20:14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to {i} Bethmaachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him.

(i) To the city Abel, which was near Bethmaachah.

20:14 He - Sheba, who marched from tribe to tribe to stir them up to sedition. Abel - Unto Abel - beth - maachah, as this place is called here in the Hebrew text, ver.15, to distinguish it from other Abels; and to signify, that this was that Abel which was in the northern border of Canaan towards that part of Syria called Maachah, 2Sam 10:8. Berites - Such as lived in the city, or territory of Beeroth of Benjamin, Josh 18:25, who being of the same tribe, if not city with Sheba, adhered to him, and followed him through all the tribes of Israel. They - The tribes of Israel; that is, a considerable number of them; as might well be expected, when the discontents were so high and general.

20:14-22 Justly is that place attacked, which dares to harbour a traitor; nor will the heart fare better which indulges rebellious lusts, that will not have Christ to reign over them. A discreet woman, by her prudent management, satisfied Joab, and yet saved the city. Wisdom is not confined to rank or sex; it consists not in deep knowledge; but in understanding how to act as matters arise, that troubles may be turned away and benefits secured. A great deal of mischief would be prevented, if contending parties would understand one another. Let both sides be undeceived. The single condition of peace is, the surrender of the traitor. It is so in God's dealing with the soul, when besieged by conviction and distress; sin is the traitor; the beloved lust is the rebel: part with that, cast away the transgression, and all shall be well. There is no peace on any other terms.