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2 Samuel Chapter 16 | Parsha:

1David had passed a little beyond the summit when Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth came toward him with a pair of saddled asses carrying two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred cakes of raisin, one hundred cakes of figs, and a jar of wine. 2The king asked Ziba, “What are you doing with these?” Ziba answered, “The asses are for Your Majesty’s family to ride on, the bread and figs are for the attendants to eat, and the wine is to be drunk by any who are exhausted in the wilderness.” 3“And where is your master’s son?” the king asked. “He is staying in Jerusalem,” Ziba replied to the king, “for he thinks that the House of Israel will now give him back the throne of his grandfather.” 4The king said to Ziba, “Then all that belongs to Mephibosheth is now yours!” And Ziba replied, “I bow low. Your Majesty is most gracious to me.”

5As King David was approaching Bahurim, a member of Saul’s clan—a man named Shimei son of Gera—came out from there, hurling insults as he came. 6He threw stones at David and all King David’s courtiers, while all the troops and all the warriors were at his right and his left. 7And these are the insults that Shimei hurled: “Get out, get out, you criminal, you villain! 8The Lord is paying you back for all your crimes against the family of Saul, whose throne you seized. The Lord is handing over the throne to your son Absalom; you are in trouble because you are a criminal!”

9Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why let that dead dog abuse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head!” 10But the king said, “What has this to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? He is abusing [me] only because the Lord told him to abuse David; and who is to say, ‘Why did You do that?’” 11David said further to Abishai and all the courtiers, “If my son, my own issue, seeks to kill me, how much more the Benjaminite! Let him go on hurling abuse, for the Lord has told him to. 12Perhaps the Lord will look upon my punishment and recompense me for the abuse [Shimei] has uttered today.” 13David and his men continued on their way, while Shimei walked alongside on the slope of the hill, insulting him as he walked, and throwing stones at him and flinging dirt. 14The king and all who accompanied him arrived exhausted, and he rested there.

15Meanwhile Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, arrived in Jerusalem, together with Ahithophel. 16When Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came before Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17But Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?” 18“Not at all!” Hushai replied. “I am for the one whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen, and I will stay with him. 19Furthermore, whom should I serve, if not David’s son? As I was in your father’s service, so I will be in yours.”

20Absalom then said to Ahithophel, “What do you advise us to do?” 21And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Have intercourse with your father’s concubines, whom he left to mind the palace; and when all Israel hears that you have dared the wrath of your father, all who support you will be encouraged.” 22So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom lay with his father’s concubines with the full knowledge of all Israel.— 23In those days, the advice which Ahithophel gave was accepted like an oracle sought from God; that is how all the advice of Ahithophel was esteemed both by David and by Absalom.

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