New Defender's Study Bible Notes
20:1 Sheba. The tribes other than Judah were of mixed opinion regarding re-installing David as king. Some, therefore, followed a Benjamite named Sheba in another proposed rebellion.
20:5 tarried longer. Amasa, David’s new commander, delayed in carrying out David’s order to put down Sheba’s rebellion, so he turned again to Joab and Abishai. Joab, no doubt bitterly resenting David’s promotion of Amasa, who had been Absalom’s commander, took advantage of the situation to slay his cousin Amasa (II Samuel 20:10).
20:14 Abel, and to Beth-maachah. These were twin cities in the far north of Israel.
20:14 Berites. The Berites, mentioned nowhere else in Scripture, may have been followers of a descendant of Asher named Beri (I Chronicles 7:36). An alternative suggestion has been that they were followers of Bichre, father of the rebel, Sheba (II Samuel 20:13).
20:19 peaceable and faithful. The citizens of Abel were not sympathetic with Sheba’s rebellion and did not want their city destroyed on his account. Their leader was a capable woman, whose followers then beheaded Sheba, thus saving the city.