You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead.
Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the LORD that if you don't go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come upon you from your youth till now."1
So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men were told, "The king is sitting in the gateway,2" they all came before him. Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes.
Throughout the tribes of Israel, the people were all arguing with each other, saying, "The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies; he is the one who rescued us from the hand of the Philistines.3 But now he has fled the country because of Absalom;410
and Absalom, whom we anointed to rule over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?"
King David sent this message to Zadok5 and Abiathar, the priests: "Ask the elders of Judah, 'Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his palace, since what is being said throughout Israel has reached the king at his quarters?
You are my brothers, my own flesh and blood. So why should you be the last to bring back the king?'
And say to Amasa,6 'Are you not my own flesh and blood?7 May God deal with me, be it ever so severely,8 if from now on you are not the commander of my army in place of Joab.9' "
He won over the hearts of all the men of Judah as though they were one man. They sent word to the king, "Return, you and all your men."
Then the king returned and went as far as the Jordan. Now the men of Judah had come to Gilgal10 to go out and meet the king and bring him across the Jordan.
Shimei11 son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, hurried down with the men of Judah to meet King David.