|2 Samuel 20 |
1 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 do we have an inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his home, O Israel."
2 So every man of Israel left from following after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah stayed joined to their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
3 David came to his house at Jerusalem and took the ten women of his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, fed them, but did not lay with them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood [because Absalom had defiled them to David].
4 Then said the king to Amasa, "Assemble the men of Judah within three days, and be present here with them."
5 So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah, but he stayed away longer than the set time that David had commanded him.
6 David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba, the son of Bichri, shall do us more harm than Absalom. Take with you your lord's servants, and pursue him to prevent him from entering walled cities and thus escape us."
7 In pursuit of him went Joab's men, the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the mighty men; and they all left Jerusalem, to pursue Sheba, the son of Bichri.
8 When they had come to the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa met them. Joab's garment that he was wearing was belted to him, and the belt had a sword fastened upon his loins in its sheath; and as he went forth the sword fell out, [which Joab picked up].
9 And Joab said to Amasa, "Are you in health, my brother?" And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand as if to kiss him.
10 But Amasa did not notice the sword that was in Joab's hand. So Joab thrust him through there in the fifth rib, which spilled out his bowels to the ground without another blow; and he died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai continued the pursuit after Sheba, the son of Bichri.
11 One of Joab's men stood by him, and said [to the army of Amasa], "He who favors Joab, and he who is for David, let him follow Joab."
12 Amasa lay in the middle of the highway wallowed in blood. When Joab's man saw that all the people who came by Amasa stopped to look, he removed Amasa out of the highway into a field, and covered him with a cloth,
13 Once he was removed out of the highway, all the people followed after Joab to pursue Sheba, the son of Bichri.
14 Joab went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, to Bethmaachah, and all the Berites; they all assembled together, and joined the pursuit of Sheba.
15 They [the army of Joab] came and besieged Sheba in Abel of Bethmaachah, where they built up a siege ramp against the city; it stood in the trench of the wall, and all the of the army that was with Joab battered the wall to bring it down.
16 Then a wise woman from the city cried, "Hear, hear. I beg of you, tell Joab to come near to me so that I may speak with him."
17 And when Joab had come near to her, the woman said, "Are you Joab?" And he answered, "I am he." Then she said to him, "Hear the words of your handmaid." And he answered, "I hear you."
18 Then she spoke, saying, "In the old days, people were accustomed to say, 'If one asks counsel at Abel, so the matter is ended and settled.'
19 I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city, which is a mother in Israel. Why are you about to swallow up the inheritance of the LORD?"
20 And Joab answered and said, "Far be it; far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.
21 Such is not true here. 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 to Joab, "Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall."
22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba, the son of Bichri, and threw it over the wall to Joab. So Joab blew a trumpet, and the army retired from the city, every man going to his home. And Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.
23 Now Joab was over all the army of Israel; Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites;
24 Adoram supervised the captives bonded labor; Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, was recorder;
25 Sheva was secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were the priests;
26 And Ira the Jairite was the chief magistrate of David.
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