2 Samuel Chapter 20 (Original 1611 KJV Bible)
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1 By occasion of the quarrell, Sheba maketh a party in Israel. 3 Dauids ten concubines are shut vp in perpetual prison. 4 Amasa made captaine ouer Iudah, is slaine by Ioab. 14 Ioab pursueth Sheba vnto Abel. 16 A wise woman saueth the citie by Shebaes head. 23 Dauids Officers.
1 And there happened to bee there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba the sonne of Bichri, a Beniamite, & hee blew a trumpet, and said, Wee haue no part in Dauid, neither haue we inheritance in the sonne of Iesse: euery man to his tents, O Israel.
3 ¶ And Dauid came to his house at Ierusalem, and the king tooke the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and fed them, but went not in vnto them: so they were shut vp vnto the day of their death, liuing in widowhood.3
8 When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them: and Ioabs garment that he had put on, was girded vnto him, and vpon it a girdle with a sword fastned vpon his loynes in the sheath thereof, and as hee went forth, it fell out.
10 But Amasa tooke no heed to the sword that was in Ioabs hand: so hee smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and strake him not againe, and he died: so Ioab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the sonne of Bichri.10
12 And Amasa wallowed in blood in the mids of the high way: and when the man saw that all the people stood still, he remoued Amasa out of the high way into the field, and cast a cloth vpon him, when hee saw that euery one that came by him, stood still.
15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and they cast vp a banke against the citie, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Ioab, battered the wall, to throw it downe.15
21 The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim (Sheba the sonne of Bichri by name) hath lift vp his hand against the king, euen against Dauid: deliuer him onely, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said vnto Ioab, Behold, his head shall be throwen to thee ouer the wall.21
22 Then the woman went vnto all the people in her wisedome, and they cut off the head of Sheba the sonne of Bichri, and cast it out to Ioab: and hee blew a trumpet, and they retired from the citie, euery man to his tent: & Ioab returned to Ierusalem vnto the king.22
View Wesley's Notes for 2 Samuel Chapter 20
20:1 Happened - His presence was casual in itself, though ordered by God's providence. No part - The tribe of Judah have monopolized the king to themselves, and will not allow us any share in him; let them therefore enjoy him alone, and let us seek out a new king. The son of Jesse - An expression of contempt, implying that he was no more to be owned as their king, but as a private person, as the son of Jesse. To his tents - Let us all desist from this unthankful office, of bringing the king back, and go each to our homes, that we may consider, and then meet together to chuse a new king.
20:2 Every man - That is, the generality of those Israelites who were present.
20:5 Tarried - Either, because the people being wearied out by the late war, were not forward to engage in another: or because the soldiers had more affection to Joab, than to their new general.
20:6 Abishai - Not to Joab; lest by this means he should recover his place, and Amasa be discontented, and David's fidelity in making good his promise to Amasa be questioned.
20:7 Joab's men - The remainders of Joab's army who were there present, with whom also Joab might go as a reformade, watching an opportunity to do what he designed.
20:8 Amasa went - Having gathered some forces, and given due orders for the rest to follow him, he returned to Jerusalem, and by the king's command went after those mentioned ver.#7|, and being come up to them at the place where they waited for him, he put himself in the head of Joab's men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and such as he had brought along with him, and marched before them as their general. Girded - After the manner of travellers and soldiers. Went forth - To meet and salute Amasa, who was coming towards him to do him honour. It fell - Things having (it is likely) been so contrived by Joab, that upon the least motion of his body, his sword should drop out, and he might take it up without raising Amasa's suspicion.
20:9 Beard - As the manner of ancient times was, when they saluted one another.
20:10 The sword - Which falling out, as it seemed, casually, he supposed that Joab intended only to put it into its scabbard, and therefore took no care to defend himself against the stroke. So Joab - Who now boldly resumed his former place, and marched in the head of the army. It is not strange, that Amasa's soldiers did not fight to revenge his death; partly, because not many of them were yet come up, as the following verses shew; and partly, because Joab's interest and authority with the military - men was very great; especially, with David's guards, who were here present, and who had no kindness for Amasa, as having been the general of the rebellious army; and, as they might think, not fit to be put into a place of so great trust.
20:11 One - Left there on purpose to deliver the following message. Favoureth Joab - He that would have Joab to be general, rather than such a perfidious rebel as Amasa. For David - He that wisheth David good success against Sheba, and against all rebels.
20:12 Stood still - Wondering at the spectacle, and enquiring into the author and occasion of it. Removed - Perceiving, that it both incensed them against Joab and hindered the king's service. Cast a cloth upon him - But the covering of blood with a cloth cannot stop its cry to God for vengeance.
20:14 He - Sheba, who marched from tribe to tribe to stir them up to sedition. Abel - Unto Abel - beth - maachah, as this place is called here in the Hebrew text, ver.#15|, to distinguish it from other Abels; and to signify, that this was that Abel which was in the northern border of Canaan towards that part of Syria called Maachah, #2Sam 10:8|. Berites - Such as lived in the city, or territory of Beeroth of Benjamin, #Josh 18:25|, who being of the same tribe, if not city with Sheba, adhered to him, and followed him through all the tribes of Israel. They - The tribes of Israel; that is, a considerable number of them; as might well be expected, when the discontents were so high and general.
20:15 They - That is, Joab and his army. A bank - From whence they might either batter the wall, or shoot at those who defended it. It stood - The bank stood in, or near to the trench, or the wall of the city; so that the city was in great danger of being taken.
20:16 Then cried a wise woman - It seems none of all the men of Abel, offered to treat with Joab: no, not when they were reduced to extremity: but one wise woman saved the city. Souls know no difference of sex: many a manly heart is lodged in a female breast. Nor is the treasure of wisdom the less valuable, for being lodged in the weaker vessel.
20:18 Ask counsel - This city which thou art about to destroy, is no mean and contemptible one, but so honourable and considerable for its wisdom, that when any differences arose among any of the neighbours, they used proverbially to say, We will ask the opinion and advice as the men of Abel about it, and we will stand to their arbitration; and so all parties were satisfied, and disputes ended.
20:19 A mother - Great cities are commonly called mothers; as lesser towns or villages subject to them, and depending upon them, are called their daughters. Inheritance - That is, a considerable part of, that land which God hath chosen for his particular possession. The destruction which thou art about to bring upon us, is an injury to Israel, and to the God of Israel.
20:21 Ephraim - Probably mount Ephraim was a place in Benjamin so called, either because it was upon the borders of Ephraim or for some notable action or event of the Ephraimites in that place. His head - Which she undertook, because she knew the present temper of the citizens, and soldiers too. And it is not unlikely, that this woman might be a governness in that city. For though this office was commonly performed by men; yet women were sometimes employed in the government: as we see in Deborah, who judged Israel, #Judg 4:4|.
20:22 Wisdom - Prudently treated with them about it, representing to them the certainty and nearness of their ruin, if they did not speedily comply with her desires, and certain deliverance if they did.
20:23 Over all the host - The good success of this, and of the former expedition, under the conduct of Joab, had so fixed his interest in the army, and others of David's fastest friends, that the king could not without danger displace him.
2 Samuel Chapter 20 Sidenote References (from Original 1611 KJV Bible):
3 Chap.16. 22. , Hebr. a house of ward. , Hebr. bound. , Hebr. in widowhood of life.
4 Hebr. call.
6 Hebr. deliuer himselfe from our eyes.
7 Chap.8. 18.
10 Hebr. doubled not his stroke.
15 Or, it stood against the outmost wall , Heb. marred to throw downe.
18 Or, They plainly spake in the beginning, saying, surely they will aske of Abel, and so make an end
21 Heb. by his name.
22 Heb. were scattered.
23 Chap.8. 16.
24 Or, remembrancer
26 Or, a prince.
* Courtesy of Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania
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