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.

New International Version

2 Samuel 16:1-23

David and Ziba

1When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine.

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

Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the wilderness.”

3The king then asked, “Where is your master’s grandson?”

Ziba said to him, “He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will restore to me my grandfather’s kingdom.’ ”

4Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.”

“I humbly bow,” Ziba said. “May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.”

Shimei Curses David

5As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul’s family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out. 6He pelted David and all the king’s officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David’s right and left. 7As he cursed, Shimei said, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel! 8The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has given the kingdom into the hands of your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer!”

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

10But the king said, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this?’ ”

11David then said to Abishai and all his officials, “My son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.”

13So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt. 14The king and all the people with him arrived at their destination exhausted. And there he refreshed himself.

The Advice of Ahithophel and Hushai

15Meanwhile, Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him. 16Then Hushai the Arkite, David’s confidant, went to Absalom and said to him, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

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

18Hushai said to Absalom, “No, the one chosen by the Lord, by these people, and by all the men of Israel—his I will be, and I will remain with him. 19Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve the son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you.”

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

21Ahithophel answered, “Sleep with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute.” 22So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

23Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel’s advice.