II Samuel 19

David was inconsolable, and this made things really awkward for his followers, who were made to feel embarrassed and humiliated–like they had lost the whole thing rather than defeating the enemy.

Eventually Joab had enough. He went to David and was all, You are a disgrace. You have humiliated and insulted the men who have given up all for you, who have fought for you. Who have saved your life, and the lives of you children–y0ur women. Enough of this shit! If you don’t stop crying for that piece of shit son of your who caused you so much goddamned trouble, I swear to God. I swear to almighty God that I will desert you. And I will take all of these people–all these people who I led, who’ve I’ve lead innumerable times, to victory–I swear I will take them all with me when I go. You will be deserted and alone with your stupid tears.

So David took a deep breath and appeared before the people in the city gates of Manhanaim. By the way, while there, David stayed with a wealthy man named Barzillai. David was so pleased with Barzillai’s hospitality that the king asked him to come back to Jerusalem  when it would be returned to him, but Barzillai was all, Nay Sire, I am an old man I wish to die and have my bones mingle among those of my kindred. Here, take my grandson Kimham in my stead, and do for him all you would have done for me.

After Absaloim’s death, the Hebrew tribes were in chaos David let it be known that he would resume the kingship if that is what the tribes desired, and soon, Israel and Judah were falling all over themselves to send delegates and presents to court the king’s forgiveness. David also let it be known that he was a magnanimous, forgiving monarch–so much so that he’d even appoint Amasa as the commander of his armies instead of Joab.

Israel and Judah sent massive retinues to help David and his people cross the Jordan and to escort him back to Jerusalem. Among this host were people seeking especial forgiveness from David, like Shimei, the guy who cursed and threw rocks at him. Shimei came with a throng of Benjaminites, who threw themselves at David’s feet and blamed temporary insanity for his actions. David stuck to his magnanimous guns, despite Abishai’s urgings to let him cut off Shimei’s traitorous head. And Mephibosheth, who claimed he had wanted to go with David, but Ziba tricked him. David waved his hand and was , Sure, whatever. You and Ziba split the property.

Indeed, the tribes vied so much for David’s favor that they began quarreling among themselves about who loved David most.


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