Wednesday 30 January 2019

Bible Book:
2 Samuel

Joab said, 'I will not waste time like this with you.' He took three spears in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom, while he was still alive in the oak. (v. 14)

2 Samuel 18:9-15 Wednesday 30 January 2019

Psalm: Psalm 65


This passage narrates Joab’s disobedience of David’s command that his rebellious son, Absalom, should be treated gently despite leading Israel against him (v. 5). Absalom is unfortunate enough to become trapped in one of the trees in the forest. A soldier finds him and tells Joab, who berates him for not killing Absalom immediately. The soldier reminds Joab of David’s request to protect his son, but Joab is unmoved. He strikes the trapped Absalom with three spears and his armour-bearers complete the killing.

This is a grueling passage of vicious and unnecessary killing. Joab was the cousin of Absalom and may have been revenging himself personally on Absalom as well as seeking to secure victory against David’s express instructions.


To Ponder:

  • These are the kind of events we are more used to hearing about in the evening news than reading about in the Bible. What does it mean that they are a part of the Old Testament?
  • How do you interpret Joab’s motivation for this killing?
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