Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 11

Abimelech, son of Jerub-Besheth

2 Samuel 11:18-21

Joab sent a man back to David to report on the failure of the attack that David had ordered.

The army had not lost their battle for the city, but they had suffered a shameful and unnecessary defeat. Several soldiers had died. Joab wanted to make it clear that he was not responsible for this foolish attack. David gave the instructions for it because he desired the death of Uriah, one of his best soldiers.

To show how foolish the attack was, Joab referred back to a lesson from Israel’s history. Even today, army commanders study battles in their nation’s history, to learn lessons for the future. As a responsible army leader, Joab was familiar with Israel’s past battles, some of which we read about in the Bible. He knew that David would be familiar with those battles, too.

The particular incident that Joab expected David to mention, is in Judges 9:50-56. Jerub-Besheth here is another name for Jerub-Baal, whom we usually call Gideon (Judges 6:32). He was one of the leaders called Judges; they led Israel before the country had a king. He was a good leader, but his son Abimelech was extremely wicked. Abimelech murdered his 70 brothers and ruled Israel for 3 years (Judges 9:22). He defeated the city called Thebez - but its people escaped into their castle. However, he went too close to the castle wall. A woman threw down a large heavy stone on him, and so he died. That incident proved that, in a battle, it is too dangerous to go close to the base of a high wall.

Next part: David hears about Uriah's death (2 Samuel 11:22-25)


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