A Humanist perspective on what we can learn about what is morality from the Bible.
2 Samuel 20: The rest of Israel doesn’t want David to be king
A Benjamite named Sheba makes the case to Israel that since the King is clearly favoring Judah and because they have no part of him, they should take up arms against David. So every man of Israel followed Sheba. But the men of Judah clave unto their king. David reclaimed his house in Jeruselum but never visited his concubines that had kept house under Absalom again. The king then has Amasa assemble the men of Judah and he orders Abishai to kill Sheba. When the army is at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa goes out wearing Joab’s garmant as a girdle, but this falls off. Joab asks Amasa if he is ok, takes him by the beard, kisses him and then stabs him with a sword. This clears the way for Joab and Abishai to pursue Sheba. As they stand over Amasa’s bleeding body in the street, one of Joab’s men tells the rest – if you are with us and with David – follow us. No one moved. So the supporter of Joab took Amasa out of the highway into a field ad cast a cloth on him. Now the rest of the men follow after Joab and pursue Sheba. They beseiged Sheba in Abel. A wise women asks Joab what he wants. Would you kill a mother of Israel. Joab says no – he only wants Sheba – who is a traitor to David. Deliver him and we will leave. So the woman convinces the town to cut off Sheba’s head and cast it out to Joab. David is now king. He appoints Joab over the arm. Benaiah over the Cherethites and the Pelethites. Adaram was in charge of tribute. Jehoshaphat was the recorder. Sheva is scribe, Zadok and Abiathar are priests. Ira is named chief ruled about David.
In other words:
A man named Sheba challenges David for the thrown and Joab kills him and his rival for control of the military at the same time.
2 Samuel 20:16-22 – The wise woman who convinces the town to cut off the head of Sheba and throw it over the town wall to Joab.
Least favorite bit:
2 Samuel 20:10-13 – Joab kills Amasa for no reason other than to make sure his authority over the army is not challenged. It’s bloody and clearly not ok with the troops.
Most curious bit:
2 Samuel 20:8 – this is where Amasa is wearing Joab’s girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins and he doesn’t notice it falls off. A – why is he wearing Joab’s girdle. And does this mean he was naked or only that he lost his sword. And was this intentional so that Joab could kill him? Because that murder was clearly planned.
2nd most curious bit:
2 Samuel 20:9 – And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. Ummmmmmm, yeah. 2 Samuel 20:10 goes on to say – But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s hand – which is why Joab is able to kill him. So clearly – he didn’t think a) the kiss was odd, and b) he trusted Joab to be this close to him with a sword. I will let you draw your own conclusions here.
Moral Lesson Learned:
Don’t kiss a guy with a sword in his hand. (2 Samuel 20)