1. Now there came to be there a base fellow named Sheba, the son of Bichri, a
Benjamite. And he blew a ram’s horn and said, “We have no part in David, neither do we have any inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to his tents, O, Israel!”
2. And every man of Israel left from following after David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah remained loyal to their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
3. And David came to his house at Jerusalem. Then the king took the ten women, his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward and fed them but did not go in to them. And they were shut up till the day of their death, living in widowhood.
4. And the king said to Amasa, “Assemble to me the men of Judah within three days, and you be present here.”
5. And Amasa went to gather Judah. But he stayed longer than the set time which he had appointed him.
6. And David said to Abishai, “And Sheba the son of Bichri shall do us more harm than Absalom. You take your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he get himself into fortified cities and escape us.”
7. And Joab’s men went out after him, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men. And they went out of Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.
8. They were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, and Amasa had gone before them. And Joab was girded with his war armor as his clothing. And upon it was a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins, in its sheath. And as he went forth, it fell out.
9. Then Joab said to Amasa, “Are you well, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.
10. And Amasa was not on guard against the sword that was in Joab’s hand. And he struck him with it in the belly, and poured out his bowels to the ground. And he did not strike him again. And he died. And Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
11. And one of Joab’s men stood by him and said, “He who favors Joab, and he who is for David, go after Joab!”
12. And Amasa wallowed in blood in the middle of the highway. And the man saw that all the people stood still. And he moved Amasa out of the highway into the field, and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still.
13. When he was moved out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
14. And he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth Maachah, and to all the Berites. And they were assembled, and went after him too.
15. And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maachah. And they threw up a siege mound against the city. And it stood against the wall. And all the people with Joab were undermining the wall to make it fall.
16. Then a wise woman cried out of the city, “Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, ‘Come near here so that I may speak with you.’ ”
17. And when he had come near her, the woman said, “Are you Joab?” And he answered, “I am.” And she said to him, “Hear the words of your handmaid.” And he answered, “I hear.”
18. Then she spoke, saying, “They spoke often in days gone by, saying, ‘Surely they will ask of Abel,’ and so they ended the matter.
19. I am peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up 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. The matter is not so. But a man of Mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Only deliver him, and I will depart from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.”
22. Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. And he blew the ram’s horn, and they scattered from the city, each man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.
23. And Joab was over all the army of Israel. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites.
24. And Adoram was over the tribute. And Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder.
25. And Sheva was scribe. And Zadok and Abiathar were the priests.
26. And also Ira the Jairite was a chief ruler under David.
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