We continue through the account of the life of David in the Word.
This story is especially troubling.
Then consider the questions.
2 Sa 21:1-9
Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year;
and David sought the presence of the LORD.
And the LORD said,
“It is for Saul and his bloody 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 sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites, and the sons of Israel made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah).
Thus David said to the Gibeonites,
“What should I do for you?
And how can I make atonement that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?”
Then the Gibeonites said to him,
“We have no concern of silver or gold with Saul or his house,
nor is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.”
And he said, “I will do for you whatever you say.”
So they said to the king,
“The man who consumed us and who planned to exterminate us from remaining within any border of Israel,
let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will hang them before the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the LORD.” And the king said, “I will give them.”
But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the oath of the LORD which was between them, between David and Saul’s son Jonathan.
So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.
Then he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the mountain before the LORD, so that the seven of them fell together; and they were put to death in the first days of harvest at the beginning of barley harvest.
So many questions.
What initiated this situation?
Famine in the land.
How do we know?
David sought the Presence of the Lord.
The Lord told David point blank.
Saul had put the Gibeonites to death.
Saul did so in zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah.
Why the Gibeonites?
Why the need for atonement?
Why ask the Gibeonites?
Why life for life?
Why specifically named folk?
Why the timing of year?
…to be continued…
“Wise Hebrew Mama…”
Joab and the forces of David continued to pursue Sheba.
They besieged a city in the pursuit.
Watch what happens.
Watch what the city was known for…
Watch the wisdom and forthrightness of a Hebrew mama…
2 Sa 20:14-26
Now he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, even Beth-maacah, and all the Berites;
and they were gathered together and also went after him.
They came and besieged him in Abel Beth-maacah,
and they cast up a siege ramp against the city, and it stood by the rampart;
and all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction in order to topple the wall.
Then a wise woman called from the city,
“Hear, hear! Please tell Joab, ‘Come here that I may speak with you.’”
So he approached her, and the woman said,
“Are you Joab?” And he answered, “I am.”
Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your maidservant.”
And he answered, “I am listening.”
Then she spoke, saying,
“Formerly they used to say, ‘They will surely ask advice at Abel,’
and thus they ended the dispute.
“I am of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel.
You are seeking to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel.
Why would you swallow up the inheritance of the LORD?”
Joab replied, “Far be it, far be it from me that I should swallow up or destroy!
“Such is not the case.
But a man from the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against King David. Only hand him over, and I will depart from the city.”
And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.”
Then the woman wisely came to all the people.
And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab.
So he blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, each to his tent.
Joab also returned to the king at Jerusalem.
Now Joab was over the whole army of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites;
and Adoram was over the forced labor, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder;
and Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests;
and Ira the Jairite was also a priest to David.
There is something to be said for this type of wisdom.
Why should an entire city…populace…people group suffer for the sin of an individual?
The woman presented the situation.
The woman responded…
- Abel was known for the wisdom found within
- They were peaceable
- They were faithful to Israel
- They were known for settling disputes
The woman offered a solution…”we will toss his head over the wall…”
The woman came before the people.
It is better to deal “with the head of the trouble…”
Intrigue and murder continued in David’s life.
Remember, Amasa had become commander of Absalom’s army…
2 Sa 17:25
Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab.
Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite,
who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab's mother.
David had placed Amasa as commander of his army, replacing Joab.
A move designed to win over the army and Judah.
2 Sa 19:13
“Say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh?
May God do so to me, and more also,
if you will not be commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.’”
Now…the story continues…
Then the king said to Amasa,
“Call out the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself.”
So Amasa went to call out the men of Judah,
but he delayed longer than the set time which he had appointed him.
And David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom; take your lord’s servants and pursue him, so that he does not find for himself fortified cities and escape from our sight.”
So Joab’s men went out after him, along with the Cherethites and the Pelethites and all the mighty men; and they went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.
When they were at the large stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them.
Now Joab was dressed in his military attire, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened at his waist; and as he went forward, it fell out.
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.
But Amasa was not on guard against the sword which was in Joab’s hand so he struck him in the belly with it and poured out his inward parts on the ground, and did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri.
Now there stood by him one of Joab’s young men, and said,
“Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.”
But Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway.
And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa from the highway into the field and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still.
As soon as he was removed from the highway,
all the men passed on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.
David gave Amasa a direct order - rally the men in three days.
Amasa did not follow the order in a timely fashion.
David then sent Abishai to pursue Sheba.
Joab’s men and others pursued Sheba.
Amasa met them on the way.
Joab approached Amasa feigning a greeting.
Well, it was a greeting of sort.
Joab’s sword fell out as he went to greet.
Apparently Joab picked up the sword.
Amasa was not on guard.
Joab struck him with the sword.
We have seen Joab do this type of thing.
Taking matters into his own hands.
Joab and Abishai pursued Sheba.
They left a young man by the dying body of Amasa.
The young man rallied the me to join Joab.
Amasa’s body was a distraction in the road.
He was removed.
The men passed on.
Truly the sword would not pass from David and his family.
“Sheba the Worthless/Concubines”
David was returning to Kingship.
All was not smooth.
We have seen that there was argument between Israel and Judah as to who David would lead.
The struggle continued.
Then, there were some “messy” situations to address.
2 Sa 20:1-3
Now a worthless fellow happened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri,
a Benjamite; and he blew the trumpet and said,
“We have no portion in David,
Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse;
Every man to his tents, O Israel!”
So all the men of Israel withdrew from following David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah remained steadfast to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.
Then David came to his house at Jerusalem, and the king took the ten women,
the concubines whom he had left to keep the house, and placed them under guard and provided them with sustenance, but did not go in to them.
So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as widows.
A worthless fellow arose.
Well, there ya go.
A succinct definition.
Sheba the Worthless blew a trumpet.
He declared that…
- “we have no portion in David”
- “we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse”
- “every man to his tents, O Israel!”
The men of Israel foolishly listened to Sheba the Worthless.
The men of Judah remained steadfast to their king, David.
David’s men stood firm in/with him.
David came to his house at Jerusalem and there were his ten concubines.
What to do with them?
All Israel had seen what Absalom had done with them.
David showed grace and mercy.
He could have executed them.
He did not.
He placed them under guard…for his and their protection.
He provided sustenance for them.
He did not go in to them.
They lived as widows until the day they died.
They were shut up until the day of their death.