And when David was a little past the top of the hill, 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.
with a couple
These were probably pumpkins, cucumbers, or water-melons; the two latter being extensively used in the East to refresh travellers in the burning heat of the summer; and probably, as Mr. Harmer supposes, called summer fruits on this very account.
And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be 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 be faint in the wilderness may drink.
Genesis 21:29 33:8 Ezekiel 37:18 The asses. This is the eastern mode of speaking when presenting any thing to a great man: "This is for the slaves of the servants of your majesty;" when at the same time the presents are intended for the sovereign himself, and it is so understood.; 15:1 19:26 Judges 5:10 10:4
for the young
And the king said, And where is thy master's son? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father.
Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king.
I humbly beseech thee
Heb. I do obeisance.
And when king David came 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 cursed still as he came.
This place is supposed to be the same as Almon, (Jos 21:18,) and Almeth, (1 Ch 6:60,) a city of Benjamin, north of Jerusalem, and apparently not far from Olivet.
he came, etc
or, he still came forth and cursed. cursed.
And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:
Heb. man of blood.
man of Belial
The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.
or, thee in thy evil.
Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.
let me go
And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
so let him
And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.
It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.
or, tears. Heb. eye. requite.
And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.
Heb. dusted him with dust.
Acts 23:23 It was an ancient custom, in those warm and arid countries, to lay the dust before a person of distinction, by sprinkling the ground with water. Dr. Pococke and the consul were treated with this respect when they entered Cairo. The same custom is alluded to in the well-known fable of PhÊdrus, in which a slave is represented going before Augustus and officiously laying the dust. To throw dust in the air while a person was passing was therefore an act of great disrespect; to do so before a sovereign prince, an indecent outrage. But it is probable that Shimei meant more than disrespect and outrage to this afflicted king. Sir John Chardin informs us, that in the East, in general, those who demand justice against a criminal throw dust upon him, signifying that he ought to be put in the grave: and hence the common imprecation among the Turks and Persians, "Be covered with earth," or, "Earth be upon thy head."
And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.
And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.
And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David's friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.
God save the king
Heb. let the king live.
And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend?
Is this thy
And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay; but whom the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide.
And again, whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence.
should I not serve
Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.
And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong.
So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.
And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
oracle of God
Heb. word of God.
The first counsel of this sagacious but wicked man to Absalom was more like an oracle of Satan, both for subtlety and atrocity. He advised the shameless measure just detailed, in order to establish Absalom, and to preclude the possibility of a reconciliation with David. The wives of a conquered king were always the property of the conqueror; and in possessing these he appeared to possess the right to the kingdom.