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not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab." And Amasa bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king, "Return thou, and all thy servants." So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan.
And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, which was of Bahurim, hasted and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David, and 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, went over Jordan before the king, and they kept crossing the ford to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan; and said unto the king: "Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come the first this day 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, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?" Therefore the king said unto Shimei, "Thou shalt not die." And the king sware unto him.
And Meribbaal the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace. And it came to pass, when he was come from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, "Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Meribbaal?" And he answered: "My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for thy servant said, Saddle me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the king; because thy servant is lame. And he hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in thine eyes. For all of my father's house were but dead men before my
lord the king: yet didst thou set thy servant among them that did eat at thine own table. What right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king?" And the king said unto him: "Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land." And Meribbaal said unto the king: "Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house."
And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and passed on with the king, to conduct him to the Jordan. Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. And the king said unto Barzillai, "Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem." And Barzillai said unto the king: "How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem ? I am this day fourscore years old; and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voices of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? Thy servant will go a little way with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward? Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee." And the king answered: "Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee." And all the people went over Jordan, but the king stood still. And the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place.
Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel. And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king: "Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household over Jordan, when all of David's men are his people?" And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel: "Because the king is near of kin to us: wherefore then be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all of the king's cost? or hath he given us any gift?" And the men
of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said: "I have ten parts in the king, and I am also the first born rather than thou: why then didst thou despise me? Was not my advice first to bring back our king?" And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.
Sheba's Revolt (Sam. xx. 1-22). And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said: “We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel." So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
And 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 ward, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.
Then said the king to Amasa: "Assemble me the men o Judah within three days, and be thou here present." So Amas went to assemble the men of Judah: but he tarried longer tha the set time which he had appointed him. And David said Abishai: "Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more ha than did Absalom: take thou thy lord's servants, and purs after him, lest he get him fenced cities, and escape us." A there went out after Abishai Joab and the Cherethites, and Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of J salem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, A came to meet them. And as for Joab, a sword was in his beneath his apparel of war, and upon it a girdle with a s fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he forth it fell out. And Joab said to Amasa: "Art thou in h my brother?" And Joab took Amasa by the beard wit right hand to kiss him. But Amasa took no heed to the that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struc not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brothe sued after Sheba the son of Bichri. And one of Joab' stood by him, and said: "He that favoreth Joab, and h
is for David, let him go after Joab." And Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him. When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri. And he [Sheba] went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel beth-maachah. And all the Bichrites were gathered together and went also after him. And they came and besieged him in Abel beth-maachah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood even with the rampart and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.
Then cried a wise woman out of the city: "Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee." And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, "Art thou Joab?" And he answered, "I am he." Then she said unto him, "Hear the words of thine handmaid." And he answered, "I do hear." Then she spake, saying: "They were wont to speak in old time, saying, Ask in Abel and in Dan whether aught has ceased to be, which the faithful in Israel established; but thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou 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. The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city." And the woman said unto Joab, "Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall." Then the woman went into the city and spake unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.
Adonijah's Intrigue for the Succession (1 Kings i.). Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him: "Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat." So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all
the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, "I will be king:" and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, "Why hast thou done. so?" and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom. And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest and they following Adonijah helped him. But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth,' which is by En-rogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants: but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying: "Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? Now therefore
come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest
save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign? Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words."
And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, "What wouldest thou?" And she said unto him, "My lord, thou swarest by the Lord thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and thou, my lord the king,
1 stone of Zoheleth. 'Serpent's Stone.' En-rogel was probably the "Well of Job" at the junction of the valleys of Kidron and Hinnom. The stone and well were sacred.