2Kings Chapter 8 (Bible Marathon Day 160)

2Kings Chapter 8 (Bible Marathon Day 160)

The Shunammite’s Return.
1
Elisha once said to the woman whose son he had restored to life: “Get ready! Leave with your household
and live wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a seven-year famine which is coming upon the
land.”a
2
The woman got ready and did as the man of God said, setting out with her household, and living in the land
of the Philistines for seven years.
3
At the end of the seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines and went out to the king to
appeal for her house and her field.
4
The king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God: “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has
done.”
5
Just as he was telling the king how his master had restored a dead person to life, the very woman whose
son Elisha had restored to life came to the king appealing for her house and field. Gehazi said, “My lord
king, this is the woman, and this is that son of hers whom Elisha restored to life.”
6
The king questioned the woman, and she told him her story. With that the king placed an official* at her
disposal, saying, “Restore all her property to her, with all that the field produced from the day she left the land
until now.”

Elisha and Hazael of Aram.*
7
b Elisha came to Damascus at a time when Ben-hadad, king of Aram, lay sick. When he was told, “The man
of God has come here,”
8
the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go call on the man of God. Consult the LORD through him,
‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”c
9
Hazael went to visit him, carrying a present, and with forty camel loads of the best goods of Damascus. On
his arrival, he stood before Elisha and said, “Your son Ben-hadad, king of Aram, has sent me to you to ask,
‘Will I recover from my sickness?’”
10
Elisha answered, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover.’ But the LORD has showed me that he will surely
die.”
11
Then he stared him down until he became ill at ease. The man of God wept,
12
and Hazael asked, “Why are you weeping, my lord?” Elisha replied, “Because I know the evil that you will
inflict upon the Israelites. You will burn their fortresses, you will slay their youth with the sword, you will dash
their little children to pieces, you will rip open their pregnant women.”d
13
Hazael exclaimed, “How can your servant, a dog* like me, do anything so important?” Elisha replied, “The
LORD has showed you to me as king over Aram.”
14
Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master, who asked, “What did Elisha tell you?” Hazael replied, “He
said, ‘You will surely recover.’”
15
The next day, however, Hazael took a cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over the king’s face, so that he
died. And Hazael succeeded him as king.

Reign of Joram of Judah.
16
* In the fifth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, Joram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, became
king.
17
He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
18
He walked in the way of the kings of Israel as the house of Ahab had done, since the daughter of Ahab was
his wife; and he did what was evil in the LORD’s sight.
19
Even so, the LORD was unwilling to destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David. For he had promised
David that he would leave him a holding in the LORD’s presence for all time.e
20
During Joram’s reign, Edom revolted against the rule of Judah and installed a king of its own.
21
Thereupon Joram with all his chariots crossed over to Zair. He arose by night and broke through the
Edomites when they had surrounded him and the commanders of his chariots. Then his army fled
homeward.
22
To this day Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah. Libnah also revolted at that time.f
23
The rest of the acts of Joram, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of
Judah.
24
Joram rested with his ancestors; he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David, and his son Ahaziah
succeeded him as king.

Reign of Ahaziah of Judah.*
25
In the twelfth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah, son of Joram, king of Judah, became king.
26
Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His
mother’s name was Athaliah, daughter of Omri, king of Israel.*
27
He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the LORD’s sight like the house of Ahab,
since he was related to them by marriage.
28
He joined Joram, son of Ahab, in battle against Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead, where the
Arameans wounded Joram.g
29
King Joram returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at
Ramah in his battle against Hazael, king of Aram. Then Ahaziah, son of Joram, king of Judah, went down to
Jezreel to visit Joram, son of Ahab, for he was sick.

* [8:6] An official: lit., “eunuch,” and perhaps actually so in this instance.

* [8:7–15] Elisha carries out the commission the Lord gave Elijah in 1 Kgs 19:15. See note on 2 Kgs 3:1–
9:13.

* [8:13] To call oneself a “dog” is to admit one’s insignificance (1 Sm 24:15; 2 Sm 9:8); it is not necessarily a
term of contempt, as in English. Hazael focuses on the question of his power, making no comment on the
atrocities Elisha predicts he will commit.

* [8:16] On the apparent contradictions among 1:17, 3:1, and this verse, see note on 3:1.

* [8:25–29] The narrative of Ahaziah’s reign, like that of Joram of Israel, lacks the standard formulaic
conclusion. The deaths of both kings, and indeed the obliteration of the whole house of Omri, will be
recounted in the story of Jehu’s insurrection.

* [8:26] It is unclear whether Athaliah was Omri’s daughter (v. 26) or his granddaughter (v. 18). Perhaps
“daughter” here is being used loosely for “female descendant.”

a. [8:1] 2 Kgs 4:18–37.

b. [8:7–15] 1 Kgs 19:15.

c. [8:8] 1 Kgs 14:1–3.

d. [8:12] 2 Kgs 13:3–7.

e. [8:19] 2 Sm 7:12–16; 1 Kgs 11:36; 15:4.

f. [8:22] Gn 27:40.

g. [8:28–29] 2 Kgs 9:14–15.

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2Samuel Chapter 24 (Bible Marathon Day 145)

2Samuel Chapter 24 (Bible Marathon Day 145)

David’s Census; the Plague.
1
The LORD’s anger against Israel flared again,a and he incited David against them: “Go, take a census of
Israel and Judah.”
2
The king therefore said to Joab and the leaders of the army who were with him, “Tour all the tribes of Israel
from Dan to Beer-sheba and register the people, that I may know their number.”
3
But Joab replied to the king: “May the LORD your God increase the number of people a hundredfold for my
lord the king to see it with his own eyes. But why does it please my lord to do a thing of this kind?”
4
However, the king’s command prevailed over Joab and the leaders of the army, so they left the king’s
presence in order to register the people of Israel.
5
Crossing the Jordan, they began near Aroer, south of the city in the wadi, and turned in the direction of Gad
toward Jazer.
6
They continued on to Gilead and to the district below Mount Hermon. Then they proceeded to Dan; from
there they turned toward Sidon,
7
going to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites, and ending up in the Negeb of
Judah, at Beer-sheba.
8
Thus they toured the whole land, reaching Jerusalem again after nine months and twenty days.
9
Joab then reported the census figures to the king: of men capable of wielding a sword, there were in Israel
eight hundred thousand, and in Judah five hundred thousand.

10
Afterward, however, David regretted having numbered the people. David said to the LORD: “I have sinned
grievously in what I have done.b Take away, LORD, your servant’s guilt, for I have acted very foolishly.”*
11
When David rose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying:
12
Go, tell David: Thus says the LORD: I am offering you three options; choose one of them, and I will give you
that.
13
Gad then went to David to inform him. He asked: “Should three years of famine come upon your land; or
three months of fleeing from your enemy while he pursues you; or is it to be three days of plague in your
land? Now consider well: what answer am I to give to him who sent me?”c
14
David answered Gad: “I am greatly distressed. But let us fall into the hand of God, whose mercy is great,
rather than into human hands.”
15
Thus David chose the plague. At the time of the wheat harvest it broke out among the people. The LORD
sent plague over Israel from morning until the time appointed, and from Dan to Beer-sheba seventy
thousand of the people died.
16
But when the angel stretched forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD changed his mind
about the calamity, and said to the angel causing the destruction among the people: Enough now! Stay your
hand.d The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.e
17
When David saw the angel who was striking the people, he said to the LORD: “It is I who have sinned; it is I,
the shepherd, who have done wrong. But these sheep, what have they done? Strike me and my father’s
family!”
David Offers Sacrifices.
18
On the same day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go and set up an altar to the LORD on the threshing
floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”
19
According to Gad’s word, David went up as the LORD had commanded.
20
Now Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants coming toward him while he was threshing
wheat. So he went out and bowed down before the king, his face to the ground.
21
Then Araunah asked, “Why does my lord the king come to his servant?” David replied, “To buy the threshing
floor from you, to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”
22
f But Araunah said to David: “Let my lord the king take it and offer up what is good in his sight. See, here are
the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing sledges and the yokes of oxen for wood.
23
All this does Araunah give to the king.” Araunah then said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept your
offering.”
24
The king, however, replied to Araunah, “No, I will buy it from you at the proper price, for I cannot sacrifice to
the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for
fifty silver shekels.
25
Then David built an altar to the LORD there, and sacrificed burnt offerings and communion offerings. The
LORD granted relief to the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel.
* [24:10] The narrative supposes that since the people belonged to the Lord rather than to the king, only the
Lord should know their exact number. Further, since such an exact numbering of the people would make it
possible for the king to exercise centralized power, imposing taxation, conscription, and expropriation upon
Israel, the story shares the view of monarchy found in 1 Sm 8:4–18. See also Nm 3:44–51, where census
taking requires an apotropaic offering.

a. [24:1–25] 1 Chr 21:1–27.

b. [24:10] 1 Sm 24:6; 1 Chr 21:7–8.

c. [24:13] 2 Sm 21:1.

d. [24:16] Gn 6:6; Ex 32:14; 1 Chr 21:15; Jon 3:10.

e. [24:16] Ex 12:23; 2 Kgs 19:35.

f. [24:22–23] 1 Sm 6:14; 1 Kgs 19:21.

2Samuel Chapter 23 (Bible Marathon Day 145)

2Samuel Chapter 23 (Bible Marathon Day 145)

The Last Words of David.*
1
These are the last words of David:

The oracle of David, son of Jesse;
the oracle of the man God raised up,
Anointed of the God of Jacob,
favorite of the Mighty One of Israel.a
2
The spirit of the LORD spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.b
3
The God of Israel spoke;
of me the Rock of Israel said,
“One who rules over humankind with justice,
who rules in the fear of God,c
4
Is like the light at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
making the land’s vegetation glisten after rain.”d
5
Is not my house firm before God?
He has made an eternal covenant with me,
set forth in detail and secured.e
Will he not bring to fruition
all my salvation and my every desire?
6
But the wicked are all like thorns to be cast away;
they cannot be taken up by hand.f
7
One wishing to touch them
must be armed with iron or the shaft of a spear.
They must be utterly consumed by fire.
David’s Warriors.
8
These are the names of David’s warriors.* Ishbaal, the son of Hachamoni, chief of the Three. He brandished
his spear over eight hundred whom he had slain in a single encounter.g
9
Next to him was Eleazar, the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the Three warriors with David at Ephes-
dammim, when they insulted the Philistines who had massed there for battle. The Israelites had retreated,h
10
but he stood there and struck down the Philistines until his hand grew tired from clutching the sword. The
LORD brought about a great victory on that day; the army turned back to rejoin Eleazar, but only to strip the
slain.
11
Next to him was Shammah, son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had assembled at Lehi, where there
was a plot of land full of lentils. The people were fleeing before the Philistines,i
12
but he took his stand in the middle of the plot, kept it safe, and cut down the Philistines. Thus the LORD
brought about a great victory. Such deeds as these the Three warriors performed.
13
Three of the Thirty chiefs went down to David in the cave of Adullam during the harvest, while a Philistine clan
was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.j
14
David was then in the stronghold, and there was a garrison of Philistines in Bethlehem.
15
Now David had a craving and said, “If only someone would give me a drink of water from the cistern by the
gate of Bethlehem!”
16
Thereupon the three warriors broke through the encampment of the Philistines, drew water from the cistern
by the gate of Bethlehem, and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it, and instead poured it out* to
the LORD,
17
saying: “The LORD forbid that I do such a thing! Could I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of
their lives?” So he refused to drink it.
18
Abishai, the brother of Joab, son of Zeruiah, was the chief of the Thirty; he brandished his spear over three
hundred whom he had slain. He made a name among the Thirty,
19
but was more famous than any of the Thirty, becoming their leader. However, he did not attain to the Three.
20
Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, a valiant man of mighty deeds, from Kabzeel, killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab.
Also, he went down and killed the lion in the cistern on a snowy day.k
21
He likewise slew an Egyptian, a huge man. The Egyptian carried a spear, but Benaiah came against him
with a staff; he wrested the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with that spear.
22
Such deeds as these Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, performed; and he made a name among the Thirty
warriors
23
but was more famous than any of the Thirty. However, he did not attain to the Three. David put him in charge
of his bodyguard.l
24
Asahel,m brother of Joab, was among the Thirty; Elhanan, son of Dodo, from Bethlehem;
25
Shammah, from En-harod; Elika, from En-harod;
26
Helez, from Beth-pelet; Ira, son of Ikkesh, from Tekoa;
27
Abiezer, from Anathoth; Sibbecai, from Husha;n
28
Zalmon, from Ahoh; Maharai, from Netophah;
29
Heled, son of Baanah, from Netophah; Ittai, son of Ribai, from Gibeah of Benjamin;
30
Benaiah, from Pirathon; Hiddai, from the valley of Gaash;
31
Abibaal, from Beth-arabah; Azmaveth, from Bahurim;
32
Eliahba, from Shaalbon; Jashen the Gunite; Jonathan,
33
son of Shammah the Hararite; Ahiam, son of Sharar the Hararite;
34
Eliphelet, son of Ahasbai, from Beth-maacah; Eliam, son of Ahithophel, from Gilo;
35
Hezrai, from Carmel; Paarai the Arbite;
36
Igal, son of Nathan, from Zobah; Bani the Gadite;
37
Zelek the Ammonite; Naharai, from Beeroth, the armor-bearer of Joab, son of Zeruiah;
38
Ira, from Jattir; Gareb, from Jattir;
39
Uriah the Hittite—thirty-seven in all.o
* [23:1–7] The last words of David: the text of this short composition is difficult in places; it views David’s
career in retrospect.

* [23:8–39] There are thirty-seven warriors in all named in this list. First there are the Three warriors most
noted for single-handed exploits (vv. 8–12). Then comes the story of a daring adventure by three unnamed
members of the larger group of the Thirty (vv. 13–17). Next come the commanders of the king’s bodyguard,
Abishai (vv. 18–19) and Benaiah (vv. 20–23), with whom must be counted Asahel (v. 24) and Joab (vv. 18,
24, 37), and finally the group of the Thirty (vv. 24–39).

* [23:16] Poured it out: as a libation.

a. [23:1] 1 Kgs 2:1–9; Sir 47:8.

b. [23:2] Is 59:21; Jer 1:9.

c. [23:3] Ps 72:1–4.

d. [23:4] Jgs 5:31; Ps 72:6.

e. [23:5] 2 Sm 7:11, 15–16; Ps 89:30; Is 55:3.

f. [23:6] Dt 13:14.

g. [23:8–39] 1 Chr 11:11–41; 27:1–15.

h. [23:9] 1 Sm 17:1.

i. [23:11] Jgs 15:9.

j. [23:13] 1 Sm 22:1; Mi 1:15.

k. [23:20] 2 Sm 8:18; 20:23; Jgs 14:6; 1 Kgs 2:29–30.

l. [23:23] 1 Sm 22:14.

m. [23:24] 2 Sm 2:18–23.

n. [23:27] 2 Sm 21:18.

o. [23:39] 2 Sm 11:3.

2Samuel Chapter 22 (Bible Marathon Day 144)

2Samuel Chapter 22 (Bible Marathon Day 144)

Song of Thanksgiving.*
1
David proclaimed the words of this song to the LORD when the LORD had rescued him from the grasp of all
his enemies and from the grasp of Saul.a
2
He said:b

O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,
3
my God, my rock of refuge!
My shield, my saving horn,*
my stronghold, my refuge,
my savior, from violence you keep me safe.c
4
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim!
I have been delivered from my enemies.
5
The breakers of death surged round about me,
the menacing floods* terrified me;
6
The cords of Sheol tightened;
the snares of death lay in wait for me.
7
In my distress I called out: LORD!
I cried out to my God;
From his temple* he heard my voice,
my cry reached his ears.
8
The earth rocked and shook;*
the foundations of the heavens trembled;
they shook as his wrath flared up.
9
Smoke rose in his nostrils,
a devouring fire from his mouth;
it kindled coals into flame.
10
He parted the heavens and came down,
a dark cloud under his feet.d
11
Mounted on a cherub* he flew,
borne along on the wings of the wind.e
12
He made darkness the cover about him,
a mass of water, heavy thunderheads.
13
From the brightness of his presence
coals were kindled to flame.
14
The LORD thundered from heaven;
the Most High made his voice resound.
15
He let fly arrows and scattered them;
lightning, and dispersed them.f
16
Then the bed of the sea appeared;
the world’s foundations lay bare,
At the roar of the LORD,
at the storming breath of his nostrils.g
17
He reached down from on high and seized me,
drew me out of the deep waters.h
18
He rescued me from my mighty enemy,
from foes too powerful for me.
19
They attacked me on a day of distress,
but the LORD came to my support.
20
He set me free in the open;
he rescued me because he loves me.
21
The LORD acknowledged my righteousness;
rewarded my clean hands.
22
For I kept the ways of the LORD;
I was not disloyal to my God.
23
His laws were all before me,
his decrees I did not cast aside.
24
I was honest toward him;
I was on guard against sin.
25
So the LORD rewarded my righteousness,
the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
26
i Toward the faithful you are faithful;*
to the honest you are honest;
27
Toward the sincere you are sincere;
but to the perverse you are devious.
28
Humble people you save,
though on the haughty your eyes look down.
29
You are my lamp, O LORD!
My God brightens the darkness about me.
30
With you I can rush an armed band,
with my God to help I can leap a wall.
31
God’s way is unerring;
the LORD’s promise is tried and true;
he is a shield for all who trust in him.j
32
Truly, who is God except the LORD?
Who but our God is the rock?
33
This God who girded me with might,
kept my way unerring,
34
Who made my feet swift as a deer’s,
set me safe on the heights,k
35
Who trained my hands for war,
my arms to bend even a bow of bronze.
36
You have given me your protecting shield,
and your help has made me great.
37
You gave me room to stride;
my feet never stumbled.
38
I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till I destroyed them.
39
I struck them down, and they did not rise;
they fell dead at my feet.
40
You girded me with strength for war;
subdued adversaries at my feet.
41
My foes you put to flight before me;
those who hated me I destroyed.
42
They cried for help, but no one saved them,
cried to the LORD but got no answer.
43
I ground them fine as the dust of the earth;
like mud in the streets I trod them down.
44
You rescued me from the strife of my people;
you made me head over nations.
A people I had not known became my slaves;
45
Foreigners cringed before me;
as soon as they heard of me they obeyed.
46
Their courage failed;
they came trembling from their fortresses.
47
The LORD lives! Blessed be my rock!
Exalted be God, the rock of my salvation.
48
O God who granted me vindication,
subdued peoples under me,
49
and helped me escape from my enemies,
Truly you have exalted me above my adversaries,
from the violent you have rescued me.
50
Thus I will proclaim you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.l
51
You have given great victories to your king,
and shown kindness to your anointed,
to David and his posterity forever.

* [22:1–51] This psalm of thanksgiving also appears in the Psalter, with a few small variants, as Ps 18. In
both places it is attributed to David. Two main sections can be distinguished. In the first part, after an
introductory stanza of praise to God (vv. 2–4), the writer describes the peril he was in (vv. 5–7), and then
poetically depicts, under the form of a theophany, God’s intervention in his behalf (vv. 8–20), concluding with
an acknowledgment of God’s justice (vv. 21–31). In the second part, God is praised for having prepared the
psalmist for war (vv. 32–35), given him victory over his enemies (vv. 36–39), whom he put to flight (vv. 40–
43), and bestowed on him dominion over many peoples (vv. 44–46). The entire song ends with an
expression of grateful praise (vv. 47–51).

* [22:3] My saving horn: my strong savior. The horn, such as that of an enraged bull, was a symbol of
strength; cf. Lk 1:69.

* [22:5–6] Breakers…floods: traditional Old Testament imagery for lethal danger, from which the Lord is
uniquely able to rescue; cf. Ps 69:2, 15–16; 89:10–11; Jon 2:3–6.

* [22:7] His temple: his heavenly abode.

* [22:8–10] The Lord’s coming is depicted by means of a storm theophany, including earthquake (vv. 8, 16)
and thunderstorm (vv. 9–15); cf. Jgs 5:4–5; Ps 29; 97:2–6; Hb 3.

* [22:11] Mounted on a cherub: in the traditional storm theophany, as here, the Lord appears with thunder,
lightning, earthquake, rain, darkness, cloud, and wind. Sometimes these are represented as his retinue;
sometimes he is said to ride upon the clouds or “the wings of the wind” (Ps 104:3). The parallelism in v. 11
suggests that the winged creatures called cherubim are imagined as bearing the Lord aloft. In the
iconography of the ark of the covenant, the Lord was “enthroned upon the cherubim”; cf. Ex 37:7–9; 1 Sm
4:4; 2 Sm 6:2; 2 Kgs 19:15; Ps 80:2; 99:1.

* [22:26–27] People are treated by God in the same way they treat him and other people.

a. [22:1] Ps 18:1.

b. [22:2–51] Ps 18:3–51.

c. [22:3] 1 Sm 2:1–2.

d. [22:10] Ps 144:5.

e. [22:11] Ex 25:18–22.

f. [22:15] Ps 144:6.

g. [22:16] Ex 15:8.

h. [22:17] Ps 144:7.

i. [22:26–27] 1 Sm 2:30.

j. [22:31] Prv 30:5.

k. [22:34] Ps 62:3; Hb 3:19.

l. [22:50] Ps 22:23; Rom 15:9.

2Samuel Chapter 21 (Bible Marathon Day 144)

2Samuel Chapter 21 (Bible Marathon Day 144)

Gibeonite Vengeance.
1
In David’s time there was a famine for three years, year after year. David sought the presence of the LORD,
who said: There is bloodguilt on Saul and his family because he put the Gibeonites to death.a
2
So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not Israelites, but survivors
of the Amorites; and although the Israelites had given them their oath, Saul had sought to kill them off in his
zeal for the Israelites and for Judah.)b
3
David said to the Gibeonites, “What must I do for you and how must I make atonement, that you may bless
the heritage of the LORD?”
4
The Gibeonites answered him, “We have no claim against Saul and his house for silver or gold, nor is it our
place to put anyone to death in Israel.” Then he said, “I will do for you whatever you propose.”
5
They said to the king, “As for the man who was exterminating us and who intended to destroy us that we
might have no place in all the territory of Israel,
6
let seven men from among his descendants be given to us, that we may execute them before the LORD in
Gibeon, on the LORD’s mountain.” The king replied, “I will give them up.”
7
The king, however, spared Meribbaal, son of Jonathan, son of Saul, because of the LORD’s oath that
formed a bond between David and Saul’s son Jonathan.c
8
But the king took Armoni and Meribbaal, the two sons that Aiah’s daughter Rizpah had borne to Saul, and
the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merob that she had borne to Adriel, son of Barzillai the Meholathite,d
9
and delivered them into the power of the Gibeonites, who then executed them on the mountain before the
LORD. The seven fell at the one time; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest—that is, at the
beginning of the barley harvest.

10
Then Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of
the harvest until rain came down on them from the heavens, fending off the birds of the heavens from settling
on them by day, and the wild animals by night.e
11
When David was informed of what Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter, the concubine of Saul, had done,
12
he went and obtained the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh-gilead, who
had stolen them away secretly from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them
at the time they defeated Saul on Gilboa.f
13
When he had brought up from there the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan, the bones of those who
had been executed were also gathered up.
14
Then the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan were buried in the land of Benjamin, at Zela, in the tomb of
his father Kish. After all that the king commanded had been carried out, God granted relief to the land.g

Exploits in Philistine Wars.
15
There was another battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his servants and fought
the Philistines, but David grew tired.
16
Dadu, a descendant of the Rephaim, whose bronze spear weighed three hundred shekels, was about to
take him captive. Dadu was girt with a new sword and thought he would kill David,
17
but Abishai, son of Zeruiah, came to help him, and struck and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men swore
to him, “You must not go out to battle with us again, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.”h
18
i After this, there was another battle with the Philistines, in Gob. On that occasion Sibbecai the Hushathite
struck down Saph, a descendant of the Rephaim.j
19
k There was another battle with the Philistines, in Gob, and Elhanan, son of Jair from Bethlehem, killed
Goliath of Gath, whose spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam.
20
There was another battle, at Gath, and there was a giant, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on
each foot—twenty-four in all. He too was descended from the Rephaim.
21
And when he insulted Israel, Jonathan, son of David’s brother Shimei, struck him down.l
22
These four were descended from the Rephaim in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his servants.
a. [21:1] 2 Sm 24:13.

b. [21:2] Jos 9:3–27.

c. [21:7] 2 Sm 9:13; 1 Sm 18:3; 20:8–10, 15–16, 42.

d. [21:8] 2 Sm 3:7.

e. [21:10] 2 Sm 3:31; 12:16.

f. [21:12] 1 Sm 31:10–13.

g. [21:14] 2 Sm 24:25.

h. [21:17] 1 Kgs 11:36; 15:4; 2 Kgs 8:19.

i. [21:18–22] 1 Chr 20:4–8.

j. [21:18] 2 Sm 23:27.

k. [21:19–20] 1 Sm 17:4, 7.

l. [21:21] 2 Sm 13:3.

2Samuel Chapter 20 (Bible Marathon Day 142)

2Samuel Chapter 20 (Bible Marathon Day 142)

Sheba’s Rebellion.
1
Now a scoundrel named Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite, happened to be there. He sounded the horn and cried out,

“We have no share in David,
nor any heritage in the son of Jesse.
Everyone to your tents, O Israel!”a
2
So all the Israelites left David to follow Sheba, son of Bichri. But the Judahites, from the Jordan to Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.
3
David came to his house in Jerusalem, and the king took the ten concubines whom he had left behind to care for the palace and placed them under guard. He provided for them, but never again saw them. And so they remained shut away to the day of their death, lifelong widows.b

Amasa’s Death.
4
Then the king said to Amasa: “Summon the Judahites for me within three days. Then present yourself here.”c
5
Accordingly Amasa set out to summon Judah, but delayed beyond the time set for him.
6
Then David said to Abishai: “Sheba, son of Bichri, may now do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he find fortified cities and take shelter while we look on.”
7
So Joab and the Cherethites and Pelethites and all the warriors marched out behind Abishai from Jerusalem to campaign in pursuit of Sheba, son of Bichri.d
8
* They were at the great stone in Gibeon when Amasa met them. Now Joab had a belt over his tunic, from which was slung a sword in its sheath at his thigh; the sword would slide out downwards.e
9
Joab asked Amasa, “Is everything all right, my brother?” and with his right hand held Amasa’s beard as if to kiss him.
10
And since Amasa was not on his guard against the sword in Joab’s other hand, Joab stabbed him in the abdomen with it, so that his entrails burst forth to the ground, and he died; there was no second thrust. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba, son of Bichri.f
11
One of Joab’s attendants stood by Amasa and said, “Let him who favors Joab and is for David follow Joab.”
12
Amasa lay covered with blood in the middle of the highroad, and the man noticed that all the soldiers were stopping. So he rolled Amasa away from the road to the field and spread a garment over him, because he saw how all who came upon him were stopping.
13
When he had been removed from the road, everyone went on after Joab in pursuit of Sheba, son of Bichri.
Joab Pursues Sheba.
14
Sheba had passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth-maacah. Then all the Bichrites assembled and they too entered the city after him.
15
So all Joab’s troops came and besieged him in Abel Beth-maacah. They built up a mound against the city, so that it stood against the rampart, and were battering the wall to knock it down.
16
Then a wise woman from the city called out, “Listen, listen! Tell Joab, ‘Come here, so I can speak with you.’”
17
When Joab had come near her, the woman said, “Are you Joab?” And he replied, “Yes.” She said to him, “Listen to what your servant has to say.” He replied, “I am listening.”
18
Then she went on to say: “There is a saying from long ago,* ‘Let them ask if they will in Abel or in Dan whether loyalty is finished
19
or ended in Israel.’ You are seeking to batter down a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you wish to swallow up the heritage of the LORD?”g
20
Joab answered, “Not at all, not at all! I do not wish to swallow or batter anything.
21
That is not the case at all. A man from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name is Sheba, son of Bichri, has rebelled against King David. Give him up, just him, and I will withdraw from the city.” Then the woman said to Joab, “His head shall be thrown to you across the wall.”
22
In her wisdom, the woman went to all the people, and they cut off the head of Sheba, son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. He then sounded the horn, and they scattered from the city to their own tents, while Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

David’s Officials.
23
Joab was in command of the whole army of Israel. Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was in command of the Cherethites and Pelethites.h
24
Adoram was in charge of the forced labor. Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, was the chancellor.
25
Shawsha was the scribe. Zadok and Abiathar were priests.i
26
Ira the Jairite was also David’s priest.

* [20:8] The text of this verse is quite uncertain.

* [20:18–19] This proverbial expression is obscure but seems to reflect a tradition that this Danite town was associated with oracles or other sorts of revelation. Cf. Mt 16:13–17; and the intertestamental Testament of Levi 2:3.

a. [20:1] 1 Kgs 12:16.

b. [20:3] 2 Sm 15:16; 16:20–22.

c. [20:4] 2 Sm 17:25; 19:14.

d. [20:7] 2 Sm 8:18.

e. [20:8] 2 Sm 2:13.

f. [20:10] 1 Kgs 2:5.

g. [20:19] Gn 49:16.

h. [20:23] 2 Sm 8:16–18; 23:20.

i. [20:25] 2 Sm 8:17–18.

2Samuel Chapter 19 (Bible Marathon Day 143)

2Samuel Chapter 19 (Bible Marathon Day 143)

1 The king was shaken, and went up to the room over the city gate and wept. He said as he wept, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”

Joab Reproves David.
2
Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom,”
3
and that day’s victory was turned into mourning for the whole army when they heard, “The king is grieving for his son.”
4
The soldiers stole into the city that day like men shamed by flight in battle.
5
Meanwhile the king covered his face and cried out in a loud voice, “My son Absalom! Absalom! My son, my son!”a
6
So Joab went to the king’s residence and said: “Though they saved your life and your sons’ and daughters’ lives, and the lives of your wives and your concubines, you have put all your servants to shame today
7
by loving those who hate you and hating those who love you. For you have announced today that officers and servants are nothing to you. Indeed I am now certain that if Absalom were alive today and all of us dead, that would be fine with you.
8
Now then, get up! Go out and speak kindly to your servants. I swear by the LORD that if you do not go out, not a single man will remain with you overnight, and this will be a far greater disaster for you than any that has come upon you from your youth until now.”
9
So the king got up and sat at the gate. When all the people were told, “The king is sitting at the gate,” they came into his presence.

The Reconciliation. Now the Israelites had fled to their separate tents,
10
but throughout the tribes of Israel all the people were arguing among themselves, saying to one another: “The king delivered us from the grasp of our enemies, and it was he who rescued us from the grasp of the Philistines. Now, he has fled the country before Absalom,
11
but Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Why, then, should you remain silent about restoring the king to his palace?” When the talk of all Israel reached the king,
12
David sent word to the priests Zadok and Abiathar: “Say to the elders of Judah: ‘Why should you be last to restore the king to his palace?
13
You are my brothers, you are my bone and flesh. Why should you be last to restore the king?’
14
Also say to Amasa: ‘Are you not my bone and flesh? May God do thus to me, and more, if you do not become commander of my army permanently in place of Joab.’”b
15
He won the hearts of the Judahites all together, and so they sent a message to the king: “Return, with all your servants.”

David and Shimei.
16
So the king returned, and when he reached the Jordan, Judah had come to Gilgal to meet him and to bring him across the Jordan.
17
Shimei, son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, hurried down with the Judahites to meet King David,c
18
accompanied by a thousand men from Benjamin. Ziba, too, the servant of the house of Saul, accompanied by his fifteen sons and twenty servants, hastened to the Jordan before the king.d
19
e They crossed over the ford to bring the king’s household over and to do whatever he wished. When Shimei, son of Gera, crossed the Jordan, he fell down before the king
20
and said to him: “May my lord not hold me guilty; do not remember or take to heart the wrong that your servant did the day my lord the king left Jerusalem.
21
For your servant knows that I have done wrong. But I now am the first of the whole house of Joseph to come down today to meet my lord the king.”
22
But Abishai, son of Zeruiah, countered: “Shimei must be put to death for this. He cursed the anointed of the LORD.”
23
David replied: “What has come between you and me, sons of Zeruiah, that you would become my adversaries this day? Should anyone die today in Israel? Am I not aware that today I am king over Israel?”f
24
Then the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king gave him his oath.

David and Meribbaal.
25
Meribbaal, son of Saul, also went down to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet nor trimmed his mustache nor washed his clothes from the day the king left until he returned safely.
26
When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why did you not go with me, Meribbaal?”g
27
He replied: “My lord king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said to him, ‘Saddle the donkey for me, that I may ride on it and go with the king’; your servant is lame.h
28
But he slandered your servant before my lord the king. But my lord the king is like an angel of God. Do whatever seems good to you.
29
For though my father’s entire house deserved only death from my lord the king, yet you placed your servant among those who eat at your table. What right do I still have to make further appeal to the king?”i
30
But the king said to him: “Why do you go on talking? I say, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the property.’”j
31
Meribbaal answered the king, “Indeed let him take it all, now that my lord the king has returned safely to his house.”

David and Barzillai.
32
Barzillai the Gileadite also came down from Rogelim and escorted the king to the Jordan for his crossing, taking leave of him at the Jordan.k
33
It was Barzillai, a very old man of eighty, who had provided for the king during his stay in Mahanaim; he was a very great man.
34
The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me, and I will provide for your old age as my guest in Jerusalem.”
35
But Barzillai answered the king: “How much longer have I to live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king?
36
I am now eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and evil? Can your servant taste what he eats and drinks, or still hear the voices of men and women singers? Why should your servant be any further burden to my lord the king?
37
In escorting the king across the Jordan, your servant is doing little enough! Why should the king give me this reward?
38
Please let your servant go back to die in my own city by the tomb of my father and mother. Here is your servant Chimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him whatever seems good to you.”
39
Then the king said to him, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and for him I will do whatever seems good to you. And anything else you would like me to do for you, I will do.”
40
Then all the people crossed over the Jordan but the king remained; he kissed Barzillai and bade him farewell as he returned to his own place.
41
Finally the king crossed over to Gilgal, accompanied by Chimham.
Israel and Judah Quarrel. All of the people of Judah and half of the people of Israel had escorted the king across.
42
But then all these Israelites began coming to the king and saying, “Why did our brothers the Judahites steal you away and bring the king and his household across the Jordan, along with all David’s men?”
43
All the Judahites replied to the men of Israel: “Because the king is our relative. Why are you angry over this? Have we had anything to eat at the king’s expense? Or have portions from his table been given to us?”
44
The Israelites answered the Judahites: “We have ten shares in the king. Also, we are the firstborn* rather than you. Why do you slight us? Were we not first to speak of restoring our king?” Then the Judahites in turn spoke even more fiercely than the Israelites.l

* [19:44] The firstborn had special rights over the other siblings.

a. [19:5] 2 Sm 15:30.

b. [19:14] 2 Sm 17:25; 20:4.

c. [19:17] 2 Sm 16:5–13.

d. [19:18] 2 Sm 16:1–4; 19:25–31.

e. [19:19–24] 2 Sm 16:13; Ex 22:27; 1 Kgs 2:8–9.

f. [19:23] 2 Sm 16:9–10; 1 Sm 11:13; 1 Kgs 2:8–9, 36–46.

g. [19:26] 2 Sm 16:3.

h. [19:27] 2 Sm 9:2–13.

i. [19:29] 2 Sm 9:9–11.

j. [19:30] 2 Sm 16:4.

k. [19:32] 2 Sm 17:27–29; 1 Kgs 2:7; Ezr 2:61.

l. [19:44] 1 Kgs 11:31.

2Samuel Chapter 18 (Bible Marathon Day 142)

2Samuel Chapter 18 (Bible Marathon Day 142)

Preparation for Battle.
1
After mustering the troops he had with him, David placed officers in command of units of a thousand and
units of a hundred.
2
David then divided the troops three ways, a third under Joab, a third under Abishai, son of Zeruiah and
brother of Joab, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the troops, “I intend to go out with you
myself.”
3
But they replied: “You must not come out with us. For if we flee, no one will care; even if half of us die, no one
will care. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that we have you to help us from the city.”
4
The king said to them, “I will do what you think best.” So the king stood by the gate as all the soldiers
marched out in units of a hundred and a thousand.
5
But the king gave this command to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “Be gentle with young Absalom for my sake.” All
the soldiers heard as the king gave commands to the various leaders with regard to Absalom.

Defeat of Absalom’s Forces.
6
David’s army then took the field against Israel, and a battle was fought in the forest near Mahanaim.
7
The forces of Israel were defeated by David’s servants, and the casualties there that day were heavy—twenty
thousand men.
8
The battle spread out over that entire region, and the forest consumed more combatants that day than did
the sword.

Death of Absalom.
9
Absalom unexpectedly came up against David’s servants. He was mounted on a mule, and, as the mule
passed under the branches of a large oak tree, his hair caught fast in the tree. He hung between heaven
and earth while the mule under him kept going.
10
Someone saw this and reported to Joab, “I saw Absalom hanging from an oak tree.”
11
Joab said to the man who told him this: “If you saw him, why did you not strike him to the ground on the spot?
Then it would have been my duty to give you fifty pieces of silver and a belt.”
12
But the man replied to Joab: “Even if I already held a thousand pieces of silver in my two hands, I would not
lay a hand on the king’s son, for in our hearing the king gave you and Abishai and Ittai a command: ‘Protect
the youth Absalom for my sake.’
13
Had I been disloyal and killed him, it would all have come out before the king, and you would stand aloof.”
14
Joab replied, “I will not waste time with you in this way.” And taking three pikes in hand, he thrust for the heart
of Absalom. He was still alive in the tree.a
15
When ten of Joab’s young armor-bearers closed in on Absalom, and killed him with further blows,
16
Joab then sounded the horn, and the soldiers turned back from the pursuit of the Israelites, because Joab
called them to halt.
17
They took Absalom and cast him into a deep pit in the forest, and built up a very large mound of stones over
him. And all the Israelites fled to their own tents.b
18
During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and set it up for himself in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have
no son to perpetuate my name.” The pillar which he named for himself is called Absalom’s Monument to the
present day.c

David Told of Absalom’s Death.
19
Then Ahimaaz, son of Zadok, said, “Let me run to take the good news to the king that the LORD has set him
free from the power of his enemies.”
20
But Joab said to him: “You are not the man to bring the news today. On some other day you may take the
good news, but today you would not be bringing good news, for in fact the king’s son is dead.”
21
Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed to Joab and ran off.
22
But Ahimaaz, son of Zadok, said to Joab again, “Come what may, permit me also to run after the Cushite.”
Joab replied: “Why do you want to run, my son? You will receive no reward.”
23
But he insisted, “Come what may, I want to run.” Joab said to him, “Run.” Ahimaaz took the way of the Jordan
plain and outran the Cushite.
24
Now David was sitting between the two gates, and a lookout mounted to the roof of the gate above the city
wall, where he looked out and saw a man running all alone.
25
The lookout shouted to inform the king, who said, “If he is alone, he has good news to report.” As he kept
coming nearer,
26
the lookout spied another runner. From his place atop the gate he cried out, “There is another man running
by himself.” And the king responded, “He, too, is bringing good news.”
27
Then the lookout said, “I notice that the first one runs like Ahimaaz, son of Zadok.” The king replied, “He is a
good man; he comes with good news.”d
28
Then Ahimaaz called out and greeted the king. With face to the ground he paid homage to the king and
said, “Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who rebelled against my lord the
king.”
29
But the king asked, “Is young Absalom safe?” And Ahimaaz replied, “I saw a great disturbance when the
king’s servant Joab sent your servant on, but I do not know what it was.”
30
The king said, “Step aside and remain in attendance here.” So he stepped aside and remained there.
31
When the Cushite came in, he said, “Let my lord the king receive the good news that this day the LORD has
freed you from the power of all who rose up against you.”
32
But the king asked the Cushite, “Is young Absalom all right?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my
lord the king and all who rebel against you with evil intent be as that young man!”

a. [18:14] 2 Sm 12:10; 13:28–29.

b. [18:17] Jos 7:26; 8:29; 10:27.

c. [18:18] 2 Sm 14:27.

d. [18:27] 2 Kgs 9:20.

2Samuel Chapter 17 (Bible Marathon Day 142)

2Samuel Chapter 17 (Bible Marathon Day 142)

1
Ahithophel went on to say to Absalom: “Let me choose twelve thousand men and be off in pursuit of David
tonight.
2
If I come upon him when he is weary and discouraged, I shall cause him panic, and all the people with him
will flee, and I shall strike down the king alone.
3
Then I can bring back the rest of the people to you, as a bride returns to her husband. It is the death of only
one man you are seeking; then all the people will be at peace.”
4
This plan sounded good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

Counsel of Hushai.
5
Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also; let us hear what he too has to say.”
6
When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him: “This is Ahithophel’s plan. Shall we follow his plan? If
not, give your own.”
7
Hushai replied to Absalom, “This time Ahithophel has not given good counsel.”
8
And he went on to say: “You know that your father and his men are warriors, and that they are as fierce as a
bear in the wild robbed of her cubs. Moreover, since your father is a skilled fighter, he will not spend the night
with the army.a
9
Even now he lies hidden in one of the caves or in one of his other places. And if some of our soldiers should
fall at the first attack, whoever hears of it will say, ‘Absalom’s followers have been slaughtered.’
10
Then even the brave man with the heart of a lion—his heart will melt. For all Israel knows that your father is a
fighter and those who are with him are brave.
11
This is what I counsel: Let all Israel be assembled, from Dan to Beer-sheba, as numerous as the sands by
the sea, and you yourself go with them.
12
We can then attack him wherever we find him, settling down upon him as dew alights on the ground. None
shall survive—neither he nor any of his followers.
13
And if he retires into a city, all Israel shall bring ropes to that city and we can drag it into the gorge, so that not
even a pebble of it can be found.”
14
Then Absalom and all the Israelites said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of
Ahithophel.” For the LORD had commanded that Ahithophel’s good counsel should be thwarted, so that he
might bring Absalom to ruin.b

David Told of the Plan.
15
Then Hushai said to the priests Zadok and Abiathar: “This is the counsel Ahithophel gave Absalom and the
elders of Israel, and this is what I counseled.
16
So send a warning to David immediately: ‘Do not spend the night at the fords near the wilderness, but cross
over without fail. Otherwise the king and all the people with him will be destroyed.’”
17
Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel. A maidservant was to come with information for them,
and they in turn were to go and report to King David. They could not risk being seen entering the city,
18
but an attendant did see them and informed Absalom. They hurried on their way and reached the house of a
man in Bahurim who had a cistern in his courtyard. They let themselves down into it,
19
and the woman took the cover and spread it over the mouth of the cistern, strewing crushed grain on the
cover so that nothing could be noticed.
20
When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and
Jonathan?” The woman replied, “They went by a short while ago toward the water.” They searched, but
found no one, and so returned to Jerusalem.
21
As soon as they left, Ahimaaz and Jonathan came up out of the cistern and went on to report to King David.
They said to him: “Leave! Cross the water at once, for Ahithophel has given such and such counsel in
regard to you.”
22
So David and all his people moved on and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, there was no one left who had
not crossed.
23
When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not acted upon, he saddled his donkey and departed, going to
his home in his own city. Then, having left orders concerning his household, he hanged himself. And so he
died and was buried in his father’s tomb.c
24
Now David had arrived at Mahanaim while Absalom crossed the Jordan accompanied by all the Israelites.
25
Absalom had put Amasa in command of the army in Joab’s place. Amasa was the son of an Ishmaelite
named Ithra, who had married Abigail, daughter of Jesse and sister of Joab’s mother Zeruiah.d
26
Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.
27
When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi, son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Machir, son of
Ammiel from Lodebar, and Barzillai, the Gileadite from Rogelim,e
28
brought beds and covers, basins and pottery, as well as wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils,
29
honey, and butter and cheese from the flocks and herds, for David and those who were with him to eat; for
they said, “The people will be hungry and tired and thirsty in the wilderness.”

a. [17:8] Hos 13:8.

b. [17:14] 2 Sm 15:31, 34.

c. [17:23] 2 Sm 15:31; 16:23.

d. [17:25] 2 Sm 19:14; 20:4–13.

e. [17:27] 2 Sm 9:4; 19:32; 1 Kgs 2:7; Ezr 2:61.

2Samuel Chapter 16 (Bible Marathon Day 141)

2Samuel Chapter 16 (Bible Marathon Day 141)

David and Ziba.
1
David went a little beyond the top and Ziba, the servant of Meribbaal, was there to meet him with saddled
donkeys laden with two hundred loaves of bread, an ephah of cakes of pressed raisins, an ephah of
summer fruits, and a skin of wine.a
2
The king said to Ziba, “What are you doing with all this?” Ziba replied: “The donkeys are for the king’s
household to ride on. The bread and summer fruits are for your servants to eat, and the wine to drink when
they grow weary in the wilderness.”
3
Then the king said, “And where is your lord’s son?” Ziba answered the king, “He is staying in Jerusalem, for
he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore to me my father’s kingdom.’”b
4
The king therefore said to Ziba, “So! Everything Meribbaal had is yours.” Then Ziba said: “I pay you homage,
my lord the king. May I find favor with you!”c

David and Shimei.
5
As King David was approaching Bahurim, there was a man coming out; he was of the same clan as the
house of Saul, and his name was Shimei, son of Gera. He kept cursing as he came out,d
6
and throwing stones at David and at all King David’s officers, even though all the soldiers, including the royal
guard, were on David’s right and on his left.
7
Shimei was saying as he cursed: “Get out! Get out! You man of blood, you scoundrel!
8
The LORD has paid you back for all the blood shed from the family of Saul,* whom you replaced as king,
and the LORD has handed over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now look at you: you suffer ruin
because you are a man of blood.”
9
Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over
and take off his head.”e
10
But the king replied: “What business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses? Suppose the
LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, ‘Why are you doing this?’”f
11
Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants: “If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking
my life, how much more might this Benjaminite do so! Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told
him to.g
12
Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and repay me with good for the curses he is uttering this day.”
13
David and his men continued on the road, while Shimei kept up with them on the hillside, all the while
cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.h
14
The king and all the soldiers with him arrived at the Jordan tired out, and stopped there to rest.

Absalom’s Counselors.
15
In the meantime Absalom, with all the Israelites, entered Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him.
16
When David’s friend Hushai the Archite came to Absalom, he said to him: “Long live the king! Long live the
king!”i
17
But Absalom asked Hushai: “Is this your devotion to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?”
18
Hushai replied to Absalom: “On the contrary, I am his whom the LORD and all this people and all Israel have
chosen, and with him I will stay.
19
Furthermore, as I was in attendance upon your father, so will I be before you. Whom should I serve, if not his
son?”j
20
Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Offer your counsel on what we should do.”
21
Ahithophel replied to Absalom: “Go to your father’s concubines, whom he left behind to take care of the
palace. When all Israel hears how odious you have made yourself to your father, all those on your side will
take courage.”k
22
So a tent was pitched on the roof for Absalom, and Absalom went to his father’s concubines in view of all
Israel.l
Counsel of Ahithophel.
23
Now the counsel given by Ahithophel at that time was as though one sought the word of God. Such was all
the counsel of Ahithophel both to David and to Absalom.m

* [16:8] Blood shed…Saul: probably refers to the episode recounted in 21:1–14.

a. [16:1] 2 Sm 4:4; 9:1–13; 19:18, 25.

b. [16:3] 2 Sm 19:26–27.

c. [16:4] 2 Sm 19:30.

d. [16:5] 2 Sm 3:16; 19:17, 22–23; 1 Kgs 2:8.

e. [16:9] 2 Sm 19:22; 1 Sm 24:15; 26:6.

f. [16:10] 2 Sm 15:25–26; 19:23.

g. [16:11] 2 Sm 12:11.

h. [16:13] 2 Sm 19:19–24.

i. [16:16] 2 Sm 15:32–37.

j. [16:19] 2 Sm 15:34.

k. [16:21] 2 Sm 15:16; 20:3.

l. [16:22] 2 Sm 12:11–12.

m. [16:23] 2 Sm 15:12, 31; 17:23.