II Samuel 18:19-19:43 David Seeks Reconciliation.
Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok the priest, immediately wanted to run to take the news of their victory to David. Joab, David’s leading general decided instead to send a Cushite. It would appear that had David not immediately been told of the death of his son Absalom, he might have rejoiced with his men. Ahimaaz, who was allowed to go anyway, and who outran the Cushite, focused on the victory, but the Cushite also added how happy he was that Absalom was killed. It would seem that Joab probably knew that the Cushite would bring news of Absalom. Absalom had made Amasa commander in place of Joab, and he was also “the son of a man whose name was Jithra, an Israelite, who had gone in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zuruiah, Joab’s mother” (17:25). Needless to say, Joab was delighted to see the death of Absalom. However, for David he was still his son. However, David did acknowledge Joab’s words, that he must congratulate the soldiers, and let them rejoice in their victory.
At the same time David upbraids the priests for them being the last to bring him back to his royal place (19:11). However, David also kept Amasa as commander of the army in place of Joab, no doubt to also win the favour of the people of Israel, uniting them with the people of Judah. David was also joined by Shimei, who had earlier cursed him (16:5ff.), and Ziba, who as Jonathan’s servant had remained covenantally loyal to David, and David to him (16:1-4). However, David also reconciled with Mephibosheth and wanted him to split the land of Jonathan between him and Ziba, but Mephibosheth was just happy to be friends with David again (19:24-30). Barzillai the Gileadite, who had helped David at Mahanaim (17:27-29), also met David and escorted him across the Jordan. David offered him a place in the royal city, but at 80 he wanted to return home, but one Chimham went in his place (19:31-39). However, the half of Israel left behind were not so quick to be reconciled with Judah (vv. 40-43).