The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Kings
When David passed a little way beyond the top of the hill, there was Siba, the servant of Miphiboseth, coming to meet them. He had two asses with him, laden with two hundred loaves, and a hundred bunches of raisins, and a hundred cakes of figs, and a skin of wine.
When the king asked what he did with all these, Siba answered, I brought the asses to be ridden by the king’s courtiers, the bread and fruit for thy servants to eat, the wine to revive such as are faint in the desert.
And where is thy master’s son? the king asked. He remained in Jerusalem, Siba answered, thinking that the men of Israel would restore him this day to the throne of his father.
Why then, the king told him, all that was Miphiboseth’s is thine. And Siba answered, My prayer is that I may ever enjoy thy favour, my lord king.
But, as David reached Bahurim, a man of Saul’s kindred came out to meet him, one Semei, son of Gera, and ever he cursed as he went,
and threw stones after David, and his servants that walked to left and right of him, plain folk and warriors alike.
Go thy ways, cried Semei, cursing the king, go thy ways, murderer and upstart!
Now the Lord has avenged the blood of Saul’s race, by handing over the kingdom thou didst usurp to thy son Absalom; no wonder if calamity comes home to thee, murderer as thou art!
At this Abisai, son of Sarvia, protested to the king, Why must this hangdog fellow be allowed to curse my lord the king? Let me go and cut the head from his body!
What, sons of Sarvia, David replied, will you never give me any rest? Let him curse as he will; the Lord has bidden him curse David, and who shall call him to question for doing it?
Then he cried out, so that Abisai and all his servants could hear him, Look you, here is the son of my own body conspiring against my life; why may not yonder Benjamite do as much? Let him curse as curse the Lord has bidden him;
perhaps it will move the Lord to pity my calamities, and bring good out of the ill fame I must endure this day.
So David passed on, and his companions with him, while Semei strode along the ridge on the other side of the valley, cursing, and throwing stones and handfuls of earth.
A weary man was the king, and weary were all the people with him, when they reached their halting-place; and there they rested.
Meanwhile Absalom and his men had entered Jerusalem, and Achitophel with him;
and there David’s friend, Chusai the Arachite, met them; Greeting, he said, greeting to the king!
Why, said Absalom, is this thy friendship? Wouldst thou not bear that friend of thine company?
Not I, said Chusai; for me, the king who has been chosen out by the Lord, by these folk here, by the whole of Israel; my place is by his side.
And indeed, to whom is my service due, if not to the king’s own son? Thou shalt have the same loyalty thy father had from me.
And now Absalom said to Achitophel, Bethink thee, what were best done.
Whereupon Achitophel answered, Go and mate with the concubines thy father has left in charge of the palace. When they hear thou hast come between thy father’s sheets, all Israel will rally to thy cause the more fearlessly.
So they spread a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he went in to bed his father’s concubines, there with all Israel to witness it.
Men followed Achitophel’s advice then as if it were God himself they had consulted; so it was all the time he was David’s counsellor, and all the time he was Absalom’s.
The Holy Bible