1. Son (seemingly illegitimate) of Jether or Ithra, an Ishmaelite, by Abigail, David's sister (2 Samuel 17:25; 1 Chronicles 2:15-17). (See ABSALOM.) Joined his rebellion, probably because neglected by David (as appears from his not being mentioned previously) on account of his Ishmaelite parentage (Zeruiah occurs always without mention of her husband; but Abigail always with her husband Jether, as though in disparagement). Defeated in the wood of Ephraim by Joab (2 Samuel 18).
David, to atone for past neglect, pardoned, and even promoted him to command the army in the room of the overbearing Joab. Amasa's slowness in crushing Sheba's rebellion, perhaps owing to the disinclination of the troops to be under his command, obliged David to dispatch Abishai with the household guards, and Joab accompanied them. Amasa and his force overtook them at "the great stone of Gibeon." There Joab, while taking with his right hand Amasa's beard to kiss him, with his left stabbed him with his sword (2 Samuel 20:10).
2. AMASAI, leader of a body of men of Judah and Benjamin, to join David in the hold at Ziklag; David's apprehension of treachery on the part of his own tribe was dispelled by Amasa's words under the spirit which "clothed" him: "Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse; peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers, for thy God helpeth thee." (Margin 1 Chronicles 12:16-18.) 1 Chronicles 12:3. A prince of Ephraim, son of Hadlai, who, at the prophet Oded's command from God, opposed the detention of the Jews taken captive by Pekah of Israel from Ahaz of Judah (2 Chronicles 28:12).