2 Kingdoms 18:19-19:44
19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run now and take the good news to the king, how the Lord avenged him from the hand of his enemies.” 20 And Joab said to him, “You will be no messenger of good news today, for you shall take good news another day. But on this day you shall take no good news, on account of the king’s son who is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to Hushai, “Go, tell the king what you saw.” So the Cushite bowed to Joab and left. 22 And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “But whatever happens, let me run after the Cushite.” So Joab said, “My son, why are you going to run? Come here, because you have no good news which is of use to the one going.” 23 And he said, “What if I run?” So Joab said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of Kechar and outran Hushai.
24 Now David was sitting between the two gates, and the watchman went up to the top of the gate of the wall and lifted his eyes and looked out. He saw a man running by himself. 25 Then the watchman cried out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is good news in his mouth.” And he came quickly and drew near. 26 Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called toward the gate and said, “There is another man running alone!” And the king said, “He also brings good news.”
27 So the watchman said, “I think the running of the first one resembles the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “He is a good man and comes with good news.” 28 And Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “Peace!” Then he bowed to the king with his face to the earth and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!”
29 The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “I saw a great multitude at the time of Joab’s sending the king’s servant and me your servant. I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what was happening.” 30 And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still. 31 Just then Hushai came, and he said to the king, “There is good news, my lord the king! For the Lord avenged you today, and on all those who rose against you.” 32 And the king said to Hushai, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” So Hushai answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise against you to do harm, be like that young man!”
David Mourns for Absalom
1 The king was deeply troubled, and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as went, “My son Absalom, my son. My son Absalom—why your death instead of mine; I instead of you! Absalom my son, my son!” 2 Joab was told, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 3 So the deliverance of that day was turned into mourning for all the people. For that day the people heard it said, “The king is grieving for his son.” 4 And the people crept back into the city that day like people ashamed for being cowardly in the midst of battle. 5 The king covered his face and cried out with a loud voice, “My son Absalom! Absalom, my son!”
6 And Joab came into the house before the king, and said, “Today you have disgraced all your servants who delivered you today, the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines, 7 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For today you declared that you regard neither rulers nor servants. For I perceive that if Absalom lived and all of us had died today, then it would be well-pleasing to you. 8 Now therefore, arise, go out and speak to the hearts of your servants. For I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out today, not one will stay with you tonight. And that will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now.” 9 Then the king arose and sat in the gate. And they told all the people saying, “There is the king, sitting in the gate.” So all the people came before the king, for Israel fled every man to his tent.
David’s Return to Jerusalem
10 Now all the people were in a dispute throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king saved us from all our enemies, he delivered us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he fled from the land and his kingdom because of Absalom. 11 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, died in battle. Now therefore, why do you say nothing about bringing back the king?” 12 So King David sent to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the words of all Israel have come to the king? 13 You are my brethren, you are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king into his house?’ 14 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if you are not permanent commander of the army instead of Joab.’ ” 15 The king swayed the hearts of all the men of Judah, as that of one man. And word was sent to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants!” 16 Then the king returned and came as far as the River Jordan. And the men of Judah came to Gilgal on their way to meet the king, to escort him across the River Jordan.
David Shows Mercy to Shimei
17 And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite who was from Bahurim, hastened and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 18 There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him, and they went over the Jordan before the king. 19 And they went through the ford, carrying the king’s household, and the service of escorting the king was completed, and they did what he thought good. Now Shimei the son of Gera fell on his face before the king as he was crossing the River Jordan. 20 And he said to the king, “Do not let my lord impute iniquity to me, or remember the wrong your servant did on the day when my lord the king left Jerusalem, so that the king should take it to heart. 21 For I, your servant, know that I sinned. Therefore here I am, the first to come today of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” 22 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah spoke up and said, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?” 23 And David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be adversaries to me today? Shall any man be put to death today in Israel? For I do not know today whether I am king over Israel.” 24 And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” For the king swore to him.
David Receives Mephibosheth
25 Now Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan the son of Saul came down to meet the king. And he had not cared for his feet, nor trimmed his nails or his mustache, nor washed his clothes from the day the king departed until the day he returned in peace. 26 So when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 27 And he answered, “My lord the king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself so I may ride on it and go to the king, because your servant is lame.’ 28 And he deceived your servant to my lord the king, but my lord the king is like an angel of God. Therefore do what is good in your eyes. 29 For all my father’s house were but dead men before my lord the king. Yet you set your servant among those who eat at your own table. Therefore what right do I still have to cry out any more to the king?”
30 So the king said to him, “Why are you still speaking of your affairs? I said, ‘You and Ziba divide the land.’ ” 31 Then Mephibosheth said to the king, “No, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come back in peace to his house.”
David’s Mercy to Barzillai
32 And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim and went across the River Jordan with the king to escort him across the Jordan. 33 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old, and had provided the king with supplies while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very great man. 34 And the king said to Barzillai, “Come across with me, and I will provide for your old age in Jerusalem.” 35 But Barzillai said to the king, “How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 36 I am eighty years old today. Can I discern between the good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any longer the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be a further burden to my lord the king? 37 Your servant will go a little way across the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 38 Let me your servant remain and die in my own city near the grave of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; he will cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what seems good to you.”
39 And the king answered, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good to you. Now I will do for you whatever you ask of me.” 40 Then all the people went over the Jordan, and the king crossed. And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place.
The Debate at Gilgal
41 Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. And all the people of Judah escorted the king, and half the people of Israel.
42 And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to him, “Why did our brethren, the men of Judah, steal you away and bring the king, his household, and all David’s men with him across the Jordan?” 43 So all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative of ours. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we ever eaten at the king’s expense? Or has he given us any gift?” 44 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “We have ten shares in the king; therefore we are first over you, and we also have a greater right to David than you. Why then do you despise us? Were we not the first to advise bringing back our king?” The words of the men of Judah were sharper than the words of the men of Israel.
16 Who will rise up for me against evildoers,
Or who will side with me against the workers of lawlessness?
17 If the Lord had not helped me,
My soul would have almost sojourned in Hades.
18 If I said, “My foot slipped,”
Your mercy, O Lord, helped me.
19 O Lord, according to the abundance of grief in my heart,
Your encouragements consoled my soul.
20 Shall a throne of lawlessness be present with You,
A throne that frames trouble by an ordinance?
21 They shall hunt for the soul of a righteous man
And shall condemn innocent blood.
22 And the Lord has become a place of refuge for me,
And my God, the helper of my hope;
23 And repay their lawlessness to them,
And according to their wickedness,
The Lord our God shall destroy them.
11 A portion gained hastily in the beginning
Will not be blessed at the end.
12 Do not say, “I will avenge myself on the enemy,”
But wait on the Lord, that you may be helped.
13 A weight, great and small, and a double standard,
Both are also unclean before the Lord.
14 And the one who uses these things in his pursuits will be entangled;
But a young man with holiness, his road is straight.
15 The ear hears and the eye sees;
Both are also works of the Lord.
1 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
2 “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
3 “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
4 “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Faith and Duty
(Matt. 17:19–21; Mark 9:28, 29)
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
7 “And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?
8 “But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?
9 “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
10 “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
Ten Lepers Cleansed
11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.
13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
18 “Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”