NIV 2 Samuel 20:9 Joab said to Amasa, “How are you, my brother?” Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab’s hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bikri.
11One of Joab’s men stood beside Amasa and said, “Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab!”
12 Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the road, and the man saw that all the troops came to a halt there. When he realized that everyone who came up to Amasa stopped, he dragged him from the road into a field and threw a garment over him.

Was Amasa still moving somehow?

  • '... without being stabbed again, Amasa died.' But between being once stabbed, and dying, another event occurred which is placed, in narrative, next in narrative sequence but not in sequence of time.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 13, 2020 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


There are two different ways to understand this passage of 2 Sam 20:10-12 -

  1. "Amasa died" in v10 means that he had been effectively killed by being fatally wounded but took another few minutes to actually expire. Thus he could "wallow" (a good translation). Such a use is also seen in the famous passage of Gen 2:17 where God tells Adam and Eve not to touch the tree else they will die. When they touched the tree they were fatally wounded (with sin in this case) but took some years more to actually expire.
  2. "Amasa died" means that he had been killed but the following two verses tells what happened in the few minutes between being stabbed and disemboweled and actually expiring. As is well known, not all Bible records are strictly chronological and this may be one such.

Either understand is consistent with Bible usage.

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