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1When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibʹosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, bearing two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a skin of wine. 2And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The asses are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” 3And the king said, “And where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem; for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.’ ” 4Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belonged to Mephibʹosheth is now yours.” And Ziba said, “I do obeisance; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.”

5When King David came to Bahuʹrim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimʹe-i, the son of Gera; and as he came he cursed continually. 6And he threw 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 Shimʹe-i said as he cursed, “Begone, begone, you man of blood, you worthless fellow! 8The Lord has avenged upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Abʹsalom. See, your ruin is on you; for you are a man of blood.”

9Then Abiʹshai the son of Zeruʹiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruʹiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” 11And David said to Abiʹshai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord has bidden him. 12It may be that the Lord will look upon my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for this cursing of me today.” 13So David and his men went on the road, while Shimʹe-i went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14And the king, and all the people who were with him, arrived weary at the Jordan; and there he refreshed himself.

15Now Abʹsalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithʹophel with him. 16And when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Abʹsalom, Hushai said to Abʹsalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17And Abʹsalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18And Hushai said to Abʹsalom, “No; for whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19And again, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? As I have served your father, so I will serve you.”

20Then Abʹsalom said to Ahithʹophel, “Give your counsel; what shall we do?” 21Ahithʹophel said to Abʹsalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” 22So they pitched a tent for Abʹsalom upon the roof; and Abʹsalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23Now in those days the counsel which Ahithʹophel gave was as if one consulted the oracle of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithʹophel esteemed, both by David and by Abʹsalom.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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