Joab

From Academic Kids

This entry incorporates text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation.

Joab (יוֹאָב "The LORD is father", Standard Hebrew Yoʾav, Tiberian Hebrew Yōʾāḇ) was the nephew of King David, the son of Zeruiah in the Bible. He was made the captain of David's army (2 Samuel 8:16; 20:23; 1 Chronicles 11:6; 18:15; 27:34). He had two brothers, Abishai and Asahel. Asahel was killed by Abner, for which Joab took revenge by treacherously murdering Abner (2 Samuel 2:13-32; 3:27). After leading the assault on the fortress of Mount Zion, he was promoted to the rank of General (1 Chronicles 27:34). He led the army against Syria, Ammon, and Edom. He also took part in David's murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11:14-25).

Joab played a pivotal role as the commander of David's forces during Absalom's rebellion. Absalom, one of David's sons, rallied much of Israel in rebellion against David, who was forced to flee with only his most trusted men. However, David could not bring himself to harm his son, and ordered that none of his men should kill Absalom during the ensuing battle. However, when a man reported that Absalom had been found, alive, caught in a tree, Joab ordered his men to kill him (2 Samuel 18:1-33).

This may have been the cause of Joab's fall from favor, as David later replaced him as commander of the army with his cousin, Amasa (2 Samuel 17:25; 19:13). Joab later killed Amasa (2 Samuel 20:8-13; 1 Kings 2:5).

After David's death Joab supported the claim of Adonijah for the throne over that of Solomon (1 Kings 1:7; 2:28), and for this Solomon ordered his death by the hand of Benaiah (1 Kings 2:29-34), who then replaced him as commander of the army. Joab was buried in 'the wilderness' (1 Kings 2:34).

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