1And it was told to Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping, and mourns for Absalom.”
2So the victory that day became mourning for all the people, because the people heard it said that day, “The king is in pain over his son.”
3So the people stole into the city that day as people who are ashamed steal in to the city when they flee in battle.
4The king covered his face, and the king cried out with a loud voice, “My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!”
5Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have shamed the faces of all your servants who this day have saved your life and the lives of your sons and of your daughters and the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines,
6in that you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have declared this day that officials and servants are nothing to you. For today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died this day, then it would have been good in your eyes.
7“So now get up! Go out and speak to comfort your servants, for I swear by Yahweh, if you do not go out, not a man will stay with you this night and that would be worse for you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth until now.”
Now Israel had fled, every man to his tent.
9All the people were arguing with one another throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies and he rescued us out of the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom,
10while Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. So now, why are you silent about bringing the king back?”
11King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house? (For the words of all Israel had come to the king to return him to his house).
12You are my brothers! You are my bone and my flesh! Why then are you the last to bring back the king?’
13And say to Amasa, ‘Aren’t you my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if you are not commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.’”
14And he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah, as one man, so that they sent to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.”
15So the king returned and came to the Jordan. Judah came to Gilgal to go to meet the king, to bring the king across the Jordan.
16And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite who was of Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David.
17There were 1,000 men of Benjamin with him. And Ziba, the servant of the house of Saul, and his 15 sons and his 20 servants with him, had rushed down to the Jordan before the king.
18And they crossed the fords to bring the king’s household across and to do what was good in his eyes. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was crossing over the Jordan.
19He said to the king, “Do not let my lord impute sin to me, or remember what your servant sinfully did the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart.
20For your servant knows that I have sinned. So, behold, I have come this day the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.”
22But David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that this day you should be an adversary to me? Should there any man be put to death this day in Israel? For do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?”
23And the king said to Shimei, “You will not die.” The king swore an oath to him.
24Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and he had not cared for his feet or trimmed his mustache or washed his clothes from the day the king departed until the day he came back in peace.
25And when he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?”
26He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said, I should saddle a donkey for myself so that I can ride on it and go with the king, because your servant is lame.
27And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king, but my lord the king is as an angel of God. So do what is good in your eyes.
28For all my father’s house were but men deserving of death before my lord the king, yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. So what right do I still have to cry out any more to the king?”
31Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim, and he went over the Jordan with the king to send him off at the Jordan.
32Now Barzillai was a very old man, 80 years old, and he had provided for the king while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man.
34But Barzillai said to the king, “How many more are the days of the years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
35Today I am 80 years old. Can I discern between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?
36Your servant will just go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward?
37Now let your servant return so that I may die in my own city beside the burial place of my father and my mother. But behold, your servant Chimham; let him cross over with my lord the king and do to him what is good in your eyes.”
38The king answered, “Chimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him what is good in your eyes. Whatever you choose, I will do that for you.”
39So all the people crossed over the Jordan, and the king crossed over. Then the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own place.
40So the king crossed over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him. All the people of Judah brought the king across, and also half the people of Israel.
41Behold, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why have our brothers, the men of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king and his household across the Jordan, and all of David’s men with him?”
42All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative to me. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten, yes, eaten of the king’s food? Or has any been carried, yes carried off to us?”
43The men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “I have ten shares in the king, and I have also more claim to David than you. Why then did you treat me with contempt? Was I not the first to speak of bringing back my king?” But the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.