Joab causes David to cease mourning. (1-8):
V. 2…the victory that day was turned into mourning for all …..David was overcome by his grief over his kingly responsibilities. Though he lost his two sons in a row, he should have known his limit to mourn as a leader. While it was a great victory for the whole nation, for David it was both victory and mourning.
Vs. 3-6: To continue to lament for so bad a son as Absalom, was very unwise, and very unworthy. Joab censures David, but not with proper respect and deference to his sovereign. A plain case may be fairly pleaded with those above us, and they may be reproved for what they do amiss, but it must not be with rudeness and insolence. Yet David took the reproof and the counsel, prudently and mildly. – Mathew Henry Commentary.
…today you have disgraced all your servants….(v.5) David’s covering his face with grief, in fact covered his loyal servants.
…you love your enemies and hate your friends…(v. 6)… we don’t know if Joab was harsh to make David to act reasonable, or he was out of control. As Mathew Henry pointed out, Joab could have been done it in a graceful manner.
V. 7… if you do not go out…that will be the worse for you than all the evil… David was given ultimatum. Timely giving way, usually prevents the ill effects of mistaken measures.
V. 8…king arose and sat at the gate …..David rose up without any explanation or verbal response to Joab’s words. …all came…everyone of Israel had fled to his tent…..there was division between Judah and the rest of Israel. .
David returns to Jordan. (9-15) :
Vs. 9 & 10…As King was still waiting at the gate, Israelites were discussing about bring David back to Jerusalem (v. 9 & 10), .and they were asking these questions to Judah to convince them. Though the reason for Judah’s hesitancy to bring David to Jerusalem was not mentioned, it may be that they were guilty of rebelled with Absalom who is from the tribe of Judah.
Vs. 12-14…But David sent a special appeal to the leaders of Judah, to be the first as he belongs to Judah tribe.
Amasa (v. 13) …was Absalom’s great general. David might have taken a wrong decision to replace the victorious and loyal General Joab with Amasa, the rebel commander. The reason may be that Joab disobeyed his order about Absalom. On the other hand, he needed to bring Judah and Israel together by making this concession and pardon to Amasa. By doing this, he brought healing Judah’s breach by rebelling with Absalom.
V. 15…So, Judah brought David from Jordan to Gilgal.
He pardons Shimei.(16-23):
Verses 16- 38 talks about the incidents happened while David was waiting to cross Jordan.
Shimei had cursed him as David fled (16:5–13). As David said in 16:12, the LORD has repaid David with good for his patience. Now, Abishai thought that this is the time David punish him for what Shimei did. But David realizing the moment of rejoicing, refused any retribution. However 2 kings 2:8&9, 36-46 shows that this pardon was temporary and conditional.
Mephibosheth excused. (24-30): Eventhough he lost his estate, Mephibosheth expressed joy for the king’s return. Mephibosheth tells David that Ziba was lying when he said, “Mephibosheth had chosen to stay in Jerusalem (16:3).”
David’s parting with Barzillai. (31-39): David also met Barzillai, who was helping David and his men in Mahanaim (v. 32; cf. 17:27). I will provide for you while you are with me in Jerusalem (33). David wanted to repay Barzillai’s kindness, but Barzillai refused to go to Jerusalem that he did not want to be a burden.
Israel quarrels with Judah. (40-43):
The men of Israel though themselves despised, and the fiercer words of the men of Judah produced very bad effects. Much evil might be avoided, if men would watch against pride, and remember that a soft answer turns away wrath. Though we have right reason on our side, if we speak it with fierceness, God is displeased. – M. H. Commentary.
Apparently David left Mahanaim and came to the Jordan without allowing time for all the northern tribes to come and accompany him. They resent this, being the larger group and considering themselves more loyal to David (vv. 9–11) than Judah, which they accuse of “privatizing” the king. The men of Judah retort that David did not favor his own tribe with grants (unlike Saul in 1 Sam. 22:7). In making Jerusalem his capital and bringing the ark there, David seems to have made an effort to be an Israelite king, not a Judahite king ruling Israel. But he was not able to overcome the division. We, our, and us in 2 Sam. 19:42–43 are singular—“I,” “my,” and “me”—in the Hebrew, suggesting the acrimony of the debate. – ESV Study Bible.