In verses 1-4, we find Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth meeting up with David. He has donkeys saddled and much food. David asks what he is doing and where his master is, and he replies that Mephibosheth is delighted to believe that he is about to inherit his father’s kingdom. There is much discussion on whether Ziba is lying here; and it is rather suspicious for him to show up with all these much-needed supplies at this time. But we just don’t know.
Then, as David and his men come to Bahurim, Shimei a man from the house of the family of Saul began cursing David and throwing stones at him. David is surrounded by his “mighty men,” and they grow tired of it. Abishai offers to go take care of this problem, and he would make short work of it gladly. But David tells everyone to leave Shimei alone. Perhaps he deserves to be cursed for his sins. Maybe good will come to him from God later for the wrong done to him. So Shimei followed them further cursing, stoning, and flinging dirt. By the time they reach the Jordan, David and his men are weary (verse 14).
Hushai arrives in verse 16 and convinces Absalom that he has defected to his side. Absalom asks Ahithophel for his counsel, and he tells him to take his father’s concubines, and do it in the sight of all Israel so that he will be a “stench” to David after that. So he takes them on the roof, fulfilling the prophecy from 2 Samuel 12:11-12. Ahithophel knew that once he did that, there would be no turning back for Absalom. In a kingdom, the one who possesses the royal harem is claiming the kingdom.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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