19 And word was brought to Joab “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 And the victory turned to a mourning that day for all the men, because the men heard that day “The king is grieving for his son”; 3 and the men made their way into the city furtively as the humiliated men do when they have fled in battle; 4 and the king had wrapped his face and was crying out loudly “My son Absalom, my son, my son!”
5 And Joab went inside to the king and said “You have today shamed the faces of all your soldiers who have saved your life today and your children’s lives and the lives of your wives and concubines, 6 in loving those who hate you and hating those who love you; for you have informed us today that captains and soldiers are nothing to you; for I perceive today that if Absalom were alive and all of us dead today, then it would suit you. 7 But now get up and come out and say friendly things to your soldiers; for by Jehovah I swear, without going out you will not have a man stay with you over tonight, and that will be worse for you than all the bad things that have come over you from your boyhood to now.” 8 And the king rose and took his seat in the gate, and they told all the men “The king is sitting out in the gate”; and all the men came before the king.
But the Israelites fled to their homes. 9 And the people were all wrangling throughout the tribes of Israel, saying “The king delivered us from the clutch of our enemies; he rescued us from the clutch of the Philistines; and now he has fled out of the country out of Absalom’s way, 10 and Absalom whom we anointed over us is dead in battle,—now why are you deaf and dumb about bringing back the king?” 11* And King David sent to Priests Sadok and Abiathar the message “Tell the elders of Judah ‘Why should you be last in bringing home the king, when the talk of all Israel has reached the king? 12 You are my brothers, you are my flesh and blood, why should you be last in bringing back the king?’ 13 and to ʽAmasa say ‘You are my flesh and blood, you know; God do so to me, and more, if you shall not be general permanently in place of Joab in my service’”; 14* and he bent the hearts of all the men of Judah as if they had been one man, and they sent word to the king “Come back, you and all your soldiers.”
15 And the king came back, and arrived at the Jordan; and the Judahites had come to the Gilgal to go to meet the king, to take the king over the Jordan. 16 And Shimeʽi the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim, hastened down with the men of Judah to meet King David, 17 and with him a thousand men of Benjamin. And Siba the servant of Saul’s family, and his fifteen sons and his twenty slaves with him, rushed to the Jordan before the king, 18* and went to fording it to take the king’s family over and to do what he pleased. And Shimeʽi the son of Gera prostrated himself before the king as he came through the Jordan, 19 and said to the king “Do not charge me with crime, sir, nor remember how criminal your servant was on the day your majesty went out of Jerusalem and take note of it; 20 for your servant knows I did wrong, so here I have come today, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet your majesty.” 21 And Abishai the son of Serujah answered “Does Shimeʽi get off for this, and not die because he cursed Jehovah’s anointed?” 22 but David said “What business have you sons of Serujah to play the marplot in my affairs today? Put a man to death in Israel today, when I feel that I have become king over Israel today?” 23 and the king said to Shimeʽi “You shall not die.” And the king swore to Shimeʽi.
24 And Saul’s descendant Meribaal had come down to meet the king, and had not attended to his feet nor his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king went till the day that he came in safety. 25* And when Meribaal came to meet the king, the king said to him. “Why did you not go with me, Meribaal?” 26* and he said “Your majesty, my servant played me a trick; for your servant told him ‘Saddle me a donkey to ride on so that I can go with the king’ (because your servant is lame)— 27 and he slandered your servant to your majesty. But your majesty is like the angel of God; do as you think best. 28 For all my family had nothing but death to expect from your majesty, and you have put your servant among those who eat from your table; what further claim have I?”—and more crying out to the king. 29* And the king said to him “Why do you keep on with your talking? I say you and Siba shall share the land.” 30 And Meribaal said to the king “He may take the whole so long as your majesty has come safe home.”
31* And Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim and seen the king over the Jordan, taking leave of him at the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was very old, eighty years of age, and had provided the king with food during his stay at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man; 33* and the king said to Barzillai “Come over with me yourself, and I will provide you with food in my company at Jerusalem”; 34* but Barzillai said to the king “How much time have I to live, that I should go up to Jerusalem with your majesty? 35 I am eighty today: can I tell good from bad, or does your servant taste what I eat and what I drink, or hear singers’ voices any longer? why should your servant be a burden to your majesty any longer? 36 Your servant will go barely over the Jordan with your majesty; but why should your majesty make me this return? 37* Let your servant go back and die in my city, by the graves of my father and my mother; but your servant Kimham will go over with your majesty; do by him as you think best”; 38 and the king said “Let Kimham go over with me, and I will do by him as you think best; and anything you propose to me I will do for you.” 39* And all the people went over the Jordan, and so did the king; and the king kissed Barzillai and said good-bye to him, and he went back to his own place. 40** And the king went over to the Gilgal, and Kimham went over with him; and all the people of Judah saw the king over, and half the people of Israel too.
41 And up came all the men of Israel to the king; and they said to the king “How came it that our brothers the men of Judah stole you and brought your majesty and his family over the Jordan, and all David’s men with him?” 42* And all the men of Judah rejoined to the men of Israel “Because we are next of kin to the king; what makes you get angry over this point? have we eaten from the king, or had allowances dealt out to us?” 43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah “Ten parts of the king belong to us, and we are senior to you too; how came it you slighted us? wasn’t our proposition first? it belongs to us to bring back the king”; and the talk of the men of Judah was stiffer than the talk of the men of Israel.