Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 14

Joab and the wise woman

2 Samuel 14:2-3

Although Joab was the commander of David’s army, the two men were not friendly to each other. David considered Joab to be a cruel and evil man, who was too powerful for him to control (3:26-39). So, Joab realised that he himself could not persuade David to allow Absalom’s return. Instead, Joab made a scheme to convince David that he (David) was not acting in a reasonable manner.

Joab’s plan was to take advantage of David’s character as a sincere and holy man. Absalom could not return to Israel because he killed his brother Amnon. Joab wanted to convince David that he should forgive Absalom. However, David had good reasons not to allow Absalom back into Israel. David thought that Absalom’s anger was very terrible; and Absalom had not changed his attitudes.

So, Joab selected carefully a woman who had the skills to persuade David. He brought her from Tekoa, about 12 miles (20 kilometres) south of Jerusalem. He told her what to say, and how to behave. Israel’s king was also its chief judge. So, the woman went to David as her judge. She dressed as a widow who was in a truly desperate state. Her task was to tell her story to David, and then to appeal to David for help. When David gave his judgment, that would give her an opportunity to accuse David. David was willing to help a stranger, she would say – but not his own son, Absalom.

Next part: A story to persuade the king (2 Samuel 14:4-6)


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