2 Samuel 20:21
The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) Mount Ephraim.—The range of hills so called because much of it lay in the tribe of Ephraim, although extending south into Benjamin.

2 Samuel 20:21. A man of mount Ephraim — He is said before, 2 Samuel 20:1, to be of the tribe of Benjamin. Either, therefore, he lived in mount Ephraim, or a place in Benjamin is here called so, probably because it was upon the borders of Ephraim, or for some notable action or event of the Ephraimites in that place. His head shall be thrown to thee — Which she undertook, because she knew the present temper of the citizens and soldiers too. And it is not unlikely that this woman might be a governess in that city. For, though this office was commonly performed by men, yet women were sometimes employed in the government; as we see in Deborah, who judged Israel, Jdg 4:4.20:14-22 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.Joab's character is strongly brought out in the transaction. Politic, decided, bold, and unscrupulous, but never needlessly cruel or impulsive, or even revengeful. No life is safe that stands in his way, but from policy he never sacrifices the most insignificant life without a purpose. (Compare 2 Samuel 2:27-30.) 18-20. They were wont to speak in old time—The translation of the Margin gives a better meaning, which is to this effect: When the people saw thee lay siege to Abel, they said, Surely he will ask if we will have peace, for the law (De 20:10) prescribes that he should offer peace to strangers, much more then to Israelitish cities; and if he do this, we shall soon bring things to an amicable agreement, for we are a peaceable people. The answer of Joab brings out the character of that ruthless veteran as a patriot at heart, who, on securing the author of this insurrection, was ready to put a stop to further bloodshed and release the peaceable inhabitants from all molestation. A man of Mount Ephraim.

Quest. How can this be so when he is called a Benjamite, 2 Samuel 20:1?

Answ. Either he was a Benjamite by birth, but dwelt in the tribe of Ephraim, as many did upon several occasions dwell out of their own tribes; or Mount Ephraim was a place in Benjamin, which might be so called, either because it was upon the borders of Ephraim, and looked towards it; or from some notable action or event of the Ephraimites in that place. Compare 1 Samuel 18:6. Hath lift up his hand, i.e. taken up arms, or raised rebellion. His head shall be thrown, to thee over the wall; which she undertook, because she knew the present temper and great fears of the citizens, and soldiers too; and that considering their evident and extreme danger, they were generally desirous of peace, from which they were restrained only by Sheba’s authority and interest; and therefore did not doubt by God’s blessing upon her wise counsel to effect it, as indeed she did. And it is not unlikely that this woman might be a governess in that city for though this office was commonly performed by men, yet were not the women wholly excluded, but sometimes employed in the government; as we see in Deborah, who judged Israel, Judges 4:4; and queen Athaliah, 2Ki 11. The matter is not so,.... I am not come with the army against this city with any ill will to it, and with an intention to destroy it: the case is this:

but a man of Mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name; for though he was by birth a Benjaminite, his dwelling was in Mount Ephraim in that tribe; unless there was a place of this name in the tribe of Benjamin, so called from any memorable event there, as the wood of Ephraim, 2 Samuel 18:6. This same man, says Joab:

hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David; is in rebellion against the king, even so great and good a king as David; he has lifted up his hand, and blown a trumpet to draw off men from David, and after himself; he has committed acts of hostility and treason; he has drawn his sword, and raised an insurrection and rebellion in the nation:

deliver him only, and I will depart from the city: he did not desire any of his followers to be delivered up, only himself, knowing the rebellion would cease upon the delivery of him; and being unwilling that the blood of any Israelite should be shed, whom he had unawares drawn into this rebellion, and who he knew would return to their own cities upon this:

and the woman said unto Joab, behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall; she knew the fright the inhabitants of the city were in, and how disposed they were to do anything to save their city; she knew what influence she had among them, and how weak Sheba's party was, and therefore could assure Joab that this should be done.

The {n} matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.

(n) Hearing his fault, he gave in to reason, and required only he that was instigator of the treason.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. a man of mount Ephraim] The name “mount Ephraim,” applied to the central mountainous district of Palestine, was extended southwards so as to include part of the territory of Benjamin. See note on 1 Samuel 1:1.Verse 21. - The matter is not so. It seems from this verse that the citizens did not quite understand why Joab attacked them. Sheba had thrown himself into the city. and Joab, in hot pursuit, finding the gate closed - a measure of ordinary precaution upon the approach of a body of men - at once blockaded the town, and began to cast up the mount. At all events, they were ready to come to terms now, and would probably have given up Sheba at first, if Joab had demanded his surrender. A man of Mount Ephraim. Sheba was a Benjamite, but the hills of Ephraim extended into the territory of Benjamin, and retained their name (see 1 Samuel 1:1). Over the wall; Hebrew, through the wall, being the word rendered "at" a window in Genesis 26:8. It probably means through one of the apertures made for the archers. They besieged him (Sheba) in Abel-beth-maacah, and piled up a rampart against the city, so that it rose up by the town-moat (חל, the moat with the low wall belonging to it); and all the people with Joab destroyed to throw down the wall.
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