2 Samuel 18:21
Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what you have seen. And Cushi bowed himself to Joab, and ran.
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(21) Cushi.—Rather, the Cushite, probably an Ethiopian slave in Joab’s service, for whose falling under the king’s displeasure he had little care.

18:19-33 By directing David to give God thanks for his victory, Ahimaaz prepared him for the news of his son's death. The more our hearts are fixed and enlarged, in thanksgiving to God for our mercies, the better disposed we shall be to bear with patience the afflictions mixed with them. Some think David's wish arose from concern about Absalom's everlasting state; but he rather seems to have spoken without due thought. He is to be blamed for showing so great fondness for a graceless son. Also for quarrelling with Divine justice. And for opposing the justice of the nation, which, as king, he had to administer, and which ought to be preferred before natural affection. The best men are not always in a good frame; we are apt to over-grieve for what we over-loved. But while we learn from this example to watch and pray against sinful indulgence, or neglect of our children, may we not, in David, perceive a shadow of the Saviour's love, who wept over, prayed for, and even suffered death for mankind, though vile rebels and enemies.Cushi - "The Cushite," a foreign slave, perhaps of Joab's, whom he did not scruple to expose to David's anger. If, however, it is a name, it must be rendered "Haccushi." In the title to Psalm 7, "Cush, the Benjamite," cannot mean this Cushi, since the contents of the Psalm are not suitable to this occasion. 19. Then said Ahimaaz … Let me … run and bear the king tidings—The reasons why Joab declined to accept Ahimaaz' offer to bear intelligence of the victory to David, and afterwards let him go along with another, are variously stated by commentators—but they are of no importance. Yet the alacrity of the messengers, as well as the eager excitement of the expectants, is graphically described. To Cushi, or, to an Ethiopian; so he might be by birth, and yet by profession an Israelite. Then said Joab to Cushi,.... The Ethiopian, or blackamoor; who either was an Ethiopian by birth and proselyted, or he was an Israelite of a black complexion, and therefore so called; and was judged a proper person by the general to carry such dismal news to the king, as he knew it would be. Some Jewish writers (a) take him to be the same with Cush the Benjaminite, in the title of the seventh psalm, Psalm 7:1; and that he is the same that told Joab he saw Absalom hanging in an oak, and declared that, if a thousand shekels of silver were offered him, he would not have put forth his hand against him, 2 Samuel 18:10; though some think this was one of the ten young men that waited on Joab, and by his orders slew Absalom; but it would have been dangerous for one of these to have carried the tidings, had he been known by David to have done it:

go tell the king what thou hast seen: by which it should seem that he was present when Absalom was killed:

and Cushi bowed himself unto Joab; in reverence to him as his general, and in thankfulness for sending him on this errand:

and ran; as fast as he could.

(a) Pirke Eliezer, c. 53.

Then said Joab to Cushy, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushy bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.
21. Cushi] Rather, the Cushite, an Ethiopian slave in Joab’s service, who would have little to lose by the king’s displeasure.Verse 21. - Cushi. This is not a proper name, but signifies that he was an Ethiopian in Joab's service. Joab was unwilling to expose Ahimaaz to me king's displeasure, and we gather from ver. 27 that the sending of a person of low rank would be understood to signify evil tidings. The bearer of good news received a present, and therefore the passing over all Joab's personal friends to send a slave was proof that the message was not expected to bring the bearer honour or reward. And Joab was quite right in supposing that David would be more displeased at his son's death than pleased at the victory. Joab replied, "Not so will I wait before thee," i.e., I will not leave the thing to thee. He then took three staffs in his hand, and thrust them into Absalom's heart. שׁבטים is rendered by the lxx and Vulgate, βέλη, lanceas; and Thenius would adopt שׁלחים accordingly, as an emendation of the text. But in the earlier Hebrew שׁלח only occurs in poetical writings in the sense of a missile or dart (Job 33:18; Job 36:12; Joel 2:8); and it is not till after the captivity that we find it used to denote a weapon generally. There is no necessity, however, for altering the text. Joab caught up in his hurry the first thing that he found, namely pointed staff, and pierced Absalom with them to the heart. This explains the reason for his taking three, whereas one javelin or dart would have been sufficient, and also the fact that Absalom was not slain, notwithstanding their being thrust at his heart. The last clause of the verse belongs to what follows: "Still living (i.e., as he was still alive) in the midst of the terebinth, ten young men, Joab's armour-bearers, surrounded him, and smote him to death."
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