(A·maʹsa) [shortened form of Amasiah].
1. Son of David’s sister or half sister Abigail and Jether (Ithra), and cousin of Absalom and Joab. (2Sa 17:25; 1Ch 2:16, 17) Jether is called an Israelite in Samuel and an Ishmaelite in Chronicles, perhaps because he lived in Ishmaelite territory. Some contend that Amasa is to be identified with Amasai, one of those who joined David’s army at Ziklag, but such an identification is uncertain.—1Ch 12:18.
Years later, when Amasa threw in his lot with Absalom’s rebellion against David, he was put over Absalom’s army in place of Joab. (2Sa 17:25) The rebellion was suppressed, David’s son Absalom was killed by Joab, and Amasa was offered the place of Joab as David’s army chief, for as David said, he is “my bone and my flesh.”—2Sa 18:9-15; 19:13.
Again rebellion broke out, this time Sheba wanted no share in David. (2Sa 20:1, 2) Amasa was given three days to assemble an army. When he did not come at the fixed time, Abishai was told to take David’s servants and pursue the rebels. Abishai’s brother Joab and his men went with them in the pursuit of Sheba. Finally, when the latecomer Amasa met them, Joab, pretending to give an affectionate kiss, grabbed Amasa by the beard with one hand and used the sword in his other hand to rip Amasa’s abdomen open. (2Sa 20:4-12) This may have been deserved recompense for Amasa’s siding with Absalom but certainly not at the hand from which it came. David therefore commanded Solomon that Amasa should be avenged through the death of Joab.—1Ki 2:5, 32.
2. Son of Hadlai. Following victory over Judah, when Israelite warriors were bringing their brothers back as servants, Amasa was one of four headmen of Ephraim who heeded the plea of the prophet Oded to return the captives. He also assisted those of Judah with supplies and transportation needed for their repatriation.—2Ch 28:8-15.