The Rebellion of Sheba

20 And there happened to be there a [a]rebel, whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet, and said:

(A)“We have no share in David,
Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse;
(B)Every man to his tents, O Israel!”

So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the (C)men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.

Now David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten women, (D)his concubines whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in seclusion and supported them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood.

And the king said to Amasa, (E)“Assemble the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself.” So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah. But he delayed longer than the set time which David had appointed him. And David said to (F)Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take (G)your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he find for himself fortified cities, and escape us.” So Joab’s men, with the (H)Cherethites, the Pelethites, and (I)all the mighty men, went out after him. And they went out of Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. 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 was going forward, it fell out. Then Joab said to Amasa, “Are you in health, my brother?” (J)And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not notice the sword that was in Joab’s hand. And (K)he struck him with it (L)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 Meanwhile one of Joab’s men stood near Amasa, and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David—follow Joab!” 12 But Amasa wallowed 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 halted. 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 (M)Abel and Beth Maachah and all the Berites. So they were gathered together and also went after [b]Sheba. 15 Then they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maachah; and they (N)cast up a siege mound against the city, and it stood by the rampart. And all the people who were with Joab battered 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 maidservant.”

And he answered, “I am listening.”

18 So she spoke, saying, “They used to talk in former times, saying, ‘They shall surely seek guidance at Abel,’ and so they would end disputes. 19 I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up (O)the inheritance of the Lord?”

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 raised his hand against the king, against David. Deliver him only, and I will depart from the city.”

So the woman said to Joab, “Watch, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman (P)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 trumpet, and they withdrew from the city, every man to his tent. So Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.

David’s Government Officers

23 And (Q)Joab was over all the army of Israel; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 Adoram was (R)in charge of revenue; (S)Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 Sheva was scribe; (T)Zadok and Abiathar were the priests; 26 (U)and Ira the Jairite was [c]a chief minister under David.

David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David (V)inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, “It is because of Saul and his [d]bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but (W)of the remnant of the Amorites; the children of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them (X)in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.

Therefore David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless (Y)the inheritance of the Lord?”

And the Gibeonites said to him, “We will have no silver or gold from Saul or from his house, nor shall you kill any man in Israel for us.”

So he said, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”

Then they answered the king, “As for the man who consumed us and plotted against us, that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the territories of Israel, let seven men of his descendants be delivered (Z)to us, and we will hang them before the Lord (AA)in Gibeah of Saul, (AB)whom the Lord chose.”

And the king said, “I will give them.

But the king spared (AC)Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of (AD)the Lord’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of (AE)Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, and the five sons of [e]Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she [f]brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill (AF)before the Lord. So they fell, all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

10 Now (AG)Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, (AH)from the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven. And she did not allow the birds of the air to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night.

11 And David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12 Then David went and took the bones of Saul, and the bones of Jonathan his son, from the men of (AI)Jabesh Gilead who had stolen them from the street of [g]Beth Shan, where the (AJ)Philistines had hung them up, after the Philistines had struck down Saul in Gilboa. 13 So he brought up the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from there; and they gathered the bones of those who had been hanged. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in (AK)Zelah, in the tomb of Kish his father. So they performed all that the king commanded. And after that (AL)God heeded the prayer for the land.

Philistine Giants Destroyed(AM)

15 When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. 16 Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of [h]the (AN)giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. 17 But (AO)Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, (AP)“You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the (AQ)lamp of Israel.”

18 (AR)Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then (AS)Sibbechai the Hushathite killed [i]Saph, who was one of the sons of [j]the giant. 19 Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where (AT)Elhanan the son of [k]Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed (AU)the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.

20 Yet again (AV)there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to [l]the giant. 21 So when he (AW)defied Israel, Jonathan the son of [m]Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

22 (AX)These four were born to [n]the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

Praise for God’s Deliverance(AY)

22 Then David (AZ)spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had (BA)delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he (BB)said:

(BC)“The Lord is my rock and my (BD)fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, (BE)in whom I will trust;
My (BF)shield and the (BG)horn[o] of my salvation,
My (BH)stronghold and my (BI)refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

“When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness [p]made me afraid.
The (BJ)sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress (BK)I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He (BL)heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.

“Then (BM)the earth shook and trembled;
(BN)The foundations of [q]heaven quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring (BO)fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
10 He (BP)bowed the heavens also, and came down
With (BQ)darkness under His feet.
11 He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
And He [r]was seen (BR)upon the wings of the wind.
12 He made (BS)darkness canopies around Him,
Dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
13 From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.

14 “The Lord (BT)thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.
15 He sent out (BU)arrows and scattered them;
Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them.
16 Then the channels of the sea (BV)were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered,
At the (BW)rebuke of the Lord,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.

17 “He(BX) sent from above, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me;
For they were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my (BY)support.
20 (BZ)He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He (CA)delighted in me.

21 “The(CB) Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the (CC)cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
22 For I have (CD)kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all His (CE)judgments were before me;
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.
24 I was also (CF)blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
25 Therefore (CG)the Lord has [s]recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to [t]my cleanness in His eyes.

26 “With (CH)the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
27 With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And (CI)with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
28 You will save the (CJ)humble[u] people;
But Your eyes are on (CK)the haughty, that You may bring them down.

29 “For You are my (CL)lamp, O Lord;
The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.
30 For by You I can run against a troop;
By my God I can leap over a (CM)wall.
31 As for God, (CN)His way is perfect;
(CO)The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

32 “For (CP)who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
33 [v]God is my (CQ)strength and power,
And He (CR)makes [w]my way (CS)perfect.
34 He makes [x]my feet (CT)like the feet of deer,
And (CU)sets me on my high places.
35 He teaches my hands [y]to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great.
37 You (CV)enlarged my path under me;
So my feet did not slip.

38 “I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
39 And I have destroyed them and wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen (CW)under my feet.
40 For You have (CX)armed me with strength for the battle;
You have [z]subdued under me (CY)those who rose against me.
41 You have also [aa]given me the (CZ)necks of my enemies,
So that I destroyed those who hated me.
42 They looked, but there was none to save;
Even (DA)to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
43 Then I beat them as fine (DB)as the dust of the earth;
I trod them (DC)like dirt in the streets,
And I [ab]spread them out.

44 “You(DD) have also delivered me from the [ac]strivings of my people;
You have kept me as the (DE)head of the nations.
(DF)A people I have not known shall serve me.
45 The foreigners submit to me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.
46 The foreigners fade away,
And [ad]come frightened (DG)from their hideouts.

47 “The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let God be exalted,
The (DH)Rock of my salvation!
48 It is God who avenges me,
And (DI)subdues the peoples under me;
49 He delivers me from my enemies.
You also lift me up above those who rise against me;
You have delivered me from the (DJ)violent man.
50 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among (DK)the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your (DL)name.

51 He(DM) is the tower of salvation to His king,
And shows mercy to His (DN)anointed,
To David and (DO)his descendants forevermore.”


  1. 2 Samuel 20:1 Lit. man of Belial
  2. 2 Samuel 20:14 Lit. him
  3. 2 Samuel 20:26 Or David’s priest
  4. 2 Samuel 21:1 Lit. house of bloodshed
  5. 2 Samuel 21:8 Merab, 1 Sam. 18:19; 25:44; 2 Sam. 3:14; 6:23
  6. 2 Samuel 21:8 Lit. bore to Adriel
  7. 2 Samuel 21:12 Beth Shean, Josh. 17:11
  8. 2 Samuel 21:16 Or Rapha
  9. 2 Samuel 21:18 Sippai, 1 Chr. 20:4
  10. 2 Samuel 21:18 Or Rapha
  11. 2 Samuel 21:19 Jair, 1 Chr. 20:5
  12. 2 Samuel 21:20 Or Rapha
  13. 2 Samuel 21:21 Shammah, 1 Sam. 16:9 and elsewhere
  14. 2 Samuel 21:22 Or Rapha
  15. 2 Samuel 22:3 Strength
  16. 2 Samuel 22:5 Or overwhelmed
  17. 2 Samuel 22:8 So with MT, LXX, Tg.; Syr., Vg. hills (cf. Ps. 18:7)
  18. 2 Samuel 22:11 So with MT, LXX; many Heb. mss., Syr., Vg. flew (cf. Ps. 18:10); Tg. spoke with power
  19. 2 Samuel 22:25 rewarded
  20. 2 Samuel 22:25 LXX, Syr., Vg. the cleanness of my hands in His sight (cf. Ps. 18:24); Tg. my cleanness before His word
  21. 2 Samuel 22:28 afflicted
  22. 2 Samuel 22:33 DSS, LXX, Syr., Vg. It is God who arms me with strength (cf. Ps. 18:32); Tg. It is God who sustains me with strength
  23. 2 Samuel 22:33 So with Qr., LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. (cf. Ps. 18:32); Kt. His
  24. 2 Samuel 22:34 So with Qr., LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. (cf. Ps. 18:33); Kt. His
  25. 2 Samuel 22:35 Lit. for the war
  26. 2 Samuel 22:40 Lit. caused to bow down
  27. 2 Samuel 22:41 given me victory over
  28. 2 Samuel 22:43 scattered
  29. 2 Samuel 22:44 contentions
  30. 2 Samuel 22:46 So with LXX, Tg., Vg. (cf. Ps. 18:45); MT gird themselves

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