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?
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2 Samuel 19:21-23. Abishai said, Shall not Shimei be put to death? — Abishai had before highly resented Shimei’s vile treatment of David, and thought this a fit season for taking revenge. What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? — It seems Joab joined with his brother, and together they thought to govern all the king’s motions as they pleased. But he bids them, in a disdainful manner, stand aside, and not intermeddle in this matter. That ye should this day be adversaries unto me? — Should hinder me from following my own inclinations, and set my people against me. For, by taking their advice, David might have alienated the hearts of all Israel from him, and made them fear the like punishment for their revolt. Shall any man be put to death this day in Israel? — In a time of universal joy, shall any family have cause for lamentation? It was undoubtedly David’s interest, at this time, to appease the people, and reconcile them to himself, and not give them any new distaste by acts of severity; which would have made others jealous, that he would watch an opportunity to be revenged on them. Do I not know that I am this day king over Israel? — And, therefore, have power to punish or to pardon as I please. Is not my kingdom, which was in a manner wholly lost, just now restored and assured to me? And when God hath been so merciful to me in forgiving my sin, shall I show myself revengeful to Shimei? Shall I sully the glory of this day with an act of such severity? Or, shall I alienate the hearts of my people from me, now they are returned to me? “He knew himself a king,” says Delaney, “not of one party, but of a whole people; and therefore wisely resolved that his fatherly affection should extend to them all. He knew himself a sovereign, and he knew that mercy and forgiveness were the noblest privileges of sovereignty.” He therefore turned to Shimei, pronounced his pardon, and confirmed it with an oath, that he should not die.

19:16-23 Those who now slight and abuse the Son of David, would be glad to make their peace when he shall come in his glory; but it will be too late. Shimei lost no time. His abuse had been personal, and with the usual right feeling of good men, David could more easily forgive it.This is the first time that the "house of Joseph," or "Joseph," stands for all the ten tribes of which Ephraim was the head and leader. While Saul of Benjamin was king, or while Mahanaim was the capital of his son's kingdom, it was not natural so to name them, nor does it seem so at first sight in the mouth of Shimei the Benjamite. But it is very possible that he used the phrase for the purpose of exculpating himself and his own tribe from having taken the initiative in the rebellion, anti of insinuating that they were drawn away by the preponderating influence of the great house of Joseph. On the other hand, the phrase may be an indication that the passage was written after the separation of the kingdom of Israel, when the phrase was a common one. 20. I am come the first … of all the house of Joseph—that is, before all the rest of Israel (Ps 77:15; 80:1; 81:5; Zec 10:6). i.e. The king. By this expression he minds David of his former zeal against those who offered any injury to Saul, because he was the Lord’s anointed, 1 Samuel 24:6 26:9; and therefore demands the same justice against Shimei for his cursing of the king, which was so expressly forbidden, Exodus 22:28, and by the analogy of that law, Exodus 21:17, might seem punishable with death.

But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said,.... The same person that would have taken off the head of Shimei at the time he cursed David, if he would have given him leave, 2 Samuel 16:9,

shall not Shimei be put to death for this? this humiliation and acknowledgment he has made, shall he be forgiven on that account? shall so small a matter as this atone for so great a crime he has been guilty of, as that he shall not die?

because or "though" (l).

he cursed the Lord's anointed; is asking pardon sufficient to expiate so foul an offence, for which according to the law he ought to die? or for this action which he has done, as the Arabic version, in cursing the Lord's anointed.

(l) "quamvis, vel cum tamen", Piscator.

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?
21. Abishai] True to his fierce, impetuous character. See ch. 2 Samuel 16:9.

cursed the Lord’s anointed] Since the king was Jehovah’s representative, to curse him was almost as heinous an offence as to curse Jehovah Himself. Exodus 22:28; Leviticus 24:15; 1 Kings 21:10.

2 Samuel 19:21"For thy servant knoweth (i.e., I know) that I have sinned, and behold I have come to-day the first of the whole house of Joseph, to go to meet my lord the king." By "the whole house of Joseph" we are to understand the rest of the tribes with the exception of Judah, who are called "all Israel" in 2 Samuel 19:12. There is no reason for the objection taken by Thenius and Bttcher to the expression בּית־יוסף. This rendering of the lxx (παντὸς Ἰσραὴλ καὶ οἴκου Ἰωσήφ) does not prove that כּלישׂראל was the original reading, but only that the translator thought it necessary to explain οἴκου Ἰωσήφ by adding the gloss παντὸς Ἰσραὴλ; and the assertion that it was only in the oratorical style of a later period, when the kingdom had been divided, that Joseph became the party name of all that were not included in Judah, is overthrown by 1 Kings 11:28. The designation of the tribes that opposed Judah by the name of the leading tribe (Joseph: Joshua 16:1) was as old as the jealousy between these tribes and Judah, which did not commence with the division of the kingdom, but was simply confirmed thereby into a permanent distinction. Shimei's prayer for the forgiveness of his sin was no more a proof of sincere repentance than the reason which he adduced in support of his petition, namely that he was the first of all the house of Joseph to come and meet David. Shimei's only desire was to secure impunity for himself. Abishai therefore replied (2 Samuel 19:21), "Shall not Shimei be put to death for this (זאת תּחת, for this, which he has just said and done), because he hath cursed the anointed of Jehovah?" (vid., 2 Samuel 16:5.). But David answered (2 Samuel 19:22), "What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah (cf. 2 Samuel 16:10), for ye become opponents to me to-day?" שׂטן, an opponent, who places obstacles in the way (Numbers 22:22); here it signifies one who would draw away to evil. "Should any one be put to death in Israel to-day? for do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?" The reason assigned by David here for not punishing the blasphemer as he had deserved, by taking away his life, would have been a very laudable one if the king had really forgiven him. But as David when upon his deathbed charged his successor to punish Shimei for this cursing (1 Kings 2:8-9), the favour shown him here was only a sign of David's weakness, which was not worthy of imitation, the more especially as the king swore unto him (2 Samuel 19:24) that he should not die.
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