The Message

2 Samuel 19

David’s Grief for Absalom

11-4 Joab was told that David was weeping and lamenting over Absalom. The day’s victory turned into a day of mourning as word passed through the army, “David is grieving over his son.” The army straggled back to the city that day demoralized, dragging their tails. And the king held his face in his hands and lamented loudly,

O my son Absalom,
Absalom my dear, dear son!

5-7 But in private Joab rebuked the king: “Now you’ve done it—knocked the wind out of your loyal servants who have just saved your life, to say nothing of the lives of your sons and daughters, wives and concubines. What is this—loving those who hate you and hating those who love you? Your actions give a clear message: officers and soldiers mean nothing to you. You know that if Absalom were alive right now, we’d all be dead—would that make you happy? Get hold of yourself; get out there and put some heart into your servants! I swear to God that if you don’t go to them they’ll desert; not a soldier will be left here by nightfall. And that will be the worst thing that has happened yet.”

So the king came out and took his place at the city gate. Soon everyone knew: “Oh, look! The king has come out to receive us.” And his whole army came and presented itself to the king. But the Israelites had fled the field of battle and gone home.

9-10 Meanwhile, the whole populace was now complaining to its leaders, “Wasn’t it the king who saved us time and again from our enemies, and rescued us from the Philistines? And now he has had to flee the country on account of Absalom. And now this Absalom whom we made king is dead in battle. So what are you waiting for? Why don’t you bring the king back?”

11-13 When David heard what was being said, he sent word to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, “Ask the elders of Judah, ‘Why are you so laggard in bringing the king back home? You’re my brothers! You’re my own flesh and blood! So why are you the last ones to bring the king back home?’ And tell Amasa, ‘You, too, are my flesh and blood. As God is my witness, I’m making you the permanent commander of the army in place of Joab.’”

14 He captured the hearts of everyone in Judah. They were unanimous in sending for the king: “Come back, you and all your servants.”

15-18 So the king returned. He arrived at the Jordan just as Judah reached Gilgal on their way to welcome the king and escort him across the Jordan. Even Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, hurried down to join the men of Judah so he could welcome the king, a thousand Benjaminites with him. And Ziba, Saul’s steward, with his fifteen sons and twenty servants, waded across the Jordan to meet the king and brought his entourage across, doing whatever they could to make the king comfortable.

18-20 Shimei son of Gera bowed deeply in homage to the king as soon as he was across the Jordan and said, “Don’t think badly of me, my master! Overlook my irresponsible outburst on the day my master the king left Jerusalem—don’t hold it against me! I know I sinned, but look at me now—the first of all the tribe of Joseph to come down and welcome back my master the king!”

21 Abishai son of Zeruiah interrupted, “Enough of this! Shouldn’t we kill him outright? Why, he cursed God’s anointed!”

22 But David said, “What is it with you sons of Zeruiah? Why do you insist on being so contentious? Nobody is going to be killed today. I am again king over Israel!”

23 Then the king turned to Shimei, “You’re not going to die.” And the king gave him his word.

24-25 Next Mephibosheth grandson of Saul arrived from Jerusalem to welcome the king. He hadn’t combed his hair or trimmed his beard or washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned safe and sound. The king said, “And why didn’t you come with me, Mephibosheth?”

26-28 “My master the king,” he said, “my servant betrayed me. I told him to saddle my donkey so I could ride it and go with the king, for, as you know, I am lame. And then he lied to you about me. But my master the king has been like one of God’s angels: he knew what was right and did it. Wasn’t everyone in my father’s house doomed? But you took me in and gave me a place at your table. What more could I ever expect or ask?”

29 “That’s enough,” said the king. “Say no more. Here’s my decision: You and Ziba divide the property between you.”

30 Mephibosheth said, “Oh, let him have it all! All I care about is that my master the king is home safe and sound!”

31-32 Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim. He crossed the Jordan with the king to give him a good send-off. Barzillai was a very old man—eighty years old! He had supplied the king’s needs all the while he was in Mahanaim since he was very wealthy.

33 “Join me in Jerusalem,” the king said to Barzillai. “Let me take care of you.”

34-37 But Barzillai declined the offer, “How long do you think I’d live if I went with the king to Jerusalem? I’m eighty years old and not much good anymore to anyone. Can’t taste food; can’t hear music. So why add to the burdens of my master the king? I’ll just go a little way across the Jordan with the king. But why would the king need to make a great thing of that? Let me go back and die in my hometown and be buried with my father and mother. But my servant Kimham here; let him go with you in my place. But treat him well!”

38 The king said, “That’s settled; Kimham goes with me. And I will treat him well! If you think of anything else, I’ll do that for you, too.”

39-40 The army crossed the Jordan but the king stayed. The king kissed and blessed Barzillai, who then returned home. Then the king, Kimham with him, crossed over at Gilgal.

40-41 The whole army of Judah and half the army of Israel processed with the king. The men of Israel came to the king and said, “Why have our brothers, the men of Judah, taken over as if they owned the king, escorting the king and his family and close associates across the Jordan?”

42 The men of Judah retorted, “Because the king is related to us, that’s why! But why make a scene? You don’t see us getting treated special because of it, do you?”

43 The men of Israel shot back, “We have ten shares in the king to your one. Besides we’re the firstborn—so why are we having to play second fiddle? It was our idea to bring him back.”

But the men of Judah took a harder line than the men of Israel.

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

撒母耳记下 19

约押劝告大卫

1有人告诉约押,说:“王在为押沙龙哀伤痛哭。” 士兵们听说王为押沙龙哀痛,胜利的欢腾顿时变为一片哀愁。 那一天,众人都静悄悄地回城去,好像败兵一样羞愧万分。 王仍掩面痛哭:“我儿押沙龙啊!押沙龙!我儿!我儿啊!” 约押就进到屋里,对王说:“你的仆人们救了你和你妻妾儿女的性命,你今天却使他们感到羞愧。 仇视你的人,你倒去爱他;那些爱你的人,你反憎恶他们。这表明我王的心中根本没有我们这些将领和部下。我想,要是死去的不是押沙龙而是我们,你就高兴了。 你现在应该出去安抚士兵们。我凭耶和华起誓,如果你不这样做,今天晚上必无一人再追随你。那将是你一生所遭遇的最大灾难!” 于是王出去坐在城门口,众人听说后,都来到他面前。这时,跟随押沙龙的以色列人都各自逃回家去了。

大卫返回耶路撒冷

以色列各支派的人都在纷纷议论:“王曾把我们从众仇敌和非利士人手中救出来。如今他为了躲避押沙龙而逃离本国。 10 我们膏立为王的押沙龙已经死了,为什么无人说请王回来呢?”

11 大卫王派人去对祭司撒督和亚比亚他说:“你们去问犹大的长老,‘全以色列已经准备迎接王回宫,你们为什么迟迟没有反应? 12 你们是王的弟兄,是王的骨肉,为什么迟迟没有迎接王回宫?’ 13 你们也要对亚玛撒说,‘你是我的骨肉,要是我不立你为元帅取代约押,愿上帝重重地处罚我。’” 14 王的这番话打动了所有犹大人的心,他们派人去请王和王的臣仆回来。

15 王便启程回宫。他来到约旦河时,犹大人都到吉甲来迎接他,要护送他过河。 16 来自巴户琳的便雅悯人基拉的儿子示每也急忙跟着犹大人赶来迎接大卫王, 17 有一千便雅悯人跟示每一起去迎接大卫王。扫罗的仆人洗巴带着十五个儿子和二十个仆人也赶到约旦河。 18 他们渡到河对面帮助王的家眷过河,为王效劳。王正要过河的时候,基拉的儿子示每就俯伏在他面前, 19 说:“求我主饶恕仆人的罪过!仆人在我主我王离开耶路撒冷时所犯的罪,求我王不要记在心上。 20 仆人自知有罪,所以今天我是整个约瑟家族中第一个迎接我主我王的人。” 21 洗鲁雅的儿子亚比筛说:“示每曾经咒骂耶和华所膏立的君王,难道不应该处死他吗?” 22 大卫说:“洗鲁雅的儿子,你为何这样说话?你今天是在跟我作对。今天在以色列怎么可以处死人呢?难道我不知道今天我是以色列的王吗?” 23 于是大卫起誓不杀示每。

24 扫罗的孙子米非波设也来迎接王。从王离开那天,直到大卫平安回来之日,他没有修过脚,没有剃过胡子,也没有洗过衣服。 25 他到耶路撒冷来迎接王,王问他:“米非波设,当时你为什么不跟我一起走呢?” 26 米非波设答道:“我主我王,我是瘸腿的,我本想预备一头驴骑着与我王同去,是我的仆人洗巴欺骗了我。 27 他在我主我王面前毁谤我。我主我王就像上帝的天使,请王定夺。 28 我父全家在我主我王面前都是该死的,但王却让我与王同席吃饭,我还能向王要求什么呢?” 29 王对他说:“不要再提这事了,我决定让你和洗巴平分土地。” 30 米非波设说:“把土地都给他吧,我主我王平安地回来就好了。”

31 基列人巴西莱也从罗基琳下来护送王过约旦河,然后送王上路。 32 那时,巴西莱已经是八十高龄了。王留在玛哈念的时候,他曾供应王食物,因为他非常富有。 33 王对巴西莱说:“你跟我一同回耶路撒冷,我会照顾你。” 34 巴西莱说:“我何必跟王一同去耶路撒冷呢?我还能活多久呢? 35 我已经八十岁了,美丑难分,食不知味,乐不辨音,何必为我主我王添麻烦呢? 36 仆人只不过是陪王过约旦河,王何必给我这么大的赏赐呢? 37 请准我回去,我好死在故乡,葬在父母的墓旁。这里有王的仆人金罕,让他跟我主我王一起去。你看怎么好,就怎么对待他吧。” 38 王说:“金罕可以跟我去,我会照你的心愿待他。无论你有什么要求,我都会答应你。” 39 王和众人过了约旦河以后,就亲吻巴西莱,为他祝福。巴西莱返回了家乡。

40 王过河后,来到吉甲,金罕跟随着他。护送王的有犹大的士兵和半数的以色列士兵。 41 后来,所有的以色列人来见大卫,说:“为什么我们的弟兄犹大人偷偷地送王、王的家眷和王的部下渡河?” 42 犹大人答道:“我们这样做是因为王是我们的亲族。你们为什么生气呢?难道我们吃了王的供应,得了什么礼物吗?” 43 以色列人说:“但我们以色列人十个支派和王有十份的情分,你们为什么轻视我们?难道不是我们首先提出要请王回来的吗?”

但犹大人的态度比以色列人还要强硬。