Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 2
Joab was not present to hear Solomon’s judgment against him. Still, Solomon insisted that he must make a clear declaration of Joab’s crimes. He was not ordering Joab’s death because of any personal anger against him. Rather, he made that order because Joab was guilty of terrible crimes.
It may surprise us that Solomon did not include Joab’s part in Adonijah’s revolution among those crimes. Instead, Solomon ordered Joab’s death because of the two murders that Joab carried out.
One of those murders, the death of Abner, happened 35 years previously (2 Samuel 3:27). Several years had also passed since the murder of Amasa (2 Samuel 20:10). It was right and proper that Joab should die for these crimes (Numbers 35:31-34).
The murder of an innocent person is always a terrible crime. However, Joab’s crimes were especially bad. They were crimes against the king, David, because Joab acted without his knowledge (2:5-6). They were crimes against the whole of Israel: Abner was the commander of the army of northern Israel; and David had sent Amasa to lead the army of Judah, in the south of Israel (2 Samuel 20:4-5). These were cruel and sudden deaths: Joab attacked them like a robber attacks.
Until this time, everyone had considered Joab to be one of David’s most important supporters: his army commander. Now, at last, Solomon declared the truth about him. Joab was an evil man whom David was unable to control. Therefore, God’s kindness is upon David’s family; but Joab was an evil man who deserved only the shame of his punishment.
Next part: Benaiah obeys Solomon's instructions (1 Kings 2:34-35)
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