And there happened to be 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 David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse:everyman to his tents, O Israel.2
So every man of Israel went up from afterDavid, and followedSheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judahclave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.3
And Davidcame to his house at Jerusalem; and the kingtook the tenwomen his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward,a and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death , living in widowhood.4
Then said the king to Amasa,Assembleb me the men of Judah within threedays, and be thou here present .
So Amasawent to assemble the men of Judah: but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him.
And Davidsaid to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom:take thou thy lord'sservants, and pursueafter him, lest he get him fencedcities, and escapecus.7
And there went outafter him Joab'smen, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursueafterSheba the son of Bichri.8
When they were at the greatstone which is in Gibeon,Amasawentbefore them. And Joab'sgarment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a swordfastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out .
And Joabsaid to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And JoabtookAmasa by the beard with the righthand to kiss him.
But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab'shand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struckd him not again ; and he died . So Joab and Abishai his brotherpursuedafterSheba the son of Bichri.11
And one of Joab'smenstood by him, and said , He that favourethJoab, and he that is for David, let him go afterJoab.12
And Amasawallowed in blood in the midst of the highway. And when the mansaw that all the people stood still , he removedAmasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still .
When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went onafterJoab, to pursueafterSheba the son of Bichri.14
And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Bethmaachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together , and went also after him.
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:e and all the people that were with Joabbattered the wall, to throw it down .
Then cried a wisewoman out of the city,Hear , hear ; say , I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.
And when he was come near unto her, the womansaid , Art thou Joab? And he answered , I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered , I do hear .
Then she spake , saying , They were wont to speak in old time,saying , They shall surelyask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.
I am 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 LORD?20
And Joabanswered and said , Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy .
The matter is not so: but a man of mountEphraim,Sheba the son of Bichri by name,f hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David:deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the womansaid unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.22
Then the womanwent unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retiredg from the city, every man to his tent. And Joabreturned to Jerusalem unto the king.23
Now Joab was over all the host 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 :h25
And Sheva was scribe : and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:26
And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David.