Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 18

Ahimaaz, the faster runner

2 Samuel 18:22-23

For an army to defeat an evil enemy is always good news. Ahimaaz still believed that to be true, although Absalom, David’s son, had died in the battle. Ahimaaz was desperately eager to tell David the good news.

Joab had already sent a man to inform David, both of the success in battle, and of Absalom’s death. However, Ahimaaz believed that he could reach David first. He wanted to tell David the good news before David heard the sad news about his son’s death. Even if David’s joy was only for a moment, Ahimaaz wanted David to share in the joy of his army.

First, Ahimaaz had to persuade Joab to send him. Joab could not understand why Ahimaaz wanted to run. Ahimaaz had no news that the other runner could not tell David. So Ahimaaz could gain no reward. Ahimaaz, however, did not care about a reward. He wanted to run – and, in the end, Joab allowed him.

The battle happened in a forest. The two men had to find their way out of the forest, then run for several miles (several kilometres) to Mahanaim. The first runner probably went back along the path that Joab’s men had made through the forest. However, Ahimaaz chose a different route. It seems that he managed to find a stream. That stream led him out of the forest and towards the river Jordan. By the river, there was a great plain: a flat level area, over which he could run quickly. So although Ahimaaz left last, he arrived first at the gates of Mahanaim. That was where David was anxiously waiting for news.

Next part: Two runners take the news to David (2 Samuel 18:24-27)


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© 2023, Keith Simons.