2Samuel 16

 

2Samuel 16:1–23

David Outside of Jerusalem; Absalom in Jerusalem


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


These exegetical studies are not designed for you to read each and every word. For instance, the Hebrew exegesis is put into greyish tables, so that if you want to skip over them, that is fine. If you question a translation, you can always refer back to the appropriate Hebrew tables to sort it all out.

 

The intent is to make this particular study the most complete and most accurate examination of 2Samuel 16 which is available in writing. The idea is to make every phrase, verse and passage understandable; and to make application of all that is studied.


Commentary on v. 6: David, when it came to taking the reign of Israel, did it with humility and he never lost the concept of spiritual authority which was over him.

 

Ronald Regan said: "It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so." This describes Shimei’s (lack of) understanding of David and King Saul—so much of what he thinks is true, just isn’t.

 

And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why have you not gone with your friend? (2Sam. 16:17).

 

Now the counsel of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the Word of God. So was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom (2Sam. 16:23).


Outline of Chapter 16:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–4           Mephibosheth’s Servant, Ziba, Comes to David

         vv.     5–14         Benjamite Shimei Curses David

         vv.    15–19         Absalom Interrogates Hushai, David’s Friend

         vv.    20–23         Ahithophel’s First Counsel to Absalom: Rape David’s Mistresses

 

Addendum


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         The Principals of 2Samuel 16

         Introduction         The Prequel of 2Samuel 16

         Introduction         The Abbreviated Davidic Timeline

         Introduction         A Synopsis of 2Samuel 16

         Introduction         Alternative Outlines

 

         v.       1              Who is Ziba?

         v.       1              Smith on Mephibosheth

         v.       3              Who is Lying? Ziba or Mephibosheth?

         v.       4              How Could David Have Been Fooled by Ziba?

         v.       4              David’s Decision Concerning Ziba—a New Approach

         v.       5              The Village of Bahurim

         v.       6              David’s Honor with Respect to King Saul

         v.       6              Shimei heaves stones at David (graphic)

         v.       8              Deaths in the House of Saul

         v.      13              The People David Met Along the Way

         v.      15              Links to the Doctrine of Iconoclastic Arrogance

         v.      20              The Vocabulary of Revolution

         v.      21              The Advice of Ahithophel

         v.      21              Taking Ahithophel’s Advice—the Advantage to Absalom

         v.      21              Taking Ahithophel’s Advice Part II—the Advantage to Ahithophel

         v.      21              The Principle of the Man Behind the Man

 

         Addendum          What We Learn from 2Samuel 16

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes 2Samuel 16

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 16


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Samuel


Pre-Introduction Links

Doctrines Covered and Alluded To

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To or Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

 

 

Revolution


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

 

 

 

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. In addition to this, I will use a number of other more traditional technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Definition of Terms

Arrogance Complex (Also known as the interlocking systems of arrogance)

The interlocking systems of arrogance refers to many clusters of sins which have a tendency to interlock with one another. That is, a believer who goes into interlocking systems of arrogance through one gate (or entrance), is likely to interlock with another cluster of sins if he remains out of fellowship. We have simple examples of this in life. A person might begin to smoke marijuana, which is illegal. Some time later, he may become involved in anti-authority actions, extreme liberal philosophy and politics, and break more and greater laws. He may involve himself with a woman with the same weaknesses, and they become involved in sexual arrogance together (his norms and standards being wiped out by his changing mores). He enters in the gate of smoking marijuana which makes him vulnerable to a number of other clusters of sins.

Emotional Revolt

The emotional revolt of the soul is the condition of the soul when the soul’s self-consciousness makes decisions because it has yielded itself to a strong emotional state.

Iconoclastic arrogance

Iconoclastic arrogance is idolizing a person, which person is then mentally destroyed by the admirer's own disillusionment.

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers).

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


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An Introduction to 2Samuel 16


I ntroduction: 2Sam. 16 introduces a number of related vignettes. Mephibosheth, the lame son of Jonathan, has been honored and protected by King David for several decades now. His servant, Ziba, will come to David and bring David a great many supplies. Ziba will tell David (and this appears to be a lie) that Mephibosheth likes what is going on in Jerusalem, and he did not come out to meet David, because he thought he might have his family restored as the ruling family of Israel. We will later come to find, in another chapter, that this story of Ziba’s seems to be a fabrication.


As David continues moving away from Jerusalem, Shimei comes out to yell and curse at David and to throw rocks at him. We understand through Shimei just how irrational hatred can be; and how the low-information citizen of Israel might be reacting to all that is happening. At no time does Shimei appreciate the kind of danger he has placed himself in; nor does he recognize the graciousness of David, who could have easily killed him.


Then we change scenery, and view Absalom’s triumphal ride into Jerusalem. In the crowd, Absalom will pick out Hushai, a brilliant strategist who has been an advisor and close friend of his father’s. Absalom interrogates Hushai to find out why he is there, in the crowd greeting Absalom; and Hushai convinces him that Absalom has his support.


Then, we suddenly find out that Absalom, despite all of his scheming, really has no idea what to do. He walks into Jerusalem, David is gone, he has been proclaimed king, and he has to figure out. “What do I do next?” He asks the men around him, who would have been high-ranking soldiers and advisors. Ahithophel, his #1 advisor, suggests that he rape David’s mistresses who are left behind.


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of 2Samuel 16

Characters

Biographical Material

King David

King David has removed himself from Jerusalem, when there was the cry over all Israel that Absalom, his son, was now king in Hebron (a messenger came to David and told him that the men’s hearts in Israel was for Absalom). David, to clear his head and not to cause a lot of bloodshed in Jerusalem, is now moving in a north easterly direction, from Jerusalem to the Jordan River where it can be crossed.

Ziba

Ziba was King Saul’s servant; and when King Saul was killed, Ziba struck out on his own and was apparently quite successful (very likely, he took a lot of wealth from the Sauline family). David, showing grace to Mephibosheth, Saul’s lame grandson, put Ziba under him as Mephibosheth’s servant. Ziba will come to David with supplies and a story about his master Mephibosheth.

Shimei

Shimei ben Gera is a relative of King Saul’s and he is angry at David, claiming that David is a man of blood. When David comes near him, Shimei begins to throw rocks and curse David.

Abishai

David’s nephew, Abishai, is one of David’s greatest soldiers, and he will ask permission from David to take off Shimei’s head.

Joab

Although Joab is not specifically named in this chapter, he is clearly with Abishai, his brother, on the matter to removed Shimei’s head (see 2Sam. 16:10).

Absalom

Absalom is David’s son, who killed his half-brother Amnon when David did not punish Amnon for raping Tamar, Absalom’s sister. After being in exile, Absalom is brought back to Jerusalem, where he foments revolution against his father, the king. In this chapter, he will have his pre-victory ride into Jerusalem.

Hushai

Hushai is a brilliant strategist—an older man—who came to David while David was leaving Jerusalem, and was willing to go with David. David directed him to return to Jerusalem and to go into deep cover there, and to infiltrate Absalom’s administration. In this chapter, Absalom will interrogate Hushai.

Ahithophel

Ahithophel is Bathsheba’s grandfather, and he never got over David taking Bathsheba and having her husband killed. Therefore, Ahithophel became an enthusiastic supporter of Absalom. Ahithophel will offer his first recorded piece of advice to Absalom; and it will become apparent to Ahithophel that Absalom is not the great leader that he purports himself to be.


R. B. Thieme, Jr. suggests the Ahithophel is involved in iconoclastic arrogance, which he covers in great detail in the 1972 David Series #631_0429–430 (both the concept of iconoclastic arrogance as well as Ahithophel’s involvement in it).

This and the previous chapter are actually quite fascinating. We follow David on his exit from Jerusalem as he meets and interacts with a number of very different people. Then we see Absalom entering into Jerusalem and some of the people he interacts with.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of 2Samuel 16

David is still suffering the affects of his dalliance with Bathsheba. Absalom has fomented revolution against him, thus forcing David out of Jerusalem (which David chose to do rather than to wage a bloody battle in the city of Jerusalem). 2Samuel 11 (HTML) (PDF) 2Samuel 13 (HTML) (PDF) 2Samuel 14 (HTML) (PDF)


David has gathered his allies in war, leaving Jerusalem with them; and Absalom has begun to gather allies and advisors around him, and will be marching into Jerusalem from Hebron in this chapter. 2Samuel 15 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD)

This is one of the most fascinating narratives in the Word of God.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


This timeline is simply a shortened version of the David Timeline (HTML) (PDF), with a few principle events of David’s life recorded, along with the events of this chapter. Bracketed dates are derived from the Scripture, based upon author’s original premises.

The Abbreviated David Timeline

Fenton-Farrar

(F. L. Smith)

Bible Truth 4U

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Narrative

[1085 b.c.]

1040 b.c.

[1055 b.c.]

Ruth 4:22

David is born.

1062 b.c.

 

1029 b.c.

1Sam. 17

David defeats Goliath.

1055 b.c.

(c. 1010 b.c.)

1010 b.c.

1025 b.c.

2Sam. 2:1–4

David becomes king over Judah (the southern kingdom). David is 30. 2Sam. 5:4 David was 30 years old when he began to reign. He reigned 40 years.

1048 b.c.

(c. 1004 b.c.)

1003 b.c.

1018 b.c.

2Sam. 5:1–3

1Chron. 11:1–3

David becomes king over all Israel. He is still ruling from Hebron. David is approximately 37 years old, according to Bible Truth 4U.

1040 b.c.

 

 

2Sam. 9:1–13

Jonathan’s son (and Saul’s grandson) is honored by David. His former servant, Ziba, is reassigned to him by David.

1035 b.c.

 

1005 b.c.

c. 1016 b.c. (Klassen)

2Sam. 11:2–25

David’s sin with Bathsheba. He has her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in battle.

1024 b.c.

979–961 b.c. (?)

994–993 b.c.

2Sam. 15

Absalom rebels against David and David goes into exile. 2Sam. 15:6–10 And in this way Absalom did to all Israel that came to the king for judgment. And Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. And it happened at the end of 40 (4?) years, Absalom said to the king, Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to Jehovah in Hebron. For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Syria, saying, If Jehovah will indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve Jehovah. And the king said to him, Go in peace. And he arose and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the ram's horn, then you shall say, Absalom reigns in Hebron! Many have said that this reading is corrupt and ought to be 4 years. Footnote

 

 

 

2Sam. 16:1–14

David’s relationship with the two factions of Israel.

1023 b.c.

 

 

2Sam. 16:15–17:23

David gains the upper hand over Absalom by means of intrigue and deception.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


 

A Synopsis of 2Samuel 16

In some ways, 2Sam. 16 continues David’s march out of Jerusalem, where he runs into 2 more people. However, whereas he ran into many allies in 2Sam. 15, he will run into his opposition in this chapter. In the second half of this chapter, occurring coterminously with David’s trek toward the Jordan River, Absalom will enter into Jerusalem with his allies, advisors and army.

David has gone over the summit of the Mount of Olives and he meets Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, and Ziba has a number of supplies which he has gathered together for David. David asks him about his master’s son, Mephibosheth (actually, Saul’s grandson), and Ziba lets it be known that Mephibosheth has remained in Jerusalem to take back the crown for the family of Saul in all of the confusion. This appears to be a lie, but David does not catch it. David makes a snap decision, promising to give Ziba all of Mephibosheth’s estate. Vv. 1–4

Then David comes to Bahurim, where a very angry relative of Saul’s comes out, cursing at David and throwing rocks at him. Abishai, David’s nephew, offers to remove Shimei’s head—which action would not slow down David’s force march one whit—but David refuses to give him the order, suggesting possibly that Shimei is cursing because God told him to curse. Vv. 5–14

Then we go to Absalom, and his march into the city of Jerusalem. He is with Ahithophel, his top advisor, and he comes across Hushai, a great strategist, who is also known to be David’s friend. Absalom personally interrogates him, and seems to come to the conclusion that Hushai is no one to worry about. Vv. 15–19

Then suddenly, Absalom’s brain seems to stall, and he asks for direction; asks what he should do next. Ahithophel suggests that he rape David’s mistresses in the sight of all Israel, which advice Absalom takes. Ahithophel’s advice is considered the gold standard, both to David and to Absalom. Vv. 20–23

John Gill Footnote also gives a good synopsis:


In this chapter is an account of Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, getting his inheritance by misrepresentation of him, and by presents to David (2Sam. 16:1); and of Shimei's cursing David as he passed along, which David bore patiently, and would not suffer others to avenge it on him (2Sam. 16:5); and of Hushai's offer of his service to Absalom, who admitted him to be of his privy council (2Sam. 16:15); and of the counsel which Ahithophel gave (2Sam. 15:20).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


There are not many dramatic differences in the outlines for this chapter, as it quite naturally divides well into two sections, which are also naturally subdivided.

Alternative Outlines

Adam Clark Footnote

1)      Ziba, servant of Mephibosheth, meets David with provisions, and by false insinuations obtains the grant of his masters property. 2Sam. 16:1–4

2)      Shimei abuses and curses David, who restrains Abishai from slaying him, 2Sam. 16:5–14.

3)      Hushai makes a feigned tender of his services to Absalom. 2Sam. 16:15–19

4)      Absalom calls a council and Ahithophel advises him to go in to his father’s concubines. 2Sam. 16:20–22

5)      Character of Ahithophel as a counselor. 2Sam. 16:23

Matthew Henry Footnote

In the close of the foregoing chapter we left David flying from Jerusalem, and Absalom entering into it; in this chapter:

I.       We are to follow David in his melancholy flight; and there we find him,

         1.      Cheated by Ziba (2Sam. 16:1–4).

         2.      Cursed by Shimei, which he bears with wonderful patience (2Sam. 16:5–14).

II.      We are to meet Absalom in his triumphant entry; and there we find him,

         1.      Cheated by Hushai (2Sam. 16:15–19).

         2.      Counselled by Ahithophel to go in unto his father's concubines (2Sam. 16:20–23).

As you see, there are unremarkable differences between the division of these passages.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


In this chapter, we continue to see David in a much different light; where he is a man on the run, and yet still making a number of executive decisions. We will follow David all the way from the downward slope of the Mount of Olives to the fords of the wilderness, which is the Jordan River crossing.


Parallel to this will be Absalom entering into Jerusalem, as the defacto king, and then being unable to present a clear vision as to his direction after entering this city.


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Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Mephibosheth's Servant, Ziba, Comes to David


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And David had passed over a little from the top and, behold, Ziba, a boy of Mephibosheth, to meet him. And a pair of donkeys saddled up and upon them two hundred a bread and a hundred grape clusters [or, cakes] and a hundred harvest fruits and a skin of wine.

2Samuel

16:1

When David had passed over a little from the summit, behold, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s young servant [came] to meet him. And [with him was] a pair of donkeys saddled up and upon them 200 [loaves of] bread, 100 grape clusters [or, raisin/fig cakes], 100 harvest vegetables [and fruits] and a skin container of wine.

When David had passed over a little beyond the summit, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s young servant, came up to meet him. He had with him a yoking of donkeys who had been saddle up and they were carrying food supplies for David’s army: 200 loaves of bread, 100 raisin cakes, 100 harvest fruits and vegetables, and a skin container of wine.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation Footnote ; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold Siba the servant of Miphiboseth came to meet him with two asses, laden with two hundred loaves of bread, and a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs, and a vessel of wine.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And David had passed over a little from the top and, behold, Ziba, a boy of Mephibosheth, to meet him. And a pair of donkeys saddled up and upon them two hundred a bread and a hundred grape clusters [or, cakes] and a hundred harvest fruits and a skin of wine.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    AND when David had passed a little beyond the place where he used to worship, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth came to meet him, with a couple of asses, laden with two hundred loaves of bread and a hundred bunches of raisins and a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David passed on a little way from Ros; and behold, Ziba the servant of Memphibosheth came to meet him; and he had a couple of donkeys saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves, and a hundred cakes of raisins, and a hundred cakes of dates, and a bottle of wine.

 

Significant differences:           The hundred harvest fruits agree with the Dead Sea Scrolls (not shown above); but the Latin, Syriac and Greek all have a hundred date (or, fig) cakes.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       David had started down the other side of the Mount of Olives, when he was met by Ziba, the chief servant of Mephibosheth. Ziba had two donkeys that were carrying two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred handfuls of raisins, a hundred figs, and some wine.

Easy English                          David and Ziba

David had just passed the top of the hill. Ziba, who was Mephibosheth's servant, met David. Ziba had a row of *donkeys. There were saddles on the *donkeys. The *donkeys carried 200 loaves of bread and 100 round packs of raisins (a type of dried fruit). They also had 100 packs of figs (fruit) and a leather bag full of wine.

Good News Bible (TEV)         When David had gone a little beyond the top of the hill, he was suddenly met by Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, who had with him a couple of donkeys loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred bunches of fresh fruit, and a leather bag full of wine.

The Message                         Shortly after David passed the crest of the hill, Mephibosheth's steward Ziba met him with a string of pack animals, saddled and loaded with a hundred loaves of bread, a hundred raisin cakes, a hundred baskets of fresh fruit, and a skin of wine.

New Century Version             Ziba Meets David

When David had passed a short way over the top of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, met him. Ziba had a row of donkeys loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred cakes of raisins, one hundred cakes of figs, and leather bags full of wine.

New Life Bible                        When David had gone a short way past the mountain top, Mephibosheth's servant Ziba met him with two donkeys ready for traveling. On them were 200 loaves of bread, 100 vines of dried grapes, 100 summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.

New Living Translation           David and Ziba

When David had gone a little beyond the summit of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth [Mephibosheth is another name for Merib-baal.], was waiting there for him. He had two donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 bunches of summer fruit, and a wineskin full of wine.

The Voice                               After David and his people passed over the crest of the Mount of Olives, the exiles met Ziba, who served Saul's son Mephibosheth. Ziba led a couple of donkeys carrying goods: 200 loaves of bread, 100 clumps of raisins, 100 summer fruits, and a wineskin.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, after David had traveled a short distance from Ros, {Look!} Ziba (MephiBosheth's servant) came to meet him with a pair of saddled burros, two hundred loaves of bread, a bushel of raisins, a hundred clusters of dried fruit, and a skin flask of wine.

Beck’s American Translation When David had come a little over the top of the mount, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, met him with a couple of donkeys that were saddled and loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 200 portions of summer fruit, and a skin of wine.

God’s Word                         When David had gone over the top of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, met him with a pair of saddled donkeys. They were loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 bunches of raisins, 100 pieces of ripened fruit, and a full wineskin.

New American Bible (R.E.)    David and Ziba.

David went a little beyond the top and Ziba, the servant of Meribbaal, was there to meet him with saddled donkeys laden with two hundred loaves of bread, an ephah of cakes of pressed raisins, an ephah of summer fruits, and a skin of wine.

NIRV                                      Ziba Lies to David

David went just beyond the top of the Mount of Olives. Ziba was waiting there to meet him. He was Mephibosheth's manager. He had several donkeys with saddles on them. They were carrying 200 loaves of bread and 100 raisin cakes. They were also carrying 100 fig cakes and a bottle of wine. The bottle was made out of animal skin.

New Jerusalem Bible             When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Meribbaal's retainer, Ziba, met him with a pair of donkeys, saddled and laden with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of the season's fruits, and a skin of wine.

Revised English Bible            When David had moved on a little from the top of the ridge, he was met by Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth, who had with him a pair of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred clusters of raisins, a hundred bunches of summer fruit, and a skin of wine.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      David passed a little from the peak and beheld Ziba the lad of Mephibosheth greeting him with a team of asses bound with two-hundred bread, a hundred raisin-clusters, a hundred of the summer-harvest, and a vessel of wine.

Bible in Basic English             And when David had gone a little way past the top of the slope, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, came to him, with two asses on which were two hundred cakes of bread and a hundred stems of dry grapes and a hundred summer fruits and a skin of wine.

The Expanded Bible              Ziba Meets David

When David had passed a short way ·over the top of the Mount of Olives [L?beyond the summit], Ziba, Mephibosheth's [CJonathan's son and Saul's grandson; 4:4] servant, met him. Ziba had a ·row [string; or couple] of donkeys loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred ·cakes [or clusters] of raisins, one hundred ·cakes of figs [Lbunches of summer fruits], and ·leather bags full [skins] of wine.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 When David passed a little beyond the hill-tops, there came Ziba, the steward of Mefibosheth, to meet him with a troop of asses loaded, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred bundles of vegetables, and a skin of wine.

HCSB                                     When David had gone a little beyond the summit, Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, was right there to meet him. He had a pair of saddled donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 bunches of summer fruit, and a skin of wine.

New Advent Bible                  When David passed a little way beyond the top of the hill, there was Siba, the servant of Miphiboseth, coming to meet them. He had two asses with him, laden with two hundred loaves, and a hundred bunches of raisins, and a hundred cakes of figs, and a skin of wine.

NET Bible®                             David Receives Gifts from Ziba

When David had gone a short way beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth was there to meet him. He had a couple of donkeys that were saddled, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred raisin cakes, a hundred baskets of summer fruit [Heb "a hundred summer fruit."], and a container of wine. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

NIV – UK                                David and Ziba

When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           When David had gone a little past the summit, there was Tziva, the servant of M'fivoshet, who met him with a pair of donkeys saddled and on them 200 loaves of bread, 100 bunches of raisins, 100 pieces of summer fruit and a skin of wine.

exeGeses companion Bible   DAVID AND SIBA

And David is a little past the top,

and behold, Siba the lad of Mephi Bosheth meets him

with a pair of harnessed he burros;

and on them two hundred bread

and a hundred raisincakes

and a hundred summer fruits

and a bag of wine.

Hebrew Names Version         When David was a little past the top [of the ascent], behold, Tziva the servant of Mefivoshet met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, and one hundred clusters of raisins, and one hundred summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And David was a little past the top (of the mount), and behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth (came) toward him, with a pair of saddled asses, and upon them (were) two hundred (loaves) of bread, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and a hundred summer fruit, and a flask of wine.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And when Dovid was a little past the top of the hill, hinei, Tziva the na'ar of Mephivoshet met him, with a couple of chamorim saddled, and upon them 200 lechem, and 100 bunches of tzimmukim, and 100 kayitz, and a skin of yayin.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                When David was a little past the top [of Olivet], behold, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, met him with a couple of donkeys saddled, and upon them 200 loaves of bread, 100 bunches of raisins, 100 summer fruits, and a skin of wine.

Darby Translation                  And when David was a little past the summit, behold, Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant, met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred [loaves] of bread, and a hundred raisin-cakes, and a hundred cakes of summer fruits, and a flask of wine.

English Standard V. – UK       David and Ziba

When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, bearing two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a skin of wine.

The Geneva Bible                  And when David was a little past the top [of the hill] [Which was the hill of olives,], behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred [loaves] of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.

NASB                                     Ziba, a False Servant

Now when David had passed a little beyond the summit, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred clusters of raisins, a hundred summer fruits, and a jug of wine.

New King James Version       Mephibosheth's Servant

When David was a little past the top of the mountain, there was Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth, who met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred summer fruits, and a skin of wine.

Syndein/Thieme Footnote                      {Note: 17 years have passed since we saw Mephibosheth last in chapter 9. Ziba, who lost everything, is scheming to get it back.} {Verses 1-4: Opportunist Ziba At It Again}

And when David was a little past the top of the hill, {David and his men were fleeing and Ziba knew where David would be and wants to 'help' David - and lies about Mephibosheth} behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.

World English Bible                When David was a little past the top of the ascent, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, and one hundred clusters of raisins, and one hundred summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.

Young's Literal Translation     And David hath passed on a little from the top, and lo, Ziba, servant of Mephibosheth—to meet him, and a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves, and a hundred bunches of raisins, and a hundred of summer-fruit, and a bottle of wine.

 

The gist of this verse:          After crossing over the mountain, the king runs into Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant; and he has donkeys, food and wine with him.


2Samuel 16:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʿâbar (עָבַר) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over [beyond], to cross, to cross over; to go away, to depart; to violate [a law]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

meʿaţ (מְעַט) [pronounced me-ĢAHT]

a little, fewness, few

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4592 BDB #589

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

rôʾsh (רֹאש or רֹאֶש) [pronounced rohsh]

head [of a man, city, state, nation, place, family, priest], top [of a mountain]; chief, prince, officer; front, choicest, best; height [of stars]; sum

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #7218 BDB #910


Translation: When David had passed over a little from the summit,... What has happened as David crossed over the east mountain outside of Jerusalem (the Mount of Olives), there have been a great many significant things occur. One of these things was his quick prayer and God’s immediate answer to that prayer.


At this point, David has passed over the summit of the mountain, and is heading down the east side of the Mount of Olives. In 2Sam. 15:30, David was ascending the mountain; in 2Sam. 15:32, David was at the summit, and now he is heading down on the other side. This suggests that much or all of this section on David is in chronological order.


2Samuel 16:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

This seems to attempt to take others and put them in the place of the person saying this (so that they see the same thing); or to grab the attention of the reader.

Tsîybâʾ (צִיבָה) [pronounced tsee-BAW]

statue, post; strength; transliterated Ziba

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6717 BDB #850

naʿar (נַעַר) [pronounced NAH-ģahr]

boy, youth, young man; personal attendant; slave-boy

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #5288 & #5289 BDB #654

Mephîybôsheth (מְפִיבֹשֶת) [pronounced mehf-ee-BOH-shehth]

dispeller of shame; an advocate of shame; a shameful thing from the mouth; exterminating an idol; transliterated Mephibosheth

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4648 BDB #937

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

qârâʾ (קָרָא) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to encounter, to befall, to meet; to assemble [for the purpose of encountering God or exegeting His Word]; to come, to assemble

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7122 & #7125 BDB #896


Translation: ...behold, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s young servant [came] to meet him. Mephibosheth is Saul’s lame son whom David honored and took care off. We had not heard anything from him for awhile now. He would be a middle-aged or an older adult. He is not a kid.


He has a servant named Ziba, and Ziba comes up to meet David. We have to be careful at this point, because we never know who exactly to believe. What would seem logical is that Mephibosheth sent Ziba to David to get some supplies to him. However, that is not what Ziba says is happening, as we will see.


Dimly, in the back of your mind, you may recall that we have studied Ziba. This is what we know about him so far:

Who is Ziba?

1.      Ziba is found in 3 passages of the Old Testament: 2Sam. 9 16:1–4 19:17–30. We are only going to see what has occurred in the past.

2.      David, once he had become king, had several things that he wanted to do. Many kings consider their power and their possible adversaries and they kill all potential adversaries. It would have been customary for David to find anyone remaining in the house of Saul to kill them. David, instead, sought out anyone from the house of Saul to show grace to. 2Sam. 9:1

3.      Ziba was apparently a well-known servant from the house of Saul, and David summoned him to see if there was anyone he could show grace to. Ziba suggests Mephibosheth (also known as Merib-baal), who is the crippled son of Jonathan. 2Sam. 9:2–3

4.      David calls for Mephibosheth, and, interestingly enough, Ziba, Saul’s servant, was not looking after him, but Mephibosheth was being kept elsewhere. 2Sam. 9:4–8

5.      David restores the estate of Saul to Mephibosheth and places all of Ziba’s household under Mephibosheth. 2Sam. 9:9–10a

6.      Ziba has 15 sons and 20 servants, all of whom become the servants of Mephibosheth. For Ziba to have been so prosperous, there is the likelihood that he was able to secure a portion of Saul’s estate after Saul died in battle. 2Sam. 9:10b–12

7.      So Mephibosheth was restored to his father’s estate, and he was a dinner guest of the king from that day forward. 2Sam. 9:10, 13

8.      Here is some of the sub-text of that chapter: Ziba should have been looking after Mephibosheth. He did not remain a faithful servant to Saul. Saul’s death did not remove Ziba’s responsibilities.

9.      David put Ziba under the command of Mephibosheth, and brought Mephibosheth up to a position of royalty.

The full story can be found here: 2Samuel 9 (HTML) (PDF).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Smith gives a good overall view of Mephibosheth.

Smith on Mephibosheth

The son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul, and nephew of Mephibosheth, who is also called Merib–baal (1Chron. 8:34). His life seems to have been, from beginning to end, one of trial and discomfort. When his father and grandfather were slain on Gilboa, he was an infant, but five years old. At this age, he met with an accident which deprived him, for life, of the use of both feet. 2Sam. 4:4. After this, he is found a home with Machir ben–Ammiel, a powerful Gadite, who brought him up, and while here, was married.

Later on, David invited him to Jerusalem, and there treated him, and his son, Micha, with the greatest kindness. From this time forward, he resided at Jerusalem. Of Mephibosheth's behavior during the rebellion of Absalom, we possess two accounts –– his own (2Sam. 13:24–30), and that of Ziba (2Sam. 16:1–4). They are naturally, at variance with each other. In consequence of the story of Ziba, he was rewarded by the possessions of his master.

Mephibosheth's story -- which however, he had not the opportunity of telling, until several days later, when he met David returning to his kingdom, at the western bank of Jordan -- was very different from Ziba's. That David did not disbelieve it, is shown by his revoking the judgment, he had previously given. That he did not entirely reverse his decision, but allowed Ziba to retain possession of half the lands of Mephibosheth, is probably due partly to weariness at the whole transaction, but mainly to the conciliatory frame of mind in which he was at that moment. "Shall there any man be put to death this day?" is the keynote of the whole proceeding.

Although we will discuss this in more detail when David speaks to Mephibosheth, David will determine that the best thing to do is to separate Ziba and Mephibosheth from one another. However, if you read ahead and are concerned that maybe Mephibosheth got the worst of the deal, having to split up everything 50-50 with Ziba; it appears that most of the wealth came from Ziba, originally.

Taken from Dr. William Smith, Smith’s Bible Dictionary; 1894; from e-Sword, topic: Mephibosheth. Some slight editing.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Gnana Robinson, whom I often quote to show how mixed up an interpretation can be, gets this scene exactly right: Ziba...now comes to meet David with a large supply of food and drink. This is apparently a bid to discredit Mephibosheth in the eyes of David, in that Mephibosheth did not come himself to meet the king, and to win the king’s favor for himself. Ziba ascribes a sinister motive to Mephibosheth’s absence, alleging that latter to have expressed his intention to get back “the kingdom of [his] father.”  Footnote


We already know that Ziba is an opportunist. Whereas, he should have been faithful to his master Saul and seen after Mephibosheth, he appears to have absconded with a substantial amount of the Sauline fortune. Although the Bible does not tell us this specifically, we do know that Ziba did not take care of Mephibosheth and that he somehow ended up with 15 sons and 20 servants. That is a big jump to go from being a servant to having that many children and servants.


It ought not to be a shock that Ziba appears to be using this revolution for his own benefit, just as he used the Philistine attack on King Saul for his own benefit. It is even possible—although the Bible does not tell us this—that Mephibosheth himself sent Ziba out with these supplies for David. Footnote


Bear in mind that Mephibosheth is lame; so his coming out to speak to David is quite difficult for him to do. It would be perfectly logical for him to think of his friend David and have his servant Ziba take these things to David.


Some people have an ability to take historically disastrous situations and exploit them for their own personal benefit. Ziba already did this when the Philistines attacked and defeated King Saul; so it is not a great leap to think that he may attempt to use the Absalom revolution to break free of Mephibosheth and to possibly even take the wealth of Mephibosheth.


2Samuel 16:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

tsemed (צֶמֶד) [pronounced TZEH-med]

a couple, a pair; a yoke of

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6776 BDB #855

chămôwr (חֲמוֹר) [pronounced khuh-MOHR]

ass, male donkey, he-ass, burrow

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #2543 BDB #331

châbash (שחָבַ) [pronounced khaw-BAHSH]

those being bound around, up]; being wrapped [a turban, scarf] around; beint bound [by allegiance; law, rule]; joining; restraining; saddled [up with]; those governing

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #2280 BDB #289


Translation: And [with him was] a pair of donkeys saddled up... Ziba shows up with a pair of donkeys loaded up with foodstuffs. This could be a yoke of donkeys; and they both could be supporting some sort of platform upon which all of this stuff is. Obviously, in the ancient world, they had this figured out.


This tells us that Jerusalem is still somewhat chaotic and Ziba does not feel as though he is risking anything to come to David. As we will find out at the end of this chapter, Absalom is going to spend a couple of days raping David’s mistresses.


2Samuel 16:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

mâʾthayim (מָאתַיִם) [pronounced maw-thah-YIM]

two hundred

feminine dual numeral (not certain about the spelling)

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

lechem (לֶחֶם) [pronounced LEH-khem]

literally means bread; used more generally for food

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3899 BDB #536

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mêʾâh (מֵאָה) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred, a hundred, hundred

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

tsimmûwqîym (צִמּוּקִים) [pronounced tzim-moo-KEEM]

raisin clusters, a bunch of raisins, clusters of dried grapes; cakes of grapes

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #6778 BDB #856

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mêʾâh (מֵאָה) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred, a hundred, hundred

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

qayitz (קַיִץ) [pronounced KAH-yits]

summer; harvest of fruits; summer-fruit, fruits, ripe fruit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7019 BDB #884

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nêbel (נֵבֶל) [pronounced NAYB-vel]

skin-bottle, skin, flask, vessel, earthen jar, pitcher, container; musical instrument (lyre, harp)

masculine singular construct; 1st meaning

Strong’s #5035 BDB #614

yayin (יַיִן) [pronounced YAH-yin]

wine

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3196 BDB #406


Translation: ...and upon them 200 [loaves of] bread, 100 grape clusters [or, raisin/fig cakes], 100 harvest vegetables [and fruits] and a skin container of wine. We have the food here which Ziba brings—200 loaves of break, 100 raisin cakes, 100 summer fruits, and a large container of wine. This would be helpful for starting out any small army. David had to leave Jerusalem suddenly, so he did not go out shopping for supplies first. There is no doubt that David and his soldiers did bring along some foodstuffs; however, he and his soldiers left Jerusalem quickly to avoid a full-scale war within the city limits.


Bear in mind that Ziba has a large family, but he is under the supervision of Mephibosheth. So, although it is possible that Ziba, entirely on his own, could have put this package together, it would have been difficult to do, and to keep it hidden from Mephibosheth. 200 loaves of bread is a lot of break to bake and take.


The grape clusters here are possibly fig cakes, which are raisins, figs and or dates pressed together into cakes, designed for long journeys. This provision would make good sense for a long journey through the desert-wilderness.


Clark and Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge both suggests that the summer produce are pumpkins, cucumbers, or watermelons. Footnote These would be ideal types of produce to carry on a trip in the fall heat, as they have such a high water content.

 

Clark describes the making of the wineskin in the ancient world: The hide is pulled off the animal without ripping up; the places where the legs, etc., were are sewed up, and then the skin appears one large bag. This is properly the Scripture and Eastern bottle. Footnote


Ziba appears to be pretty smart about the big picture. He is clearly aligning himself with David here, although probably no one back in Jerusalem related to Absalom knows about this. He sees David as coming out on top, so he needs to ingratiate himself to David.

 

The Pulpit Commentary makes this observation: Ziba knew what David had done for Mephibosheth, (2Sam. 9:1–10) how generous was the king"s heart, how he would appreciate fidelity in the time of trouble and scorn ungrateful conduct, how his associates in trial would approve any favour conferred on the loyal at the cost of the disloyal, and how it was within the prerogative of a monarch to confiscate the property of a traitor. Avarice is a careful student of human nature and of the usages of the world. Its success often depends on quickness of discernment, and a practical application of the knowledge of men and things to the purposes of a base, greedy heart. A good and generous man may be as quick in discernment, and may in the intercourse of life gather as much knowledge of human nature, but he differs from the avaricious man in that he scorns to turn all this to the sole promotion of purely selfish interests. Footnote


——————————


And so says the king unto Ziba, “What [are] these to you?” And so says Ziba, “The donkeys [are] for a house of the king to ride; and the bread and the harvest fruit to eat the young men; and the wine to drink the faint in the desert-wilderness.”

2Samuel

16:2

The king asked [lit., said] Ziba, “What [are] these things you [have brought]?” Ziba answered [lit., said], “The donkeys [are] for the king’s household to ride; the bread and harvested fruit [are for] the young men to eat; and the wine [is for] the weary to drink in the wilderness.”

The king asked Ziba, “What are these things you have brought?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride; the bread and harvested fruit are for the young men to eat; and the wine is for the weary to drink in the wilderness.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the king said to Siba: What mean these things? And Siba answered: The asses are for the king's household to sit on: and the loaves and the figs for thy servants to eat, and the wine to drink if any man be faint in the desert.

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says the king unto Ziba, “What [are] these to you?” And so says Ziba, “The donkeys [are] for a house of the king to ride; and the bread and the harvest fruit to eat the young men; and the wine to drink the faint in the desert-wilderness.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the king said to Ziba, Where did you get these? Ziba said to him, The asses are to carry the burden of the kings household; and the bread and fig cakes are for the young men to eat, and the wine, that those who faint in the wilderness may drink.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king said to Ziba, What do you mean to do with these? And Ziba said, The donkeys are for the household of the king to sit on, and the loaves and the dates are for the young men to eat, and the wine is for them that are faint in the wilderness to drink.

 

Significant differences:           The Syriac begins with a slightly different question than the others. Although there are three food items in all the ancient texts, v. 2 only lists the bread and one other of these food items in all the ancient texts.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           "What is all this for?" the king asked Ziba.

"The donkeys are for the royal family to ride," Ziba explained. "The bread and summer fruit are for the young people to eat, and the wine is for those who get exhausted in the wilderness."

Contemporary English V.       "What's all this?" David asked. Ziba said, "The donkeys are for your family to ride. The bread and fruit are for the people to eat, and the wine is for them to drink in the desert when they are tired out."

Easy English                          The king said to Ziba, `Why have you brought these here?'

Ziba answered, `Your family can ride on the *donkeys. The men can eat the bread and the fruit. People may become tired in the desert. So they can drink the wine and feel better.'

Easy-to-Read Version            King David said to Ziba, “What are these things for?”

Good News Bible (TEV)         King David asked him, "What are you going to do with all that?" Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for Your Majesty's family to ride, the bread and the fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is for them to drink when they get tired in the wilderness."

The Message                         The king said to Ziba, "What's all this?" "The donkeys," said Ziba, "are for the king's household to ride, the bread and fruit are for the servants to eat, and the wine is for drinking, especially for those overcome by fatigue in the wilderness."

New Berkeley Version           “What do you plan with those?” the king asked Ziba. Ziba replied, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and fruit for the attendants to eat, and the wine to serve as drink for those who faint in the desert.”

New Life Bible                        The king said to Ziba, "Why do you have these?" And Ziba said, "The donkeys are for those of the king's house to travel on. The bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat. And the wine drink is for whoever is weak in the desert."

The Voice                               David (to Ziba, seeing that Mephibosheth wasn't with him): 2 Why have you brought these things?

Ziba: The donkeys are for members of the king's family to ride. The bread and summer fruit are for your young men, and the wine is for those who grow weak in the wilderness.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          2 And the king asked Ziba, 'What's this for?'

And Ziba said, 'The animals are for the house of the king to ride; 3 the bread and the dried fruit are for your servants to eat; and the wine is for those who get weak [as they travel] in the desert.'

NIRV                                      The king asked Ziba, "Why have you brought all of these things?"

Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's family to ride on. The bread and fruit are for the people to eat. The wine will make those who get tired in the desert feel like new again."

New Jerusalem Bible             The king said to Ziba, 'What are you going to do with that?' 'The donkeys', Ziba replied, 'are for the king's family to ride, the bread and the fruit for the soldiers to eat, the wine is for drinking by those who get exhausted in the desert.'

New Simplified Bible              »What is all this?« David asked. Ziba said: »The donkeys are for your family to ride. The bread and fruit are for the people to eat. The wine is for them to drink in the desert when they are tired out.«

Revised English Bible            The king asked, ‘What are you doing with these?’ Ziba answered, ‘The donkeys are for the king’s family to ride on, the bread and the summer fruit are for his servants to eat, and the wine for anyone who becomes exhausted in the wilderness.’

Today’s NIV                          The king asked Ziba, "Why have you brought these?" Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the wilderness."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The king said to Ziba, "What are these for?" Ziba said, "The asses are for the king's house to ride, the bread and summer-harvest for the lads to eat, and the wine as drink for the tired in the wilderness."

Bible in Basic English             And David said to Ziba, What is your reason for this? And Ziba said, The asses are for the use of the king's people, and the bread and the fruit are food for the young men; and the wine is for drink for those who are overcome by weariness in the waste land.

The Expanded Bible              The king asked Ziba, "What are these things for?"

Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for your ·family [household] to ride. The bread and ·cakes of figs [Lsummer fruit] are for the ·servants [men; soldiers] to eat. And the wine is for anyone to drink who might become ·weak [exhausted; faint] in the ·desert [wilderness]."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 But the king asked Ziba, “Whence have you come?”

When Ziba answered, “The asses are for the family of the king to ride, and the bread and raisins for your attendants to eat, and the wine to drink if exhausted in the desert.”

New Advent Bible                  When the king asked what he did with all these, Siba answered, I brought the asses to be ridden by the king's courtiers, the bread and fruit for thy servants to eat, the wine to revive such as are faint in the desert.

NET Bible®                             The king asked Ziba, "Why did you bring these things?" [Heb "What are these to you?"] Ziba replied, "The donkeys are for the king's family to ride on, the loaves of bread [The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew MSS in reading וְהַלֶּחֶם (vehallekhem, "and the bread") rather than וּלְהַלֶּחֶם (ulehallekhem, "and to the bread") of the Kethib. The syntax of the Masoretic Text (MT) is confused here by the needless repetition of the preposition, probably taken from the preceding word.] and the summer fruit are for the attendants to eat, and the wine is for those who get exhausted in the desert [The Hebrew text adds "to drink."]."


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The king said to Tziva, "What do you mean by these?" Tziva replied, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on; the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat; and the wine is for those who collapse in the desert to drink.

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign says to Siba,

What mean you by these?

And Siba says, The he burros

are for the house of the sovereign to ride on;

and the bread and summer fruit for the lads to eat;

and the wine,

for such as are weary in the wilderness to drink.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And HaMelech said unto Tziva, What meanest thou by these? And Tziva said, The chamorim are for the Bais HaMelech to ride on; and the lechem and kayitz for the ne'arim to eat; and the yayin, that such as be faint in the midbar may drink.

The Scriptures 1998              And the sovereign said to Tsi, “Why do you have these?” And Tsi said, “The donkeys are for the sovereignʼs household to ride on, and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for the wearied to drink in the wilderness.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And the king said to Ziba, "Why have you brought these?" Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink."

The Geneva Bible                  And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses [be] for the kings household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink. Commonly there are no viler traitors than they, who under the pretence of friendship accuse others.

Green’s Literal Translation    And the king said to Ziba, What are these to you? And Ziba said, The asses are for the king's household to ride on, and the bread and the summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine for the wearied to drink in the wilderness.

World English Bible                The king said to Ziba, What do you mean by these? Ziba said, The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as are faint in the wilderness may drink.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king says unto Ziba, “What—these to you?” and Ziba says, “The asses for the household of the king to ride on, and the bread and the summer-fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for the wearied to drink in the wilderness.”

 

The gist of this verse:          The king asks Ziba who are these supplies for; and Ziba tells the king that he brought them for the king and for his people.


2Samuel 16:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Tsîybâʾ (צִיבָה) [pronounced tsee-BAW]

statue, post; strength; transliterated Ziba

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6717 BDB #850


Translation: The king asked [lit., said] Ziba,... This verse begins quite formally. The king speaks to Ziba, asking him about the things which he has brought. The preposition used is one of respect.


Throughout this chapter, in verse after verse after verse, David is called the king. Scripture is inspired by God the Holy Spirit; therefore, it is reasonable to assume the God the Holy Spirit is telling us, again and again, that David is the true king; David is the king recognized by God (we saw this in 2Sam. 15 as well). He may be temporarily deposed and Absalom may be marching into Jerusalem to take control, but God views David as king. More than that: God is on David’s side.


Application: As a young folksinger, Bob Dylan wrote and sang a song called “With God on our side.” He, along with many of his generation, came to what they thought was their unique realization that a lot of bad stuff happens in war and that war is not very nice; and he was speaking negatively of the United States (as do all of those influenced by communist propaganda), that we go to war as if God is on our side, when that just isn’t true. Much as this might irritate Dylan, God has been on the side of the United States for a very long time. God has been very gracious to us and has preserved us as a nation and has blessed us. Furthermore, we have defeated our enemies in war because God is on our side.


Application: Dylan, like many people, never understood our treatment of the Germans and the Japanese after World War II. We, as a nation, did that which was never done before in human history, insofar as I know—we forgave our enemies almost immediately, and we made every attempt to turn them from being our enemies to being our allies. We sent missionaries and Bibles into many of these lands—in fact, we flooded Asia with the gospel message of Jesus Christ (which is why South Korean is the great country that it is today).


Application: Bob Dylan protested the idea that the Germans killed 6 million Jews, but now, because we forgave them, God is on their side. The Germans were soundly defeated in WWII. Their army was pulverized and those guilty of killing Jews to prison camps were tried and executed. What was done to the Jews was very wrong and Satanic—there is no question about that. But then we are left with the question—what do we do to our enemies that we have defeated in war? Half of Berlin was given over to communism, which put those Germans under communist slavery for many decades until the Berlin wall came down (which Ronald Reagan called for in one of the greatest speeches in human history). But the vicious barbarism and antisemitism that was evident in 1930's and early 40's Germany has been absent from that land for decades now.


2Samuel 16:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

ʾêlleh (אֵלֶּה) [pronounced ALE-leh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective with the definite article (often the verb to be is implied)

Strong's #428 BDB #41

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...“What [are] these things you [have brought]?” David points to the things which Ziba has brought, and he asks what they are for; why they were brought. David does not make any assumptions that Ziba has brought all of this for him and his army. He is not self-centered and the world does not revolve around him. Therefore, he does not immediately relate everything around him to himself.


Application: Part of the natural and certainly part of the spiritual maturity process is coming to a point where you realize that the world does not revolve around you. Where you understand that not everything is about you or directly related to you. David here makes no assumptions.


2Samuel 16:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Tsîybâʾ (צִיבָה) [pronounced tsee-BAW]

statue, post; strength; transliterated Ziba

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6717 BDB #850

chămôwr (חֲמוֹר) [pronounced khuh-MOHR]

ass, male donkey, he-ass, burrow

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2543 BDB #331

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

râkab (רָכַב) [pronounced raw-KAHBV]

to mount, to mount and ride [sit], to ride; to ride in a chariot

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #7392 BDB #938


Translation: Ziba answered [lit., said], “The donkeys [are] for the king’s household to ride;... Normally, the text is far more formal than this. Often it would read, and so Ziba answered and said unto the king; but it does not say that; Ziba simply starts talking. Although we know that he is answering David, that is not put into this verse, and this suggests several things: (1) What Ziba is going to say is by rote; he memorized exactly what he was going to say, and when given the chance, he simply spouts off what he had memorized to say. (2) Ziba is not addressing David, but David and those around him. In the latter case, this could have been denoted simply with the lâmed preposition and the 2nd person masculine plural suffix. However, that was not used. Considering the sentence structure which we find, it seems that Ziba is reciting these things by rote.


If this is by rote, then that suggests one of two things: someone told Ziba exactly what to say or Ziba has been practicing exactly what to say on the ride up there. When David gives him the proper opening, he blurts it all out.


There are two donkeys; and donkeys were often used for royalty. From the little reading I have done, camels run, for an distance, a little faster than donkeys (25 mph as versus 20 mph); but donkeys have the advantage in many ways: it is easier to get on and off a donkey and a donkey probably has greater endurance than a camel in a lengthy run. It is also likely that a donkey is more mobile and flexible and can more easily veer this way or that. A donkey can also deal with a change of terrain more easily than a camel can. Therefore, for these reasons, royalty would ride donkeys.


So, Ziba says that the donkeys are for David’s family—whatever family members might be there.


2Samuel 16:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lechem (לֶחֶם) [pronounced LEH-khem]

literally means bread; used more generally for food

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3899 BDB #536

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

qayitz (קַיִץ) [pronounced KAH-yits]

summer; harvest of fruits; summer-fruit, fruits, ripe fruit

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7019 BDB #884

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾâkal (אָכַל) [pronounced aw-KAHL]

to eat; to devour, to consume, to destroy

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #398 BDB #37

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

naʿar (נַעַר) [pronounced NAH-ģahr]

boy, youth, young man; personal attendant; slave-boy

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5288 & #5289 BDB #654


Translation: ...the bread and harvested fruit [are for] the young men to eat;... The large amount of foodstuffs are for the young men. Ziba is called a young man in this chapter, and he refers to those of David’s army in the same way.


You will note that he left out the cluster of grapes. Two possibilities here: they were either dropped out of the text or Ziba, in his nervousness, left them out, despite memorizing what it is he was going to say. Why would Ziba feel nervous, you may ask. It is possible that he is going to lie right to David’s face, so that intention is making him nervous.


One item was left out of all the ancient texts.


2Samuel 16:2e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yayin (יַיִן) [pronounced YAH-yin]

wine

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3196 BDB #406

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shâthâh (שָתָה) [pronounced shaw-THAW]

to drink [actually or metaphorically]; to drink together [at a banquet]; to feast; to sit

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #8354 BDB #1059

yâʿêph (יָעֵף) [pronounced yaw-ĢĀF]

faint, weary, tired, worn-out, exhausted

masculine singular, adjective used as a substantive; with the definite article

Strong’s #3287 BDB #419

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

midebâr (מִדְבָר) [pronounced mide-BAWR]

wilderness, unpopulated wilderness, desert wilderness; mouth

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4057 BDB #184


Translation: ...and the wine [is for] the weary to drink in the wilderness.” A container of wine can only be so large, so this is for those who feel faint when crossing the desert wilderness area. Alcohol, in small dosages, can act as a stimulant.


What would seem logical is, his master, Mephibosheth, realizing what is going on, had his servants prepare all of these things. Remember, Ziba cannot just bake 200 loaves of bread on the sly. Nor can he even get away with baking some on one day and some on another. There is not enough time for this. Less than a day has elapsed since David began heading up hill. Preparing this much food takes time and manpower; so that this is not necessarily something that Ziba on his own could whip together. Therefore, what seems logical is, Mephibosheth put all of his servants on this project, to prepare some food for David and his army, and put this in the hands of Ziba to deliver to David.


Now, since Ziba has such a large household, and even though he and his household are placed under the command of Mephibosheth, it is possible that he could have done all of this without Mephibosheth knowing. It would have been difficult to conceal, but possible for him to do. However, it seems much more logical that Mephibosheth would have ordered that this be done, and then put Ziba in charge of getting this to David.


Spoiler alert: this is not what Ziba will tell David.


——————————


And so says the king, “And where [is] a son of your adonai?” And so says Ziba unto the king, “Behold, remaining in Jerusalem, for he had said, ‘The day they cause to return to me a house of Israel with a kingdom of my father.’ ”

2Samuel

16:3

The king asked [lit., said], “Where [is] the son of your lord?” And Ziba answered [lit., said to] the king, “Look, [he] is remaining in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today they will cause to return to me the house of Israel along with the kingdom of my father.’ ”

The king then asked him, “Where is the son of your lord?” Ziba answered him, “Listen, he is staying back in Jerusalem, for he announced, ‘Today they will give back to me the house of Israel along with the kingdom of my father.’ ”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the king said: Where is thy master's son? And Siba answered the king: He remained in Jerusalem, saying: To day, will the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says the king, “And where [is] a son of your adonai?” And so says Ziba unto the king, “Behold, remaining in Jerusalem, for he had said, ‘The day they cause to return to me a house of Israel with a kingdom of my father.’ ”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the king said to him, Where is your masters son? Ziba said to him, Behold he remains at Jerusalem; for he said, Today shall the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of Saul my father.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king said, And where is the son of your master? And Ziba said to the king, Behold, he remains in Jerusalem; for he said, Today shall the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of my father.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       "And where is Mephibosheth?" David asked. Ziba answered, "He stayed in Jerusalem, because he thinks the people of Israel want him to rule the kingdom of his grandfather Saul."

Easy English                          Then the king asked, `Where is Mephibosheth, the grandson of your master Saul?'

Ziba said, `He is staying in Jerusalem. He thinks, "Today the *Israelites will return my grandfather's *kingdom to me." '

Easy-to-Read Version            Then the king asked, “And where is Mephibosheth [Literally, "your master’s grandson."]?”

Good News Bible (TEV)         "Where is Mephibosheth, the grandson of your master Saul?" the king asked him. "He is staying in Jerusalem," Ziba answered, "because he is convinced that the Israelites will now restore to him the kingdom of his grandfather Saul."

New Berkeley Version           “But where,” asked the king, “is the son of your master [Mephibosheth, the grandson of Ziba’s former master, Saul, through Jonathan.]?” Ziba answered the king, “Ha, he is staying in Jerusalem, because he said, ‘Today the people of Israel will restore to me the royal power of my father.’ ”

The Voice                               David: 3 Where is your master's descendant?

Ziba: He is still in Jerusalem. He says, "Now the people of Israel will give me back my grandfather's kingdom."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then the king asked, 'And where is your lord's son?'

And Ziba replied, '{Look!} He's sitting in JeruSalem; for, he said, Today the kingdom of IsraEl will return to the house of my father.'

New American Bible (R.E.)    Then the king said, "And where is your lord's son?" Ziba answered the king, "He is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, `Today the house of Israel will restore to me my father's kingdom.'" 2Sam. 19:26-27

NIRV                                      Then the king asked, "Where is your master's grandson Mephibosheth?"

Ziba said to him, "He's staying in Jerusalem. He thinks, `Today the people of Israel will give me back my grandfather Saul's kingdom.'"

Revised English Bible            The king asked, ‘Where is your master’s grandson?’ ‘He is staying in Jerusalem,’ said Ziba, ‘for he thought that the Israelites might now restore to him his grandfather’s kingdom.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The king said, "Where is your lord's son?" Ziba said to the king, "He dwells here in Jerusalem, for he said, 'Today the house of Israel will return to me the realm of my father."

The Expanded Bible              The king asked, "Where is ·Mephibosheth [Lyour master's son/grandson]?"

Ziba answered him, "Mephibosheth is staying in Jerusalem because he thinks, `Today the Israelites will ·give [Lrestore] my father's kingdom back to me!'"

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then the king asked, “Where is your prince’s son?”

And Ziba replied to the king, “He has gone back to Jerusalem, for he said, ‘The House of Israel will now restore me to the kingship of my father.’ ”

NET Bible®                             The king asked, "Where is your master's grandson [Heb "son."]?" Ziba replied to the king, "He remains in Jerusalem, for he said, `Today the house of Israel will give back to me my grandfather's [Heb "my father's."] kingdom.'"

NIV – UK                                The king then asked, `Where is your master's grandson?'

Ziba said to him, `He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, "Today the Israelites will restore to me my grandfather's kingdom."'


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The king asked, "Where is your master's [grand]son?"Tziva answered the king, "He's staying in Yerushalayim, because he said, 'Today the house of Isra'el will restore my father's kingship to me.'"

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign says,

Where is the son of your adoni?

And Siba says to the sovereign,

Behold, he settles at Yeru Shalem:

for he says, Today the house of Yisra El

restores to me the sovereigndom of my father.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               “And where is your master’s son?” the king asked. “He is staying in Jerusalem,” Ziba replied to the king, “for he thinks that the House of Israel will now give him back the throne of his grandfather.”

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And HaMelech said, And where is the ben adoneicha [i.e., Sa'ul grandson Mephivoshet]? And Tziva said unto HaMelech, Hinei, he abideth at Yerushalayim; for he said, Today shall Bais Yisroel restore to me the mamlechut avi.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                The king said, And where is your master's son [grandson Mephibosheth]? Ziba said to the king, Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father [grandfather Saul].

Concordant Literal Version    And the king said, `And where [is] the son of your lord?' and Ziba said unto the king, `Lo, he is abiding in Jerusalem, for he said, To-day do the house of Israel give back to me the kingdom of my father.

Context Group Version          And the king said, And where is your master's son? And Ziba said to the king, Look, he stays at Jerusalem; for he said, Today will the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of my father.

New RSV                               The king said, `And where is your master's son?' Ziba said to the king, `He remains in Jerusalem; for he said, "Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather's kingdom."

Syndein/Thieme                     And the king shouted, "And where is your master's grandson {Mephibosheth}?" And Ziba said unto the king, "Behold, he is remaining at Jerusalem. For he said, "Today shall the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me." {David is under pressure and misses the obvious lie. The revolution is to put Absalom in power . . . not to put Mephibosheth in power!}.

World English Bible                The king said, Where is your master's son? Ziba said to the king, Behold, he abides at Jerusalem; for he said, Today will the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king says, “And where is the son of your lord?” And Ziba says unto the king, “Lo, he is abiding in Jerusalem, for he said, Today do the house of Israel give back to me the kingdom of my father.”

 

The gist of this verse:          The king asks Ziba where Mephibosheth, his inherited master, is. Ziba says that he is in Jerusalem, expecting that, in the chaos, to have the royal throne returned to him and his family.


2Samuel 16:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾayyêh (אַיֵּה) [pronounced ahy-YAY]

where

interrogative adverb

Strong's #346 BDB #32

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]

Lord (s), Master (s), my Lord (s), Sovereign; my lord [master]; can refer to the Trinity or to an intensification of the noun; transliterated Adonai, adonai

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #113 & #136 BDB #10

There are actually 3 forms of this word: ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; ʾădônay (אֲדֹנַי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; and ʾădônîy (אֲדֹנִי) [pronounced uh-doh-NEE].


Translation: The king asked [lit., said], “Where [is] the son of your lord?” Saul was originally Ziba’s lord. David put Ziba back under Mephibosheth. Ziba was Saul’s servant, and it is reasonable that he remain the servant of Saul’s grandson, Mephibosheth (Mephibosheth is Jonathan’s son). The word bên can refer to a descendant.


Given the circumstances, it appears as if David would have expected Mephibosheth to have traveled to him, despite the fact that Mephibosheth is lame. We do not have any details in this regard, but if Mephibosheth was able to attend the royal dinner each night, then he was able to locomote between his home and the palace of the king (2Sam. 9:13). The extent of his lameness is never revealed to us; nor is the compensation for this lameness explained. However, if he was able to get to the king’s dinner and if the king expected to see him here, this suggests that Mephibosheth was able to get around.


However, this could be David simply asking what hand did Mephibosheth have in all of this. After all, Ziba has said nothing about his master yet.


2Samuel 16:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Tsîybâʾ (צִיבָה) [pronounced tsee-BAW]

statue, post; strength; transliterated Ziba

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6717 BDB #850

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

This seems to attempt to take others and put them in the place of the person saying this (so that they see the same thing); or to grab the attention of the reader.

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

inhabiting, staying, remaining, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Yerûwshâlayim (יְרוּשָלַיִם) [pronounced yʾroo-shaw-LAH-yim]

possibly means founded upon peace or city of the Jebusites (or both); it is transliterated Jerusalem

proper singular noun, location

Strong’s #3389 BDB #436


Translation: And Ziba answered [lit., said to] the king, “Look, [he] is remaining in Jerusalem,... It is at this point where we will begin to wonder about Ziba and Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth should be quite grateful to David for all that had been done for him in grace, which will appear to be the case when we get to 2Sam. 19.


2Samuel 16:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

yôwm (יוֹם) [pronounced yohm]

day; time; today (with a definite article); possibly immediately

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring back, to send back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, to be caused to return

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

This preposition can also refer to being in one’s possession or in one’s keeping. This can also mean to proceed from someone. The key to this word is close association with, close proximity to beyond simple geographical proximity.

mamelâkûwth (מָמְלָכוּת) [pronounced mahme-law-KOOTH],

kingdom, dominion

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #4468 BDB #575

ʾâb (אָב)[pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: ...for he said, ‘Today they will cause to return to me the house of Israel along with the kingdom of my father.’ ” What Ziba says here is quite fascinating—David is leaving Jerusalem because Absalom has rebelled against him. Absalom is coming into the city. Somehow, Mephibosheth has calculated (according to Ziba) that the kingdom is going to be given to him in all of this chaos. This suggests one of two things—and David does not appear to really consider these things—either Mephibosheth is delusional or Ziba is lying. From what we can tell, David appears to take all that is happening at face value. What Ziba tells him, he believes.


The entire verse reads: The king then asked him, “Where is the son of your lord?” Ziba answered him, “Listen, he is staying back in Jerusalem, for he announced, ‘Today they will give back to me the house of Israel along with the kingdom of my father.’ ”

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: Such a hope [as Mephibosheth is said to have expressed] might naturally arise at this period of civil distraction, that the family of David would destroy themselves by their mutual broils, and the people reinstate the old dynasty. Therefore, there was an air of plausibility in Ziba's story. Many, on whom the king had conferred favors, were now deserting him. No wonder, therefore, that in the excitement of momentary feeling, believing, on the report of a slanderer, Mephibosheth to be among the number, he pronounced a rash and unrighteous judgment by which a great injury was inflicted on the character and interests of a devoted friend. Footnote


Application: If you are an honest person, then this appears to be a mistake that honest people make—they assume that what other people tell them is true. As a business person, you should always be honest, but then, you have to bear in mind that some people will simply lie.


The inspiration of the Bible does not mean that everything found in the Bible is true. That is, what Ziba says here is really what Ziba said; but that does not mean that Ziba was speaking the truth to David.


Given David’s loyalty to Mephibosheth, and given his physical condition, it is much more likely that Mephibosheth arranged for this gift to be brought to David; and highly unlikely that he believed that he could restore the Sauline line once again. This does appear to be inline with what Mephibosheth later tells David: Mephibosheth answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for your servant said, ‘I will saddle me a donkey, that I may ride thereon, and go with the king;’ because your servant is lame.” (2Sam. 19:26). Although the Bible does not clearly tells us who is lying and who is telling the truth, from what we know of Ziba and Mephibosheth, what Ziba says about Mephibosheth sounds unlikely; and what Mephibosheth says in 2Sam. 19 sounds very likely.

 

Clark writes of this: What a base wretch was Ziba! And how unfounded was this accusation against the peaceable, loyal and innocent Mephibosheth! Footnote


We are able to sit back, take in additional Scripture, and then determine who is lying at this point.

Who is Lying? Ziba or Mephibosheth?

1.      To remind you, Ziba was Saul’s servant, but after Saul was killed, Ziba seemed to fall into a bucket of money. Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, seemed to be shuttled off to some place that was beneath royalty.

2.      Now let’s look at their testimony in the passages:

3.      Ziba’s story: When David had passed over a little from the summit, behold, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s young servant [came] to meet him. And [with him was] a pair of donkeys saddled up and upon them 200 [loaves of] bread, 100 grape clusters [or, raisin/fig cakes], 100 harvest vegetables [and fruits] and a skin container of wine. The king asked [lit., said] Ziba, “What [are] these things you [have brought]?” Ziba answered [lit., said], “The donkeys [are] for the king’s household to ride; the bread and harvested fruit [are for] the young men to eat; and the wine [is for] the weary to drink in the wilderness.” The king asked [lit., said], “Where [is] the son of your lord?” And Ziba answered [lit., said to] the king, “Look, [he] is remaining in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today they will cause to return to me the house of Israel along with the kingdom of my father.’ ”

4.      David later questions Mephibosheth about this: And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, "Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?" He answered, "My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant [Mephibosheth] said to him [Ziba], 'I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.' For your servant is lame. He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. For all my father's house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?" (2Sam. 19:25–28; ESV). Interestingly enough, Mephibosheth does not mention or take credit for the supplies which Ziba brought to David. He does not even approach this from the point of view, “Listen, David, all those supplies you received were my idea; all of my servants prepared them.” Instead, he simply throws himself at the mercy of the king’s court. However, if one puts 2 and 2 together, how would Ziba coming to David be necessary unless it was to bring David supplies?

         1)      If the purpose of Mephibosheth was simply to join the king, then sending Ziba instead makes little sense.

         2)      If Mephibosheth both wanted to join the king and to bring the supplies, then Ziba could have convinced him not to go, but that he (Ziba) would still bring the supplies to David.

5.      Although Mephibosheth is lame, he is able to attend David’s dinners. However, making a long ride over the Mount of Olives would have been difficult for him.

6.      It is quite logical that Mephibosheth would gather these things up for David and send them to him. It is less logical that Ziba would, as David took him away from his estate and put Mephibosheth over him.

7.      There is not the smallest chance that, in all of the chaos, people would rise up and call for Mephibosheth to be king over them. If Mephibosheth was even slightly tethered to reality, then such a pipe dream—even if he had it—had no probability of coming to pass.

8.      Keil and Delitzsch1 write: A cripple like Mephibosheth, lame in both feet, who had never put in any claim to the throne before, could not possibly have got the idea now that the people of Israel, who had just chosen Absalom as king, would give the throne of Saul to such a cripple as he was.

9.      Therefore, it is likely that Ziba would be looking to change his status; and less likely that Mephibosheth would have been jealous or angry at David.

10.    We already know that Ziba has taken advantage of a national crisis before. Ziba went from being Saul’s slave to a very successful life almost overnight. Again, although the Bible does not tell us that Ziba did anything wrong, it is possible that he, as Saul’s main servant, kept a lot of Saul’s wealth.

11.    Therefore, it seems like Ziba probably used this national crisis to his own benefit again. Apparently, Ziba subscribed to the political school of thought vocalized by Rahm Emanuel: “You never want a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Given the two people, Ziba and Mephibosheth, what we know about them, and how they have acted in the past, we may reasonably assume that Ziba is the one lying to David.

1 Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament; from e-Sword; 2Sam. 16:1–4.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

The Pulpit Commentary makes an interesting comment at this juncture: Ziba deserves [some] credit in that he attached himself to a ruined man; but his motive was not love to David, but selfish calculation. Footnote That is, Ziba was smart enough to know which horse to bet on. However, this could have simply been Ziba recognizing a chance at being opportunistic. This in no way keeps him from ingratiating himself to Absalom, if such an opportunity presents itself.


——————————


File this verse under, “Good leaders sometimes make lousy decisions.”


And so says the king to Ziba, “Behold to you all that [was] to Mephibosheth.” And so says

Ziba, “I have prostrated myself; I find grace in your [two] eyes, my adonai the king.”

2Samuel

16:4

The king then said to Ziba, “Listen, all that [belonged] to Mephibosheth [is now] yours.” Ziba said, “I have prostrated myself; I have found grace in your sight, my adonai the king.”

The king then said to Ziba, “Listen, all that used to belong to Mephibosheth is now yours.” Ziba responded, saying, “I bow before you; I have found grace in your sight, my lord the king.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the king said to Siba: I give you all that belonged to Miphiboseth. And Siba said: I beseech you let me find grace before you, my lord, O king.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says the king to Ziba, “Behold to you all that [was] to Mephibosheth.” And so says Ziba, “I have prostrated myself; I find grace in your [two] eyes, my adonai the king.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then David said to Ziba, Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is given to you. And Ziba said to him, I have plenty, and I have found grace in your sight, my lord, O king.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king said to Ziba, Behold, all Memphibosheth's property is yours. And Ziba bowed down and said, My lord, O king, let me find grace in your eyes.

 

Significant differences:           Although the English translations of the Greek, Latin and Syriac of what David says are slightly different from the Hebrew, the same sentiments are expressed. In the Latin and Syriac, Ziba does not speak of bowing down before David; and, in the Greek, it appears that Ziba does bow before David, but without saying anything about it.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           "Look here," the king said to Ziba. "Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth now belongs to you."

Ziba said, "I bow out of respect! Please think well of me, my master and king."

Easy English                          Then the king said to Ziba, `I now give to you everything that belonged to Mephibosheth.'

Ziba said, `I am your servant. I hope that I will always please you, my master and king.'

Easy-to-Read Version            Then the king said to Ziba, “{Because of that,} I now give you everything that belonged to Mephibosheth.”

The Message                         "Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth," said the king, "is now yours." Ziba said, "How can I ever thank you? I'll be forever in your debt, my master and king; may you always look on me with such kindness!"

New Berkeley Version           The king, in return, told Ziba, “Well then, all that Mephibosheth had is now yours.” [Too hasty a decision, for it later appears that Ziba was lying and that Mephibosheth’s loyalty to David never waved (2Sam. 19:24–28)] “I prostrate myself before you, O my master and king,” said, Ziba. “Let me find favor in your eyes!”

New Living Translation           "In that case," the king told Ziba, "I give you everything Mephibosheth owns."

"I bow before you," Ziba replied. "May I always be pleasing to you, my lord the king."

The Voice                               David: 4 Then all that belonged to Mephibosheth is yours now.

Ziba (bowing): I am your servant. May my lord and king look kindly on me.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then the king said, '{Look!} I am giving you everything that is MephiBosheth's.'

And as he bowed, Ziba said, 'May I find favor in your eyes, O my lord the king.'

God’s Word                         The king told Ziba, "In that case everything that belonged to Mephibosheth now belongs to you." "I sincerely thank you," said Ziba. "I hope to remain in your good graces, Your Majesty."

New American Bible              The king therefore said to Ziba, "So! Everything Meribbaal had is yours." Then Ziba said: "I pay you homage, my lord the king. May I find favor with you!"

NIRV                                      Then the king said to Ziba, "Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth belongs to you now."

"You are my king and master," Ziba said. "I make myself low in front of you. I bow down to you. May you be pleased with me."

New Jerusalem Bible             Then the king said to Ziba, 'Everything owned by Meribbaal is yours.' Ziba said, 'I prostrate myself! May I be worthy of your favour, my lord king!'

Revised English Bible            The king said to Ziba, ‘You shall have everything that belongs to Mephibosheth.’ Ziba said, ‘I am your humble servant, sir; may I always find Favour with your majesty.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The king said to Ziba, "Behold! You are all that Mephibosheth had!" Ziba said, "I bow to find grace in your eyes, my lord and king."

The Expanded Bible              Then the king said to Ziba, "All right. Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth, I now give to you!"

Ziba said, "I ·bow to you [prostrate myself]. ·I hope I will always be able to please you [LMay I find favor in your sight/eyes, my lord the king]."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The king consequently said to Ziba, “Attend! All belonging to Mefibosheth I give to you!” And Ziba replied, “I bow to you, for I have found favour in the eyes of the king!”


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The king said to Tziva, "Everything that belongs to M'fivoshet is now yours." Tziva answered, "I bow down before you; may I find favor in your sight, my lord, king."

exeGeses companion Bible   Then the sovereign says to Siba,

Behold, you are all to Mephi Bosheth.

And Siba says,

I prostrate to you to find charism in your eyes,

my adoni, O sovereign.

Judaica Press Complete T.    The king said to Ziba, “Then all that belongs to Mephibosheth is now yours!” And Ziba replied, “I bow low. Your Majesty is most gracious to me.”

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Then said HaMelech to Tziva, Hinei, thine are all that pertained unto Mephivoshet. Tziva said, I humbly prostrate myself. May I find chen in thy sight, adoni, O Melech.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      Then the king said to Ziba, "Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours." And Ziba said, "I pay homage; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.

Green’s Literal Translation    And the king said to Ziba, Behold, all that Mephibosheth has is yours. And Ziba said, I bow myself; may I find favor in your eyes, my lord, O king.

Syndein/Thieme                      {David Taken in By Lie - Hasty and Erroneous Decision}

Then said the king to Ziba, "Behold, all that pertained to Mephibosheth is yours." {once again Ziba has connived to gain control the property of king Saul}

And Ziba said, "I humbly beseech you that I may find grace in your sight, my lord, O king."

Webster”s updated Bible       Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, your [are] all that [pertained] to Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech you [that] I may find grace in your sight, my lord, O king.

World English Bible                Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, all that pertains to Mephibosheth is yours. Ziba said, I do obeisance; let me find favor in your sight, my lord, O king.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king says to Ziba, “Lo, your are all that Mephiboshes hath;” and Ziba says, “I have bowed myself—I find grace in your eyes, my lord, O king.”

 

The gist of this verse:          David gives to Ziba all that was Mephibosheth’s; and Ziba says that he bows before him in respect.


2Samuel 16:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Tsîybâʾ (צִיבָה) [pronounced tsee-BAW]

statue, post; strength; transliterated Ziba

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6717 BDB #850

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all, the entirety, every

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kôl ʾăsher mean all whom, all that [which]; whomever, whatever, all whose, all where, wherever.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Mephîybôsheth (מְפִיבֹשֶת) [pronounced mehf-ee-BOH-shehth]

dispeller of shame; an advocate of shame; a shameful thing from the mouth; exterminating an idol; transliterated Mephibosheth

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4648 BDB #937


Translation: The king then said to Ziba, “Listen, all that [belonged] to Mephibosheth [is now] yours.” David makes a snap decision here, which is predicated upon his return to Jerusalem. David takes what Ziba says at face value. He believes him. He simply assumes that Ziba would not lie to him. So, David performs a reversal of fortune and says, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.”


Just so there is no misunderstanding, Ziba cannot simply go back to Jerusalem, look his master in the eye and say, “Your stuff now belongs to me.” In order for that to take place, David has to be king again. An order like this from David stands and is real, but only applicable if he is defacto king. However, for the time being, that is good enough for Ziba.


Application: Even great men can make mistakes; even great kings can make wrong calls. David, based upon the information given to him by Ziba, makes a judgment call, and a wrong one. It is not enforceable until David returns as king; but he has limited information, and he makes a decision. It is the nature of people—no one makes perfect calls on every situation. When discussing the issues with some liberals, they will point out this or that thing which Reagan did wrong—and he made a great many mistakes as president. However, overall, he was one of the greatest presidents in the 20th century, and easily the best president in my lifetime. It is simply impossible for any president to not make mistakes.


2Samuel 16:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Tsîybâʾ (צִיבָה) [pronounced tsee-BAW]

statue, post; strength; transliterated Ziba

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6717 BDB #850

shâchah (שָחַה) [pronounced shaw-KHAW]

to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to do obeisance to; to honor [with prayers]; to do homage to, to submit to

1st person singular, Hithpael perfect

Strong’s #7812 BDB #1005


Translation: Ziba said, “I have prostrated myself;... Interestingly enough, the text does not say that Ziba prostrates himself before David; it says that he says he prostrates himself. So, he says this, but he does not necessarily do it.


Let me speculate that here, they are out on the open ground, and prostrating himself would put Ziba down onto the dirt; and perhaps the palace of David was a cleaner place, where one could prostrate themselves without being covered with dust.


This is actually a very slick narrative clue in this passage as to Ziba’s credibility. He said, “I have prostrated myself...” when he really didn’t prostrate himself. Just as he does not show David, the king, the proper respect here; he did not show David the proper respect in telling David the truth. He lies about prostrating himself before David; and he lies about Mephibosheth, his master.


David, however, did not get this.


2Samuel 16:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mâtsâʾ (מָצָא) [pronounced maw-TSAW]

to attain to, to find, to detect, to happen upon, to come upon, to find unexpectedly, to discover; to meet (encounter)

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #4672 BDB #592

chên (חֵן) [pronounced khayn]

grace, favor, blessing

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2580 BDB #336

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

This phrase is literally in your eyes, but it can be translated in your opinion, in your estimation, to your way of thinking, as you see [it]. The dual and plural forms of this word appear to be identical. Possibly, this could also mean, as you please, as you want, as you desire, whatever you think is right.

ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]

Lord (s), Master (s), my Lord (s), Sovereign; my lord [master]; can refer to the Trinity or to an intensification of the noun; transliterated Adonai, adonai

masculine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #113 & #136 BDB #10

There are actually 3 forms of this word: ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; ʾădônay (אֲדֹנַי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; and ʾădônîy (אֲדֹנִי) [pronounced uh-doh-NEE].

This is a form of Strong’s #113, where there are three explanations given for the yodh ending: (1) this is a shortened form of the plural ending, usually written -îym (נִים) [pronounced eem], an older form of the pluralis excellentiæ (the plural of excellence), where God’s sovereignty and lordship are emphasized by the use of the plural; (2) this is the actual, but ancient, plural of the noun, which refers to the Trinity; or (3) this is the addition of the 1st person singular suffix, hence, my Lord (the long vowel point at the end would distinguish this from my lords).

There are points of grammar which speak to the options above, but not so that we may unequivocally choose between the three. (1) When we find ʾădônay (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAH] (note the difference of the vowel ending), it always means my lords. (2) Jehovah calls Himself ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY] in Job 28:28 Isa. 8:7; however, many of the Job manuscripts read Yehowah and 8 ancient Isaiah manuscripts read Yehowah instead. This suggests, that either ancient Scribes were confused about this form of Adonai or that they simply substituted Adonai for Yehowah, which was not an abnormal practice (in oral readings, the ancient Tetragrammaton was not spoken, but Lord was said instead). And even If every manuscript read Adonai, then we may also reasonably conclude that one member of the Trinity is addressing another member of the Trinity (although the idea of God saying my Lord would be theologically confusing, even if addressing another member of the Trinity; although Jesus did refer to God the Father as our Father).

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: ...I have found grace in your sight, my adonai the king.” Ziba speaks the vocabulary that David is used to. He recognizes that he has discovered grace in David’s sight. The idea here is, he is saying that David has looked him over and has decided that he is deserving of grace.


For some, this is troubling. Ziba went to David, perhaps even on Mephibosheth’s orders, to deliver these provisions to him; but when he shows up, Ziba turns things around, and lies to David, in hopes of taking his estate back. What appears to be the case is, Ziba had managed to take many of the riches of the Sauline kingdom, and, at the same time, pawn off Mephibosheth on someone else.


Vv. 3–4 read: The king then asked him, “Where is the son of your lord?” Ziba answered him, “Listen, he is staying back in Jerusalem, for he announced, ‘Today they will give back to me the house of Israel along with the kingdom of my father.’ ” The king then said to Ziba, “Listen, all that used to belong to Mephibosheth is now yours.” Ziba responded, saying, “I bow before you; I have found grace in your sight, my lord the king.”


This logically brings us to...

How Could David Have Been Fooled by Ziba?

1.      David is focused on his situation and what God has in store for him.

2.      David does not know if he will return to Jerusalem as king.

3.      Because David takes no vengeance against Shimei, later in this chapter, and because he attributes what Shimei says as possibly coming from God, David realizes that he might be leaving his post as king by the decree of God.

4.      This does not mean that David has given up; he has already set up a spy network in Jerusalem.

5.      David has hundreds of people with him. As their leader, David has to concern himself with their needs.

6.      In other words, David has a lot of his mind. He does not have time to review the potential motives of Ziba.

7.      Furthermore, in most respects, David is an honest man; so when someone does him a kindness and gives him a story, David is likely to believe it.

8.      Therefore, David has simply accepted with Ziba has told him, uncritically, not evaluated his statement or evaluating what he knows of Ziba and Mephibosheth.

9.      Keil and Delitzsch1 write: It is true that Ziba's defamation was very improbable; nevertheless, in the general confusion of affairs, it was not altogether an inconceivable thing that the oppressed party of Saul might avail themselves of this opportunity to make an attempt to restore the power of that house, which many greatly preferred to that of David, under the name of Mephibosheth.

10.    No doubt, there was some emotion involved in David’s decision. He went out of his way to grow grace to Mephibosheth, and now, Mephibosheth is taking this opportunity to betray David? If David thought about this, and became angry, then he is out of fellowship and making a decision based upon a cluster of mental attitude sins directed toward Mephibosheth.

11.    Finally, David will made a judgment, but this judgment is no good unless David is king in Jerusalem. That is, Ziba cannot go back home to Mephibosheth and tell him, “You’ve got to move out; David said so.”

Application: All kings, prime ministers and presidents, no matter how good they are, make bad decisions from time to time. It is inevitable. Furthermore, when a believer is out of fellowship, then he will inevitably make bad decisions.

1 Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament; from e-Sword; 2Sam. 16:1–4 (slightly edited).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Matthew Henry: Princes cannot help it, but they will be sometimes (as our law speaks) deceived in their grants; but they ought to use all means possible to discover the truth and to guard against malicious designing men, who would impose upon them, as Ziba did upon David. Having by his wiles gained his point, Ziba secretly laughed at the king's credulity, congratulated himself on his success, and departed, with a great compliment upon the king, that he valued his favour more than Mephibosheth's estate: “Let me find grace in thy sight, O king! and I have enough.” Great men ought always to be suspicious of flatterers, and remember that nature has given them two ears, that they may hear both sides. Footnote

 

Clarke comes to this conclusion: This conduct of David was very rash; he spoiled an honorable man to reward a villain, not giving himself time to look into the circumstances of the case. But David was in heavy afflictions, and these sometimes make even a wise man mad. Nothing should be done rashly; he who is in the habit of obeying the first impulse of his passions or feelings, will seldom do a right action, and never keep a clear conscience. Footnote

 

Poole expresses a similar sentiment: [David issues] a rash sentence, and unrighteous, to condemn a man unheard, upon the single testimony of his accuser and servant. But David’s mind was both clouded by the deep sense of his calamity, and biassed by Ziba’s great and seasonable kindness, And he might think that Ziba would not dare to accuse his master of so great a crime, which, if false, might so easily be disproved. Footnote


Chapter Outline

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Let me offer up another possibility here: maybe David is not completely certain of this decision, but he does not have time, as a king on the run, to investigate Ziba’s claims more thoroughly. This is a different approach than I have read anywhere else.

David’s Decision Concerning Ziba—a New Approach

1.      David cannot possibly make a good decision concerning Ziba at this time. David is on the run, Ziba is going to return to Jerusalem, and David, since he is not the defacto king, cannot enforce any decision that he makes.

2.      Ziba cannot go back to Mephibosheth and say, “Look, David says I get it all, so I am kicking you to the curb.” Since Absalom is the defacto king, what David says cannot be enforced unless David is back in power.

3.      So, David makes a provisional decision, but he does not tell Ziba that this is what he is doing.

4.      So, Ziba has a potential decision in his favor, to be later enforced (or so he thinks), when David is returned to power.

5.      Therefore, Ziba will not have to go to Absalom and see if he can get a favorable decision there.

6.      This way, even if Ziba is lying, he will support David’s return. Mephibosheth, based upon his relationship with David, should support David’s return to power.

7.      So, when David tells Ziba, “Look, I am going to give everything to you;” Ziba is satisfied, and he will return to Mephibosheth and not make any trouble, awaiting for David’s return to power.

8.      When David returns to power, he can get the other side of this story (which he cannot get at this time, as Absalom is forcing him out of the city).

9.      If David tells Ziba, “Look, I need to talk to Mephibosheth about this first before making a decision;” then Ziba, in David’s absence from Jerusalem, will go to Absalom and try to work some kind of a deal; or he will simply kill Mephibosheth and take all that he has.

10.    When David tells Ziba, “I am giving all of Mephibosheth’s possessions to you;” Ziba will then cool his heels, wait for David’s return, and then look to David at that time to take all of Mephibosheth’s stuff. This is the most favorable decision that can be made in his favor.

11.    However, at that time, David can (and will) interview Mephibosheth as well, and adjust his decision.

12.    In this way, David is able to keep Ziba under control, even though David is not in Jerusalem.

I frankly do not know if this is David’s thinking. If it is; it is brilliant. If not, then he just makes a bad decision here which he can fix when he becomes the defacto king once again. This little drama will be continued when we get to 2Samuel 19 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD). However, let it be known, at this time, that Mephibosheth will clearly have been David’s supporter all of this time when Absalom occupies Jerusalem (see 2Sam. 19:24).


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Chapter Outline

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Benjamite Shimei Curses David


And comes in the king David as far as Bahurim and, behold, from there, a man is coming out, from the family of the house of Saul and his name [is] Shimei ben Gera. Coming out, [he] came out and cursing.

2Samuel

16:5

King David advanced as far as Bahurim and, he observe that, from there, a man comes out. [He is] from the family of the house of Saul and his name [is] Shimei ben Gera. Coming out, he came out cursing [David].

David advanced as far as Bahurim and he observed a man coming out from that city. It turns out that this man was from the family of the house of Saul and his name was Shimea, son of Gera. He came out to David, cursing him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And king David came as far as Bahurim: and behold there came out from thence a man of the kindred of the house of Saul named Semei, the son of Gera, and coming out he cursed as he went on.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And comes in the king David as far as Bahurim and, behold, from there, a man is coming out, from the family of the house of Saul and his name [is] Shimei ben Gera. Coming out, [he] came out and cursing.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when King David came to Beth-hurim, behold, there came out from there a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came forth and cursed David;...

Septuagint (Greek)                And King David came to Bahurim; and behold, there came out from there a man of the family of the house of Saul, and his name was Shimei, the son of Gera. He came forth and cursed as he went,...

 

Significant differences:           No significant differences in the meanings.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Shimei curses David

When King David came to Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul's family came out from there. His name was Shimei; he was Gera's son. He was cursing as he came out.

Contemporary English V.       David was near the town of Bahurim when a man came out and started cursing him. The man was Shimei the son of Gera, and he was one of Saul's distant relatives.

Easy English                          David and Shimei

King David approached the village called Bahurim. A man from Saul's family came out from the village. His name was Shimei, the son of Gera. He was insulting David as he came out.

Easy-to-Read Version            David came to Bahurim. A man from Saul’s family came out from Bahurim. This man’s name was Shimei son of Gera. Shimei came out saying bad things to David. And he kept saying bad things again and again.

The Message                         When the king got to Bahurim, a man appeared who had connections with Saul's family. His name was Shimei son of Gera. As he followed along he shouted insults...

New Berkeley Version           When King David came to Bahurim, there was a man named Shimei the son of Gera, who belonged to the family of Saul’s house, coming out of that place, shouting curses as he came.

New Living Translation           When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of Saul. His name was Shimei, the son of Gera. He did not stop speaking bad things as he came.

The Voice                               They traveled on. When David reached Bahurim, one of Saul's family, Shimei, the son of Gera, came out of his house and cursed David constantly there in the road,...


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, when King David got to BaUrim, {Look!} there came a man who was related to the house of Saul, whose name was ShiMei (the son of Gera). he came there cursing and throwing stones at David and all his servants. A portion of v. 6 included for context.

God’s Word                         When King David came to Bahurim, a man who was a distant cousin of Saul came out cursing. His name was Shimei, son of Gera.

New American Bible (R.E.)    David and Shimei.

As King David was approaching Bahurim, there was a man coming out; he was of the same clan as the house of Saul, and his name was Shimei, son of Gera. He kept cursing as he came out,... 2Sam. 3:16; 19:17, 22-23 1Kings 2:8.

NIRV                                      Shimei Calls Down Curses on David

King David approached Bahurim. As he did, a man came out toward him. The man was from the same family group that Saul was from. His name was Shimei. He was the son of Gera. As he came out of the town, he called down curses on David.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And when King David came to Bahurim, a man of Saul's family named Shimei, the son of Gera, came out from there, calling curses after him.

The Expanded Bible              Shimei Curses David

As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out ·and cursed him [cursing at them]. He was from ·Saul's family group [Lthe clan of the house of Saul], and his name was Shimei son of Gera.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 From there David proceeded to Bakhurim, and a man of the clan of the family of Saul came out from it, whose name was Shemai-ben-Gerah, who advanced cursing, and throwing stones at David,... A portion of v. 6 included for context.

HCSB                                     When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached.

NET Bible®                             Shimei Curses David and His Men

Then King David reached [Heb “came to.” The form of the verb in the MT is odd. Some prefer to read וַיַּבֹא (vayyavo’), preterite with vav consecutive) rather than וּבָא (uva’), apparently perfect with vav), but this is probably an instance where the narrative offline vÿqatal construction introduces a new scene.] Bahurim. There a man from Saul's extended family named Shimei son of Gera came out, yelling curses as he approached [Heb "And look, from there a man was coming out from the clan of the house of Saul and his name was Shimei son of Gera, continually going out and cursing."].

NIV – UK                                Shimei curses David

As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul's family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           5 When King David arrived at Bachurim, there came out from there a man from Sha'ul's family named Shim'i the son of Gera; and he came out pronouncing curses 6 and throwing stones at David and all King David's servants; even though all the people, including his bodyguard, surrounded him right and left. V. 6 was included for context.

exeGeses companion Bible   SHIMI ABASES DAVID

And sovereign David comes to Bachurim;

and behold,

there goes a man of the family of the house of Shaul;

his name is Shimi the son of Gera:

he goes and abases as he goes:...

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               As King David was approaching Bahurim, a member of Saul’s clain—a man named Shimei son of Gera—came out from there, hurling insults as he came.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           When Dovid HaMelech came to Bachurim, hinei, from there came out an ish of the mishpakhat Bais Sha'ul; shmo Shimei Ben Gera; and he, cursing continuously, came.

The Scriptures 1998              And when Sovereign Dawi came to Baḥurim he saw a man from the clan of the house of Shaʼul, whose name was Shimʽi son of Gĕra, coming from there. He came out, cursing as he came.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And king David has come in unto Bahurim, and lo, thence a man is coming out, of the family of the house of Saul, and his name [is] Shimei, son of Gera, he comes out, coming out and reviling;...

English Standard Version      When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually.

The Geneva Bible                  And when king David came to Bahurim [Which was a city in the tribe of Benjamin], 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 as he came.

Green’s Literal Translation    And King David came to Bahurim. And, behold, a man was coming out from there, of the family of the house of Saul; and his name was Shimei, the son of Gera. He came out, and he came cursing.

New King James Version       Shimei Curses David

Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came.

Syndein/Thieme                     And when king David was coming 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 hurling insults as he came.

World English Bible                When king David came to Bahurim, behold, a man of the family of the house of Saul came out, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera. He came out, and cursed still as he came.

Young’s Updated LT             And king David has come in unto Bahurim, and lo, there [is] a man is coming out, of the family of the house of Saul, and his name is Shimei, son of Gera, he comes out, coming out and reviling.

 

The gist of this verse:          Shimei, a man from the tribe of Saul, comes out and curses David, as David comes near to Bahurim.


2Samuel 16:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʿad (עַד) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until; while, so long as; to, even to [some certain limit]; even to [unto], unto

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

Bachûrîym (בַּחוּרִים) [pronounced bahk-oo-REEM]

young men; young men’s village; and is transliterated Bahurim

proper singular noun; location

Strong’s #980 BDB #104


Translation: King David advanced as far as Bahurim... We find out so much about David and the people of Israel as we simply move forward with David, and he runs into one person after another; and, in each case, David has to make a judgment call. Sometimes he calls it perfectly, as with Hushai the Archite; and sometimes, David screws it up, as he did with Ziba. However, this is what a king does—he makes judgment calls, and not all of them are going to be 100% on the money. Even though David is a great king, he is also human, and, although he wants to do the right thing as king (with the exception of the time of Bathsheba), he does not always end up doing the right thing.


Application: Even great leaders, from time to time, are going to make mistakes or do something that, in retrospect, was the wrong move. You cannot continue to castigate someone for the rest of their lives for a bad judgment call. A great leader will have his ups and his downs (as do bad leaders, as a matter of fact), and we need to be able to look at many leaders with a wide-angled lens and make a determination based upon their overall performance.


Application: When evaluating a leader, we look at the principles that he espoused, the principles which he actually lived by, how close his policy matched his principles, and if he left the country in better shape than when he was given it.


The Bible is very clear about David; it never sugar-coats his life. When he screws up, we hear about it. When he makes a good or a bad judgment call, it is recorded. One of the things that is remarkable about the Bible is, no one in the Bible is made out to be this marvelous do-nothing-wrong saint. Everyone in the Bible, no matter how revered, makes mistakes, sins, and makes bad judgment calls. No one is romanticized to the point where they no longer seem human.


This flawed human nature is fundamental to Scripture. We are all flawed creatures; we all have the sin nature, the distorter of the soul, residing within us, as a part of our genetic makeup. We cannot look back on Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon or anyone else and say, “Now, that was a saint!” (Inferring from Biblical text that they were pretty darned closed to perfection). In every case, there are glaring errors or sins which are recorded.


There is one exception to this: Jesus Christ. Although man is said to have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, the Bible testifies in several places as to the sinlessness of Jesus. He had to be sinless in order to die for our sins. And what is our final evidence of this—as everyone of us doubts our own salvation from time to time—is that God raised Him from the dead. God the Father approved of the work of God the Son; which ought to give us great relief as believers in Him.


There are those who claim that Jesus was mythologized. That is, He was a pretty darned good teacher, the Jews were looking for the Messiah, so, bam, let’s make Him the Messiah. And so, over hundreds of years, He become known as the Messiah, but as a result of time and a changing of the story. This is simply a false narrative. Usually, for some tale to grow and to reach super-human proportions, many centuries need to pass. Each succeeding generation needs to look back more and more fondly about Jesus than the preceding generation; until there is that point in which He is thought to be sinless perfection. However, this was the view of Jesus which was at the very beginning, by all of His disciples. Our manuscripts of the Bible go back to the 1st century (for pieces of a chapter); and back to subsequent centuries, so that we have evidence that no one changed the Bible. No one recorded a bad story about Jesus, which was later removed or recast in a different light. Our oldest and our newest manuscripts are in agreement. The church fathers, going back to the first few centuries, are in agreement with this; and these men, making theological points, quote this or that passage of Scripture. All of these are consistent, whether taken from the 2nd century or taken from the 10th century. In other words, there is not even the slightest evidence that the Person and work of Jesus was ever changed, even slightly. Manuscript after manuscript after manuscript testifies to this (there are about 26,000 full and partial ancient manuscripts of the New Testament in existence today).


We have gone this far: King David advanced as far as Bahurim...

The Village of Bahurim

1.      I find it fascinating to see how this or that city or this or that geographical area fits into the scheme of the Bible.

2.      Smith tells us that Behurim, which means low ground, is a village apparently on or close to the road leading up from the Jordan valley to Jerusalem, and near the south boundary of Benjamin.1 ISBE concurs, writing: [It is] a place in the territory of Benjamin which lay on an old road from Jerusalem to Jericho followed by David in his flight from Absalom.2 Barnes places it similarly: It seems to have been situated in the southern border of the tribe of Benjamin, and on the route from Jerusalem to the Jordan fords, since Phaltiel came from Mahanaim (2Sam. 2:8).3 It is clearly a city of Benjamin from 2Sam. 3:16 19:16. From the Pulpit Commentary: Lieut. Conder, following a Jewish tradition, identifies it with Almit, a village about four miles northeast of Jerusalem.6

3.      We find this village named 5 or 6 times in the Old Testament. 2Sam. 3:16 16:5, 17:18 19:16 1Kings 2:8 1Chron. 11:33

4.      According to Clarke, it is called Almon in Joshua 21:18 and Alemeth in 16:60. Clarke explains Bahurim signifies youths, and Almuth youth; so the names are of the same import.4 it is apparently called Alemath in the targum.5

5.      David had a wife, Michel, given to him by Saul (she was Saul’s younger daughter). When David left Saul’s periphery for his own safety, Saul gave his daughter away to another man. When making peace with Abner, the former commander for Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, David required that he send Michel to him. As she came to David, her husband followed her, crying, all the way to Bahurim. 2Sam. 3:13–16

6.      In our passage, this man who is related to Saul will come out of the village of Bahurim and curse David. 2Sam. 16:5–12

7.      The sons of the priests, when carrying information for David, will hide in a well in a courtyard of a house in Bahurim. 2Sam. 17:15–21

8.      Interestingly enough, this man who curses David, will apologize for what he said in 2Sam. 19:16–20.

9.      Even more interesting, David, who spared Shimei when he was alive, advised Solomon—essentially while David was on his own deathbed—to consider Shimei carefully, and execute him if need be (1Kings 2:8–9). Solomon will lay some conditions upon Shimei, which Shimei disobeys, and is executed for (1Kings 2:36–46).

10.    One of David’s mighty men was raised in Bahurim. 1Chron. 11:33

1 Dr. William Smith, Smith’s Bible Dictionary; 1894; from e-Sword, topic: Bahurim. Fausset says, instead, that Bahurim means youths and it is a city east of Jerusalem (Benjamin is north of Jerusalem).

2 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic:  Bahurim.

3 Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 3:16.

4 Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 16:5.

Dr. John Gill, John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 16:5.

6 The Pulpit Commentary; 1880-1919; by Joseph S. Exell, Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones, courtesy of e-sword, 2Sam. 16:5.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 16:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

This seems to attempt to take others and put them in the place of the person saying this (so that they see the same thing); or to grab the attention of the reader.

When this is a part of the narrative, but not a part of what a person is saying, the intent of this word appears to be something which is observed by those in the narrative. From the many times I have seen this word used in a narrative, I believe that we may update the translation to, he observed [that]. This goes along with the idea that this word is to cause us to see things from the viewpoint of someone in the narrative.

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

going [coming] out, going [coming] forth; rising

Qal active participle

Strong's #3318 BDB #422


Translation: ...and, he observed that, from there, a man comes out. At this point, when seeing the interjection hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY] in many narratives, I have come to the conclusion that this is equivalent to the idea that someone in the narrative observes something occurring. In this case, this man comes out walking determinedly toward David.


So David is leaving Jerusalem, with a lot on his mind; but, as he travels by Bahurim, he notices a man coming out toward him.


2Samuel 16:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

mishepâchâh (מִשְפָּחָה) [pronounced mish-paw-KHAWH]

family, clan, tribe, sub-tribe, class (of people), species [genus, kind] [of animals], or sort (of things)

feminine singular construct

Strong's #4940 BDB #1046

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: [He is] from the family of the house of Saul... Apparently, at some point in time, background information on this man is gathered. He is related to Saul insofar as he is a Benjamite. No doubt, this man may have cursed more than we find in this chapter, and revealed that he is related to Saul; and it is possible that some of David’s men interviewed him. When someone is mad, you can sometimes get them to say things they shouldn’t. “Yeah, and just who is calling David and low-down so-and-so?” “Shimei, from the family of the house of Saul.” Or, David told one of his men to make note of this man, where he lives, to possibly go back to to learn his background. In some way, Shimei’s name and background was determined—whether at this point in time or at a later date, we are not told.


David has a couple of choices here. The easy choice would be to let one of his men go over and take off his head, which might relieve some of the frustration of David and some of his people. However, David will not do that. But, knowing his name had to come from somewhere, so some effort had to be made in order to get his name—either at the time of this incident or later on. David has to determine if Shimei is an idiot or someone who is a true revolutionary threat; because if he comes back into power, he may have to concern himself with Shimei.


So, whereas, David made a snap decision about Ziba, he has since been restored to fellowship via rebound and, regarding Shimei, David will be careful to do the right thing.


2Samuel 16:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shêm (שֵם) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character; fame, glory; celebrated; renown; possibly memorial, monument

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

Shimeʿîy (שִמְעִי) [pronounced shime-ĢEE]

hear me and is transliterated Shimei

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8096 BDB #1035

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Gêrâʾ (גֵּרָא) [pronounced gay-RAW]

a grain; transliterated Gera

masculine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #1617 BDB #173


Translation: ...and his name [is] Shimei ben Gera. His name was also determined. This means Shimei the son of Gera. We do not know how any of the book of Samuel was recorded. Did David have a man who specialized in putting things into the public record, record these incidents as they occurred? Or did David look back, months or years later, and record these incidents? We do not know. But someone at some point determined who Shimei was and that he was from the family of Saul.

 

Concerning the family name Gera, Barnes writes: Ehud “the Benjamite” was of the family or house of Gera (2Sam. 16:5), the son of Bela, Benjamin’s first–born, born before Jacob’s descent into Egypt (Gen. 46:21), and then included among “the sons of Benjamin.” The genealogy in 1Chron. 8:6 intimates that Ehud (apparently written Abihud in Judges 3:3) became the head of a separate house. Footnote This, or Gera was the name of Shimei’s father or grandfather.


2Samuel 16:5e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

going [coming] out, going [coming] forth; rising

Qal active participle

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go [come] out, to go [come] forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

Qal infinitive absolute

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

When a verb is doubled, this is the Hebrew mode of expressing intensity, repetition, or emphasis.

The infinitive absolute has four uses: ➊ when found alone, it sometimes acts as an English gerund, so that we may add ing to the end of the verb; ➋ When found directly before its verbal cognate, it serves to intensify or strengthen the action or the meaning of the verb which follows; ➌ When it follows its cognate verb, it emphasizes the duration or the continuation of the verbal idea; and, ➍ it is sometimes used as a substitute for a finite verb form. Footnote

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

qâlal (קָלַל) [pronounced kaw-LAL]

cursing, execrating; seeing as despicable; making despicable

Piel participle

Strong's #7043 BDB #886


Translation: Coming out, he came out cursing [David]. This man does something which we have not observed before now. He verbally abuses David. He has felt, apparently for a longtime, that David was a lousy king, and now he has the chance to vent his anger. Probably this is something you would like to do?


How David will handle this man is fascinating. He will more or less ignore him here, but take note of who he is. Then David, when Shimei comes to him asking forgiveness, forgives him. However, when dying, he will tell his son Solomon to keep an eye on this guy, because he might simply be the kind of person who is chronically unhappy with leadership—the sort of man who would foment revolution—and David tells his son to deal with him properly.


Barnes suggests that Cush the Benjamite in Psalm 7 inscription is another name for Shimei, which would reasonably place Psalm 7 with this chapter of 2Samuel. Footnote However, there is nothing in that psalm which unequivocally ties it to this portion of 2Samuel.


——————————


And so he stones in the stones David and all servants of the king David and all the people and all his mighty men from his right hand and from his left hand.

2Samuel

16:6

Shimei [lit., he] threw stones [at] David and [at] all the servants of King David; even [though] all the people and all his mighty men [were] on his right hand and on his left hand.

Shimei threw stones at David and at David’s servants. He took on all the people with David, including David’s mighty men to his left and to his right.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And he threw stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people, and all the warriors walked on the right, and on the left side of the king.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he stones in the stones David and all servants of the king David and all the people and all his mighty men from his right hand and from his left hand.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And he threw stones at him and at all his servants and at all his people and at all his servants who were on his right hand and on his left.

Septuagint (Greek)                ...and cast stones at David, and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on the right and left hand of the king.

 

Significant differences:           The Peshitta leaves out the proper noun David. The English translation from the Latin has the verb walked. Nothing which is particularly significant.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           He threw rocks at David and at all of King David's servants, even though the entire army and all the warriors were on either side of him.

Contemporary English V.       He threw stones at David, at his soldiers, and at everyone else, including the bodyguards who walked on each side of David.

Easy English                          Then Shimei threw stones at David and at all his officials. But all the soldiers and all David's strong men gathered round David.

Easy-to-Read Version            Shimei began throwing stones at David and his officers. But the people and the soldiers gathered around David—they were all around him.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Shimei started throwing stones at David and his officials, even though David was surrounded by his men and his bodyguards.

The Message                         ...and threw rocks right and left at David and his company, servants and soldiers alike.

New Life Bible                        He threw stones at David, and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the strong men were at his right and at his left.

New Living Translation           He threw stones at the king and the king's officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him.

The Voice                               ...throwing stones at him and at his servants even though David's soldiers were all around, supporting him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...and throwing stones at David and all his servants.

Well, all the people (and all the mighty ones) were walking on either side of the king.

Christian Community Bible     He threw stones at David and his officers although the king’s men and warriors flanked the king on the right and left.

God’s Word                         He threw stones at David and David's servants, although all the people and all the warriors were shielding David.

New American Bible (R.E.)    ...and throwing stones at David and at all King David's officers, even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard, were on David's right and on his left.

New Century Version             He threw stones at David and his officers, but the people and soldiers gathered all around David.

NIRV                                      He threw stones at David and all of his officials. He did it even though all of the troops and the special guard were there. They were to the right and left of David.

New Jerusalem Bible             ...and threw stones at David and at all King David's retinue, even though the whole army and all the champions formed an escort round the king on either side.

New Simplified Bible              Shimei threw stones at David and his officials. This was in spite of the fact that his men and his bodyguards surrounded David.

Revised English Bible            He showered stones right and left on David and on all the king’s servants and on everyone, soldiers and people alike.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      He executed a stoning of David and all the servants of King David: all the people and all the mighty right and left.

Bible in Basic English             And he sent stones at David and at all the king's servants and at all the people and at all the men of war by his side, on the right hand and on the left.

The Expanded Bible              He threw stones at David and his ·officers [officials; Lservants], but the people and soldiers gathered ·all around David [Lto his right and left].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and throwing stones at David and at all of David’s officers, and at the people, and the guards on the right and left of him.

New Advent Bible                  5 But, as David reached Bahurim, a man of Saul's kindred came out to meet him, one Semei, son of Gera, and ever he cursed as he went, 6 and threw stones after David, and his servants that walked to left and right of him, plain folk and warriors alike. V. 5 included for context.

NET Bible®                             He threw stones at David and all of King David's servants, as well as all the people and the soldiers who were on his right and on his left.

NIV – UK                                He pelted David and all the king's officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David's right and left.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and he stones stones at David

and at all the servants of sovereign David:

and all the people and all the mighty

on his right and on his left.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               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.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And he cast avanim (stones) at Dovid, and at all the avadim of Dovid HaMelech; and at kol haAm and at all the Gibborim that were on his right and on his left.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And he threw 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.

The Geneva Bible                  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 [That is, round about him.].

Green’s Literal Translation    And he stoned David with stones and all the servants of King David, and all the people, and all the mighty men on his right and on his left.

New RSV                               He threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; now all the people and all the warriors were on his right and on his left.

Syndein/Thieme                     And he threw stones at David, and at all the staff of king David. And all the troops and all the warriors/'mighty men' were on his right hand and on his left.

World English Bible                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.

Young’s Updated LT             And he stones David with stones, and all the servants of king David, and all the people, and all the mighty men on his right and on his left.

 

The gist of this verse:          Shimei began to throw stones at David and at those who are with him.


If you read through the translations above, there are two interpretations: (1) Shimei just came out and was indiscriminately throwing stones at David and at those around him. Or, (2) Shimei threw stones at David, despite the fact that he was surrounded by his warriors. The Hebrew actually straightens out this interpretation for us.


2Samuel 16:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

çâqal (סָקַל) [pronounced saw-KAHL]

to throw [pelt with] stones, to free [clear away, remove] from stones [a vineyard, a highway]

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #5619 BDB #709

ʾeben (אֶבֶן) [pronounced EHB-ven]

a stone [large or small] [in its natural state, as a building material]; stone ore; used of tablets, marble, cut stone; used of a tool or weapon; a precious stone, gem; rock; a weight of the balance

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #68 BDB #6

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʿebed (עֶבֶד) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant; underling; subject

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: Shimei [lit., he] threw stones [at] David and [at] all the servants of King David;... To me, this is quite fascinating—this is how those who do not like the United States or do not like Israel behave. It is not unusual for them to get up and throw stones. Today, often they throw stones, and then complain if the same exact force is not used back against them.


You will note the (generally) untranslated sign of the direct object before David and before all his servants; this tells us that Shimei was just throwing stones at them, not really caring whether they his David or any of his men. You should also note that the untranslated sign of the direct object is not found with the groups named next.


2Samuel 16:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

gibbôwr (גִּבּוֹר) [pronounced gib-BOAR]

strong men, mighty men, soldiers

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1368 BDB #150

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâmîyn (יָמִין) [pronounced yaw-MEEN]

the right hand, the right side, on the right, at the right; the south

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3225 BDB #411

This word can be associated with blessing or prosperity.

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

semôʾl (שְׂמֹאל) [pronounced seMOHL]

the left, the left hand, the left side; north [when facing east]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8040 BDB #969

There is an alternate spelling of this word: semôʾwl (שְׂמֹאול) [pronounced seMOHL].


Translation: ...even [though] all the people and all his mighty men [were] on his right hand and on his left hand. The sentence structure here is quite unusual. We would have expected to see the mark of the direct object precede each of these groups of words, just as they are found in v. 6a. Here, for whatever reason, they are missing; although it appears as though those named above are the recipients of the rocks thrown by Shimei. Given that, the wâw conjunction probably would be best translated even. So these are not new groups not mentioned above; this is simply being more explicit as to who is in that group that Shimei is stoning.


This also suggests that Shimei is throwing stones despite the fact that David is surrounded by a group of very tough men. One must recognize that this does take a little nerve, although Shimei seems to be not understanding that David has shown grace to the house of Saul and that David did not, in any way, seek to undermine or overthrow Saul. So despite this guy’s nerve, he is sorely lacking in facts.


This man is a low-information citizen; he knows very little about his king, and has no reason to be upset with David.

David’s Honor with Respect to King Saul

1.      No one from the house of Saul ought to be angry with David. Now, to be specific, this man is probably a Benjamite perhaps with some marriage ties to Saul. He is not in Saul’s direct line.

2.      When David was a soldier under Saul, he obeyed him and showed him great deference. David obeyed orders and was Saul’s greatest generals.

3.      Saul, due to his lust for power, and because he felt threatened by David, became less rational as time went on. He got to a point where he was trying to kill David—in fact, he made attempts to kill David on several occasions. He threw javelins at David, he sent his own men to kill David, and he went out with his army to search out David to kill him. So, this was an ongoing threat to David’s life.

4.      At no time did David raise his hand against Saul. Twice David was given the chance to kill Saul, and he did not. Anyone would have rationalized it this way: “This man is out to kill me, and he will kill me if he gets the chance. God has chosen me to be king over Israel. Right beneath my feet is Saul, and he can be easily killed. If I kill him, the threat is removed, and I become king. Win-win.” Any man in David’s position would have killed Saul, rationalizing that. Furthermore, David had trusted men under his command telling him, “God has delivered Saul into your hands.” Yet David did not kill Saul.

5.      God killed Saul, using the Philistines in a Philistine attack against Israel. Saul spent so much time squandering his resources on chasing David, that his army was not ready for an attack by the Philistines. Therefore, King Saul and his sons were soundly defeated in battle. He and his sons were killed in battle by Philistines hands.

6.      David, once he became king, looked for ways to show grace to Saul’s house; and he saw that Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, was taken care of.

7.      Therefore, no Benjamite ought to think negatively of David.

8.      Essentially, what we have here is the low-information citizen. No one from the camp of Benjamin who knows what happened can fault David for what he has done.

9.      David is so much different from American politicians today, who will, essentially say anything about their opponents, true or not, if they think they can win their office. They are completely moved by power—the lust for power so fills their entire being, that they will do anything to get it. Slam a former friend, lie about an opposition candidate—they will do it. Although I was a personal supporter of Mitt Romney for president in 2012, in the primaries, he viciously and unfairly attacked his Republican primary opponents, which brought him down many notches in my eyes. This approach caused me a lose a great deal of respect for him. David, when it came to taking the reign of Israel, did it with humility and he never lost the concept of spiritual authority which was over him.

10.    

All of these incidents are covered in 1Sam. 16–31 (HTML) (PDF).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


shimei-threw-stones-at-david.jpg

It is quite sad that this man, Shimei, obviously is a man who has a lot of nerve. He is either very stupid or quite fearless or both. But he has allowed his emotions to control him. He does not have enough information about David; he has allowed himself to be swayed by a lack of facts or by distorted facts, and he is allowing his emotions to guide him into an unrelenting fervor.


Shimei heaves stones at David; taken from biblestudyoutlines.org.


Application: Shimei is the perfect example of the low-information, liberal voter today. Liberals hear about a situation that makes them feel sad, and they vote so that someone else’s money is used to fix that situation. Or they vote purely on emotion. The other day, I heard a woman on NPR talking about the gun violence (in New Town, I believe), and she said, “I hate guns. If I could snap my finger and get rid of all the guns, I would. I think they're evil. ... People are making money off them, and people are dying. And at some point, when we see what we see, I don't really care what the other side of the argument is. I don't care. I just don't want to see another 3-year-old come in and be shot in the head.” This was a very intelligent woman, a doctor, who had seen many children come into her ER shot with guns, and it affected her deeply. Therefore, her reaction was visceral and unthinking. She looks at young children killed by gun wounds, and, as far as she is concerned, there is no other side to this argument. The problem is, she believes that by restricting the rights of citizens within the law will somehow change the ability of criminals to get guns. She can only act on emotion, which describes many liberals today.


Shimei perfectly illustrates the emotional revolt going on within the soul of the low-information citizen. Shimei is acting irrationally to the point of possibly taking his life into his own hands. His emotions are out of control and he is in a highly suggestible state, controlled by the old sin nature (if he is a believer in the first place).


——————————


And thus said Shimei in his cursing, “Go out, go out, [you] man of the bloods.” and “[You] man of Belial [i.e., worthlessness].

2Samuel

16:7

Shimei said this while cursing: “Get out of here [lit., go out, go out], [you] man of violence [lit., you man of blood];” and “[You are a] worthless human being.

In between curses, Shimei execrated David, saying, “Get out of here, you man of violence; you are a worthless human being.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And thus said Semei when he cursed the king: Come out, come out, thou man of blood, and thou man of Belial.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And thus said Shimei in his cursing, “Go out, go out, [you] man of the bloods.” and “[You] man of Belial [i.e., worthlessness].”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And thus said Shimei to David when he cursed him, Get out, get out, you bloody man, you wicked man;...

Septuagint (Greek)                And thus Shimei said when he cursed him, Go out, go out, you bloody man, and man of sin.

 

Significant differences:           The English translation from the Greek, Latin and Syriac all have some sort of object for Shimei’s cursing. It is not unusual to translate man of Belial as a man of sin, a man of worthlessness or a wicked man.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           This is what Shimei said as he cursed David: "Get out of here! Get out of here! You are a murderer! You are despicable!

Easy English                          Shimei insulted David as he said, `Go away. Go away. You are a murderer and a wicked man!

Easy-to-Read Version            Shimei cursed David. He said, “Get out, get out, you no-good murderer [Literally, "man of blood."]!

Good News Bible (TEV)         Shimei cursed him and said, "Get out! Get out! Murderer! Criminal!

The Message                         To the accompaniment of curses he shouted, "Get lost, get lost, you butcher, you hellhound!

New Life Bible                        Shimei said as he said bad things, "Get out! Get out, you man of blood, you man of no worth!

The Voice                               Shimei (shouting abuse): 7 Go on! Get out, you man of blood! You worthless man!


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And ShiMei shouted, as he was cursing, 'Get out of here you murderer; you criminal; for, Jehovah has brought all the blood of the house of Saul on you for taking his place as the ruler. A portion of v. 8 included for context.

Christian Community Bible     Shimei said as he cursed, “Go away! Go away! You bloodthirsty good-for-nothing!

New American Bible              Shimei was saying as he cursed: "Away, away, you murderous and wicked man!

Revised English Bible            With curses Shimei shouted: ‘Get out, get out, you murderous scoundrel!


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Shimei said thus as he cursed: "||Proceed|| you man of blood, you worthless man!

The Expanded Bible              Shimei cursed David, saying, "Get out, get out, you ·murderer [Lman of blood], you ·troublemaker [scoundrel].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Shemai also shouted aloud thus: — “Get off! Get off! You man of blood! You blackguard!

New Advent Bible                  Go thy ways, cried Semei, cursing the king, go thy ways, murderer and upstart!

NET Bible®                             As he yelled curses, Shimei said, "Leave! Leave! You man of bloodshed, you wicked man [Heb "man of worthlessness."]!


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           When Shim'i cursed, he said, "Get out of here! Get out of here, you killer, you good-for-nothing!

Context Group Version          And as Shimi abases, he says thus:

Go, go, you bloody man and you man of Beli Yaal:...

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou ish hadamim and thou ish habeliyya'al;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible    And, thus, said Shimei, when he cursed,—Out! Out! Man of bloodshed, and man of the Abandoned One!

Green’s Literal Translation    And Shimei said this in his cursing, Go out! Go out, O man of blood, O worthless man!

New King James Version       Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: "Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue!

New RSV                               Shimei shouted while he cursed, `Out! Out! Murderer! Scoundrel!

Syndein/Thieme                     And these are the insults that Shimei hurled, "Come out, come out, you criminal/'bloody man', and you villain/'man of Belial'."

Third Millennium Bible            And thus said Shimei when he cursed, "Come out, come out, thou bloody man and thou man of Belial!

World English Bible                Thus said Shimei when he cursed, Be gone, be gone, you man of blood, and base fellow:...

Young's Literal Translation     And thus said Shimei in his reviling, “Go out, go out, O man of blood, and man of worthlessness!

 

The gist of this verse:          Shimei is cursing and calling David names.


2Samuel 16:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôh (כֹּה) [pronounced koh]

so, thus, here, hence; now; in the meantime

adverb

Strong’s #3541 BDB #462

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Shimeʿîy (שִמְעִי) [pronounced shime-ĢEE]

hear me and is transliterated Shimei

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8096 BDB #1035

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

qâlal (קָלַל) [pronounced kaw-LAL]

to curse, to execrate; to see as despicable; to make despicable; to curse onself; to bring a curse upon oneself

Piel infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7043 BDB #886

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.


Translation: Shimei said this while cursing:... The way that this is set up in the Hebrew is, Shimei is cursing and he is talking at the same time. So he calls out some expletives and then he says a few things which are printable. It ought to be obvious that this man has lost complete control of his emotions. He is angry; he is filled with mental attitude sins against David; and what he does here is of no benefit to anyone.


2Samuel 16:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

go [come] out, go [come] forth; rise [up]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

go [come] out, go [come] forth; rise [up]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular construct (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

dâmîym (דָּמִים) [pronounced daw-MEEM]

blood; bloodshed; a bloody [man]; a slaying; guilt of a slaughter

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1818 BDB #196


Translation:...“Get out of here [lit., go out, go out], [you] man of violence [lit., you man of blood];”... He repeats go out; which is not very stirring for the average reader of English. Suffice to say, he is asking David to leave, while swearing at him at the same time. He is clearly filled with anger and mental attitude sins. He accuses David of violence, whereas David has only used violence against the enemies of Israel (with the exception of Uriah the Hittite). A citizen ought to be appreciative of what David has done for the country with regards to protecting it; however, there are many who are not.


Application: One of the most pathetic things in the history of the United States was Americans cursing and hating the Vietnam veterans who simply put their lives on the line to protect America. This was an awful blot in American history. No matter what side of the Vietnam controversy you are on, you cannot blame the soldiers, who were (and are) men of great honor and integrity. I personally know some leftists today who think that the United States military ought to be pared down to the intent that our military is weakened. Somehow, this is supposed to keep us out of “bad” wars. The end result will be that, we end up getting involved in more wars because our president does not have the military strength to deter other countries. Ronald Reagan built up our army so that no one wanted to mix it up with us.


David had been an honorable soldier and an honorable king, apart from Bathsheba and Uriah incident. Therefore, Shimei had no reason to cuss David out.


So far in this verse, we have: Shimei said this while cursing: “Get out of here [lit., go out, go out], [you] man of violence [lit., you man of blood];...” Shimei blames David for the deaths of Abner and Ishbosheth; and even perhaps Saul and his sons, as will be made clear in the next verse.


Many people make a big deal out of the following verse, where David is seen as a man of blood by God: And David said to Solomon, “My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of Jehovah my God. But the Word of Jehovah came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars. You shall not build a house to My name because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight.’ ” (1Chron. 22:7–8) David represents Jesus Christ in his 1st and 2nd advent; and when Jesus returns, He will kill millions of people (Rev. 14:20). In the Millennium, Jesus Christ will preside of a peaceful 1000 years of perfect environment. So, Solomon, who presided over Israel during a great time of peace is best suited to represent Jesus Christ in the Millennium. The House (Temple) of Solomon is a permanent structure, illustrating the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ. So, it is not that David killed too many of the enemy in war—because Jesus will do the same thing—but that David is simply being matched up with the 1st and 2nd advents and Solomon is being matched up with the millennial reign of our Lord.


2Samuel 16:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular construct (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

belîyyaʾal (בְּלִיַּעַל) [pronounced belee-YAH-ģahl]

without value, lacking character, worthless, ruin, good-for-nothing, unprofitable, useless, without fruit; wickedness, vileness; destruction; wicked or ungodly [men]; transliterated Belial

masculine singular noun with the definite article; pausal form

Strong’s #1100 BDB #116


Translation: ...and “[You are a] worthless human being.” I have translated man as human being, to give a little updating to this translation.


The entire verse reads: In between curses, Shimei execrated David, saying, “Get out of here, you man of violence; you are a worthless human being.” Bear in mind that, to most of David’s soldiers, Shimei is a flea, a bug, a nuisance. They are ready to squash him in a moment. David could have treated his worthless life cavalierly, but he does not.


——————————


It is at this point, I am reminded of something that Ronald Regan said: "It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so." This describes Shimei’s understand of David and King Saul—so much of what he thinks is true, just isn’t.


Has caused to return Yehowah all bloods of a house of Saul, who you have reigned instead of him. And so gives Yehowah the kingdom into a hand of Absalom your son and, behold you, in your evil for a man of bloods you [are].”

2Samuel

16:8

Yehowah has returned [to you] all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned. Therefore, Yehowah has given the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son, and look at you, [trapped] in your [own] evil, for you [are] a man of violence [lit., bloods].”

Jehovah has returned to you all of the bloodshed committed against the family of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned. Therefore, Jehovah has given your kingdom into the control of Absalom, you son, and look at you—you are trapped in your own evil, because you are a man of violence.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          The Lord has repaid you for all the blood of the house of Saul: because you have usurped the kingdom in his stead, and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son: and behold your evils press upon you, because you are a man of blood.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Has caused to return Yehowah all bloods of a house of Saul, who you have reigned instead of him. And so gives Yehowah the kingdom into a hand of Absalom your son and, behold you, in your evil for a man of bloods you [are].”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    The LORD has requited upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son; and, behold, you have been requited for your evil, because you are a bloody man.

Septuagint (Greek)                The Lord has returned upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, because you have reigned in his place; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son: and behold, you are taken in your mischief, because you are a bloody man.

 

Significant differences:           In the final phrase that includes the word evil, the verb is implied, which explains the variety of verbs in the English translations of the Greek, Syriac and Latin.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           The Lord has paid you back for all the blood of Saul's family, in whose place you rule, and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You are in this trouble because you are a murderer!"

Contemporary English V.       ...the LORD is paying you back for killing so many in Saul's family. You stole his kingdom, but now the LORD has given it to your son Absalom. You're a murderer, and that's why you're in such big trouble!"

Easy English                          The *Lord is punishing you because you killed so many people in Saul's family. You became the king instead of Saul. Now the *Lord has given your *kingdom to your son Absalom. This has ruined you. You are a murderer.'

Easy-to-Read Version            The Lord is punishing you. Why? Because you killed people in Saul’s family. You stole Saul’s place as king. But now the same bad things are happening to you. The Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Why? Because you are a murderer.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         You took Saul's kingdom, and now the LORD is punishing you for murdering so many of Saul's family. The LORD has given the kingdom to your son Absalom, and you are ruined, you murderer!"

The Message                         GOD has paid you back for all your dirty work in the family of Saul and for stealing his kingdom. GOD has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Look at you now--ruined! And good riddance, you pathetic old man!"

New Berkeley Version           The Lord as brought back on your head all the blood of the house of Saul, whose place as king you took. The Lord has given the kingship over into the hands of your son Absalom. Look at you now in your calamity! For you are a man guilty of blood [Referring to the seven descendants of Saul whom David had allowed to be killed by the Gibeonites at the time of the famine (2Sam. 21:1–9)]!”

New Life Bible                        The Lord has punished you for all the blood of the family of Saul, in whose place you have ruled! The Lord has given the nation to your son Absalom! Your trouble is upon you, because you are a man of blood!"

New Living Translation           "The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul's clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!"

The Voice                               Shimei (shouting abuse): 7 Go on! Get out, you man of blood! You worthless man! 8 The Eternal One has finally punished you for taking the kingdom from Saul, for shedding the blood of his family and subjects and reigning in his place. That's why the Eternal One has taken the kingdom from your bloody hands and given it into the hands of your son Absalom. V. 7 included for context.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...for, Jehovah has brought all the blood of the house of Saul on you for taking his place as the ruler. And now He has given the kingdom into the hand of your son AbSalom. So, you've received some of your own badness, because you're a murderer!'

Beck’s American Translation The LORD pays you back for all the slaughter of the family of Saul whom you succeeded as king. The LORD is giving the kingdom to your son Absalom, and now you’re in trouble because you’re a bloody man.”

Christian Community Bible     Yah weh has brought down on your head all the blood of the family of Saul. You became king in his place, but God has now placed the kingdom in the hands of your son Absalom. Ruin has come upon you be cause you are a bloodthirsty man.”

God’s Word                         The LORD is paying you back for all the blood you spilled in the family of Saul, whom you succeeded as king. The LORD is giving the kingship to your son Absalom. Now you're in trouble because you're a bloodthirsty man."

New American Bible (R.E.)    The LORD has paid you back for all the blood shed from the family of Saul [(This) probably refers to the episode recounted in 21:1-14.], whom you replaced as king, and the LORD has handed over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now look at you: you suffer ruin because you are a man of blood."

New Century Version             The Lord is punishing you for the people in Saul's family you killed! You took Saul's place as king, but now the Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom! Now you are ruined because you are a murderer!"

NIRV                                      You spilled the blood of a lot of people in Saul's family. You took over his kingdom. Now the Lord is paying you back. He has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have been destroyed because you are a murderer!"

New Jerusalem Bible             Yahweh has paid you back for all the spilt blood of the House of Saul whose sovereignty you have usurped; and Yahweh has transferred the sovereign power to Absalom your son. Now your wickedness has overtaken you, man of blood that you are.'


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

The Expanded Bible              The Lord is ·punishing [repaying] you for ·the people in Saul's family you killed [Lall the bloodshed of the house of Saul]! You ·took [reigned in] Saul's place as king, but now the Lord has given the kingdom to your son Absalom! Now you are ·ruined [caught in your own evil] because you are a ·murderer [Lman of blood]!"

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The Ever-living has turned upon you all the blood of the family of Saul, whom you reign instead of! And the Ever-living has given the kingship to the hand of Absalom your son! Look at your miseries, for you are a man of blood!”

HCSB                                     The LORD has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you rule, and the LORD has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because you're a murderer!"

New Advent Bible                  Now the Lord has avenged the blood of Saul's race, by handing over the kingdom thou didst usurp to thy son Absalom; no wonder if calamity comes home to thee, murderer as thou art!

NET Bible®                             The Lord has punished you for [Heb "has brought back upon you."] all the spilled blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you rule. Now the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. Disaster has overtaken you, for you are a man of bloodshed!"

NIV – UK                                The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has given the kingdom into the hands of your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer!'


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           ADONAI has brought back on you all the blood of the house of Sha'ul. You usurped his kingship, but ADONAI has handed over the kingdom to Avshalom your son. Now your own evil has overtaken you, because you are a man of blood!"

exeGeses companion Bible   Yah Veh returns on you

all the blood of the house of Shaul

in whose stead you reign;

and Yah Veh gives the sovereigndom

into the hand of Abi Shalom your son:

and behold, you are in your evil,

because you are a man of blood.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Hashem hath returned upon thee all the dahm of the Bais Sha'ul, in whose place thou hast reigned; and Hashem hath delivered the meluchah (kingdom) into the yad Avshalom binecha; and, behold, thou art taken in thy ra'ah, because thou art an ish damim.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      The LORD has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood."

The Geneva Bible                  The LORD has returned upon you all the blood [Reproaching him, as though by his means Ishbosheth and Abner were slain.] of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son: and, behold, you [are taken] in your mischief, because you [are] a bloody man.

Green’s Literal Translation    Jehovah has turned back on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. And Jehovah shall give the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. And, behold, you are taken in your mischief, for you are a man of blood.

New RSV                               The Lord has avenged on all of you the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, disaster has overtaken you; for you are a man of blood.'

Syndein/Thieme                     Jehovah/God is paying you back for all your crimes against the family of Saul, whose throne you seized. And Jehovah/God is handing over the throne to your son Absalom. You are in trouble because you are a criminal/'bloody man'.

World English Bible                Yahweh has returned on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and Yahweh has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son; and, behold, you are taken in your own mischief, because you are a man of blood.

Young’s Updated LT             Jehovah has turned back on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned, and Jehovah does give the kingdom in to the hand of Absalom your son; and lo, you are in your evil, for a man of blood you are .”

 

The gist of this verse:          Shimei blames all of the deaths of the house of Saul on David. He says this is why God is giving Absalom the throne.


2Samuel 16:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring back, to send back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, to be caused to return

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

dâmîym (דָּמִים) [pronounced daw-MEEM]

blood; bloodshed; a bloody [man]; a slaying; guilt of a slaughter

masculine plural construct

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

Shâʾûwl (שָאוּל) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982


Translation: Yehowah has returned [to you] all the blood of the house of Saul,... Here, Shimei blames David for Saul’s killing; and other killings done against the house of Saul. However, David is not responsible for these. David never raised his sword against Saul or the house of Saul. There were some bloody skirmishes between Ishbosheth’s army and David’s, but when Ish-bosheth (of Saul’s house) was murdered, David put the murderers to death (2Sam. 4). So David cannot be blamed for any of the bloodshed incurred by the house of Saul. However, this man, Shimei, cannot be persuaded of anything.


Saul and his sons died by the hand of the Philistines. They would not have had Saul continued to execute his duties as king, to keep his army up and to keep them on a constant alert against the Philistines rather than against David. David was out of Israel when Saul died because of Saul. David and many great warriors would in Philistine territory when the Philistines attacked Saul. Had Saul kept up two divisions, one under Jonathan and one under David; and have allowed David to rack up enemy kills instead of being jealous of enemy kills, the Philistine attack against Saul would probably not have happened. Or, if it did, Saul would have had armies fully prepared for it. Saul, instead, squandered his energy resources on chasing after David, causing a split in his own family because of it.


Clearly, Shimei is the epitome of the low-information citizen. He did not have all of the facts; he probably had almost nothing by way of facts—yet he had a strong opinion about David. We are clued into this so that we can see why some of the people of Israel rebelled against David.


Application: We have such things which occur today. The liberal rallying cry in the mid to late 2000's was, “Bush lied; people died.” This expressed the notion that President George Bush knew that Saddam Hussein did not have any weapons of mass destruction, but lied and said that he did, so that Bush could start a war in Iraq. Goofy reasons were given: oil, avenging his father, Cheney is a warmonger and wants weapons producers to prosper. Now all of that is absolutely foolish. Had any of these lefties bothered to check the facts, Saddam was thought to have such weapons long before Bush was on the scene. I have a magazine article from 1998 where a person on Saddam’s inner circle claimed that he had such weapons and that we would never find them. Now, there are a lot of legitimate things to discuss—how should be go into Iraq, what should be have done there, how far should we have taken the attack if at all—but this was obscured by a meaningless slogan, along with dozens of Democrats who denounced the war after voting in favor of it. My point is, even in this information age, people still choose to revel in falsehoods and slogans. That describes Shimei.


Application: I admit to occasionally arguing on facebook and elsewhere with people I barely know; and it is like arguing with Shimei. Laying down the facts before Shimei would be unfruitful. He is angry, his soul is filled with mental attitude sins, and no amount of explanation would calm this man. This is how you can have people today (I write this in 2013) who still make a big deal out of President Bush inheriting a surplus and turning it into a deficit, and yet, have no problem with President Obama’s trillion dollar deficits. It is logical to oppose the deficits of both men; it is logical to oppose the Obama deficit but not the Bush deficit, but it is entirely illogical to complain about the Bush deficit and then to accept the Obama deficit without complaint. My point is, David is not being avenged by God for deaths in the house of Saul; but Shimei could not be convinced of this.


So far, vv. 7–8a read: In between curses, Shimei execrated David, saying, “Get out of here, you man of violence; you are a worthless human being. Jehovah has returned to you all of the bloodshed committed against the family of Saul,...” Let’s take a look at all of the deaths in the house of Saul.

Deaths in the House of Saul

1.      Saul and his sons were all killed when at war with the Philistines. Saul, by going to a medium, was responsible for his own death. God placed him under the sin unto death for that. 1Chron. 10:13

2.      Saul’s sons died because they remained in association with him. Although Jonathan had some angry arguments with his father, he stayed with his father, which was a mistake. There is blessing by association and cursing by association.

3.      Although David, for a short time, was in league with the Philistines, he did not participate in the war with them against Israel (although he almost got roped into doing that—1Sam. 29).

4.      Abner was Saul’s top general and Saul’s son Ishbosheth were not killed in this battle with the Philistines.

5.      When the grip of the Philistines lessened over central Israel, Abner essentially put Ishbosheth into power in northern and central Israel by supporting him. 2Sam. 2:8–10

6.      During this time, Abner faces the sons of Zeruiah and he killed Asahel. Asahel’s brothers, Joab and Abishai held this against Abner, and killed him at their first opportunity, even then he was allying himself with David. David did not know about Joab and Abishai’s plot to kill Abner. 2Sam. 2:18–23 3:6–8, 12, 21, 25–28

7.      Without Abner, Ishbosheth was weak. The heads of roving bands of marauders killed Ishbosheth, and went to David for a reward. David had them executed. 2Sam. 4:1–12

8.      So David had nothing to do with any of the deaths of those in Saul’s house.

Therefore, Shimei calling David a man of violence and alleging that God was punishing David for the deaths which occurred in the house of Saul was completely wrong.

Now, David was responsible for the death of Uriah (2Sam. 11:15–17 12:9 Psalm 51:4), but Shimei does not speak about that.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 16:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

mâlake (מָלַך׃) [pronounced maw-LAHKe]

to reign, to become king or queen

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4427 BDB #573

tachath (תַּחַת) [pronounced TAH-khahth]

underneath, below, under, beneath; instead of, in lieu of; in the place [in which one stands]; in exchange for; on the basis of

preposition of location or foundation with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8478 BDB #1065


Translation: ...in whose stead you have reigned. The Hebrew here is a little scrambled, for what we are used to in the English; but the translation pretty much captures what is being said here, although it is not as carefully translated word-for-word.


Shimei’s complain to David and his men: Yehowah has returned [to you] all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned. David does rule over Israel instead of Saul, but this is not due to an insurrection against Saul. David bided his time and let God deal with Saul.


One of the things which is generally true of the informed mature believer is, he can correctly interpret contemporary history. Shimei could not have it more wrong. David is facing some difficulties and they are of his making, but they have nothing—absolutely nothing—to do with the late King Saul. And yet that is the thrust of Shimei’s anger; those are his talking points.


The mature believer would understand history, the trends of history and the concept of divine establishment. Therefore, he can take what is in the Bible and relate it to what is occurring today. In most cases, societal trends are going in the wrong direction; in most cases, the voice of the people is the voice of the cosmic system (which is quite the opposite of Vox populi, vox Dei Footnote ).


One of the things which I recall from listening to R. B. Thieme, Jr. at Berachah Church is, he kept going on and on about Rhodesia and South Africa and how these are nations which conformed to the laws of divine establishment (this was circa 1970). At the same time, every source of news that I was exposed to condemned these nations for their apartheid actions, as if this were the most horrible thing that could ever occur. Since then, these nations were taken over by the majority Black population; and one of them has been under a despotic ruler for decades and the other is filled with crime. Although both of these nations represent great wealth in Africa, none of this has really helped out the poor of the country, no matter who is in charge.


So, the minds of many brilliant newscasters whose life was wrapped up in world events all favored the destruction of apartheid and majority Black rule; and essentially one man, R. B. Thieme, Jr., a man with doctrine in his soul, was able to evaluate the situation there and be one of the very few voices calling for the status quo instead.


Like many liberal projects, when the liberal pressure against apartheid finally worked, and there was a change of leadership in both nations, liberals quietly moved onto other causes, while these nations became far more oppressed than they had been under apartheid rule.


2Samuel 16:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

melûwkâh (מְלוּכָה) [pronounced meloo-KAW]

kingdom, kingship, kingly office, royal; monarchy, royalty

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4410 BDB #574

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular construct

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

This combination of the bêyth preposition and hand literally means in [the] hand of; and can be rendered by the hand of; in [under] the power [control] of; by the power of; with; through, by, by means of; before, in the sight of.

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119


Translation: Therefore, Yehowah has given the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son,... This is an example of a man without Bible doctrine in his soul misinterpreting history. This happens all of the time. I was brought up in moderately liberal schools, and I was taught that FDR essentially took us out of the Great Depression, and that Herbert Hoover put us there in the first place. That is a misinterpretation of history by leftist ideologues. I was also taught that the founders of this country were deists; that they believed that God created the earth, and then wandered off somewhere, leaving it to us to take care of everything (i.e., that God was no longer an interested party). This was wholly and totally false. Many of the men who crafted our constitution believed that there was divine intervention; that God was a part of the process of writing the constitution. There were so many misinterpretations of history that I was taught in both high school and college, like the reason for the first War for Independence was taxation without representation and that the fundamental reason for the War between the States was slavery. Whether these were intentionally incorrectly taught or whether this was dumbed down for me as a student I do not know. But, over and over again, I was taught a liberal interpretation of history—most of which was absolutely false.


This is Shimei’s problem—he has mistaken views of how to interpret both Saul and David’s reigns as kings. He is confused about how the transition took place. He is unable to properly interpret the history of Israel as it goes down around him; and therefore, he has this unreasonable hatred towards David.


Application: This is the problem with many liberals today—particularly those who absolutely hate various conservatives. Their hate has been cultivated and nourished by means of a false interpretation of contemporary history, as well as by an intentional misrepresentation of the fac.


Shimei has not even the slightest clue of who David is or how he is related to the former King Saul. He does not really care. He has his anger; and he is ruled by his anger; and that is all he wants.


2Samuel 16:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

This seems to attempt to take others and put them in the place of the person saying this (so that they see the same thing); or to grab the attention of the reader.

Here, with the suffix, I believe that this is best translated, look at you; take note of your own actions; look at what is happening around you.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

râʿâh (רִַעַה) [pronounced raw-ĢAW]

evil, misery, distress, disaster, injury, iniquity, aberration, that which is morally reprehensible

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7451 BDB #949


Translation: ...and look at you, [trapped] in your [own] evil,... I have gotten somewhat frustrated with the common translations of hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY], which means lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out. Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243. I think that with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix, this ought to be rendered look at you; take note of your own actions; look at what is happening around you. So, to Shimei, all of this is obvious. He is a supporter of the late King Saul and his family; David is in power; and now David is heading for the hills, so to speak. So Shimei takes this all in that tells David that he is in the mess he is in because he is evil.


Shimei completely misunderstands David and he completely misinterprets contemporary history.


Do you see how this parallels today’s politics? I write this in 2013, and conservatives and Republicans are demonized over and over again as not just wrong but evil. This man accuses David of being evil. He says that all that is happening to David right now is because of his evil ways.


2Samuel 16:8e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular construct (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

dâmîym (דָּמִים) [pronounced daw-MEEM]

blood; bloodshed; a bloody [man]; a slaying; guilt of a slaughter

masculine plural noun

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

ʾattâh (אַתָּה) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; pausal form

Strong’s #859 BDB #61


Translation: ...for you [are] a man of violence [lit., bloods]. Again, Shimei accuses David of being a man of violence. However, as previously mentioned, on two occasions, David could have killed Saul, but he did not, because Saul was in power. As long as Saul was in power, David was not going to remove him from this office.


Application: Personally, I believe that President Barack Obama is the worst president in my lifetime—worse than Jimmy Carter. However, I would certainly not support an effort to assassinate him. He is the president that our people deserve. In a democracy, we have elected him, and we deserve the kinds of policies that he is putting into place, no matter how misguided and destructive that they are.


David believed the same thing to be true of King Saul. He reigned in Israel because God placed him there, and he had popular acclaim. Saul went far afield of doing what is right, but this is not David’s responsibility to correct it. David could not, when Saul is put before him on a silver platter, kill him. That would be wrong. However, this Shimei essentially accuses David of just that, simply because Shimei does not understand how to interpret contemporary history. A believer with doctrine is able to correctly interpret contemporary history. Unbelievers who lack the concepts of divine establishment and immature believers who do not understand the laws of divine establishment are unable to correctly interpret the trends of contemporary history.


Application: I am reminded of a girl which I had an association with, and she was very liberal and, in her view, the world—particularly the United States—was getting better and better. She was particularly enthusiastic about gay marriage and the inroads that has made as of 2013. She is the perfect example of a person being unable to correctly interpret contemporary events.


——————————


And so says Abishai ben Zeruiah unto the king, “To why curses the dog the dying one the this my adonai the king? Let me go over, please and let me remove his head.”

2Samuel

16:9

Abishai ben Zeruiah said to the king, “Why does this dead dog curse my adonai the king? Let me go over, now, and let me remove his head.”

Abishai the son of Zeruiah (David’s sister) said to the king, “What is wrong with this dead dog who curses my lord the king? Let me go on over to him and remove his head.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And Abisai the son of Sarvia said to the king: Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? I will go, and cut off his head.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Abishai ben Zeruiah unto the king, “To why curses the dog the dying one the this my adonai the king? Let me go over, please and let me remove his head.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then Abishai the son of Zoriah said to David, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.

Septuagint (Greek)                Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, Why does this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over now and take off his head!

 

Significant differences:           The English translations from the Greek, Latin and Syriac lack the particle of entreaty. However, the word let in the Syriac and Greek appear to make up for that.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Abishai said, "Your Majesty, this man is as useless as a dead dog! He shouldn't be allowed to curse you. Let me go over and chop off his head."

Easy English                          Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, spoke to the king. Abishai said, `This man is as bad as a dead dog. He should not insult my master the king. Let me go over there and cut his head off.'

Easy-to-Read Version            Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse you, my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off Shimei’s head.”

New Life Bible                        Zeruiah's son Abishai said to the king, "Why should this dead dog speak against my lord the king? Let me go now and cut off his head."

The Voice                               Abishai, Zeruiah's son, was offended and amazed.

Abishai: Why should you let this worthless dog curse you, my king? Say the word, and I'll chop his head off.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And AbiShai (the son of ZeruJah) said to the king, 'Why does my lord the king put up with the cursing of this dead dog? Allow me to go over and remove his head.'

God’s Word                         Abishai, Zeruiah's son, asked the king, "Why should this dead dog curse you, Your Majesty? Let me go over there and tear off his head."

New American Bible              Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and lop off his head."

New American Bible (R.E.)    Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head." 2Sam. 19:22; 1Sam. 24:15; 26:6.

NIRV                                      Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, spoke to the king. He said, "King David, why should we let this dead dog call down curses on you? Let me go over there. I'll cut off his head."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why does this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please pass me to turn his head."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Abishai-ben-Zeruiah, consequently asked the king, “Why should this dead dog bark at your Majesty the king? Let me run over and cut off his head.”

New Advent Bible                  At this Abisai, son of Sarvia, protested to the king, Why must this hangdog fellow be allowed to curse my lord the king? Let me go and cut the head from his body!


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Avishai the son of Tz'ruyah said to the king, "Why allow this dead dog to curse my lord the king? Just let me go over and remove his head!"

exeGeses companion Bible   And Abi Shai the son of Seruyah

says to the sovereign,

This dead dog

- why abases he my adoni the sovereign?

Pass me over, I pray you, and I twist off his head.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Then said Avishai Ben Tzeruyah unto HaMelech, Why should this kelev hamet (dead dog) curse adoni HaMelech? Let me go over, now and cut off his rosh.

The Scriptures 1998              And Aishai son of Tseruyah said to the sovereign, “Why should this dead dog curse my master the sovereign? Please, let me pass over and take off his head!”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Then said [David's nephew] Abishai son of Zeruiah to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.

Context Group Version          Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah to the king, Why should this dead scavenger { lit. dog; on the same order as a rat in the ancient Middle East } curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I beg of you, and take off his head.

Syndein/Thieme                     Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, said unto the king, {Zeruiah is David's sister so Abishai is his nephew and a great general} "Why let that 'dead dog' {idiom} abuse/curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please/'I pray you', and cut off his head."

World English Bible                Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please let me go over and take off his head."

Young’s Updated LT             And Abishai son of Zeruiah says unto the king, “Why does this dead dog revile my lord the king? let me pass over, I pray you, and I turn aside his head.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Abishai, David’s nephew, offers to behead this man for his impertinence.


2Samuel 16:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾĂbîyshay (אֲבִישַי) [pronounced ub-vee-SHAH-ee]

my father is Jesse and is transliterated Abishai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #52 BDB #5

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Tserûwyâh (צְרוּיָה) [pronounced tzeroo-YAW]

balsam; transliterated Zeruiah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6870 BDB #863

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation: Abishai ben Zeruiah said to the king,... Zeruiah is David’s sister, and she had 3 boys who became great soldiers under David. She was a great woman and a great mother, who apparently raised these boys for a portion of time on her own. We don’t have any soldiers named Charlie ben David. None of David’s sons became military men. Although David was a great and honorable king and believer, he was a lousy father (until he raised his second generation of sons). And none of his wives raised their children for the military.


2Samuel 16:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

Lâmed + mâh can be rendered why, for what reason, to what purpose, for what purpose, indicating an interrogatory sentence. BDB also offers the rendering lest. Gesenius, perhaps for this passage alone (1Chron. 15:13), offers the rendering on account of [that] which, because that.

qâlal (קָלַל) [pronounced kaw-LAL]

to curse, to execrate; to see as despicable; to make despicable; to curse onself; to bring a curse upon oneself

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong's #7043 BDB #886

keleb (כֶּלֶב) [pronounced KEH-lebv]

dog

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3611 BDB #476

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

the dying [one], perishing; one who is dying [perishing]; dead

Qal passive participle with the definite article

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

zeh (זֶה) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

masculine singular demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]

Lord (s), Master (s), my Lord (s), Sovereign; my lord [master]; can refer to the Trinity or to an intensification of the noun; transliterated Adonai, adonai

masculine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #113 & #136 BDB #10

There are actually 3 forms of this word: ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; ʾădônay (אֲדֹנַי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]; and ʾădônîy (אֲדֹנִי) [pronounced uh-doh-NEE].

This is a form of Strong’s #113, where there are three explanations given for the yodh ending: (1) this is a shortened form of the plural ending, usually written -îym (נִים) [pronounced eem], an older form of the pluralis excellentiæ (the plural of excellence), where God’s sovereignty and lordship are emphasized by the use of the plural; (2) this is the actual, but ancient, plural of the noun, which refers to the Trinity; or (3) this is the addition of the 1st person singular suffix, hence, my Lord (the long vowel point at the end would distinguish this from my lords).

There are points of grammar which speak to the options above, but not so that we may unequivocally choose between the three. (1) When we find ʾădônay (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAH] (note the difference of the vowel ending), it always means my lords. (2) Jehovah calls Himself ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY] in Job 28:28 Isa. 8:7; however, many of the Job manuscripts read Yehowah and 8 ancient Isaiah manuscripts read Yehowah instead. This suggests, that either ancient Scribes were confused about this form of Adonai or that they simply substituted Adonai for Yehowah, which was not an abnormal practice (in oral readings, the ancient Tetragrammaton was not spoken, but Lord was said instead). And even If every manuscript read Adonai, then we may also reasonably conclude that one member of the Trinity is addressing another member of the Trinity (although the idea of God saying my Lord would be theologically confusing, even if addressing another member of the Trinity; although Jesus did refer to God the Father as our Father).

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572


Translation:...“Why does this dead dog curse my adonai the king? Abishai is speaking of Shimei, the low-information citizen, calling him a dead dog, which is a great insult to him. He is asking, where does this guy get off cursing you? David goes by with a small army and this impertinent little so-and-so has stepped out of his house and he is throwing rocks and yelling at David. Just who does he think he is? Calling him a dead dog is a great insult in the ancient world.


Concerning the dog; what we find here, using dog as somewhat of a curse upon Shimei, does not mean that this is the divine viewpoint of dogs as we know them in the 21st century. For many of us, dogs are companions and even protection. However, we always must interpret the Bible in the time that it was written, according to the culture of that day. Dogs then were angry and vicious scavengers. Imagine accidentally walking into the protected space of a pit bull today—your opinion of that pit bull might be quite low as your try to exit his area. That is how Israelites felt about dogs in general.

 

Barnes: The wild dogs of the East, which still abound in every town, are the natural objects of contempt and dislike. Footnote Gill describes the dead dog as being useless, detestable, and abominable. Footnote


2Samuel 16:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿâbar (עָבַר) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over [beyond], to cross, to cross over; to go away, to depart; to violate [a law]

1st person singular, Qal imperfect with the voluntative hê

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

Nâʾ is used for a submissive and modest request. It is used to express a wish (Job 32:21: “Oh, that I may not respect any man’s person”); to incite or to urge (Jer. 5:24); it is depreciatory when affixed to the 2nd person with a particle of negation (do not, I implore you—see Gen. 33:10 19:18); with the it expresses a wish or request (Psalm 124 129:1 SOS 7:9), a challenge (Jer. 17:15), asking leave (Gen. 18:4), and depreciation with a negation (Gen. 18:32). In many of these examples, we would express this with the addition of the word let.

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

çûwr (סוּר) [pronounced soor]

to cause to depart, to remove, to cause to go away; to take away; to turn away from

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect; with the voluntative hê

Strong's #5493 (and #5494) BDB #693

All of the Hiphil meanings for this verb are to cause to turn aside, to cause to depart, to remove, to take away, to put away, to depose; to put aside, to leave undone, to retract, to reject, to abolish.

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

rôʾsh (רֹאש or רֹאֶש) [pronounced rohsh]

head [of a man, city, state, nation, place, family, priest], top [of a mountain]; chief, prince, officer; front, choicest, best; height [of stars]; sum

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7218 BDB #910


Translation: Let me go over, now, and let me remove his head.” The verb here means to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over [beyond], to cross, to cross over. The suggests that there is a ravine, possibly filled with water, between the road and the area where Shimei was. It is very likely that they had drainage ditches then, much the way we have them today.


Abishai asks for permission, using the voluntative hê, to stroll on over to Shimei and to take off his head. This was not some sort of saying; Abishai would have taken his sword and clean removed Shimei’s head. Not only is Shimei stupid about David, he is stupid about what he is doing here. A far lesser man than David—given all that has happened—would have said, “Go ahead; let’s see what he has to say after his head comes off.” But that is not how David reacts. David reveals a tremendous amount of calm and self-control.


Application: Try to imagine yourself in charge, and you have a small army, willing to do anything you desire. And out comes some jackass whom you cannot stand—do you see what a tremendous temptation this would be, to just say the word, “Okay;” and this guy is gone. Surely you have people at work or in school or in the armed forces that you must associate with; and with a snap of your fingers, those you do not get along with could be gone—I would not be surprised if you are coming up with a long list of names right now, using your imagination. I can come up with 2 right off the bat; and when I was working as a teacher, there were 3 I could instantly have named. David, with the power over this man’s life, let’s it go. He will keep this man in his mind, but he will not harm him.


——————————


And so says the king, “What to me and to you [all], sons of Zeruiah? For he curses and for Yehowah has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ And who will say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ”

2Samuel

16:10

The king replied, “What [is this] to me or to you, sons of Zeruiah? Let him alone, for he curses because Yehowah has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Therefore, who can say, ‘Why have you done this [lit., so, thus]?’ ”

The king replied, “What is this to me or to you, sons of Zeruiah? Leave him be. Perhaps he curses because Jehovah has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Therefore, who can say, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the king said: What have I to do with you, ye sons of Sarvia? Let him alone and let him curse: for the Lord hath bid him curse David: and who is he that shall dare say, why hath he done so?

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says the king, “What to me and to you [all], sons of Zeruiah? For he curses and for Yehowah has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ And who will say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And King David said to him, What is it to me and to you, O sons of Zoriah? Let him curse, it is the LORD who has told him to curse David. Therefore who can say to me, Why has this happened?

Septuagint (Greek)                And the king said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Let him alone, and so let him curse, for the Lord has told him to curse David: and who shall say, Why have you done thus?

 

Significant differences:           The English translation of the Latin and the Greek have the additional phrase, let him alone. It would be reasonable to assume that this phrase. is in the original text. You may ask, what about the Dead Sea Scrolls? Only one or two words from this verse has been preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           But the king said, "My problems aren't yours, you sons of Zeruiah. If he is cursing because the Lord told him to curse David, then who is to question, `Why are you doing this?'"

Contemporary English V.       David replied, "What will I ever do with you and your brother Joab? If Shimei is cursing me because the LORD has told him to, then who are you to tell him to stop?"

Easy English                          But the king said, `Sons of Zeruiah, this is not your affair. He may be insulting me because the *Lord told him to. If so, nobody should ask him why he does it.'

Easy-to-Read Version            But the king answered, “What can I do, sons of Zeruiah? Sure, Shimei is cursing me. But the Lord told him to curse me.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         "This is none of your business," the king said to Abishai and his brother Joab. "If he curses me because the LORD told him to, who has the right to ask why he does it?"

The Message                         But the king said, "Why are you sons of Zeruiah always interfering and getting in the way? If he's cursing, it's because GOD told him, 'Curse David.' So who dares raise questions?"

New Century Version             But the king answered, "This does not concern you, sons of Zeruiah! If he is cursing me because the Lord told him to, who can question him?"

New Life Bible                        But the king said, "What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah? If he speaks against me, and if the Lord has told him, 'Speak against David,' then who should say, 'Why have you done so?' "

New Living Translation           "No!" the king said. "Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?"

The Voice                               David (to Abishai): 10 Why should this matter to you? What do we, sons of Zeruiah, have in common? If he insults me because the Eternal has told him to, who are we to ask him why he does it?


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And the king said to AbiShai: 'What difference does it make to me and to you sons of ZeruJah? Leave him alone and let him curse, because Jehovah told him to curse David. So, there's no reason to ask him why he's doing this.'

Beck’s American Translation “What has this to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah?” the king said. “Let him curse. If the LORD has told him, ‘Curse David,’ should anyone ask, ‘Why do you do that?’ ”

Christian Community Bible     But the king said, “Why should I listen to you, sons of Zeruiah? If Yahweh has ordered him to curse me, who shall ask him why he acts like this?”

God’s Word                         But the king said, "You don't think like me at all, sons of Zeruiah. Let him curse. If the LORD has told him, 'Curse David,' should anyone ask, 'Why do you do that?'"

New American Bible (R.E.)    But the king replied: "What business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, `Why are you doing this?'" 2Sam. 15:25-26; 19:23.

NIRV                                      But the king said, "You and Joab are sons of Zeruiah. What do you and I have in common? Maybe the Lord said to him, `Call down curses on David.' If he did, who can ask him, `Why are you doing this?'"

New Jerusalem Bible             But the king replied, 'What concern is my business to you, sons of Zeruiah? Let him curse! If Yahweh has said to him, "Curse David!" what right has anyone to say, "Why have you done so?" '

New Simplified Bible              »What business is this of yours?« The king said to Abishai and his brother Joab. »If Jehovah told him to curse me who am I to stop him?«

Today’s NIV                          But the king said, "What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, 'Curse David,' who can ask, 'Why do you do this?' "


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The king said, "What do I do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? He cursed, for Yahweh said to him, 'Curse David.' Who says, 'Why did you do so?' "

Bible in Basic English             And the king said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Let him go on cursing, for the Lord has said, Put a curse on David, and who then may say, Why have you done so?

The Expanded Bible              But the king answered, "·This does not concern you [LWhat have I to do with you], sons of Zeruiah! If ·he is cursing me because the Lord told him to [Lthe Lord has told him, "Curse David"] , who can ·question him [Lsay, "Why have you done so"]?"

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 But the king replied, “What does it matter to me and you, son of Zeruiah, what he cries, or what the Ever-living tells him, to call David? And what he says—have I not done it?”

HCSB                                     The king replied, "Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses me this way because the LORD told him, 'Curse David!' Therefore, who can say, 'Why did you do that?'"

New Advent Bible                  What, sons of Sarvia, David replied, will you never give me any rest? Let him curse as he will; the Lord has bidden him curse David, and who shall call him to question for doing it?

NET Bible®                             But the king said, "What do we have in common [Heb "What to me and to you?"], you sons of Zeruiah? If he curses because the Lord has said to him, `Curse David!', who can say to him, `Why have you done this?'"

NIV – UK                                But the king said, `What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, "Curse David," who can ask, "Why do you do this?"'


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The king said, "Do you sons of Tz'ruyah and I have anything in common? Let him curse. If ADONAI tells him, 'Curse David,' who has the right to ask, 'Why are you doing it?'"

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sovereign says,

What have I to do with you, you sons of Seruyah?

he abases thus because Yah Veh says to him,

Abase David.

Who then is to say, Why work you so?

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               But the king said, “What has this to do with you [Lit., “What have I and yhou.”], you sons of Zeruiah? He is abusing [me] only because the Lord told him to abuse David; and who is to say, ‘Why did You do that?’ ”

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the king said, "What is it between me and you, sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has surely said to him, 'Curse David'; who then shall have the right to say, 'Why have you done so'?"

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And HaMelech said, What have I to do with you, ye Bnei Tzeruyah? So let him curse, because Hashem hath said unto him, Curse Dovid. Who shall then say, why hast thou done so?

The Scriptures 1998              And the sovereign said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Tseruyah? For let him curse, even because יהוה has said to him, ‘Curse Dawi.ʼ And who should say, ‘Why did you do that?ʼ ”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          And the king said, What have I to do with you { pl }, you { pl } sons of Zeruiah? Because he curses, and because YHWH has said to him, Curse David; who then shall say, Why have you done so?

English Standard Version      But the king said, "What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD has said to him, 'Curse David,' who then shall say, 'Why have you done so?'"

The updated Geneva Bible    And the king said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD has said unto him, Curse David. Who will then say, Wherefore have you done so? David felt that this was the judgment of God for his sin, and therefore humbles himself to his rod.

Green’s Literal Translation    And the king said, What have I to do with you, sons of Zeruiah? For let him curse, even because Jehovah has said to him, Curse David. And who shall say, Why have you done so?.

New King James Version       But the king said, "What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, `Curse David.' Who then shall say, `Why have you done so?'"

New RSV                               But the king said, `What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, "Curse David", who then shall say, "Why have you done so?" '

Syndein/Thieme                     But the king said, "What has this to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? He is abusing/cursing me, because Jehovah/God told him to abuse David. And who is to say, 'Why did You do that?' "

World English Bible                The king said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Because he curses, and because Yahweh has said to him, Curse David; who then shall say, Why have you done so?.

Young’s Updated LT             And the king says, “What—to me and to you, O sons of Zeruiah? For—let him revile; even because Jehovah has said to him, Revile David; and who says, Wherefore have You done so?”

 

The gist of this verse:          David essentially tells the sons of Zeruiah to let this man alone.


You will note that there were a number of translations referred to above; that is sometimes indicative of a verse that is difficult to interpret. However, we should be able to understand this one.


2Samuel 16:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Although most of the conversations between people in the Old Testament use this same verb over and over again, in the English, we often mix it up, using words like, to ask, to answer, to reply; depending upon the context.

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why

interrogative; exclamatory particle

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Keil and Delitzsch: The formula “what to me and you?” signifies that a person did not wish to have anything in common with the feelings and views of another (see also 1Kings 17:18; Joshua 22:24). Footnote The speaker is saying, “Your perspective on this matter is wrong.” See also 2Sam. 19:22 Matt. 8:29 John 2:4.

Poole explains: to wit, in this matter I ask not your advice, nor will I follow it; nor do I desire you should at all concern yourselves in it, but wholly leave it to me, to do what I think fit. Footnote

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Tserûwyâh (צְרוּיָה) [pronounced tzeroo-YAW]

balsam; transliterated Zeruiah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6870 BDB #863


Translation: The king replied, “What [is this] to me or to you, sons of Zeruiah? The king’s answer is quite fascinating, and it took me off my game for a moment. David needs to calm the sons of Zeruiah. They will be involved in killing soon enough. The phrase what to me and you, indicates that the two persons (or sets of people) involved are not seeing this situation from the same perspective. Keil and Delitzsch say that this signifies that a person did not wish to have anything in common with the feelings and views of another (see also 1Kings 17:18; Joshua 22:24). Footnote The speaker is saying, “Your perspective on this matter is wrong.” See also Matt. 8:29 John 2:4.


The king literally says, “What to me and to you, sons of Zeruiah;” which indicates that both Joab and Abishai wanted to walk over to this guy and take off his head. Even though Joab has not been named at this point, the plural sons of Zeruiah is suggests that he is with David, on this march out of Jerusalem, and that, when his brother Abishai said, “Let me take off his head;” that Joab chimed in. Perhaps he said, “I am the eldest and I outrank General Abishai; allow me to do it.” These young men were quite rugged, had been involved with war for decades, and were quite callous. This would not have slowed down their march and it would have shut this idiot up.


You or I would have taken this personally. Someone comes up to me and is throwing stones, yelling, “Screw you, Gary;” and I would tend to take that approach to human interaction very personally. David does not. He is saying, “What does this have to do with us?” It is not the sort of reaction one would expect from someone who is being cursed. But David is saying, “Listen, this has nothing to do with us.”


And Zeruiah’s sons are looking at David and thinking, “What? Are you freaking kidding me?” And they are thinking, “It would take me 30 seconds to walk on over there and take off this idiot’s head.” But they don’t. David has stopped them in their tracks. “Listen, boys, this has got nothing to do with us.”


2Samuel 16:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Both the Latin and Greek insert Let him alone at this point.

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

qâlal (קָלַל) [pronounced kaw-LAL]

to curse, to execrate; to see as despicable; to make despicable; to curse onself; to bring a curse upon oneself

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong's #7043 BDB #886

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

BDB gives this list of definitions: 1) that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since; 1a) that; 1a1) yea, indeed; 1b) when (of time); 1b1) when, if, though (with a concessive force); 1c) because, since (causal connection); 1d) but (after negative); 1e) that if, for if, indeed if, for though, but if; 1f) but rather, but; 1g) except that; 1h) only, nevertheless; 1i) surely; 1j) that is; 1k) but if; 1l) for though; 1m) forasmuch as, for therefore.

Together, the wâw conjunction and the kîy conjunction literally mean and for, and that; however, together, they can be taken to mean when, that, for, because, how.

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

The keri reading Footnote is:

kôh (כֹּה) [pronounced koh]

so, thus, here, hence; now; in the meantime

adverb

Strong’s #3541 BDB #462

qâlal (קָלַל) [pronounced kaw-LAL]

to curse, to execrate; to see as despicable; to make despicable; to curse onself; to bring a curse upon oneself

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong's #7043 BDB #886

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

This is translation, Hence, he curses, for Yehowah... This is somewhat smoother than what we have in the Chethib reading, which is in the lighter portion of the table. However, the reading before us can be reasonably translated without doing damage to the Hebrew text.

Although Owen usually alerts me to such alternate readings, I was unaware of this one until I got to the Keil and Delitzsch commentary. It helps to explain why I struggled with these words in particular when it came to translating this passage. Footnote

It may be instructive to see what Keil and Delitzsch wrote concerning this:


For יה וכי יקלּל כּי (Chethib), the Masoretes give us the Keri, יה כּי יקלּל כּה, “so let him curse, for Jehovah,” etc. This thought lies at the foundation of the rendering adopted by the LXX, who have inserted, by way of explanation, καὶ ἄφετε αὐτὸν καὶ: so let him go, and so may he curse. The Vulgate is just the same: dimittite eum ut maledicat. This interpolation is taken from 2Sam. 16:11, and, like the Keri, is nothing more than a conjecture, which was adopted simply because כּי was taken as a causal particle, and then offence was taken at וכי. But כּי signifies if, quando, in this passage, and the ו before the following וּמי introduces the apodosis. Footnote

With regards to the Keri and Chethib readings, George Morris from the Concise Bible Dictionary Footnote explains:


These terms refer to the various readings appended to the printed Hebrew Bible. The keri (or qeri) are placed in the notes, and signify "to be read," instead of what is in the text, which latter is called chethib (or kethib), "written." A small circle or star is placed in the text to call attention to the alteration, and where one word is substituted for another the word to be read is printed in the notes, without points, the points that belong to it being given in the text, though they do not belong to the word there printed. The total number of these alterations has been calculated to amount to 1353.


Several different accounts have been given as to the origin of these various readings, some endeavoring to trace them back to Moses; others, to Ezra; and others to the Sanhedrim; so that there seems no reliable clue to their authority. The great bulk of the alterations are corrections of errors made by mistaking one letter for another, or similar faults of the copyist; but there are some variations of importance, and what may seem strange is that in the A.V. in some instances the keri is adopted and in others the chethib, without its being stated why. What influenced the selection is now unknown. For instance there are above a dozen places in which the keri; substitutes לו, the personal pronoun, for לא, the negative particle, which greatly alters the sense. A few of these are adopted in the A.V. as Job 13:15; Psalm 100:3; Isa. 63:9. May we not be assured that even in this God has guarded His own Book, and especially the version most widely circulated-the English Bible?

What ought to be clear is that these alternate readings almost never affect the overall meaning of the text. On a similar note, I deal with about 50 different English translations. Unless there are a set of doctrines that the translator is trying to sell (e.g., the Watchtower translation of the Bible), one can arrive at the same set of fundamental doctrines, whether using the imaginative CEV or New Living Bible translations or deriving these doctrines from the more accurate NASB or the NKJV. In fact, I have developed a newfound respect for the thought-for-thought translations over the past decade.

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

qâlal (קָלַל) [pronounced kaw-LAL]

to curse, to execrate; to see as despicable; to make despicable; to curse onself; to bring a curse upon oneself

2nd person masculine singular, Piel imperative

Strong's #7043 BDB #886

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: Let him alone, for he curses because Yehowah has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ As you will note in the Hebrew exegesis above, the Greek and Latin both insert Let him alone. The Greek translated from manuscripts which go back to at least 200 years before Christ, if not further. Although the Latin used later manuscripts, those manuscripts still predate those which we have access to today. Most of the time, when there is an extra phrase in the Greek and the Latin, it is likely that was a part of the original Hebrew text.


“Look here,” David is saying, “This guy is just cursing. Perhaps God has come to him and told him to curse me.” This guy is a little removed from reality, because there is David right there with a bunch of soldiers, any of whom would love to put a sword through this man’s vocal cords, and David tells them, “Look, maybe God told him to curse me; he is obviously off on his own.”


David has had God speak to him through many people—generally through prophets and priests. David did not have God come to him directly and say, “Listen, David, you need to do this and you need to stop doing that.” But David was sensitive toward God’s authority, and, even though he was king of the land, when Nathan came to him and told him of the evil he did, David recognized the truth of his words.


By the way, this was one of the keys to David’s greatness. He understood the importance of the Word of God and when God spoke to a prophet, David was able to put his own authority aside and place himself under the authority of that prophet speaking to him. These prophets would have had much less power than David and varying influence, depending upon the population at that given time. However, David could (1) recognize the Word of God when being taught; (2) he therefore knew which men God spoke to and through; and (3) David submitted himself to the words of these prophets. How many presidents do you know that, upon hearing the Word of God taught properly in church, might change their mind about this or that or change their position on a particular issue? David was willing to; David could be corrected by a prophet and set in a new direction by a prophet.


Does David actually believe that God is speaking to him through Shimei? Probably not. But, God speaks to us and guides us in a number of ways. No doubt you have been wronged or maligned before, and there is the proper Christian response—we do not haul off and slug the person who offends us, but we turn the other cheek (however, the same response is not proper when our lives or the lives of our family are threatened). The normal believer is wronged and slandered almost innumerable times in his life—however this does not mean that your life has been ruined. God has a plan and a timetable, and many times, the cursings of others are used by God for your advantage. That is, God is able to use the evil that men work against us to our advantage, for our spiritual growth, and for moving us along in His plan. We saw this with Joseph and his brothers (Gen. 37:18–20, 26–28 50:20). Similarly, God used the negative volition of the pharaoh of Egypt to further His purposes in the first dozen chapters of Exodus. Ideally speaking, if you have been a believer for over 5 years, you have seen the same thing in your own life. You will be wrongly treated; you will face injustice; and many times, it is just what was needed to guide you and/or to glorify God. As Psalm 76:10a reads: Surely the wrath of man praises You.

 

McGee: David was a great man, my friend. He had committed an awful sin, but he is like a wonderful piece of statuary with just one flaw in it. That is the way many Christians are today. Did you ever meet one who did not have a flaw? We all have flaws in our lives. Thank God that He will not throw us overboard because of the flaws. Footnote


We don’t really know much about Shimei, except that this man is no imminent threat. He is a civilian. He may be hostile to David, but he is still a civilian. If he came charging with a sword, that would be another thing; but David is going to let this go.


Application: This man is a citizen and not a part of the revolution. He is annoying, but he is not a part of this war that Absalom has begun. It is clear by his support for Saul that he is not a revolutionary. All he is saying here is, “I support Absalom, because you destroyed King Saul and his line.” The man of war ought to avoid making civilians a part of the war, if at all possible—even if they do not have the support of them. This is a more difficult call in an amorphous war, which has become a part of warfare since the Vietnam War (I don’t know about the Korean War); and civilians are employed by Islamic revolutionaries in today’s wars (they do nothing to distinguish themselves from civilians; and they incorporate civilians into their wars whenever possible). But the general principle is this: If a civilian has a beef, the armed forces are to let him have a beef; the armed forces should not be in the business of killing civilians, if at all possible.


As mentioned before, Shimei is the low-information citizen; what he thinks he knows is not true. Should David try to convince him? David does not for at least two reasons: (1) David is on the move, and he cannot allowed himself to slowed down. He needs to determined what he is going to do, and, if Absalom makes war against him, then David needs to pick the battlefield. (2) Do you think that David could have convinced Shimei of anything? Shimei is angry and irrational. He is threatening an army where anyone in that army could have gone over and killed him without breaking into a sweat. This tells us that he is out-of-control angry. So David teaches this man by example—David allows this man to live. As Guzik points out, Ironically, if David was the kind of man Shimei said he was, Shimei would be dead. Footnote


However, let me add one more thing: David does apparently take note of this man’s name, and David does not forget men like this, even on his deathbed (see 1Kings 2). David knew that a man like this could be a revolutionist; a man like this could defy kingly authority. Therefore, David will make note of this man (and perhaps hundreds more), and he will give his son Solomon instructions concerning him on his deathbed. What a mind David had! I can’t recall who I had lunch with last week, and David remembers this man after meeting him two times, and David stores information about this man for decades; and he gives his son advice as to how to deal with Shimei and men like him. At this point in time, Shimei was not a real threat to David; although, his anger and irrationality might make him a threat in the future. So David mentally marks this man, and advises his son Solomon about him.


Interestingly enough, we have a similar situation to this in the New Testament. Luke 9:52–56 And He [Jesus] sent messengers before His face. And they went and entered into a village of the Samaritans to make ready for Him. And they did not receive Him, because His face was going toward Jerusalem. And seeing, His disciples James and John said, Lord, do You desire that we command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did? But He turned and rebuked them and said, You do not know of what spirit you are. For the Son of Man has not come to destroy men's lives, but to save. And they went to another village. Some people are negative to the gospel and negative all of their lives. God does not destroy these people simply for their negative volition. All men will die, so God allows such men to live out their lives (for the most part).


2Samuel 16:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mîy (מִי) [pronounced mee]

who, whom; whose, whomever; what; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative; the verb to be may be implied

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

Under some circumstances, the mîy pronominal interrogative can express a wish or a desire, as in 2Sam. 15:4 or 23:15. Footnote

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

madduʿa (מַדֻּעַ) [pronounced mah-DOO-ahģ]

why, wherefore, on what account, and it is probably a contraction of a word which means what being known

adverb

Strong’s #4069 BDB #396

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

kên (כֵּן) [pronounced kane]

so, therefore, thus; then, afterwards; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485


Translation: Therefore, who can say, ‘Why have you done this [lit., so, thus]?’ ” David continues: “We don’t know what is going on here. This man is no threat to us. Perhaps God told him to say this things. Therefore, it is not up to us to question him. It is not up to us to make some kind of a judgment call right now.”


David has done wrong in his life, with regards to Bathsheba and Uriah; and that is why he is here, on a forced march out of Jerusalem. He judged himself and said to Nathan the prophet that he ought to pay fourfold for his sins.


Here is the verse in toto: The king replied, “What is this to me or to you, sons of Zeruiah? Leave him be. Perhaps he curse because Jehovah has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Therefore, who can say, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ” David and his army have come across a disgruntled citizen, a low-information citizen, but a man who is not a threat to David at this time. David, therefore, lets this man live. David is not at war with every citizen in Israel, not even with every citizen who is hostile toward David. Now, let that man attack David’s army in battle, and it is a different thing, but citizens get to be citizens, right or wrong, friendly or unfriendly.


Application: Quite obviously, this has become a much more difficult call for our soldiers and generals today, who often face citizens who are not just hostile, but have the means to do harm to our soldiers.


Let’s also deal with the incorrect application here of using appropriate force. This passage is not an argument for using appropriate force. If angry Muslims in Gaza strip are firing off rockets toward Israel, there is nothing here that suggests the response from Israel ought to be a similar number of rockets fired from a similar distance with similar technology. That is just insane. These rockets are being fired with the intent of doing harm and injury to the population of Israel (in fact, to their civilian population). The proper response is to take out those manning the rockets by any means possible. Again, had Shimei charged David’s army with a sword, he should have been taken out. However, he was expressing his displeasure with David and throwing stones and dust. At most, a soldier should have scared him away; however, this was such a non-threat, that David told his men to ignore Shimei.