1After David had gone a little way past the top of the mountain, there was Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, waiting to meet him. He had two donkeys already saddled with him carrying two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred raisin cakes, a hundred summer fruits, and a skin of wine.
2“What did you bring these for?” David asked Ziba. Ziba replied, “The donkeys are for the king's family to ride on, the bread and summer fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is for those to drink who get worn out in the wilderness.”
3“Where is your master's grandson?” the king asked. Ziba answered, “He decided to stay in Jerusalem. He's saying, ‘Today the people of Israel will give me back my grandfather's kingdom.’”
4The king told Ziba, “I give you everything that belongs to Mephibosheth!” “I bow before you,” Ziba replied. “May you approve of me, Your Majesty.”
5As King David arrived at the town of Bahurim, a man from Saul's family was just leaving. His name was Shimei, son of Gera, and he was shouting out curses as he came.
6He threw stones at David and all the king's officers, even though the king's men and all his bodyguards surrounded David.
7“Get out of here, just get out, you murderer, you wicked man!” Shimei said as he cursed.
8“The Lord has paid you back for all of Saul's family that you killed, and for stealing Saul's throne. The Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Look how you've ended up in disaster because you're a murderer!”
9Abishai, son of Zeruiah, asked the king, “Why should this dead dog curse Your Majesty? Let me go and cut off his head!”
10“What's that got to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah?” the king replied. “If he's cursing me because the Lord told him to, then who can question what he's doing?”
11David said to Abishai and to all his officers, “Look, if my very own son is trying to kill me, why shouldn't this Benjamite want to even more! Leave him alone; let him curse me, for the Lord told him to.
12Perhaps the Lord will see how I'm suffering and will pay me back with good for his curses today.”
13David and his men continued down the road, with Shimei keeping up with them on the hillside opposite. He went on cursing as he went along, throwing stones and dirt at David.
14The king and everyone with him were tired out when they arrived at the Jordan. David rested there.
15In the meantime Absalom and all the Israelites with him arrived in Jerusalem, along with Ahithophel.
16Hushai the Arkite, David's friend, went to see Absalom and declared, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”
17“Is this how you show loyalty to your friend?” Absalom asked. “Why didn't you leave with your friend?”
18“Certainly not!” Hushai replied. “I'm on the side of the one chosen by the Lord, by the army, and by all the people of Israel. I will remain loyal to him.
19In any case, why shouldn't I serve his son? In the same way I served your father I will serve you.”
20Then Absalom asked Ahithophel, “Give me your advice. What shall we do?”
21Ahithophel told him, “Go and sleep with your father's concubines—the ones he left here to look after the palace. Then everyone in Israel will realize that you have so offended your father there's no turning back, which will encourage all your supporters.”
22So they put up a tent on the palace roof and Absalom went in and had sex with his father's concubines in the full view of everyone.
23At that time Ahithophel's advice was like receiving messages from God himself. This was how both David and Absalom viewed Ahithophel's advice.