Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 20

Amasa meets Abishai and Joab

2 Samuel 20:8

We will read about the original inhabitants of the town called Gibeon in chapter 21. Gibeon was in the land of the tribe (family group) called Benjamin, to which Sheba, David’s enemy, belonged.

It may be that both Abishai and Amasa expected to find Sheba near there. However, it may be that they went there to inquire of God (1 Kings 3:4).

In fact, Sheba had escaped further north before Abishai arrived in Gibeon with his army of a few thousand men. However, there Amasa met Abishai and his (Abishai’s) brother Joab. Amasa may have expected Abishai to hand over command of the army to him. David had recently appointed Amasa to be the chief commander of his army instead of Joab (19:13).

Amasa, Abishai and Joab were all on the same side in the fight against Sheba and his supporters. So, they expected to greet each other in a friendly manner. Also, they were relatives. Amasa’s mother was the sister of Joab’s and Abishai’s mother.

Amasa hardly noticed when Joab dropped his dagger (a large knife). They were soldiers, and they needed to be ready to fight. Of course they carried weapons (military equipment). Amasa seemed not to realise how jealous Joab was. Joab was willing to do anything so that he would again be David’s chief army commander.

Next part: Joab murders Amasa (2 Samuel 20:9-10)


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