Am'asa (Hebrew Amasa', עֲמָשָׂא, burden), the name of two men.
1. (Sept. Α᾿μεσσά; but v. r. Α᾿μεσσαϊv, and in 1Ch 2:17, even Α᾿μεσσάβ.) The son of Abigail, a sister of King David, by Jether or Ithra (q.v.), an Ishmaelite (1Ch 2:17; 2Sa 17:25; 1Ki 2:5,32); a foreign paternity that appears to have caused his neglect in comparison with the more honored sons of David's other sister Zeruiah; until on the occurrence of Absalom's rebellion, whose party he naturally joined, and of which he was made general, his good conduct probably of the battle, although defeated, led David to offer him not only pardon, but the command of the army in the room of his cousin Joab (2Sa 19:13), whose overbearing conduct had become intolerable to him, and to whom he could not entirely forgive the death of Absalom (q.v.). B.C. cir. 1023. But on the breaking out of Sheba's insurrection, Amasa was so tardy in his movements (probably from the reluctance of the troops to follow him) that David despatched Abishai with the household troops in pursuit of Sheba, and Joab joined his brother as a volunteer. When they reached "the great stone of Gibeon," they were overtaken by Amasa with the force he had been able to collect. Joab thought this a favorable opportunity of getting rid of so dangerous a rival, and immediately executed the treacherous purpose he had formed. SEE ABNER. He saluted Amasa, asked him of his health, and took his beard in his right hand to kiss him, while with the unheeded left hand he smote him dead with his sword. Joab then put himself at the head of the troops, and continued the pursuit of Sheba; and such was his popularity with the army that David was unable to remove him from the command, or call him to account for this bloody deed (2Sa 20:4-12). B.C. cir. 1022. SEE JOAB. Whether Amasa be identical with the Amasai who is mentioned among David's commanders (1Ch 12:18) is uncertain (Bertheau, Erklar. — p. 140). SEE DAVID.
2. (Sept. Α᾿μασίας.) A son of Hadlai and chief of Ephraim, who, with others, vehemently and successfully resisted the retention as prisoners of the persons whom Pekah, king of Israel, had taken captive in a successful campaign against Ahaz, king of Judah (2Ch 28:12). B.C. cir. 738.