a-ma'-sa (`amasa', or read `ammishai, i.e. `am yishai, "people of Jesse"): The form `amasa', is based upon a mistaken etymology (from = `amac "to burden").
(1) According to 2Sa 17:25, Amasa is the son of Abigail, the sister of Zeruiah and David, and Ithra, an Israelite; but another source, 1Ch 2:17, calls his father Jether the Ishmaelite. He was a nephew of David and a cousin of Absalom, who made him commander of the army of rebellion. When the uprising had been quelled, David, in order to conciliate Amasa, promised him the position held by Joab; the latter had fallen from favor (2Sa 19:13 ff). When a new revolt broke out under Sheba, the son of Bichri (2Sa 20:1-26), Amasa was entrusted with the task of assembling the men of Judah. But Joab was eager for revenge upon the man who had obtained the office of command that he coveted. When Amasa met Joab at Gibeon, the latter murdered him while pretending to salute (2Sa 20:8-10; 1Ki 2:5).
(2) Son of Hadlai, of the Bene 'Ephrayim ("Children of Ephraim"), who, obeying the words of the prophet Oded, refused to consider as captives the Judeans who had been taken from Ahaz, king of Judah, by the victorious Israelites under the leadership of Pekah (2Ch 28:12).
H. J. Wolf