[2-Samuel 19:1] AND IT WAS TOLD JOAB, BEHOLD, THE KING WEEPETH AND MOURNETH FOR ABSALOM.
To Recall: Amnon the son of David had raped his half-sister Tamar. Absalom the full-brother of Tamar took revenge and slew Amnon. Absalom fled but later through the agency of Joab he was reconciled to David. Eventually Absalom was placed at the head of a rebellion against David and the king fled Jerusalem with his followers. Absalom took control of Jerusalem and the Palace and publicly on a roof top desecrated the honor of the Royal concubines. The majority of Israelites apparently supported Absalom who had promised to right the wrongs of all they who had received adverse judgments from David. Absalom with a great many people pursued David. The two forces met in the "Wood of Ephraim" which actually was in the territory of Gilead of Manasseh east of the Jordan. David had publicly given explicit orders to all his men that the life of Absalom was to be spared. The army of Absalom was defeated. Absalom himself was retained by his long hirsute mane in low hanging shrubbery, pulled off his mule, and left hanging in the air by his hair. Joab publicly thrust three darts into the heart of Absalom but this for some reason was not sufficient to kill him outright and it was left to the armor-bearers of Joab to finish him off. Cushi who was probably of African origin and a professional messenger-runner was sent to inform David of the outcome of the battle. AHIMAAZ of the tribe of Benjamin requested permission to also run and inform the king and was granted his request. Ahimaaz overtook Cushi and told David of the victory. These tidings were confirmed by Cushi who added that Absalom had met his fate. David broke down, weeping and shouting out the name of his son, Absalom.
[2-Samuel 19:2] AND THE VICTORY THAT DAY WAS TURNED INTO MOURNING UNTO ALL THE PEOPLE: FOR THE PEOPLE HEARD SAY THAT DAY HOW THE KING WAS GRIEVED FOR HIS SON.
The followers of David loved him for what he stood for and for what he was.
The public mourning of David meant that his followers also should feel obliged to mourn yet they had occasioned the cause of mourning in the justified belief that they were fighting on behalf of David.
[2-Samuel 19:3] AND THE PEOPLE GAT THEM BY STEALTH THAT DAY INTO THE CITY, AS PEOPLE BEING ASHAMED STEAL AWAY WHEN THEY FLEE IN BATTLE.
[2-Samuel 19:4] BUT THE KING COVERED HIS FACE, AND THE KING CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, O MY SON ABSALOM, O ABSALOM, MY SON, MY SON!
This behavior of David appears to we who are detached from the actual happenings as somewhat strange and irresponsible.
Despite his personal grief a war had just been fought. Absalom was not the only person killed. The war had not been so much about which individual would enjoy the kingdom but rather what the governing ideology represented by the individuals in questions would be.
David was always emotional.
He had been criticized by Michal his first wife for undue exuberance while dancing out of joy before the Almighty in public [2-Samuel 6:16]. Likewise Joab his primary official and head of the armed forces was offended on this occasion.
[2-Samuel 19:5] AND JOAB CAME INTO THE HOUSE TO THE KING, AND SAID, THOU HAST SHAMED THIS DAY THE FACES OF ALL THY SERVANTS, WHICH THIS DAY HAVE SAVED THY LIFE, AND THE LIVES OF THY SONS AND OF THY DAUGHTERS, AND THE LIVES OF THY WIVES, AND THE LIVES OF THY CONCUBINES;
[2-Samuel 19:6] IN THAT THOU LOVEST THINE ENEMIES, AND HATEST THY FRIENDS. FOR THOU HAST DECLARED THIS DAY, THAT THOU REGARDEST NEITHER PRINCES NOR SERVANTS: FOR THIS DAY I PERCEIVE, THAT IF ABSALOM HAD LIVED, AND ALL WE HAD DIED THIS DAY, THEN IT HAD PLEASED THEE WELL.
Joab was correct in so far as the behavior of David may have been given such an interpretation by those who already had something against David. Strictly speaking however David was mourning the death of his son and not the defeat of his enemies. The matters were separate but in the eyes of the populace could not be separated. From the point of view of public duty Joab was in the right though out of line in how he expressed his point of view.
[2-Samuel 19:7] NOW THEREFORE ARISE, GO FORTH, AND SPEAK COMFORTABLY UNTO THY SERVANTS: FOR I SWEAR BY THE LORD, IF THOU GO NOT FORTH, THERE WILL NOT TARRY ONE WITH THEE THIS NIGHT: AND THAT WILL BE WORSE UNTO THEE THAN ALL THE EVIL THAT BEFELL THEE FROM THY YOUTH UNTIL NOW.
[2-Samuel 19:8] THEN THE KING AROSE, AND SAT IN THE GATE. AND THEY TOLD UNTO ALL THE PEOPLE, SAYING, BEHOLD, THE KING DOTH SIT IN THE GATE. AND ALL THE PEOPLE CAME BEFORE THE KING: FOR ISRAEL HAD FLED EVERY MAN TO HIS TENT.
[2-Samuel 19:9] AND ALL THE PEOPLE WERE AT STRIFE THROUGHOUT ALL THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL, SAYING, THE KING SAVED US OUT OF THE HAND OF OUR ENEMIES, AND HE DELIVERED US OUT OF THE HAND OF THE PHILISTINES; AND NOW HE IS FLED OUT OF THE LAND FOR ABSALOM.
[2-Samuel 19:10] AND ABSALOM, WHOM WE ANOINTED OVER US, IS DEAD IN BATTLE. NOW THEREFORE WHY SPEAK YE NOT A WORD OF BRINGING THE KING BACK?
[2-Samuel 19:11] AND KING DAVID SENT TO ZADOK AND TO ABIATHAR THE PRIESTS, SAYING, SPEAK UNTO THE ELDERS OF JUDAH, SAYING, WHY ARE YE THE LAST TO BRING THE KING BACK TO HIS HOUSE? SEEING THE SPEECH OF ALL ISRAEL IS COME TO THE KING, EVEN TO HIS HOUSE.
Absalom the son of David who had lead a rebellion against him was dead. Absalom had been anointed in place of David but the followers of David had defeated his forces and Joab had killed him. The Israelites were now without a king and realized that David had been the one who had saved them in the past from their enemies. The episode with Absalom was a mistake that the people wanted to put behind them so they sent a deputation to reinstate David on his throne. The Tribe of Judah however had not included its representatives in the deputation.
[2-Samuel 19:12] YE ARE MY BRETHREN, YE ARE MY BONES AND MY FLESH: WHEREFORE THEN ARE YE THE LAST TO BRING BACK THE KING?
[2-Samuel 19:13] AND SAY YE TO AMASA, ART THOU NOT OF MY BONE, AND OF MY FLESH? GOD DO SO TO ME, AND MORE ALSO, IF THOU BE NOT CAPTAIN OF THE HOST BEFORE ME CONTINUALLY IN THE ROOM OF JOAB.
Amasa was the son of Abigail, a sister of David (1-Chr. 2:17; 2-Sam. 17:25).
He had been appointed by Absalom as Head of the Army. David confirmed his appointment and in effect deposed Joab. In this way David was effecting a reconciliation while publicly disciplining his most important minister who had a tendency to act on his own initiative even against the express wishes of the king.
[2-Samuel 19:14] AND HE BOWED THE HEART OF ALL THE MEN OF JUDAH, EVEN AS THE HEART OF ONE MAN; SO THAT THEY SENT THIS WORD UNTO THE KING, RETURN THOU, AND ALL THY SERVANTS.
Amasa convinced the rest of Judah to return the monarch to his own.
[2-Samuel 19:15] SO THE KING RETURNED, AND CAME TO JORDAN. AND JUDAH CAME TO GILGAL, TO GO TO MEET THE KING, TO CONDUCT THE KING OVER JORDAN.
[2-Samuel 19:16] AND SHIMEI THE SON OF GERA, A BENJAMITE, WHICH WAS OF BAHURIM, HASTED AND CAME DOWN WITH THE MEN OF JUDAH TO MEET KING DAVID.
Shimei was related to the House of Saul whose place on the throne David had taken. He had cursed David when David and his followers fled from Absalom. At that time David had held Abishai the brother of Joabson of Zeruiah back from killing Shimei.
Joab and Abishai were sons of Zeruiah who was a sister of David.
[2-Samuel 19:17] AND THERE WERE A THOUSAND MEN OF BENJAMIN WITH HIM, AND ZIBA THE SERVANT OF THE HOUSE OF SAUL, AND HIS FIFTEEN SONS AND HIS TWENTY SERVANTS WITH HIM; AND THEY WENT OVER JORDAN BEFORE THE KING.
[2-Samuel 19:18] AND THERE WENT OVER A FERRY BOAT TO CARRY OVER THE KING'S HOUSEHOLD, AND TO DO WHAT HE THOUGHT GOOD. AND SHIMEI THE SON OF GERA FELL DOWN BEFORE THE KING, AS HE WAS COME OVER JORDAN;
[2-Samuel 19:19] AND SAID UNTO THE KING, LET NOT MY LORD IMPUTE INIQUITY UNTO ME, NEITHER DO THOU REMEMBER THAT WHICH THY SERVANT DID PERVERSELY THE DAY THAT MY LORD THE KING WENT OUT OF JERUSALEM, THAT THE KING SHOULD TAKE IT TO HIS HEART.
[2-Samuel 19:20] FOR THY SERVANT DOTH KNOW THAT I HAVE SINNED: THEREFORE, BEHOLD, I AM COME THE FIRST THIS DAY OF ALL THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH TO GO DOWN TO MEET MY LORD THE KING.
<<THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH>>: Here Benjamin is included as part of the House of Joseph together with the rest of Israel as distinct from Judah.
[2-Samuel 19:21] BUT ABISHAI THE SON OF ZERUIAH ANSWERED AND SAID, SHALL NOT SHIMEI BE PUT TO DEATH FOR THIS, BECAUSE HE CURSED THE LORD'S ANOINTED?
Abishei had used the same expression when Shimei had first cursed David and there too David had prevented him [2-Samuel 16:9].
[2-Samuel 19:2 AND DAVID SAID, WHAT HAVE I TO DO WITH YOU, YE SONS OF ZERUIAH, THAT YE SHOULD THIS DAY BE ADVERSARIES UNTO ME? SHALL THERE ANY MAN BE PUT TO DEATH THIS DAY IN ISRAEL? FOR DO NOT I KNOW THAT I AM THIS DAY KING OVER ISRAEL?
[2-Samuel 19:23] THEREFORE THE KING SAID UNTO SHIMEI, THOU SHALT NOT DIE. AND THE KING SWARE UNTO HIM.
Before he died however David instructed his successor Solomon to put Shimei to death [1-Kings 2:8].
[2-Samuel 19:24] AND MEPHIBOSHETH THE SON OF SAUL CAME DOWN TO MEET THE KING, AND HAD NEITHER DRESSED HIS FEET, NOR TRIMMED HIS BEARD, NOR WASHED HIS CLOTHES, FROM THE DAY THE KING DEPARTED UNTIL THE DAY HE CAME AGAIN IN PEACE.
Absalom had rebelled against King David his father and David had been forced to flee. Eventually the forces of David defeated those of Absalom and David recovered the rule over Israel. David had replaced Saul from the Tribe of Benjamin. Mephiboshet was the son of Jonathan the son of Saul. He is referred to here as "Son of Saul" whereas in fact he was the grandson but that is the way of Scripture with descendants being often being described as "sons of" their ancestor. At all events "Mephiboshet" was a descendant of someone who posed an alternative to his own kingship. He was a potential threat and David when he fled had received a report from Ziba that Mephiboshet hoped that due to the chaos caused by Absalom the people would eventually turn to him to replace David (2-Samuel 16:3). Ziba was a former servant of Saul whom David had appointed as a steward over the House of Mephiboshet to see to his needs (2-Samuel 16:4).
<<NEITHER DRESSED HIS FEET: In those days they wore sandals without socks or went barefoot. It was customary to periodically cut toenails and massage the feet with olive oil. This was an alternative to soap and I have heard say much healthier. Normally Mephiboshet would have had one of his servants do this every day or at least whenever he returned from an outdoor excursion. Ziba was lame in his legs and probably unable to exercise them. It could be that the resultant problems of being lame made his not having his legs attended to even more noticeable.
I once participated in a ten-day military excursion in the rain-forest of Northern Australia. When we returned people who had not participated in the exercise could smell us from several yards away.
Mephiboshet as a sign of identification with the plight of David had not looked after his feet or the rest of his body. Mephiboshet was to claim that he had remained loyal to David whereas Ziba claimed otherwise.
Scripture is here indicating that the account of Mephiboshet was probably the correct one but see our discussion below where we conclude that the matter was not so simple as all that.
[2-Samuel 19:25] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN HE WAS COME TO JERUSALEM TO MEET THE KING, THAT THE KING SAID UNTO HIM, WHEREFORE WENTEST NOT THOU WITH ME, MEPHIBOSHETH?
[2-Samuel 19:26] AND HE ANSWERED, MY LORD, O KING, MY SERVANT DECEIVED ME: FOR THY SERVANT SAID, I WILL SADDLE ME AN ASS, THAT I MAY RIDE THEREON, AND GO TO THE KING; BECAUSE THY SERVANT IS LAME.
Mephiboshet was lame in his legs as a result of an accident when young (2-Samuel 4:4). Ziba was supposed to take care of him.
[2-Samuel 19:27] AND HE HATH SLANDERED THY SERVANT UNTO MY LORD THE KING; BUT MY LORD THE KING IS AS AN ANGEL OF GOD: DO THEREFORE WHAT IS GOOD IN THINE EYES.
<<AS AN ANGEL OF GOD: This is obvious flattery. Nevertheless we find this description applied more than once to David:
The woman from Tekoa said,
"FOR AS AN ANGEL OF GOD, SO IS MY LORD THE KING TO DISCERN GOOD AND BAD" (2-Samuel 14:17); "ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM OF AN ANGEL OF GOD, TO KNOW ALL THINGS THAT ARE IN THE EARTH (2-Samuel 14:17,20). So too spake Achish King of Gath, "THOU ART GOOD IN MY SIGHT, AS AN ANGEL OF GOD" (1-Samuel 29:9). Angel in Hebrew is "Malach" meaning "messenger" or "agent" and the term could be applied to either spiritual beings or human ones.
[2-Samuel 19:28] FOR ALL OF MY FATHER'S HOUSE WERE BUT DEAD MEN BEFORE MY LORD THE KING: YET DIDST THOU SET THY SERVANT AMONG THEM THAT DID EAT AT THINE OWN TABLE. WHAT RIGHT THEREFORE HAVE I YET TO CRY ANY MORE UNTO THE KING?
<<FATHER'S HOUSE WERE BUT DEAD MEN BEFORE MY LORD THE KING>>: This is a strange statement. It is suited more to a son of Saul than of Jonathan. It is a common phenomenon in history for a new dynasty to exterminate members of the previous one in order to make their own position more certain. Saul had sought to kill David since he saw in him a rival and the House of Saul were indeed potential claimants to the throne. From that point of view Mephiboshet may have had a reason to be grateful that David did not dispose of him. On the other hand Jonathan the son of Saul had befriended and protected David and declared himself willing for David to be king while he was prepared to take second place after him (1-Samuel 23:17). Jonathan had made a covenant with David in which David had promised that forever he would show kindness towards the descendants of Jonathan (1-Samuel 20:14-16, 42). It would be interesting to know who the descendants of Jonathan may be today. David was obligated to Jonathan and bound to look after his offspring. That Mephiboshet even when pleading spoke from the point of view of a "son of Saul" rather than as a son of Jonathan may indicate a psychological disposition in that so he considered himself and so does Scripture describe him as we saw above, "AND MEPHIBOSHETH THE SON OF SAUL" (2-Samuel 19:24). David would have discerned these nuances of expression.
[2-Samuel 19:29] AND THE KING SAID UNTO HIM, WHY SPEAKEST THOU ANY MORE OF THY MATTERS? I HAVE SAID, THOU AND ZIBA DIVIDE THE LAND.
According to the simple sense of what we have learnt above the decision of David seems unfair to Mephiboshet and over duly indulgent to Ziba. It may be that Mephiboshet had been in two minds, that Ziba fundamentally spoke the truth in the literal sense but not in the absolute one. It could be that Mephiboshet really had had hopes and had expressed them but in his heart of hearts had still wished good for David? That is to say that Mephiboshet mourned over the apparent misfortune of the King yet thought some good could come out of it for himself. At all events in light of the debt David owed to Jonathan, Mephiboshet had to receive some benefit of the doubt.
[2-Samuel 19:30] AND MEPHIBOSHETH SAID UNTO THE KING, YEA, LET HIM TAKE ALL, FORASMUCH AS MY LORD THE KING IS COME AGAIN IN PEACE UNTO HIS OWN HOUSE.
[2-Samuel 19:31] AND BARZILLAI THE GILEADITE CAME DOWN FROM ROGELIM, AND WENT OVER JORDAN WITH THE KING, TO CONDUCT HIM OVER JORDAN.
[2-Samuel 19:3 NOW BARZILLAI WAS A VERY AGED MAN, EVEN FOURSCORE YEARS OLD: AND HE HAD PROVIDED THE KING OF SUSTENANCE WHILE HE LAY AT MAHANAIM; FOR HE WAS A VERY GREAT MAN.
Mahanaim was on the east side of the Jordan. Barzillai along with Shobi the Ammonite convert and Machir son of Amiel from LoDebar had helped David and his men when they fled from Absalom (2-Samuel 17:27).
[2-Samuel 19:33] AND THE KING SAID UNTO BARZILLAI, COME THOU OVER WITH ME, AND I WILL FEED THEE WITH ME IN JERUSALEM.
[2-Samuel 19:34] AND BARZILLAI SAID UNTO THE KING, HOW LONG HAVE I TO LIVE, THAT I SHOULD GO UP WITH THE KING UNTO JERUSALEM?
[2-Samuel 19:35] I AM THIS DAY FOURSCORE YEARS OLD: AND CAN I DISCERN BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL? CAN THY SERVANT TASTE WHAT I EAT OR WHAT I DRINK? CAN I HEAR ANY MORE THE VOICE OF SINGING MEN AND SINGING WOMEN? WHEREFORE THEN SHOULD THY SERVANT BE YET A BURDEN UNTO MY LORD THE KING?
<<SINGING WOMEN>>: This shows that in those days women singers were accepted. Today in Orthodox Jewish circles they are not. Do not however jump up to the conclusion that Orthodox women are oppressed. In real terms they often have more independence and responsibility than their counterparts in the secular world. A series of sociological studies some years back in Israel showed that Orthodox Jewish women had the highest self-image of all when compared to other social groups.
Guess, who had the lowest one?
Answer: The secular kibbutzes who claimed to believe in equality of the sexes.
In this case the study was published by "Yediot Achronot" a major daily newspaper but usually they would have been kept quiet.
Quite a few studies of such nature have shown similar results in other but related areas, e.g. women soldiers in the IDF. For social, ideological, and political reasons the results are either not published or at the least not widely publicized.
[2-Samuel 19:36] THY SERVANT WILL GO A LITTLE WAY OVER JORDAN WITH THE KING: AND WHY SHOULD THE KING RECOMPENSE IT ME WITH SUCH A REWARD?
[2-Samuel 19:37] LET THY SERVANT, I PRAY THEE, TURN BACK AGAIN, THAT I MAY DIE IN MINE OWN CITY, AND BE BURIED BY THE GRAVE OF MY FATHER AND OF MY MOTHER. BUT BEHOLD THY SERVANT CHIMHAM; LET HIM GO OVER WITH MY LORD THE KING; AND DO TO HIM WHAT SHALL SEEM GOOD UNTO THEE.
<<CHIMHAM: An unusual name.
[2-Samuel 19:38] AND THE KING ANSWERED, CHIMHAM SHALL GO OVER WITH ME, AND I WILL DO TO HIM THAT WHICH SHALL SEEM GOOD UNTO THEE: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT REQUIRE OF ME, THAT WILL I DO FOR THEE.
[2-Samuel 19:39] AND ALL THE PEOPLE WENT OVER JORDAN. AND WHEN THE KING WAS COME OVER, THE KING KISSED BARZILLAI, AND BLESSED HIM; AND HE RETURNED UNTO HIS OWN PLACE.
[2-Samuel 19:40] THEN THE KING WENT ON TO GILGAL, AND CHIMHAM WENT ON WITH HIM: AND ALL THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH CONDUCTED THE KING, AND ALSO HALF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.
<< CHIMHAM: Actual Hebrew Pronunciation here- "Camohen" whereas above it is 2- "Camohem" (Samuel 19:38) with an "-n" suffix instead of an "m". The name can be interpreted to mean "Like them" or "similar to them" suggesting a request for anonymity, as if one would call a person "Likewise" or "Some-one". Alternately it may have an altogether different meaning. OR this may be the exact meaning and the Bible has a hidden meaning here. Scripture is full of literary surprises of great sophistication on the one hand alongside a primitive directness of expression at the most basic level.
<<HALF : Hebrew ? "Chatsi". The Radak says that "chatsi" here does not literally mean "half" but rather a smaller portion and he quotes other passages where the word is so used. The Radak says that these "Israelites" were the same ones who fled with David from Jerusalem along with the thousand or so from Benjamin who joined him with Shimei ben Gera (2-Samuel 19:17). Taking a modernistic approach we could suggest that the deputation from Judah numbered about 2,000 while those present from Benjamin (referred to as " HALF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL") were half that number i.e. 1,000.
[2-Samuel 19:41] AND, BEHOLD, ALL THE MEN OF ISRAEL CAME TO THE KING, AND SAID UNTO THE KING, WHY HAVE OUR BRETHREN THE MEN OF JUDAH STOLEN THEE AWAY, AND HAVE BROUGHT THE KING, AND HIS HOUSEHOLD, AND ALL DAVID'S MEN WITH HIM, OVER JORDAN?
<<STOLEN THEE AWAY: The Radak explains that the Men of Israel claimed that the Men of Judah had passed David over the Jordan as if they were secretly conducting him to Jerusalem to re-establish his reign without the permission of the rest of Israel. It was as if the Men of Judah were implying that the rest of Israel was less loyal to King David and less reliable. The Men of Israel were saying this was not so and that the implication was a slur on them.
[2-Samuel 19:42] AND ALL THE MEN OF JUDAH ANSWERED THE MEN OF ISRAEL, BECAUSE THE KING IS NEAR OF KIN TO US: WHEREFORE THEN BE YE ANGRY FOR THIS MATTER? HAVE WE EATEN AT ALL OF THE KING'S COST? OR HATH HE GIVEN US ANY GIFT?
The Men of Judah replied that after all David was of their Tribe and of their kin. They assumed they had the right to be seen as extra propitious concerning the welfare of David due to their family relationship. They also emphasized that no material benefit had or would accrue to them due to their extra propinquity.
[2-Samuel 19:43] AND THE MEN OF ISRAEL ANSWERED THE MEN OF JUDAH, AND SAID, WE HAVE TEN PARTS IN THE KING, AND WE HAVE ALSO MORE RIGHT IN DAVID THAN YE: WHY THEN DID YE DESPISE US, THAT OUR ADVICE SHOULD NOT BE FIRST HAD IN BRINGING BACK OUR KING? AND THE WORDS OF THE MEN OF JUDAH WERE FIERCER THAN THE WORDS OF THE MEN OF ISRAEL.
<<TEN PARTS: There were Twelve Tribes or actually thirteen since Ephraim and Manasseh were separate tribes. Even so in Biblical Times only twelve tribes were ever mentioned. The quorum of twelve was maintained either by recalled the Tribe of "Joseph" (e.g. Deuteronomy 27) instead of Ephraim and Manasseh separately, or by mentioning Ephraim and Manasseh separately but not mentioning "Levi" (e.g. Numbers ch.34) who was dispersed amongst the other tribes or in one case by subsuming Simeon with Judah (Deuteronomy ch.33).
<<WORDS OF THE MEN OF JUDAH WERE FIERCER: The Radak explains this to imply that while the Men of Israel had begun the process to re-install the King and the Men of Judah had been tardy in the matter, Judah was able to show that elements from "Israel" had played a prominent part in the revolt. This however is a bit hard to reconcile with Absalom having apparently been of Judah along with Achitophel and other advisors of Absalom. At all events THE WORDS OF THE MEN OF JUDAH WERE FIERCER and they won the argument and apparently in the process left the deputation from Israel feeling severely insulted!
In this case the Men of Judah together with a contingent from Benjamin had taken the king. This was two parts representing two tribes leaving ten parts of Ten Tribes. This is the first time that a division occurs between the "two" and the "ten" and when the "ten" is spoken of as a separate entity. It is also the first time that Benjamin is aligned with Judah against the rest. Before that Benjamin was considered as part of the "House of Joseph" (2-Samuel 19:20). Despite this it was SHEBA, THE SON OF BICHRI, A BENJAMITE who was to lead the revolt that immediately followed of "Israel" against David and "Judah", as we shall see in the next chapter.
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