20:1 And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name
[was] Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite: 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
20:2 So every man of Israel, withdrawing from David, followed
Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah adhered to their
king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
20:3 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 custody, and fed them, but went not in
to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living
20:4 Then said the king to Amasa, Assemble to me the men of
Judah within three days, and be thou here present.
20:5 So Amasa went to assemble [the men of] Judah: but he
tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him.
20:6 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 him, lest he get for himself fortified
cities, and escape us.
20:7 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
20:8 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 to him, and upon it a girdle [with] a sword fastened
upon his loins in its sheath; and as he went forth it fell out.
20:9 And Joab said to Amasa, [Art] thou in health, my brother?
And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss
20:10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that [was] in Joab's
hand: so he smote him 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
20:11 And one of Joab's men stood by him, and said, He that
favoreth Joab, and he that [is] for David, [let him go] after
20:12 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
20:13 When he was removed out of the highway, all the people
went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
20:14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and
to Beth-maachah, and all the Berites: and they were assembled,
and went also after him.
20:15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maachah,
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.
20:16 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say,
I pray you, to Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with
20:17 And when he was come near to her, the woman said, [Art]
thou Joab? And he answered, I [am he]. Then she said to him,
Hear the words of thy handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.
20:18 Then she spoke, saying, They were wont to speak in old
time, saying, They will surely ask [counsel] at Abel: and so
they ended [the matter].
20:19 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?
20:20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me,
that I should swallow up or destroy.
20:21 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 to Joab, Behold, his head
shall be thrown to thee over the wall.
20:22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And
they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and 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 to
20:23 Now Joab [was] over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah
the son of Jehoiada [was] over the Cherethites and over the
20:24 And Adoram [was] over the tribute: and Jehoshaphat the son
of Ahilud [was] recorder:
20:25 And Sheva [was] scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar [were] the
20:26 And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David.