2 Samuel 16:10
And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
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(10) So let him curse.—This translation follows the margin of the Hebrew, as the LXX. and Vulg. also do. David, throughout, recognises that all his sufferings were from the Lord’s hand, and he wishes to submit himself entirely to His will. He does not, of course, mean to justify Shimei’s wrong; but only to say that, as far as his sin bears upon himself, it is of Divine appointment and he cannot resent it.

2 Samuel 16:10. What have I to do with you? &c. — In this matter I ask not your advice, nor will I follow it. Your violent counsels are no way pleasing or fit for me at present. The Lord hath said unto him, Curse David — God, by bringing me into this distressed condition, hath caused me to appear a proper object of his scorn, hath left him to his own wickedness, and now gives him an opportunity, in the course of his providence, of pouring forth the malignity of his heart, without restraint, or fear of being punished for so doing. We cannot suppose David meant that God, strictly speaking, had either bid Shimei curse him, or had excited him so to do: but merely that, his heart being full of malice and rage, God had now put it into his power to give full vent to these diabolical passions as a punishment to David. Unto this the good king humbly submits, looking upon it as coming from the hand of God, who had delivered him up to this contempt. And in this David’s patience and meekness were admirable, for it is not an easy thing to stifle all emotions of revenge when there is a high provocation to it, and no difficulty in taking it. David did not scorn these curses as proceeding from the mouth of a base wretch, not worthy to be regarded, but acknowledged that his sins had merited this chastisement, and that God was just in suffering him to be afflicted with it. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? — Who shall reproach God’s providence for permitting this? Or, who shall restrain him from executing his just judgment against me?

16:5-14 David bore Shimei's curses much better than Ziba's flatteries; by these he was brought to pass a wrong judgment on another, by those to pass a right judgment on himself: the world's smiles are more dangerous than its frowns. Once and again David spared Saul's life, while Saul sought his. But innocence is no defence against malice and falsehood; nor are we to think it strange, if we are charged with that which we have been most careful to keep ourselves from. It is well for us, that men are not to be our judges, but He whose judgment is according to truth. See how patient David was under this abuse. Let this remind us of Christ, who prayed for those who reviled and crucified him. A humble spirit will turn reproaches into reproofs, and get good from them, instead of being provoked by them. David the hand of God in it, and comforts himself that God would bring good out of his affliction. We may depend upon God to repay, not only our services, but our sufferings.What have I to do ... - See the marginal references compare Matthew 8:29; John 2:4, and a similar complaint about the sons of Zeruiah 2 Samuel 3:39. And for a like striking incident in the life of the Son of David, see Luke 9:52-56. 2Sa 16:5-19. Shimei Curses David.

5-12. when king David came to Bahurim—a city of Benjamin (2Sa 3:16; 19:16). It is, however, only the confines of the district that are here meant.

Shimei, … a man of the family of Saul—The misfortune of his family, and the occupation by David of what they considered their rightful possessions, afforded a natural, if not a justifiable cause for this ebullition of rude insults and violence. He upbraided David as an ambitious usurper, and charged him, as one whose misdeeds had recoiled upon his own head, to surrender a throne to which he was not entitled. His language was that of a man incensed by the wrongs that he conceived had been done to his house. David was guiltless of the crime of which Shimei accused him; but his conscience reminded him of other flagrant iniquities; and he, therefore, regarded the cursing of this man as a chastisement from heaven. His answer to Abishai's proposal evinced the spirit of deep and humble resignation—the spirit of a man who watched the course of Providence, and acknowledged Shimei as the instrument of God's chastening hand. One thing is remarkable, that he acted more independently of the sons of Zeruiah in this season of great distress than he could often muster courage to do in the days of his prosperity and power.

What have I to do with you? to wit, in this matter I ask not your advice, nor will I follow it; nor do I desire you should at all concern yourselves in it, but wholly leave it to me, to do what I think fit.

Because the Lord hath said unto him; not that God commanded it by his word, for that severely forbids it, Exodus 22:28; or moved him to it by his Spirit, for neither was that necessary nor possible, because God tempteth no man, Jam 1:13; but that the secret providence of God did order and overrule him in it. God did not put any wickedness into Shimei’s heart, for he had of himself a heart full of malignity and venom against David; but only left him to his own wickedness; took away that common prudence which would have kept him from so foolish and dangerous an action; directed his malice that it should be exercised against David, rather than another man, as when God gives up one traveller into the hands of a robber rather than another; inclined him to be at home, and then to come out of his doors at that time when David passed by him; and brought David into so distressed a condition, that he might seem a proper object of his scorn and contempt. And this is ground enough for this expression, the Lord said, not by the word of his precept, but by the word of his providence, in respect whereof he is said to command the ravens, 1 Kings 17:4, and to send forth his word and commandment to senseless creatures, Psalm 147:15,18.

Who shall then say? not unto Shimei, for it was justly said so to him afterwards, 1 Kings 2:9, but unto the Lord; who shall reproach God’s providence for permitting this? Or, who shall by words or actions restrain him from executing God’s just judgment against me?

And the king said, what have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah?.... It seems as if Joab, the brother of Abishai, joined with him in this request to have leave to take off the head of Shimei; and though David had to do with them as his relations, his sister's sons, and as they were generals in his army; yet in this case he would have nothing to do with them, would not take their advice, nor suffer them to take revenge on this man for his cursing him: or "what is it to me, or to you" (u)? what signifies his cursing? it will neither hurt me nor you:

so let him curse; go on cursing after this manner; do not restrain him from it, or attempt to stop his mouth: or, "for he will curse" (w); so is the textual reading; you will not be able to restrain him, for the following reason:

because the Lord hath said unto him, curse David; not by way of command, or a precept of his; for to curse the ruler of the people is contrary to the word and law of God, Exodus 22:28, nor by any operation of his spirit moving and exciting him to it; for the operations of the Spirit are to holiness, and not to sin; but by the secret providence of God ordering, directing, and overruling all circumstances relative to this affair. Shimei had conceived enmity and hatred to David; God left him to the power of this corruption in his breast, opened a way in Providence, and gave him an opportunity of exercising it on him: it was not a bare permission of God that Shimei should curse David; but it was his will, and he ordered it so in Providence, that he should do it; which action was attended with the predetermined concourse of divine Providence, so far as it was an action; though, as a sinful action, it was of Shimei, sprung from his own heart, instigated by Satan; but as a correction and chastisement of David, it was by the will, order, and appointment of God, and as such David considered it, and quietly submitted to it:

who shall then say, wherefore hast thou done so? for though Shimei might justly be blamed, and reproved for it, yet the thing itself was not to be hindered or restrained, it being according to the will and providence of God, to answer some good end with respect to David.

(u) "quid mihi et vobis", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus. (w) "quia", Moatanus.

And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath {f} said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?

(f) David felt that this was the judgment of God for his sin, and therefore humbles himself to his rod.

10. What have I to do with you] ‘What have we in common? leave me alone.’ The phrase is used to repel an unwelcome suggestion, and repudiate participation in the thoughts and feelings of another. Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 19:22; John 2:4.

ye sons of Zeruiah] Joab probably seconded Abishai’s request. For David’s abhorrence of his nephews’ ferocity, see ch. 2 Samuel 3:39.

so let him curse, &c.] This is the rendering of the traditional reading (Qrî). The written text (Kthîbh) may be rendered, when he curseth, and when the Lord, &c., who then shall say, &c.: or, for he curseth because the Lord, &c.

2 Samuel 16:10Abishai wanted to put an end to this cursing (on the expression "dead dog," see 2 Samuel 9:8). "Let me go," said he to David, "and take away his head," i.e., chop off his head. But David replied, "What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah?" Joab probably joined with Abishai. The formula "what to me and you?" signifies that a person did not wish to have anything in common with the feelings and views of another (cf. 1 Kings 17:18; Joshua 22:24; and τὶ ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, John 2:4. For the thing itself, comp. Luke 9:52-56). "If he curses, and if Jehovah hath said to him, Curse David, who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?" For יה וכי יקלּל כּי (Chethib), the Masoretes give us the Keri, יה כּי יקלּל כּה, "so let him curse, for Jehovah," etc. This thought lies at the foundation of the rendering adopted by the lxx, who have inserted, by way of explanation, καὶ ἄφετε αὐτὸν καὶ: so let him go, and so may he curse. The Vulgate is just the same: dimittite eum ut maledicat. This interpolation is taken from 2 Samuel 16:11, and, like the Keri, is nothing more than a conjecture, which was adopted simply because כּי was taken as a causal particle, and then offence was taken at וכי. But כּי signifies if, quando, in this passage, and the ו before the following וּמי introduces the apodosis.
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