And Joab’s Defiance

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

November 17,2020, The Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


As our nation is caught in a spiritual battle against forces of corruption, treason, the spirit of antichrist, and attempts to overthrow our Republic, I am continuing with the study of David and the attempts to overthrow his government.  Perhaps in some small way as I preach the Word of God, I am doing warfare against the turmoil in our government. 


David was a grand character.  He did some things that were very wrong, but, for an oriental king, he was a most remarkable man.  He was, heart and soul, devoted to God and the ways of God.  In a world of idolatry, and in a nation that was continually falling away into idolatry, David stood like a rock for God. 


Our story resumes today after the assassination of Absalom by Joab, and David’s return to Jerusalem.


David’s homecoming to his throne and palace in Jerusalem should be a happy ending to the great catastrophe of Absalom’s rebellion.  But political power struggles don’t give up so easily, especially in the midst of great trouble.    


2 Samuel 19: 41-43:  There had long been undercurrents of jealousy and ill-will between north and south Israel.  The two groups vied to be near the restored king on his return to Jerusalem.  No doubt they were looking for political favors.


2 Sa. 19:43: The men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, “We have ten shares in the king; therefore, we also have more right to David than you. Why then do you despise us—were we not the first to advise bringing back our king?” Yet the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel


The ten shares are perhaps a reference to the yet future division of the kingdom.  No settlement is recorded, but the seeds were sown of much trouble to come.  It appears the ten parts represents ten tribes to the north; with Judah and Simeon being in the south. Then there was still the resentment of the capitol being moved from Hebron to Jerusalem. 


Before David reaches Jerusalem, a new rebellion is raised by Sheba.


2 Samuel 20: 1-2: There happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, we have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel.  So, every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.


This is the trumpet (or message) of the spirit of antichrist.  The sectarian spirit erupted.


Sectarian spirit:  bigotry, discrimination, intolerance or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion or the factions of a political movement.


Sheba was a man of Belial (worthless).  The men of Israel sided with Sheba.  He was from Mount Ephraim.  Shimei and he were both of Saul’s tribe, and both retained the ancient grudge of that house. This is connected with the foolish quarrel of who was going to bring the king back to Jerusalem.  Sheba is saying, “we will set up our own kingdom.”  We can say the fickleness of the “men of Israel” is akin to the RHINO’S in the Republican party of the 21st century.    


On David’s arrival to Jerusalem, his first work is to condemn his concubines to imprisonment for life.  They had been defiled by Absalom. 


2 Samuel 20:3:  David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So, they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.


The abuse of women in the Middle East is appalling. It was not their choice, to have Absalom defile them.  Yet, I think it would be preferable to be a widow than be a concubine of a king. 


I did more research today on Absalom’s mother, Maacah.  She had three children by David: Absalom, Tamar and Hanan.  Though Absalom was David’s third child, he was the first one born of a princess.    There is no clear record of what happened to her after her son’s rebellion and death.  According to oriental customs, she, too, was probably banished from the king’s harem because of the disgrace brought to her by Absalom and the rape of Tamar.  Tamar was separated never to marry after the rape.  It is doubtful Maacah returned to Geshur. However, Princess Maacah had a beautiful grand- daughter by the same name.  She became the wife of King Rehoboam, the mother of King Abijah, and grandmother of King Asa.


2 Ch. 11: 21-22: Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.) Rehoboam made Abijah the son of Maachah the chief, to be ruler among his brethren: for he thought to make him king.





Back to our story of Sheba’s rebellion:   David now orders Amasa to mobilize the men of Judah within three days and to take personal charge.  Amasa is David’s nephew, son of his sister, Abigail.  Amasa was also the general of Absalom’s army.   


2 Samuel 20: 4-6: The king said to Amasa, “Assemble the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself.” So, Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah. But he delayed longer than the set time which David had appointed him.  David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he find for himself fortified cities, and escape us.”


Abishai is also David’s nephew, the son of his sister, Zeruiah.  He is the brother of Joab, who David just fired from being general of his army.  David’s government and family are in a terrible disarray.  Amasa’s delay was because the men of Judah were unready and ill-equipped.  Abishai is ordered to take the guards and standing forces to pursue Sheba.  David gives these orders to Abishai because he resolves to mortify Joab.  (It was Joab who killed Absalom and set up the assassination.)  Joab without orders, though in disgrace, goes along with his brother.


We can identify the spirit of Joab with the operations of the Deep State within our present government. 


Joab, near Gibeon, meets with Amasa, and barbarously murdered him.


2 Samuel 20: 7-10: There went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.  When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.  Joab said to Amasa, Are you in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so, he smote him in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So, Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.


Cherethites are foreign mercenary soldiers serving as a body guard for King David.

Pelethites, a collective name for the guardsmen of David.

David’s mighty men are his elite forces.

The great stone of Gibeon is still a large rock formation north of Jerusalem.


Joab called him brother and indeed he was his first cousin.  He committed this murder at the head of his troops in full view.  He did it in contempt and defiance of David and the commission he had given to Amasa.


Joab immediately assumes the role of general and leads the army in pursuit of Sheba.  He knew how many favored him rather than Amasa, who had been a traitor.  What man of Judah would not be for his old king and his old general?  They, of course, did not know that Joab had been fired.  Wicked men think themselves safe in their wickedness if they can conceal it from the eyes of the world. If their wickedness is hidden, it is with them as if were never done.


2 Samuel 20:14 -19: Joab went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel and Beth Maachah and all the Berites. So, they all gathered together and went after Sheba.  They besieged him in Abel of Beth Maachah. They cast up a siege mound against the city, and it stood by the rampart. All the people who were with Joab battered the wall to throw it down. Then a wise woman cried out from the city, “Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, ‘Come nearby, that I may speak with you.’” When he come near to her, the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Hear the words of your maidservant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” She spoke, saying, “They used to talk in former times, saying, ‘They shall surely seek guidance at Abel,’ and so they would end disputes. “I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of the LORD?”   Joab answered and said, “Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy!


Abel-beth-Maachah was the place in a field where the ark rested (1 Sa. 6:18).  The wise woman describes the city as a “mother in Israel.”  I am fascinated that the city has the same name as Princess Maachah, Absalom’s mother, who would be considered a mother in Israel.  As history proves, her grand-daughter was married to a King, was the mother of a king and grandmother of a king.  So Princess Maacah is truly a mother in Israel.   However, Joab would not have wanted to show mercy to Absalom’s mother???  Since it was a location where the Ark had rested, then it would be considered holy and a place to seek the LORD---interesting.


The good woman is certainly a woman of respect in order to get Joab’s attention to intervene, making terms with Joab who agreed to spare the city in return for Sheba’s head being thrown over the wall.  The arrangement was honored.  The siege lifted and the rebellion over.


2 Sam. 20: 20-22: That is not so. But a man from the mountains of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has raised his hand against the king, against David. Deliver him only, and I will depart from the city.” The woman said to Joab, “Watch, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” The woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a trumpet, and they withdrew from the city, every man to his tent. So, Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.


Joab was over all the armies of Israel again.


Twenty years later, toward the end of David’s life, Joab and other commanders began questioning David’s judgment (2 Samuel 24: 2-4).  As David neared the end of his life, Joab offered his allegiance to David’s eldest son, Adonijah, rather than to God’s chosen king, Solomon (1 Ki. 1: 1-27). 


On the brink of death, David told Solomon to have Joab killed, citing Joab’s past betrayals and the blood that he was guilty of.  Solomon ordered Joab’s death by the hand of Benaiah (1 Kings. 2: 29-34). Hearing this, Joab fled to the Tent of the Tabernacle (where Adonijah had previously sought successful refuge (1 Ki. 1: 50-52).  Joab told Benaiah that he would die there.  Benaiah killed Joab there and replaced him as commander of the army.  Joab was buried in the wilderness (1 Ki. 2:34).


Joab was a ruthless man.  He killed Abner, Commander of Saul’s army against David’s wishes.  He colluded with David in the death of Uriah.  He killed Absalom against David’s wishes as well as his cousin, Amasa.


The terrible, antichristian political powers continue their wickedness for the rule over nations.  The Lord God seeks to bless nations with peace, prosperity, health and joy.  There is a condition.  Rulers must rule His way in His righteousness, under the power of the Blood of Christ.  We still have a holy remnant in the United States.  We must continue to stand and pray for God’s Kingdom come; His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Laurence E. Porter.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Mr. Porter.

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