1 Now it was reported to Joab that the king was weeping and mourning for his son.
2 And so the victory on that day was turned into mourning for all the people. For the people heard it said on that day, “The king is grieving over his son.”
3 And the people declined to enter the city on that day, in the manner that the people were accustomed to decline if they had turned and fled from battle.
4 And the king covered his head, and he was crying out in a great voice: “My son, Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”
5 Therefore, Joab, entering to the king in the house, said: “Today you have shamed the faces of all your servants, who saved your life, and the lives of your sons and your daughters, and the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines.
6 You love those who hate you, and you hate those who love you. And you have revealed this day that you have no concern for your leaders and for your servants. And truly, I know now that if Absalom had lived, and if we all had been killed, then it would have pleased you.
7 Now then, rise up and go out, and speak so as to make amends to your servants. For I swear to you by the Lord that if you will not go forth, not even one person will be left with you this night. And this will be worse for you than all the evils that have come to you, from your youth even to the present.”
8 Therefore, the king rose up, and he sat at the gate. And it was announced to all the people that the king was sitting at the gate. And the entire multitude went before the king. But Israel fled to their own tents.
9 And all the people were conflicted, in all the tribes of Israel, saying: “The king has freed us from the hand of our enemies. He himself saved us from the hand of the Philistines. But now he flees from the land for the sake of Absalom.
10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in the war. How long will you be silent, and not lead back the king?”
11 Then truly, king David sent to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, saying: “Speak to those greater by birth of Judah, saying: ‘Why have you arrived last to lead back the king into his house? (For the talk in all of Israel had reached the king in his house.)
12 You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why are you the last to lead back the king?’
13 And say to Amasa: ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do these things, and may he add these other things, if you will not be the leader of the military in my sight, for all time, in the place of Joab.’ ”
14 And he inclined the heart of all the men of Judah, as if one man. And they sent to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.”
15 And the king returned. And he went as far as the Jordan, and all of Judah went as far as Gilgal, so as to meet the king, and to lead him across the Jordan.
16 And Shimei, the son of Gera, the son of Benjamin, from Bahurim, hurried and descended with the men of Judah to meet king David,
17 with one thousand men from Benjamin, and with Ziba, the servant from the house of Saul. And with him were his fifteen sons and twenty servants. And going into the Jordan,
18 they crossed the fords before the king, so that they might lead across the house of the king, and might act in accord with his order. Then, Shimei, the son of Gera, prostrating himself before the king after he had now gone across the Jordan,
19 said to him: “May you not impute to me, my lord, the iniquity, nor call to mind the injuries, of your servant in the day that you, my lord the king, departed from Jerusalem. And may you not store it up in your heart, O king.
20 For as your servant, I acknowledge my sin. And for this reason, today, I arrive as the first from all the house of Joseph, and I descend to meet my lord the king.”
21 Yet truly, Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, responding, said, “Should not Shimei, because of these words, be killed, since he cursed the Christ of the Lord?”
22 And David said: “What is it to me and to all of you, O sons of Zeruiah? Why are you acting toward me this day like Satan? Why should any man be put to death on this day in Israel? Or do you not know that today I have been made king over Israel?”
23 And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And he swore to him.
24 And Mephibosheth, the son of Saul, descended to meet the king, with unwashed his feet and uncut beard. And he had not washed his garments from the day that the king had departed, until the day of his return in peace.
25 And when he had met the king at Jerusalem, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?”
26 And in response, he said: “My lord the king, my servant spurned me. And I, your servant, spoke to him so that he might saddle a donkey for me, and I might climb upon it and go with the king. For I, your servant, am lame.
27 Moreover, he also accused me, your servant, to you, my lord the king. But you, my lord the king, are like an Angel of God. Do whatever is pleasing to you.
28 For my father’s house was deserving of nothing but death before my lord the king. Yet you have placed me, your servant, among the guests of your table. Therefore, what just complaint might I have? Or what else can I cry out to the king?”
29 Then the king said to him: “Why are you still speaking? What I have spoken is fixed. You and Ziba shall divide the possessions.”
30 And Mephibosheth responded to the king, “But now let him take it all, since my lord the king has been returned peacefully into his own house.”
31 Likewise, Barzillai the Gileadite, descending from Rogelim, led the king across the Jordan, having prepared also to follow him beyond the river.
32 Now Barzillai the Gileadite was very old, that is, eighty years old. And he provided the king with sustenance when he was staying at the encampment. For indeed, he was an exceedingly rich man.
33 And so the king said to Barzillai, “Come with me, so that you may rest securely with me in Jerusalem.”
34 And Barzillai said to the king: “How many days remain in the years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
35 Today I am eighty years old. Are my senses quick to discern sweet and bitter? Or is food and drink able to delight your servant? Or can I still hear the voice of men and women singers? Why should your servant be a burden to my lord the king?
36 I, your servant, shall procede a little ways from the Jordan with you. I am not in need of this recompense.
37 But I beg you that I, your servant, may be returned and may die in my own city, and may be buried beside the sepulcher of my father and my mother. But there is your servant Chimham; let him go with you, my lord the king. And do for him whatever seems good to you.”
38 And so the king said to him: “Let Chimham cross over with me, and I will do for him whatever will be pleasing to you. And all that you ask of me, you shall obtain.”
39 And when the entire people and the king had crossed over the Jordan, the king kissed Barzillai, and he blessed him. And he returned to his own place.
40 Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him. Now all the people of Judah had led the king across, but only as much as one half part of the people of Israel were there.
41 And so, all the men of Israel, running to the king, said to him: “Why have our brothers, the men of Judah, stolen you away. And why have they led the king and his house across the Jordan, and all the men of David with him?”
42 And all the men of Judah responded to the men of Israel: “Because the king is nearer to me. Why are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten anything belonging to the king, or have any gifts been given to us?”
43 And the men of Israel responded to the men of Judah, and said: “I have the greater amount, ten parts, with the king, and so David belongs to me more so than to you. Why have you caused me injury, and why was it not announced to me first, so that I might lead back my king?” But the men of Judah answered more firmly than the men of Israel.