2 Samuel 20:22
Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) To his tent= to his home. (Comp. 2Samuel 20:1, 2Samuel 18:17; 1Kings 12:16, &c.)

Benaiah.—In the four closing verses of this chapter there is again given a short summary of the chief men of David’s reign, as if to form the conclusion of this account of his life. A similar summary has already been given in 2Samuel 8:16-18, and the changes introduced here mark a later period of the reign. It is noticeable that Joab still remains commander-in-chief. On Benaiah and the force which he commanded, see Note on 2Samuel 8:18. (See also 2Samuel 23:20-23.)

2 Samuel 20:22. The woman went unto the people in her wisdom — Prudently treated with them about it, representing to them the certainty and nearness of their ruin, if they did not speedily comply with her desires, and certain deliverance if they did. They immediately complied, and cut off the head of Sheba. He blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city — Raised the siege and went home. It appears by this that it was usual to discharge them, as well as call them together, by the sound of the trumpet.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. In her wisdom prudently treated with them about it, either severally or jointly, as she saw fit; representing to them the certainty and nearness of all their ruin, if they did not speedily comply with her desires, and certain deliverance if they did.

They retired; Joab and his army which besieged them. Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom,.... Went from the wall of the city into it, and convened the principal inhabitants together, and made so wise a speech to them, and represented things in such a light, and so prudently conducted, that they unanimously agreed to her motion:

and they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab; whose face Joab knew full well, and was satisfied it was his head that was thrown over:

and he blew a trumpet; as a sign of retreat:

and they retired from the city, every man to his tent; the army under Joab broke up the siege, and departed, every man to his own city, as the Targum:

and Joab returned unto Jerusalem unto the king; to give him an account of his success, and how the rebellion was crushed; and this gave him courage and boldness to appear before the king, which one would wonder else he should have, when he had killed his general in cold blood, the king had sent out, and without his leave had reassumed his post as general of the army; but he was a bold daring man, a man of blood, and hardened in sin, and had power in the army, and over David himself, that he could not do what he would with him, but was obliged to be silent, and overlook things, and even to reestablish him in his office, as appears by what follows.

Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. in her wisdom] The “Preacher” illustrates the truth that “wisdom is better than strength” by a parable strikingly similar to this incident, and possibly suggested by it (Ecclesiastes 9:13-16).

they retired] They were dispersed to their several homes.Verse 22. - In her wisdom; that is, with her wise counsel. The story in Ecclesiastes 9:13-15 probably refers to this narrative. They retired; Hebrew, they dispersed themselves each to his tent; that is, his home. This refers to Amasa's levies, who were glad to depart, and whom Joab did not want at Jerusalem. He took thither with him all those mentioned in ver. 7. Incensed as David must have been at the murder of Amasa following so quickly upon that of Absalom, yet that very act proved Joab's determination, and left the king powerless. He must have felt, too, that Joab was indispensable for the maintenance of peace and order in his dominions, and that he was at the least faithful to himself. Then 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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