2 Samuel 16:1-14: What does David do when a critic throws dirt?


2 Samuel 16:1-14

Now that David is in trouble it seems that even those who owe him the most are bailing out on him. Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, meets David with supplies for his journey. However, he brings David disturbing news. Mephibosheth who ate daily at David’s table has decided to stay in Jerusalem and support Absalom, in hopes that the line of Saul may eventually be restored and Mephibosheth will become king. In light of this news, David gives all of Mephibosheth’s property (that David had restored to him) to Ziba for his kindness to David. However, as we shall see later (2 Samuel 19:24-30), this is not the whole story of Ziba, Mephibosheth, and David.

As David and his supporters journey in exile, Shimei, a relative of Saul, comes out to curse them and throw stones at them. Shimei says the Lord has condemned David for his bloody murder of Saul’s family. We, however, know Shimei is wrong. David showed great restraint in not killing Saul; he lamented the death of Saul and his sons; and he showed great mercy to Mephibosheth, son of Saul. David’s guards want to shut up Shimei by cutting off his head.

However, David says to let him alone. Perhaps the Lord is telling Shimei to curse David. This does not mean that David believes he is guilty of vengeance toward Saul’s family, but it does reflect his acceptance of God’s righteous punishment of his sin regarding Uriah and Bathsheba.

Next Steps

What do you do when critics throw dirt and curse at you?


God of the persecuted, help us to be faithful when others turn against us.

Dr. Gary Holloway is guest writing for The Journey Bible Project Blog.Dr. Gary Holloway is guest writing for The Journey Bible Project Blog.


Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway. 


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