2 Samuel 20:18
New International Version
She continued, "Long ago they used to say, 'Get your answer at Abel,' and that settled it.

New Living Translation
Then she continued, "There used to be a saying, 'If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.'

English Standard Version
Then she said, “They used to say in former times, ‘Let them but ask counsel at Abel,’ and so they settled a matter.

Berean Study Bible
Then the woman said, “Long ago they used to say, ‘Seek counsel at Abel,’ and that is how disputes were settled.

New American Standard Bible
Then she spoke, saying, "Formerly they used to say, 'They will surely ask advice at Abel,' and thus they ended the dispute.

King James Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
She said, "In the past they used to say, 'Seek counsel in Abel,' and that's how they settled disputes.

Contemporary English Version
She said, "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.

Good News Translation
She said, "Long ago they used to say, 'Go and get your answer in the city of Abel'--and that's just what they did.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
She said, "In the past they used to say, 'Seek counsel in Abel,' and that's how they settled disputes.

International Standard Version
So she said, "In days past, people used to settle a dispute by saying 'Let's ask for advice at Abel!'

NET Bible
She said, "In the past they would always say, 'Let them inquire in Abel,' and that is how they settled things.

New Heart English Bible
Then she spoke, saying, "They were used to say in old times, 'They shall surely ask counsel at Abel;' and so they settled it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So she said, "There's an old saying: 'Be sure to ask at Abel [before doing anything]. That's the way they settle matters.'

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then she spoke, saying: 'They were wont to speak in old time, saying: They shall surely ask counsel at Abel; and so they ended the matter.

New American Standard 1977
Then she spoke, saying, “Formerly they used to say, ‘They will surely ask advice at Abel,’ and thus they ended the dispute.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then she spoke, saying, They used to speak in old times, saying, If you have a question ask it at Abel; and so they concluded the matter.

King James 2000 Bible
Then she spoke, saying, They used to speak in former time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.

American King James Version
Then she spoke, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.

American Standard Version
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 .

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And she spoke, saying, Of old time they said thus, Surely one was asked in Abel, and Dan, whether the faithful in Israel failed in what they purposed; they will surely ask in Abel, even in like manner, whether they have failed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And she spoke saying, They were wont to speak in old time saying, Just inquire in Abel; and so they ended.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then she spoke, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They will surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.

World English Bible
Then she spoke, saying, "They were used to say in old times, 'They shall surely ask counsel at Abel;' and so they settled it.

Young's Literal Translation
and she speaketh, saying, 'They spake often in former times, saying, Let them diligently ask at Abel, and so they finished.
Study Bible
Sheba's Rebellion
17When he had come near to her, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?” “I am,” he replied. “Listen to the words of your servant,” she said. “I am listening,” he answered. 18Then the woman said, “Long ago they used to say, ‘Seek counsel at Abel,’ and that is how disputes were settled. 19I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel, but you are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the LORD’s inheritance?”…
Cross References
2 Samuel 20:17
When he had come near to her, the woman asked, "Are you Joab?" "I am," he replied. "Listen to the words of your servant," she said. "I am listening," he answered.

2 Samuel 20:19
I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel, but you are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the LORD's inheritance?"

Treasury of Scripture

Then she spoke, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.

They were wont, etc.

Deuteronomy 20:10,11
When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it…







Lexicon
Then [the woman] said,
וַתֹּ֖אמֶר (wat·tō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

“Long ago
בָרִֽאשֹׁנָה֙ (ḇā·ri·šō·nāh)
Preposition-b, Article | Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7223: First, in place, time, rank

they used to say,
דַּבֵּ֨ר (dab·bêr)
Verb - Piel - Infinitive absolute
Strong's Hebrew 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

‘Seek counsel
שָׁאֹ֧ל (šā·’ōl)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive absolute
Strong's Hebrew 7592: To inquire, to request, to demand

at Abel,’
בְּאָבֵ֖ל (bə·’ā·ḇêl)
Preposition-b | Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 59: Abel -- 'meadow', two places in Palestine

and that is how
וְכֵ֥ן (wə·ḵên)
Conjunctive waw | Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3651: So -- thus

disputes were settled.
הֵתַֽמּוּ׃ (hê·ṯam·mū)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 8552: To be complete or finished
(18) Ask counsel at Abel.--The simplest and most obvious explanation is here the true one, viz., that Abel had become proverbial for its wisdom. An ancient Jewish interpretation, which has been incorporated into the Targum, is, however, of sufficient interest to be mentioned: "Remember now that which is written in the book of the Law to ask a city concerning peace at the first? Hast thou done so, to ask of Abel if they will make peace?" The reference is to Deuteronomy 20:10, &c.

Verse 18. - They were wont to speak, etc. The Hebrew literally is, they used to say in old time, They shall surely ask at Abel; and so they finished (the matter). But of these words two completely distinct interpretations are given. The Jewish Targum records the one: "Remember now that which is written in the book of the Law, to ask a city concerning peace at the first. Hast thou done so, to ask of Abel if they will make peace?" The woman, that is, was referring to the command in Deuteronomy 20:10, not to besiege a city until peace had been offered to the inhabitants on condition of their paying tribute. When a city was captured the lot of the inhabitants, as the woman declares in ver. 19, was utter destruction; and the Law mercifully gave them the chance of escaping such a fate. Joab had not complied with this enactment, but had assumed that the people would support Sheba, and was proceeding to the last extremity without consulting them. This interpretation gives an excellent sense, but cannot be wrung out of the present Hebrew text without violence. The other interpretation is that of the Authorized Version, that the woman was commending her words to Joab, by reminding him that Abel had been famed in early times for its wisdom, and had probably been the seat of an oracle in the old Canaanite times. When, therefore, people had carried their dispute to Abel, both sides were content to abide by the answer given them, and so the controversy was ended. Literally, these words mean, "they shall surely inquire at Abel," the verb being that specially used of inquiring of God. 20:14-22 Justly is that place attacked, which dares to harbour a traitor; nor will the heart fare better which indulges rebellious lusts, that will not have Christ to reign over them. A discreet woman, by her prudent management, satisfied Joab, and yet saved the city. Wisdom is not confined to rank or sex; it consists not in deep knowledge; but in understanding how to act as matters arise, that troubles may be turned away and benefits secured. A great deal of mischief would be prevented, if contending parties would understand one another. Let both sides be undeceived. The single condition of peace is, the surrender of the traitor. It is so in God's dealing with the soul, when besieged by conviction and distress; sin is the traitor; the beloved lust is the rebel: part with that, cast away the transgression, and all shall be well. There is no peace on any other terms.
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OT History: 2 Samuel 20:18 Then she spoke saying They were wont (2Sa iiSam 2 Sam ii sam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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