2 Kingdoms 16-18:18
1 When David was a little past the top of the mountain, there was Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth, who met him with a couple of saddled donkeys. And on them were two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred dates, and a skin of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, “Why do you have these?”
So Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and dates for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who are faint in the desert from lack of drink.” 3 Then the king said, “And where is your master’s son?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore my father’s kingdom to me.’ ”
4 So the king said to Ziba, “Here, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.” And Ziba bowed and said, “May I find favor in your eyes, lord, my king!”
David Cursed by Shimei
5 Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man coming from there from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera. As he came out, he was cursing continuously, 6 casting stones at David and all the servants of David, and at all the people and all the mighty men on the right and on the left hand of the king. 7 And Shimei cursed him and said, “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you unlawful man! 8 The Lord brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul because you reign in his place. And the Lord now gives the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil because you are a bloodthirsty man!”
9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why is this dead dog cursing my lord the king? I will go over and take off his head!” 10 But the king said, “What do I have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Leave him alone and let him curse, because the Lord told him to curse David. Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” 11 And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. Still more now may the son of Benjamin! Let him curse, because the Lord told him. 12 May the Lord somehow look on my humiliation, and may He turn his cursing of me this day into good.” 13 And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, throwing stones alongside him and kicking up dust. 14 Now the king and all the people with him were becoming thirsty, so they refreshed themselves there.
Absalom Enters Jerusalem
15 Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him. 16 And when Hushai the Archite, David’s companion, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king!” 17 So Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this the mercy you show to your companion? Why did you not go with your companion?” 18 And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, I am following the one that the Lord, these people, and all the men of Israel choose. I will be his, and I will remain with him. 19 Should I not serve the next one? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? I will be in your presence as I served in your father’s presence.”
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give counsel as to what we should do.” 21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you dishonored your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
23 Now the counsel of Ahithophel which he gave in those days was treated as if he obtained it after inquiring the word of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel, both to David and to Absalom.
1 In those days, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose for myself twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. 2 I will come upon him while he is weary and weak and make him confused. And all the people who are with him will flee, and I will strike only the king. 3 I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband, except the life of the one man whom you seek. Then all the people will be at peace.” 4 The saying pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.
Hushai Misinforms Absalom
5 Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite, and let us hear what he says as well.” 6 When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel spoke in this manner. Shall we do as he says? If not, speak up.”
7 So Hushai said to Absalom, “The advice that Ahithophel gave is not good at this time.” 8 Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are very mighty and bitter in their souls, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field, or like a savage boar in the pasture. And your father is a man of war and will not camp with the people. 9 Surely by now he is hidden in one of the hills, or in some other place. And when at first some of them are overthrown, whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even he who is valiant, whose heart is like that of a lion, will melt completely. For all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 Therefore I advise all Israel to gather to you, from Dan to Beersheba, like the multitude of sand along the sea, with you yourself standing in the midst of them. 12 So we will come upon him in one of the places where we may find him, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground. And we will not leave one of all the men with him. 13 Moreover, if he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will pull it into the river until not one small stone is left.”
14 So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the Lord commanded we reject the good counsel of Ahithophel, if perchance the Lord might bring all evil upon Absalom.”
David Is Warned to Flee
15 Then Hushai the Archite said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Thus and so Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so I have advised. 16 Now quickly send and tell David the following, ‘Do not remain lodged this night in Araboth of the desert wilderness. Make haste and go quickly, lest perchance one swallow up the king, and with him all the people.’ ”
17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stood by the well at Rogel awaiting a handmaid to report to them. Then they would go and tell King David, for they dared not be seen coming into and going out of the city. 18 Nevertheless, a lad saw them and told Absalom. But the two men went away quickly and came to a man’s house in Bahurim. He had a reservoir for water in his court, and they went down into it. 19 Then the woman spread a covering over the opening to the pit, and she put grain on it in need of drying to disguise what was happening. 20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” So the woman said to them, “They passed a while ago for water.” The men searched, but found no one, and returned to Jerusalem. 21 Now after they departed, the two men came up out of the pit and went on to tell King David. They said to David, “Arise and quickly cross over the water. For thus did Ahithophel counsel concerning you.” 22 So David and all the people with him arose and crossed over the River Jordan before morning light. Not one of them was left who did not cross over the River Jordan. 23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he arose and saddled a donkey and went to his house in the city. He gave final orders to his household, and he hanged himself and died. He was buried in his father’s tomb.
24 David went through the desert wilderness to Mahanaim, while Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Absalom appointed Amasa captain over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Jithra, an Israelite who had gone in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 So all Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27 Now when David came to Mahanaim, he was met by Shobi the son of Nahash, from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim. 28 They brought ten beds and tapestries, ten basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched seeds, 29 honey and butter, sheep, and cheese of the herd, and they offered them to David and the people with him to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the desert.”
1 David considered the people with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2 Then David sent out one third of the people under the hand of Joab, one third under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the hand of Ittai the Gathite. And David said to the people, “I myself will surely go out with you as well.” 3 But they answered, “You shall not go out! For if we flee away, they will not care about us. Nor will they care about us if half of us die. You are worth ten thousand of us. And now it is well that you will be more help to us in the city.” 4 Then the king said to them, “I will do whatever seems best to you.” So the king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 The king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, “For my sake, deal gently with the young man Absalom.” And the people heard the king give orders to all the captains concerning Absalom.
6 So the people went out into the thicket against Israel. And the battle was in the thicket of Ephraim. 7 The people of Israel were overthrown there before the servants of David, and a great slaughter of twenty thousand men took place there that day. 8 And the battle itself was scattered over the face of all the countryside; and the thicket of woods devoured more of the people that day than did the sword.
9 Then Absalom met the servants of David. Absalom rode on his mule. The mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak tree, and his head caught in the oak, so he was left hanging between heaven and earth. And the mule that was under him went on.
10 Now a certain man saw it and told Joab, saying, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree!” 11 So Joab said to the man who told him, “You just saw him, and did not dislodge him so he could fall to the ground? Why? I would have given you ten shekels of silver and a belt.” 12 But the man said to Joab, “Though I were to receive a thousand shekels of silver in my hand, I would not raise my hand against the king’s son. For in our hearing, the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for me! 13 Do not deal with his life in a dishonorable way.’ For there is nothing hidden from the king, and you yourself would have set yourself against him.”
14 Then Joab said, “I will make preparation for this, and thus I will not linger with you.” Joab took three spears in his hand and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the grip of the oak tree. 15 Then ten young men who bore Joab’s armor surrounded Absalom and struck and killed him. 16 So Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel. For Joab spared the people. 17 And they took Absalom and cast him into a large chasm in the thicket, into a great pit, and laid a very large heap of stones over him. Then all Israel fled, everyone to his tent. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up a pillar for himself in the King’s Valley. For he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar Absalom’s Hand, and that is what it is called to this day.
1 A psalm by David; for the fourth day of the week.
The Lord is the God of vengeance;
The God of vengeance declares Himself boldly.
2 Be exalted, O You who judge the earth;
Render the arrogant their reward.
3 How long will sinners, O Lord,
How long will sinners boast,
4 How long will they utter and speak wrongdoing,
How long will all who work lawlessness speak?
5 They humbled Your people, O Lord,
And they maltreated Your inheritance;
6 They killed the widow and the resident alien,
And they murdered the orphans,
7 And said, “The Lord will not see;
Nor will the God of Jacob understand.”
8 Now understand, all you without discernment among the people,
And all you fools, at length be discerning.
9 He who planted the ear, shall He not hear?
Or He who formed the eye, shall He not see?
10 He who chastises the nations, shall He not reprove them,
He who teaches man knowledge?
11 The Lord knows the thoughts of men are vain.
12 Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord,
And whom You teach from Your law,
13 So You may give him rest from evil days,
Until a pit is dug for the sinner.
14 For the Lord will not reject His people,
And He will not forsake His inheritance
15 Until righteousness returns to judgment,
And all the upright in heart possess it.
6 Man is important, and a man who shows mercy is noble,
But it is difficult to find a faithful man.
7 He who lives blamelessly in righteousness,
He will leave blessed children behind him.
8 When a righteous king sits upon the throne,
No evil thing can oppose his presence.
9 Who will boast about having a pure heart?
Or who will declare boldly being clean from sins?
10 The lamp of him who reviles his father or mother shall be put out,
And the pupils of his eyes shall see darkness.
1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.
2 “So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’
3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.
4 ‘I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’
5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 “And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
7 “Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 “So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.
10 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
11 “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
The Law, the Prophets, and the Kingdom
14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.
15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
17 “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.
20 “But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,
21 “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’
25 “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
26 ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,
28 ‘for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
30 “And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
31 “But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”