Source and composition in the story of Sheba's Revolt (2 Samuel 20)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article suggests that the story of Sheba's revolt in 2 Samuel 20 is comprised of two parts, each written by a different author at different time and place. The early story (vv. 14-22a) was written in the Kingdom of Israel in the 8th century BCE. It related the failed revolt of Sheba, an inhabitant of Mount Ephraim; his flight northward to Abel; and how he was betrayed and killed. The author of the Succession Narrative took over this early story, cut short its first part and replaced it with a new introduction that he composed (vv. 1-13). His introduction turned the local revolt of the early story into an all-Israelite revolt. In this way, he artificially devised a large-scale Israelite revolt under the leadership of Sheba, on par with the large-scale Judahite revolt known to have taken place under the leadership of Absalom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-352
Number of pages13
JournalRevue Biblique
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • Abel-beth-maacah
  • Amasa
  • Joab
  • Mount Ephraim
  • Sheba
  • Succession Narrative


Dive into the research topics of 'Source and composition in the story of Sheba's Revolt (2 Samuel 20)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this