Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 18
In verse 18, Joab sounded the trumpet, a loud musical instrument. That was the signal for all the men in his battle group to gather together. The battle had ended. They returned to Joab so that he could give them further orders. He told most of the men to bury Absalom and to build a great pile of stones on the grave (verse 17). However, some of the men received special orders from him. These were the runners, whose task was to take messages. It was necessary to send an urgent message to King David. He had remained in the city called Mahanaim (verses 3 and 4), and he was waiting anxiously for news from the battle.
Our passage mentions two of those runners. They were strong men, and able to run long distances. They were also responsible men, whom Joab trusted with extremely important messages.
One of those men, whom verse 21 introduces, is called Cushi in some Bible translations. Although that may be a name (compare the title of Psalm 7), it probably actually refers to his nationality. He seems to be an African man from Cush, which is now in the region of Eritrea and Ethiopia. However, we cannot be sure, because in the Bible, ‘Cush’ can refer to certain other places. Perhaps he came to Israel as a slave, but he became an important and responsible man in Joab’s army. He had actually seen the death of Absalom; Joab told him to report what he had seen to David, as a witness.
The other runner was Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok the chief priest. With Jonathan, he brought the message in 2 Samuel 17:15-22. Ahimaaz did not see Absalom’s death; he only saw the confusion when he reached Joab (18:29). However, Ahimaaz was extremely excited; he wanted to tell David the good news about his army’s success in the battle (compare Isaiah 52:7).
Next part: Joab refuses to send Ahimaaz to David (2 Samuel 18:20)
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© 2023, Keith Simons.