Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 19

Joab speaks very strongly to David

2 Samuel 19:5

An army leader may often have to deal with his soldiers’ emotions after the death of someone whom they knew. To do that, he must direct their minds away from their feelings, and on to their next task.

As David’s chief military commander, Joab was, of course, a very powerful man. However, it still surprises us how strongly he dealt with David after the death of his (David’s) son Absalom. We think that he could have dealt with this situation in a more kind and gentle manner – however, perhaps that would not have succeeded. Joab’s words seem so cruel – Joab himself seemed very angry with David.

David just wanted to cry and to see nobody. Joab told him that his attitudes were selfish and nasty. David was refusing to see those soldiers who had risked their own lives to rescue him that day. Now they were worrying about whether they had done the right thing. They had all heard how sad David was – and they felt ashamed.

Joab saw that, in his sad state, David hardly cared about himself. David insisted that he was so deeply sad because of his great love for Absalom. So Joab reminded David that David loved other people too. He had sons and daughters. He had wives and concubines – in other words, maids in his palace whom he accepted as wives of lower rank. David’s soldiers put themselves in danger to save those people too. However, David was not even grateful enough to thank those soldiers who had done so much for David’s family. Joab insisted that David’s behaviour was shameful.

Next part: Joab continues to accuse David (2 Samuel 19:6)


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