2 Samuel 16

Ziba Meets David

16 When David had passed a short way over the top of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, met him. Ziba had a row of donkeys loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred cakes of raisins, one hundred cakes of figs, and leather bags full of wine. 2 The king asked Ziba, “What are these things for?”

Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for your family to ride. The bread and cakes of figs are for the servants to eat. And the wine is for anyone to drink who might become weak in the desert.”

3 The king asked, “Where is Mephibosheth?”

Ziba answered him, “Mephibosheth is staying in Jerusalem because he thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will give my father’s kingdom back to me!’”

4 Then the king said to Ziba, “All right. Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth, I now give to you!”

Ziba said, “I bow to you. I hope I will always be able to please you.”

Shimei Curses David

5 As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out and cursed him. He was from Saul’s family group, and his name was Shimei son of Gera. 6 He threw stones at David and his officers, but the people and soldiers gathered all around David. 7 Shimei cursed David, saying, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you troublemaker. 8 The Lord is punishing you for the people in Saul’s family you killed! You took Saul’s place as king, but now the Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom! Now you are ruined because you are a murderer!”

9 Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse you, the king? Let me go over and cut off his head!”

10 But the king answered, “This does not concern you, sons of Zeruiah! If he is cursing me because the Lord told him to, who can question him?”

11 David also said to Abishai and all his officers, “My own son is trying to kill me! This man is a Benjaminite and has more right to kill me! Leave him alone, and let him curse me because the Lord told him to do this. 12 Maybe the Lord will see my misery and repay me with something good for Shimei’s curses today!”

13 So David and his men went on down the road, but Shimei followed on the nearby hillside. He kept cursing David and throwing stones and dirt at him. 14 When the king and all his people arrived at the Jordan, they were very tired, so they rested there.

15 Meanwhile, Absalom, Ahithophel, and all the Israelites arrived at Jerusalem. 16 David’s friend Hushai the Arkite came to Absalom and said to him, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

17 Absalom asked, “Why are you not loyal to your friend David? Why didn’t you leave Jerusalem with your friend?”

18 Hushai said, “I belong to the one chosen by the Lord and by these people and everyone in Israel. I will stay with you. 19 In the past I served your father. So whom should I serve now? David’s son! I will serve you as I served him.”

Ahithophel’s Advice

20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Tell us what we should do.”

21 Ahithophel said, “Your father left behind some of his slave women to take care of the palace. Have sexual relations with them. Then all Israel will hear that your father is your enemy, and all your people will be encouraged to give you more support.” 22 So they put up a tent for Absalom on the roof[a] of the palace where everyone in Israel could see it. And Absalom had sexual relations with his father’s slave women.

23 At that time people thought Ahithophel’s advice was as reliable as God’s own word. Both David and Absalom thought it was that reliable.


  1. 16:22 roof In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship, and as a cool place to sleep in the summer.

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