2 Samuel 20

Sheba rebels against David 
.1 ¶ And 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.
 2 So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
 3 And 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 ward, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.
  1 - Man of Belial Or "a worthless man."
  1 - Sheba A man of Benjamin. He took advantage of an argument between people of Israel and Judah 2sa1941. He was "a turbulent Benjamite, who after the death of Absalom made a fruitless effort to excite a rebellion in Israel against David.  Being pursued, and besieged in Abel-beth-maachah, near the southern part of Lebanon, he was beheaded by the people of the city, 2Sa 20:1-26. (AST Dictionary).
  1 - To his tents See 1ki1216, 2ch1016.
  3 - Living in widowhood Because of Absalom's evil behavior 2sa1621.
  3 - Shut up Their wombs were not opened. See 1sa0105.
 4 ¶ Then said the king to Amasa, Assemble me the men of Judah within three days, and be thou here present. 
 5 So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah: but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him.
  4 - Amasa David had appointed him as over the army 2sa1913.
  5 - Tarried longer Perhaps because of resistance of those loyal to Joab.
 6 And David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take thou thy lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him fenced cities, and escape us. 
.7 And 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.
 8 When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.
  6 - Abishai Joab's brother 2sa0218. On Joab See 2sa0213.
  6 - Sheba ... more harm? See verse 1.
  7 - Joab's men Joab was in control of the Army and David didn't have the power he needed.
  7 - Cherethites ... Pelethites David's bodyguard 2sa1518. The "mighty men" were skilled fighters 2sa2308-39.
 9 And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.
 10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri. 
 11 And one of Joab's men stood by him, and said, He that favoureth Joab, and he that is for David, let him go after Joab.
 12 And 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.
 13 When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
  10 - So Joab and Abishai Joab assumed the position given to Amasa.
 14 ¶ And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Bethmaachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him.
 15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.
 16 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.
 17 And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.
 18 Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. 
.19 I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the LORD?
  16 - Wise woman For reducing the bloodshed.
  18-20 - They were want to ... The translation of the Margin gives a better meaning, which is to this effect: When the people saw thee lay siege to Abel, they said, Surely he will ask if we will have peace, for the law (De 20:10) prescribes that he should offer peace to strangers, much more then to Israelitish cities; and if he do this, we shall soon bring things to an amicable agreement, for we are a peaceable people. The answer of Joab brings out the character of that ruthless veteran as a patriot at heart, who, on securing the author of this insurrection, was ready to put a stop to further bloodshed and release the peaceable inhabitants from all molestation." (JFB on verses 18-20)
  19 - Mother in Israel Compare Deborah jg0507.
 20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.
 21 The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath 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 thee over the wall. 
 22 Then 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.
  22 - All the people They would confront Sheba with more strength.
  22 - His tent Specifically, "his home."
.23 ¶ Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites:
.24 And Adoram was over the tribute: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder: 
.25 And Sheva was scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:
 26 And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David.
  23 - Joab ... over .. host The "host" would have been the army. We see a list of David's officers.
  25 - Sheva was scribe. An important office.
Samuel home
Commentary home