What David does with the concubines is right. He cares for them, but no longer has sexual relations with them, because they were taken over by Absalom (2Sam 16:21-2221Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened.”22So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.). He must also have been ashamed that he made these women the prey of his rebellious son. What he does with the concubines may be right, but for the women it is a bad consequence of his wrong actions. They are condemned to widowhood, without the freedom to belong again to a man. That was a hard fate for a woman at the time.
When he has put things in order internally, he wants to secure the support of the men of Judah. He orders Amasa to bring the men of Judah to him within three days. But it is all very difficult. Amasa needs more time. Were the men of Judah so difficult to mobilize? Did they no longer like fighting? Unfortunately, there are also many Christians who boast of belonging to the Lord Jesus, but who, when it comes to battle, they don’t want to go. They were too attached to their peace and ease to venture a new adventure with Him.
Amasa does not seem to be the right man for the task. In any case, he cannot manage to bring the men from Judah to David within three days. Maybe he was not David’s good choice. David therefore sees the danger looming that Sheba will strengthen and a new uprising will break out. That is why he sends Abishai out for it.
Joab has not received a command, but he is there too. He sees his chance to solve a problem that bothers him. How is exactly is with the sword that falls out is not clear. It can be a cunning act of Joab. By pretending that the sword is falling, he can take it in his hand, without it constituting a threatening and disturbing movement for Amasa. In any case he has the sword in his hand when he meets Amasa. With feigned interest he asks Amasa how he is doing, while he takes his beard to greet him with a kiss. Just like his feigned words, this expression of love is also feigned. It is the ‘Judas kiss’ in the Old Testament, the kiss behind which lies a treacherous and murderous heart.
The way in which Joab works is described in detail to indicate that he works in a cool, deliberative and calculating way. It’s almost inevitable that Joab acts out of jealousy. He is passed by as a general by David, possibly because of his murder of Abner or the murder of Absalom or both. But he cannot accept his relegation.
Things can happen in a person’s life that disables him from leading. It is often difficult to accept that. Some can never accept it and will do everything to restore themselves to their lost position, often at the expense of others.