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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

2 Samuel 20

 

 

Verses 1-26


The Rebellion of Sheba

Sheba takes advantage of the jealousy of the men of Israel to begin a rebellion, which, but for the prompt action of Joab, might have resulted in a disruption between Israel and Judah. During this expedition Amasa is murdered by Joab. The chapter concludes with a list of David's officers.

This chapter evidently continues the narrative of the concluding vv. of the preceding. During the period of the Judges, Ephraim had been the leading tribe and they could not brook to see their place taken by Judah. For the present their attempt failed, and the rule of Solomon was too strong for them to renew it. But on the accession of Rehoboam the old jealousy broke out again.

This chapter ends the account which the editor took from the document he has been following since 2 Samuel 9. The list with which it concludes is similar to that at lihe close of the earlier document (2 Samuel 8:16-18).

1. The son of Bichri] rather, 'a son of Bichri,' i.e. a member of that clan (1 Chronicles 7:6-8).

We have no part.. Israel] This was the very cry raised by the rebellious Israelites in the time of Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:16).

3. See 2 Samuel 15:16; 2 Samuel 16:21, 2 Samuel 16:22.

5. He tarried] The reason is unknown.

6. Abishai] When Amasa failed him, David, determined at all hazards to suspend Joab, turned to Abishai. Joab went with his brother, in order to watch for his opportunity, which soon came.

8. It would seem that Joab had two swords, and that Amasa, seeing one lying on the ground, did not suspect that he had another.

9. Took Amasa by the beard.. to kiss him] This is said to be still an Arab custom.

14. Unto Abel, and to Beth-maachah] read 'unto Abel of Beth-maachah.' All the Berites] read 'all the Bichrites' (see on 2 Samuel 20:1). Sheba went to the Bichrites (his kinsmen) and then proceeded to Abel-beth-maachah, in the extreme N. of Palestine, where he was besieged by Joab.

15. They cast up a bank against the city] cp. 2 Kings 19:32. It enabled the besiegers to bring their battering-rams close up to the wall. It stood in the trench] RV 'it stood against the rampart.'

18. The wisdom of the inhabitants of Abel was so generally accepted, that their decision settled all disputed questions. The woman says this to give weight to her remonstrance.

19. A city and a mother] i.e. a mother-city, a metropolis.

20. Joab was utterly unscrupulous, but never wantonly cruel: cp. 2 Samuel 18:16.

23-26. This list of officers concludes this part of the book. What follows is an appendix. When we compare it with the list given in 2 Samuel 8:16-18, we find the amount of variation which we should expect, if one list refers to the earlier and the other to the later part of the reign. The names of Joab, Benaiah, Jehoshaphat, Zadok, and Abiathar occur in both lists. Sheva replaces Seraiah, and Ira takes the place of David's sons, while the office of Adoram is new.

24. Adoram] He held the same office through the long reign of Solomon till the accession of Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:18). It has, however, been supposed that the Adoram mentioned in Kings was the son and successor of the Adoram mentioned here.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/2-samuel-20.html. 1909.

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