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AND there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Seba, the son of Bochri, a man of Jemini: and he sounded the trumpet, and said: We have no part in David, nor inheritance in the son of Isai: return to thy dwellings, O Israel.

Ver. 1.  Belial.  Sept. "lawless."

 

--- Jemini.  The tribe of Benjamin continued to be rather disaffected.  H.

 

--- Part.  This was an usual mode of expressing a disunion.  3 K. xii. 16.  Acts viii. 21.  C.

 

--- See C. xix. 43.  H.   Seba was perhaps a kinsman of Saul, (M.) in come command.  C.


2 And all Israel departed from David, and followed Seba the son of Bochri: but the men of Juda stuck to their king from the Jordan unto Jerusalem.

Ver. 2.  Jordan, near which the contest had happened.  Some chosen troops attended Seba to the north, while the rest went home.  H.




3 And when the king was come into his house at Jerusalem, he took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, allowing them provisions: and he went not in unto them, but they were shut up unto the day of their death living in widowhood.

Ver. 3.  Widowhood, or celibacy, (M.) like nuns.  Grot.  Salien.

 

--- David could not with propriety approach to them, (E.) as they resembled his daughters-in-law; (Lev. xviii. 15.  M.) and no other person could marry them, while he was still their husband.  H.

 

--- The punishment of seclusion was very small in the East, where women seldom go out.  The Jews assert, that the widows of the Hebrew kings could not marry again.  Selden. Uxor. i. 10.

 

--- The like custom formerly prevailed in Spain.  Coun. of Toledo. xiii. 3. A.D. 683, of Saragossa, c. 5. A.D. 691.  So great was the respect for the king or the apprehension, lest those who married their widows, should aspire to the throne.  C.




4 And the king said to Amasa: Assemble to me all the men of Juda against the third day, and be thou here present.

Ver. 4.  Here, to be invested with the command over the army, and to pursue Seba.  M.




5 So Amasa went to assemble the men of Juda, but he tarried beyond the set time which the king had appointed him.

Ver. 5.  Him, owing to some insuperable difficulties.  He was not long behind, since he joined the forces at Gabaon, where he was treacherously slain by the envious Joab.  H.




6 And David said to Abisai: Now will Seba the son of Bochri do us more harm than did Absalom: take thou therefore the servants of thy lord, and pursue after him, lest he find fenced cities, and escape us.

Ver. 6.  Lord, the king; or perhaps Joab.  M.

 

--- A select company always attended the king; and some of these he sent, for greater expedition, to attack Seba, before he had become too strong.


7 So Joab's men went out with him, and the Cerethi and the Phelethi: and all the valiant men went out of Jerusalem to pursue after Seba the son of Bochri.

Ver. 7.  Men.  It seems Joab accompanied them, though in a manner divested of his command, by the king's appointing Amasa, and then Abisai, to his exclusion.  After the slaughter of the former, he resumed his authority; (v. 10) and David was forced to acquiesce, for fear of another civil war, reserving his punishment for more peaceable times.  H.




8 And when they were at the great stone which is in Gabaon, Amasa coming met them. And Joab had on a close coat of equal length with his habit, and over it was girded with a sword hanging down to his flank, in a scabbard, made in such manner as to come out with the least motion and strike.

Ver. 8.  Stone, where Abner and Joab had formerly joined battle.  C. ii.  M.

 

--- Habit, or body.

 

--- Flank; they usually hand at the thigh.  Ps. xliv. 4.

 

--- Strike: the scabbard was very wide; so that, when it was hanging very high, it would easily fall out, when he stooped; and thus afford Joab an opportunity of stabbing Amasa, without suspicion.  C.

 

--- Prot. "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: God save thee, my brother. And he took Amasa by the chin with his right hand to kiss him.

Ver. 9.  God, &c.  Lit. "Hail, my brother."  H.

 

--- Kiss him.  "In former times it was the custom, in Greece, for supplicants to touch the chin, (Plin. xi. 45.) having the left hand upon the person's knees.  Iliad A.)  The touched a woman's cheeks; (Eurip. Hecuba.) or, among the Hebrews, her chin.  Cant. ii. 6.  The Turks and Arabs still kiss the beard, with the utmost reverence.  Thevenot xxii.  Darvieux, C. vii.  C.


10 But Amasa did not take notice of the sword, which Joab had, and he struck him in the side, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and gave him not a second wound, and he died. And Joab, and Abisai his brother pursued after Seba the son of Bochri.

Ver. 10.  Struck him with his left hand.  H.

 

--- Side.  The same word is, elsewhere, translated groin; Sept. "loin."  Moderns commonly render "in the fifth rib."  C. ii. 23. and iii. 27. and iv. 6.  C.

 

--- Josephus, "the belly."



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11 In the mean time some men of Joab's company stopping at the dead body of Amasa, said: Behold he that would have been in Joab's stead the companion of David.

Ver. 11.  Some men.  The same author and the Heb. only mention "one of," &c.  H.

 

--- Behold.  Thus they insult over him, being attached to Joab.  Heb. "Who loves Joab? and who is David?  Let him follow Joab;" or, "who is this who wished to supplant Joab? and who desired to be in David's favour, after Joab?  C.


12 And Amasa imbrued with blood, lay in the midst of the way. A certain man saw this that all the people stood still to look upon him, so he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and covered him with a garment, that they who passed might not stop on his account.

Ver. 12.  A certain.  Heb. "the man" stationed by Joab, near the body, to inform those who passed, that he had been justly slain.  Josephus, (vii. 10,) who observes, that this crime of Joab proceeded from envy, and was less deserving of excuse than the murder of Abner.  H.


13 And when he was removed out of the way, all the people went on following Joab to pursue after Seba the son of Bochri. 14 Now he had passed through all the tribes of Israel unto Abela and Bethmaacha: and all the chosen men were gathered together unto him.

Ver. 14.  Tribes, north-west of the Jordan.  C.

 

--- Abela and Bathmaacha.  Cities of the tribe of Nephtali.  Ch.

 

--- The former is called simply Abel (4 K. xv. 29.  C.) as it is here by the Prot. version.  H.

 

--- It is also called Abyla, (Luke iii. 1,) and Hoba, (Gen. xiv. 15.  C.) between Damascus and Paneas, (Euseb.) situated on the borders of Syria, as well as Beth Maaca, or "the canton of Maacha," or Machati.  Jos. xii. 5.

 

--- Chosen.  Heb. Berim, (which is translated "Berites," by the Prot.  H.) is derived from Bara, "to choose," by S. Jerom.  Sept. have read airim, "cities."  Some suppose that the inhabitants of Bahurim (near Mount Ephraim, v. 21, where Semei, a relation of Saul, and many disaffected people resided) shut themselves up with him in Abela.



Abela

Abela and Bathmaacha. Cities of the tribe of Nephtali. Ch. --- The former is called simply Abel (4 K. xv. 29. C.) as it is here by the Prot. version. H. --- It is also called Abyla, (Luke iii. 1,) and Hoba, (Gen. xiv. 15. C.) between Damascus and Paneas, (Euseb.) situated on the borders of Syria, as well as Beth Maaca, or "the canton of Maacha," or Machati. Jos. xii. 5.

Bethmaacha

Bathmaacha. City of the tribe of Nephtali. Ch.

15 And they came, and besieged him in Abela, and in Bethmaacha, and they cast up works round the city, and the city was besieged: and all the people that were with Joab, laboured to throw down the walls.

Ver. 15.  Works.  Heb. a bank, or terrace against the city, and it stood in the trench; (H.) so that the town ditch was filled up, (Grot.) or terraces were raised, from which archers assailed the besieged.  Joab made a ditch to defend his men from foreign assailants; and he had already taken the outward wall, so that the town could not hold out for any length of time.

 

--- The walls.  S. Jerom thinks with battering rams: but they were not yet invented.  C.

 

--- They undermined the walls, while some attempted to pull them down with hooks and ropes.  C. xvii. 13.  H.



Bethmaacha

Bathmaacha. City of the tribe of Nephtali. Ch.

Abela

Abela and Bathmaacha. Cities of the tribe of Nephtali. Ch. --- The former is called simply Abel (4 K. xv. 29. C.) as it is here by the Prot. version. H. --- It is also called Abyla, (Luke iii. 1,) and Hoba, (Gen. xiv. 15. C.) between Damascus and Paneas, (Euseb.) situated on the borders of Syria, as well as Beth Maaca, or "the canton of Maacha," or Machati. Jos. xii. 5.

16 And a wise woman cried out from the city: Hear, hear, and say to Joab: Come near hither, and I will speak with thee.

Ver. 16.  Say to Joab.  This woman was noted for her prudence, and it was hoped that her words would have more influence to disarm Joab.  She addresses those who were nearest the wall, that she may have an interview with the general, at the request of her fellow-citizens.


17 And when he was come near to her, she said to him: Art thou Joab? And he answered: I am. And she spoke thus to him: Hear the words of thy handmaid. He answered: I do hear. 18 And she again said: A saying was used in the old proverb: They that inquire, let them inquire in Abela: and so they made an end.

Ver. 18.  End of their disputes, (H.) as Abela was remarkable for its wise counsellors, (M.) and equitable decisions; (H.) so that many came, from a distance, to consult the learned of this city.  C.

 

--- Others suppose that she refers to the law, which ordains that peace shall first be proposed, and, if this had been done, the affair would long ago have been decided.  Deut. xx. 10.  Jonath.  E. &c.

 

--- Heb. "They spoke a word at first: Let them ask at Abela, and so they shall make an end."  Much must be supplied to make the text conformable to the former explication.  We may translate, "They said, in ancient times: Let those who require more, go seek at Abela: so they finished their discourse."  C.

 

--- Prot. "They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so the ended the matter."



Abela

Abela and Bathmaacha. Cities of the tribe of Nephtali. Ch. --- The former is called simply Abel (4 K. xv. 29. C.) as it is here by the Prot. version. H. --- It is also called Abyla, (Luke iii. 1,) and Hoba, (Gen. xiv. 15. C.) between Damascus and Paneas, (Euseb.) situated on the borders of Syria, as well as Beth Maaca, or "the canton of Maacha," or Machati. Jos. xii. 5.

19 Am not I she that answer truth in Israel, and thou seekest to destroy the city, and to overthrow a mother in Israel? Why wilt thou throw down the inheritance of the Lord?

Ver. 19.  Truth.  Heb. "I am peaceable, faithful in Israel."  H.

 

--- I am one of the cities most inclined to peace, and to the king's service, noted for lessons of loyalty.  C.

 

--- Probably there was an academy here.  M.

 

--- Mother, city, or metropolis.  The Hebrews styled the inferior towns, daughters.  C.

 

--- Lord, a city belonging to Israel.  H.


20 And Joab answering said: God forbid, God forbid that I should, I do not throw down, nor destroy.

Ver. 20.  God, (Absit.)  Lit. "Far be it, far be it from me;" as we need not put the name of God in the mouth of this profane man, without reason.  H.


21 The matter is not so, but a man of mount Ephraim, Seba the son of Bochri by name, hath lifted up his hand against king David: deliver him only, and we will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab: Behold his head shall be thrown to thee from the wall.


22 So she went to all the people, and spoke to them wisely: and they cut off the head of Seba the son of Bochri, and cast it out to Joab. And he sounded the trumpet, and they departed from the city, every one to their home: and Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.


23 So Joab was over all the army of Israel: and Banaias the son of Joiada was over the Cerethites and Phelethites,

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24 But Aduram over the tributes: and Josaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder. 25 And Siva was scribe: and Sadoc and Abiathar, priests. 26 And Ira the Jairite was the priest of David.

Ver. 26.  Jairite, a descendant of Jair, (C.) son of Manasses.  H.

 

--- Priest.  Hebrew cohen, respected like a priest, (H.) chief favourite, (W.) the Rab. (Chal.) chief counsellor of David, (Vatab.) almoner, &c.  It is not certain that he was of the family of Aaron, or qualified to be the domestic chaplain of the king.  See C. viii. 16, &c.  No other king of Israel had an officer to whom this title was given.  C.


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