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Thesis statement

The purpose of this paper is to present the character of Joab. The whole paper revolves around Joab, his character and his story as mentioned in the Bible.


The name Joab means Jehovah is father. Joab is the second of the three sons of Zeruiah, the half sister of David. Jaob's two brothers are Abishai and Asahel. Joab first appears on the scene during the unsettled time following Saul's death. Saul's son Ishbosheth has established himself as king over Israel with the support of Abner, the captain of Saul's army. Joab was the captain of David's mighty men. Joab was made commander of all of David's armies as a reward to being the first to enter the stronghold of Jerusalem and capture it. Joab later achieved a great victory against the Ammonites.

Story of Joab

Joab and his brothers were men of war under David. They did not shy away from the danger of combat. War, and here more of hand to hand combat, brought death and also lasting scars (both mental and physical) in the lives of the soldiers. Joab would receive a scar in his mind that would set the stage for a revelation of his person and character. Joab seems to appear as the military equal of Abner. The armies met at Gibeon. Abner led the men of Israel. Joab led the men of David. Abner and Joab met face to face to set the course of their encounter (Clarke, 1).

Joab was forced into a public display of sorrow for his brother's killer. But it was a necessary political move, for David himself “followed the bier” (II Samuel 3:31). Joab did not show himself a wise man in this situation. David made no effort to hide his displeasure in Joab's actions. Yet David also knew that Joab was a skilled military man and the nation needed a man like him. Joab was not banished from the kingdom or demoted from his military rank in any way. He would continue with the nation in a military capacity. David was made king of all Israel while he was at Hebron.

Scripture shows when David's kingdom over all Israel was established, “Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host” (II Samuel 8:16). David understood what type of man Joab was. He was loyal, but not above being pragmatic in his duties. David needed something done. Joab did not ask questions; he just did as he was told. As we know from Scripture, David instructed Joab to set “Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die” (II Samuel 11:15). We could put that in harsher terms: “see that Uriah is killed in battle.” Joab was asked to see that Uriah was murdered. It was David's request. But Joab did not shrink back at the request. Joab set up the situation that David requested. Joab was good at what he did. He did not readily fail in his duties. He did not ...
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