II Samuel Chapter 20

"Sheba's Revolt."
"Judah's Loyalty [4-13]."
"Sheba. Revolt Quilled [140-22]."
"David's Officers [23-26]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

When trouble comes to a nation and there is a split in that nation, that is the time that Satan like to get a hold of people and do his damage. He always has and he always will. So get set for it in this chapter, and remember the damage that Satan can cause. The morals and every thing else in the land will decay and fall apart and the very fabric that holds the family together will start to unravel. Then it becomes the responsibility those that do have moral values to see that those that get out of line, come back under control.

II Samuel 20:1 "And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, and Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, "We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel."

"Sheba" in the the Hebrew tongue means, "an oath". "...inheritance in the son of Jesse" is described as such; the "Inheritance" is the "promised Messiah, Jesus Christ", and David was the son of Jesse. This man of the oath, Sheba, denounced any part in the promised Messiah, and of course he tried to get all the people also to denounce the Messiah. In the earlier manuscripts, "every man to his tents, O Israel" reads "every man to his gods O Israel." " Sheba then was denouncing the God of Israel, and the Promised Messiah, and urging all Israel to pick up and follow their false gods. Satan is starting to work into the tribes and trying to take hold.

He was also denying the birthright of Abraham to the Israelites, and in this chapter, we see the major split starting to take hold. The worship of the two calves that will become the idols for worship when Israel splits into two nation, was starting to form at this time. However it would be about fifty years from this date that the tribes will actually split into two separate nations. So here we see three groups starting to form; the first are those that are of Judah that backed David, While the others, those of Israel [the ten tribes] that did not back David.

When the civil war in Israel ended between the backers of David and the backers of Absalom, David sought to bring peace to the nation. He order that be no more death to anyone. And in this climate of protection, Sheba stepped out of bounds, and tried to get the ten tribes to follow other gods. That went to far, and David sent for him. It simply doesn't matter what credentials a man has, or what he claims to be, if he is a "man of Belial [Satan]", influenced by spirits other than the Holy Spirit, he will bring trouble to the whole group, to any group. These trouble makers are in all nations, all cultures, and from both the rich and the poor alike. When you see them mark them well and keep away from them.

II Samuel 20:2 "So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king from Jordan even to Jerusalem."

The one thing that is very clear here is that the ten tribes are very easily persuaded to follow any new idea and tradition that came along. At the urging of this one man Sheba, all ten tribes of the house of Israel were willing to leave David and the True God and bind themselves to heathen gods. Even though the word "all" is used, all the tribes had became involved, however not all the people within the tribes were disloyal to David. The key to understanding this verse, was stated in prior verses when it was said, "all of Judah and half of Israel followed David." So the movement had started, and Satan has his people in place to start the trouble in the camps of all of the ten tribes.

II Samuel 20:3 "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 fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood."

This doesn't mean that David put these wives of his in jail, but he just never treated them as a husband treats a wife sexually. David took very good care of these ten woman, for Absalom had disgraced them publicly, and David wanted to protect their emotions. These ten women will pull away from the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

The book of Hosea even pictures the widowhood of the Houses of Israel and Judah are in the names of Hosea's daughters "Lo-ruhamah" and "Ammi". God is telling the house of Israel and the house of Judah exactly what He will do to each of them through the naming of this prophet's daughters "Lo-ruhamah" and "Ammi". The house of Israel, which is the ten tribes God calls "Lo-ruhamah", which in the Hebrew tongue means "not compassionated", or as Paul put it in Romans 9:25; "not have obtained mercy".

Absalom had seduced these ten women in front of the whole nation, when he tried to take over the kingship. So it would have been an abomination, in as much as David's "nakedness was uncovered", when David son Absalom seduced his wives, these ten woman. Leviticus 18:8 "The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness." This is the only way that David could handle these wives of his, and still show respect for each of them. They were all taken very good care of all the days of their lives. It wasn't their fault in the matter.

II Samuel 20:4 "Then said the king to Amasa, "Assemble me the men of Judah within three days, and be thou here present."

Remember that Joab had been David's general from before the time that David became king, but because Joab shook David when he was weeping and carrying on over Absalom's death, David allow Amasa to continue commanding the armies of Israel. Amasa was the one that Absalom put in charge of the army when David was in exile, and Joab still resented David withholding that position from him, when Absalom died. Joab had been completely dedicated to David, even in matters that were out of David's control. He believed in God, and in David being God's anointed. Amasa was not of the same mind, and Joab did not like anyone that was not dedicated to David to be in charge of protecting the life of David.

Their is no such thing as partial belief, for you either believe or you do not. This goes for Amasa and his faith in David, as much as it does for you and I and our belief in Jesus Christ. Half belief is unbelief. When we read of these types within the Old Testament, it allows for even a child to understand the Word of God. Today even a child can understand where the tribes are, and why they are as they are. The manuscripts teach us these things through the words of the Prophets. God is not the author of confusion, and when there is confusion, man has caused it through his traditions.

II Samuel 20:5 "So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah: but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him."

Amasa was a traitor to David and took over to lead Absalom's army. Amasa was the one that tired to kill David, and Joab fought against him in that Jungle warfare that cause the death of Absalom. Though Amasa was the top general, Joab never forgot the evil that Amasa had done to David. Amasa was appointed the general's job, when David was at his weakest mentally.

When Amasa went beyond the time that was allotted him to get the job done, it showed David that Amasa was an undisciplined person. When David said three day, that is what he meant, for Sheba would have a huge start of them and he could run to a walled city, and stir up all kinds of trouble before he could be stopped. Amasa was not a man on a sightseeing journey but on a military mission, Amasa had to muster up the troops in Judah and get them ready to march. When you are in God's service, you have to be disciplined.

II Samuel 20:6 "And David said to Abishai, "Now shall 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 fenced cities, and escape us."

David knew that Sheba was out to divide the kingdom and turn Israel away from God. This is a positive statement, for David knew that if Sheba had the time he would run and hide. He just could not wait until Amasa returned, but ordered Abishai to gather up the servants of David present and use them to go after Sheba.

II Samuel 20:7 "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."

David was a very wise person and this allows us to see David's wisdom. How could he do more harm than Absalom, when Absalom had actually became king? Sheba was spreading lies and rumors against David, and turning their hearts not only against David but against God.

II Samuel 20:8 "When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out."

The manuscripts read that Amasa came to meet Joab and the king's guard, and they met at Gibeon. Amasa didn't go before him, for he wasn't a leader. Amasa was late in returning from gathering the men, and he finally caught up. Amasa had cost Joab much time in his undisciplined ways, and he was three days behind. Joab was loyal to David, and he could see that Amasa was not a good leader.

Joab had so arranged his clothing that Amasa could not see what Joab was doing, nor that Joab's sword was out and ready for use. Though it appeared to Amasa that the sword just fell out of the sheath, but Joab was to good of a soldier to allow that to happen. So Joab stopped and picked up his sword off the ground.

II Samuel 20:9 "And Joab said to Amasa, "Art thou in health, my brother?" And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him."

Amasa had just arrived, and Joab picked up his sword and turned to give a gentle greeting to Amase. As he took Amasa by the beard and leaned forward to kiss Amasa, the sword moved to Amasa's chest.

II Samuel 20:10 "But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri."

Joab shoved his knife through Amasa chest at the fifth rib and ripped him open right there on the spot. Amasa let his guard down because he was on an ego trip, he thought all the men looked up to him, when in fact they despised him for being sloppy in all that he did, and being a turn coat to David in siding with Absalom. The one that kisses the other is the one that is in submission to the other, and Amasa thought that Joab was showing submission to him. Remember the other kiss by Judas as he betrayed our Lord? Amasa's pride put him in a position to where he overlooked the reality around him. Amasa was a traitor, and Joab got rid of a traitor.

II Samuel 20:11 "And one of Joab's men stood by him and said, "He that favoureth Joab, and he that is for David, let him go after Joab." "

II Samuel 20:12 "And Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the People stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still."

When you are pursuing a matter, even as a Christian, don't ever let a traitor get in your way. Though this was a covert or hidden thing that Joab did, God allowed it to happen. Many times God works and allows things that are not pleasant to be used to protect His own. Though David could not see the danger in Amasa, Joab did, and took care of the problem. Joab represented authority, and the people stood by and watch, and were frozen in their movement after seen this event take place. Once the trouble was removed and the cloth was placed over Amasa, than the people followed Joab and they went on seeking after Sheba.

II Samuel 20:13 "When he was removed out of the highway, all the People went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri."

To break down the term "Sheba, the son of Bichri [Belial]", in the Hebrew tongue it means "the Oath, the son of the devil or Satan."

II Samuel 20:14 "And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Beth-maachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him."

So by this time many more troops than David's guard formed in the force. Remember Amasa arrived with the men of Judah, and here men of the other tribes are joining forces and going after Sheba. Joab's men had become a small army.

II Samuel 20:15 "And they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maachah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench; and all the People that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down."

This army of Joab started moving soil and rocks to fill in the trenches that were build around the wall, so that the troops of Joab could march right to the wall, and enter the city. Joab was going to knock down the walls, and take the city and destroy it. Sheba was in the city, and because the people of the city were protecting him, they also will be destroyed. Among all the military that was there, there was a woman with the wisdom of God, that will stop the bloodshed.

II Samuel 20:16 "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." "

This woman's name is not given, but it was known that she had the wisdom of God in her. She was concerned with her family, her town and the well being of those around her. This woman spoke with authority and she ordered that Joab come forward and speak with here.

II Samuel 20:17 "And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, "Art thou Joab?" And he answered, "I am he." Then she said unto him "Hear the words of thine handmaid." And he answered, "I do hear." "

This woman was not begging for Joab's attention, but demanding that he listen to what she has to say. This woman was speaking with authority, and Joab gave her a chance to speak.

II Samuel 20:18 "Then she spake, saying, "They were won't to speak in old time, saying, `They shall surely ask counsel at Abel:' and so they ended the matter."

What this woman told Joab, was that even in ancient times they came to Abel to settle their dispute. They talked over the problem and settled the matter to both sides satisfaction. This woman knew the Word of God and those things that were done as examples for others that came along. When there wasn't a wise man with the ability to think this through, this woman brought wisdom to the problem, to save the people of the city and the armies. Lives are saved. Thank God that Joab knew the word of God also. She was taking about what Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 20:10, concerning this situation.

Deuteronomy 20:10 "When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it."

Deuteronomy 20:11 "And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee."

This is the law, you just don't go charging in killing everybody.

Deuteronomy 20:12 "And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:

Deuteronomy 20:13 "And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hand, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:"

Deuteronomy 20:14 "But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee."

This is the law of God governing warfare given by Moses just before they marched into the promise land. It was to govern all the people for all times. God is telling the generals to at least give the city a chance for survival. You don't win any battle except that God gives the victory to you.

Joab was ready to destroy the entire city, and he hadn't spoken a word to anyone in the city. This woman knew the law, and she was recalling it to Joab. She was telling Joab that he is breaking God's law, by doing what he is doing. Had Joab gone against the city in violation of God's law, he probably would have been defeated. Once it was called to Joab's attention, Joab was required to follow the law. The woman told Joab that she had not heard him ask anyone if they were willing to surrender. These people in the city didn't invite Sheba into their city, so why destroy us because of him.

II Samuel 20:19 "I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thy swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?" "

It is obvious that this woman did not buy into Sheba's message, for Sheba wanted nothing to do with Israel nor any part of it's inheritance. This woman stated that those thing are very important to her and the people of the city. She was letting it be known that they are peaceful, and faithful to their kind, and one of Joab's kind. The phrase "mother in Israel" means that it is a major city of one of the tribes of Israel. A governmental seat if you would.

This is why any time you have one Christian nation fighting another Christian nation, you have a civil war, for they both came form the seed of Jacob. It should not be fought.

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

Joab knew the Scripture, and he recognized what this woman was saying, and he was touched by her words.

II Samuel 20:21 "The matter is not so: but a man of mount 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."

There was a meeting of the minds here between Joab and the woman. Joab stated what he desired, and the woman committed herself to fulfilling Joab's demand. This sweet lady was committing herself to cutting the head of Sheba off, and tossing his head over the wall. She wanted to do the right thing and save her city. That is exactly what is done when you give a deadly wound to a man of Satan. Many lives were saved and taken out of danger when the man of Satan was removed from their midst.

II Samuel 20:22 "Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab." And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king."

In the wisdom of this woman, she went to the elders of the city and re-laid the problem that was before them. She told them what Sheba had done, and what the army out side the wall wanted. Once the people of the city knew of this man amongst them, off when his head, and over the wall. The city was saved and the army departed from outside their wall.

Sometimes we get right into the heat of the battle, and forget the Word of God. However, this is why God has placed His servants in those places to control things when they get out of hand. This is why it is important for a servant of God to make that stand when you see and know that things are just not right morally or politically. If you are one of God's elect, you are required to make that stand. We are living in a generation when many will be called up before the courts of Satan, and demanded to give an account of them self. When we are, it is a must that each of us allow the Holy Spirit of God to speak through us.

Mark 13:11 "But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, tke no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but he Holy Spirit."

Now the record gives us the officers that were in charge of their offices in David's kingdom.

II Samuel 20:23 "Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites:"

II Samuel 20:24 "And Adoram was over the tribute: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder:"

II Samuel 20:25 "And Sheva was scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests:"

"Ira" meant "watcher", and David wanted a prophet or watcher by his side continually to make sure he did thing God's way. This man directed David in all the matters that he ruled upon, for he was an expert in the law."

II Samuel 20:26 "And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David."

God foretold everything in His Word that shall happen in this world age. The things that happened once shall happen again, and over many times. King Solomon let us know that "there is nothing new under the sun, those things that happened once, shall happen again." These things of the Old Testament were all given to us as "ensamples" [examples, or types] and God expects us to learn from those events that are types of things that shall happen again. God has spoken, and it is written even to the events that are going on before our eyes today. That is wisdom, to know what the future brings and see it when it is happening around you. You prepare for those things and events, and God expects you to be successful while those events take place. That is wisdom.


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