NASB — 2 Samuel 20 — KJV

Sheba’s Revolt

1 Now aa worthless fellow happened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of bBichri, a Benjamite; and he blew the trumpet and said,
  “cWe have no portion in David,
  Nor do we have inheritance in dthe son of Jesse;
  eEvery man to his tents, O Israel!”
2 So all the men of Israel Iwithdrew from following David [and] followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah IIremained steadfast to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.

[1] a2S 16:7 bGn 46:21 c2S 19:43; 1K 12:16 d1S 22:7-9 e1S 13:2; 2S 18:17; 2Ch 10:16
[2] ILit went up IILit clung to

3 ¶ Then David came to his house at Jerusalem, and athe king took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left to keep the house, and placed them under guard and provided them with sustenance, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as widows.

[3] a2S 15:16; 16:21, 22

4 ¶ Then the king said to aAmasa, “Call out the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself.” 5 So Amasa went to call out [the men of] Judah, but he adelayed longer than the set time which he had appointed him. 6 And David said to aAbishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom; btake your lord’s servants and pursue him, so that he does not find for himself fortified cities and escape from our sight.” 7 So Joab’s men went out after him, aalong with the Cherethites and the Pelethites and all the mighty men; and they went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the large stone which is in aGibeon, Amasa came Ito meet them. Now Joab was IIdressed in his military attire, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened at his waist; and as he went forward, it fell out. 9 Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And aJoab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.

[4] a2S 17:25; 19:13
[5] a1S 13:8
[6] a2S 21:17 b2S 11:11; 1K 1:33
[7] a2S 8:18; 1K 1:38
[8] ILit before IILit girded with military garment as clothing a2S 2:13; 3:30
[9] aMt 26:49

Amasa Murdered

10 But Amasa was not on guard against the sword which was in Joab’s hand so ahe struck him in the belly with it and poured out his inward parts on the ground, and did not [strike] him again, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Now there stood by him one of Joab’s young men, and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, a[let him] follow Joab.” 12 But Amasa lay wallowing in [his] blood in the middle of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he Iremoved Amasa from the highway into the field and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still.

[10] a2S 2:23; 3:27; 1K 2:5
[11] a2S 20:13
[12] ILit caused to turn

Revolt Put Down

13 As soon as he was removed from the highway, all the men passed on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.

14 ¶ Now he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, even Beth-maacah, and all the Berites; and they were gathered together and also went after him. 15 They came and besieged him in aAbel Beth-maacah, and bthey Icast up a siege ramp against the city, and it stood by the rampart; and all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction in order to topple the wall. 16 Then aa wise woman called from the city, “Hear, hear! Please tell Joab, ‘Come here that I may speak with you.’” 17 So he approached her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” And he answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your maidservant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” 18 Then she spoke, saying, “Formerly they used to say, ‘They will surely ask [advice] at Abel,’ and thus they ended [the dispute]. 19 I am of those who are peaceable [and] faithful in Israel. aYou are seeking to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up bthe inheritance of the LORD?” 20 Joab replied, “Far be it, far be it from me that I should swallow up or destroy! 21 Such is not the case. But a man from athe hill country of Ephraim, bSheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against King David. Only hand him over, and I will depart from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman awisely came to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So bhe blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, each to his tent. Joab also returned to the king at Jerusalem.

[15] ILit poured out a1K 15:20; 2K 15:29 b2K 19:32; Ezk 4:2
[16] a2S 14:2
[19] aDt 20:10 b1S 26:19; 2S 14:16; 21:3
[21] aJsh 24:33 b2S 20:2
[22] a2S 20:16; Ec 9:13-16 b2S 20:1

23aNow Joab was over the whole army of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was over the forced labor, and aJehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25 and Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and aAbiathar were priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite was also a priest to David.

[23] a2S 8:16-18; 1K 4:3-6
[24] a1K 4:3
[25] a1K 4:4


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By occasion of the quarrel, Sheba maketh a party in Israel.

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.

[1] Dt 13:13; Jg 3:27; 19:22; 1S 2:12; 30:22; 2S 15:10; 19:41, 43; 23:6; 1K 12:16; 2Ch 10:6; Ps 17:13; 34:19; Pv 24:21; 25:8; 26:21; Hab 1:12; Lk 19:14, 27.
[2] 2S 19:15, 40, 41; 2Ch 10:17; Ps 62:9; 118:8; Pv 17:14; Jn 6:66; Ac 11:23.

David's ten concubines are shut up in perpetual prison.

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.

[3] Gn 40:3; 2S 15:16; 16:21.

Amasa, made captain over Judah, is slain by Joab.

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. 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.¬ 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.

[4] 2S 17:25; 19:13; 1Ch 2:17.
[5] 1S 13:8; 2S 19:13.
[6] 1S 26:6; 2S 2:18; 3:30, 39; 10:9, 14; 11:11; 18:2, 12; 19:7; 21:17; 23:18; 1K 1:33; 1Ch 11:20; 18:12.
[7] 2S 8:16, 18; 15:18; 20:23; 23:22; 1K 1:38, 44.
[8] 2S 2:13; 3:30; 20:4.
[9] Ps 55:21; Pv 26:24; Mi 7:2; Mt 26:48; Lk 22:47.
[10] Gn 4:8; Jg 3:21; 1S 26:8; 2S 2:23; 3:27; 20:9; 1K 2:5, 31; 1Ch 12:2; Ac 1:18.
[11] 2S 20:4, 6, 13, 21; 2K 9:32.
[12] 2S 17:25; Ps 9:16; 55:23; Pv 24:21.
[13] Nu 20:19; Jg 21:19; 1S 6:12; 2S 20:12; 2K 18:17; Pv 16:17; Is 7:3; 36:2; 62:10; Jr 31:21; Mk 10:46.

Joab pursueth Sheba unto Abel.

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.¬

[14] Jsh 18:25; 1K 15:20; 2K 15:29; 2Ch 16:4.
[15] 2K 19:32; Jr 32:24; 33:4; Lk 19:43.

A wise woman saveth the city by Sheba's head.

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? 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.

[16] 1S 25:3, 32; 2S 14:2; Ec 9:14.
[17] 1S 25:24; 2S 14:12.
[18] Dt 20:10.
[19] Gn 18:23; Ex 19:5; Nu 16:32; 26:10; Dt 32:9; Jg 5:7; 1S 26:19; 2S 17:16; 21:3; Ps 124:3; Jr 51:34, 44; Lm 2:2, 5, 16; Ezk 16:45; Ro 13:3; 1Co 15:54; 2Co 5:4; 1Ti 2:2.
[20] 2S 20:10; 23:17; Jb 21:16; 22:18; Pv 28:13; Jr 17:9; Lk 10:29.
[21] Jg 2:9; 7:24; 18:4; 1S 24:6; 26:9; 2S 17:2; 20:1; 23:18; 2K 5:22; 10:7; Jr 4:15; 50:19.
[22] 2S 2:28; 3:28; 11:6; 18:16; 20:1; Ec 7:19; 8:11; 9:14.

David's officers.

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] 2S 8:16; 20:7; 1Ch 18:15.
[24] 1K 4:3, 6; 12:18.
[25] 2S 8:17; 1K 4:4; 1Ch 18:16.
[26] Gn 41:43, 45; Ex 2:14, 16; Jg 10:4; 2S 8:18; 23:38; 24:11; 1Ch 11:40; 2Ch 35:15.


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