Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 20

Joab takes control over David’s army

2 Samuel 20:11

Amasa’s body lay where Joab had attacked him, on the road near Gibeon. Joab and his brother Abishai were leading the soldiers who were loyal to David along that road. So as the men reached that place, they saw Amasa’s body with blood all round it.

One of the men who were especially loyal to Joab stood by the body. That man declared the news to all the soldiers as they passed. If the soldiers were loyal to David, the man told them to follow Joab. Amasa was dead, and Joab was again in command of David’s army.

These were soldiers with much experience; they had known many troubles and difficulties in their lives. Still, it was a shock for them to see what had happened to their nation in just a few days. David, their king, had lost control over most of the country. Amasa, whom David appointed to unite the country’s army, was dead. His murderer, Joab, was now leading the army to which they belonged.

Many of those soldiers would have known Amasa. Before Absalom’s revolution, he would have been an important commander in their own army. They may have stopped to show respect to Amasa, or to discuss the situation. They had agreed to fight for David; it was not clear that they still wanted Joab to lead them. After the last battle, they felt guilty and ashamed because of what Joab had done (19:3). It was becoming very clear that Joab would not obey David’s commands. That made the situation of these soldiers even more difficult and dangerous.

Next part: The soldiers' reaction to the murder of Amasa (2 Samuel 20:12-13)


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© 2023, Keith Simons.