1 And it happened that there was, in that place, a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a man of Benjamin. And he sounded the trumpet, and he said: “There is no portion for us in David, nor any inheritance in the son of Jesse. Return to your own tents, O Israel.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
16 And a wise woman exclaimed from the city: “Listen, listen, and say to Joab: Draw near, and I will speak with you.”
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.’
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.
23 Thus Joab was over the entire army of Israel. And Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was over the Cerethites and Phelethites.
24 Yet truly, Adoram was over the tributes. And Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, was the keeper of records.
25 Now Sheva was the scribe. And truly Zadok and Abiathar were the priests.
26 But Ira, the Jairite, was the priest of David.