II Samuel 16
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1  David had passed a little beyond the summit when Ziba the servant of Mefiboshet came toward him with a pair of saddled asses carrying two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred cakes of raisin, one hundred cakes of figs, and a jar of wine.

א  וְדָוִד עָבַר מְעַט מֵהָרֹאשׁ וְהִנֵּה צִיבָא נַעַר מְפִי־בֹשֶׁת לִקְרָאתוֹ וְצֶמֶד חֲמֹרִים חֲבֻשִׁים וַעֲלֵיהֶם מָאתַיִם לֶחֶם וּמֵאָה צִמּוּקִים וּמֵאָה קַיִץ וְנֵבֶל יָיִן׃

2  The king asked Ziba, “What are you doing with these?” Ziba answered, “The asses are for Your Majesty’s family to ride on, the bread and figs are for the attendants to eat, and the wine is to be drunk by any who are exhausted in the wilderness.”

ב  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־צִיבָא מָה־אֵלֶּה לָּךְ וַיֹּאמֶר צִיבָא הַחֲמוֹרִים לְבֵית־הַמֶּלֶךְ לִרְכֹּב ולהלחם [וְהַלֶּחֶם] וְהַקַּיִץ לֶאֱכוֹל הַנְּעָרִים וְהַיַּיִן לִשְׁתּוֹת הַיָּעֵף בַּמִּדְבָּר׃

3  “And where is your master’s son?” the king asked. “He is staying in Yerushalayim,” Ziba replied to the king, “for he thinks that the House of Yisrael will now give him back the throne of his grandfather.”

va-YO-mer ha-ME-lekh v’-a-YAY ben a-do-NE-kha va-YO-mer tzee-VA el ha-ME-lekh hi-NAY yo-SHAYV bee-ru-sha-LA-yim KEE a-MAR ha-YOM ya-SHEE-vu LEE BAYT yis-ra-AYL AYT mam-l’-KHUT a-VEE

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאַיֵּה בֶּן־אֲדֹנֶיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר צִיבָא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ הִנֵּה יוֹשֵׁב בִּירוּשָׁלִַם כִּי אָמַר הַיּוֹם יָשִׁיבוּ לִי בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת מַמְלְכוּת אָבִי׃

 16:3   He is staying in Yerushalayim

Yerushalayim is to be both the political and spiritual capital of Israel. It is to be the seat of the monarchy, from where the king and his officers will rule the nation. But it is also to be the location of the Holy Temple and the Supreme Court known as the Sanhedrin (סנהדרין). Thus, Yerusha­layim serves a double function, which allows the People of Israel to be a free and holy nation in the Land of Israel. The prophet Yeshayahu (2:3) expresses this when he says, “For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, the word of Hashem from Yerushalayim.” Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook explained that the name Tzion refers to the political and national aspects of the city, while Yerushalayim refers to its spiritual aspects. Both are essential elements of Yerushalayim; together, they allow the Jewish people to fulfill its holy mission.1 comment

4  The king said to Ziba, “Then all that belongs to Mefiboshet is now yours!” And Ziba replied, “I bow low. Your Majesty is most gracious to me.”

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְצִבָא הִנֵּה לְךָ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר לִמְפִי־בֹשֶׁת וַיֹּאמֶר צִיבָא הִשְׁתַּחֲוֵיתִי אֶמְצָא־חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

5  As King David was approaching Bahurim, a member of Shaul‘s clan—a man named Shim’i son of Gera—came out from there, hurling insults as he came.

ה  וּבָא הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד עַד־בַּחוּרִים וְהִנֵּה מִשָּׁם אִישׁ יוֹצֵא מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת בֵּית־שָׁאוּל וּשְׁמוֹ שִׁמְעִי בֶן־גֵּרָא יֹצֵא יָצוֹא וּמְקַלֵּל׃

6  He threw stones at David and all King David‘s courtiers, while all the troops and all the warriors were at his right and his left.

ו  וַיְסַקֵּל בָּאֲבָנִים אֶת־דָּוִד וְאֶת־כָּל־עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד וְכָל־הָעָם וְכָל־הַגִּבֹּרִים מִימִינוֹ וּמִשְּׂמֹאלוֹ׃

7  And these are the insults that Shim’i hurled: “Get out, get out, you criminal, you villain!

ז  וְכֹה־אָמַר שִׁמְעִי בְּקַלְלוֹ צֵא צֵא אִישׁ הַדָּמִים וְאִישׁ הַבְּלִיָּעַל׃

8  Hashem is paying you back for all your crimes against the family of Shaul, whose throne you seized. Hashem is handing over the throne to your son Avshalom; you are in trouble because you are a criminal!”

ח  הֵשִׁיב עָלֶיךָ יְהֹוָה כֹּל דְּמֵי בֵית־שָׁאוּל אֲשֶׁר מָלַכְתָּ תחתו [תַּחְתָּיו] וַיִּתֵּן יְהֹוָה אֶת־הַמְּלוּכָה בְּיַד אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנֶךָ וְהִנְּךָ בְּרָעָתֶךָ כִּי אִישׁ דָּמִים אָתָּה׃

9  Avishai son of Tzeruya said to the king, “Why let that dead dog abuse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head!”

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲבִישַׁי בֶּן־צְרוּיָה אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ לָמָּה יְקַלֵּל הַכֶּלֶב הַמֵּת הַזֶּה אֶת־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶעְבְּרָה־נָּא וְאָסִירָה אֶת־רֹאשׁוֹ׃

10  But the king said, “What has this to do with you, you sons of Tzeruya? He is abusing [me] only because Hashem told him to abuse David; and who is to say, ‘Why did You do that?’”

י  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ מַה־לִּי וְלָכֶם בְּנֵי צְרֻיָה כי [כֹּה] יְקַלֵּל וכי [כִּי] יְהֹוָה אָמַר לוֹ קַלֵּל אֶת־דָּוִד וּמִי יֹאמַר מַדּוּעַ עָשִׂיתָה כֵּן׃

11  David said further to Avishai and all the courtiers, “If my son, my own issue, seeks to kill me, how much more the Benjaminite! Let him go on hurling abuse, for Hashem has told him to.

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־אֲבִישַׁי וְאֶל־כָּל־עֲבָדָיו הִנֵּה בְנִי אֲשֶׁר־יָצָא מִמֵּעַי מְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת־נַפְשִׁי וְאַף כִּי־עַתָּה בֶּן־הַיְמִינִי הַנִּחוּ לוֹ וִיקַלֵּל כִּי אָמַר־לוֹ יְהֹוָה׃

12  Perhaps Hashem will look upon my punishment and recompense me for the abuse [Shim’i] has uttered today.”

יב  אוּלַי יִרְאֶה יְהֹוָה בעוני [בְּעֵינִי] וְהֵשִׁיב יְהֹוָה לִי טוֹבָה תַּחַת קִלְלָתוֹ הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃

13  David and his men continued on their way, while Shim’i walked alongside on the slope of the hill, insulting him as he walked, and throwing stones at him and flinging dirt.

יג  וַיֵּלֶךְ דָּוִד וַאֲנָשָׁיו בַּדָּרֶךְ וְשִׁמְעִי הֹלֵךְ בְּצֵלַע הָהָר לְעֻמָּתוֹ הָלוֹךְ וַיְקַלֵּל וַיְסַקֵּל בָּאֲבָנִים לְעֻמָּתוֹ וְעִפַּר בֶּעָפָר׃

14  The king and all who accompanied him arrived exhausted, and he rested there.

יד  וַיָּבֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ עֲיֵפִים וַיִּנָּפֵשׁ שָׁם׃

15  Meanwhile Avshalom and all the people, the men of Yisrael, arrived in Yerushalayim, together with Achitofel.

טו  וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם וְכָל־הָעָם אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּאוּ יְרוּשָׁלִָם וַאֲחִיתֹפֶל אִתּוֹ׃

16  When Hushai the Archite, David‘s friend, came before Avshalom, Hushai said to Avshalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

טז  וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר־בָּא חוּשַׁי הָאַרְכִּי רֵעֶה דָוִד אֶל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיֹּאמֶר חוּשַׁי אֶל־אַבְשָׁלֹם יְחִי הַמֶּלֶךְ יְחִי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

17  But Avshalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?”

יז  וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־חוּשַׁי זֶה חַסְדְּךָ אֶת־רֵעֶךָ לָמָּה לֹא־הָלַכְתָּ אֶת־רֵעֶךָ׃

18  “Not at all!” Hushai replied. “I am for the one whom Hashem and this people and all the men of Yisrael have chosen, and I will stay with him.

יח  וַיֹּאמֶר חוּשַׁי אֶל־אַבְשָׁלֹם לֹא כִּי אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר יְהֹוָה וְהָעָם הַזֶּה וְכָל־אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל לא [לוֹ] אֶהְיֶה וְאִתּוֹ אֵשֵׁב׃

19  Furthermore, whom should I serve, if not David‘s son? As I was in your father’s service, so I will be in yours.”

יט  וְהַשֵּׁנִית לְמִי אֲנִי אֶעֱבֹד הֲלוֹא לִפְנֵי בְנוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר עָבַדְתִּי לִפְנֵי אָבִיךָ כֵּן אֶהְיֶה לְפָנֶיךָ׃

20  Avshalom then said to Achitofel, “What do you advise us to do?”

כ  וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־אֲחִיתֹפֶל הָבוּ לָכֶם עֵצָה מַה־נַּעֲשֶׂה׃

21  And Achitofel said to Avshalom, “Have intercourse with your father’s concubines, whom he left to mind the palace; and when all Yisrael hears that you have dared the wrath of your father, all who support you will be encouraged.”

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲחִיתֹפֶל אֶל־אַבְשָׁלֹם בּוֹא אֶל־פִּלַגְשֵׁי אָבִיךָ אֲשֶׁר הִנִּיחַ לִשְׁמוֹר הַבָּיִת וְשָׁמַע כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־נִבְאַשְׁתָּ אֶת־אָבִיךָ וְחָזְקוּ יְדֵי כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אִתָּךְ׃

22  So they pitched a tent for Avshalom on the roof, and Avshalom lay with his father’s concubines with the full knowledge of all Yisrael.—

כב  וַיַּטּוּ לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם הָאֹהֶל עַל־הַגָּג וַיָּבֹא אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־פִּלַגְשֵׁי אָבִיו לְעֵינֵי כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

23  In those days, the advice which Achitofel gave was accepted like an oracle sought from Hashem; that is how all the advice of Achitofel was esteemed both by David and by Avshalom.

כג  וַעֲצַת אֲחִיתֹפֶל אֲשֶׁר יָעַץ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם כַּאֲשֶׁר יִשְׁאַל־[אִישׁ] בִּדְבַר הָאֱלֹהִים כֵּן כָּל־עֲצַת אֲחִיתֹפֶל גַּם־לְדָוִד גַּם לְאַבְשָׁלֹם׃

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II Samuel 16

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