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2 Samuel



The second book of Samuel otherwise called, the second book of the Kings, chapter 20, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 20

New English Translation


   Sheba's Rebellion
   1 Now a wicked man named Sheba son of Bicri, a Benjaminite, happened to be there. He blew the trumpet and said, "We have no share in David; we have no inheritance in this son of Jesse! Every man go home, O Israel!"
   2 So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stuck by their king all the way from the Jordan River to Jerusalem.
   3 Then David went to his palace in Jerusalem. The king took the ten concubines he had left to care for the palace and placed them under confinement. Though he provided for their needs, he did not have sexual relations with them. They remained in confinement until the day they died, living out the rest of their lives as widows.
   4 Then the king said to Amasa, "Call the men of Judah together for me in three days, and you be present here with them too." 5 So Amasa went out to call Judah together. But in doing so he took longer than the time that the king had allotted him.
   6 Then David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba son of Bicri will cause greater disaster for us than Absalom did! Take your LORD's servants and pursue him. Otherwise he will secure fortified cities for himself and get away from us." 7 So Joab's men, accompanied by the Kerethites, the Pelethites, and all the warriors, left Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bicri.
   8 When they were near the big rock that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to them. Now Joab was dressed in military attire and had a dagger in its sheath belted to his waist. When he advanced, it fell out.
   9 Joab said to Amasa, "How are you, my brother?" With his right hand Joab took hold of Amasa's beard as if to greet him with a kiss. 10 Amasa did not protect himself from the knife in Joab's other hand, and Joab stabbed him in the abdomen, causing Amasa's intestines to spill out on the ground. There was no need to stab him again; the first blow was fatal. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri.
   11 One of Joab's soldiers who stood over Amasa said, "Whoever is for Joab and whoever is for David, follow Joab!" 12 Amasa was squirming in his own blood in the middle of the path, and this man had noticed that all the soldiers stopped. Having noticed that everyone who came across Amasa stopped, the man pulled him away from the path and into the field and threw a garment over him. 13 Once he had removed Amasa from the path, everyone followed Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bicri.
   14 Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth Maacah and all the Berite region. When they had assembled, they too joined him. 15 So Joab's men came and laid siege against him in Abel of Beth Maacah. They prepared a siege ramp outside the city which stood against its outer rampart. As all of Joab's soldiers were trying to break through the wall so that it would collapse, 16 a wise woman called out from the city, "Listen up! Listen up! Tell Joab, 'Come near so that I may speak to you.'"
   17 When he approached her, the woman asked, "Are you Joab?" He replied, "I am." She said to him, "Listen to the words of your servant." He said, "Go ahead. I'm listening." 18 She said, "In the past they would always say, 'Let them inquire in Abel,' and that is how they settled things. 19 I represent the peaceful and the faithful in Israel. You are attempting to destroy an important city in Israel. Why should you swallow up the LORD's inheritance?"
   20 Joab answered, "Get serious! I don't want to swallow up or destroy anything! 21 That's not the way things are. There is a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Sheba son of Bicri. He has rebelled against King David. Give me just this one man, and I will leave the city." The woman said to Joab, "This very minute his head will be thrown over the wall to you!"
   22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice and they cut off Sheba's head and threw it out to Joab. Joab blew the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each going to his own home. Joab returned to the king in Jerusalem.
   23 Now Joab was the general in command of all the army of Israel. Benaiah the son of Jehoida was over the Kerethites and the Perethites. 24 Adoniram was supervisor of the work crews. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the secretary. 25 Sheva was the scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests. 26 Ira the Jairite was David's personal priest.

King James Version


   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.
   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.
   14 ¶ And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Beth-maachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him.
   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.
   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.
   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.
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