Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 10

Joab’s plan for the battle

2 Samuel 10:8-11

David did not want Joab and his brother Abishai to lead his army - however David could not prevent it. They were the sons of David’s sister, Zeruiah; and David considered them to be cruel and evil men (3:39). They achieved their importance in the army simply because they were so powerful and capable.

We can see their skill in how they fought this battle. As Israel’s soldiers approached Rabbah, they saw Ammon’s army at the city gate, and ready to fight them. However, behind Israel’s soldiers there was a vast camp of foreign soldiers. It seemed that Israel’s men must fight enemies on every side - there was no way to escape.

So, Joab divided his army into two parts; they must fight two battles that day.

Joab realised that the foreign soldiers did not have to defend their homes and families on that day. Therefore, they had less reasons to be brave. In addition, if the fight became too difficult, they could simply run away into the open country. So, he decided to try to frighten them. He selected just a small group of Israel’s strongest and bravest soldiers to join him. Together, they would make a bold attack against the foreign soldiers.

At the same time, Abishai would lead the majority of Israel’s men in their attack against Ammon’s army. Joab realised that he may need Abishai’s help - but the two brothers trusted each other completely.

Next part: Joab's speech about religion (2 Samuel 10:12)

 

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