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2 Samuel 16:5-13

Context
Shimei Curses David and His Men

16:5 Then King David reached 1  Bahurim. There a man from Saul’s extended family named Shimei son of Gera came out, yelling curses as he approached. 2  16:6 He threw stones at David and all of King David’s servants, as well as all the people and the soldiers who were on his right and on his left. 16:7 As he yelled curses, Shimei said, “Leave! Leave! You man of bloodshed, you wicked man! 3  16:8 The Lord has punished you for 4  all the spilled blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you rule. Now the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. Disaster has overtaken you, for you are a man of bloodshed!”

16:9 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head!” 16:10 But the king said, “What do we have in common, 5  you sons of Zeruiah? If he curses because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David!’, who can say to him, ‘Why have you done this?’” 16:11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son, my very own flesh and blood, 6  is trying to take my life. So also now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone so that he can curse, for the Lord has spoken to him. 16:12 Perhaps the Lord will notice my affliction 7  and this day grant me good in place of his curse.” 8 

16:13 So David and his men went on their way. But Shimei kept going along the side of the hill opposite him, yelling curses as he threw stones and dirt at them. 9 

1 tn Heb “came to.” The form of the verb in the MT is odd. Some prefer to read וַיַּבֹא (vayyavo’), preterite with vav consecutive) rather than וּבָא (uva’), apparently perfect with vav), but this is probably an instance where the narrative offline vÿqatal construction introduces a new scene.

2 tn Heb “And look, from there a man was coming out from the clan of the house of Saul and his name was Shimei son of Gera, continually going out and cursing.”

3 tn Heb “man of worthlessness.”

4 tn Heb “has brought back upon you.”

5 tn Heb “What to me and to you?”

6 tn Heb “who came out from my entrails.” David’s point is that is his own son, his child whom he himself had fathered, was now wanting to kill him.

7 tc The Hebrew text is difficult here. It is probably preferable to read with the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate בְּעוֹנִי (bÿonyi, “on my affliction”) rather than the Kethib of the MT בָּעַוֹנִי (baavoni, “on my wrongdoing”). While this Kethib reading is understandable as an objective genitive (i.e., “the wrong perpetrated upon me”), it does not conform to normal Hebrew idiom for this idea. The Qere of the MT בְּעֵינֵי (bÿeni, “on my eyes”), usually taken as synecdoche to mean “my tears,” does not commend itself as a likely meaning. The Hebrew word is one of the so-called tiqqune sopherim, or “emendations of the scribes.”

8 tn Heb “and the Lord will restore to me good in place of his curse this day.”

9 tn Heb “and he cursed and threw stones, opposite him, pelting [them] with dirt.” The offline vÿqatal construction in the last clause indicates an action that was complementary to the action described in the preceding clause. He simultaneously threw stones and dirt.



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