A Day of Reckoning
“Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war in peacetime, and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet. Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace. - 1 Kings 2:5-6
David’s final words gave a stern warning to Solomon concerning Joab. He reminded his son of his murderous acts, when he had killed two of his commanders––Abner and Amasa. In his evil ambition, to remain as David’s chief captain, he eliminated his competition. Innocent blood was spilled. Solomon was urged to use wisdom in dealing with him. Joab, known for his ambitious character, he would become a threat to him.
Prior to David speaking with Solomon, and as David’s death approached, his fourth son, Adonijah, the younger brother to Absalom, exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” Like Absalom, he was good-looking and prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. David did not name him his successor but neither did he stop him, he had remained silent.
Adonijah had spoken with Joab and Abiathar the priest and they both agreed to follow him (1 Kings 1:5-7). Later, Solomon would take his father’s advice; Benaiah was told to strike Joab down. Joab fled to the tabernacle of the Lord (1 Kings 2:29-34). Imagine, this would be a day of reckoning for all Joab had done. Solomon justified his execution in 1 Kings 2:31-32:
…take away from me and from the house of my father the innocent blood which Joab shed. So the Lordwill return his blood on his head, because he struck down two men more righteous…
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