2 Samuel 20 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Sheba Leads Israel Away from David
20 It happened that a ·troublemaker [scoundrel; worthless fellow] named Sheba son of Bicri from the tribe of Benjamin was there. He blew the ·trumpet [ram’s horn] and said:
“We have no ·share [interest; portion] in David!
2 So all the Israelites ·left [deserted; withdrew from] David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the people of Judah ·stayed with [faithfully followed; clung to] their king all the way from the Jordan River to Jerusalem.
3 David came back to his ·palace [L house] in Jerusalem. He had left ten of his ·slave women [L concubines; C secondary wives; 3:7] there to take care of the ·palace [L house; 16:21–22]. Now he put them in a ·locked [guarded] house. He ·gave them food [provided for them], but he did not ·have sexual relations with [L go in to] them. So they [L were shut up/confined and] lived like widows until they died.
4 The king said to Amasa, “·Tell the men [Mobilize the army] of Judah to meet with me ·in [within] three days, and you must also be here.” 5 So Amasa went to ·call [summon] the men of Judah together, but he ·took more time [delayed longer] than the king had said.
6 David said to Abishai, “Sheba son of Bicri ·is more dangerous to us than Absalom was [L will do us more harm than Absalom]. Take ·my men [L the servants of your master] and chase him before he finds ·walled [fortified] cities and escapes from ·us [L our sight].” 7 So Joab’s men, the Kerethites and the Pelethites [C foreign mercenaries who served as the king’s bodyguards], and all the ·soldiers [mighty warriors] went with Abishai. They went out from Jerusalem to ·chase [pursue] Sheba son of Bicri.
8 When Joab and the army came to the great rock at Gibeon, Amasa came out to meet them. Joab was wearing his ·uniform [military tunic], and at his waist he wore a belt that held his ·sword [dagger] in its ·case [sheath]. As Joab stepped forward, his ·sword [dagger] fell out of its ·case [sheath]. 9 Joab asked Amasa, “·Brother [C term of endearment, but Amasa is also his cousin], is everything all right with you?” Then with his right hand he took Amasa by the beard to kiss him. 10 Amasa ·was not watching [did not notice; wasn’t on guard against] the ·sword [dagger] in Joab’s hand. So Joab ·pushed the sword into Amasa’s [L struck him in the] stomach, causing Amasa’s insides to ·spill [pour; gush] onto the ground. Joab did not have to stab Amasa again; he was already dead. Then Joab and his brother Abishai continued to ·chase [pursue] Sheba son of Bicri.
11 One of Joab’s young men stood by Amasa’s body and ·said [shouted], “Everyone who ·is for [L favors] Joab and [L is for] David should follow Joab!” 12 Amasa lay in the middle of the road, ·covered with [wallowing in] his own blood. When the young man saw that everyone was ·stopping to look at the body [stopping], he dragged it from the road, laid it in a field, and put a ·cloth [cloak; garment] over it. 13 After Amasa’s body was taken off the road, all the men followed Joab to ·chase [pursue] Sheba son of Bicri.
14 Sheba ·went [traveled; passed] through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maacah [C a town in the extreme north of Israel]. All the ·Berites [or Bicrites; C Sheba’s own tribe] also came together and followed him. 15 So Joab and his men came to Abel Beth Maacah and ·surrounded [besieged] it. They ·piled dirt up [built a siege ramp] against the city wall, and they began ·hacking at [battering; undermining] the walls to bring them down.
16 But a wise woman shouted out from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here. I want to talk to him!”
17 So Joab came near her. She asked him, “Are you Joab?”
He answered, “Yes, I am.”
Then she said, “Listen to ·what I say [L the words of your maidservant].”
Joab said, “I’m listening.”
18 Then the woman said, “In the past people would say, ‘·Ask for advice [Let them inquire] at Abel,’ and the problem would be solved. 19 I am one of the peaceful, ·loyal [faithful] people of Israel. You are trying to destroy ·an important city of [L a city that is a mother in] Israel. Why must you ·destroy what belongs to [L devour/swallow up the inheritance/heritage of] the Lord?”
20 Joab answered, “I would prefer not to ·destroy [L devour; swallow up] or ruin anything! 21 That is not ·what I want [L the case]. But there is a man here from the ·mountains [hill country] of Ephraim, who is named Sheba son of Bicri. He has ·turned [L lifted his hand] against King David. If you ·bring him to me [hand him over], I will leave the city alone.”
The woman said to Joab, “His head will be thrown over the wall to you.”
22 Then the woman spoke very wisely to all the people of the city. They cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and threw it over the wall to Joab. So he blew the ·trumpet [ram’s horn], and the army left the city. Every man returned ·home [L to his tent], and Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.
23 Joab was commander of all the army of Israel. Benaiah son of Jehoiada led the Kerethites and Pelethites [20:7]. 24 Adoniram was in charge of the ·men who were forced to do hard work [forced/slave labor; or labor force]. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the ·recorder [royal historian]. 25 Sheba was the royal ·secretary [scribe]. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests, 26 and Ira the Jairite was David’s priest.