II Samuel 19:1-40

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

THE AFTERMATH OF ABSALOM'S DEFEAT

INTRODUCTION:

When we concluded our study in II Samuel 18 , Absalom has been killed, the revolt is over, and David is grieving for his son.

Life can be tough at times, and we may not always use the best judgment when our eyes are clouded with our own grief. Sometimes we seem overwhelmed by our own circumstances no matter how spiritually mature we may be.

In II Samuel 19:1-40 , we see the aftermath of Absalom's defeat and its effects on all concerned.

I. THERE WAS A NECESSARY REBUKE FROM A FRIEND - 19:1-7

Proverbs 27:6 - Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

II Samuel 19:1-7 - (1) And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom. (2) And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day [i.e. heard it said that day] how the king was grieved for his son. (3) And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city [i.e. stole back that day into the city], as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. (4) But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son! (5) And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants [i.e. today you have humiliated (or disgraced) all your servants], which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines [Joab was right in that Absalom and his soldiers would have murdered David and every one of David's sons and daughters, wives, and concubines. This was what was always done when a king was overthrown.]; (6) In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants [i.e. You have made it clear today (or you have shown today) that none of your commanders and soldiers mean anything to you. - We likewise need to be careful to demonstrate to our families - whether it is to the parents, to the spouse, or to the children - that we love and appreciate them. It is too easy to become occupied with other things and people and to neglect those closest to us.]: Joab goes on - for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well. (7) Now therefore arise, go forth [i.e. go out], and speak comfortably [i.e. speak kindly, speak comfort, speak encouragingly] unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee [i.e. not one will stay with you] this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee [i.e. than all the calamities that came on you] from thy youth until now.

Joab was right in this.

II. THERE WAS A RETURN TO DUTY - 19:8

II Samuel 19:8 - Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.

Many of the survivors of Absalom's army had fled to their homes. Others were wondering what they would do now.

III. THERE WAS DISARRAY AMONG THE PEOPLE - 19:9-10

II Samuel 19:9-10 - (9) And all the people were at strife [i.e. were quarreling, were arguing] throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom [i.e. because of Absalom]. (10) And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back? [i.e. Why are you silent about bringing the king back? Why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?]

They decided that they had been better off under David's leadership.

IV. THERE WAS PREPARATION TO RETURN TO JERUSALEM - 19:11-15

II Samuel 19:11-15 - (11) And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye [i.e. you elders of Judah] the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house [i.e. since everything that is being said has reached the king]. (12) Ye are my brethren, ye are my bones and my flesh: wherefore [i.e. Why] then are ye the last to bring back the king? [The people are ready to have me return. What's taking you elders of Judah so long to bring me back to Jerusalem?] (13) And say ye to Amasa [Amasa was the captain of Absalom's army. He was also David's nephew.], Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host [i.e. army] before me continually in the room of [i.e. in the place of] Joab. [Although it was certainly all right to forgive Amasa, to place Amasa in authority over the men who had very recently fought against him in war was not wise. Was David replacing Joab with Amasa because Joab had killed Absalom? It might seem so.] (14) And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah [i.e. David swayed 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. (15) 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.

One should remind himself what had previously happened to Abner in ???. Abner had been Saul's captain and had fought against David's followers. He had killed Asahel, Joab's brother, in battle. He had also been responsible for Ishbosheth becoming king in the northern kingdom of Israel. After being accused of something by Ishbosheth, he defected to David with the intent of bringing Israel under David's control.

II Samuel 3:27-39 - (27) And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib [i.e. struck him in the belly or stabbed him in the stomach], that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. (28) And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the Lord for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner: (29) Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff [i.e. one who takes hold of a distaff; i.e. one fit for women's work, (meaning one that he is effeminate)], or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread. (30) So Joab, and Abishai his brother slew [i.e. killed or murdered] Abner, because he had slain [i.e. had killed] their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. [Somehow Abishai was also involved in the murder of Abner.] (31) And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend [i.e. tear] your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth [i.e. put on sackcloth], and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier [i.e. the coffin - a bier is a frame or stand on which a corpse or the coffin containing it is laid before burial]. (32) And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept. (33) And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth? [A fool would be an ungodly person. Abner did not deserve to die in the manner that he did. He was not a prisoner or a person deserving of death; rather, he was treacherously murdered.] (34) Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him. (35) And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else [i.e. anything else], till the sun be down. (36) And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people. (37) For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner. (38) And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? (39) And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me [Zeruiah was David's sister - the sons of Zeruiah were Joab and Abishai]: the Lord shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

Back to II Samuel 19

At the same time, Amasa's appointment may have been an effort to regain the support of those in Israel, but to do this at the risk of losing the respect and support of his own military does not seem a wise thing to do.

Eventually, David would rid himself of Joab; but he would wait and have Solomon do it. Note I Kings 2:1-6 and 28-34.

I Kings 2:1-6 - 1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; 3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: 4 That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel. 5

Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts [i.e. armies] of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet [i.e. suggesting that Joab stained the belt around his waist and his sandals with Amasa's blood in time of peace as if it were in battle]. 6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head [i.e. gray hair] go down to the grave in peace.

I Kings 2:28-34 - (28) Then tidings [i.e. news that Solomon had executed Adonijah, David's oldest living son for making a move to become king instead of Solomon and Solomon had also thrust Abiathar out of the priesthood in the plot] came to Joab: for Joab had turned after Adonijah [i.e. he was supporting Adonijah when Adonijah attempted to replace Solomon as king], though he turned not after Absalom. And Joab fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. (29) And it was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the Lord; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall upon him. (30) And Benaiah came to the tabernacle of the Lord, and said unto him, Thus saith the king, Come forth. And he said, Nay; but I will die here. And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me. (31) And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him; that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father. (32) And the Lord shall return his blood upon his own head, who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword, my father David not knowing thereof, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah. (33) Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever: but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the Lord. (34) So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.

V. THERE WAS SHIMEI'S ATTEMPT TO APPEASE DAVID - 19:16-23

Remind yourself of what Shimei had done against David in II Samuel 16:5-14 ,

II Samuel 16:5-14 - (5) And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still [i.e. he was cursing continuously] as he came. (6) And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. (7) And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man [i.e. you bloodthirsty man], and thou man of Belial [i.e. and you worthless man]: (8) The Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned [i.e. in whose place you have reigned]; and the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief [i.e. you are caught in your own evil], because thou art a bloody man [i.e. because you are a bloodthirsty man]. (9) Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. (10) And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? [i.e. Why have you done so?] (11) And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him. (12) It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day. (13) And as David and his men went by the way [i.e. along the road], Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him [i.e. opposite him], and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust [i.e. dry or loose earth = dirt]. (14) And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.

Now that David is returning, don't you think that Shimei might have been a little concerned about his future? He had good reason to be concerned. Abishai still wanted to remove his head, and don't think for a minute that Shimei didn't realize it.

II Samuel 19:16-23 - (16) 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. (17) And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him [i.e. with Shimei], and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over Jordan before the king. (18) And there went over a ferry boat 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; (19) 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. (20) 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. (21) 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? (22) 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? (23) Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him.

Although David permitted Shimei to live, he did not really forget about what Shimei had done. Note I Kings 2:8-9 and 36-46

I Kings 2:8-9 - [David, when advising Solomon, said,] 8 And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. 9 Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head [i.e. gray head, gray hair] bring thou down to the grave with blood.

I Kings 2:36-46 - (36) And the king [i.e. Solomon] sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither [i.e. anywhere]. (37) For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head. (38) And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days. (39) And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath. (40) And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass [i.e. donkey], and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath. (41) And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again [i.e. had returned]. (42) And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the Lord, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither [i.e. anywhere], that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good. (43) Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the Lord, and the commandment that I have charged thee with? (44) The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to [i.e. as your heart acknowledges], that thou didst to David my father: therefore the Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head; (45) And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever. (46) So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which [i.e. who] went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

VI. THERE WAS MEPHIBOSHETH'S EXPLANATION - 19:24-30

II Samuel 19:24-30 - (24) And Mephibosheth the son of Saul [He was actually the grandson of Saul] came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet [i.e. cared for his feet], nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace. (25) And it came to pass, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me [i.e. Why did you not go with me?], Mephibosheth? (26) And he answered, My lord, O king, my servant [i.e. Mephibosheth's servant whose name was Ziba] deceived me: for thy servant said [meaning, I said], I will saddle me an ass [i.e. I will saddle a donkey for myself], that I may ride thereon [i.e. on it], and go to the king; because thy servant is lame [i.e. Mephibosheth needed to ride on a donkey because he was crippled.]. (27) And he [i.e. Ziba] hath slandered thy servant [i.e. has slandered me] unto my lord the king [i.e. unto you, David]; but my lord the king is as an angel of God [i.e. but you, David, are like an angel of God]: do therefore what is good in thine eyes. (28) For all of my father's house [i.e. All of Saul's family including me] were but dead men before my lord the king [i.e. before you, David - this was because it was typical for a new king who was not descended from a previous king to execute all the descendants of the previous king to eliminate all rivals to the throne. David had not done this.]: yet didst thou set thy servant [i.e. you set me] among them that did eat at thine own table. What right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king? (29) And the king said unto him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? [i.e. We aren't going to talk about this any more.] I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land. (30) And Mephibosheth said unto the king [i.e. unto David], Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house [i.e. inasmuch as you, David, are come again in peace unto your own house].

VII. THERE WAS BARZILLAI'S FAREWELL - 19:31-40

II Samuel 19:31-40 - (31) And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan. (32) Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old [Might this suggest that some of you, note that I did not say some of us! - that some of you who have reached eighty years old are described in the Bible as being very aged?]: and he had provided the king of sustenance [i.e. with supplies] while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. (33) And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem. (34) And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem? (35) 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 voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? (36) Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me [i.e. repay me] with such a reward? (37) 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. (38) 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. (39) And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king was come over, the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place. (40) 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.