Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 19

Abishai urges David to order the death of Shimei

2 Samuel 19:21-23

It is wrong to oppose the authority of a person whom God has made responsible for you. It is terrible to try to hurt the person whom God has told you to respect. Someone who does those things is not merely opposing that other person. Rather, these are wrong deeds that oppose God’s rule.

People often do such things foolishly, without proper thought. However, Shimei chose to do these things on purpose. He carefully chose to insult David, his king, when David was weak. He was showing complete disgust for David, the king whom God had chosen for Israel.

For that reason, Abishai wanted David to punish Shimei. He argued that Shimei should die. However, David considered Abishai an evil man (3:39). So David often accused him of cruel and wrong attitudes (1 Samuel 26:8-9; 2 Samuel 16:10).

David told Abishai that this was a joyful occasion. David was returning to Jerusalem, to rule over Israel again. David wanted to please the people, and not to order anyone’s death. So, David promised Shimei that he would not punish him with death.

That was a promise that David later regretted (1 Kings 2:8-9). Shimei had only pretended to change his attitudes. In reality, he was still an evil and powerful man who hated David.

God forgives those people who sincerely turn from their evil deeds to put their trust in him (Ezekiel 18:23). However, Shimei continued to have the same evil attitudes. He still would not accept the rule of David’s family (1 Kings 2:36-46). Therefore, in God’s opinion, Shimei was still guilty. God’s judgment was therefore against him.

Next part: Mephibosheth's deep care for David (2 Samuel 19:24-25)


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