Dec 20, 2020. II Samuel 3:22-39

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JOAB SLAYS ABNER. II Samuel 3:22-39. 12/20/20. #08.

2 Samuel 3:22-39 [New King James Version]

22 At that moment the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought much [a]spoil with them. But Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the troops that were with him had come, they told Joab, saying, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he sent him away, and he has gone in peace.” 24 Then Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you; why is it that you sent him away, and he has already gone? 25 Surely you realize that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you, to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.” 26 And when Joab had gone from David’s presence, he sent messengers after Abner, who brought him back from the well of Sirah. But David did not know it. 27 Now when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him privately, and there [b]stabbed him in the stomach, so that he died for the blood of Asahel his brother. 28 Afterward, when David heard it, he said, “My kingdom and I are [c]guiltless before the Lord forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner. 29 Let it rest on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house; and let there never fail to be in the [d]house of Joab one who has a discharge or is a leper, who leans on a staff or falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.” 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. 31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner.” And King David followed the coffin. 32 So they buried Abner in Hebron; and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33 And the king sang a lament over Abner and said: “Should Abner die as a fool dies? 34 Your hands were not bound Nor your feet put into fetters;

As a man falls before wicked men, so you fell.” Then all the people wept over him again. 35 And when all the people came to persuade David to eat food while it was still day, David took an oath, saying, “God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!” 36 Now all the people took note of it, and it pleased them, since whatever the king did pleased all the people. 37 For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the king’s intent to kill Abner the son of Ner. 38 Then the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39 And I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too harsh for me. The Lord shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness.”

  • A king not in charge
    • David agreed that Abner would put Israel under David’s rule
      • David provided a royal feast for Abner
      • Abner brought Michal back to David
      • David then sends Abner away in peace
    • Joab had been away on a raid, securing wealth for the king
      • Joab had no idea that David had made this pact
        • One of key leadership principles is to keep key people informed of organ. plans
        • Joab was, shocked, incensed, and angry
      • Joab felt betrayed by David’s actions
        • Abner was the head of the enemy army
        • Many Jews died in battle fighting Israel
        • Abner had killed Joab’s brother, Asahel
        • David had not informed Joab of this pact
    • Joab sends a messenger to call Abner back to Jerusalem
      • Joab takes Abner aside as if to talk to him, but he kills Abner instead
        • Joab doesn’t fight Abner in personal combat (he slays him like killing an insect)
        • Joab avenges his brother’s death in a shameful act as the revenger of blood
      • David knows nothing about Joab’s plan or act
    • When David hears about the betrayal of trust, he is grieved
      • His subjects will assume David ordered the attack
      • David does nothing to punish Joab
    • Unless a king is in charge of his government, he is weak
      • Joab was David’s cousin (Aunt Zeruiah’s son)
      • For some reason, David seems powerless to either control Joab or punish him
      • Joab knows that he can get by with murder
    • When those who you are in charge of know that they can get by with wrongdoing, you are powerless to impact their lives
  • David grieves
    • David is beside himself with grief and anguish when he hears of the horrendous betrayal
      • David had guaranteed Abner’s safety
      • To violate the king’s oath was treasonous
    • David shows a great display of mourning and contrition
    • David showed his displeasure with Joab in Abner’s eulogy
      • This great man should not have been struck down like a fool
      • Joab’s betrayal was cowardly and loathsome
      • David declares that Abner had been struck down by wicked men (referring to Joab)
      • Abner was not a prisoner awaiting execution, and he did not fall in honorable combat
    • In Joab’s mind he had merely revenged his brother’s death
      • Even though Asahel died in battle, Joab blamed Abner
      • Abner was an enemy, a rival to Joab’s position, and he needed to be eliminated (no honor involved)
    • David declares that the sons Zeruiah were too strong for him
      • Joab had powerful support among Judah, and David did not dare challenge him
      • When supporters are more powerful than the leader chaos must follow
  • Joab was a mixed bag
    • He wins battles for the king and helps defeat Absalom
    • He kills Abner, Amasa, and Absalom against king’s will
    • He helps David cover up Uriah murder, but David knows that Joab can use this against him
    • Eventually, David tells Solomon to kill Joab