2 Samuel 20

There happened to be there a rebel, whose name was Sheba Ibn Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew the trumpet, and said, We have no share in Dawud, neither have we inheritance in Ibn Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. 2So all the men of Israel deserted Dawud, and followed Sheba Ibn Bichri; but the men of Judah joined with their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem. 3Dawud 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 seclusion, and provided them with sustenance, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood. 4Then the king said to Amasa, Assemble the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself. 5So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah; but he took longer than the set time which the king had appointed him. 6Dawud said to Abishai, Now Sheba Ibn Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your lord’s servants, and pursue him, lest he find for himself fortified cities, and escape us. 7There 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 Sheba Ibn Bichri. 8When they were at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was dressed in battle armour, and on it was a belt with a sword fastened in its sheath at his hips; and as he went forth it slipped out. 9Joab said to Amasa, Is it well with you, my brother? Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10But Amasa was not on his guard against the sword in Joab’s hand: so Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and he did not strike him again; and Amasa died. Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba Ibn Bichri. 11One of Joab’s young men stood by Amasa, and said, He who favours Joab, and he who is for Dawud, let him follow Joab. 12Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the road. When the man saw that all the people stood still, he carried Amasa out of the roadway into the field, and threw a garment over him, when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still. 13When he was removed out of the roadway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue Sheba Ibn Bichri. 14Sheba went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth Maacah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and followed after him. 15They came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maacah, and they built a siege ramp against the city, and it stood by the rampart; and all the people who were with Joab battered the wall to throw it down. 16Then a wise woman cried out from the city, Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, ‘Come near here, that I may speak with you.‘” 17He came near to her; and the woman said, Are you Joab? He answered, I am. Then she said to him, Hear the words of your servant. He answered, I’m listening. 18Then she spoke, saying, They used to say in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. 19I am of those who 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 Allah? 20Joab answered, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. 21The matter is not so: but a man of the hill-country of Ephraim, Sheba Ibn Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against Dawud; deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. The woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall. 22Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. They cut off the head of Sheba Ibn Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. He blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king. 23Now Joab was over all the army of Israel; and Benaiah Ibn Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites; 24and Adoram was over the men subject to forced labour; and Jehoshaphat Ibn Ahilud was the recorder; 25and Sheva was scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26and also Ira the Jairite was chief minister to Dawud.


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