2 Samuel 18:11
And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
18:9-18 Let young people look upon Absalom, hanging on a tree, accursed, forsaken of heaven and earth; there let them read the Lord's abhorrence of rebellion against parents. Nothing can preserve men from misery and contempt, but heavenly wisdom and the grace of God.Ten shekels - (About 25 shillings.) The word "shekel" is understood, as in Genesis 20:16; Genesis 37:28. See the Exodus 38:24 note.

A girdle - Girdles were costly articles of Hebrew dress used to put money in Matthew 10:9, and given as presents 1 Samuel 18:4.

11, 12. Joab said unto the man that told him, … I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle—that is, would have raised him from the ranks to the status of a commissioned officer. Besides a sum of money, a girdle, curiously and richly wrought, was among the ancient Hebrews a mark of honor, and sometimes bestowed as a reward of military merit. This soldier, however, who may be taken as a fair sample of David's faithful subjects, had so great a respect for the king's wishes, that no prospect of reward would have tempted him to lay violent hands on Absalom. But Joab's stern sense of public duty, which satisfied him that there could be neither safety to the king, nor peace to the kingdom, nor security to him and other loyal subjects, so long as that turbulent prince lived, overcame his sensibilities, and looking upon the charge given to the generals as more befitting a parent than a prince, he ventured to disobey it. Why didst thou not smite him down from the oak, and with thy spear nail him to the ground?

A girdle; a military belt of more than ordinary price, as a testimony of thy valour and good service. See Poole on "1 Samuel 18:4".

And Joab said unto the man that told him,.... That gave the above account of him:

and, behold, thou sawest him; in reality; or, "didst thou see him?" is it a fact?

and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground; kill him on the spot, that he might have dropped from the tree to the ground:

and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver; on the news of it, for doing it, which was near twenty four shillings of our money; Josephus says (i) fifty shekels; the Arabic version has it ten thousand talents of silver, too great a sum by far:

and a girdle? which was a mark of great honour, and a token of a commission under him, and of investing: him with a military office; see 1 Samuel 18:4; it used to be given as an honorary reward to soldiers that behaved well, as on the contrary it was reckoned a reproach to be ungirt, or the girdle to be taken away (k).

(i) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 10. sect. 2.) (k) Vide Lydium de re militare, l. 3. c. 6.

And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. ten shekels] Shekels is rightly supplied, as in 1 Kings 10:29, and elsewhere. The shekel weighed about half an ounce; but its real value at the time cannot be fixed.

a girdle] An essential article of Oriental dress, often of costly materials and highly ornamented. Cp. 1 Samuel 18:4.

Verse 11. - A girdle. This was an important article of dress (Ezekiel 23:15), and was often richly embroidered. Absalom's death was well deserved, and there can be little doubt that, if he had gained the victory, he would have massacred David and all his family. The dishonour done to his father at Jerusalem was even intended by Ahithophel to render all reconciliation impossible. But Joab was disobeying the king's express orders, and as Absalom was incapable of making resistance, he ought to have taken him prisoner, and left it to David to decide what his punishment should be. 2 Samuel 18:11A man (one of David's men) saw him in this situation, and told Joab, Joab replied (2 Samuel 18:11), "Behold, thou hast seen it, and wherefore has thou not smitten him there to the ground? and it was for me to give thee ten silverlings and a girdle;" i.e., if thou hadst slain him, it would have been my duty to reward thee.
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