And Joab was told, "Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom."
So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people. For the people heard it said that day, "The king is grieved for his son."
And the people stole back into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
But the king covered his face, and the king cried out with a loud voice, "O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!"
Then Joab came into the house to the king, and said, "Today you have disgraced all your servants who today have saved your life, the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines,
in that you love your enemies and hate your friends. For you have declared today that you regard neither princes nor servants; for today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you well.
Now therefore, arise, go out and speak comfort to your servants. For I swear by the LORD, if you do not go out, not one will stay with you this night. And that will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now."
Then the king arose and sat in the gate. And they told all the people, saying, "There is the king, sitting in the gate." So all the people came before the king.
For everyone of Israel had fled to his tent.
Now all the people were in a dispute throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "The king saved us from the hand of our enemies, he delivered us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled from the land because of Absalom.
But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now therefore, why do you say nothing about bringing back the king?"
So King David sent to Zadok 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 words of all Israel have come to the king, to his very house?
You are my brethren, you are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?'
And say to Amasa, 'Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if you are not commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.'"
So he swayed the hearts of all the men of Judah, just as the heart of one man, so that they sent this word to the king: "Return, you and all your servants!"
Then the king returned and came to the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to escort the king across the Jordan.
And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David.
There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over the Jordan before the king.
Then a ferryboat went across to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good.
Now Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king when he had crossed the Jordan.
Then he said to the king, "Do not let my lord impute iniquity to me, or remember what wrong your servant did on the day that my lord the king left Jerusalem, that the king should take it to heart.
For I, your servant, know that I have sinned. Therefore here I am, the first to come today of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king."
But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, "Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD's anointed?"
And David said, "What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be adversaries to me today? Shall any man be put to death today in Israel? For do I not know that today I am king over Israel?"
Therefore the king said to Shimei, "You shall not die." And the king swore to him.
Now Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. And he had not cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he returned in peace.
So it was, when he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, "Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?"
And he answered, "My lord, O king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said, 'I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go to the king,' because your servant is lame.
And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king, but my lord the king is like the angel of God. Therefore do what is good in your eyes.
For all my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king. Yet you set your servant among those who eat at your own table. Therefore what right have I still to cry out anymore to the king?"
So the king said to him, "Why do you speak anymore of your matters? I have said, 'You and Ziba divide the land.'"
Then Mephibosheth said to the king, "Rather, let him take it all, inasmuch as my lord the king has come back in peace to his own house."
And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim and went across the Jordan with the king, to escort him across the Jordan.
Now Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. And he had provided the king with supplies while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very rich man.
And the king said to Barzillai, "Come across with me, and I will provide for you while you are with me in Jerusalem."
But Barzillai said to the king, "How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?
I am today eighty years old. Can I discern between the good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any longer the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be a further burden to my lord the king?
Your servant will go a little way across the Jordan with the king. And why should the king repay me with such a reward?
Please let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city, near the grave of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what seems good to you."
And the king answered, "Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good to you. Now whatever you request of me, I will do for you."
Then all the people went over the Jordan. And when the king had crossed over, the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own place.
Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. And all the people of Judah escorted the king, and also half the people of Israel.
Just then all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, "Why have our brethren, the men of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king, his household, and all David's men with him across the Jordan?"
So all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, "Because the king is a close relative of ours. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we ever eaten at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?"
And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, "We have ten shares in the king; therefore we also have more right
to David than you. Why then do you despise us--were we not the first to advise bringing back our king?"
Yet the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.
And there happened to be there a rebel, whose name was
Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet, and said:
"We have no share in David,
Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse;
Every man to his tents, O Israel!"
So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.
Now David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten women, his concubines whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in seclusion and supported them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood.
And the king said to Amasa, "Assemble the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself."
So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah. But he delayed longer than the set time which David had appointed him.
And David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord's servants and pursue him, lest he find for himself fortified cities, and escape us."
So Joab's men, with the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the mighty men, went out after him. And they went out of Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.
When they were at the large stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came before them. Now Joab was dressed in battle armor; on it was a belt with a sword fastened in its sheath at his hips; and as he was going forward, it fell out.
Then Joab said to Amasa, "Are you in health, my brother?" And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.
But Amasa did not notice the sword that was in Joab's hand. And he struck him with it in the stomach, and his entrails poured out on the ground; and he did not strike him again. Thus he died.
Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri.
Meanwhile one of Joab's men stood near Amasa, and said, "Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David--follow Joab!"
But Amasa wallowed in his blood in the middle of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he moved Amasa from the highway to the field and threw a garment over him, when he saw that everyone who came upon him halted.
When he was removed from the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.
And he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel and Beth Maachah and all the Berites. So they were gathered together and also went after Sheba.
Then they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maachah; and they cast up a siege mound against the city, and it stood by the rampart. And all the people who were with Joab battered the wall to throw it down.
Then a wise woman cried out from the city, "Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, 'Come nearby, that I may speak with you.'"
When he had come near to her, the woman said, "Are you Joab?"
He answered, "I am."
Then she said to him, "Hear the words of your maidservant."
And he answered, "I am listening."
So she spoke, saying, "They used to talk in former times, saying, 'They shall surely seek guidance at Abel,' and so they would end disputes.
I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of the LORD?"
And Joab answered and said, "Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy!
That is not so. But a man from the mountains of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has raised his hand against the king, against David. Deliver him only, and I will depart from the city."
So the woman said to Joab, "Watch, his head will be thrown to you over the wall."
Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a trumpet, and they withdrew from the city, every man to his tent. So Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.
And Joab was over all the army of Israel; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites;
Adoram was in charge of revenue; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;
Sheva was scribe; Zadok and Abiathar were the priests;
and Ira the Jairite was a chief minister under David.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,
they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?"
This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."
And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?"
She said, "No one, Lord."
And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
The Pharisees therefore said to Him, "You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."
Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.
You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.
And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.
It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.
I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."
Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?"
Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."
These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.
Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come."
So the Jews said, "Will He kill Himself, because He says, 'Where I go you cannot come'?"
And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
Then they said to Him, "Who are You?"
And Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.
I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him."
They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.