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David and Shimei

David refuses to take revenge on Shimei.
Contributed by Jo and Nik
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Polish, Hindi
In the latter years of King David he got news that his rebellious son Absalom was leading an army from the south to depose him as King. David had to gather all the troops still loyal to him and flee Jerusalem to go into hiding. They left Jerusalem heading down to the Jordan Valley passing through the village of Bahurim. – Slide 1
Living in that village was Shimei from the same clan as King Saul’s family who held bitter grudges against David. He pelted stones at David and his officials shouting, ‘Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel!. God is repaying you for killing Saul’s family and Absalom will be king.’ – Slide 2
One of David’s bodyguards, Abishai, asked David ‘Why should this dead dog curse you? Let me go over and cut off his head.’ <br/>But David refused to give the order. ‘If my own son Absalom is trying to kill me, Shimei has more reason to do so. Spare his life. Maybe God will turn his cursing into a blessing.’ So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei went along the hillside cursing him, throwing stones and showering him with dirt. – Slide 3
Some time later David’s troops put down the rebellion and David was able to return to Jerusalem to continue his reign as king. This was bad news for Shimei who hurried down to the Jordan valley with the men of Judah to meet King David. Shimei crossed the Jordan and fell prostrate before the king. – Slide 4
‘Please not hold me guilty. I did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem,’ Shimei pleaded.  Please forgive me for I have sinned. I have come here as the first from the tribes of Joseph to greet my lord the king.’ <br/>Abishai exclaimed, ‘Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for cursing the King? <br/>‘Don’t talk to me like that!’ David exclaimed. ‘This is not a day for execution but for celebration! I am once more king of Israel!’ <br/>Then, turning to Shimei, he vowed, ‘Your life is spared.’ – Slide 5
Slide 6