Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 18

Joab sends Cushi to report the news to David

2 Samuel 18:21

The man whom Joab sent to David is called Cushi in some Bible translations. He was probably an African man from the country called Cush. Cush was south of Egypt, in the region of the countries now called Eritrea and Ethiopia. However, in the Bible, ‘Cush’ can refer to certain other places.

He perhaps came to Israel as a slave. However, he gained importance in Israel’s army. It seems that Joab, Israel’s chief commander, kept this man close to him; he was a witness of Absalom’s death. He was able to run fast over long distances. The battle probably happened several miles (several kilometres) from Mahanaim, where David was.

However, this man’s greatest skill, in Joab’s opinion, was that he spoke skilfully. We see that later in the passage (verses 31 and 32). He knew how to speak to the king. He was able to inform the king about his son’s death in a gentle and clear manner. He was even able to do that without any reference to the fact that Joab had killed him.

Joab knew that David’s reaction to the news of Absalom’s death would be extreme. He realised how quickly David’s shock would become anger against Joab himself. So, Joab trusted this man to deal with David on his behalf.

In fact, it seems that Joab did not even need to tell this man what to say. The man was a witness of Absalom’s death: Joab simply told him to tell the king about it. Joab told the wise woman in chapter 14 exactly what she should say (14:19). This man needed no such instructions. He could decide what to say better than Joab could – and Joab knew that he would be completely loyal to Joab.

Next part: Ahimaaz, the faster runner (2 Samuel 18:22-23)


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