2Samuel 19

 

וַיִּרְגַּז הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּעַל עַל־עֲלִיַּת הַשַּׁעַר וַיֵּבְךְּ וְכֹה אָמַר בְּלֶכְתּוֹ בְּנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם מִי־יִתֵּן   19:1 מוּתִי אֲנִי תַחְתֶּיךָ אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי׃

2Sam. 19:1   And the king trembled, and he went up on the stairway of the gate and wept, and thus he said in his going, “O my son, Absalom!  My son, my son, Absalom!  Oh, would that I had died instead of you!  Absalom, my son, my son!”

וַיֻּגַּד לְיוֹאָב הִנֵּה הַמֶּלֶךְ בֹּכֶה וַיִּתְאַבֵּל עַל־אַבְשָׁלֹם׃   19:2

2Sam. 19:2   And it was told to Joab, “Behold, the king weeps and laments for Absalom.”

וַתְּהִי הַתְּשֻׁעָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לְאֵבֶל לְכָל־הָעָם כִּי־שָׁמַע הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר נֶעֱצַב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל־בְּנוֹ׃   19:3

2Sam. 19:3   And the victory became on that day of mourning for all the people, for the people had heard on that day saying, “The king is grieving for his son.”

וַיִּתְגַּנֵּב הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לָבוֹא הָעִיר כַּאֲשֶׁר יִתְגַּנֵּב הָעָם הַנִּכְלָמִים בְּנוּסָם בַּמִּלְחָמָה׃   19:4

2Sam. 19:4   And the people on that day were coming stealthily into the city, as a people ashamed by their flight in battle might steal away.

וְהַמֶּלֶךְ לָאַט אֶת־פָּנָיו וַיִּזְעַק הַמֶּלֶךְ קוֹל גָּדוֹל בְּנִי אַבְשָׁלוֹם אַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּנִי בְנִי׃   19:5

2Sam. 19:5   And the king covered his face, and the king cried, a loud voice, “O my son, Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!”

וַיָּבֹא יוֹאָב אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ הַבָּיִת וַיֹּאמֶר הֹבַשְׁתָּ הַיּוֹם אֶת־פְּנֵי כָל־עֲבָדֶיךָ הַמְמַלְּטִים אֶת־נַפְשְׁךָ הַיּוֹם   19:6 וְאֵת נֶפֶשׁ בָּנֶיךָ וּבְנֹתֶיךָ וְנֶפֶשׁ נָשֶׁיךָ וְנֶפֶשׁ פִּלַגְשֶׁיךָ׃

2Sam. 19:6   And Joab came in to the king at home and said, “Today you have shamed the faces of all your servants who are preserving your life today and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines,

לְאַהֲבָה אֶת־שֹׂנְאֶיךָ וְלִשְׂנֹא אֶת־אֹהֲבֶיךָ כִּי הִגַּדְתָּ הַיּוֹם כִּי אֵין לְךָ שָׂרִים וַעֲבָדִים כִּי יָדַעְתִּי הַיּוֹם כִּי   19:7 (לֹא) [לוּ] אַבְשָׁלוֹם חַי וְכֻלָּנוּ הַיּוֹם מֵתִים כִּי־אָז יָשָׁר בְּעֵינֶיךָ׃

2Sam. 19:7   loving your enemies and hating your friends, for you have declared today that captains and servants are nothing to you.  Surely I understand today that if Absalom were alive and all of us today were dead, even then, it would be right in your eyes.”

An error in parentheses is corrected in the brackets.

וְעַתָּה קוּם צֵא וְדַבֵּר עַל־לֵב עֲבָדֶיךָ כִּי בַיהוָה נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי כִּי־אֵינְךָ יוֹצֵא אִם־יָלִין אִישׁ אִתְּךָ הַלַּיְלָה   19:8 וְרָעָה לְךָ זֹאת מִכָּל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר־בָּאָה עָלֶיךָ מִנְּעֻרֶיךָ עַד־עָתָּה׃

2Sam. 19:8   “Now then, rise, go out and speak to the hearts of your servants, for by the Lord I swear, if you are not going out, no one will stay with you tonight, and that would be worse for you than all the evil that has come on you from your youth until now.”

וַיָּקָם הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֵּשֶׁב בַּשָּׁעַר וּלְכָל־הָעָם הִגִּידוּ לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה הַמֶּלֶךְ יוֹשֵׁב בַּשַּׁעַר וַיָּבֹא כָל־הָעָם לִפְנֵי   19:9 הַמֶּלֶךְ וְיִשְׂרָאֵל נָס אִישׁ לְאֹהָלָיו׃

2Sam. 19:9   So the king rose and sat by the gate, and they told to all the people saying, “Behold, the king is sitting by the gate.”  Then all the people came before the king.  Now Israel had fled each to his tent.

וַיְהִי כָל־הָעָם נָדוֹן בְּכָל־שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר הַמֶּלֶךְ הִצִּילָנוּ מִכַּף אֹיְבֵינוּ וְהוּא מִלְּטָנוּ מִכַּף   19:10 פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְעַתָּה בָּרַח מִן־הָאָרֶץ מֵעַל אַבְשָׁלוֹם׃

2Sam. 19:10   And the whole people was contending throughout the tribes of Israel saying, “The king had delivered us from the hand of our enemies and he had saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has run away from the land because of Absalom.”

וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם אֲשֶׁר מָשַׁחְנוּ עָלֵינוּ מֵת בַּמִּלְחָמָה וְעַתָּה לָמָה אַתֶּם מַחֲרִשִׁים לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃   19:11

2Sam. 19:11   “Now Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle.  So now why are you avoiding bringing back the king?”

וְהַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד שָׁלַח אֶל־צָדוֹק וְאֶל־אֶבְיָתָר הַכֹּהֲנִים לֵאמֹר דַּבְּרוּ אֶל־זִקְנֵי יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר לָמָּה תִהְיוּ   19:12 אַחֲרֹנִים לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וּדְבַר כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ׃

2Sam. 19:12   And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar, the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah saying, ‘Why would you be the last to let the king return to his house, as the talk of all Israel has come to the king, in regard to his house?”

אַחַי אַתֶּם עַצְמִי וּבְשָׂרִי אַתֶּם וְלָמָּה תִהְיוּ אַחֲרֹנִים לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃   19:13

2Sam. 19:13   “You are my brethren; my bone and my flesh are you.  Then why should you be the last to let the king return?”

וְלַעֲמָשָׂא תֹּמְרוּ הֲלוֹא עַצְמִי וּבְשָׂרִי אָתָּה כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה־לִּי אֱלֹהִים וְכֹה יוֹסִיף אִם־לֹא שַׂר־צָבָא   19:14

  תִּהְיֶה לְפָנַי כָּל־הַיָּמִים תַּחַת יוֹאָב׃

2Sam. 19:14   “And to Amasa you shall say, ‘Are you not of my bone and my flesh?  So may God do to me and still more, if you will not be captain of the host before me all the time instead of Joab.’”

Was David already prepared to relieve Joab of command?  I would assume so, for either or both of two reasons.  He slew Absalom (had David already heard this?) and he spoke so forcefully and pitilessly (although correctly perhaps) to the king during his grieving.

וַיַּט אֶת־לְבַב כָּל־אִישׁ־יְהוּדָה כְּאִישׁ אֶחָד וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ שׁוּב אַתָּה וְכָל־עֲבָדֶיךָ׃   19:15

2Sam. 19:15   And he made the heart of every man in Judah to yield like one man, and they sent to the king, “Return, you and all your servants.”

Commentators assume that the person referred to in the beginning of this verse is Amasa.  That may be correct, but I see that it could easily be David, as he has been speaking pleadingly for the previous three verses.

וַיָּשָׁב הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיָּבֹא עַד־הַיַּרְדֵּן וִיהוּדָה בָּא הַגִּלְגָּלָה לָלֶכֶת לִקְרַאת הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהַעֲבִיר אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־   19:16 הַיַּרְדֵּן׃

2Sam. 19:16  So the king returned, and he came up to the Jordan.  And Judah came to Gilgal, coming to meet the king, to help the king cross the Jordan.

וַיְמַהֵר שִׁמְעִי בֶן־גֵּרָא בֶּן־הַיְמִינִי אֲשֶׁר מִבַּחוּרִים וַיֵּרֶד עִם־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה לִקְרַאת הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד׃   19:17

2Sam. 19:17   And Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was from Bachurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David.

וְאֶלֶף אִישׁ עִמּוֹ מִבִּנְיָמִן וְצִיבָא נַעַר בֵּית שָׁאוּל וַחֲמֵשֶׁת עָשָׂר בָּנָיו וְעֶשְׂרִים עֲבָדָיו אִתּוֹ וְצָלְחו   19:18ּ הַיַּרְדֵּן לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

2Sam. 19:18   And a thousand men were with him from Benjamin.  And Ziba, a servant of the house of Saul, and fifteen of his sons and twenty of his servants were with him.  And they broke out of the Jordan before the king.

וְעָבְרָה הָעֲבָרָה לַעֲבִיר אֶת־בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלַעֲשׂוֹת הַטּוֹב (בְּעַיְנוֹ) [בְּעֵינָיו] וְשִׁמְעִי בֶן־גֵּרָא נָפַל לִפְנֵי   19:19 הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּעָבְרוֹ בַּיַּרְדֵּן׃

2Sam. 19:19   And the ferry carrying over the household of the king and bringing what was best in his eyes crossed, and Shimei son of Gera fell before the king on his crossing of the Jordan.

An error in parentheses is corrected in the brackets.

וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אַל־יַחֲשָׁב־לִי אֲדֹנִי עָוֺן וְאַל־תִּזְכֹּר אֵת אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱוָה עַבְדְּךָ בַּיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יָצָא אֲדֹנִי־   19:20 הַמֶּלֶךְ מִירוּשָׁלִָם לָשׂוּם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־לִבּוֹ׃

2Sam. 19:20   And he said to the king, “Let not my lord account iniquity to me, and do not remember that which your servant did iniquitously on the day that my lord, the king, went out from Jerusalem, to take the king to his heart.”

כִּי יָדַע עַבְדְּךָ כִּי אֲנִי חָטָאתִי וְהִנֵּה־בָאתִי הַיּוֹם רִאשׁוֹן לְכָל־בֵּית יוֹסֵף לָרֶדֶת לִקְרַאת אֲדֹנִי   19:21

 הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

2Sam. 19:21   “For your servant knows that I had sinned, so behold, I have come today, first for all the house of Joseph to come down, to meet my lord, the king.”

וַיַּעַן אֲבִישַׁי בֶּן־צְרוּיָה וַיֹּאמֶר הֲתַחַת זֹאת לֹא יוּמַת שִׁמְעִי כִּי קִלֵּל אֶת־מְשִׁיחַ יְהוָה׃   19:22

2Sam. 19:22   But Abishai son of Zeruiah answered and said, “Because of this, Shimei shall not be put to death because he cursed the anointed of the Lord.”

וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד מַה־לִּי וְלָכֶם בְּנֵי צְרוּיָה כִּי־תִהְיוּ־לִי הַיּוֹם לְשָׂטָן הַיּוֹם יוּמַת אִישׁ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי הֲלוֹא   19:23 יָדַעְתִּי כִּי הַיּוֹם אֲנִי־מֶלֶךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2Sam. 19:23   And David said, “What is it to me and to you, sons of Zeruiah, that you are to me today for an adversary?  Today should any man in Israel be put to death?  For do I not know that today I am king over Israel?”

וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־שִׁמְעִי לֹא תָמוּת וַיִּשָּׁבַע לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ׃   19:24

2Sam. 19:24   Then the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.”  And the king swore to him.

וּמְפִבֹשֶׁת בֶּן־שָׁאוּל יָרַד לִקְרַאת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא־עָשָׂה רַגְלָיו וְלֹא־עָשָׂה שְׂפָמוֹ וְאֶת־בְּגָדָיו לֹא כִבֵּס   19:25 לְמִן־הַיּוֹם לֶכֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ עַד־הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר־בָּא בְשָׁלוֹם׃

2Sam. 19:25   And Mephibosheth, grandson of Saul, came down to meet the king, and he had not maintained his feet and he had not maintained his beard, and he had not washed his clothes since the day of departure of the king up to the day that he came in peace.

וַיְהִי כִּי־בָא יְרוּשָׁלִַם לִקְרַאת הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לָמָּה לֹא־הָלַכְתָּ עִמִּי מְפִיבֹשֶׁת׃   19:26

2Sam. 19:26   And it was, when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “Why did you not leave with me, Mephibosheth?”

וַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ עַבְדִּי רִמָּנִי כִּי־אָמַר עַבְדְּךָ אֶחְבְּשָׁה־לִּי הַחֲמוֹר וְאֶרְכַּב עָלֶיהָ וְאֵלֵךְ אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ   19:27 כִּי פִסֵּחַ עַבְדֶּךָ׃

2Sam. 19:27   And he said, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said, ‘I will saddle the ass for myself and ride on it and pursue the king.’  For your servant is lame.”

Mephibosheth seems to be speaking here of Ziba, his servant, and complaining about him.

וַיְרַגֵּל בְּעַבְדְּךָ אֶל־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ כְּמַלְאַךְ הָאֱלֹהִים וַעֲשֵׂה הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ׃   19:28

2Sam. 19:28   “And he has slandered against your servant to my lord, the king.  But my lord, the king, is like an angel of God, and he will do what is fair in your eyes.”

כִּי לֹא הָיָה כָּל־בֵּית אָבִי כִּי אִם־אַנְשֵׁי־מָוֶת לַאדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַתָּשֶׁת אֶת־עַבְדְּךָ בְּאֹכְלֵי שֻׁלְחָנֶךָ וּמַה־   19:29 יֶּשׁ־לִי עוֹד צְדָקָה וְלִזְעֹק עוֹד אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

2Sam. 19:29   For there was none of all the house of my father of those dead who was not for my lord, the king; yet you set your servant with the diners of your table.  So what is there yet for me more right to cry still to the king?”

וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לָמָּה תְּדַבֵּר עוֹד דְּבָרֶיךָ אָמַרְתִּי אַתָּה וְצִיבָא תַּחְלְקוּ אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶה׃   19:30

2Sam. 19:30  Then the king said to him, “Why should you speak anymore your words?  I say you and Ziba shall divide the land.”

Whatever Mephibosheth’s complaint was, David now retracts his earlier grant of all of Ziba’s master’s (Saul or Mephibosheth) possessions to him (see 2Sam. 16:4).

וַיֹּאמֶר מְפִיבֹשֶׁת אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ גַּם אֶת־הַכֹּל יִקָּח אַחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר־בָּא אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶך בְּשָׁלוֹם אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ׃   19:31

2Sam. 19:31   But Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take all, because my lord, the king, has come in peace into his house.”

וּבַרְזִלַּי הַגִּלְעָדִי יָרַד מֵרֹגְלִים וַיַּעֲבֹר אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן לְשַׁלְּחוֹ אֶת־ (בַיַּרְדֵּן) [הַיַּרְדֵּן]׃   19:32

2Sam. 19:32   And Barzillai, the Gileadite, came down from Rogelim, and he conducted the king over the Jordan to send him over the Jordan.                                     [Return to 2Sam. 21:8]

The alleged error in the parentheses is not an error in my opinion.  The correction in the brackets replaces the beth prefix with a heh, changing the translation from over the Jordan to the Jordan (omitting the preposition over).

וּבַרְזִלַּי זָקֵן מְאֹד בֶּן־שְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה וְהוּא־כִלְכַּל אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּשִׁיבָתוֹ בְמַחֲנַיִם כִּי־אִישׁ גָּדוֹל הוּא   19:33 מְאֹד׃

2Sam. 19:33   Now Barzillai was old very, of age eighty years, and he provided the king with sustenance during his stay in Machanaim, for he was a very great man.

וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־בַּרְזִלָּי אַתָּה עֲבֹר אִתִּי וְכִלְכַּלְתִּי אֹתְךָ עִמָּדִי בִּירוּשָׁלִָם׃   19:34

2Sam. 19:34   And the king said to Barzillai, “You come over with me and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem.”

וַיֹּאמֶר בַּרְזִלַּי אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ כַּמָּה יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיַּי כִּי־אֶעֱלֶה אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃   19:35

2Sam. 19:35   And Barzillai said to the king, “How many are the days of the years of my life that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?”

בֶּן־שְׁמֹנִים שָׁנָה אָנֹכִי הַיּוֹם הַאֵדַע בֵּין־טוֹב לְרָע אִם־יִטְעַם עַבְדְּךָ אֶת־אֲשֶׁר אֹכַל וְאֶת־אֲשֶׁר   19:36 אֶשְׁתֶּה אִם־אֶשְׁמַע עוֹד בְּקוֹל שָׁרִים וְשָׁרוֹת וְלָמָּה יִהְיֶה עַבְדְּךָ עוֹד לְמַשָּׂא אֶל־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

2Sam. 19:36   “I am eighty years of age today.  Can I tell from good to bad?  Can your servant still taste what I eat or what I drink?  Can I still hear again the voices of men singing and women singing?  Then why should your servant be for a burden to my lord, the king, any more?”

כִּמְעַט יַעֲבֹר עַבְדְּךָ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלָמָּה יִגְמְלֵנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגְּמוּלָה הַזֹּאת׃   19:37

2Sam. 19:37   “Few would take your servant over the Jordan with the king, so why should the king bestow a reward such as that on me?”

יָשָׁב־נָא עַבְדְּךָ וְאָמֻת בְּעִירִי עִם קֶבֶר אָבִי וְאִמִּי וְהִנֵּה עַבְדְּךָ כִמְהָם יַעֲבֹר עִם־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ   19:38 וַעֲשֵׂה־לוֹ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־טוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ׃

2Sam. 19:38   “Let your servant return, I pray you, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother.  But behold your servant, Chimham.  Have him cross with my lord, the king, and do for him what is fair in your eyes.”

We may easily conclude that Chimham is Barzillai’s son or nephew, although there is no support for this in the bible.

וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אִתִּי יַעֲבֹר כִּמְהָם וַאֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂה־לּוֹ אֶת־הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־תִּבְחַר עָלַי   19:39 אֶעֱשֶׂה־לָּךְ׃

2Sam. 19:39   So the king said, “Chimham shall cross with me, and I shall do for him what is good in your eyes, and anything that you may need by me I shall do for you.”

וַיַּעֲבֹר כָּל־הָעָם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וְהַמֶּלֶךְ עָבָר וַיִּשַּׁק הַמֶּלֶךְ לְבַרְזִלַּי וַיְבָרֲכֵהוּ וַיָּשָׁב לִמְקֹמוֹ׃   19:40

2Sam. 19:40   Then the entire people crossed the Jordan, and the king went over.  And he gave a kiss to Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place.

וַיַּעֲבֹר הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגִּלְגָּלָה וְכִמְהָן עָבַר עִמּוֹ וְכָל־עַם יְהוּדָה וַיְעֱבִרוּ אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְגַם חֲצִי עַם   19:41

 יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2Sam. 19:41   And the king passed on to Gilgal, and Chimham came with him, and all the people of Judah, and they brought the king, and also half the people of Israel.

Half the people of Israel appears to be a gross exaggeration on the face of it.  It couldn’t have been more than a small number.  I suspect the scribe may have meant half the people of Israel who were there at the river.

וְהִנֵּה כָּל־אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּאִים אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ מַדּוּעַ גְּנָבוּךָ אַחֵינוּ אִישׁ יְהוּדָה   19:42

  וַיַּעֲבִרוּ אֶת־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וְכָל־אַנְשֵׁי דָוִד עִמּוֹ׃

2Sam. 19:42   Then behold, all the men of Israel were coming to the king, and they said to the king, “Why have our brethren, the men of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all the men of David with him?”

וַיַּעַן כָּל־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה עַל־אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־קָרוֹב הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵלַי וְלָמָּה זֶּה חָרָה לְךָ עַל־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה   19:43 הֶאָכוֹל אָכַלְנוּ מִן־הַמֶּלֶךְ אִם־נִשֵּׂאת נִשָּׂא לָנוּ׃

2Sam. 19:43   And every man of Judah shouted over the men of Israel, “Because the king is a kinsman to me!  And why is it there is anger for you over this matter?  Have we eaten food at all from the king?  Or has any gift been given to us?”

וַיַּעַן אִישׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה וַיֹּאמֶר עֶשֶׂר־יָדוֹת לִי בַמֶּלֶךְ וְגַם־בְּדָוִד אֲנִי מִמְּךָ וּמַדּוּעַ   19:44

  הֱקִלֹּתַנִי וְלֹא־הָיָה דְבָרִי רִאשׁוֹן לִי לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־מַלְכִּי וַיִּקֶשׁ דְּבַר־אִישׁ יְהוּדָה

 מִדְּבַר אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2Sam. 19:44   And the man of Israel answered the man of Judah and said, “There are ten places for me with the king, so I am more with the king than you.  Then why did you show me contempt that it was not my portion for me to bring back my king?”  But the speech of the men of Judah was more forceful than the speech of the men of Israel.

This argument between the men of Judah and the men of Israel going on from v. 19:42 to v. 19:44 about who had more right to escort the king to Gilgal seems foolish to me.  But it may be the scribe’s way of emphasizing the competition between Judah and Israel and foreshadowing their future split   Although Israel represented ten tribes to Judah’s two, their argument is specious.  They seem to have forgotten that they had supported Absalom against David almost to that day, and were now apparently trying to get back into David’s good graces.

 

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