2 Samuel 20

Talks for Growing Christians

The Rebellion of Sheba

2 Samuel 20

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Lesson Number 20

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. One foolish man can divide a fellowship.
  2. One wise woman can save the day.

Practical Application

  1. Would we be as loyal as Adoram?


  1. How many men did Joab murder?
  2. What motivated Joab?
  3. Sheba is called a “rebel,” or literally, “Son of Belial.” Why is this significant?
  4. How did Sheba take advantage of the conflict recorded at the end of chapter 19?
  5. Recount the story of the wise woman at Abel Beth Maachah.


  1. This is the third we have record of – first Abner, then Absalom, and now Amasa, his own cousin.
  2. Joab was certainly motivated by political ambition more than loyalty to David.
  3. Belial is another name for Satan. This rebellion was a further attempt to bring the dynasty of David to an end, because Satan knew that the Messiah was to come through the line of David.
  4. The southern tribe of Judah and the ten northern tribes had a falling out when they attempted to bring David back as king. Sheba took advantage of this by calling the northern tribes to desert David at this tenuous time.
  5. Sheba traveled north recruiting rebels, and took refuge in the walled city of Abel Beth Maachah. Joab and his army pursued them there and built a siege mound, with the intention of slaughtering the whole city if necessary. A wise woman called out to Joab with reason and logic. She convinced the people of the city to execute the rebel Sheba. They threw his head over the wall and the city was saved.


  1. The right man at this time of conflict could have brought healing and peace to the nation instead of further division. Discuss how wise peace makers are blessed, but they are more rare than the foolish friction and faction makers. Have you ever seen this in your church fellowship? How can you be a peace maker rather than a faction maker?
  2. God continues to use wise women today to deal with problems and save the day. Who is your favorite wise woman? Recall the impact she has had.


  1. Adoram was loyal to the point of death. Are you as loyal to your King?

Key Verses

  • “So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.” 2 Samuel 20:2
  • “But Amasa did not notice the sword that was in Joab’s hand. And he struck him with it in the stomach, and his entrails poured out on the ground.” 2 Samuel 20:10
  • “Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab.” 2 Samuel 20:22

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