20:14 Sheba 1 traveled through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of 2 Beth Maacah and all the Berite region. When they had assembled, 3 they too joined him. 20:15 So Joab’s men 4 came and laid siege against him in Abel of Beth Maacah. They prepared a siege ramp outside the city which stood against its outer rampart. As all of Joab’s soldiers were trying to break through 5 the wall so that it would collapse,
2 Samuel 20:18Context
20:18 She said, “In the past they would always say, ‘Let them inquire in Abel,’ and that is how they settled things.
1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Sheba) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tc The translation follows the Qere, many medieval Hebrew
4 tn Heb “they.” The following context makes it clear that this refers to Joab and his army.
5 tc The LXX has here ἐνοοῦσαν (enoousan, “were devising”), which apparently presupposes the Hebrew word מַחֲשָׁבִים (makhashavim) rather than the MT מַשְׁחִיתִם (mashkhitim, “were destroying”). With a number of other scholars Driver thinks that the Greek variant may preserve the original reading, but this seems to be an unnecessary conclusion (but see S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 346).