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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 20

Verses 1-26

Sheba’s revolt (20:1-26)

With virtually the whole nation in a state of unrest, Sheba, a Benjaminite, seized the opportunity to try to lead the northern tribes to break away from David (20:1-2). Being anxious to re-establish his kingdom in Jerusalem, David did not leave the city but sent his new commander-in-chief Amasa to assemble the army and pursue Sheba (3-4).
When Amasa was slow in assembling the army, David sent off his private army, the fighting force that had been with him since the days of his flight from Saul. David placed Abishai in charge of the operation, but Joab went also (5-7). When the troops with Abishai and Joab met the troops with Amasa, Joab murdered Amasa and again took control of the army (8-13).
Sheba’s uprising apparently did not attract a large following. When he was finally trapped in the town of Abel in the far north of Israel, only a few people of his own clan were left with him (14-15). The citizens of Abel, on the advice of an old woman among them, saved their besieged town from destruction by murdering Sheba and throwing his head over the wall to Joab (16-22).
This section of the book closes with a list of the chief officials in David’s administration during the latter part of his reign. The list shows certain changes and developments that had occurred over the years (23-26; cf. 8:15-18).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". 2005.