Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 2

Joab tries to escape punishment

1 Kings 2:28-29

Until after David’s death, Solomon did not punish the men who had tried to organise the revolution for Adonijah.

Joab, the leader of Israel’s army, was one of those men. He probably believed that Solomon was afraid to punish him. David, too, had considered himself too weak to punish Joab for his crimes (2 Samuel 3:39). Joab constantly took advantage of David’s weakness; and he expected to take advantage of Solomon in the same way.

After David’s death, Solomon ordered the death of Adonijah. Solomon then acted against Abiathar, the chief priest who had supported Adonijah. So Joab realised that Solomon intended to punish him next.

The tabernacle was the tent that Moses made for God. It stood in Gibeon. In front of it was the altar, the place where the priests burned gifts to God. The altar had four corners that pointed out, like the horns (bony points) on the heads of some animals. Here, Adonijah escaped after the revolution, and Solomon did not kill him then (1:50-53).

So Joab went there too, and, like Adonijah, he held on to the horns of the altar. Solomon cared about religion, and he was eager to please God (3:3-4). So Joab believed that this young king was too afraid to order anyone’s death in such a holy place. He intended to remain in that holy place until Solomon agreed not to punish him.

Next part: Joab tries to claim the protection of a holy place (1 Kings 2:30)


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