1And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel.
2So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah remained loyal to their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
3And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in confinement, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.
4Then said the king to Amasa, Assemble me the men of Judah within three days, and you be here present.
5So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah: but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him.
6And David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take you your lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get himself fortified cities, and escape us.
7And there went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
8When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a belt with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.
9And Joab said to Amasa, Are you in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.
10But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he struck him with it in the fifth rib, and shed out his entrails to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
11And one of Joab's men stood by him, and said, He that favors Joab, and he that is for David, let him go after Joab.
12And Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still.
13When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
14And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Beth-maacah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him.
15And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maachah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.
16Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near here, that I may speak with you.
17And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Are you Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of your handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.
18Then she spoke, saying, They used to speak in former time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.
19I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: you seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why will you swallow up the inheritance of the LORD?
20And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.
21The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.
22Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.
23Now Joab was over all the army of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites:
24And Adoram was over the forced labor: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder:
25And Sheva was scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:
26And Ira also the Jairite was a chief minister under David.
Commentaries for 2 Samuel 20:0