Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maacaha and through the entire region of the Berites,1 who gathered together and followed him.
All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maacah.2 They built a siege ramp3 up to the city, and it stood against the outer fortifications. While they were battering the wall to bring it down,
a wise woman4 called from the city, "Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him."
He went toward her, and she asked, "Are you Joab?" "I am," he answered. She said, "Listen to what your servant has to say." "I'm listening," he said.
She continued, "Long ago they used to say, 'Get your answer at Abel,' and that settled it.
We are the peaceful5 and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the LORD's inheritance?"620
"Far be it from me!" Joab replied, "Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy!
That is not the case. A man named Sheba son of Bicri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I'll withdraw from the city." The woman said to Joab, "His head7 will be thrown to you from the wall."
Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice,8 and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.