THIS CHAPTER IS USUALLY CALLED `SHEBA’S REVOLT' BUT SINCE THE NORTHERN ALLIANCE WASN’T ALL THAT EAGER TO FOLLOW SHEBA INTO ANOTHER WAR (ONE THAT WASN’T LIKELY TO SUCCEED), THIS WAS MORE OF A DRAMATIC AND LOUD DISSENT BY THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES THAN A REBELLION, BUT IT DID SERVE TO SHOW JUST HOW FRAGILE THE UNION OF TRIBES WERE THAT DAVID WAS ATTEMPTING TO GOVERN.
(2 SAM 20-24)
After David had crossed the Jordan and the Tribes were hussling over seniority, a troublemaker from the Tribe of Benjamin named Sheba (son of Bichri) blew a trumpet to get everyone’s attention, saying, “PEOPLE OF YISHARAL, DAVID THE SON OF JESSE DOESN’T BELONG TO US! LET’S GO HOME.” So they stopped following David and went off with Sheba. But the people of Judah stayed close to David all the way from the Jordan back to Yerushalim.
David had left ten of his wives in Yerushalim to take care of his palace. But when he came back, he had them taken to another house, and he placed Soldiers there to guard them, allowing them whatever they needed, but he never slept with any of them again and they had to live there for the rest of their lives as if they were widows.
A HARSH MOVE BY DAVID WHO HAD BEEN THE VICTIM OF HIS SON'S REVOLT (AND REVOLTING PUBLIC ORGY). THIS WAS A GREAT SHAME FOR A WOMAN OF THIS ERA, TO NO LONGER BE MARRIED OR BE ALLOWED TO BEAR ANY MORE CHILDREN!
And David said to his (now) Commander, Amasa, “Three days from now I want you and all of Judah’s Army to be here!” So Amasa started bringing the Army together, but it was taking him more than three days. So David said to Abishai, “Sheba will hurt us more than Absalom ever did. Take my best Soldiers and go after him. We don’t want him to take over any walled cities and get away from us.”
So Abishai left Yerushalim to try and capture Sheba, taking Joab and his Soldiers, as well as David’s bodyguards and best troops. And when they'd gone as far as the big rock at Gibeon, Amasa caught up with them, and Joab had a hidden dagger strapped around his waist under his military uniform, and he approached Amasa, “Amasa, my cousin, how are you?” Joab said as he took hold of Amasa’s beard with his right hand, so that he could greet him with a kiss. Amasa did not see the dagger in Joab’s other hand. And Joab stuck it in Amasa’s stomach, and his insides spilled out on the ground. Joab only struck him once, but Amasa was dying. Then Joab and his brother Abishai went off to chase Sheba. One of Joab’s Soldiers stood by Amasa and shouted, “If any of you admire Joab, and are for David, then follow Joab!”
Amasa was still rolling in his own blood in the middle of the road and the Soldier who had shouted noticed that everyone who passed by would stop, so he dragged Amasa off the road and covered him with a blanket, and after this, no one else stopped. They all walked straight past him on their way to help Joab capture Sheba. Sheba had gone through all of the Tribes of Yisharal when he came to the town of Abel Beth-Maacah. And all of his best Soldiers met him there and followed him into the town.
Joab and his troops came and surrounded Abel, so that no one could go in or come out. Then they made a dirt ramp up to the town wall and then started to use a battering ram to knock the wall down.
Then a wise woman shouted from the top of the wall, “Listen to me! Listen to me! I have to talk to Joab! Tell him to come here!” And when he came, the woman said, “Please, listen to what I have to say, long ago people used to say, ‘If you want good advice, go to the town of Abel to get it.’ The answers they got here were all that was needed to settle any problem. We are Yisharalites, and we want peace! You can trust us. Why are you trying to destroy a town that’s like a mother in Yisharal? Why do you want to wipe out Yahuah’s people?”
“No, no! I’m not trying to wipe you out or destroy your town! That’s not it at all. There’s a man in your town from the hill country of Ephraim. His name is Sheba, and he is the leader of a rebellion against King David. Turn him over to me, and we will leave your town alone in peace.”
“Ok, leave it with us and we’ll throw his head over the wall shortly.” And she went to the people of the town and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it to Joab, who blew a signal on his trumpet, and then the Soldiers returned to their homes and Joab went back to David in Yerushalim.
Joab was the Commander of Yisharal’s entire Army. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of David’s bodyguard. Adoram was in charge of the slave-labor force. Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud kept government records. Sheva was the secretary. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests. Ira from Jair was David’s priest.
While David was King, there were three years in a row when the nation of Yisharal could not grow enough food, so David asked Yahuah for help and Yahuah answered, “Saul and his family are guilty of murder, because he had the Gibeonites killed.”
A YEAR OF NOT ENOUGH RAIN WAS NOT UNUSUAL IN CANAAN BUT AFTER 3 YEARS DAVID DECIDED THAT THIS WAS SUFFICIENTLY BEYOND NORMAL THAT HE SHOULD APPROACH YAHUAH AND FIND OUT IF THIS WAS A DIVINELY CAUSED CALAMITY. THIS CONSULTATION WITH YAHUAH WOULD HAVE BEEN THROUGH HIS HIGH PRIESTS, NOT DIRECT COMMUNICATION, AND THE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION WOULD EITHER HAVE BEEN LOTS OR THE URIM AND THUMMIM STONES. DAVID DID NOT HAVE DIRECT COMMUNICATION WITH YAHUAH THE WAY THAT MOSES DID.
The Gibeonites were not Yisharalites, they were descendants of the Amorites and the people of Yisharal had promised not to kill them, but Saul had tried to kill them because he wanted Yisharal and Judah to control all the land. So David had the Gibeonites come, and he talked with them, saying, “What can I do to make up for what Saul did, so that you’ll ask Yahuah to be kind to His people again?”
“Silver and gold from Saul and his family are not enough” the Gibeonites answered, “On the other hand, we don’t have the right to put any Yisharalite to death.”
“Well I’ll do whatever you ask.” David said.
“Saul tried to kill all our people so that none of us would be left in the land of Yisharal. Give us seven of his descendants so we can hang them near the place where Yahuah is worshiped in Gibeah, the hometown of Saul, Yahuah’s chosen King.”
“Ok, I’ll give them to you”.
David had made a promise to Jonathan with Yahuah as his witness, so he spared Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul (A PARAPLEGIC). But Saul and Rizpah the daughter of Aiah had two sons named Armoni and Mephibosheth. Saul’s daughter Merab had five sons whose father was Adriel the son of Barzillai from Meholah. So David took Rizpah’s two sons and Merab’s five sons and turned them over to the Gibeonites, who hanged all seven of them on the mountain near the place where Yahuah was worshiped. This happened right at the beginning of the barley harvest. And Rizpah spread out some sackcloth on a nearby rock and wouldn’t let the birds land on the bodies during the day, and she kept the wild animals away at night. And she stayed there from the beginning of the harvest until it started to rain. Earlier the Philistines had killed Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa and had hung their bodies in the town square at Beth-Shan. The people of Jabesh in Gilead had secretly taken the bodies away, but David found out what Saul’s wife Rizpah had done, and he went to the leaders of Jabesh to get the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. David had their bones taken to the land of Benjamin and buried in a side room in Saul’s family burial place. Then he gave orders for the bones of the men who had been hanged to be buried there. And when it was done, Yahuah answered the prayers and blessed the land again. SEE THE AFFECT THAT BLOOD-GUILT HAS ON THE LAND?
One time David got very tired when he and his Soldiers were fighting the Philistines and one of their warriors was Ishbibenob, who was a descendant of the Rephaim and he tried to kill David.
Ishbibenob was armed with a new sword and his bronze spearhead alone weighed seven and a half pounds. But Abishai came to the rescue and killed the Philistine.
Then David’s Soldiers told him, “We can’t let you risk your life in battle anymore! You give light to our nation, and we want that flame to keep burning.”
There was another battle with the Philistines at Gob, where Sibbecai from Hushah killed a descendant of the Rephaim named Saph.
A Soldier named Elhanan killed Goliath from Gath, whose spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam.
Elhanan’s father was Jari from Bethlehem. One of the enemy Soldiers was a descendant of the Rephaim. He was as big as a giant and had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. But when he made fun of Yisharal, David’s nephew Jonathan killed him.
Jonathan was the son of David’s brother Shimei and David and his Soldiers killed these four men who were descendants of the Rephaim from Gath.
David sang a song to Yahuah after Yahuah had rescued him from his enemies, especially Saul. These are the words to David’s song: Our Yahuah and our Alahim, You are my mighty rock, my fortress, my protector. You are the rock where I am safe. You are my shield, my powerful weapon and my place of shelter. You rescue me and keep me from being hurt. I praise You, our Yahuah! I prayed to You, and You rescued me from my enemies. Death, like ocean waves, surrounded me, and I was almost swallowed by its flooding waters. Ropes from the world of the dead had coiled around me, and death had set a trap in my path. I was in terrible trouble when I called out to You, but from Your temple You heard me and answered my prayer. The Earth shook and shivered! The columns supporting the sky rocked back and forth. Indeed You were angry and breathed out smoke. Scorching heat and fiery flames spewed from Your mouth. You opened the heavens like curtains, and You came down with storm clouds under Your feet. You rode on the backs of flying creatures. You appeared with the wind as wings. Darkness was Your tent! Thunderclouds filled the sky, hiding You from sight. Fiery coals lit up the sky in front of You. Yahuah Most High, Your voice thundered from the heavens. You scattered Your enemies with arrows of lightning. You roared at the sea, and its deepest channels could be seen.You snorted, and the earth shook to its foundations. You reached down from heaven, and You lifted me from deep in the ocean. You rescued me from enemies who were hateful and too powerful for me. On the day disaster struck, they came and attacked, but You defended me. When I was fenced in, You freed and rescued me because You love me. You are good to me, Yahuah, because I do right, and You reward me because I am innocent. I do what You want and never turn to do evil. I keep Your laws in mind and never turn away from Your teachings. I obey You completely and guard against sin. You have been good to me because I do right; You have rewarded me for being innocent by Your standards. You are always loyal to Your loyal people, and trustworthy to the trusting. With all who are sincere You are sincere, but You treat the disloyal as their deeds deserve. You rescue the humble, but You look for ways to put down the proud. Our Yahuah and Alahim, You are my lamp. You turn darkness to light. You help me defeat armies and capture cities. Your way is perfect, Yahuah, and Your word is correct. You are a shield for those who run to You for help. You alone are Alahim! Only You are a mighty rock. You are my strong fortress, and You set me free. You make my feet run as fast as those of a deer, and You help me stand on the mountains. You teach my hands to fight and my arms to use a bow of bronze. You alone are my shield, and by coming to help me, You have made me famous. You clear the way for me, and now I won’t stumble. I kept chasing my enemies until I caught them and destroyed them. I destroyed them! I stuck my sword through my enemies, and they were crushed under my feet. You helped me win victories and forced my attackers to fall victim to me. You made my enemies run, and I killed them. They cried out for help, but no one saved them; they called out to You, but there was no answer. I ground them to dust, and I squashed them like mud in the streets. You rescued me from my stubborn people and made me the leader of foreign nations, who are now my slaves. They obey and come crawling. They have lost all courage and from their fortresses they come trembling. You are the living Yahuah! I will praise You! You are a mighty rock. I will honor You for keeping me safe. You took revenge for me, and You put nations in my power. You protected me from violent enemies, and You made me much greater than all of them. I will praise You, Yahuah and I will honor You among the nations. You give amazing victories to Your chosen King. Your trustworthy love for David and for his descendants will never end.
These are the last words of David the son of Jesse after the Alahim of Jacob chose David and made him a great King. The Mighty Alahim of Yisharal loved him and when Alahim told him to speak, David said, “The Spirit of Yahuah has told me what to say. Our Mighty Rock, the Alahim of Jacob, told me, “A ruler who obeys Alahim and does right is like the sunrise on a cloudless day, or like rain that sparkles on the grass.” I have ruled this way and Alahim will never break His promise to me. Yahuah’s promise is complete and unchanging; He will always help me and give me what I hope for. But evil people are pulled up like thorn-bushes. They are not dug up by hand, but with a sharp spear and are burned on the spot”.
These are the names of David’s warriors: Ishbosheth the son of Hachmon was the leader of the Three Warriors. In one battle, he killed eight hundred men with his spear. The next one of the Three Warriors was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite. One time when the Philistines were at war with Yisharal, he and David dared the Philistines to fight them and every one of the Yisharalite Soldiers turned and ran, except Eleazar. He killed Philistines until his hand was cramped, and he couldn’t let go of his sword. And when Eleazar finished, all the Yisharalite troops had to do was come back and take the enemies' weapons and armour. Yahuah gave Yisharal a great victory that day. Next was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. One time the Philistines brought their Army together to destroy a crop of peas growing in a field near Lehi.
The rest of Yisharal’s Soldiers ran away from the Philistines, but Shammah stood in the middle of the field and killed the Philistines. The crops were saved, and Yahuah gave Yisharal a great victory. One year at harvest time, the Three Warriors went to meet David at Adullam Cave. The Philistine Army had set up camp in Rephaim Valley and had taken over Bethlehem. David was in his fortress, and he was very thirsty, saying, “I wish I had a drink from the well by the gate at Bethlehem.”So the Three Warriors sneaked into the Philistine camp and got some water from the well near Bethlehem’s gate. But after they brought the water back to David, he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as a sacrifice and said to Yahuah, “I can’t drink this water! It’s like the blood of these men who risked their lives to get it for me.”
The Three Warriors did these brave deeds. Joab’s brother Abishai was the leader of the Thirty Warriors and in one battle he killed three hundred men with his spear. He was as famous as the Three Warriors and certainly just as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. He was the commander of the Thirty Warriors, but he still did not become one of the Three Warriors. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a brave man from Kabzeel who did some amazing things. He killed two of Moab’s best fighters, and on a snowy day he went down into a pit and killed a lion. Another time, he killed an Egyptian, as big as a giant. The Egyptian was armed with a spear, but Benaiah only had a club. Benaiah grabbed the spear from the Egyptian and killed him with it. Benaiah did these things. He never became one of the Three Warriors, but he was just as famous as they were and certainly just as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. So David made him the leader of his bodyguard.
Some of the Thirty Warriors (37) were: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo, Shammah and Elika from Harod, Helez the Paltite I, Ra from Tekoa , Abiezer from Anathoth , Mebunnai the Hushathite , Zalmon the Ahohite , Maharai from Netophah , Heleb the son of Baanah, Ittai the son of Ribai, Benaiah from Pirathon, Hiddai from the streams on Mount Gaash, Abialbon from Beth-Arabah, Azmavethfrom Bahurim, Eliahba from Shaalbon , Jonathan the son of Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite , Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai from Maacah , Eliam the son of Ahithophel, Paarai the Arbite Igal, the son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, Zelek from Ammon, Naharai from Beeroth, who carried the weapons of Joab the son of Zeruiah , Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, and Uriah the Hittite. There were 37 men in all.
And Yahuah was angry at Yisharal again, and He made David think it would be a good idea to count the people in Yisharal (NORTHERN TRIBES) and Judah (SOUTHERN TRIBES). So David told Joab and the Army officers, “Go to every Tribe in Yisharal, from the town of Dan in the North all the way South to Beersheba, and count everyone who can serve in the Army. I want to know how many there are.”
And Joab answered, “I hope Yahuah your Alahim will give you a hundred times more Soldiers than you already have. I hope you will live to see that day! But why do you want to do a thing like this?”
But when David refused to change his mind, Joab and the Army officers went out and started counting the people. They spanned all of Yisharal and it took them nine months and twenty days before returning again to Yerushalim. And Joab said to David, “In Yisharal there are eight hundred thousand who can serve in the Army, and in Judah there are five hundred thousand.”
After David had everyone counted, he felt guilty and told Yahuah, “What I did was stupid and terribly wrong. Yahuah, please forgive me.” But before David even got up the next morning, Yahuah had told David’s prophet Gad to take a message to him. So Gad went to David and told him, “You must choose one of three ways for Yahuah to punish you, will there be seven years when the land won’t grow enough food for your people?
Or will your enemies chase you and make you run from them for three months? Or will there be three days of horrible disease in your land? Think about it and decide, because I have to give your answer to Alahim, Who sent me".
And David was petrified and said, “It’s a terrible choice to make! But Yahuah is kind, and I’d rather have Him punish us than for anyone else to do it.”
So that morning, Yahuah sent a Messenger to spread a horrible disease everywhere in Yisharal, from Dan to Beersheba. And before it was over, seventy thousand people had died. And when the Messenger was about to destroy Yerushalim, Yahuah felt sorry for all the suffering He he'd caused and told the messenger, “That’s enough! Don’t touch them.”
This happened at the threshing place that belonged to Araunah the Jebusite.
David saw the Messenger killing everyone and told Yahuah, “These people are like sheep with me as their shepherd. I have sinned terribly, but they have done nothing wrong. Please, punish me and my family instead of them!”
That same day the prophet Gad came and told David, “Go to the threshing place that belongs to Araunah and build an altar there for Yahuah.”
So David went. Araunah looked and saw David and his Soldiers coming up toward him so he went over to David, bowed down low and said, “Your Majesty! Why have you come to see me?”
“I’ve come to buy your threshing place. I have to build Yahuah an altar here, so this disease will stop killing the people.”
“Take whatever you want and offer your sacrifice. Here are some oxen for the sacrifice. You can use the threshing-boards and the wooden yokes for the fire. 23 Take them—they’re yours! I hope Yahuah your Alahim will be pleased with you.”
“No! I have to pay you what they’re worth. I can’t offer Yahuah my Alahim a sacrifice that I got for nothing.”
So David bought the threshing place and the oxen for fifty pieces of silver. Then he built an Altar for Yahuah and sacrificed animals and burned them on the altar. Then Yahuah answered the prayers of the people, and no one else died from the terrible disease.
THIS ENDS PART ONE OF YAHUAH'S KINGDOM SAGA, WHICH BEGAN WHEN THE ALMIGHTY STARTED SPEAKING TO SAMUEL, WHO WOULD BE INSTRUMENTAL IN GUIDING YISHARAL'S ENTRANCE TO THE GLOBAL PLATFORM OF MONARCHY, FIRSTLY THROUGH THE FAILED (ANTI-KING) SAUL AND THEN THE RIGHTEOUS (MESSIAH-LIKE) DAVID. SO WITH 1ST AND 2ND SAMUEL `IN THE BAG' WE NOW MOVE ONTO THE FINAL HALF OF THE FOUR `KINGDOM BOOKS' WHERE DAVID PASSES THE TORCH TO HIS SON SOLOMON .... IN THE BOOK OF KINGS ...