As David was a little past the top of the mountain, he was met by Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, who provided food and drink for David’s household and young men to eat and drink. David asked where Mephibsheth was, and Ziba said that he stayed in Jerusalem in hopes that Absalom would restore his father’s kingdom to him. David then conveyed all of the belongings of Mephibosheth to Ziba.
After a few more steps, David came to Bahurim and a man of Saul’s house, Shimei, came out cursing David and throwing stones at him and all his men. He accused David of being a bloodthirsty man, and mocked him that Absalom was taking his kingdom. Abishai asked permission of David to kill Shimei, but David restrained them. He told them that perhaps God would look upon his affliction and repay David with good for Shimei’s cursing. Shimei continued to follow them along the other hillside opposite them, throwing rocks, kicking up dust, and cursing them. The people refreshed themselves because they were weary.
David’s exit from Jerusalem was ignoble at best, and the silent detractors of King David were suddenly emboldened to ridicule him and heap their “I told you so’s” upon him. When people are down, others can be heartless, having waited for just such an opportunity. This story, though, is a wonderful picture of how two different people can treat a wounded brother. Ziba came bringing supplies and gifts. Shimei cursed the king. Both seemed like somewhat natural responses, but only Ziba seemed to have the attitude of Christ. How do you treat your brothers when they are down?