Joab in the Bible

Joab Bible

Story Events

Christianity Oasis provides this Abner and Joab Bible study on Isbosheth and Joab in the Bible. We'll be looking into that and all aspects of the Bible seeking truth and understanding.

Daily Bread Devotional Bible Study
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 4

Abner and Joab Bible Lesson

Ishbosheth and Joab in the Bible

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our Abner and Joab Bible study taking a look into the Isbosheth and Joab in the Bible story and how the thought provoking Abner and Joab Bible message affects your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

Abner and Joab Bible Facts
Who Are Ishbosheth and Joab in the Bible

Hi there! Glad to have you back to share more Daily Bread. We have quite an action packed story going on in David's life, don't we? As you recall, Abner has just been murdered by Joab because Abner killed his youngest brother Asahel, and was quite possibly about to become an important player in David's government, because Abner had turned his loyalty from Ishbosheth to David after Ishbosheth had accused him of sleeping with Saul's concubine.

So, Joab's jealousy was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. (😏 I wonder if that was a popular saying back then.) David, being a genuinely compassionate soul, was torn up about news of Abner's death, and gave him an honorable burial.

The people were confident that David wasn't in any way responsible for Abner's death and they were proud of the way he took it to heart. This act of kindness toward Abner, who was David's enemy just days before, increased the faith of David's people in their king, who acted so righteously toward a man who had literally sought David's life for years.

Abner and Joab Bible Study
Ishbosheth and Joab in the Bible Story

Let me remind you again, that Joab, Abishai, and the late Asahel were David's nephews (the sons of his sister, Zeruiah). Perhaps David felt obligated to keep Joab as his upper brass, even after doing something that could embarrass their Uncle David greatly. Family was a very important thing back then.

They were valiant men, that is certain, but if you're reading along in your Bible, you'll find that several times David makes remarks to the effect of "What am I gonna do with you sons of Zeruiah." You can almost picture David shaking his head and saying to himself, "Tsk, tsk, tsk, some people's kids."

Let's move on with our story now. The news of Abner's death reached Ishbosheth, and it troubled him greatly ... In fact, all the Israelites were distraught. After all, Abner had been Saul's right hand man ... A hero in the maiden kingdom of Israel.

Now, there were two brothers of the tribe of Benjamin named Bannah, and Rechab, who were captains in Ishbosheth's army. Remember now, Abner convinced the entire house of Benjamin to follow David before he died, and when these two brothers heard about Abner's death, they figured they would gain favor with David, if they were to kill Ishbosheth.

Abner and Joab Bible Discussion
Ishbosheth and Joab in the Bible Concerns

So Bannah and Rechab went into Ishbosheth's home at noon while he was taking a nap, and pretending that they were there to get wheat, they snuck into Ishbosheth's room and struck him under the fifth rib.

Let's share a little Daily Bread Crumb ... It's been a while since we've had one! What's the significance of striking under the fifth rib? Well, the rib cage is there to protect the heart, kidneys, lungs, etc., and one would have to thrust a sword with more force or maybe at a perfect angle depending on the girth of your sword, in order to get between two ribs and into a vital organ.

If you hit a rib, you might have to withdraw your sword and make another lunge at your victim, possibly giving him enough time to strike you. But below the fifth rib (a man has five on each side), a sword can easily penetrate clear through the body. Appetizing little crumb, wasn't it?

Okey dokey then ... 😁 ... Back to the story. Bannah and Rechab then cut off Ishbosheth's head and took it with them, traveling the whole night to Hebron, and they presented it to David as if the Lord had avenged him of his enemy. But what they didn't know, was that David had no animosity toward Ishbosheth, in fact, he had promised Jonathan that he would show kindness to his family forever:

Abner and Joab Bible Message
Ishbosheth and Joab in the Bible Warning

1 Samuel 20:13-16

13 The Lord do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father.
14 And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not:
15 But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.
16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David's enemies.

Remember the Amalekite that thought David would be pleased with him because he said that he killed Saul? What happened again to that guy? Oh yeah, David had him killed because he killed God's anointed. The death of Abner certainly did not make him happy. And now the son of Saul has been killed because they believed it would please David.

David didn't respond the way they had hoped, and said, "As surely as the Lord lives, the One who saves my soul from all trouble, I tell you this ... When someone told me, Saul is dead, thinking that they brought me good news, I killed him, when he supposed I would reward him. Did you suppose I'd be any more pleased with evil doers that murder a righteous man while he is asleep? Shouldn't I require your blood for his?

Abner and Joab Bible Murders
Ishbosheth and Joab in the Bible Death

David then commanded that Bannah and Rechab be put to death, but to emphasize his disapproval of their despicable deed, and of what he thought was a disgrace to his honor, he had their hands and their feet cut off and they were hung over the pool in Hebron. Then they took the head of Ishbosheth and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner.

Now, if you're reading along in your Bible, you've noticed that there's one verse in Chapter 4 that doesn't seem to fit in the story, and that's why it seemed more appropriate to put it at the end, so that it wouldn't distract from the rest of it.

2 Samuel 4:4

And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

Perhaps the author was making the point that Ishbosheth and Mephibosheth would both be included in the covenant that David made with Jonathan.

Abner and Joab Bible Conclusion
Ishbosheth and Joab in the Bible Summary

We'll hear more about Mephibosheth later in 2 Samuel!

So, now that Ishbosheth is dead, it looks like the entire kingdom of Israel will be under David's reign. Does that mean there will be some peace and tranquility ahead for David? You'll have to come on back soon and we'll find out together, right here at Daily Bread.

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

How to Prepare for Spiritual Warfare