View 2nd Samuel 20 in the note window.
A new rebellion raised by Sheba, ver. 1, 2.
David confines his ten concubines for life, ver. 3.
Joab murders Amasa, ver. 4 - 12.
Pursues Sheba to Abel, ver. 13 - 15.
He is delivered up, ver. 16 - 22.
David's great officers, ver. 23 - 26.
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.
2: Every man - That is, the generality of those Israelites who
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.
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.
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.
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.
9: Beard - As the manner of ancient times was, when they saluted one
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.
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.
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.
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, (2Sa 10:8).
Berites - Such as lived in the city, or territory of Beeroth of
Benjamin, (Jos 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, (Jdg 4:4).
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.
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.