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2 Samuel 20

1 And there met them there a man of worthlessness, whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a shofar, and said: We have no part in David, nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel!

2 So every man of Israel withdrew from David, and followed after Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, stayed close to their king.

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 confinement and sustained them, but did not go in to them. Thus they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood.

4 And the king said to Amasa, Assemble the men of Judah for me within three days, and present yourself.

5 So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah. But he delayed beyond the appointed time which David had designated.

6 And David said to Abishai, Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he find for himself fortified cities, and be snatched away before our eyes.

7 So Joab’s men, with the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the mighty men, went out after him. And they went out of Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.

8 When they were at the large stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came before them. Now Joab was dressed in battle armor; on it was a belt with a sword fastened in its sheath at his hips; and as he went forth, it fell out.

9 Then Joab said to Amasa, Are you in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.

10 But Amasa was not aware of the sword that was in Joab’s hand. And he struck him with it in the stomach, and his entrails poured out on the ground; and he did not strike him again. Thus he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri.

11 And one of Joab’s men stood near Amasa, and said, Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David; follow after Joab!

12 But Amasa was wallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he moved Amasa from the highway to the field and threw a garment over him, when he saw that everyone who came upon him stopped.

13 When he was removed from the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.

14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel and Beth Maachah and all the Berites. So they were gathered together and also went after him.

15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maachah; and they cast up a siege mound against the city, and it stood by the rampart. And all the people who were with Joab were destroying the wall to throw it down.

16 Then a wise woman cried out from the city, Hear, Hear! Please say to Joab, Come nearby, that I may speak with you.

17 When he had come near to her, the woman said, Are you Joab? He answered, I am. Then she said to him, Hear the words of your handmaid. And he answered, I am listening.

18 So she spoke, saying, They used to talk in former times, saying, They shall inquire to ask at Abel, and thus they would end the matter.

19 I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of Jehovah?

20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy!

21 That is not so. But a man from the mountains of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. So the woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.

22 And the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a shofar, and they withdrew from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.

23 And Joab was over all the army of Israel; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites;

24 Adoram was over the tribute; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;

25 Sheva was scribe; Zadok and Abiathar were the priests;

26 and Ira the Jairite was a chief minister to David.

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