2 Samuel 19

Joab Reproves David's Lament

1 Then it was told Joab, "Behold, 1the king is weeping and mourns for Absalom."
2 The victory that day was turned to mourning for all the people, for the people heard it said that day, "The king is grieved for his son."
3 So the people went by stealth into the city that day, as people who are humiliated steal away when they flee in battle.
4 The king 2covered his face and cried out with a loud voice, "3O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!"
5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, "Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines,
6 by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased *.
7 "Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the LORD, if you do not go out, surely 4not a man will pass the night with you, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now."

David Restored as King

8 So the king arose and sat in the gate. When they told all the people, saying, "Behold, the king is 5sitting in the gate," then all the people came before the king. Now 6Israel had fled, each to his tent.
9 All the people were quarreling throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "7The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and 8saved us from the hand of the Philistines, but now 9he has fled out of the land from Absalom.
10 "However, Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now then, why are you silent about bringing the king back?"
11 Then King David sent to 10Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, "Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, 'Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house?
12 'You are my brothers; 11you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?'
13 "Say to 12Amasa, 'Are you not my bone and my flesh? 13May God do so to me, and more also, if you will not be 14commander of the army before me continually * 15in place of Joab.' "
14 Thus he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah 16as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, "Return, you and all your servants."
15 The king then returned and came as far as the Jordan. And Judah came to 17Gilgal in order to go to meet the king, to bring the king across the Jordan.
16 Then 18Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David.
17 There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, with 19Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen * sons and his twenty servants with him; and they rushed to the Jordan before the king.
18 Then they kept crossing the ford to bring over the king's household, and to do what was good in his sight. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan.
19 So he said to the king, "20Let not my lord consider me guilty, nor remember what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king came out from Jerusalem, so that the king would take it to heart.
20 "For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore behold, I have come today, 21the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king."
21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah said, "22Should not Shimei be put to death for this, 23because he cursed the LORD'S anointed?"
22 David then said, "24What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be an adversary to me? 25Should any man be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?"
23 The king said to Shimei, "26You shall not die." Thus the king swore to him.
24 Then 27Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and 28he had neither cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor 29washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace.
25 It was when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, "30Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?"
26 So he answered, "O my lord, the king, my servant deceived me; for your servant said, 'I will saddle a donkey for myself that I may ride on it and go with the king,' 31because your servant is lame.
27 "Moreover, 32he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is 33like the angel of God, therefore do what is good in your sight.
28 "For 34all my father's household was nothing but dead men before my lord the king; 35yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I have yet that I should complain anymore to the king?"
29 So the king said to him, "Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have decided, 'You and Ziba shall divide the land.' "
30 Mephibosheth said to the king, "Let him even take it all, since * my lord the king has come safely to his own house."
31 Now 36Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; and he went on to the Jordan with the king to escort him over the Jordan.
32 Now Barzillai was very old, being eighty years old; and he had 37sustained the king while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very great man.
33 The king said to Barzillai, "You cross over with me and I will sustain you in Jerusalem with me."
34 But Barzillai said to the king, "38How long have I yet to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
35 "I am now 39eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I hear anymore 40the voice of singing men and women? 41Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?
36 "Your servant would merely cross over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king compensate me with this reward?
37 "Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. However, here is your servant 42Chimham, let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what is good in your sight."
38 The king answered, "Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what is good in your sight; and whatever * you require of me, I will do for you."
39 All the people crossed over the Jordan and the king crossed too. The king then 43kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place.
40 Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him; and all the people of Judah and also 44half the people of Israel accompanied the king.
41 And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, "45Why had our brothers 46the men of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king and his household and all David's men with him over the Jordan?"
42 Then all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, "Because 47the king is a close relative to us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king's expense, or has anything been taken for us?"
43 But the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, "48We have ten parts in the king, therefore we also have more claim on David than you. Why then did you treat us with contempt? Was it not our advice first to bring back our king?" Yet the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.

2 Samuel 19 Commentary

Chapter 19

Joab causes David to cease mourning. (1-8) David returns to Jordan. (9-15) He pardons Shimei. (16-23) Mephibosheth excused. (24-30) David's parting with Barzillai. (31-39) Israel quarrels with Judah. (40-43)

Verses 1-8 To continue to lament for so bad a son as Absalom, was very unwise, and very unworthy. Joab censures David, but not with proper respect and deference to his sovereign. A plain case may be fairly pleaded with those above us, and they may be reproved for what they do amiss, but it must not be with rudeness and insolence. Yet David took the reproof and the counsel, prudently and mildly. Timely giving way, usually prevents the ill effects of mistaken measures.

Verses 9-15 God's providence, by the priests' persuasions and Amasa's interest, brought the people to resolve the recall of the king. David stirred not till he received this invitation. Our Lord Jesus will rule in those that invite him to the throne in their hearts, and not till he is invited. He first bows the heart, and makes it willing in the day of his power, then rules in the midst of his enemies, ( psalms 110:2 psalms 110:3 ) .

Verses 16-23 Those who now slight and abuse the Son of David, would be glad to make their peace when he shall come in his glory; but it will be too late. Shimei lost no time. His abuse had been personal, and with the usual right feeling of good men, David could more easily forgive it.

Verses 24-30 David recalls the forfeiture of Mephibosheth's estate; and he expressed joy for the king's return. A good man contentedly bears his own losses, while he sees Israel in peace, and the Son of David exalted.

Verses 31-39 Barzillai thought he had done himself honour in doing the king any service. Thus, when the saints shall be called to inherit the kingdom, they will be amazed at the recompence being so very far beyond the service, ( Matthew 25:37 ) . A good man would not go any where to be burdensome; or, will rather be so to his own house than to another's. It is good for all, but especially becomes old people, to think and speak much of dying. The grave is ready for me, let me go and get ready for it.

Verses 40-43 The men of Israel though themselves despised, and the fiercer words of the men of Judah produced very bad effects. Much evil might be avoided, if men would watch against pride, and remember that a soft answer turneth away wrath. Though we have right and reason on our side, if we speak it with fierceness, God is displeased.

Cross References 48

  • 1. 2 Samuel 18:5, 14
  • 2. 2 Samuel 15:30
  • 3. 2 Samuel 18:33
  • 4. Proverbs 14:28
  • 5. 2 Samuel 15:2; 2 Samuel 18:24
  • 6. 2 Samuel 18:17
  • 7. 2 Samuel 8:1-14
  • 8. 2 Samuel 5:20; 2 Samuel 8:1
  • 9. 2 Samuel 15:14
  • 10. 2 Samuel 15:29
  • 11. 2 Samuel 5:1
  • 12. 2 Samuel 17:25
  • 13. 1 Kings 19:2
  • 14. 2 Samuel 8:16
  • 15. 2 Samuel 3:27-39; 2 Samuel 19:5-7
  • 16. Judges 20:1
  • 17. Joshua 5:9; 1 Samuel 11:14, 15
  • 18. 2 Samuel 16:5-13; 1 Kings 2:8
  • 19. 2 Samuel 16:1-4; 2 Samuel 19:26, 27
  • 20. 1 Samuel 22:15; 2 Samuel 16:6-8
  • 21. 2 Samuel 16:5
  • 22. 2 Samuel 16:7, 8
  • 23. Exodus 22:28
  • 24. 2 Samuel 3:39; 2 Samuel 16:9, 10
  • 25. 1 Samuel 11:13
  • 26. 1 Kings 2:8
  • 27. 2 Samuel 9:6-10
  • 28. 2 Samuel 12:20
  • 29. Exodus 19:10
  • 30. 2 Samuel 16:17
  • 31. 2 Samuel 9:3
  • 32. 2 Samuel 16:3, 4
  • 33. 2 Samuel 14:17, 20
  • 34. 2 Samuel 21:6-9
  • 35. 2 Sam 9:7, 10, 13
  • 36. 2 Samuel 17:27-29; 1 Kings 2:7
  • 37. 2 Samuel 17:27-29
  • 38. Genesis 47:8
  • 39. Psalms 90:10
  • 40. Ecclesiastes 2:8; Isaiah 5:11, 12
  • 41. 2 Samuel 15:33
  • 42. 2 Samuel 19:40; 1 Kings 2:7; Jeremiah 41:17
  • 43. Genesis 31:55; Ruth 1:14; 2 Samuel 14:33
  • 44. 2 Samuel 19:9, 10
  • 45. Judges 8:1; Judges 12:1
  • 46. 2 Samuel 19:11, 12
  • 47. 2 Samuel 19:12
  • 48. 2 Samuel 5:1; 1 Kings 11:30, 31

Footnotes 27

Chapter Summary


David indulging to too much grief for the death of his son, is rebuked by Joab, and threatened with a revolt of the people from him, if he did not change his conduct, which be accordingly did, 2Sa 19:1-8; upon which the men of Israel were the first that moved for the bringing him back to Jerusalem, and the men of Judah were solicited to join with them in it, which was effected, 2Sa 19:9-15; and at Jordan, Shimei, that had cursed him, met him, and asked his pardon, and was forgiven, 2Sa 19:16-23; and when come to Jerusalem, Mephibosheth excused so well his not going out with him, that he had half his land restored to him, which had been given to his servant, 2Sa 19:24-30; and Barzillai, who had very liberally supplied the king, was allowed to return to his own city, and Chimham his son was taken to court, 2Sa 19:31-40; and a contention arose between the men of Israel and of Judah about the restoration of the king, which issued in an insurrection, as the next chapter shows, 2Sa 19:41-43.

2 Samuel 19 Commentaries

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