2 Samuel 19–20

1 It was reported to Joab that the king was weeping and mourning over Absalom. 2 The victory that day was turned into mourning for all of the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 So the people entered the city by stealth that day, as a people who have been disgraced steal away when they flee from battle. 4 The king covered his face and called with a loud voice, “My son Absalom, my son, my son!”

5 Then Joab came to the king in his house and said, “Today you have shamed the faces of all of your servants who saved your life today, as well as the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, 6 by loving those who hated you and hating those who love you. You have shown today that commanders and servants are nothing to you. I know that if Absalom were alive instead today and all of us were dead, then this would be right in your eyes. 7 Now go out and speak reassuringly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord that if you do not go out, no man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than any calamity that has come against you from your youth until now.”

8 So the king arose and took his seat in the gate, and the people were all told, “The king is sitting in the gate.” So all the people came before the king, but the children of Israel had fled, each to his tent.

9 Now all of the people began to quarrel throughout all of the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies, and he saved us from the hand of the Philistines, but now he has fled from the land on account of Absalom. 10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now why are you idle to bring back the king?”

11 Then David sent word to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Israel, saying, ‘Why are you last to bring the king back to his house when the word of all Israel has come to the king, to his house? 12 You are my brother. You are my bone and my flesh. Why are you last to bring back the king?’ 13 Say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do to me, and more so, if you are not commander of the army before me from now on in the place of Joab.’”

14 He swayed the heart of every man of Judah as though they were one man, and they sent a message to the king: “Return, you and all of your servants.”

15 So the king returned and came as far as the Jordan, and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and bring the king across the Jordan. 16 Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite who was from Bahurim, hastened to go down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 With him were a thousand men from Benjamin. And Ziba, the servant of the house of Saul, with his fifteen sons and twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan before the king. 18 They crossed the ford to bring the household of the king across and to do what was pleasing in his eyes.

Shimei the son of Gera fell before the king as he was crossing the Jordan, 19 and he said to the king, “Do not regard me as guilty, my lord, or remember how your servant went astray the day when my lord the king went out from Jerusalem. May the king not take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, I have come this day, first from all of the house of Joseph, to go down to meet my lord the king.”

21 Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the anointed of the Lord?”

22 David said, “What do you sons of Zeruiah have against me that you should become an adversary to me today? Should any man in Israel be put to death today? For do I not know that today I am king over Israel?” 23 The king said to Shimei, “You will not die.” The king gave him his oath.

24 Then Mephibosheth the son of Saul went down to meet the king. He had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he came back in peace. 25 When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?”

26 He said, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said, ‘I will saddle the mule for myself in order to ride on it and go with the king,’ because your servant is lame. 27 But he has slandered your servant to my lord the king. Still my lord the king is as the angel of God, so do what seems best to you. 28 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 table. What right do I have to cry out any more to the king?”

29 The king said to him, “Why do you still speak of your affairs? I say that you and Ziba shall divide the field.”

30 Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take everything, since my lord the king has come safely to his house.”

31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim in order to see the king across the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was very old, eighty years old. But he sustained the king during his stay in Mahanaim, for he was a very rich man. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem.”

34 Barzillai said to the king, “How many days are left in my life that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am now eighty years old. Can I discern what is pleasant from what is harmful? Can your servant taste what I eat and what I drink? Can I still hear the voices of men and women who sing? Why, then, should your servant be a burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant is merely crossing over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with this reward? 37 Now allow your servant to return, that I may die in my own city with the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Kimham. He will cross over with my lord the king. Do for him what seems best to you.”

38 The king said, “Kimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems best to you. Whatever you require of me, I will do for you.”

39 All of the people crossed over the Jordan. And when the king had crossed over, the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him and he returned to his own place.

40 The king passed on to Gilgal, and Kimham went on with him; all of the people of Judah and half of the people of Israel passed on with the king.

41 Now all of the men of Israel were coming to the king and said to the king, “Why have our brothers, the men of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king and his household across the Jordan, and all of the men of David with him?”

42 All of the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is our close relative. Why are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s expense? Has he given any gift to us?”

43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “We have ten shares in the king. Therefore we also have more claim on David than you. Why then did you treat us with contempt? Were we not the first to advise bringing back our king?”

But the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.

Chapter 20

1 There happened to be a worthless man there whose name was Sheba the son of Bikri, a Benjamite. He sounded the trumpet and said,

“We have no share in David,

nor do we have an inheritance in the son of Jesse;

every man to his tents, O Israel.”

2 So every man of Israel withdrew from following David and followed after Sheba the son of Bikri, but the men of Judah stayed with their king, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem.

3 When the king came to his house in Jerusalem, he took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left to keep watch over the house, and he placed them in custody. He provided for them but did not go in to them. They were shut up until the day of their deaths, living as in widowhood.

4 Then the king said to Amasa, “Summon for me the men of Judah in three days, then present yourself here.” 5 So Amasa went to summon Judah, but he delayed beyond the deadline determined for him.

6 So David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bikri will cause more harm for us than Absalom. You take your lord’s servants and pursue after him. Otherwise, he will find fortified cities and escape from our sight.” 7 The men of Joab went out after him, along with the Kerethites, the Pelethites, and all of the warriors; and they went out from Jerusalem to pursue after Sheba the son of Bikri.

8 When they were at the large stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was dressed in his battle armor, and fastened on it was a belt with a sword in its sheath at the waist. As he went forward, it fell out.

9 Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” and he took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 Amasa was not on guard against the sword in the hand of Joab, and he struck him in the midsection spilling his entrails on the ground. He died without being struck a second time. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bikri.

11 Now one of the young men of Joab stood by him and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.” 12 Now Amasa was wallowing in his own blood in the middle of the path. When the man saw that all of the people stood still, he moved Amasa from the path to the field and threw a covering over him, when he observed that everyone who passed by would stop. 13 Once he removed him from the path, all of the men passed by, following Joab in pursuit of Sheba the son of Bikri.

14 He passed through all of the tribes of Israel toward Abel Beth Maakah, also passing by all of the Bikrites. Once assembled, they also came after him. 15 They came and besieged him in Abel Beth Maakah. They constructed a siege ramp against the city, standing it against the rampart. As all of the people who were with Joab were battering the city wall in order to bring it down, 16 a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Say to Joab, ‘Come closer so that I may speak with you.’” 17 When he came near, the woman said, “Are you Joab?”

He said, “I am.”

She said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant,” and he said, “I’m listening.”

18 She said, “In former times, they would say, ‘Let them inquire carefully in Abel,’ and thus they would resolve an issue. 19 I am a trustworthy and faithful one of Israel. You are attempting to destroy a city, even a mother, in Israel. Why do you swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?”

20 Joab responded, “Far be it, far be it from me to swallow up or destroy. 21 That is not true. But a man from the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bikri by name, has lifted his hand against King David. Only deliver him, and I will depart from the city.”

And the woman said to Joab, “His head will be thrown to you over the wall.”

22 The woman, with her wisdom, came to all of the people in the city, and they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bikri. When they threw it to Joab, he blew the horn, and they dispersed from the city, each going to his own tent. Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

23 Now Joab was over the entire army of Israel. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites. 24 Adoniram was over conscripted labor. Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was secretary. 25 Sheva was scribe. Zadok and Abiathar were priests, 26 and also Ira the Jairite was priest to David.

Luke 18:1–17

1 He told them a parable to illustrate that it is necessary always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said: “In a city there was a judge who did not fear God or regard man. 3 And a widow was in that city. She came to him, saying, ‘Avenge me against my adversary.’

4 “He would not for a while. Yet afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I do not fear God or respect man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she will weary me.’”

6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge says. 7 And shall not God avenge His own elect and be patient with them, who cry day and night to Him? 8 I tell you, He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

9 He told this parable to some who trusted in themselves, as though they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed these things about himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men: extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, and I tithe of all that I earn.’

13 “But the tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but struck his chest, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner.’

14 “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

15 They also brought infants to Him that He might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Permit the little children to come to Me, and do not hinder them. For to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever will not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will in no wise enter it.”