Shimei And Mephiboseth Meet With David

The tension between a Christian and society is highlighted in the story Tony Compalo relates as a child who entered his house, not knowing the preacher was visiting. Seeing his mom, the boy came running in holding a rat by the Tail. With obvious excitement he choked out: “L … More


Shimei, with a thousand others from Benjamin, and Ziba, the servant from Saul’s family, hurried to meet King David at the Jordan river (vv. 16-17). They helped escort David’s family and servants back across the river and Shimei bowed down in front of David (v. 18). He said, “your Majesty, I beg you not to punish me for the wrong I did when you were leaving Jerusalem (v. 19). I know that I sinned and wanted to be the first from the northern tribes to meet you” (v. 20). But there was tension when Abishai shouted, “You should be killed for cursing the Lord’s chosen king” (v. 21). David replied, “Abishai, Is it your job to tell me who has done wrong"? I have been made king of all Israel and no one will be put to death” (vv. 22-23).

Methibosheth, Saul’s grandson comes to meet David, looking very unkept and David wants to know why he decided not to go with him when he was forced to flee from Absalom (vv. 24-25). He answered that he couldn’t walk and gives some other flimsy excuses (v. 26). Then he brags on David and tells him how good he has been to him (vv. 27-28). David responds to Methibosheth by ordering him and Ziba to divide the land but Methibosheth offers the entire estate to Ziba (vv.29-30). A very rich man, Barzillai, the Gileadite comes to meet David who promises to take care of him (vv. 31-33). Barzillai answers that he is too old and would just be a burden so wants to return to his hometown where he can die and be buried, however he tells David that his servant Chimham can go with him (vv. 34-37). David kisses him and give him his blessing and then he and Chimham crosses the river (vv. 38-39). Although Israel and Judah supported the kings return there was a basic tension that eventually resulted in a division between the northern and southern tribes (vv. 40-43).


When I experience tension in my life I need to stop and confirm that God has everything in control.

II Samuel 19:16-43 (English Standard Version)

And Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down with the men of Judah to meet King David. And with him were a thousand men from Benjamin. And Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, with his fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan before the king, and they crossed the ford to bring over the king's household and to do his pleasure. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, and said to the king, "Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king." Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, "Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD's anointed?" But David said, "What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?" And the king said to Shimei, "You shall not die." And the king gave him his oath. And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, "Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?" He answered, "My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, 'I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.' For your servant is lame. He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. For all my father's house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?" And the king said to him, "Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land." And Mephibosheth said to the king, "Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home." Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim, and he went on with the king to the Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan. Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. And the king said to Barzillai, "Come over with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem." But Barzillai said to the king, "How many years have I still to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? I am this day eighty years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? Your servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him go over with my lord the king, and do for him whatever seems good to you." And the king answered, "Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you, and all that you desire of me I will do for you." Then all the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own home. The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him. All the people of Judah, and also half the people of Israel, brought the king on his way. Then all the men of Israel came 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 over the Jordan, and all David's men with him?" All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, "Because the king is our close relative. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?" And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, "We have ten shares in the king, and in David also we have more than you. Why then did you despise us? Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?" But the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

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