The wise woman of Abel Beth-Maacah

November 2022
״Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. And he blew the horn, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.״
The wise woman of Abel Beth-maacah

David’s armies have been fighting to put down a new widespread rebellion by Sheba, son of Bichri, who has called for the northern tribes to secede and flee to Abel Beth Maacah. Joab, the commander of David’s army goes after him and a siege of the fortified city ensues.
As the troops are battering the walls, The wise woman appears and demands to speak to Joab. Surprisingly, the battle stops. The Wise Woman stood up to Yoav and successfully negotiated her city’s salvation.
She promises, “His head shall be thrown over the wall to you” and that is what happens. Sheba is beheaded, and the troops disperse.
The Wise Woman of Abel Beth Maacah acted alone commanding the attention of the attacking forces. She took control of the situation, She used wisdom and logic to challenge Joab’s thinking and redirect him to a better solution.
The wise woman from Abel-Beth-Maacah is identified in midrashim as Serah, daughter of Asher, Jacob’s granddaughter, she lived an extremely long life, to the time of King David. Some traditions go so far as to assert that she entered the Garden of Eden while still alive.