2 Samuel 20–21; Psalm 7; 1 Chronicles 20:4–8

The Rebellion of Sheba

20 Now there happened to be there da worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said,

eWe have no portion in David,

and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;

fevery man to his tents, O Israel!

So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

And David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took gthe ten concubines whom he had left to care for the house and put them in a house under guard and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as if in widowhood.

Then the king said to hAmasa, Call the men of Judah together to me within three days, and be here yourself. So Amasa went to summon Judah, but he delayed beyond the set time that had been appointed him. And David said to Abishai, Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take iyour lord's servants and pursue him, lest he get himself to fortified cities and escape from us.1 And there went out after him Joab's men and the jCherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men. They went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. When they were at the great stone that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was wearing a soldier's garment, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened on his thigh, and as he went forward it fell out. And Joab said to Amasa, Is it well with you, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand kto kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not observe the sword that was in Joab's hand. lSo Joab struck him with it min the stomach and spilled his entrails to the ground without striking a second blow, and he died.

Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 And one of Joab's young men took his stand by Amasa and said, Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab. 12 And Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the highway. And anyone who came by, seeing him, stopped. And when the man saw that all the people stopped, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field and threw a garment over him. 13 When he was taken out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.

14 And Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to nAbel of nBeth-maacah,2 and all othe Bichrites3 assembled and followed him in. 15 And all the men who were with Joab came and besieged him in nAbel of Beth-maacah. pThey cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart, and they were battering the wall to throw it down. 16 Then a wise woman called from the city, Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, Come here, that I may speak to you. 17 And he came near her, and the woman said, Are you Joab? He answered, I am. Then she said to him, Listen to the words of your servant. And he answered, I am listening. 18 Then she said, They used to say in former times, Let them but ask counsel at nAbel, and so they settled a matter. 19 I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why will you qswallow up rthe heritage of the Lord? 20 Joab answered, Far be it from me, far be it, that I should qswallow up or destroy! 21 That is not true. But a man of sthe hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David. Give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city. And the woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall. 22 Then the woman went to all the people tin her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, uevery man to his home. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

23 vNow Joab was in command of all the army of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 and wAdoram was in charge of the forced labor; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25 and Sheva was secretary; and xZadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and yIra the Jairite was also David's priest.

David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David zsought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death. So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but aof the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. And David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless bthe heritage of the Lord? The Gibeonites said to him, It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel. And he said, What do you say that I shall do for you? They said to the king, The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel, let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them before the Lord at cGibeah of Saul, dthe chosen of the Lord. And the king said, I will give them.

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of ethe oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. The king took the two sons of fRizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab4 the daughter of Saul, whom gshe bore to hAdriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the Lord, and the seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, iat the beginning of barley harvest.

10 jThen Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell upon them from the heavens. And she did not allow the birds of the air to come upon them by day, or the beasts of the field by night. 11 When David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead, kwho had stolen them from the public square of lBeth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa. 13 And he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14 And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in mZela, in the tomb of Kish his father. And they did all that the king commanded. And after that nGod responded to the plea for the land.

War with the Philistines

15 There was war again between the Philistines and Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines. And David grew weary. 16 And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants oof the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels5 of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David's men swore to him, pYou shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench qthe lamp of Israel.

18 rAfter this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then sSibbecai tthe Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants uof the giants. 19 And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and vElhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, wthe shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.6 20 And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended xfrom the giants. 21 And when yhe taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David's brother, struck him down. 22 These four were descended xfrom the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.


In You Do I Take Refuge

A lShiggaion1 of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite.

O Lord my God, in you do I mtake refuge;

nsave me from all my pursuers and deliver me,

lest like oa lion they tear my soul apart,

rending it in pieces, with pnone to deliver.

O Lord my God, qif I have done this,

if there is rwrong in my hands,

if I have repaid smy friend2 with evil

or tplundered my enemy without cause,

let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,

and let him utrample my life to the ground

and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

vArise, O Lord, in your anger;

wlift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;

xawake for me; you have appointed a judgment.

Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;

over it return on high.

The Lord yjudges the peoples;

zjudge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness

and according to the integrity that is in me.

Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,

and may you establish the righteous

you who atest bthe minds and hearts,3

O righteous God!

10  My shield is cwith God,

who saves dthe upright in heart.

11  God is ea righteous judge,

and a God who feels findignation every day.

12  If a man4 does not repent, God5 will gwhet his sword;

he has hbent and ireadied his bow;

13  he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,

making his jarrows kfiery shafts.

14  Behold, the wicked man lconceives evil

and is lpregnant with mischief

and gives birth to lies.

15  He makes ma pit, digging it out,

and falls into the hole that he has made.

16  His nmischief returns upon his own head,

and on his own skull his violence descends.

17  I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,

and I will osing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.


Philistine Giants Killed

cAnd after this there arose war with the Philistines at Gezer. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued. And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of dJair struck down Lahmi dthe brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of eShimea, David's brother, struck him down. These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.