Joab rebuked the king
1 Someone told Joab that the king was crying and mourning because Absalom had died. 2 All of David's soldiers became sad. Instead of rejoicing about defeating the soldiers who had fought with Absalom, they were sad because they heard that the king was mourning because Absalom was dead. 3 The soldiers returned to the city quietly, like [SIM] soldiers do when they are ashamed because they ran away from battle. 4 The king covered his face with his hands and kept crying loudly, “O, my son Absalom! O, Absalom, my son! My son!”
5 Then Joab entered the room where the king was, and said to the king, “Today you have caused your soldiers to be ashamed! You have humiliated the men who saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and your ordinary wives and your slave wives! 6 It seems that you love those who hate you and that you hate those who love you. You have caused it to be clear today that your commanders and your officers are not at all important to you. I think that if Absalom were still alive and we were all dead today, you would be happy. 7 So, now go and thank your soldiers for what they did. Because I solemnly declare that if you do not do that, none of them will still be with you by tomorrow morning and that would be worse for you than all the disasters/troubles that you have experienced since you were a boy.”
8 So the king got up and went and sat near the city gate. And all the people were told, “Hey, the king is sitting at the gate!” So they all came and gathered around him.
The people of Israel and Judah wanted David to be their king again
Meanwhile, all the Israeli troops who had been with Absalom had returned to their homes.
9 Then all the people throughout the tribes of Israel started to quarrel among themselves. They said to each other, “King David rescued us from the people of Philistia and from our other enemies. But now he has fled from Absalom and left Israel! 10 We appointed [MTY] Absalom to be our king, but he died in the battle against David's soldiers. So ◄why does someone not try to bring King David back?/surely someone should try to bring King David back.►” [RHQ]
11 King David found out what the people were saying. So he sent the two priests, Zadok and Abiathar, to say to the leaders of Judah, “The king says that he has heard that all the Israeli people want him to be king again. And he says, ‘◄Why should you be the last ones to bring me back to my palace?/It is not right that you be the last ones to bring me back to my palace.► [RHQ] 12 You are my relatives; we have the same ancestor [IDM]. So ◄why should you be the last ones to bring me back?/you should certainly not be the last ones to bring me back.► [RHQ]’ ” 13 And say to Amasa, “You are one of my relatives. I hope/desire that God strike me dead [IDM] if I do not appoint you to be, from now on, the commander of my army instead of Joab.”
14 By sending that message to them, David convinced all the people of Judah [IDM] that they should ◄be loyal to him/accept him as their king►. So they sent a message to the king, saying “We want you and all your officials to return here.” 15 So the king and his officials started back toward Jerusalem. When they reached the Jordan River, the people of Judah came there to Gilgal to meet the king, and to bring him across the river.
16 Shimei, the man from the tribe of Benjamin, also came down quickly to the river with the people of Judah to meet King David. 17 There were a thousand men from the tribe of Benjamin who came with him. And Ziba, who had been the servant of Saul, also hurried down to the Jordan River, bringing twenty of his servants with him. They all came to the king, 18 and then they all prepared to take the king and all his family across the river, at the place where they could walk across it. They wanted to do whatever the king wanted them to do. As the king was about to cross the river, Shimei came to him and prostrated himself in front of the king.
19 He said to the king, “Your Majesty, please forgive me. Please do not keep thinking about the terrible thing that I did on the day that you left Jerusalem. Do not think about it anymore. 20 Because I know that I have sinned. Look, I have come today, the first one from the northern tribes to come here to greet you today, Your Majesty.”
21 But Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, said, “He cursed the one that Yahweh appointed [MTY] to be the king! So ◄should he not be executed for doing that?/he certainly should be executed for doing that.►” [RHQ]
22 But David said, “You sons of Zeruiah, what am I going to do with you? (OR, you are not the ones who should decide what to do to him). It is as though you have become my enemies today. I know that I am the one who has now become the king of Israel, so I say that certainly no one [RHQ] in Israel should be executed today.” 23 Then the king said to Shimei, “I solemnly promise that I will not execute you.”
24 Then Miphibosheth, Saul's grandson, came down to the river to greet the king. He had not washed his feet or trimmed his beard or washed his clothes, from the time that the king left Jerusalem until the day that he returned. 25 When he arrived from Jerusalem to greet the king, the king said to him, “Mephibosheth, why did you not go with me?”
26 He replied, “Your Majesty, you know that I am crippled. When I heard that you were leaving Jerusalem, I said to my servant Ziba, ‘Put a saddle on my donkey in order that I can ride on it and go with the king.’ But he deceived me and left without me. 27 And he lied to you about me. But, Your Majesty, you are as wise as God's angel. So do whatever seems right to you. 28 All of my grandfather's family expected/deserved that we would be executed. But you did not execute me; you allowed me to eat food with you at your table! So I certainly do not have [RHQ] the right to request you for anything more.”
29 The king replied, “You certainly do not need to say any more. I have decided that you and Ziba will divide equally the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul.”
30 Mephibosheth replied to the king, “Your Majesty, I am content that you have returned safely. So allow him to take all the land.”
31 Barzillai, the man from the Gilead region, had come down to the Jordan River from his town of Rogelim, to escort the king across the river. 32 Barzillai was a very old man, 80 years old. He was a very wealthy man, and he had provided food for the king and his soldiers while they were at Mahanaim. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Come with me to Jerusalem, and I will take care of you.”
34 But Barzillai replied, “I certainly do not have [RHQ] many more years to live. So ◄why should I go with you to Jerusalem?/there is certainly no reason for me to go with you to Jerusalem.► [RHQ] 35 I am now 80 years old. I do not [RHQ] know what is enjoyable and what is not enjoyable. I cannot [RHQ] enjoy what I eat and what I drink. I cannot [RHQ] hear the voices of men and women as they sing. So ◄why should I be another burden to you?/I do not want to be another burden to you.► [RHQ] 36 I will cross the Jordan River with you and go a little further, and that will be all the reward that I need for helping you. 37 Then please allow me to return to my home, because that is where I want to die, near my parents' grave. But here is my son Chimham. Your Majesty, allow him to go with you and serve you, and do for him whatever seems good to you!”
38 The king replied, “Okay, he will cross the river with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you. And I will do for you whatever you want me to do.”
39 Then King David and all the others crossed the Jordan River. He kissed Barzillai and asked God to bless him. Then Barzillai returned to his home.
40 After they crossed the river, Chimham went with the king, and all the army of Judah and half the army of the other Israeli tribes escorted/accompanied the king to Gilgal.
The troops from Judah and Israel argued
41 Then all the soldiers from the other Israeli tribes came to the king and said, “◄Why is it that our relatives, the men from Judah, took you away from us and wanted to be the only ones to escort you and your family across the river, along with all your men?/It is not right that our relatives, the men from Judah, took you away from us and wanted to be the only ones to escort you and your family across the river, along with all your men.► [RHQ] Why did you not request us to do that?” [RHQ]
42 The soldiers from Judah replied, “We did it because the king is from Judah. So ◄why are you angry about that?/you should not be angry about that.► [RHQ] The king has never paid for our food, and he has never given us any gifts.”
43 The men of the other Israeli tribes replied, “ There are ten tribes in Israel, and only one in Judah. So it is ten times more right for us to say that David is our king than it is for you to say that. So why are you despising us [RHQ]? We were certainly [RHQ] the first ones to talk about bringing David back to Jerusalem to be our king again.”
But the men of Judah spoke more harshly than the men from the other tribes of Israel did.