2 Samuel 20
New Life Version
David’s Men Follow Sheba
20 A man of no worth happened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. He sounded the horn and said, “We have no share in David! We have no share in the son of Jesse! Every man to his tents, O Israel!” 2 So all the men of Israel stopped following David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah were not moved from following their king, from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
3 Then David came to his house at Jerusalem. The king took his ten women whom he had left to take care of the house, and had a prison soldier watch them. David gave them food, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as women whose husbands had died.
4 Then the king said to Amasa, “Call the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and you be here yourself.” 5 So Amasa went to call out the men of Judah. But he took longer than the time which had been given him. 6 David said to Abishai, “Now Bichri’s son Sheba will bring us more trouble than Absalom. Take your lord’s servants and go after him. Or he might find strong cities for himself, and get away from us.” 7 So Joab’s men went out after him. With them went the Cherethites, the Pelethites and all the strong men. They left Jerusalem to go after Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 Amasa came to meet them at the large stone in Gibeon. Now Joab was dressed in soldier’s clothing. Over his clothing was a belt with a sword in its holder tied at his side. As he walked, the sword fell out. 9 Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And he took Amasa by the hair of his face with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not see the sword which was in Joab’s hand. So Joab hit him in the stomach with it, and poured his inside parts out on the ground. He did not hit him again, and Amasa died.
Then Joab and his brother Abishai went after Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Now one of Joab’s young men stood by him and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.” 12 But Amasa lay in his blood in the center of the road. When the man saw that all the people stood still, he took Amasa out of the road and into the field. And he threw a covering over him. 13 After he was taken out of the road, all the men went on and followed Joab to go after Sheba the son of Bichri.
14 Sheba passed through all the families of Israel to Abel Bethmaacah. Then all the Berites gathered together and followed him into the city. 15 And all the men who were with Joab came and gathered their armies around him in Abel Bethmaacah. They built up a hill of dirt against the wall of the city. And they were trying their best to make the wall fall down. 16 Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! I beg you, tell Joab to come here that I may speak with him.” 17 So he came to her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your woman servant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” 18 Then she said, “In the past they used to say, ‘Let them ask for words of wisdom at Abel.’ And so they would stop fighting. 19 I am one of peace and faith in Israel. You want to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the gift of the Lord?” 20 Joab answered, “Far be it from me! Far be it that I should swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not true. But a man from the hill country of Ephraim has turned against King David. His name is Sheba the son of Bichri. Give up only him, and I will leave the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “See, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman went to all the people with her plan. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the horn and they left the city, every man going to his home. Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.
23 Now Joab was the captain of the whole army of Israel. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was captain of the Cherethites and the Pelethites. 24 Adoram was captain of those who were made to work. Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud wrote down the things that happened. 25 Sheva was the teacher. Zadok and Abiathar were religious leaders. 26 And Ira the Jairite was a religious leader to David also.