The Bible in Its Traditions

2 Samuel 20:1–26

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Now there happened to be there a base fellow, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite; and he blew the horn, and said: 'We have no portion in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel.'

And there was a transgressor so called there, and his name was Sabee, a Benjamite, the son of Bochori: and he blew the trumpet, and said, We have no portion in David, neither have we any inheritance in the son of Jessae: to thy tents, O Israel, every one.

2Sm20:2  And all of Israel separated from David, and they were following Sheba, the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah clung to their king, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem.

So all the men of Israel went up from following David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah did cleave unto their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.

And all the men of Israel went up from following David after Sabee the son of Bochori: but the men of Juda adhered to their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.

2Sm20:3  And when the king had entered his house at Jerusalem, he took the ten women concubines, whom he had left behind to care for the house, and he put them into custody, allowing them provisions. But he did not enter to them. Instead, they were enclosed, even until the day of their deaths, living as widows.

And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and provided them with sustenance, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, in widowhood, with their husband alive.

And David went into his house at Jerusalem: and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and he put them in a place of custody, and maintained them, and went not in to them; and they were kept living as widows, till the day of their death.

2Sm20:4  Then the king said to Amasa, “Summon to me all the men of Judah on the third day, and you shall be present also.”

Then said the king to Amasa: 'Call me the men of Judah together within three days, and be thou here present.'

And the king said to Amessai, Call to me the men of Juda for three days, and do thou be present here.

2Sm20:5  Therefore, Amasa went away, so that he might summon Judah. But he delayed beyond the agreed time that the king had appointed to him.

So Amasa went to call the men of Judah together; but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him.

And Amessai went to call Juda, and delayed beyond the time which David appointed him.

2Sm20:6  And David said to Abishai: “Now Sheba, the son of Bichri, will afflict us more so than Absalom did. Therefore, take the servants of your lord, and pursue him, otherwise he may find fortified cities, and escape from us.”

And David said to Abishai: 'Now will Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom; take thou thy lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him fortified cities, and escape out of our sight.'

And David said to Amessai, Now shall Sabee the son of Bochori do us more harm than Abessalom: now then take thou with thee the servants of thy lord, and follow after him, lest he find for himself strong cities, so will he blind our eyes.

2Sm20:7  And so, the men of Joab departed with him, along with the Cherethites and the Pelethites. And all the able-bodied men went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba, the son of Bichri.

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And there went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men; and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.

2Sm20:8  And when they were beside the great stone, which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was wearing a close-fitting coat of equal length with his garment. And over these, he was girded with a sword hanging down to his thigh, in a scabbard which was made so that the sword could be removed with the least motion, and then strike.

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When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. And Joab was girded with his apparel of war that he had put on, and thereon was a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.

And they were by the great stone that is in Gabaon: and Amessai went in before them: and Joab had upon him a military cloak over his apparel, and over it he was girded with a dagger fastened upon his loins in its scabbard: and the dagger came out, it even came out and fell.

2Sm20:9  Then Joab said to Amasa, “Be well, my brother.” And he held Amasa by the chin with his right hand, as if to kiss him.

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And Joab said to Amasa: 'Is it well with thee, my brother?' And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.

2Sm20:10  But Amasa did not notice the sword that Joab had. And he struck him in the side, and his intestines poured out to the ground. And he did not inflict a second wound, and he died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba, the son of Bichri.

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10  But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand; so he smote him therewith in the groin, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. And Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.

10  And Amessai observed not the dagger that was in the hand of Joab: and Joab smote him with it on the loins, and his bowels were shed out upon the ground, and he did not repeat the blow, and he died: and Joab and Abessai his brother pursued after Sabee the son of Bochori.

2Sm20:11  Meanwhile, certain men, from the company of Joab, when they had stopped beside the dead body of Amasa, said: “Behold, the one who wished to be in the place of Joab, the companion of David.”

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11  And there stood by him one of Joab's young men, and said: 'He that favoureth Joab, and he that is for David let him follow Joab.'

2Sm20:12  Now Amasa was covered with blood, and was lying in the middle of the road. A certain man saw this, with all the people standing nearby to look at him, and he removed Amasa from the road into a field. And he covered him with a garment, so that those passing by would not stop because of him.

11  And one of Joab's men went and stood by Amasa, and said to those who passed by, To whom do you belong? Are you of the men of David who are after Joab?

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12  And Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a garment over him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still.

12  And Amessai was weltering in blood in the midst of the way. And a man saw that all the people stood still; and he removed Amessai out of the path into a field, and he cast a garment upon him, because he saw every one that came to him standing still.

2Sm20:13  Then, when he had been removed from the road, all the men continued on, following Joab in the pursuit of Sheba, the son of Bichri.

13  When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.

13  And when he was quickly removed from the road, every man of Israel passed after Joab to pursue after Sabee the son of Bochori.

2Sm20:14  Now he had passed through all the tribes of Israel into Abel and Bethmaacah. And all the elect men had gathered together to him.

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14  And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Beth-maacah, and all the Berites; and they were gathered together, and went in also after him.

2Sm20:15  And so, they went and besieged him at Abel and Bethmaacah. And they surrounded the city with siege works, and the city was blockaded. Then the entire crowd who were with Joab strove to destroy the walls.

14  And they went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel and to Beth-maachah and to Berin; and they went after him.

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15  And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood in the moat; and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.

2Sm20:16  And a wise woman exclaimed from the city: “Listen, listen, and say to Joab: Draw near, and I will speak with you.”

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16  Then cried a wise woman out of the city: 'Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab: Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.'

16  And a wise woman cried from the wall, and said, Hear, hear; say, I pray ye, to Joab, Draw near hither, and I will speak to him.

2Sm20:17  And when he had drawn near to her, she said to him, “Are you Joab?” And he responded, “I am.” And she spoke in this way to him, “Listen to the words of your handmaid.” He responded, “I am listening.”

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17  And he came near unto her; and the woman said: 'Art thou Joab?' And he answered: 'I am.' Then she said unto him: 'Hear the words of thy handmaid.' And he answered: 'I do hear.'

2Sm20:18  And again she spoke: “A word was said in the old proverb, ‘Those who would inquire, let them inquire in Abel.’ And so they would reach a conclusion.

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18  Then she spoke, saying: 'They were wont to speak in old time, saying: They shall surely ask counsel at Abel; and so they ended the matter.

18  And she spoke, saying, Of old time they said thus, Surely one was asked in Abel, and Dan, whether the faithful in Israel failed in what they purposed; they will surely ask in Abel, even in like manner, whether they have failed.

2Sm20:19  Am I not the one who responds with the truth in Israel? And yet you are seeking to overthrow the city, and to overturn a mother in Israel! Why would you cast down the inheritance of the Lord?”

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19  We are of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel; seekest thou to destroy a city and a mother in Israel? why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of YHWH?'

2Sm20:20  And responding, Joab said: “May this be far, may this be far from me! May I not cast down, and may I not demolish.

20  And Joab answered and said: 'Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.

2Sm20:21  The matter is not as you said. Rather, a man from mount Ephraim, Sheba, the son of Bichri, by name, has lifted up his hand against king David. Deliver him alone, and we will withdraw from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head will be thrown down to you from the wall.’

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21  The matter is not so; but a man of the hill-country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David; deliver him only, and I will depart from the city.' And the woman said unto Joab: 'Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.'

21  Is not the case thus, that a man of mount Ephraim, Sabee, son of Bochori by name, has even lifted up his hand against king David? Give him only to me, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.

2Sm20:22  Therefore, she entered to all the people, and she spoke to them wisely. And they cut off the head of Sheba, the son of Bichri, and they threw it down to Joab. And he sounded the trumpet, and they withdrew from the city, each one to his own tent. But Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

22  Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. And he blew the horn, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.

22  And the woman went in to all the people, and she spoke to all the city in her wisdom; and they took off the head of Sabee the son of Bochori; and took it away and threw it to Joab: and he blew the trumpet, and the people separated from the city away from him, every man to his tent: and Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

2Sm20:23  Thus Joab was over the entire army of Israel. And Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was over the Cerethites and Phelethites.

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23  Now Joab was over all the host of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites;

2Sm20:24  Yet truly, Adoram was over the tributes. And Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, was the keeper of records.

23  Now Joab was in command of all the army of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the freedmen and the laborers,

24  and Adoram was over the levy; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder;

2Sm20:25  Now Sheva was the scribe. And truly Zadok and Abiathar were the priests.

24  And Adoniram was in charge of the tribute, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder,

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25  and Sheva was scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests;

2Sm20:26  But Ira, the Jairite, was the priest of David.

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26  and Ira also the Jairite was chief minister unto David.

26  Moreover Iras the son of Iarin was priest to David.

2Sm21:1  And a famine occurred, during the days of David, for three years continuously. And David consulted the oracle of the Lord. And the Lord said: “This is because of Saul, and his house of bloodshed. For he killed the Gibeonites.”