Sheba rebelled against David
1 There was a man there at Gilgal named Sheba. He was a man who always caused trouble. He was from the tribe of Benjamin and was the son of Bichri. He blew a trumpet and called out, “We have nothing to do with [DOU] David, that son of Jesse! So, men of Israel, let's go to our homes!”
2 So all the men from the other Israeli tribes deserted David and went with Sheba, but the men of Judah stayed with David. They wanted him to be their king, and went with him from near the Jordan River up to Jerusalem.
3 When David arrived at the palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten slave wives whom he had left there to take care of the palace and put them in another house. He put a guard at that house, and he provided for them what they needed, but he never had sexual relations [EUP] with them again. So they remained shut up in their house until they died. It was as though they were widows.
4 One day the king said to Amasa, “Summon the soldiers of Judah to come here within three days, and you be here also.”
5 So Amasa went to summon them, but he did not return within the time that David told him to.
6 So David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba will harm us more than Absalom did. So you take my soldiers and pursue him. If you do not do that, he and his soldiers may occupy/capture some of the ◄fortified towns/towns that have walls around them►, and escape from us. [IDM]”
7 So Abishai and Joab and the king's bodyguards and the other soldiers left Jerusalem, to pursue Sheba.
8 When they arrived at the huge rock in the Gibeah region, Amasa met them. Joab was wearing a soldier's uniform. He had a dagger/long knife fastened to his belt. When he came close to Amasa, he allowed the dagger to fall on the ground.
9 Joab said to Amasa, “Are things going well with you, my friend?” Then Joab grabbed Amasa's beard with his right hand, in order to kiss him.
10 But Amasa did not see that Joab was holding another dagger in his other hand. And Joab stabbed it into Amasa's belly, and his insides spilled out onto the ground. Amasa died immediately; Joab did not need to stab him again. Then Joab and his brother Abishai continued to pursue Sheba.
11 One of Joab's soldiers stood alongside Amasa's body and called out, “Everyone who wants Joab to be our commander and who wants David to be our king, go with Joab!”
12 Amasa's body was lying on the road. It was covered with blood. The soldier of Joab who had called out saw that many other of Joab's soldiers were stopping to see it, so he dragged Amasa's body off the road into a field, and threw a cloth/blanket over the body.
13 After the body had been taken off the road, all the soldiers went with Joab to pursue Sheba.
14 Sheba went through all the tribes of Israel, and arrived at Abel-Beth-Maacah town in the northern part of Israel. There, all the members of his father Bichri's clan gathered, and went with Sheba into the town.
15 The soldiers who were with Joab found out that Sheba had gone there, so they went there and surrounded the town. They built a dirt ramp up against the town wall. They also pounded against the wall with heavy poles, to cause it to collapse.
16 Then a wise woman who was in that town stood on the top of the wall and shouted down, “Listen to me! Tell Joab to come here, because I want to talk to him!”
17 So after they told Joab, he came there, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?”
He replied, “Yes, I am.” She said to him, “Listen to what I say.” He replied, “I am listening.”
18 She said, “Long ago people used to say, ‘Go to Abel town to get good advice about your problems.’ And that is what people did.
19 We are peaceful and loyal Israelis. Our people here are important and respected [IDM]. So ◄why are you trying to destroy a town that belongs to Yahweh?/you should not be trying to destroy a town that belongs to Yahweh.►” [RHQ]
20 Job replied, “I would certainly never want to ruin or destroy your town!
21 That is not what we want to do. But Bichri's son Sheba, a man from the hilly area in the tribe of Ephraim, is rebelling against King David. Put this man into our hands, and then we will ◄go away from/not attack► this town.”
The woman replied to Joab, “Okay, what we will do is, we will cut off his head and throw it over the wall to you.”
22 Then this wise woman went to the elders of the town and told them what she had said to Joab. So they cut off Sheba's head and threw it over the wall to Joab. Then Joab blew his trumpet to signal that the battle was ended, and all his soldiers left the town and returned to their homes. And Joab returned to Jerusalem and told the king what had happened.
23 Joab was the commander of the entire Israeli army. Jehoiada's son Benaiah was the commander of David's bodyguards;
24 Adoram supervised the men who were forced to work for the king; Ahilud's son Jehoshaphat was the man who reported to the people everything that David decided;
25 Sheva was the official secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were the priests;
26 and Ira from Jair town was also one of David's priests.