And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
Read Chapter 15
Cyril of Jerusalem
Again, after Absalom’s rebellion, when David was in flight, with many possible routes before him, he chose to make his escape by the Mount of Olives, as good as invoking in his own mind the Deliverer who should from there ascend into the heavens. And when Shimei cursed him bitterly he said, “Let him be.” For he knew that forgiveness is for those who forgive.… As, then, brothers, you have many examples of people who have sinned and then repented and been saved, do you also make confession to the Lord with all your heart, so as to receive pardon of all your sins of the time past and be accounted worthy of the heavenly gift and inherit the heavenly kingdom with all the saints in Christ Jesus, to whom be glory, world without end. Amen. - "Catechetical Lectures 2.12, 20"
Weeping David on this occasion wept for his sins, which he knew were the cause of all his sufferings. (Challoner)
Barefoot, like a criminal, or one in mourning, Isaias xx. 4., and Ezechiel xxiv. 17. (Calmet)
Covered, that the people might not see him. (Worthington)
According to the word of God, misfortunes were piled up from this time on. The father suffered long from the treachery of his son.…
Is the spectacle of David’s flight to be added to this account? Of such a nature was the flight that such a great king, of so great a reputation, greater and more honored than all other kings in the world, fled from his people with but a few servants. In comparison with his recent state, he was indeed poor; in comparison with his customary entourage, he was indeed alone. He fled in fear, disgrace and sorrow, “walking,” says Scripture, “with head covered and barefoot.” He was a witness of his former estate, an exile from his former self, almost one who lives after his own death. He was cast down so low that he received the scorn of his own servants, which is grave, or their pity, which is graver still. Sheba fed him, and Shimei did not fear to curse him in public. He was so changed from his former self by God’s judgment that he, whom the entire world had on...