "Why didn't you strike him to the ground right there? I would have given you 10 silver pieces and a belt!"
12
The man replied to Joab, "Even if I had the weight of 1,000 pieces of silver in my hand, I would not raise my hand against the king's son. For we heard the king command you, Abishai, and Ittai, 'Protect the young man Absalom for me.'
13
If I had jeopardized my own life-- and nothing is hidden from the king-- you would have abandoned me."
14
Joab said, "I'm not going to waste time with you!" He then took three spears in his hand and thrust them into Absalom's heart while he was still alive in the oak tree,
15
and 10 young men who were Joab's armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him, and killed him.
16
Afterwards, Joab blew the ram's horn, and the troops broke off their pursuit of Israel because Joab restrained them.
17
They took Absalom, threw him into a large pit in the forest, and piled a huge mound of stones over him. And all Israel fled, each to his tent.
18
When he was alive, Absalom had erected for himself a pillar in the King's Valley, for he had said, "I have no son to preserve the memory of my name." So he gave the pillar his name. It is still called Absalom's Monument today.
19
Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, "Please let me run and tell the king the good news that the LORD has delivered him from his enemies."
20
Joab replied to him, "You are not the man to take good news today. You may do it another day, but today you aren't taking good news, because the king's son is dead."
21
Joab then said to the Cushite, "Go tell the king what you have seen." The Cushite bowed to Joab and took off running.
22
However, Ahimaaz son of Zadok persisted and said to Joab, "No matter what, please let me run too behind the Cushite!" Joab replied, "My son, why do you want to run since you won't get a reward?"
23
"No matter what I want to run!" "Then run!" Joab said to him. So Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite.
24
David was sitting between the two gates when the watchman went up to the roof of the gate and over to the wall. The watchman looked out and saw a man running alone.
25
He called out and told the king. The king said, "If he's alone, he bears good news." As the first runner came closer,
26
the watchman saw another man running. He called out to the gatekeeper, "Look! Another man is running alone!" "This one is also bringing good news," said the king.
27
The watchman said, "The way the first man runs looks to me like the way Ahimaaz son of Zadok runs." "This is a good man; he comes with good news," the king commented.
28
Ahimaaz called out to the king, "All is well," and then bowed down to the king with his face to the ground. He continued, "May the LORD your God be praised! He delivered up the men who rebelled against my lord the king."
29
The king asked, "Is the young man Absalom all right?" Ahimaaz replied, "When Joab sent the king's servant and your servant, I saw a big disturbance, but I don't know what [it was]."
30
The king said, "Move aside and stand here." So he stood to one side.
31
Just then the Cushite came and said, "May my lord the king hear the good news: today the LORD has delivered you from all those rising up against you!"
32
The king asked the Cushite, "Is the young man Absalom all right?" The Cushite replied, "May what has become of the young man happen to the enemies of my lord the king and to all who rise up against you with evil intent."
33
The king was deeply moved and went up to the gate chamber and wept. As he walked, he cried, "My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!"