2 Samuel, 20
1: And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a 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. 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. 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. 4: Then said the king to Amasa, Assemble me the men of Judah within three days, and be thou here present. 5: So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah: but he tarried longer than the set time which he had appointed him. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 13: When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri. 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. 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. 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. 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. 18: Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. 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 thou swallow up the inheritance of the LORD? 20: And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. 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. 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.
23: Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites: 24: And Adoram was over the tribute: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder: 25: And Sheva was scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests: 26: And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David.
2 Samuel, 21
Gibeonites are avenged
1: Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2: And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 3: Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD? 4: And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. 5: And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, 6: Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them. 7: But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8: But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 9: And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. 10: And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 11: And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12: And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, which had stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: 13: And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. 14: And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land.
Philistine Giants killed
15: Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint. 16: And Ishbi-benob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. 17: But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel. 18: And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant. 19: And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. 20: And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant. 21: And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea the brother of David slew him. 22: These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.
Today we read of the revolt of Sheba and of how Joab went after him to kill him to prevent another civil war in Israel. Then we read of how the Gibeonities are avenged to bring peace back to Israel for a long term breach of faith. And then we read of a series of small engagements with the Philistines and of the victories of David’s men over the giants of Gath – Goliaths family. But first we read of a very wicked man called Sheba. He blew a trumpet in other words he summoned an army and stated his policy to be to removal of David as king and the total destruction of David and his family. The amazing thing was that all Israel apart from Judah joined in with the conspiracy. The first thing that David did was to make provision and protection for the ten women who were his slave/wives. He put them in a safe place. It was not their fault that men hated their husband so he put them in a safe place but he did not go to sleep with them and they lived out their days as token / widows. Then Amasa said to David assemble the men of Judah in the following three days and come yourself. It took longer than three days to assemble all Judah to war. So David said to Abishai Sheba will do us more harm than did Absalom so take your servants and go after him quickly so that he does not take control of fenced - stockade cities. Joab his general and all the mighty men went after him. When they arrived at Gibeon Amasa went ahead of them and Joab had a secret weapon and when Amasa dropped his sword from out of his sheath Joab approached Amasa and came near to kiss him saying are you well? But when he was close he took him by his beard and plunged a sword into his body killing him in one thrust. Then Joab and Abishai went after Sheba. When one of Joab’s men saw the soldiers staring at Amasai dying he moved him off the path and threw a cloth over him. The men of Joab chased after Sheba a long time until they came to Adam (which is in the Jordan valley on the far side of the river. And the men besieged the city and made a ramp against the wall to break through into the city. But in the city there was a very wise woman who shouted from the wall to Joab. Saying Come and speak with me. Joab came near and she said l am a god fearing woman and she pleaded that he would spare the city. Joab explained that Sheba had rebelled against David the rightful king. She said we will execute Sheba. She the men of the city executed Sheba and threw his head over the wall. Joab blew the trumpet to signify the end of war and they withdrew from the city. Joab returned to David. David had a really great administration. Joab was his general. Benaiah was over the Cherethites and Pelethites. Adoram was over those who served Israel from other nations. Jehoshaphat was recorder. He wrote the Chronicle. Sheva was scribe. He wrote the word of the Lord. Zadok and Abiathar were the Priests. Ira was a chief ruler. Then something happened that was a strange and serious matter. A famine descended on Israel. The famine lasted for three years. David went to the LORD and he received an answer. There was still bloodshed from the house of Saul that had never been redressed. Saul had killed some of the Gibeonities who had a peace pact with Israel from long ago. David called for the Gibeonities and said how can this iniquity be redressed? The Gibeonities said we don’t want money or treasure nor his house. They dais take seven of his sons and we will hang them to the LORD. David said we will do it. David spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul because he had sworn to the LORD to protect him. But he took 2 sons of Rizpah and 5 sons of Michal the daughter of Saul and he handed them over to the Gibeonities. And they hanged them in the hill in front of the LORD. They died all together in the time of barley harvest. (Passover) Rizpah took sackcloth and spread it on the rock until the rains came again. She did not allow birds or animals to touch it. David was informed of what she had done so David went and took the bones of Saul and Jonathan from Jabesh-Gilead who had taken them from the Philistines and they gathered the bones of those that were hanged and they buried them in Zelah. From that time on God heard their cry for rain. After this the Philistines went to war again with Israel. In the battle David became faint and Ishbi-benob (Who was a giant, whose spear weighted about 8lbs) thought that he would kill David with his new sword but Abishai delivered David and killed the Philistine giant. Then David’s men said you must not go out to battle anymore because if you die than a light will go out in Israel. What a wonderful sentiment. They saw in David the light of God. Then there came another battle with the Philistines at Gob (in the valley of Sorek. On the area where the mountains of Judea reach the plains near Philistia) In this battle Sibbechai killed Saph another giant. Then there was another battle with the Philistines at the same place Gob. Here Elhanan killed the brother of Goliath. His staff was thick like a weavers beam (possibly 3½” or 80mm in diameter). And then there was another battle. (Each of these battles are getting nearer and nearer to the Philistine strongholds.) In this place they met another Giant who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He was a descendant of the Anakim or Nephilim. He was a son of a giant. These freaks of nature were the cause of the flood in the days of Noah and they were now being judged by God by the sword of Israel. When he stood and defied Israel to come and fight as Goliath had done Jonathan (son of Shimea brother of David. In other words David’s nephew) killed him. All these four giants were killed by David and his men. Now we realise why David went against Goliath with five stones. He was ready to face the whole family.