New International Reader's Version

2 Samuel 16:1-23

David and Ziba

1David went just beyond the top of the Mount of Olives. Ziba was waiting there to meet him. He was Mephibosheth’s manager. He had several donkeys with saddles on them. They were carrying 200 loaves of bread and 100 raisin cakes. They were also carrying 100 fig cakes and a bottle of wine. The bottle was made out of animal skin.

2The king asked Ziba, “Why have you brought all these things?”

Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride on. The bread and fruit are for the people to eat. The wine will make those who get tired in the desert feel like new again.”

3Then the king asked, “Where is your master’s grandson Mephibosheth?”

Ziba said to him, “He’s staying in Jerusalem. He thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will cause me to rule once again over my grandfather Saul’s kingdom.’ ”

4Then the king said to Ziba, “Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth belongs to you now.”

“You are my king and master,” Ziba said. “I make myself humble in front of you. I bow down to you. May you be pleased with me.”

Shimei Curses David

5King David approached Bahurim. As he did, a man came out toward him. The man was from the same family group that Saul was from. His name was Shimei. He was the son of Gera. As he came out of the town, he cursed David. 6He threw stones at David and all his officials. He did it even though all the troops and the special guard were there. They were to the right and left of David. 7As Shimei cursed, he said, “Get out! Get out, you murderer! You are a worthless and evil man! 8You spilled the blood of a lot of people in Saul’s family. You took over his kingdom. Now the Lord is paying you back. He has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have been destroyed because you are a murderer!”

9Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, spoke to the king. He said, “King David, why should we let this dead dog curse you? Let me go over there. I’ll cut off his head.”

10But the king said, “You and Joab are sons of Zeruiah. What does this have to do with you? Maybe the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David.’ If he did, who can ask him, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ”

11Then David spoke to Abishai and all his officials. He said, “My very own son Absalom is trying to kill me. How much more should this man from Benjamin want to kill me! Leave him alone. Let him curse. The Lord has told him to do it. 12Maybe the Lord will see how much I’m suffering. Maybe he’ll bring back to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse I’m hearing today.”

13So David and his men kept going along the road. At the same time, Shimei was going along the hillside across from him. He was cursing David as he went. He was throwing stones at David. He was showering him with dirt. 14The king and all the people with him came to the place they had planned to go to. They were very tired. So David rested there.

Ahithophel and Hushai Give Advice to Absalom

15During that time, Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem. Ahithophel was with him. 16Then Hushai, the Arkite, went to Absalom. He said to him, “May the king live a long time! May the king live a long time!” Hushai was David’s trusted friend.

17Absalom said to Hushai, “So this is the way you show love to your friend? If he’s your friend, why didn’t you go with him?”

18Hushai said to Absalom, “Why should I? You are the one the Lord has chosen. These people and all the men of Israel have also chosen you. I want to be on your side. I want to stay with you. 19After all, who else should I serve? Shouldn’t I serve the king’s son? I will serve you, just as I served your father.”

20Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?”

21Ahithophel answered, “Your father left some concubines behind to take care of the palace. Go and sleep with them. Then all the Israelites will hear about it. They will hear that you have made your father hate you. Everyone with you will be encouraged to give you more support.” 22So they set up a tent for Absalom on the roof of the palace. He went in and slept with his father’s concubines. Everyone in Israel saw it.

23In those days the advice Ahithophel gave was as good as advice from someone who asks God for guidance. That’s what David and Absalom thought about all of Ahithophel’s advice.

King James Version

2 Samuel 16:1-23

1And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. 2And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king’s household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink. 3And the king said, And where is thy master’s son? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father. 4Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king.16.4 I humbly…: Heb. I do obeisance

5¶ And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came.16.5 he came forth…: or, he still came forth and cursed 6And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:16.7 bloody…: Heb. man of blood 8The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.16.8 behold…: Heb. behold thee in thy evil

9¶ Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. 10And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? 11And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him. 12It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.16.12 affliction: or, tears: Heb. eye 13And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.16.13 cast…: Heb. dusted him with dust 14And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.

15¶ And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.16.16 God…: Heb. Let the king live 17And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend? 18And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay; but whom the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide. 19And again, whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father’s presence, so will I be in thy presence.

20¶ Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do. 21And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. 22So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.16.23 oracle: Heb. word