Ep. 096: Joab and Abner

Equiping You to Share the Gospel of Christ

Ep. 096: Joab and Abner

While David lived in the Philistine town of Ziklag, men from all the tribes of Israel kept coming to join his forces. They came day after day until he had a great army. After Saul’s death, David asked the Lord if he should go back to a town in Judah. The Lord said, “Go to Hebron.”
So David and his men took their families and moved to all the towns around Hebron. The men of Judah went to David and made him king of their tribe.
All the other tribes followed the leadership of Abner, the commander of Saul’s army. He took Ish-bosheth, a son of King Saul, and made him king over all of Israel except Judah.
This caused a war between these two sides. Abner led his men out to face David’s army led by Joab, the son of David’s sister. The two armies met on opposite sides of a pool. Abner yelled over to Joab. “Let’s each send out 12 men to fight for us.” So each side sent 12 men out to battle. All 24 men were skilled at battle, so each man killed his opponent. All 24 men died.
With that, both sides went into battle and Joab was victorious. After the fierce fighting, Abner and his men ran away. One of the brothers of Joab ran after Abner. The young man was an extremely fast runner, but he wasn’t as skilled in fighting as Abner.
Abner saw Joab’s brother gaining on him. He yelled back, “Go after one of my solders who is more like you. Fight it out and see what happens.”
But the young man didn’t listen to this advice. He kept gaining on Abner. Again he warned him. “Don’t make me do this. After killing you, I’d never be able to face your brother again.”
Still, the young man refused to listen and continued on. When he was right behind Abner, the skilled warrior turned and thrust his spear through the stomach of the young man. He fell to the ground and died.
The army of Joab continued to chase after the men of Abner. By sunset, reinforcements came and joined Abner’s men. He yelled to Joab. “Let’s end this battle. If we keep fighting, it’ll only increase the bitterness. Tell your men to stop running after their brothers.”
Joab yelled back, “You’re right! We would have fought all night if you hadn’t said something. So he blew the ram’s horn and his men stopped. Both armies marched back to their cities, and Joab buried his brother in their family tomb in Bethlehem.
The war continued between Judah and Israel. The people of Judah followed David as their king, and Ish-bosheth was king over all the other tribes. It was a long, bitter struggle. David’s rule became stronger and stronger, and the rule of Ish-bosheth became weaker.


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