1 The king shuddered. He went up to the room over the gate and burst into tears; and, as he wept, he kept saying, 'Oh, my son Absalom! My son! My son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! Oh, Absalom my son, my son!'
5 The king had covered his face and kept crying aloud, 'My son Absalom! Oh, Absalom my son, my son!'
6 Joab went inside to the king and said, 'Today you have made all your servants feel ashamed-today, when they have saved your life, the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines!-because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you.
7 Today you have made it plain that commanders and soldiers mean nothing to you -- for today I can see that you would be content if we were all dead, provided that Absalom was alive!
8 Now get up, come out and reassure your soldiers; for if you do not come out, I swear by Yahweh, not one man will stay with you tonight; and this will be a worse misfortune for you than anything that has happened to you from your youth until now!'
10 Israel had fled, dispersing to their homes. Throughout the tribes of Israel all was dissension and people began saying, 'The king, having freed us from the clutches of our enemies, having saved us from the clutches of the Philistines, has himself had to flee the country to escape form Absalom;
14 And say to Amasa, "Are you not my own flesh and bone? May God bring unnameable ills on me and worse ills, too, if you do not become my permanent army commander instead of Joab!" '
15 Thus he rallied the hearts of the men of Judah to a man and, as a result, they sent word to the king, 'Come back, you and all who serve you.'
18 With him were a thousand men from Benjamin. Ziba, servant of the House of Saul, with his fifteen sons and twenty servants, arrived at the Jordan before the king
19 and worked manfully ferrying the king's family across and doing whatever he required. While the king was crossing the Jordan, Shimei son of Gera fell at the king's feet
20 and said to the king, 'I hope my lord does not regard me as guilty of a crime! Forget about the wrong your servant did on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Let my lord not hold my guilt against me.
23 To which David replied, 'What concern is my business to you, sons of Zeruiah, that you should oppose my wishes today? Could anyone be put to death in Israel today? Today I know for sure that I am king of Israel?'
24 'Your life is spared,' the king said. And the king gave him his oath.
25 Meribbaal son of Saul also went down to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet or hands, he had not trimmed his moustache or washed his clothes from the day of the king's departure till the day of his peaceful return.
26 When he arrived from Jerusalem to greet the king, the king asked him, 'Why did you not come with me, Meribbaal?'
27 'My lord king,' he replied, 'my retainer deceived me. Your servant said to him, "Saddle the donkey for me to ride, so that I can go with the king," your servant being lame.
29 My father's entire family deserved no better than death from my lord the king, and yet you admitted your servant to the ranks of those who eat at your table. What right have I to make any further appeal to the king?'
30 The king said, 'You need say no more. I rule that you and Ziba divide the property between you.'
31 'Let him take it all,' Meribbaal said to the king, 'since my lord the king has come back home in peace!'
33 Barzillai was a man of great age; he was eighty years old. He had kept the king in provisions during his stay at Mahanaim, being a very wealthy man.
34 'Come with me', the king said to Barzillai, 'and I will provide for you at my side in Jerusalem.'
35 Barzillai replied to the king, 'How many years have I left to live, for me to go up to Jerusalem with the king?
36 I am now eighty years old; can I tell the good from the bad? Has your servant any taste for his food and drink? Can I still hear the voices of men and women singers? Why should your servant be a further burden to my lord the king?
38 Please allow your servant to go home again, so that I can die in my own town near the grave of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him go with my lord the king; treat him as you think right.'
42 All the men of Israel then came to the king. 'Why', they asked the king, 'have our brothers, the men of Judah, carried you off and brought the king and his family across the Jordan, and all David's men with him?'
43 All the men of Judah retorted to the men of Israel, 'Because the king is more closely related to us. Why do you take offence at this? Have we been eating at the king's expense? Have we taken any position for ourselves?'
44 The men of Israel replied to the men of Judah, 'We have ten shares in the king and, what is more, we are your elder brothers, so why have you slighted us? Were we not the first to suggest bringing back our king?' The men of Judah's words were even more intemperate than those of the men of Israel.
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The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.