Feb. 25. David’s Return to Jerusalem

II Sam. 19:9-20:26

There was confusion and hesitancy surrounding David’s return to Jerusalem. David was in a delicate position as he attempted to unify the Israelites. The tribe of Judah with Absalom had led the rebellion against him and they had not made any effort to bring him back as their king after Absalom’s death. He made two strategic moves to insure the desired unity. The priests, Zadok and Abiathar were sent to the elders of Judah to intercede for him. He also elevated Amasa, Absalom’s former army captain to the same position in his army in the place of Joab. Those moves secured the unity that he desired and King David returned to the capitol, Jerusalem.

Shimei, the Benjamite who had cursed David earlier as he was escaping from Absalom realized his perilous condition. In humility, he returned to the king, confessed his sin and begged for mercy. He received his pardon from the king.

Another matter came before David. During his flight from Absalom, Ziba, the servant of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth had reported the disloyalty of his master. He had convinced David to give him Mephibosheth’s property. After Mephibosheth had properly informed David of the deception, he was returned to his previous relationship with the king.

During David’s exile in Mahanaim, Barzillai had provided food and beds for him. As a reward, David proposed to care for him for his lifetime in Jerusalem. The aged man declined the invitation as he preferred to remain in his own city.

Even after David had resumed his kingdom in Jerusalem, there continued to be division among Judah and Israel. That division escalated as Sheba, a Benjamite declared that, “We have no share in David…” He led another rebellion against the king.

In organizing his defense against Sheba, Amasa failed to prepare in a timely manner. David sent Abishai, accompanied by Joab to prevent Sheba from escaping. As stated earlier, Joab was a ruthless man. Upon meeting with Amasa at Gibeon during the pursuit, Joab stabbed him to death thus eliminating another of his rivals for power. With Amasa being dead, Joab again resumed command of the army.

A woman of the city of Abel produced the head of Sheba. Joab blew the trumpet to withdraw from the city and returned to David having ended another rebellion against the king.