2 Samuel 16:10

10 The king replied, "Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything?[a] He curses [me] this way because the Lord [b] told him, 'Curse David!' Therefore, who can say, 'Why did you do that?' "

2 Samuel 16:10 Meaning and Commentary

2 Samuel 16:10

And the king said, what have I to do with you, ye sons of
&c.] It seems as if Joab, the brother of Abishai, joined with him in this request to have leave to take off the head of Shimei; and though David had to do with them as his relations, his sister's sons, and as they were generals in his army; yet in this case he would have nothing to do with them, would not take their advice, nor suffer them to take revenge on this man for his cursing him: or "what [is it] to me, [or] to you" F21? what signifies his cursing? it will neither hurt me nor you:

so let him curse;
go on cursing after this manner; do not restrain him from it, or attempt to stop his mouth: or, "for he will curse" F23; so is the textual reading; you will not be able to restrain him, for the following reason:

because the Lord hath said unto him, curse David;
not by way of command, or a precept of his; for to curse the ruler of the people is contrary to the word and law of God, ( Exodus 22:28 ) , nor by any operation of his spirit moving and exciting him to it; for the operations of the Spirit are to holiness, and not to sin; but by the secret providence of God ordering, directing, and overruling all circumstances relative to this affair. Shimei had conceived enmity and hatred to David; God left him to the power of this corruption in his breast, opened a way in Providence, and gave him an opportunity of exercising it on him: it was not a bare permission of God that Shimei should curse David; but it was his will, and he ordered it so in Providence, that he should do it; which action was attended with the predetermined concourse of divine Providence, so far as it was an action; though, as a sinful action, it was of Shimei, sprung from his own heart, instigated by Satan; but as a correction and chastisement of David, it was by the will, order, and appointment of God, and as such David considered it, and quietly submitted to it:

who shall then say, wherefore hast thou done so?
for though Shimei might justly be blamed, and reproved for it, yet the thing itself was not to be hindered or restrained, it being according to the will and providence of God, to answer some good end with respect to David.


F21 (Mklw yl hm) "quid mihi et vobis", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.
F23 (yk) "quia", Moatanus.

2 Samuel 16:10 In-Context

8 The Lord has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you rule, and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because you're a murderer!"
9 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut his head off!"
10 The king replied, "Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses [me] this way because the Lord told him, 'Curse David!' Therefore, who can say, 'Why did you do that?' "
11 Then David said to Abishai and all his servants, "Look, my own son, my own flesh and blood, intends to take my life-how much more now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse [me]; the Lord has told him to.
12 Perhaps the Lord will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimei's curses today."

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. 2 Sm 3:39; 19:22
  • [b]. Alt Hb tradition reads If he curses, and if the Lord