Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 19

Shimei expresses publicly his support for David

2 Samuel 19:16-20

Shimei was the man who expressed complete disgust for David in 2 Samuel 16:5-14. Absalom’s revolution gave Shimei an opportunity to show how much he (Shimei) hated David. Shimei accused David of wicked behaviour while he tried to hit David with stones.

Clearly, Shimei did not at that time expect that David would ever return as king. However, now David was returning, and the whole nation approved of him. Shimei did not want to die for his evil actions – so he too decided to express public support for David.

Shimei saw that the men from Judah were going to bring David back across the Jordan river, and then to Jerusalem. So Shimei acted quickly. He joined them – and he did not go alone. It seems that he arranged 1000 men from his tribe (family group), Benjamin, to go with him. Among them was Ziba, the manager of Mephibosheth’s property, with his family (16:1-4).

Shimei crossed the river to speak to David. He humbly lowered his body to the ground in order to give honour to David. Then Shimei confessed that he had acted wrongly. He urged David to forgive him. David himself could see how impressively he had acted to show his change of mind. Shimei proudly added that he was the first person from the whole family of Joseph to greet David on his return. By that, he meant the tribes (family groups) of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin, which came from the sons of Joseph’s mother, Rachel.

Next part: Abishai urges David to order the death of Shimei (2 Samuel 19:21-23)


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