2 Samuel 20-22
New International Version
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,
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(D) 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,(E) “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,(F) “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(G) 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,(H) Amasa came to meet them. Joab(I) 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(J) in Joab’s(K) 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(L) 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](M) who gathered together and followed him. 15 All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maakah.(N) They built a siege ramp(O) 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(P) 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(Q) 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?”(R)
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(S) will be thrown to you from the wall.”
22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice,(T) 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(U) was over Israel’s entire army; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; 24 Adoniram[c](V) was in charge of forced labor; Jehoshaphat(W) son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 Sheva was secretary; Zadok(X) and Abiathar were priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite[d] was David’s priest.
The Gibeonites Avenged
21 During the reign of David, there was a famine(Y) for three successive years; so David sought(Z) the face of the Lord. The Lord said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
2 The king summoned the Gibeonites(AA) and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) 3 David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?”(AB)
4 The Gibeonites answered him, “We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death.”(AC)
“What do you want me to do for you?” David asked.
5 They answered the king, “As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel, 6 let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed(AD) before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul—the Lord’s chosen(AE) one.”
So the king said, “I will give them to you.”
7 The king spared Mephibosheth(AF) son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath(AG) before the Lord between David and Jonathan son of Saul. 8 But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah’s daughter Rizpah,(AH) whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,[e] whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite.(AI) 9 He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed them and exposed their bodies on a hill before the Lord. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death(AJ) during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning.(AK)
10 Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds touch them by day or the wild animals by night.(AL) 11 When David was told what Aiah’s daughter Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went and took the bones of Saul(AM) and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead.(AN) (They had stolen their bodies from the public square at Beth Shan,(AO) where the Philistines had hung(AP) them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.)(AQ) 13 David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from there, and the bones of those who had been killed and exposed were gathered up.
14 They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish, at Zela(AR) in Benjamin, and did everything the king commanded. After that,(AS) God answered prayer(AT) in behalf of the land.(AU)
Wars Against the Philistines(AV)
15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines(AW) and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. 16 And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels[f] and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. 17 But Abishai(AX) son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp(AY) of Israel will not be extinguished.(AZ)”
18 In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbekai(BA) the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha.
20 In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. 21 When he taunted(BD) Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah,(BE) David’s brother, killed him.
22 These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.
David’s Song of Praise(BF)
22 David sang(BG) to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said:
“The Lord is my rock,(BH) my fortress(BI) and my deliverer;(BJ)
3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,(BK)
my shield[i](BL) and the horn[j](BM) of my salvation.
He is my stronghold,(BN) my refuge and my savior—
from violent people you save me.
4 “I called to the Lord, who is worthy(BO) of praise,
and have been saved from my enemies.
5 The waves(BP) of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
6 The cords of the grave(BQ) coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
7 “In my distress(BR) I called(BS) to the Lord;
I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears.
8 The earth(BT) trembled and quaked,(BU)
the foundations(BV) of the heavens[k] shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
9 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire(BW) came from his mouth,
burning coals(BX) blazed out of it.
10 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds(BY) were under his feet.
11 He mounted the cherubim(BZ) and flew;
he soared[l] on the wings of the wind.(CA)
12 He made darkness(CB) his canopy around him—
the dark[m] rain clouds of the sky.
13 Out of the brightness of his presence
bolts of lightning(CC) blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered(CD) from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot his arrows(CE) and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at the rebuke(CF) of the Lord,
at the blast(CG) of breath from his nostrils.
17 “He reached down from on high(CH) and took hold of me;
he drew(CI) me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued(CJ) me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.(CK)
20 He brought me out into a spacious(CL) place;
he rescued(CM) me because he delighted(CN) in me.(CO)
21 “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;(CP)
according to the cleanness(CQ) of my hands(CR) he has rewarded me.
22 For I have kept(CS) the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
23 All his laws are before me;(CT)
I have not turned(CU) away from his decrees.
24 I have been blameless(CV) before him
and have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,(CW)
according to my cleanness[n] in his sight.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
27 to the pure(CX) you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.(CY)
28 You save the humble,(CZ)
but your eyes are on the haughty(DA) to bring them low.(DB)
29 You, Lord, are my lamp;(DC)
the Lord turns my darkness into light.
30 With your help I can advance against a troop[o];
with my God I can scale a wall.
31 “As for God, his way is perfect:(DD)
The Lord’s word is flawless;(DE)
he shields(DF) all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock(DG) except our God?(DH)
33 It is God who arms me with strength[p]
and keeps my way secure.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;(DI)
he causes me to stand on the heights.(DJ)
35 He trains my hands(DK) for battle;
my arms can bend a bow(DL) of bronze.
36 You make your saving help my shield;(DM)
your help has made[q] me great.
37 You provide a broad path(DN) for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
38 “I pursued my enemies and crushed them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
39 I crushed(DO) them completely, and they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
40 You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.(DP)
41 You made my enemies turn their backs(DQ) in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
42 They cried for help,(DR) but there was no one to save them—(DS)
to the Lord, but he did not answer.(DT)
43 I beat them as fine as the dust(DU) of the earth;
I pounded and trampled(DV) them like mud(DW) in the streets.
44 “You have delivered(DX) me from the attacks of the peoples;
you have preserved(DY) me as the head of nations.
People(DZ) I did not know now serve me,
45 foreigners cower(EA) before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.(EB)
46 They all lose heart;
they come trembling[r](EC) from their strongholds.
47 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted(ED) be my God, the Rock, my Savior!(EE)
48 He is the God who avenges(EF) me,(EG)
who puts the nations under me,
49 who sets me free from my enemies.(EH)
You exalted me(EI) above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
50 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing the praises(EJ) of your name.(EK)
- 2 Samuel 20:6 Or and do us serious injury
- 2 Samuel 20:14 See Septuagint and Vulgate; Hebrew Berites.
- 2 Samuel 20:24 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Kings 4:6 and 5:14); Hebrew Adoram
- 2 Samuel 20:26 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 23:38) Ithrite
- 2 Samuel 21:8 Two Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 1 Samuel 18:19); most Hebrew and Septuagint manuscripts Michal
- 2 Samuel 21:16 That is, about 7 1/2 pounds or about 3.5 kilograms
- 2 Samuel 21:19 See 1 Chron. 20:5; Hebrew Jaare-Oregim.
- 2 Samuel 21:19 See 1 Chron. 20:5; Hebrew does not have the brother of.
- 2 Samuel 22:3 Or sovereign
- 2 Samuel 22:3 Horn here symbolizes strength.
- 2 Samuel 22:8 Hebrew; Vulgate and Syriac (see also Psalm 18:7) mountains
- 2 Samuel 22:11 Many Hebrew manuscripts (see also Psalm 18:10); most Hebrew manuscripts appeared
- 2 Samuel 22:12 Septuagint (see also Psalm 18:11); Hebrew massed
- 2 Samuel 22:25 Hebrew; Septuagint and Vulgate (see also Psalm 18:24) to the cleanness of my hands
- 2 Samuel 22:30 Or can run through a barricade
- 2 Samuel 22:33 Dead Sea Scrolls, some Septuagint manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Psalm 18:32); Masoretic Text who is my strong refuge
- 2 Samuel 22:36 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text shield; / you stoop down to make
- 2 Samuel 22:46 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate (see also Psalm 18:45); Masoretic Text they arm themselves