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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 16


David had gone a little beyond the top when Ziba, the servant of Meribbaal, met him with saddled asses laden with two hundred loaves of bread, an ephah of cakes of pressed raisins, an ephah of summer fruits, and a skin of wine.


The king said to Ziba, "What do you plan to do with these?" Ziba replied: "The asses are for the king's household to ride on. The bread and summer fruits are for your servants to eat, and the wine for those to drink who are weary in the desert."


Then the king said, "And where is your lord's son?" Ziba answered the king, "He is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, 'Now the Israelites will restore to me my father's kingdom.'"


The king therefore said to Ziba, "So! Everything Meribbaal had is yours." Then Ziba said: "I pay you homage, my lord the king. May I find favor with you!"


As David was approaching Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera of the same clan as Saul's family, was coming out of the place, cursing as he came.


He threw stones at David and at all the king's officers, even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard, were on David's right and on his left.


Shimei was saying as he cursed: "Away, away, you murderous and wicked man!


1 The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul, in whose stead you became king, and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer."


Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and lop off his head."


But the king replied: "What business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, 'Why are you doing this?'"


Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants: "If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life, how much more might this Benjaminite do so! Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.


Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day."


David and his men continued on the road, while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside, all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.


The king and all the soldiers with him arrived at the Jordan tired out, and stopped there for a rest.


In the meantime Absalom, accompanied by Ahithophel, entered Jerusalem with all the Israelites.


When David's friend Hushai the Archite came to Absalom, he said to him: "Long live the king! Long live the king!"


But Absalom asked Hushai: "Is this your devotion to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?"


Hushai replied to Absalom: "On the contrary, I am his whom the LORD and all this people and all Israel have chosen, and with him I will stay.


Furthermore, as I was in attendance upon your father, so will I be before you. Whom should I serve, if not his son?"


Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Offer your counsel on what we should do."


Ahithophel replied to Absalom: "Have relations with your father's concubines, whom he left behind to take care of the palace. When all Israel hears how odious you have made yourself to your father, all your partisans will take courage."


So a tent was pitched on the roof for Absalom, and he visited his father's concubines in view of all Israel.


Now the counsel given by Ahithophel at that time was as though one had sought divine revelation. Such was all his counsel both to David and to Absalom.



1 [8] Bloodshed . . . Saul: refers to the episode recounted in 2 Sam 21:1-14.

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