POLITICS IN David’s day was just brutal and bloody as it is today.
Following the rebellion of Absalom, the people of Israel conclude that their best option is to welcome David home as king. For his part, David tried to win the loyalty of his relatives in the tribe of Judah by replacing one of his nephews, Joab, as commander of the army with another nephew, Amasa—who, we failed to mention, had led Absalom’s troops into battle against the army of David!
These moves had two consequences: First, the murder of Amasa by Joab in a bloody encounter at Gibeon; and second, another conflict between Judah and the northern tribes, which led to the rebellion of Sheba the son of Bichri.
Sheba’s rebellion ended when Joab and a small force pursued him to the northernmost city in Israel, Abel Beth Maacah, where a wise woman convinced the town that the best way to respond to Joab’s siege was to deliver the severed head of Sheba—finally bringing to an end the civil war triggered by Absalom.
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