2 Samuel 20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
20 There happened to be there [a]a worthless and wicked man named Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. He blew a trumpet [to call Israel to revolt] and said,
“We have no portion in David
2 So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah stayed faithfully with their king, from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
3 Then David came to his house (palace) at Jerusalem, and the king took the ten women, his [b]concubines whom he had left to take care of the house, and placed them under guard and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were confined, and lived as widows until the day of their death.
4 Now the king said to Amasa [the commander of his army], “Summon the [fighting] men of Judah to me within three days, and be present here yourself.” 5 So Amasa went to summon [the fighting men of] Judah, but he delayed longer than the time which David had set for him. 6 And David said to Abishai [his nephew], “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your lord’s servants and pursue him, so that he does not find fortified cities for himself and [c]escape from our sight.” 7 So Joab’s men went after him, along with [David’s bodyguards] the Cherethites and Pelethites and all the warriors; they went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was wearing his military uniform, and over it he had a belt with a sheathed sword strapped around his hips; and as he went forward, [d]it fell out. 9 Joab said to Amasa, “Is it going well with you, my [e]brother?” And with his right hand Joab took hold of Amasa by the beard [as if] to kiss him [in greeting].
10 But Amasa [who had replaced Joab as David’s commander] was off guard and not attentive to the sword in Joab’s hand. So Joab struck Amasa in the abdomen with the sword, spilling his intestines to the ground. Without another blow Amasa died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Now one of Joab’s young men stood by him and said, “Whoever favors Joab and is for David, let him follow Joab!” 12 But Amasa was wallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people who came by stopped [to look], he moved Amasa from the highway into the field and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by Amasa stopped.
Revolt Put Down
13 When [the body of] Amasa was removed from the highway, everyone followed after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.
14 Now Joab went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, even Beth-maacah, and all the Berites; and they assembled and also went after Sheba. 15 And [f]the army of Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth-maacah, and they built up an [g]assault ramp against the city, and it stood against the outer rampart; and all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction to make the wall fall. 16 Then a wise woman cried out from the city, “Hear, hear! Tell Joab, ‘Come here so that I may speak to you.’” 17 So when he approached her, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your maidservant.” He answered, “I am listening.” 18 Then she said, “In the past people used to say, ‘They will certainly ask advice at Abel,’ and so they settled the dispute. 19 I am one of the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city, and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up (devour) the inheritance of the Lord?” 20 Joab answered, “Far be it, far be it from me that I would swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand [in rebellion] against King David. Only hand him over, and I will leave the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people [to inform them of the agreement]. And they beheaded Sheba the son of Bichri and threw his head [down] to Joab. So he blew the trumpet [signaling the end of the attack], and they dispersed from the city, every man to his own tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to [David] the king.
23 Now Joab was [commander] over the entire army of Israel; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was [commander] over the Cherethites and Pelethites [the king’s bodyguards]; 24 Adoram was over the forced labor; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 Sheva was the scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 also Ira the Jairite was a priest to David.
2 Samuel 20 New International Version (NIV)
Sheba Rebels Against David
20 Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bikri, a Benjamite, happened to be there. He sounded the trumpet and shouted,
“We have no share in David,
2 So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba son of Bikri. But the men of Judah stayed by their king all the way from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
3 When David returned to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to take care of the palace and put them in a house under guard. He provided for them but had no sexual relations with them. They were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows.
4 Then the king said to Amasa, “Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself.” 5 But when Amasa went to summon Judah, he took longer than the time the king had set for him.
6 David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba son of Bikri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master’s men and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and escape from us.”[a] 7 So Joab’s men and the Kerethites and Pelethites and all the mighty warriors went out under the command of Abishai. They marched out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bikri.
8 While they were at the great rock in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As he stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath.
9 Joab said to Amasa, “How are you, my brother?” Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab’s hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bikri.
11 One of Joab’s men stood beside Amasa and said, “Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab!” 12 Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the road, and the man saw that all the troops came to a halt there. When he realized that everyone who came up to Amasa stopped, he dragged him from the road into a field and threw a garment over him. 13 After Amasa had been removed from the road, everyone went on with Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bikri.
14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maakah and through the entire region of the Bikrites,[b] 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.” 17 He went toward her, and she asked, “Are you Joab?”
“I am,” he answered.
She said, “Listen to what your servant has to say.”
“I’m listening,” he said.
18 She continued, “Long ago they used to say, ‘Get your answer at Abel,’ and that settled it. 19 We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the Lord’s inheritance?”
20 “Far be it from me!” Joab replied, “Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not the case. A man named Sheba son of Bikri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I’ll withdraw from the city.”
The woman said to Joab, “His head will be thrown to you from the wall.”
22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bikri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.
23 Joab was over Israel’s entire army; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; 24 Adoniram[c] was in charge of forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 Sheva was secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite[d] was David’s priest.