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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Amasa

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Amasa, 1

Ama´sa (burden), son of Abigail, a sister of King David. As his name does not occur prior to Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 17:25), he must have been neglected by David in comparison with Joab and Abishai, the sons of his other sister Zeruiah, who had before then been raised to great power and influence. This apparent estrangement may perhaps be connected with the fact that Abigail had married an Ishmaelite called Jether, who was the father of Amasa. This is the more likely, as the fact is pointedly mentioned (1 Chronicles 2:17), or covertly indicated (2 Samuel 17:25) whenever the name of Abigail occurs, whereas we are quite ignorant who was the husband of the other sister, Zeruiah, and father of her distinguished sons. We may thus form a conjecture of the grounds on which Amasa joined Absalom, and obtained the command of the rebel army. He was defeated by his cousin Joab, who commanded the army of David. This transaction appears to have made David sensible of the neglect with which Amasa had been treated; and he eventually offered him not only pardon, but the command of the army in the room of Joab (2 Samuel 19:13), whose overbearing conduct had become intolerable to him, and to whom he could not entirely forgive the death of Absalom. David, however, was too good a soldier himself to have made this offer, had not Amasa, notwithstanding his defeat, displayed high military qualities during his command of Absalom's army. But on the breaking out of Sheba's rebellion, Amasa was so tardy in his movements (probably from the reluctance of the troops to follow him), that David dispatched Abishai with the household troops in pursuit of Sheba, and Joab joined his brother as a volunteer. When they reached 'the great stone of Gibeon,' they were overtaken by Amasa with the force he had been able to collect. Joab thought this a favorable opportunity of getting rid of so dangerous a rival, and immediately executed the treacherous purpose he had formed. He saluted Amasa, asked him of his health, and took his beard in his right hand to kiss him, while with the unheeded left hand he smote him dead with his sword. Joab then put himself at the head of the troops, and continued the pursuit of Sheba; and such was his popularity with the army, that David was unable to remove him from the command, or to call him to account for this bloody deed: B.C. 1022 [ABNER; ABSALOM; JOAB].

Amasa, 2

Amasa, a chief of Ephraim, who, with others, vehemently resisted the retention as prisoners of the persons whom Pekah, king of Israel, had taken captive in a successful campaign against Ahaz, king of Judah (2 Chronicles 28:12).

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Amasa'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/a/amasa.html.

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