1Also it befelled, that a man of Belial was there, Sheba by name, the son of Bichri, a man of the generation of Benjamin; and he sounded with a trump, and said, No part is to us in David, neither heritage in the son of Jesse; thou Israel, turn again into thy tabernacles. (And it befell, that a man of Belial was there, named Sheba, the son of Bichri, a man of the tribe of Benjamin; and he sounded with a trumpet, and said, There is no part for us with David, nor inheritance with the son of Jesse; O Israel, return to thy homes!)
2And all Israel was parted from David, and followed Sheba, the son of Bichri; and the men of Judah cleaved to their king, from Jordan till to Jerusalem. (And so all Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba, the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah cleaved to their king, from the Jordan River unto Jerusalem.)
3And when the king had come into his house in Jerusalem, he took [the] ten women, his secondary wives, which he had left to keep the house, and he betook them into keeping, and gave meat to them; and he entered not [in] to them; but they were closed (up) till to the day of their death, and lived in widowhood. (And when the king had come to his palace in Jerusalem, he took his secondary wives, the ten women whom he had left in charge of the palace, and he put them under guard, and gave them food; but he did not sleep with them any more; and they were enclosed until the day of their death, and lived in widowhood.)
4And David said to Amasa, Call thou together to me all the men of Judah into the third day, and be thou present. (And David said to Amasa, Call thou together for me all the men of Judah in three days’ time, and be thou present with them.) 5Therefore Amasa went forth, that he call together the people of Judah; and he dwelled over the covenanted time, which the king had set to him. (And so Amasa went out to call together the people of Judah; but he took more time to arrange matters than what the king had set for him.) 6And (so) David said to Abishai, Now Sheba, the son of Bichri, shall torment us (even) more than Absalom did; therefore take the servants of thy lord (and so take my bodyguards), and pursue him, lest in hap he find strengthened, (or fortified,) cities, and escape us. 7Therefore the men of Joab went out with Abishai, and (the) Cherethites and Pelethites, and all the strong men, (and they) went out of Jerusalem to pursue Sheba, the son of Bichri. 8And when they were beside the great stone, which is in Gibeon, Amasa came, and ran to them; and Joab was clothed with a strait coat at the measure of his shape, and he was girded above with a sword hanging down unto his entrails in a sheath; and it went out, and felled down. (And when they were beside the great stone, which is in Gibeon, Amasa came over to them; and Joab was clothed with a narrow coat tight to his body, and he was girded with a sword in a sheath hanging down to his entrails; and as Amasa came over, it fell out/he secretly took it out.) 9And so Joab said to Amasa, Hail, my brother! And Joab held with his right hand the chin of Amasa, as kissing him (And Joab held Amasa’s chin with his right hand, as if to kiss him).
10Forsooth Amasa took not keep of the sword, which sword Joab had, and Joab smote Amasa in the side, and shedded out his entrails into the earth, and Amasa was dead; and Joab added not the second wound. And (then) Joab, and Abishai, his brother, pursued Sheba, the son of Bichri. (But Amasa was not on guard for the sword which Joab had, and suddenly Joab struck, or stabbed, Amasa in the side with it, and poured out his entrails onto the ground, and so Amasa died; and Joab did not need to add a second wound. And then Joab, and his brother Abishai, pursued Sheba, the son of Bichri.) 11In the meantime, when some of the children of David, of the fellows of Joab, had stood beside the dead body of Amasa, they said, Lo! he that would be the fellow of David, (be) for Joab. (In the meantime, one of Joab’s young men stood beside Amasa’s dead body, and he said, Lo! he who would be the fellow of Joab and of David, follow he Joab!) 12And Amasa was besprinkled with blood, and lay in the middle of the way. Some man saw this/A man saw this, that all the people abode to see Amasa, and he removed Amasa from the way into the field, and he covered Amasa with a cloth, lest men passing should abide [still] for him. (And Amasa was covered with blood, and lay in the middle of the road. And some man saw that all the people stood about looking at Amasa, and so he moved Amasa’s body from the road to a nearby field, and he covered it with a cloak, lest men passing by should stand there, and gawk at him.)
13Therefore when he was removed from the way, each man passed forth, following Joab to pursue Sheba, the son of Bichri.
14Forsooth Sheba had passed by all the lineages of Israel till into Abel, and into Bethmaachah; and all the chosen men were gathered to him. (And Sheba passed through the territories of all the tribes of Israel unto Abel of Bethmaachah; and all the men of Bichri/and all the Berites were gathered to him, and followed him.) 15Therefore they came, and fought against him in Abel, and in Bethmaachah, and (en)compassed the city with strongholds; and the city was besieged. And all the company, that was with Joab, enforced to destroy the walls. (And then Joab and his men came, and fought against him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and surrounded the city with strongholds; and the city was besieged. And all the men who were with Joab endeavoured to destroy the walls.) 16And a wise woman of the city cried (out from) on high, Hear ye! hear ye! say ye to Joab, Nigh thou hither (Come thou here), and I shall speak with thee. 17And when he had nighed to her, she said to him, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am. To whom she spake thus, Hear thou the words of thine handmaid. Joab answered, I hear (And Joab answered, I am listening). 18And again she said, A word was said in (an) eld proverb, They that ask, ask in Abel; and so they profited. 19Whether I am not, that answer truth to Israel? and seekest thou to destroy a city, and to do away a mother city in Israel? why castedest thou down/why throwest thou down the heritage of the Lord? (My city is one of the most peaceful, and faithful, in all of Israel; so why seekest thou to destroy such a city, and to do away such a mother in Israel? why throwest thou down the Lord’s inheritance?) 20And Joab answered, and said, Far be (this), far be this from me; I cast not down, neither I destroy (I do not want to destroy this city). 21The thing hath not so itself; but a man of the hill of Ephraim, Sheba, the son of Bichri, by surname, raised his hand against king David; betake ye him alone to us, and we shall go away from the city (That is not my goal; but a man named Sheba, the son of Bichri, of the hill country of Ephraim, raised a rebellion against King David; deliver ye him to us, and him alone, and we shall go away from your city). And the woman said to Joab, Lo! his head shall be sent to thee by the wall. 22Then the woman went in to all the people, and she spake to them wisely; and they threw (out) to Joab the head of Sheba, the son of Bichri, girded off. And Joab sounded with a trump, and they departed from the city, each man into his tabernacles; and Joab turned again to Jerusalem to the king. (Then the woman went to all the people, and she spoke wisely to them; and so they cut off the head of Sheba, the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. And then Joab sounded with a trumpet, and they left the city, and each man went back to his home; and Joab returned to the king in Jerusalem.)
23Therefore Joab was on all the host of Israel; forsooth Benaiah, [the] son of Jehoiada, was on Cherethites and Pelethites; (And so Joab was over all of Israel’s army; and Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was over the Cherethites and Pelethites;) 24and Adoram was upon the tributes (and Adoram was over the forced labour/was over the taxation); and Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, was (the) chancellor; 25and Sheva was scribe; but Zadok and Abiathar were priests; (and Sheva was the writer; and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests;) 26and Ira of Jairites was the priest of David.
Wycliffe’s Old Testament
Wycliffe’s New Testament
and JOHN PURVEY
A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by
TERENCE P. NOBLE
Used by Permission