2 Samuel 20:17
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.
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2 Samuel 20:17-18. He answered, I do hear — He did not despise her because she was a woman; but, as became a wise man, gave her a favourable audience, and attended to what she said. They shall surely ask counsel at Abel — She begins with praising the city of Abel, as famous even to a proverb, time out of mind, for wisdom, and judging rightly of things. As if she had said, This city, which thou art about to destroy, is no mean and contemptible one; but so honourable and considerable for its wisdom, that when any differences arose among any of the neighbours, they used proverbially to say, We will ask the opinion and advice of the men of Abel about it, and we will stand to their arbitration; and so all parties were satisfied, and disputes ended.

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.Cast up a bank - See the marginal references. The throwing up of mounds against the walls of besieged places by the besiegers is well illustrated in the Assyrian sculptures.

The trench - The "pomoerium," or fortified space outside the wall. When the mound was planted in the pomoerium the battering engines were able to approach close to the wall to make a breach.

2Sa 20:16-22. A Wise Woman Saves the City by Sheba's Head.

16. Then cried a wise woman—The appeal of this woman, who, like Deborah, was probably a judge or governess of the place, was a strong one.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And when he was come near unto her,.... As he did, upon the information of his men, that a woman on the wall had something to say to him:

the woman said, art thou Joab? she was willing to be satisfied that he was really the general, before she would impart her mind to him:

and he answered, I am he; the very person you ask after:

and she said unto him, hear the words of thine handmaid; though a woman, vouchsafe to hear what I have to say:

and he answered, I do hear: am ready to hear, and shall patiently and attentively hear whatever may be spoken; which was giving her leave and encouragement to proceed.

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.
2 Samuel 20:17Then a wise woman of the city desired to speak to Joab, and said (from the wall) to him (2 Samuel 20:18), "They were formerly accustomed to say, ask Abel; and so they brought (a thing) to pass." These words show that Abel had formerly been celebrated for the wisdom of its inhabitants.
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