2 Samuel 15–16; Psalm 3; Psalm 70; Psalm 71

Absalom’s Conspiracy

15 After this Absalom vgot himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside wthe way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, From what city are you? And when he said, Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel, Absalom would say to him, See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you. Then Absalom would say, xOh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice. And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

And at the end of four1 years Absalom said to the king, Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebron. For your servant zvowed a vow awhile I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to2 the Lord. The king said to him, bGo in peace. So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, Absalom is king at Hebron! 11 With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem cwho were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. 12 And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for3 dAhithophel the Gilonite, eDavid’s counselor, from his city fGiloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom gkept increasing.

David Flees Jerusalem

13 And a messenger came to David, saying, hThe hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom. 14 Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us iflee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword. 15 And the king’s servants said to the king, Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides. 16 So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left jten concubines to keep the house. 17 And the king went out, and all the people after him. And they halted at the last house.

18 And kall his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from lGath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to mIttai the Gittite, Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go nI know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the Lord show4 steadfast love and faithfulness to you. 21 But Ittai answered the king, oAs the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, pwherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be. 22 And David said to Ittai, Go then, pass on. So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed qthe brook rKidron, and all the people passed on toward sthe wilderness.

24 And tAbiathar came up, and behold, uZadok came also with all the Levites, vbearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God until the people had all passed out of the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will wbring me back and let me see both it and his xdwelling place. 26 But if he says, I have no ypleasure in you, behold, here I am, zlet him do to me what seems good to him. 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, Are you not a aseer? Go back5 to the city in peace, with byour two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at cthe fords of sthe wilderness until word comes from you to inform me. 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.

30 But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, dbarefoot and ewith his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, fweeping as they went. 31 And it was told David, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O Lord, please gturn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

32 While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai hthe Archite came to meet him iwith his coat torn and idirt on his head. 33 David said to him, If you go on with me, you will be ja burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, kI will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant, then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So whatever you hear from the king’s house, ltell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold, mtheir two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son, mand by them you shall send to me everything you hear. 37 So Hushai, nDavid’s friend, came into the city, ojust as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.

David and Ziba

16 When David had passed a little beyond pthe summit, qZiba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, bearing two hundred loaves of bread, ra hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a skin of wine. And the king said to Ziba, Why have you brought these? Ziba answered, sThe 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 tfaint in the wilderness to drink. And the king said, And where is your master’s son? uZiba 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. 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.

Shimei Curses David

When King David came to vBahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was wShimei, the son of Gera, and as he came xhe cursed continually. 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. And Shimei said as he xcursed, Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! The Lord yhas avenged on you all zthe 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.

Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, Why should this adead dog bcurse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head. 10 But the king said, cWhat have I to do with you, dyou 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? 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, Behold, emy own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me,6 and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today. 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and fcursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14 And the king, and all the people who were with him, garrived weary at the Jordan.7 And there he refreshed himself.

Absalom Enters Jerusalem

15 hNow Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 And when Hushai the Archite, hDavid’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, iLong live the king! Long live the king! 17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this your loyalty to your friend? jWhy did you not go with your friend? 18 And Hushai said to Absalom, No, for whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 And again, kwhom should I serve? Should it not be his son? As I have served your father, so I will serve you.

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, Give your counsel. What shall we do? 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in to lyour father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and mthe hands of all who are with you will be strengthened. 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom non the roof. And Absalom went in to his father’s concubines oin the sight of all Israel. 23 Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, pboth by David and by Absalom.


Save Me, O My God

A Psalm of David, nwhen he fled from Absalom his son.

O Lord, ohow many are my foes!

Many are prising against me;

many are saying of my soul,

qThere is no salvation for him in God. Selah1

But you, O Lord, are ra shield sabout me,

my glory, and tthe lifter of my head.

I ucried aloud to the Lord,

and he vanswered me from his wholy hill. Selah

I xlay down and slept;

I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.

I ywill not be afraid of many thousands of people

who have zset themselves against me all around.

aArise, O Lord!

Save me, O my God!

For you bstrike all my enemies on the cheek;

you cbreak the teeth of the wicked.

dSalvation belongs to the Lord;

your blessing be on your people! Selah


O Lord, Do Not Delay

To the choirmaster. Of David, ffor the memorial offering.

70  gMake haste, O God, to deliver me!

O Lord, make haste to help me!

Let them be put to shame and confusion

who seek my life!

Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor

who delight in my hurt!

Let them turn back because of their shame

who say, Aha, Aha!

May all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you!

May those who love your salvation

say evermore, God is great!

But I am poor and needy;

hhasten to me, O God!

You are my help and my deliverer;

O Lord, do not delay!


Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent

71  iIn you, O Lord, do I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame!

In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;

incline your ear to me, and save me!

Be to me a rock of jrefuge,

to which I may continually come;

you have kgiven the command to save me,

for you are my lrock and my fortress.

mRescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,

from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.

For you, O Lord, are my nhope,

my trust, O Lord, from my youth.

Upon you I have leaned ofrom before my birth;

you are he who ptook me from my mother’s womb.

My praise is continually of you.

I have been as qa portent to many,

but you are my strong refuge.

My rmouth is filled with your praise,

and with your glory all the day.

sDo not cast me off in the time of old age;

forsake me not when my strength is spent.

10  For my enemies speak concerning me;

those who twatch for my life uconsult together

11  and say, God has forsaken him;

pursue and seize him,

for there is none to deliver him.

12  O God, be not vfar from me;

O my God, wmake haste to help me!

13  May my accusers be xput to shame and consumed;

ywith scorn and disgrace may they be covered

who zseek my hurt.

14  But I will ahope continually

and will bpraise you yet more and more.

15  My cmouth will tell of your righteous acts,

of your deeds of salvation all the day,

for dtheir number is past my knowledge.

16  With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;

I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.

17  O God, from my youth you have taught me,

and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.

18  So even to eold age and gray hairs,

O God, fdo not forsake me,

until I proclaim your might to another generation,

your power to all those to come.

19  Your grighteousness, O God,

reaches the high heavens.

You who have done hgreat things,

O God, iwho is like you?

20  You who have jmade me see many troubles and calamities

will krevive me again;

from the depths of the earth

you will bring me up again.

21  You will increase my greatness

and comfort me again.

22  I will also praise you with lthe harp

for your faithfulness, O my God;

I will sing praises to you with the lyre,

O mHoly One of Israel.

23  My lips will shout for joy,

when I sing praises to you;

my soul also, which you have nredeemed.

24  And my otongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long,

for they have been pput to shame and disappointed

who sought to do me hurt.