250. Come and see, what Shim'i the son of Gera did to him was greater than all the troubles he had until that day, yet David did not answer back anything, for so it became him and thus his iniquities were atoned for.
251. We should now observe this. Shim'i was a sage and had great wisdom. Why did he come to David and do what he did to him? HE ANSWERS, This came from a different place that put it into him. Whatever he did was for David's benefit. For what Shim'i did to him caused him to wholly repent, and broke his heart greatly, so he shed many tears from his heart before the Holy One, blessed be He. Hence it says, "Because Hashem had said to him, curse" (II Shmuel 16:10). He knew that this has come down from another, high place.
252. David bade his son Solomon do two things, one concerning Joab, the other Shim'i, among the other commands he bade him. One concerned Joab, as written, "Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Tzruyah did to me" (I Melachim 2:5). It was something unknown that even Solomon could not have known. But since others knew, Solomon found out. Hence he said, "Moreover you know," what he was not supposed to have known.
253. One concerned Shim'i, as written, "And, behold, you have with you Shim'i the son of Gera" (Ibid. 8). What is the meaning of, "with you?" HE ANSWERS, He is always at your disposal, since he was his teacher. This is why he did not say of Joab, 'And, behold, you have Joab with you.' But of Shim'i, who was constantly by him, he said, "And, behold, you have with you."
254. "And the king sent and called for Shim'i, and said to him, Build you a house in Jerusalem" (Ibid. 36). HE ASKS, Where was King Solomon's wisdom in doing this? AND HE ANSWERS, He did everything wisely and noticed every aspect, that Shim'i was a sage. Solomon said, I want Torah to increase in this land by Shim'i, and that he shall not leave it.
256. "And cast dust" (II Shmuel 16:5). HE ASKS, What does it mean, "and cast dust?" AND HE ANSWERS, It was dust by my father, and water by Shim'i, as written, "For it shall be, that on the day you go out, and pass over the wadi of Kidron." It was dust there and water here. Solomon took account of them both so that he will be PUNISHED by dust and water like a Sota (a wife suspected of adultery), he who accused his father by the way.
257. It is written, "who cursed me with a grievous curse...and I swore to him by Hashem, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword" (I Melachim 2:8). HE ASKS, What is "with the sword?" Was Shim'i a fool THAT HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND that had he sworn this way, he may not say later, not with the sword, but with a spear or an arrow.
258. HE ANSWERS, There are two matters here. The child, the son of the great fish whose scales rise to the height of the clouds, spoke of the first. When David wanted to swear an oath, he would draw his sword, on which the engraved name was imprinted, and thus swore it. So he did with Shim'i, as written, "and I swore to him by Hashem, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword." How did he swear - with the sword. The other MATTER IS THAT Solomon considered, and said, He came cursing to my father, THAT IS, words, so I TOO HAVE words for him. So he slew him with the Tetragrammaton, and not with the sword. This is why Solomon acted this way.
259. We should now observe. If David swore to him, why did he kill him, for it seems as if this oath was false, since he did not speak his mind. HE ANSWERS, Surely David did not kill him. It is known that every body part receives, but the heart does not receive even a hairsbreadth. King David was the heart OF YISRAEL, but received what was not befitting for him to receive, NAMELY, SHIM'I THROWING STONES AND CASTING DUST AT HIM. Therefore, "know what you ought to do to him" (Ibid. 9). Moreover, THE TREE, NAMELY HIS BEING OF THE ASPECT OF MALCHUT, THE SMALL TREE, caused him to be vindictive and grudging as a snake.