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.1 But now he has fled the country because of Absalom;210
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 Zadok3 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,4 'Are you not my own flesh and blood?5 May God deal with me, be it ever so severely,6 if from now on you are not the commander of my army in place of Joab.7' "
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 Gilgal8 to go out and meet the king and bring him across the Jordan.