Now 1a worthlessfellowhappened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of 2Bichri, a Benjamite ; and he blew the trumpet and said, "3We havenoportion in David, Nor do we have inheritance in 4the son of Jesse ; 5Everyman to his tents, O Israel !"
So all the men of Israelawithdrew from followingDavid and followedSheba the son of Bichri ; but the men of Judahbremainedsteadfast to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.
Then Davidcame to his house at Jerusalem, and 6the kingtook the tenwomen, the concubineswhom he had left to keep the house, and placed them under guard and provided them with sustenance, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as widows.
Then the kingsaid to 7Amasa, "Call out the men of Judah for me within threedays, and be presenthereyourself."
So Amasawent to call out the men of Judah, but he 8delayed longer than the settimewhich he had appointed him.
And Davidsaid to 9Abishai, "NowSheba the son of Bichri will do us moreharmthanAbsalom ; 10take your lord'sservants and pursue him, so that he does not find for himself fortifiedcities and escape from our sight."
So Joab'smenwent out after him, 11along with the Cherethites and the Pelethites and all the mightymen ; and they went out from Jerusalem to pursueSheba the son of Bichri.
When they were at the largestonewhich is in 12Gibeon, Amasacamecto meet them. Now Joab was ddressed in his military attire , and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheathfastened at his waist ; and as he wentforward, it fell out.
9Joabsaid to Amasa, "Is it well with you, my brother ?" And 13JoabtookAmasa by the beard with his righthand to kiss him.
But Amasa was not on guard against the swordwhich was in Joab'shand so 14he struck him in the belly with it and poured out his inwardparts on the ground, and did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brotherpursuedSheba the son of Bichri.
Now there stood by him one of Joab'syoungmen, and said, "WhoeverfavorsJoab and whoever is for David, 15let him followJoab."
But Amasalaywallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway. And when the mansaw that all the peoplestoodstill, he eremovedAmasa from the highway into the field and threw a garmentover him when he saw that everyone who came by him stoodstill.
As soon as he was removed from the highway, all the menpassed on afterJoab to pursueSheba the son of Bichri.
Now he wentthroughall the tribes of Israel to Abel, even Beth-maacah, and all the Berites ; and they were gathered together and alsowentafter him.
They came and besieged him in 16AbelBeth-maacah, and 17they fcast up a siegerampagainst the city, and it stood by the rampart ; and all the peoplewho were with Joab were wreakingdestruction in order to topple the wall.
Then 18a wisewomancalled from the city, "Hear, hear ! PleasetellJoab, 'Comehere that I may speak with you.' "
So he approached her, and the womansaid, "Are you Joab ?" And he answered, "I am." Then she said to him, "Listen to the words of your maidservant." And he answered, "I am listening."
Then she spoke, saying, "Formerly they used to say, 'They will surelyask advice at Abel,' and thus they ended the dispute.
"I am of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. 19You are seeking to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up 20the inheritance of the LORD ?"
20Joabreplied, "Far be it, far be it from me that I should swallow up or destroy !
21"Such is not the case. But a man from 21the hillcountry of Ephraim, 22Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against KingDavid. Onlyhand him over, and I will depart from the city." And the womansaid to Joab, "Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall."
Then the woman23wiselycame to all the people. And they cutoff the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So 24he blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, each to his tent. Joab also returned to the king at Jerusalem.
2325Now Joab was over the wholearmy of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites ;
and Adoram was over the forcedlabor, and 26Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder ;
and Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and 27Abiathar were priests ;
and Ira the Jairite was also a priest to David.