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The New King James Version

2 Samuel 15:12–16:13

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12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, oDavid’s counselor, from his city—from pGiloh—while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom qcontinually increased in number.

David Escapes from Jerusalem

13 Now a messenger came to David, saying, r“The hearts of the men of Israel are 5with Absalom.”

14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us sflee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands.” 16 Then tthe king went out with all his household after him. But the king left uten women, concubines, to keep the house. 17 And the king went out with all the people after him, and stopped at the outskirts. 18 Then all his servants passed 6before him; vand all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, wsix hundred men who had followed him from Gath, passed before the king.

19 Then the king said to xIttai the Gittite, “Why are you also going with us? Return and remain with the king. For you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place. 20 In fact, you came only yesterday. Should I make you wander up and down with us today, since I go yI know not where? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you.”

21 But Ittai answered the king and said, zAs the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be.”

22 So David said to Ittai, “Go, and cross over.” Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over. 23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the awilderness.

24 There was bZadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the cark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and dAbiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He ewill bring me back and show me both it and fHis dwelling place. 26 But if He says thus: ‘I have no gdelight in you,’ here I am, hlet Him do to me as seems good to Him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a iseer? 7Return to the city in peace, and jyour two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, kI will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.

30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he lhad his head covered and went mbarefoot. And all the people who were with him ncovered their heads and went up, oweeping as they went up. 31 Then someone told David, saying, p“Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, qturn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”

32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God—there was Hushai the rArchite coming to meet him swith his robe torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, then you will become ta burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, u‘I will be your servant, O king; as I was your father’s servant previously, so I will now also be your servant,’ then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35 And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall tell to vZadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Indeed they have there wwith them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything you hear.”

37 So Hushai, xDavid’s friend, went into the city. yAnd Absalom came into Jerusalem.

Mephibosheth’s Servant

16 When aDavid was a little past the top of the mountain, there was bZiba the servant of Mephibosheth, who met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred summer fruits, and a skin of wine. And the king said to Ziba, “What do you mean to do with these?”

So Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for cthose who are faint in the wilderness to drink.”

Then the king said, “And where is your dmaster’s son?”

eAnd Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.’ ”

So the king said to Ziba, “Here, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.”

And Ziba said, “I humbly bow before you, that I may find favor in your sight, my lord, O king!”

Shimei Curses David

Now when King David came to fBahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was gShimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And 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. Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You 1bloodthirsty man, hyou 2rogue! The Lord has ibrought upon you all jthe blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a 3bloodthirsty man!”

Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this kdead dog lcurse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!”

10 But the king said, m“What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because nthe Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ oWho then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ”

11 And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how pmy son who qcame from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on 4my affliction, and that the Lord will rrepay me with sgood for his cursing this day.” 13 And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and 5kicked up dust.

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