Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16

Shimei expresses his hate for David

2 Samuel 16:5-6

Jerusalem is on the border between the land that God gave to the tribes (family groups) of Judah and Benjamin. As David left Jerusalem on his way to the desert, he passed through some small villages. One of those villages was called Bahurim, and it belonged to the tribe of Benjamin.

Those facts were important for political reasons. Saul, the former king of Israel, had belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. David belonged to the tribe of Judah, but he was the king of all Israel, including Benjamin. Soldiers from the tribe of Benjamin had been among those who supported David (1 Chronicles 12:29).

David had been king for very many years now. However, some people from Benjamin still clearly disliked him. People discussed the possibility that someone from Saul’s family might become king again (16:3).

Shimei was not a foolish youth. He was rich enough to build his own house, and to own several slaves (1 Kings 2:36-40). He was a distant relative of King Saul. Shimei saw that David was escaping from Jerusalem. He knew the reason: Absalom, David’s son, had started a revolution against him. So, Shimei decided that he would put David to public shame.

David was following the path; Shimei was on the hill above him. Shimei threw stones and he pushed soil down onto David and the people with him. He said awful things against David. It seems that Shimei was able to insult David in this way for some time.

Next part: Was David a 'man of blood', as Shimei said? (2 Samuel 16:7-8)


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