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2 Samuel 20:14-16 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Sheba Hides Out in the Town of Abel

14 Sheba had gone through all of the tribes of Israel when he came to the town of Abel Beth-Maacah. All of his best soldiers[a] met him there and followed him into the town.

15 Joab and his troops came and surrounded Abel, so that no one could go in or come out. They made a dirt ramp up to the town wall and then started to use a battering ram to knock the wall down.

A Wise Woman Saves the Town

16 A wise woman shouted from the top of the wall,[b] “Listen to me! Listen to me! I have to talk to Joab! Tell him to come here!”


  1. 20.14 best soldiers: One ancient translation; the difficult Hebrew text may mean either “Berites” or “Bichrites,” Sheba’s relatives.
  2. 20.16 the top of the wall: Or “the town.”

2 Samuel 20:14-16 New International Version (NIV)

14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maakah and through the entire region of the Bikrites,[a] who gathered together and followed him. 15 All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maakah. They built a siege ramp up to the city, and it stood against the outer fortifications. While they were battering the wall to bring it down, 16 a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him.”


  1. 2 Samuel 20:14 See Septuagint and Vulgate; Hebrew Berites.
New International Version (NIV)

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