1 It was reported to Joʹab: “The king is weeping and mourning for Abʹsalom.”
2 So the victory on that day was turned into mourning for all the people, because they heard that the king was grieving over his son.
3 The people quietly returned to the city that day like people who are ashamed because they fled in the battle.
4 The king covered his face and kept crying out with a loud voice: “My son Abʹsalom! Abʹsalom my son, my son!”
5 Then Joʹab went in to the king at the house and said: “Today you have put to shame all your servants who this day saved your life and the lives of your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your concubines.
6 You love those who hate you and hate those who love you, for you have made it clear today that your chiefs and servants mean nothing to you, because I am sure that if only Abʹsalom were alive today and the rest of us were dead, it would be all right with you.
7 Now get up, go out and reassure your servants, because by Jehovah I swear that if you do not go out, not a man will remain with you tonight. This will be worse for you than all the injury that has come upon you from your youth until now.”
8 So the king rose up and sat in the city gate, and all the people were informed: “Now the king is sitting in the gate.” Then all the people came before the king. But Israel had fled, each to his home.
9 All the people in all the tribes of Israel were disputing, saying: “The king saved us from our enemies, and he rescued us from the Philisʹtines; but now he has fled the land because of Abʹsalom.
10 And Abʹsalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in the battle. So now, why are you doing nothing to bring the king back?”
11 King David sent this message to Zaʹdok and Abiʹathar the priests: “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why should you be the last ones to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king at his house?
12 You are my brothers; you are my own bone and flesh. Why should you be the last ones to bring the king back?’
13 And you should say to Amaʹsa, ‘Are you not my own bone and flesh? So may God do to me and add to it if you will not become my army chief from now on instead of Joʹab.’”
14 So he won over the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man, and they sent word to the king: “Come back, you and all your servants.”
15 The king started back and reached the Jordan, and the people of Judah came to Gilʹgal to meet the king and to escort him across the Jordan.
16 Then Shimʹei the son of Geʹra, the Benʹjaminite from Bahuʹrim, hurried down with the men of Judah to meet King David,
17 and there were 1,000 men from Benjamin with him. Also Ziʹba, the attendant of the house of Saul, with his 15 sons and 20 servants, rushed down to the Jordan ahead of the king.
18 He crossed the ford to bring the king’s household across and to do whatever he desired. But Shimʹei the son of Geʹra fell down before the king when he was about to cross the Jordan.
19 He said to the king: “Do not let my lord hold me guilty, and do not remember the wrong your servant did on the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem. May the king not take it to heart,
20 for your servant well knows that I have sinned; so today I have been the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.”
21 At once Abishʹai the son of Zeruʹiah said: “Should not Shimʹei be put to death for this, because he cursed the anointed of Jehovah?”
22 But David said: “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruʹiah, that you should act against me today? Should anyone be put to death today in Israel? For do I not know that today I am king over Israel?”
23 Then the king said to Shimʹei: “You will not die.” And the king gave him his oath.
24 Mephibʹosheth, the grandson of Saul, also came down to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet or trimmed his mustache or washed his garments from the day the king left until the day he returned in peace.
25 When he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him: “Why did you not go with me, Mephibʹosheth?”
26 To this he said: “My lord the king, my servant tricked me. For your servant had said, ‘Let me get my donkey saddled so that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ for your servant is crippled.
27 But he slandered your servant to my lord the king. However, my lord the king is like an angel of the true God, so do whatever seems good to you.
28 All the household of my father could have been doomed to death by my lord the king, and yet you placed your servant among those eating at your table. So what right do I have to cry out further to the king?”
29 However, the king said to him: “Why keep on speaking like this? I have decided that you and Ziʹba should share the field.”
30 At this Mephibʹosheth said to the king: “Let him take it all, now that my lord the king has come to his house in peace.”
31 Then Barzilʹlai the Gilʹeadite came down from Rogeʹlim to the Jordan to escort the king to the Jordan.
32 Barzilʹlai was very old, 80 years of age, and he supplied the king with food while he was staying in Mahanaʹim, for he was a very wealthy man.
33 So the king said to Barzilʹlai: “Cross over with me, and I will supply you with food in Jerusalem.”
34 But Barzilʹlai said to the king: “How many days of my life are left that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
35 I am 80 years old today. Can I discern between good and bad? Can I, your servant, taste what I eat and drink? Can I still listen to the voice of male and female singers? So why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?
36 It is enough that your servant could bring the king to the Jordan. Why should the king repay me with this reward?
37 Let your servant return, please, and let me die in my city near the burial place of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimʹham. Let him cross over with my lord the king, and you may do for him what seems good to you.”
38 So the king said: “Chimʹham will go across with me, and I will do for him what seems good to you; whatever you ask of me I will do for you.”
39 All the people now began to cross the Jordan, and when the king crossed, the king kissed Barzilʹlai and blessed him; and Barzilʹlai returned home.
40 When the king went across to Gilʹgal, Chimʹham crossed with him. All the people of Judah and half the people of Israel brought the king across.
41 Then all the men of Israel approached the king and said to him: “Why did our brothers the men of Judah steal you away and bring the king and his household over the Jordan, along with all of David’s men?”
42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel: “Because the king is related to us. Why are you angry over this? Have we eaten anything at the king’s expense, or has a gift been given to us?”
43 However, the men of Israel answered the men of Judah: “We have ten parts in the king, so that we have a greater claim in David than you have. Why, then, have you treated us with contempt? Should we not have been first to bring our king back?” But the word of the men of Judah prevailed over that of the men of Israel.