2 Samuel 20:1-26, NLT
2 Samuel 20
The Revolt of Sheba
1There happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant:
“Down with the dynasty of David!
We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Come on, you men of Israel,
back to your homes!”
2So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed with their king and escorted him from the Jordan River to Jerusalem.
3When David came to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to look after the palace and placed them in seclusion. Their needs were provided for, but he no longer slept with them. So each of them lived like a widow until she died.
4Then the king told Amasa, “Mobilize the army of Judah within three days, and report back at that time.”
6Then David said to Abishai, “Sheba son of Bicri is going to hurt us more than Absalom did. Quick, take my troops and chase after him before he gets into a fortified town where we can’t reach him.”
7So Abishai and Joab,*20:7a Hebrew So Joab’s men. together with the king’s bodyguard*20:7b Hebrew the Kerethites and Pelethites; also in 20:23. and all the mighty warriors, set out from Jerusalem to go after Sheba.
9“How are you, my cousin?” Joab said and took him by the beard with his right hand as though to kiss him.
11One of Joab’s young men shouted to Amasa’s troops, “If you are for Joab and David, come and follow Joab.”
14Meanwhile, Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel and eventually came to the town of Abel-beth-maacah. All the members of his own clan, the Bicrites,*20:14 As in Greek and Latin versions; Hebrew reads All the Berites. assembled for battle and followed him into the town.
“I am,” he replied.
So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.”
“I’m listening,” he said.
18Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’
20And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to devour or destroy your town!
“All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.”
23Now Joab was the commander of the army of Israel. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard.