David, at the remonstrances of Joab, ceaseth his mourning. He is invited back and met by Semei and Miphiboseth: a strife between the men of Juda and the men of Israel.
1 And it was told Joab, that the king wept and mourned for his son:
2 And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day: The king grieveth for his son.
3 And the people shunned the going into the city that day as a people would do that hath turned their backs, and fled away from the battle.
4 And the king covered his head, and cried with a loud voice: O my son Absalom, O Absalom my son, O my son.
5 Then Joab going into the house to the king, said: Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, that have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons, and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines.
6 Thou lovest them that hate thee, and thou hatest them that love thee: and thou hast shewn this day that thou carest not for thy nobles, nor for thy servants: and I now plainly perceive that if Absalom had lived, and all we had been slain, then it would have pleased thee.
7 Now therefore arise, and go out, and speak to the satisfaction of thy servants: for I swear to thee by the Lord, that if thou wilt not go forth, there will not tarry with thee so much as one this night: and that will be worse to thee, than all the evils that have befallen thee from thy youth until now.
8 Then the king arose and sat in the gate: and it was told to all the people that the king sat in the gate: and all the people came before the king, but Israel fled to their own dwellings.
9 And all the people were at strife in all the tribes of Israel, saying: The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us out of the hand of the Philistines: and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom.
10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in the battle: how long are you silent, and bring not back the king?
11 And king David sent to Sadoc, and Abiathar the priests, saying: Speak to the ancients of Juda, saying: Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house? (For the talk of all Israel was come to the king in his house.)
12 You are my brethren, you are my bone, and my flesh, why are you the last to bring back the king?
13 And say ye to Amasa: Art not thou my bone, and my flesh? So do God to me and add more, if thou be not the chief captain of the army before me always in the place of Joab.
14 And be inclined the heart of all the men of Juda, as it were of one man: and they sent to the king, saying: Return thou, and all thy servants.
15 And the king returned and came as far as the Jordan, and all Juda came as far as Galgal to meet the king, and to bring him over the Jordan.
16 And Semei the son of Gera the son of Jemini of Bahurim, made haste and went down with the men of Juda to meet king David,
17 With a thousand men of Benjamin, and Siba the servant of the house of Saul: and his fifteen sons, and twenty servants were with him: and going over the Jordan,
18 They passed the fords before the king, that they might help over the king's household, and do according to his commandment. And Semei the son of Gera falling down before the king, when he was come over the Jordan,
19 Said to him: Impute not to me, my lord, the iniquity, nor remember the injuries of thy servant on the day that thou, my lord, the king, wentest out of Jerusalem, nor lay it up in thy heart, O king.
20 For I thy servant acknowledge my sin: and therefore I am come this day the first of all the house of Joseph, and am come down to meet my lord the king.
21 But Abisai the son of Sarvia answering, said: Shall Semei for these words not be put to death, because he cursed the Lord's anointed?
22 And David said: What have I to do with you, ye sons of Sarvia? why are you a satan this day to me? shall there any man be killed this day in Israel? do not I know that this day I am made king over Israel?
23 And the king said to Semei: Thou shalt not die. And he swore unto him.
24 And Miphiboseth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and he had neither washed his feet, nor trimmed his beard: nor washed his garments from the day that the king went out, until the day of his return in peace.
25 And when he met the king at Jerusalem, the king said to him: Why camest thou not with me, Miphiboseth?
26 And he answering, said: My lord, O king, my servant despised me: for I thy servant spoke to him to saddle me an ass, that I might get on and go with the king: for I thy servant am lame.
27 Moreover he hath also accused me thy servant to thee, my lord the king: but thou my lord the king art as an angel of God, do what pleaseth thee.
28 For all of my father's house were no better than worthy of death before my lord the king; and thou hast set me thy servant among the guests of thy table: what just complaint therefore have I? or what right to cry any more to the king?
29 Then the king said to him: Why speakest thou any more? what I have said is determined: thou and Siba divide the possessions.
30 And Miphiboseth answered the king: Yea, let him take all, for as much as my lord the king is returned peaceably into his house.
31 Berzellai also the Galaadite coming down from Rogelim, brought the king over the Jordan, being ready also to wait on him beyond the river.
32 Now Berzellai the Galaadite was of a great age, that is to say, fourscore years old, and he provided the king with sustenance when he abode in the camp: for he was a man exceeding rich.
33 And the king said to Berzellai: Come with me that thou mayest rest secure with me in Jerusalem.
34 And Berzellai said to the king: How many are the days of the years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
35 I am this day fourscore years old, are my senses quick to discern sweet and bitter? or can meat or drink delight thy servant? or can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? why should thy servant be a burden to my lord, the king?
36 I thy servant will go on a little way from the Jordan with thee: I need not this recompense.
37 But I beseech thee let thy servant return, and die in my own city, and be buried by the sepulchre of my father, and of my mother. But there is thy servant Chamaam, let him go with thee, my lord, the king, and do to him whatsoever seemeth good to thee.
38 Then the king said to him: Let Chamaam go over with me, and I will do for him whatsoever shall please thee, and all that thou shalt ask of me, thou shalt obtain.
39 And when all the people and the king had passed over the Jordan, the king kissed Berzellai, and blessed him: and he returned to his own place.
40 So the king went on to Galgal, and Chamaam with him. Now all the people of Juda had brought the king over, and only half of the people of Israel were there.
41 Therefore all the men of Israel running together to the king, said to him: Why have our brethren the men of Juda stolen thee away, and have brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all the men of David with him?
42 And all the men of Juda answered the men of Israel: Because the king is nearer to me: why art thou angry for this matter? have we eaten any thing of the king's, or have any gifts been given us?
43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Juda, and said: I have ten parts in the king more than thou, and David belongeth to me more than to thee: why hast thou done me a wrong, and why was it not told me first, that I might bring back my king? And the men of Juda answered more harshly than the men of Israel.