(ahm' ah suh) HEBREW: AMASA
"to support"

The son of Jether the Ishmaelite, Amasa was military commander under his cousin Absalom and his uncle King David. He led Absalom's rebel army against the king but was defeated. After David's victory, the king appointed Amasa as his new commander. This gesture served two purposes: it helped reunite the various factions within Israel and sent a message of displeasure to the former commander Joab for his killing of Absalom and Abner.

In order to suppress the uprising of Sheba the son of Bichri, David ordered Amasa to organize the men of Judah within three days. Amasa failed and David called on Abishai to accomplish the task. Joined by Joab and David's "mighty men" (2 Sam. 20:7), Abishai was able to quash the rebellion. Amasa had managed to join David's army at Gibeon, but Joab - pretending to greet him with a kiss - disemboweled Amasa in the middle of the road with his sword. At first, the horrible sight stopped the marching troops in their tracks, but soon the body was removed and the army proceeded against Sheba.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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