2 Samuel 20 – “Sheba’s Revolt”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Sheba leads the Israelites away from David. Joab pursues Sheba and besieges him in the city of Abel. The siege ends when Joab is given Sheba’s severed head.

II. Photo
David isolates his concubines: “[David] provided for [the concubines], but he did not cohabit with them. They remained in seclusion until the day they died, in living widowhood.” (v. 3b)

III. Important Verses
1: A scoundrel named Sheba son of Bichri, a Benjaminite, happened to be there. He sounded the horn and proclaimed: “We have no portion in David, No share in Jesse’s son! Every man to his tent, O Israel!”
3: David went to his palace in Jerusalem, and the king took the ten concubines he had left to mind the palace and put them in a guarded place; he provided for them, but he did not cohabit with them. They remained in seclusion until the day they died, in living widowhood.
8-11: They were near the great stone in Gibeon when Amasa appeared before them. Joab was wearing his military dress, with his sword girded over it and fastened around his waist in its sheath; and, as he stepped forward, it fell out. Joab said to Amasa, “How are you, brother?” and with his right hand Joab took hold of Amasa’s beard as if to kiss him. Amasa was not on his guard against the sword in Joab’s [left] hand, and [Joab] drove it into his belly so that his entrails poured out on the ground and he died; he did not need to strike him a second time. Joab and his brother Abishai then set off in pursuit of Sheba son of Bichri, while one of Joab’s henchmen stood by the corpse and called out, “Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is on David’s side, follow Joab!”
22: The woman came to all the people with her clever plan; and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri and threw it down to Joab. He then sounded the horn; all the men dispersed to their homes, and Joab returned to the king in Jerusalem.

IV. Outline
1-2. The Israelites follow Sheba, the Judahites follow David
3. David returns to Jerusalem; His concubines are put in seclusion
4-5. Amasa is sent to gather the men of Judah
6-7. David’s army sets out in pursuit of Sheba
8-13. Joab accidentally kills Amasa
14-15. Joab besieges Sheba in Abel
16-22. A woman delivers Sheba’s head to Joab
23-26. David’s officers

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Anderson, A. A. “2 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 11 (Waco Texas: Wordbooks, 1989).
Campbell, Antony F. “2 Samuel” The Forms of the Old Testament Literature, vol 8 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eedrdmans, 2005).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Photo taken from http://divine-www-1.divinecaroline.com/images/photo/image/01/36/55/photo/13655/Womenandprison.jpg