Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 14

David’s weakness in character

2 Samuel 14:18-19

As a young man, David had a very bold character. He fought for what is right; he opposed everything that is wrong (for example, 1 Samuel 17:45-47).

However, weaknesses soon started to develop in his character. He gave false impressions to the king of Gath (1 Samuel 21:10-15 and 27:9-12). He desired and he obtained for himself many wives (3:2-5). He was too afraid to punish Joab (3:27-39) and Amnon (13:1-21).

Then, we see weaknesses in the decisions that he made. He could see something strange in the fact that Absalom wanted Amnon to go to his party (13:26-27). David permitted it because Absalom urged him so strongly – but David must have realised that Absalom hated Amnon (13:22).

Here in chapter 14, David realised fully that the woman had not spoken her own words. She was speaking the words that Joab had told her to say. David knew that Joab was responsible for this – and David still disagreed strongly with what Joab wanted (14:24).

However, the woman’s arguments had made David too ashamed to do what he believed to be right. David did not want Absalom to return to Israel – but David did not dare to oppose Absalom’s return. That is a very weak attitude. David was the king; but the woman’s words made him feel as if he was without any power whatever.

David only had the courage to ask the woman whether Joab really had planned this. It seemed to David in his weakness that Joab had become more powerful than him.

Next part: The woman boldly admits that she has spoken on Joab's behalf (2 Samuel 14:20)


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