16 Aug. 2 Samuel 16:1-22

16 Aug.  Ziba takes supplies to David

“When David had passed a short way over the top of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, met him. Ziba had a row of donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 cakes of raisins, 100 cakes of figs and leather bags full of wine.”

“The king asked Ziba, ‘What are these things for?’ Ziba answered, ‘The donkeys are for your family to ride. The bread and cakes of figs are for the servants to eat. And the wine is for anyone to drink who might become weak in the desert.’”

“The king asked, ‘Where is Mephibosheth?’ Ziba answered him, ‘Mephibosheth is staying in Jerusalem because he thinks, “Today the Israelites will give my father’s kingdom back to me!”’ Then the king said to Ziba, ‘All right. Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth, I now give to you!’ Ziba said, ‘I bow to you. I hope I will always be able to please you.’”

“As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out and cursed him. He was from Saul’s family group, and his name was Shimei son of Gera. He threw stones at David and his officers, but the people and soldiers gathered all around David.”

“Shimei cursed David, saying, ‘Get out, get out, you murderer, you troublemaker. The LORD is punishing you for the people in Saul’s family you killed! You took Saul’s place as king, but now the LORD has given the kingdom to your son Absalom! Now you are ruined because you are a murderer!’”

“Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, ‘Why should this dead dog curse you, the king? Let me go over and cut off his head!’ But the king answered, ‘This does not concern you, sons of Zeruiah! If he is cursing me because the LORD told him to, who can question him?’…”

“Meanwhile, Absalom, Ahithophel and all the Israelites arrived at Jerusalem. David’s friend Hushai the Arkite came to Absalom and said to him, ‘Long live the king! Long live the king!’ Absalom asked, ‘Why are you not loyal to your friend David? Why didn’t you leave Jerusalem with your friend?’ Hushai said, ‘I belong to the one chosen by the LORD and by these people and everyone in Israel. I will stay with you. In the past I served your father. So whom should I serve now? David’s son! I will serve you as I served him.’”

“Absalom said to Ahithophel, ‘Tell us what we should do.’ Ahithophel said, ‘Your father left behind some of his slave women to take care of the palace. Have sexual relations with them. Then all Israel will hear that your father is your enemy, and all your people will be encouraged to give you more support.’”

“So they put up a tent for Absalom on the roof of the palace where everyone in Israel could see it. And Absalom had sexual relations with his father’s slave women.”

          (2 Samuel 16:1-22)

 

 

Earlier in his reign, David had taken pity on one of King Saul’s grandsons, Mephibosheth, the son of David’s great friend Jonathan (see 2 Samuel 9:1-13). It was Saul’s servant Ziba whom David had entrusted to look after Mephibosheth’s household and property: “David said to him, ‘I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You, your sons and your servants will farm the land and harvest the crops. Then your family will have food to eat. But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will always eat at my table.” (2 Samuel 9:9-10)

Ziba, now Mephibosheth’s servant, was grateful to David and had remained faithful to him. Hearing of Absalom’s intention to pursue and capture his father the king, he provided donkeys and food for the royal party to escape from Jerusalem. Mephibosheth himself, however, reckoned that Absalom’s rebellion might be to his advantage, and decided to stay behind in Jerusalem. Ziba informed David, “Mephibosheth is staying in Jerusalem because he thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will give my father’s kingdom back to me!’” (2 Samuel 16:3)

Riding on donkeys and provisioned with food for the journey, David and his party now proceeded more quickly down the desert road towards the fords across the River Jordan, which lay to the east of Jericho. On the way, Shimei, a descendent of Saul, cursed David at Bahurim on the road down to Jericho. Abishai, one of David’s followers, wanted to kill the man for his impertinence, but David forbade him to touch his opponent: “If he is cursing me because the LORD told him to, who can question him?” (2 Samuel 16:10)

Meanwhile, Absalom had arrived from Hebron and had taken over Jerusalem. Hushai, David’s friend, feigned allegiance to David’s son, and embedded himself within the newly-formed circle of Absalom’s close advisers.

Absalom proceeded to consult Ahithophel, another of David’s former advisers (see 2 Samuel 15:12), and following his advice, he lay with his father’s concubines (as Nathan had prophesied – see 2 Samuel 12:11) to demonstrate publicly his contempt for his father.

The photo shows the summit of the Mount of Olives looking across the Kidron Valley from steps leading up to the City of David.

You can read more about David and Absalom @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/30-israel-becomes-a-kingdom-under-saul-and-david/absaloms-flight-amp-his-rebellion-against-david


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