Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bicri, a Benjamite, happened to be there. He sounded the trumpet and shouted, "We have no share1 in David,2 no part in Jesse's son!3 Every man to his tent, O Israel!"
So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed by their king all the way from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
When David returned to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines4 he had left to take care of the palace and put them in a house under guard. He provided for them, but did not lie with them. They were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows.
Then the king said to Amasa,5 "Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself."
But when Amasa went to summon Judah, he took longer than the time the king had set for him.
David said to Abishai,6 "Now Sheba son of Bicri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master's men and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and escape from us."
So Joab's men and the Kerethites7 and Pelethites and all the mighty warriors went out under the command of Abishai. They marched out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bicri.
While they were at the great rock in Gibeon,8 Amasa came to meet them. Joab9 was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As he stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath.
Joab said to Amasa, "How are you, my brother?" Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.
Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger10 in Joab's11 hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri.
One of Joab's men stood beside Amasa and said, "Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab!"
Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the road, and the man saw that all the troops came to a halt12 there. When he realized that everyone who came up to Amasa stopped, he dragged him from the road into a field and threw a garment over him.
After Amasa had been removed from the road, all the men went on with Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bicri.