2 Samuel 20 Commentary

Second Samuel 20 Commentary


Trouble wasn’t far from Israel. We are coming from a civil war only to run straight into another one. This time it’s the troublemaker Sheba who initiates the insurrection.

Israel was either fighting the Philistines or fighting amongst themselves. Today Joab assassinates the newly appointed army commander, Amasa. Later, Sheba would be killed by the residents of Beth Maakah. These deaths are sickening.

What we have seen after chapter 11, the Bathsheba incidence, is nothing close to our expectations. We had hoped for a peaceful and trouble-free existence. It hasn’t happened. Instead, we have seen internal conflicts take center stage. At the center of these conflicts is sin – the sin of chapter 11. We shouldn’t forget.

The story of Mephibosheth that repeatedly appears in these chapters can give us a good picture of what we are looking at. From nothing to everything; and from everything to half everything. David is coming from nothing to everything. Chapter 7 is a high point as the LORD appears and promises to establish his dynasty. But then chapter 11 happens. From that point, we have seen only a resemblance of the David we knew.

The chapter closes by looking at David’s officials. The cast is very interesting. You cannot talk about ‘excessive bloodshed’ during David’s reign without talking about Joab: Abner, Uriah, Absalom, and lately Amasa. Look closely and you will see David close by in each case. He was over the entire army.

Adoniram was in charge of forced labor. How different is David from the Pharaoh who subjected Israel to forced labor? Is forced labor only bad when Israel is the victim?

Zadok and Abiathar were priests; Ira the Jairite was David’s priest. There is nothing wrong with Abiathar and Zadok. But Ira is a big question. In the Law of Moses, there is no mention of private priests. It is this mixing that leaves David with only half of everything. You generally feel like we are descending but not for a safe landing.

More resources visit www.lovingscripture.com

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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