1There had come there a man of Belial whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite, and he blew the shofar and said, “We have no portion in David, and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to his tents, O Israel!”
3And David came to his house in Jerusalem. And the king took the ten women, his concubines whom he had left to take care of the house, and put them in a house under guard and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were kept in confinement until the day of their death, living in widowhood.
4Then the king said to Amasa, “Call the men of Judah together for me within three days, and be present here yourself.”
5So Amasa went to call the men of Judah together, but he took longer than the set time that had been appointed for him.
6So David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your lord’s servants and pursue after him, lest he gets fortified cities for himself and escapes out of our sight.”
7So Joab’s men and the Cherethites and the Pelethites and all the mighty men went out after him. They went out of Jerusalem to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
8When they were at the great rock that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was clothed in his apparel of war that he had put on, and on it was a sash with a sword fastened on his waist in its sheath, and as he went out it fell out.
9And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.
10But Amasa was not on his guard against the sword that was in Joab’s hand. So he struck him with it in the abdomen and his intestines poured out onto the ground, and he did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
11And one of Joab’s young men stood over him and said, “He who favors Joab and he who is for David, let him follow Joab!”
12Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway. When the man saw that all the people stood still, he moved Amasa from the highway into the field and threw a garment over him—when he saw that everyone who came by him would stop.
13When he was pushed from the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
14He went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel and to Beth-maacah; and all the Berites, they were gathered together and went after him also.
15They came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah, and they put up a siege ramp against the city, and it stood against the rampart. And all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction, to make the wall fall down.
16Then a wise woman cried out of the city, “Listen! Listen! Please say to Joab, ‘Come near here and let me speak with you.’”
18Then she spoke, saying, “They used to say, yes, say in former times, ‘Let them ask, yes ask counsel at Abel;’ and so they ended the matter.
19I am among those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the inheritance of Yahweh?”
20Joab answered, “Far be it, far be it from me that I should swallow up or destroy.
21That is not how it is. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Give up him only, and I will go from the city.” So the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.”
22Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. They cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. He blew the shofar and they dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.
23Now Joab was over all the army of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites;
24and Adoram was in charge of the forced labor, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder;
25and Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests,
26and also Ira the Jairite was head administrator to David.