The Wise Woman of Abel: An Intercessor (Sept. 23)

2 Samuel 20:14-22


In a siege, the attackers built a causeway of piled and rammed earth and rubble, strengthened with wood. These ramps or earthen bridges filled any obstacle, such as moats, so that the attackers could traverse the gap and apply scaling ladders and rams to the walls. The siege ramp was a path to the vulnerable walls.

The attackers then brought up a battering ram. Typically it was a metal-tipped wooden ram inside a framework shielded by a leather covering. It was pushed forward on wheels until it reached the wall of the city under siege, then it pounded the walls, smashing down any weak part.

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(Includes pictures)

Reading the Scripture

Here is a way you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).

Teaching Suggestions

•    Wise Women of LABC: Jane Pixley—An Intercessor

Jane Pixley, to my knowledge, never interceded with a general to save a city, but she regularly interceded on behalf of others before God in prayer.

Eloise Roberts had this to say about Jane Pixley,

A native of Lancaster, Kentucky, Jane Carter Pixley was a wise, humble, happy Christian lady. She showed genuine compassion to all. Her patients felt it when she was their nurse at the Ephraim McDowell Hospital and Centre Infirmary.

Jane was a living example of “praying without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:7). She prayed spontaneously. When she learned of a situation, immediately words like, “Well, let’s pray about it,” fell from her lips. She prayed often over the telephone. She prayed for people with any need wherever she saw them. She had great faith that God would hear the prayers and always answer.

Maria Rice tells of a time she was at a grocery store. “I was having some problems. She asked me how I was doing. I told her and she took the time to really listen. Then she stopped right there in the grocery store and prayed for me. She didn’t care who was looking. There was not a place that Jane wouldn’t pray for you. She reminds me of Mother Teresa.”

When I (Keith) visited her at her home days before her death, she said a prayer for me.

o    Questions for discussion:
i.    Has Jane prayed for any of you?
ii.    Does anyone have any Jane Pixley stories?
iii.    What can we learn from Jane Pixley?
iv.    Are there other wise women of LABC that you think of as intercessors?

•    Midwife Teaching/Case Study Method: Reflect on the Bible story or your own contemporary case study using these questions for dialogue:
o    “What would you do?”
o    “What do you think is going on here, or what should the person have done?”

•    The Formations Study Guide refers to a scene in the movie, “The Lord of the Rings.” I have placed this clip on this web page.

•    Locate Abel-beth-maacah on a map. The, Common English Bible: Bible Map Guide, is available in the library (see 6C1).


I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons.

•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)

•    Also available in the Library
o    Women of Scripture: A Dictionary of named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament, edited by Carol Meyers (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000).
o    Common English Bible: Bible Map Guide (Nashville, Tennessee, 2011), 6C1