Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 20

Sheba escapes to Abel Beth Maacah

2 Samuel 20:14-15

Sheba had taken control of the whole of northern Israel. However, he was unable to gather an army to support him. There were many cities with strong defences and walls round them, in that region. However, none of those cities was willing to accept him. If any city tried to defend him, then clearly Joab’s army would try to destroy that city.

So, Sheba continued to go further north. In the end, he was in the region of Dan, the city that was furthest north in Israel. There, he persuaded the leaders of Abel Beth Maacah, a city that was 5 miles (7 kilometres) west of Dan, to accept him.

Joab followed him there, with the soldiers from Jerusalem whom David had sent. Joab had also persuaded some other soldiers to join him for the attack on Abel Beth Maacah.

Joab had often attacked cities with strong walls, so he had a clear plan. His men would surround the city, so that nobody could enter or leave it. They then had to overcome the city’s defences, because otherwise it could take many months to win the battle.

So, Joab’s men first built a structure so that they could get past the outer defences. That brought them to the city wall, which was a strong stone wall, and very thick. They were trying to break a hole in the wall. If they succeeded, they would enter the city through it. Then, at last, they could start to fight.

Next part: The woman who saved her city (2 Samuel 20:16-18)


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