II Samuel 19
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1  The king was shaken. He went up to the upper chamber of the gateway and wept, moaning these words as he went, “My son Avshalom! O my son, my son Avshalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Avshalom, my son, my son!”

א  וַיִּרְגַּז הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּעַל עַל־עֲלִיַּת הַשַּׁעַר וַיֵּבְךְּ וְכֹה אָמַר בְּלֶכְתּוֹ בְּנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם מִי־יִתֵּן מוּתִי אֲנִי תַחְתֶּיךָ אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי׃

2  Yoav was told that the king was weeping and mourning over Avshalom.

ב  וַיֻּגַּד לְיוֹאָב הִנֵּה הַמֶּלֶךְ בֹּכֶה וַיִּתְאַבֵּל עַל־אַבְשָׁלֹם׃

3  And the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops, for that day the troops heard that the king was grieving over his son.

ג  וַתְּהִי הַתְּשֻׁעָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לְאֵבֶל לְכָל־הָעָם כִּי־שָׁמַע הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר נֶעֱצַב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל־בְּנוֹ׃

4  The troops stole into town that day like troops ashamed after running away in battle.

ד  וַיִּתְגַּנֵּב הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לָבוֹא הָעִיר כַּאֲשֶׁר יִתְגַּנֵּב הָעָם הַנִּכְלָמִים בְּנוּסָם בַּמִּלְחָמָה׃

5  The king covered his face and the king kept crying aloud, “O my son Avshalom! O Avshalom, my son, my son!”

ה  וְהַמֶּלֶךְ לָאַט אֶת־פָּנָיו וַיִּזְעַק הַמֶּלֶךְ קוֹל גָּדוֹל בְּנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי׃

6  Yoav came to the king in his quarters and said, “Today you have humiliated all your followers, who this day saved your life, and the lives of your sons and daughters, and the lives of your wives and concubines,

va-ya-VO yo-AV el ha-ME-lekh ha-BA-yit va-YO-mer ho-VASH-ta ha-YOM et p’-NAY khol a-va-DE-kha ha-m’-ma-l’-TEEM et naf-sh’-KHA ha-YOM v’-AYT NE-fesh ba-NE-kha u-v’-no-TE-kha v’-NE-fesh na-SHE-kha v’-NE-fesh pi-lag-SHE-kha

ו  וַיָּבֹא יוֹאָב אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ הַבָּיִת וַיֹּאמֶר הֹבַשְׁתָּ הַיּוֹם אֶת־פְּנֵי כָל־עֲבָדֶיךָ הַמְמַלְּטִים אֶת־נַפְשְׁךָ הַיּוֹם וְאֵת נֶפֶשׁ בָּנֶיךָ וּבְנֹתֶיךָ וְנֶפֶשׁ נָשֶׁיךָ וְנֶפֶשׁ פִּלַגְשֶׁיךָ׃

19:6   Today you have humiliated all your followers

Yoav is upset that King David mourned his rebellious son Avshalom. Yoav had killed Avshalom, though King David had commanded that he be captured unharmed. King David is extremely angry that Yoav has disobeyed him. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner points out that in Jewish Law, any act of disobedience to the king can be punished by death. However, King David is more concerned with ensuring that the Kingdom of Israel remains secure and strong, and thus needs Yoav to remain as his leading general. However, before his death, King David instructs his son Shlomo to punish Yoav for having killed Avner, Amasa (II Kings 2:5) and, according to Radak, AvshalomShlomo tries Yoav  for the murders and convicts him of violating the will of the king (Sanhedrin 49a), an act which itself is a danger to the People of Israel. Obeying the dictates of just rulers and governments is itself a religious act, as it allows for a strong, cohesive and just nation.Comment

7  by showing love for those who hate you and hate for those who love you. For you have made clear today that the officers and men mean nothing to you. I am sure that if Avshalom were alive today and the rest of us dead, you would have preferred it.

ז  לְאַהֲבָה אֶת־שֹׂנְאֶיךָ וְלִשְׂנֹא אֶת־אֹהֲבֶיךָ כִּי הִגַּדְתָּ הַיּוֹם כִּי אֵין לְךָ שָׂרִים וַעֲבָדִים כִּי יָדַעְתִּי הַיּוֹם כִּי לא [לוּ] אַבְשָׁלוֹם חַי וְכֻלָּנוּ הַיּוֹם מֵתִים כִּי־אָז יָשָׁר בְּעֵינֶיךָ׃

8  Now arise, come out and placate your followers! For I swear by Hashem that if you do not come out, not a single man will remain with you overnight; and that would be a greater disaster for you than any disaster that has befallen you from your youth until now.”

ח  וְעַתָּה קוּם צֵא וְדַבֵּר עַל־לֵב עֲבָדֶיךָ כִּי בַיהֹוָה נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי כִּי־אֵינְךָ יוֹצֵא אִם־יָלִין אִישׁ אִתְּךָ הַלַּיְלָה וְרָעָה לְךָ זֹאת מִכָּל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר־בָּאָה עָלֶיךָ מִנְּעֻרֶיךָ עַד־עָתָּה׃

9  So the king arose and sat down in the gateway; and when all the troops were told that the king was sitting in the gateway, all the troops presented themselves to the king. Now the Israelites had fled to their homes.

ט  וַיָּקָם הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֵּשֶׁב בַּשָּׁעַר וּלְכָל־הָעָם הִגִּידוּ לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה הַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹשֵׁב בַּשַּׁעַר וַיָּבֹא כָל־הָעָם לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְיִשְׂרָאֵל נָס אִישׁ לְאֹהָלָיו׃

10  All the people throughout the tribes of Yisrael were arguing: Some said, “The king saved us from the hands of our enemies, and he delivered us from the hands of the Philistines; and just now he had to flee the country because of Avshalom.

י  וַיְהִי כָל־הָעָם נָדוֹן בְּכָל־שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר הַמֶּלֶךְ הִצִּילָנוּ מִכַּף אֹיְבֵינוּ וְהוּא מִלְּטָנוּ מִכַּף פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְעַתָּה בָּרַח מִן־הָאָרֶץ מֵעַל אַבְשָׁלוֹם׃

11  But Avshalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle; why then do you sit idle instead of escorting the king back?”

יא  וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם אֲשֶׁר מָשַׁחְנוּ עָלֵינוּ מֵת בַּמִּלְחָמָה וְעַתָּה לָמָה אַתֶּם מַחֲרִשִׁים לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

12  The talk of all Yisrael reached the king in his quarters. So King David sent this message to the Kohanim Tzadok and Evyatar: “Speak to the elders of Yehuda and say, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his palace?

יב  וְהַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד שָׁלַח אֶל־צָדוֹק וְאֶל־אֶבְיָתָר הַכֹּהֲנִים לֵאמֹר דַּבְּרוּ אֶל־זִקְנֵי יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר לָמָּה תִהְיוּ אַחֲרֹנִים לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וּדְבַר כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ׃

13  You are my kinsmen, my own flesh and blood! Why should you be the last to escort the king back?’

יג  אַחַי אַתֶּם עַצְמִי וּבְשָׂרִי אַתֶּם וְלָמָּה תִהְיוּ אַחֲרֹנִים לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

14  And to Amasa say this, ‘You are my own flesh and blood. May Hashem do thus and more to me if you do not become my army commander permanently in place of Yoav!’”

יד  וְלַעֲמָשָׂא תֹּמְרוּ הֲלוֹא עַצְמִי וּבְשָׂרִי אָתָּה כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה־לִּי אֱלֹהִים וְכֹה יוֹסִיף אִם־לֹא שַׂר־צָבָא תִּהְיֶה לְפָנַי כָּל־הַיָּמִים תַּחַת יוֹאָב׃

15  So [Amasa] swayed the hearts of all the Judites as one man; and they sent a message to the king: “Come back with all your followers.”

טו  וַיַּט אֶת־לְבַב כָּל־אִישׁ־יְהוּדָה כְּאִישׁ אֶחָד וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ שׁוּב אַתָּה וְכָל־עֲבָדֶיךָ׃

16  The king started back and arrived at the Yarden; and the Judites went to Gilgal to meet the king and to conduct the king across the Yarden.

טז  וַיָּשָׁב הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיָּבֹא עַד־הַיַּרְדֵּן וִיהוּדָה בָּא הַגִּלְגָּלָה לָלֶכֶת לִקְרַאת הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהַעֲבִיר אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן׃

17  Shim’i son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, hurried down with the Judites to meet King David,

יז  וַיְמַהֵר שִׁמְעִי בֶן־גֵּרָא בֶּן־הַיְמִינִי אֲשֶׁר מִבַּחוּרִים וַיֵּרֶד עִם־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה לִקְרַאת הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד׃

18  accompanied by a thousand Benjaminites. And Ziba, the servant of the House of Shaul, together with his fifteen sons and twenty slaves, rushed down to the Yarden ahead of the king

יח  וְאֶלֶף אִישׁ עִמּוֹ מִבִּנְיָמִן וְצִיבָא נַעַר בֵּית שָׁאוּל וַחֲמֵשֶׁת עָשָׂר בָּנָיו וְעֶשְׂרִים עֲבָדָיו אִתּוֹ וְצָלְחוּ הַיַּרְדֵּן לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

19  while the crossing was being made, to escort the king’s family over, and to do whatever he wished. Shim’i son of Gera flung himself before the king as he was about to cross the Yarden.

יט  וְעָבְרָה הָעֲבָרָה לַעֲבִיר אֶת־בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת הַטּוֹב בעינו [בְּעֵינָיו] וְשִׁמְעִי בֶן־גֵּרָא נָפַל לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּעָבְרוֹ בַּיַּרְדֵּן׃

20  He said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty, and do not remember the wrong your servant committed on the day my lord the king left Yerushalayim; let Your Majesty give it no thought.

כ  וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אַל־יַחֲשָׁב־לִי אֲדֹנִי עָוׂן וְאַל־תִּזְכֹּר אֵת אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱוָה עַבְדְּךָ בַּיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יָצָא אֲדֹנִי־הַמֶּלֶךְ מִירוּשָׁלִָם לָשׂוּם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־לִבּוֹ׃

21  For your servant knows that he has sinned; so here I have come down today, the first of all the House of Yosef, to meet my lord the king.”

כא  כִּי יָדַע עַבְדְּךָ כִּי אֲנִי חָטָאתִי וְהִנֵּה־בָאתִי הַיּוֹם רִאשׁוֹן לְכָל־בֵּית יוֹסֵף לָרֶדֶת לִקְרַאת אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

22  Thereupon Avishai son of Tzeruya spoke up, “Shouldn’t Shim’i be put to death for that—insulting Hashem‘s anointed?”

כב  וַיַּעַן אֲבִישַׁי בֶּן־צְרוּיָה וַיֹּאמֶר הֲתַחַת זֹאת לֹא יוּמַת שִׁמְעִי כִּי קִלֵּל אֶת־מְשִׁיחַ יְהֹוָה׃

23  But David said, “What has this to do with you, you sons of Tzeruya, that you should cross me today? Should a single Israelite be put to death today? Don’t I know that today I am again king over Yisrael?”

כג  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד מַה־לִּי וְלָכֶם בְּנֵי צְרוּיָה כִּי־תִהְיוּ־לִי הַיּוֹם לְשָׂטָן הַיּוֹם יוּמַת אִישׁ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי הֲלוֹא יָדַעְתִּי כִּי הַיּוֹם אֲנִי־מֶלֶךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

24  Then the king said to Shim’i, “You shall not die”; and the king gave him his oath.

כד  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־שִׁמְעִי לֹא תָמוּת וַיִּשָּׁבַע לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

25  Mefiboshet, the grandson of Shaul, also came down to meet the king. He had not pared his toenails, or trimmed his mustache, or washed his clothes from the day that the king left until the day he returned safe.

כה  וּמְפִבֹשֶׁת בֶּן־שָׁאוּל יָרַד לִקְרַאת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא־עָשָׂה רַגְלָיו וְלֹא־עָשָׂה שְׂפָמוֹ וְאֶת־בְּגָדָיו לֹא כִבֵּס לְמִן־הַיּוֹם לֶכֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ עַד־הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר־בָּא בְשָׁלוֹם׃

26  When he came [from] Yerushalayim to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why didn’t you come with me, Mefiboshet?”

כו  וַיְהִי כִּי־בָא יְרוּשָׁלִַם לִקְרַאת הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לָמָּה לֹא־הָלַכְתָּ עִמִּי מְפִיבֹשֶׁת׃

27  He replied, “My lord the king, my own servant deceived me. Your servant planned to saddle his ass and ride on it and go with Your Majesty—for your servant is lame.

כז  וַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ עַבְדִּי רִמָּנִי כִּי־אָמַר עַבְדְּךָ אֶחְבְּשָׁה־לִּי הַחֲמוֹר וְאֶרְכַּב עָלֶיהָ וְאֵלֵךְ אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי פִסֵּחַ עַבְדֶּךָ׃

28  [Ziba] has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like an angel of Hashem; do as you see fit.

כח  וַיְרַגֵּל בְּעַבְדְּךָ אֶל־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כְּמַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים וַעֲשֵׂה הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ׃

29  For all the members of my father’s family deserved only death from my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your table. What right have I to appeal further to Your Majesty?”

כט  כִּי לֹא הָיָה כָּל־בֵּית אָבִי כִּי אִם־אַנְשֵׁי־מָוֶת לַאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַתָּשֶׁת אֶת־עַבְדְּךָ בְּאֹכְלֵי שֻׁלְחָנֶךָ וּמַה־יֶּשׁ־לִי עוֹד צְדָקָה וְלִזְעֹק עוֹד אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

30  The king said to him, “You need not speak further. I decree that you and Ziba shall divide the property.”

ל  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לָמָּה תְּדַבֵּר עוֹד דְּבָרֶיךָ אָמַרְתִּי אַתָּה וְצִיבָא תַּחְלְקוּ אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶה׃

31  And Mefiboshet said to the king, “Let him take it all, as long as my lord the king has come home safe.”

לא  וַיֹּאמֶר מְפִיבֹשֶׁת אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ גַּם אֶת־הַכֹּל יִקָּח אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר־בָּא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶך בְּשָׁלוֹם אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ׃

32  Barzilai the Giladite had come down from Rogelin and passed on to the Yarden with the king, to see him off at the Yarden.

לב  וּבַרְזִלַּי הַגִּלְעָדִי יָרַד מֵרֹגְלִים וַיַּעֲבֹר אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן לְשַׁלְּחוֹ אֶת־בירדן [הַיַּרְדֵּן׃]

33  Barzilai was very old, eighty years of age; and he had provided the king with food during his stay at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man.

לג  וּבַרְזִלַּי זָקֵן מְאֹד בֶּן־שְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וְהוּא־כִלְכַּל אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּשִׁיבָתוֹ בְמַחֲנַיִם כִּי־אִישׁ גָּדוֹל הוּא מְאֹד׃

34  The king said to Barzilai, “Cross over with me, and I will provide for you in Yerushalayim at my side.”

לד  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־בַּרְזִלָּי אַתָּה עֲבֹר אִתִּי וְכִלְכַּלְתִּי אֹתְךָ עִמָּדִי בִּירוּשָׁלִָם׃

35  But Barzilai said to the king, “How many years are left to me that I should go up with Your Majesty to Yerushalayim?

לה  וַיֹּאמֶר בַּרְזִלַּי אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ כַּמָּה יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיַּי כִּי־אֶעֱלֶה אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃

36  I am now eighty years old. Can I tell the difference between good and bad? Can your servant taste what he eats and drinks? Can I still listen to the singing of men and women? Why then should your servant continue to be a burden to my lord the king?

לו  בֶּן־שְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה אָנֹכִי הַיּוֹם הַאֵדַע בֵּין־טוֹב לְרָע אִם־יִטְעַם עַבְדְּךָ אֶת־אֲשֶׁר אֹכַל וְאֶת־אֲשֶׁר אֶשְׁתֶּה אִם־אֶשְׁמַע עוֹד בְּקוֹל שָׁרִים וְשָׁרוֹת וְלָמָּה יִהְיֶה עַבְדְּךָ עוֹד לְמַשָּׂא אֶל־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

37  Your servant could barely cross the Yarden with your Majesty! Why should Your Majesty reward me so generously?

לז  כִּמְעַט יַעֲבֹר עַבְדְּךָ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלָמָּה יִגְמְלֵנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגְּמוּלָה הַזֹּאת׃

38  Let your servant go back, and let me die in my own town, near the graves of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him cross with my lord the king, and do for him as you see fit.”

לח  יָשָׁב־נָא עַבְדְּךָ וְאָמֻת בְּעִירִי עִם קֶבֶר אָבִי וְאִמִּי וְהִנֵּה עַבְדְּךָ כִמְהָם יַעֲבֹר עִם־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַעֲשֵׂה־לוֹ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־טוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ׃

39  And the king said, “Chimham shall cross with me, and I will do for him as you see fit; and anything you want me to do, I will do for you.”

לט  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אִתִּי יַעֲבֹר כִּמְהָם וַאֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂה־לּוֹ אֶת־הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־תִּבְחַר עָלַי אֶעֱשֶׂה־לָּךְ׃

40  All the troops crossed the Yarden; and when the king was ready to cross, the king kissed Barzilai and bade him farewell; and [Barzilai] returned to his home.

מ  וַיַּעֲבֹר כָּל־הָעָם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וְהַמֶּלֶךְ עָבָר וַיִּשַּׁק הַמֶּלֶךְ לְבַרְזִלַּי וַיְבָרֲכֵהוּ וַיָּשָׁב לִמְקֹמוֹ׃

41  The king passed on to Gilgal, with Chimham accompanying him; and all the Judite soldiers and part of the Israelite army escorted the king across.

מא  וַיַּעֲבֹר הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגִּלְגָּלָה וְכִמְהָן עָבַר עִמּוֹ וְכָל־עַם יְהוּדָה ויעברו [הֶעֱבִירוּ] אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְגַם חֲצִי עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

42  Then all the men of Yisrael came to the king and said to the king, “Why did our kinsmen, the men of Yehuda, steal you away and escort the king and his family across the Yarden, along with all David‘s men?”

מב  וְהִנֵּה כָּל־אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּאִים אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ מַדּוּעַ גְּנָבוּךָ אַחֵינוּ אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וַיַּעֲבִרוּ אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וְכָל־אַנְשֵׁי דָוִד עִמּוֹ׃

43  All the men of Yehuda replied to the men of Yisrael, “Because the king is our relative! Why should this upset you? Have we consumed anything that belongs to the king? Has he given us any gifts?”

מג  וַיַּעַן כָּל־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה עַל־אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־קָרוֹב הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵלַי וְלָמָּה זֶּה חָרָה לְךָ עַל־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה הֶאָכוֹל אָכַלְנוּ מִן־הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם־נִשֵּׂאת נִשָּׂא לָנוּ׃

44  But the men of Yisrael answered the men of Yehuda, “We have ten shares in the king, and in David, too, we have more than you. Why then have you slighted us? Were we not the first to propose that our king be brought back?” However, the men of Yehuda prevailed over the men of Yisrael.

מד  וַיַּעַן אִישׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וַיֹּאמֶר עֶשֶׂר־יָדוֹת לִי בַמֶּלֶךְ וְגַם־בְּדָוִד אֲנִי מִמְּךָ וּמַדּוּעַ הֱקִלֹּתַנִי וְלֹא־הָיָה דְבָרִי רִאשׁוֹן לִי לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־מַלְכִּי וַיִּקֶשׁ דְּבַר־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה מִדְּבַר אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

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II Samuel 18
II Samuel 20

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II Samuel 19

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