1 And when David [Dovid] was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth [hinei, Tziva the na'ar of Mephivoshet] met him, with a couple of asses [chamorim] saddled, and upon them 200 loaves of bread [lechem], and 100 bunches of raisins [ tzimmukim], and 100 of summer fruits [kayitz], and a bottle of wine [skin of yayin].

The word "couple" is used elsewhere for 'yoke,' whilst asses are known as beasts of burden; thus they were heavily laden, and part of the gifts were 'bread and wine:' the elements of fellowship and sacrifice. *

The cursing of Shimei

5 And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, [Dovid HaMelech came to Bachurim, hinei,] thence [from there] came out a man of the family of the house of Saul [ish of the mishpakhat Bais Sha'ul], whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera [shmo Shimei Ben Gera]: he came forth, and cursed still [cursing continuously] as he came.

6 And he cast stones [avanim] at David [Dovid], and at all the servants of king David [avadim of Dovid HaMelech]: and all the people [kol haAm] and all the mighty men [Gibborim] [that] were on his right hand and on his left.

In this chapter we follow David in his flight, as the man of sorrows, dejected, and separated from the tabernacle of Yahweh. *

10 And the king [HaMelech] said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah [ Bnei Tzeruyah]? So let him curse, because Yahweh hath said unto him, Curse David [Dovid]. Who shall then say, Wherefore [why] hast thou done so?

'...a thing may be of God and not of God at one and the same time. This is not hard to receive, where the two sides of an action are taken into account. Those who recognise only man in the case, will doubtless find it impossible to receive it; but where a man sees the two actors, -man with his objects, and God using and over-ruling man's action with other objects altogether, the proposition seems simplicity itself.

The crucifixion of Christ, so far as man was concerned, was a deed of pure wickedness. It is always set forth in this light (Acts 2: 23; 7: 52; 13: 27-29). Yet it was a matter of divine arrangement and execution, as is still more plainly and frequently declared (Acts 4: 27-28; Romans 3: 25). The afflictions of the Jewish race are referable on the human side to human malice and rapacity, as everyone knows by experience and as the Scriptures declare (Zechariah 1: 1-15; Obadiah 10-16). On the divine side, they were the designed punishment of Israel's iniquities.

This double-sidedness of events will be found running through the whole course of scriptural narrative. Considering that these things were "written for our instruction," the value of this fact is apparent. It helps us rightly to interpret our experience if we be of those who commit their way to God in well doing and constant prayer. It enables us to take suffering from the hand of God even when nothing but a human cause is discernible to the natural eye. Successful malice and pitiless disaster are thus deprived of half their sting. We can say of the Shimeis, "Let them alone: God has sent them"; or of the prevailing trouble, "It is of the Lord."

"It may be the Lord will look on my affliction and bring me again to His habitation."

Ways of Providence Ch 19.

11 And David said to Abishai [Dovid said to Avishai], and to all his servants [avadim], Behold, my son [Hinei, beni], which came forth of my bowels [from within me], seeketh my life [nefesh]: how much more now may this Benjamite [Bin-Hayemini] do it? Let him alone, and let him curse; for Yahweh hath bidden him.

When we consider how much depends, both in public and private matters, upon the moods and desires of particular individuals, and how easy it is for divine power to affect those moods without the person being aware of the cause, or that any cause at all is in operation, it is easy to realise how God can raise trouble or give peace without any apparent interference with the order of nature.

 A man has not yet learnt the ways of God thoroughly, who does not recognise that most of His dealings with the children of men in the present state of racial alienation, are performed with hidden hand, and from within the veil so to speak, by means of regulated natural circumstances which are none the less the work of God because under a mask.

That God had not, in the specific sense, commissioned Shimei to curse David, is evident from the fact that on David's return, Shimei made a very servile apology, and confessed having sinned in the matter. His words were:

"Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. For thy servant doth know that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph, to go down to meet my lord the king."

If Shimei's anathema of David had been in compliance with a divine command, it would have been no sin and Shimei would not have taken this attitude in the matter. David afterwards indicated the true nature of Shimei's procedure as far as Shimei's personal objects were concerned. (cp.1 Kings 2: 8-9)

Ways of Providence Ch 17.

13 And as David and his men went by the way [Dovid and his anashim went by the derech], Shimei went along on the hill's side over against [opposite] him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones [avanim] at him, and cast dust [kicked up aphar].

...the throwing of stones was probably related to the reputation of David in regard to his adultery with Bathsheba...he was a remarkable type of the Master, who bore the unjust and wicked accusations of his enemies.

An interesting comparison is found in the parable of 'The Vineyard' (Mark 12:4), when the owner "sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled". And again with the Lord himself, "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Yahshua hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by" (John 8:59).*

16 And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David's friend [Chushai the Archi, re'eh Dovid], was come unto [Avshalom], that Hushai said unto [Avshalom], <Let the king live, Let the king live> (margin) [Long live HaMelech, Long live HaMelech.].

17 And Absalom said to Hushai [Avshalom said to Chushai], Is this thy kindness [chesed (loyal loving-kindness)] to thy friend [ re'a]? Why wentest thou not with thy friend [ re'a]?

18 And Hushai said unto Absalom [Chushai said unto Avshalom], Nay; but whom Yahweh, and this people, and all the men of Israel [kol Ish Yisroel], choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide.

With great craftiness, Hushai declared at the very outset that Yahweh had chosen the king who he would serve and follow, Absalom took his words as meaning himself, and under such circumstances he could not have any doubt as to whom Hushai was to serve. As he had formerly served the father, so now he would serve his son Absalom.

In this way Hushai succeeded in completely deceiving Absalom, so that the young man placed unbounded confidence in him. However, in actual fact Hushai cleverly expressed himself in ambiguous phrases, so that Absalom heard only the words he desired to hear. *

22 So they spread [Avshalom] a tent upon the top of the house [Avshalom an ohel upon the gag (roof)]; and Absalom [Avshalom]went in unto his father's concubines [pilagshim of Aviv] in the sight of all Israel [kol Yisroel].

Absalom was counselled by Ahithophel to go in unto his father's concubines, in the sight of all Israel. Where was this to be done? On the 'roof top,' see Ch. 11:2. This is where David's troubles began!*