20:1 And there happened to be a there a man of Belial, whose
name [was] Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he
blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in b David,
neither have we inheritance in the son c of Jesse: every
man to his tents, O Israel.
(a) Where the ten tribes contended against Judah.
(b) As they of Judah say.
(c) He thought by speaking contemptuously of the king, to
stir the people farther to sedition, or else by causing
Israel to depart, thought that they of Judah would have
esteemed him less.
20:2 So every man of Israel went up from after David, [and]
followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah
clave unto their king, from d Jordan even to Jerusalem.
(d) From Gilgal which was near Jordan.
20:4 Then said the king to e Amasa, Assemble me the men of
Judah within three days, and be thou here present.
(e) Who was his chief captain in Joab's place,
20:6 And David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of
Bichri do us more harm than [did] Absalom: take thou thy
f lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him
fenced cities, and escape us.
(f) Either those who had been under Joab or David's men.
20:8 When they [were] at the great stone which [is] in Gibeon,
Amasa went before them. And Joab's g garment that he had
put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle [with] a
sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as
he went forth it fell out.
(g) Which was his coat, that he used to wear in the wars.
20:11 And one of Joab's men h stood by him, and said, He that
favoureth Joab, and he that [is] for David, [let him go]
(h) He stood by Amasa at Joab's appointment.
20:14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel,
and to i Bethmaachah, and all the Berites: and they were
gathered together, and went also after him.
(i) To the city Abel, which was near Bethmaachah.
20:15 And they came and besieged him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and
they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the
trench: and all the people that [were] with Joab k
battered the wall, to throw it down.
(k) That is, he went about to overthrow it.
20:18 Then she spake, saying, l They were wont to speak in old
time, saying, They shall surely ask [counsel] at Abel: and
so they ended [the matter].
(l) She shows that the old custom was not to destroy a
city before peace was offered, (De 20:10,11).
20:19 I [am m one of them that are] peaceable [and] faithful
in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in
Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the
(m) She speaks in the name of the city.
20:21 The n matter [is] not so: but a man of mount Ephraim,
Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand
against the king, [even] against David: deliver him only,
and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto
Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the
(n) Hearing his fault, he gave in to reason, and required
only he that was instigator of the treason.
20:26 And Ira also the Jairite was a o chief ruler about