AT THE END OF OUR LAST CHAPTER, ABSALOM AND HIS FORCES WERE NOW RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT OF YISHARAL FROM YERUSHALIM AND HE WAS EVEN OCCUPYING THE ROYAL PALACE NAMED AFTER HIS FATHER IN THE CITY OF DAVID. ABSALOM’S PARTNER IN REBELLION, BATHSHEBA’S GRANDFATHER AHITHOPHEL, REMAINED ABSALOM’S CLOSEST ADVISOR. AND SINCE THE FIRST STAGE OF THE COUP HAD BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, AND KING DAVID AND A LARGE CONTINGENT OF LOYAL FOLLOWERS HAD FLED TO SOMEWHERE BETWEEN JERUSALEM AND THE JORDAN RIVER, ABSALOM SOUGHT AHITHOPHEL’S COUNCIL ON WHAT TO DO NEXT, SINCE HIS ADVICE ONLY DAYS BEFORE WAS FOR ABSALOM TO HAVE SEX WITH ALL OF THE 10 CONCUBINES FROM HIS FATHER DAVID’S HAREM WHO'D BEEN LEFT BEHIND TO TEND TO THE ROYAL PALACE.
ABSALOM (2 SAM 17-19)
Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose twelve thousand men and attack David tonight, while he's tired and down. He'll panic and everyone with him will run away. I won’t kill anyone except David, since he’s the one you want to get rid of. Then I’ll bring the whole nation back to you like a bride coming home to her husband. This way there won’t be a Civil War".
Absalom and all the leaders of the Tribes of Yisharal agreed that Ahithophel had a good plan. Then Absalom said, “Bring in Hushai the Archite. Let’s hear what he has to say.” Hushai came in, and Absalom told him what Ahithophel had planned. Then Absalom said, “Should we do what he says? And if we shouldn’t, can you come up with anything better?”
IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT AHITHOPHEL WAS TRYING TO GIVE HIMSELF A PROMOTION AND ABSALOM KNEW IT. AHITHOPHEL NOT ONLY WANTED TO DEVISE THE PLAN TO FIND DAVID AND KILL HIM, HE ALSO WANTED TO HAND PICK THE TROOPS AND TO BE THE ONE TO LEAD THEM INTO BATTLE FOR HE'D BEEN A COUNCILOR BUT NOT A MILITARY GENERAL. IF HE WERE ALLOWED TO PERSONALLY FORM AND LEAD AN ARMY INTO BATTLE AND SUCCEED, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN VIEWED BY THE PUBLIC AS THE DE'FACTO GENERAL OF THE YISHARALITE ARMY AND THEREFORE 2ND-IN-COMMAND OVER ALL YISHARAL. SO ABSALOM ASKED HUSHAI WHAT HE THOUGHT OF THIS ELABORATE PLAN?
And Hushai said, “Nup Ahithophel’s advice is rubbish! You do know that your father David and his entourage are actual real warriors. And right now they're as fierce as a mother-bear whose cubs have been killed - AND YOU WANNA GO POKE THE BEAR? Good luck mate - your Dad's an expert in military tactics, you really think he'll be spending the night with all the others together. Trust me, he's already found a hiding spot in an obscure hole in the wall or a cave somewhere. And as soon, as anyone hears that your soldiers have been killed, everyone will think your whole army has been destroyed. Then even those who are as brave as a lion will lose their courage. All Yisharal knows what a great warrior your father is and how mighty his soldiers are. So my advice is to gather all the fighting men of Yisharal from the town of Dan in the North down to the town of Beersheba in the South, and then you'll have more soldiers than there are grains of sand on the seashore. And Absalom, you should lead them yourself, and we'll all go to fight David wherever he is. We will fall on him just as dew falls and covers the ground. Then he and all his soldiers will die! For if they go into a walled town, we'll put ropes around that town and drag it into the river and we won’t even leave one small piece of a stone".
So Absalom and the others liked Hushai’s plan better than Ahithophel’s, and this was because Yahuah had decided to keep Ahithophel’s plan from working and to cause trouble for Absalom (as David had prayed earlier).
THE CUNNINGNESS BEHIND HUSHAI’S PLAN IS THAT WHILE AHITHOPHEL COULD PUT TOGETHER A 12,000 MAN FORCE OF HAND-PICKED EXPERIENCED SOLDIERS IMMEDIATELY, IT WOULD TAKE MANY WEEKS (AT BEST) TO SCRAPE TOGETHER A LARGE MILITIA OF FARMERS, HERDERS, AND CRAFTSMEN FROM ONE END OF YISHARAL TO THE OTHER. AND THE RESULTING ARMY WOULD BE AN INEXPERIENCED AND UNDISCIPLINED ONE, AND DAVID WOULD HAVE GAINED SUFFICIENT TIME TO FLEE SOMEWHERE TO HIS ADVANTAGE TO PREPARE A DEFENCE. GOOD ONYA HUSHAI !!
So right away, Hushai went to Zadok and Abiathar the High Priests, telling them what advice Ahithophel had given to Absalom and to the leaders of Yisharal and also what advice he'd given to trump it. Then he said, “Hurry! Send someone to warn David not to spend the night on this side of the river. He must get across immediately so he and the others won’t be wiped out!”
Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been waiting at Rogel Spring because they didn't want to be seen in Yerushalim. A servant girl went to the spring and gave them the message for David. But a young man saw them and hurried to Absalom to snitch. So Jonathan and Ahimaaz left and hurried to the house of a man who lived in Bahurim. Then they climbed down into a well in the courtyard and the man’s wife put the cover on the well and poured grain on top of it, so the well couldn't be seen. Then Absalom’s soldiers came to the woman and demanded, “WHERE ARE AHIMAAZ AND JONATHAN?”
“They went across the River.” And the soldiers ran off to look for the two men. (SOUNDS LIKE RAHAB HIDING JOSHUA'S SPIES DOESN'T IT!) But when they didn't find the men, they went back to Yerushalim. And after the soldiers had gone, Jonathan and Ahimaaz climbed out of the well and went to David saying, “HURRY! GET READY TO CROSS THE RIVER!” Then they told him about Ahithophel’s plan. David and the others got ready and started crossing the Jordan River and by sunrise all of them were on the other side.
And when Ahithophel saw that Absalom and the leaders of Yisharal had rejected his plan, he knew that his revolution would collapse in failure, so he swiftly put his knickers in a twist, saddled his donkey, rode back to his home in Gilo, settled his affairs with his family, then hanged himself!! And they buried him in his family’s burial place.
AS BATHSHEBA’S GRANDFATHER, AHITHOPHEL WAS A VERY BITTER VINDICTIVE MAN WHO HAD DEDICATED THE REMAINDER OF HIS DAYS TO RUINING DAVID FOR DEFILING HIS LOVELY GRANDDAUGHTER AND BRINGING GREAT SHAME UPON THE FAMILY. BUT FAILED REVOLUTIONS DO NOT END WELL FOR THOSE WHO LEAD THEM SO AHITHOPHEL DECIDED THAT HE WOULDN'T GIVE DAVID THE SATISFACTION OF DETERMINING THE TIME AND MEANS OF HIS END AND COMMITTED SUICIDE INSTEAD.
Then David went to the town of Mahanaim, and Absalom crossed the Jordan River with the army of Yisharal. Absalom put Amasa in Joab’s place as Commander of the Army. Amasa’s father was Ithra from the family of Ishmael, and his mother was Abigal, the daughter of Nahash and the sister of Joab’s mother Zeruiah. The Yisharalites under Absalom’s command set up camp in the region of Gilead.
And after David came to the town of Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash came from Rabbah in Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel came from Lo-Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite came from Rogelim, bringing sleeping mats, blankets, bowls, pottery jars, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, yogurt, sheep, and cheese. And they brought the food to David and the others because they knew that everyone would be hungry, tired, and thirsty from being out in the desert.
WHAT BEGAN AS A WAR OF REBELLION HAS JUST TURNED INTO A GREAT CIVIL WAR, WHICH WAS THE FEAR THAT (THE NOW DECEASED) AHITHOPHEL TRIED TO TELL ABSALOM. IT WAS ONE THING FOR A POLITICAL USURPER TO GAIN THE BACKING OF THE RIGHT PEOPLE, AND TO CONVINCE THE GENERAL POPULATION TO EITHER HELP HIM OR SIT IT OUT, IN HIS EFFORT TO GAIN THE THRONE, FOR THAT'S PURELY A POLITICAL BATTLE FOUGHT BETWEEN TWO POLITICIANS. BUT IT'S VERY DIFFERENT WHEN A WHOLE COUNTRY DIVIDES ITSELF INTO TWO FACTIONS, ONE SIDE (JUDAH) BACKING ONE KING AND THE OTHER SIDE (YISHARAL) BACKING ANOTHER - ALL WILLING TO FIGHT TO SEE THEIR MAN AND THEIR FACTION WIN.
DAVID, DESPITE HIS FLAWS, WAS STILL POPULAR ENOUGH TO COMMAND THE RESPECT OF MANY TRIBAL PRINCES AND CLANS AND WAS PROBABLY THE MOST SKILLED AND REVERED YISHARALITE MILITARY LEADER SINCE JOSHUA.
David divided his soldiers into groups of a hundred and groups of a thousand. Then he chose officers to be in command of each group. He sent out one-third of his Army under the command of Joab, another third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, and the rest under the command of Ittai from Gath. He told the soldiers, “I’m going into battle with you.”
But the soldiers said, “No, don’t go into battle with us! It won’t matter to our enemies if they make us all run away, or even if they kill half of us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better for you to stay in town and send help if we need it.”
David said, “All right, if you think I should.” Then in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, he said ...
“JOAB! ABISHAI! ITTAI! FOR MY SAKE, BE SURE THAT ABSALOM COMES BACK UNHARMED.” David stood beside the town gate as his Army marched past in groups of a hundred and in groups of a thousand.
IMAGINE THE FRUSTRATED REACTION OF HIS TROOPS AND COMMANDERS AT SUCH A NOTION THAT (ABOVE ALL ELSE) THEY SHOULDN'T HARM THE VERY ONE THAT WAS TRYING TO KILL THEM ALL! THIS IS BATTLE AFTERALL, BUT DAVID HAD SOME TWISTED SENSE OF LOYALTY AND FATHER-TO-SON AFFECTION TOWARDS ABSALOM (A SON HE DIDN'T WANT TO SEE FOR YEARS) THAT CAUSED HIM TO SOMEHOW OVERLOOK THE FACT THAT HIS SON HAD BECOME NOT ONLY AN ENEMY OF HE AND HIS KINGDOM, BUT OF YAHUAH HIMSELF BECAUSE ABSALOM WAS TRYING TO UNSEAT YAHUAH’S ANOINTED KING.
The war with Yisharal took place in Ephraim Forest. Battles were being fought all over and David’s soldiers were winning. Twenty thousand soldiers were killed that day, and more of them died from the dangers of the forest than from the fighting itself. Absalom was riding his mule under a huge tree when his head caught in the branches. The mule ran off and left Absalom hanging in midair. Then some of David’s soldiers rode by, and one of them went and told Joab, “I saw Absalom hanging in a tree!”
“You saw Absalom? WHY THE HELL DIDN’T YOU KILL HIM? I would've given you ten pieces of silver and a special belt for your precious efforts!”
“Oh you could give me a thousand pieces of silver and I still wouldn’t touch the King’s son. We all heard King David tell you and Abishai and Ittai not to harm Absalom ...
... He always finds out what’s going on. I would have been risking my life to kill Absalom, because you would have let me take the blame.”
“ENOUGH OF THIS, I’m not wasting any more time on you!” Joab said.
Absalom was still alive, so Joab rode through and shot three spears through his chest. Then ten of Joab’s bodyguards came over and finished him off. Then Joab blew a trumpet to signal his troops to stop chasing Yisharal’s soldiers. And they threw Absalom’s body into a deep pit in the forest and put a big pile of rocks over it. A BURIAL THAT IS RESERVED FOR THE WORST OF THE WORST (JOSHUA’S MEN GAVE ACHAN THIS TYPE OF BURIAL AFTER STONING HIM FOR STEALING YAHUAH’S SET-APART SPOILS OF WAR).
Meanwhile, the people of Yisharal had all run back to their own homes. And when Absalom was alive, he'd set up a stone monument for himself in King’s Valley, saying, “I don’t have any sons to keep my name alive.” And he called it Absalom’s Monument, and that's still it's name today. (HE DID HAVE SONS BUT HE WAS SO UP HIMSELF THAT HE’D PRACTICALLY DISOWNED THEM).
Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Joab, let me run and tell King David that Yahuah has rescued him from his enemies.”Joab answered, “You’re not the one to tell the King that his son is dead. You can take him a message some other time, but not today.”
Someone from Ethiopia was standing there, and Joab told him, “You go and tell the King what you've seen.” So the man knelt down in front of Joab and then got up and started running.
Ahimaaz spoke to Joab again, “No matter what happens, I still want to run. And besides, the Ethiopian has already left.”
Joab said, “Why should you run? You won’t get a reward for the news you have today!”
“I’ll run no matter what!” Ahimaaz insisted.
“Fine then, GO! ... run!” Joab said.
Meanwhile, David was sitting between the inner and outer gates in the city wall and one of his soldiers was watching from the roof of the gate-tower, where he saw a man running toward the town, so he shouted down to tell David. IT’S HARD NOT TO SEE THE PARALLEL OF DAVID SITTING ON A CHAIR AT THE GATE WITH ELI (IN SAMUEL’S ERA) DOING TO SAME. BUT WHEN ELI GETS THE DEVASTATING NEWS ABOUT HIS SONS HE FALLS OVER BACKWARDS AND DIES. DAVID ISN’T GOING TO DIE BUT HE IS ABOUT TO GET DEVASTATING NEWS.
David answered, “If he’s alone, he must have some news.”
The runner was getting closer, when the soldier saw someone else running. He shouted down to the gate, “Look! There’s another runner!”
David said, “He must have some news too.” The soldier on the roof shouted, “The first one runs just like Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.”
This time David said, “He’s a good man. He must have some good news.”
Ahimaaz called out, “We won! We won!” Then he bowed low to David and said, “Your Majesty, praise Yahuah our Alahim for He has given you victory over your enemies.”
“Is my son Absalom all right?”
“When Joab sent your personal servant and I out we saw a noisy crowd, but I don’t know what it was all about.”
“Then stand over there and wait.”
Then the Ethiopian came and said, “Your Majesty, today I have good news! Yahuah has rescued you from all your enemies!”
“Yes but is my son Absalom alright?”
“I wish that all Your Majesty’s enemies and everyone who tries to harm you would end up just like him!”
And David started trembling, before going up to the room above the city gate to weep. And as he went, he kept saying, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! I wish I could have died instead of you! Absalom, my son, my son!”
THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES (MOST OF WHICH WERE SUPPORTING ABSALOM) HAVE A MEETING TO DISCUSS WHAT TO DO NOW THAT THEIR LEADER ABSALOM, IS DEAD AND THEIR REBELLION HAS LOST. AND THE THOUGHT IS THAT EVEN THOUGH DAVID HAS ESSENTIALLY LOST HIS CROWN AND IS NOW LIVING ACROSS THE JORDAN, HE IS STILL THE SAME MAN WHO, YEARS EARLIER, FEARLESSLY LED THE BATTLE AGAINST THE PHILISTINES AND FREED YISHARAL FROM THEIR OPPRESSION.
And someone told Joab, “The King is weeping because Absalom is dead.”
David’s army also found out that he was crying because his son had died, and it was a party-pooper for their day of victory, which suddenly turned into a day of sadness. The troops were even sneaking into Mahanaim as though they'd cowered from battle ashamed. But David held his hands over his face and kept on crying loudly, “My son, Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”
ASIDE FROM MOURNING HIS OWN SON, DAVID IS IN AN INTENSE STATE OF GUILT, KNOWING AT THE BOTTOM OF HIS HEART THAT EVEN ABSALOM’S REBELLION WAS HIS FAULT. ALL OF THIS HORROR AND DEATH UPON HIS FAMILY AND HIS KINGDOM WAS THE OUTPOURING OF YAHUAH’S CONSEQUENCE UPON HIM FOR HIS TERRIBLE SINS (MOSTLY REVOLVING AROUND BATHSHEBA). HE FELT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (AND HE WAS!) AND THERE WAS NO SHAKING IT.
And Joab had `had enough' of David's antics, and said, "OY! TODAY YOU’VE MADE A MOCKERY OF YOUR SOLDIERS. JUST LOOK HOW ASHAMED THEY ALL FEEL TODAY BECAUSE OF YOU! NOT ONLY DID THEY SAVE YOUR LIFE, THEY DELIVERED YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND WIVES FROM YOUR PSYCHOPATH OF A SON AS WELL. BUT DID YOU THANK THEM, ENCOURAGE THEM? NAH NOT YOU, YOU’RE MORE LOYAL TO YOUR ENEMIES THAN TO YOUR FRIENDS, TOO BUSY LOVING THE DEAD, SOMEONE WHO HATED YOU AND SHOWING HATRED TO THOSE WHO LOVE YOU DEARLY. YOUR BEHAVIOUR TODAY SHOWS EVERYONE THAT THEY DON’T MEAN A DAMN THING TO YOU, FOR YOU'D BE HAPPIER IF ABSALOM WAS STILL ALIVE, EVEN IF THE REST OF US WERE ALL DEAD. NOW GET UP, GO OUT THERE AND THANK YOUR TROOPS FOR WHAT THEY DID. `CAUSE IF YOU DON’T, I SWEAR BY YAHUAH THAT YOU WON’T EVEN HAVE ONE MAN LEFT ON YOUR SIDE BY TOMORROW MORNING AND NONE OF YOUR PAST TROUBLES WILL COMPARE TO THE EVIL THAT WILL COME UPON YOU ... I'LL MAKE SURE OF IT MYSELF!"
So David got up and went to the town gate and slumped himself down there, and when the people heard that he was sitting there, they came to see him.
And after Yisharal’s soldiers had all returned home, everyone in Yisharal (NORTHERN 10 TRIBES) started arguing, saying to each other, “King David rescued us from the Philistines and from our other enemies, but then we chose Absalom to be our new leader, and David had to leave the country to get away. Absalom died in battle, so why hasn’t something been done to bring David back?”
And when David found out what the Northern Tribes were saying, he sent a message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, "Say to the leaders of Judah (and Benjamin) (SOUTHERN 2 TRIBES) “Why are you guys the last to think about bringing King David back home? He's your own brother afterall, your own relative! Why haven’t you done anything to bring him back?”
And tell Amasa, “You’re my nephew, and with Alahim as a witness, I swear I’ll make you the Commander of my Army now instead of Joab.”
And soon the Tribe of Judah became followers of David again, and they sent him this message, “Come back, and bring your soldiers with you.”
DAVID MAKES A HORRIBLE, SPITEFUL MOVE, SHOWING THAT HE'S STILL FIRMLY STUCK ON THAT DARK PATH THAT HE’S BEEN ON FOR SOME TIME NOW. HE MAKES AMASA (THE GENERAL OF ABSALOM’S REBEL ARMY) HIS COMMANDER NOW AND FIRES HIS LONGTIME LOYAL GENERAL JOAB, WHO ACTUALLY WON THE WHOLE BATTLE FOR DAVID - WHY? RETRIBUTION. THIS WAS ALL ABOUT JOAB ALLOWING ABSALOM TO BE KILLED. WHAT A SLAP IN THE FACE NOT MERELY TO JOAB BUT TO DAVID’S ENTIRE ARMY.
So David started back and had gone as far as the Jordan River when he met the people of Judah, who had gathered at Gilgal to come to help him cross the river. Shimei the son of Gera was there with them too (WHO'D CURSED DAVID AND THROWN DIRT AND ROCKS AT THEM WEEKS EARLIER). He had hurried from Bahurim to meet David. Shimei was from the Tribe of Benjamin, and a thousand others from Benjamin had come with him too.
Ziba (the chief-steward of Saul’s family) also came to the Jordan River. He and his fifteen sons and twenty servants waded across to meet David. Then they brought David’s family and servants back across the river, and they did everything he wanted them to do. Shimei crossed the Jordan River and bowed down in front of David also, saying ...
“Your Majesty, I beg you not to punish me! Please, forget what I did when you were leaving Yerushalim. Don’t even think about it. I know I was wrong. That’s why I wanted to be the first one from the Northern Tribes to meet you.”
But Abishai shouted, “YOU SHOULD BE KILLED FOR CURSING YAHUAH’S CHOSEN KING AND THROWING STONES AT HIM!”
But David said, “Abishai, what will I ever do with you and your brother Joab? Is it your job to tell me who's done wrong? I’ve been made King of all Yisharal today, and no one will be put to death!”
Then David promised Shimei that he would not be killed.BUT ALL DAVID SEEMED TO WANT ANYMORE WAS TO HANG ON TO HIS BITTERNESS AND PLOT REVENGE. THIS PARDON FOR SHIMEI WAS MERELY A POLITICAL PLOY FOR THOUGH DAVID PROMISED THAT HE WOULDN’T EXECUTE SHIMEI, HE NEVER SAID THAT SOMEONE ELSE WOULDN’T DO IT, AND ON HIS DEATHBED (IN A FEW CHAPTERS) DAVID ACTUALLY TELLS HIS SON SOLOMON TO KNOCK HIM OFF (AND SOLOMON DOES IT).
Mephibosheth (the lame Grandson of Saul) also came to meet David, for he'd missed David so much that he hadn't even taken a bath or trimmed his beard or washed his clothes the whole time David was gone. And after they'd gone back to Yerushalim, Mephibosheth came to see David again, and David asked him, “If you were so upset when I was overthrown then why didn’t you come with me and support me?”
“My King you know I can’t walk, and I told my servant Ziba to saddle a donkey for me so I could go with you, but before I could make it to him, he left without me, and then he lied to you about me. You’re as wise as a messenger of Alahim, so do what you think is right. After all, you could have killed my whole family and me. But instead, you let me eat at your own table. So my King, I have no complaints! I mean what more could I ask for?”
“Hmm, you’ve said enough! You may divide the property equally between you and Ziba.”
“It's fine ... He can have it all! I’m just so glad you’ve come home safely.”
Barzillai came from Rogelim in Gilead to meet David at the Jordan River and go across with him also. Barzillai was eighty years old and very rich, having sent food to David back in Mahanaim. And David said to him, “Cross the river and go to Yerushalim with me and I'll take care of you.”
But Barzillai answered, "My King, why should I go to Yerushalim? I don’t have much longer to live. I’m already eighty years old and my body is almost numb. I can’t taste my food or hear the sound of singing and I would be nothing but a burden. I’ll cross the river with you, but only go a little way on the other side. You don’t have to be so kind to me. Just let me return to my hometown, where I can someday be buried near my father and mother. My servant Chimham can go with you, and you can treat him as your own".
So David said, “OK, I’ll take Chimham with me, and whatever you ask me to do for him, I’ll do. And if there’s anything else you need, just ask.”David’s soldiers went on across the river, while he stayed behind to tell Barzillai goodbye and to wish him well. Then Barzillai returned home, but Chimham crossed the river with David.
So all of Judah’s army (SOUTHERN TRIBES) and only half of Yisharal’s army (NORTHERN TRIBES) were there to help David cross the river. Then the soldiers from Yisharal came to David offended, saying, “Why'd you let our relatives from Judah sneak you and your family and your soldiers across the Jordan River without us?”
And the people of Judah said, “Why are you so angry? We're the King’s relatives. He never gave us any food or supplies to be here and we didn’t take anything for ourselves either!”
“Well King David belongs to us ten times more than he belongs to you. Didn’t you think we were good enough to help you? After all, we were the first ones to think of bringing him back, even though you're his family, as you say!”
And the people of Judah spoke more harshly than the people of Yisharal.
THE YISHARALITES (SINCE EGYPT) HAD ALLIED THEMSELVES INTO GROUPS ACCORDING TO TRIBES, AND ONCE THEY ENTERED THE LAND OF CANAAN THOSE GROUPS BECAME EVEN MORE DEFINED AND ENTRENCHED INTO JUDAH AND SIMEON IN THE SOUTH VERSUS ALL THE REMAINING TRIBES IN THE NORTH (GENERALLY NORTH OF YERUSHALIM). SO NOW WE SEE A VERY SERIOUS QUARREL BREAKING OUT BETWEEN JUDAH AND THE NORTHERN TRIBAL ALLIANCE (YISHARAL) ALL BECAUSE YISHARAL HAD NOT BEEN INVITED TO TAKE PART IN THE RIVER-CROSSING CEREMONY. THEY FELT SNUBBED WHEN BOTH DAVID AND THE TRIBE OF JUDAH BEHAVED AS THOUGH THE 10 TRIBES WERE OF LITTLE IMPORTANCE (CAN ANYONE REALLY BLAME DAVID FOR DOING THIS THOUGH?) SO WHEN THE PARTIES ARRIVED IN GILGAL FOR THE BIG TO-DO, THERE BROKE OUT A FIERCE ARGUMENT BETWEEN THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN FACTIONS OVER WHAT YISHARAL SAW AS UNBRIDLED ROYAL FAVOURITISM TOWARDS JUDAH.
YISHARAL’S ARGUMENT WAS THAT THEY SHOULD BE TREATED WITH GREAT REGARD SINCE THEY HAD “10 PARTS IN DAVID”, WITH THE IMPLICATION THAT JUDAH WAS THE LESSER SINCE THEY HAD ONLY 2 PARTS (SPEAKING OF MORE POLITICAL SWAY AS A POLITICAL PARTY).
YISHARAL REMINDED JUDAH THAT THEY MADE KNOWN THEIR WISH TO SEE DAVID RETURN AS KING BEFORE JUDAH DID, SO WHAT HAS FAMILY GOT TO DO WITH ANYTHING? BUT THE MEN OF JUDAH WOULDN’T BACK DOWN, GOT LOUDER AND MORE INSULTING IN THEIR ARGUING, AND SO THE ONLY POSSIBLE RESULT WAS TROUBLE.