2 Samuel 19:13
And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab.
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(13) Say ye to Amasa.—Amasa, like Joab, was David’s nephew, although possibly his mother may have been only half-sister to David. In this offer of the command-in-chief to the rebel general, David adopted a bold, but a rash and unjust policy. Amasa should have been punished, not rewarded for his treason. He had given no evidence of loyalty, nor was there proof that he would be trustworthy. Moreover, this appointment would be sure to provoke the jealousy and hostility of Joab. But David had long been restless under the overbearing influence of Joab (see 2Samuel 19:22; 2Samuel 16:10; 2Samuel 3:39), and now since he had murdered Absalom, was determined to be rid of him. He therefore took advantage of the opportunity by this means to win over to himself what remained of the military organisation of Absalom.

2 Samuel 19:13. Say to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, &c. — That is, nearly related to me, being my sister’s son. God do so to me, and more also, &c. — He solemnly promises to prefer him to the highest command in the kingdom; for he now thought it a fit time to depress Joab, who was grown insufferably insolent and imperious, and who, through his credit with the army, had protected himself in the commission of the greatest crimes. He had slain Abner most perfidiously in cold blood, and killed Absalom contrary to the king’s express command, and now lately had insulted him in his sorrow. Having, therefore, now an opportunity of transferring the command to another person, who had as great an interest in the people’s favour as Joab, he gladly embraces it, that so he might both chastise Joab for his faults, and rescue himself from the bondage in which that general had hitherto held him. Some, however, have thought that, considering Joab’s very faithful services to David in all the changes of his fortune, and that his violent measures proceeded in part from a regard to him, as judging them necessary for his safety and tranquillity, David’s conduct in this instance, in making Amasa captain of the host in Joab’s room, is not an amiable trait in his character, and was not a prudent step at this time, especially considering Joab’s violent temper: and, it must be acknowledged, it brought on the murder of Amasa.

19:9-15 God's providence, by the priests' persuasions and Amasa's interest, brought the people to resolve the recall of the king. David stirred not till he received this invitation. Our Lord Jesus will rule in those that invite him to the throne in their hearts, and not till he is invited. He first bows the heart, and makes it willing in the day of his power, then rules in the midst of his enemies, Ps 110:2,3.Of my bone ... - Render as in preceding verse, "art thou not my bone and my flesh?" It is curious to note how the phrase is used in 2 Samuel 5:1 of common descent from Israel, in 2 Samuel 19:12 of the closer kindred of the tribe of Judah, and in this verse of the yet nearer kindred between David and Amasa his sister's son.

Captain ... in the room of Joab - It is very plain that David felt the weight of Joab's overbearing influence to be very oppressive (compare 2 Samuel 19:22; 2 Samuel 3:39; 2 Samuel 16:10). He was, at this time, very angry with Joab for killing Absalom; and so, thinking it of vital importance to win over Amasa and the army of Judah, he did not scruple to offer him Joab's high post.

13. And say ye to Amasa, &c.—This also was a dextrous stroke of policy. David was fully alive to the importance, for extinguishing the rebellion, of withdrawing from that cause the only leader who could keep it alive; and he, therefore, secretly intimated his intention to raise Amasa to the command of the army in the place of Joab, whose overbearing haughtiness had become intolerable. The king justly reckoned, that from natural temper as well as gratitude for the royal pardon, he would prove a more tractable servant; and David, doubtless, intended in all sincerity to fulfil this promise. But Joab managed to retain his high position (see on [275]2Sa 20:4-10). Amasa, Absalom’s late general; who judging his case, above all others, desperate, might be ready to use all his interest with that tribe to delay or hinder the king’s return.

Of my bone, and of my flesh, i.e. my near kinsman, my nephew. See 1 Chronicles 2:16,17.

Before me, i.e. in my presence, or now whilst I live; lest he should think he promised him only the reversion of it.

In the room of Joab; who, besides his other crimes, had lately exasperated the king by his wilful murder of Absalom, contrary to David’s express command; and by his insolent carriage towards him. And therefore the king having now the opportunity of another person, who had a greater interest both in Judah and Israel than Joab, he gladly complies with it, that so he might both chastise Joab for his faults, and rescue himself from the bondage in which Joab had hitherto held him. Yet it is not necessary, from those words in the room of Joab, to conclude that Joab was to be displaced to make room for Amasa, but that he might be in like condition with Joab; but what follows in the next chapter makes it very probable that he was indeed displaced, and Amasa put in his place.

And say ye to Amasa,.... Who was the general of Absalom's army, and who might fear he should never be pardoned, whoever was, and looked upon his case as desperate; who had led on the army with Absalom against the king's threes, and fought them:

art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? nearly related to him, being his sister's son:

God do so to me, and more also: than he had done to Absalom; or he imprecates the greatest evil upon himself that could be thought of or named:

if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab; signifying that he would not only pardon the treason he had been guilty of, but raise him to the highest post in the army; and to assure him of it, of which he might be doubtful, considering what he had done to merit his displeasure, he makes this oath or imprecation. Joab had got his ill will by many instances, as by the murder of Abner, and now by slaying Absalom against his orders; and by his rude and insolent behaviour to him when lamenting the death of his son; he wanted to be rid of him, and now, having an opportunity of putting a valiant man into his place, and thereby attaching him to his interest, he was determined to make use of it.

And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the {f} room of Joab.

(f) By this policy David thought that by winning the captain, he would have the hearts of all the people.

13. Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh] Art thou not my bone and my flesh, exactly as in 2 Samuel 19:12. Amasa was David’s nephew, the son of his sister or step-sister Abigail. See ch. 2 Samuel 17:25. Of course the message was to be privately conveyed to Amasa through the priests. It was a bold stroke of policy to promise the post of commander-in chief to the general of the rebel army. By so doing, David designed at once to secure the allegiance of that army, and to punish Joab for killing Absalom in defiance of his command. But it was hardly prudent. Joab was certain not to submit to it tamely: Amasa’s military skill was probably inferior, and his loyalty remained to be proved.

God do so, &c.] See note on ch. 2 Samuel 3:9.

in the room of Joab] i.e. instead of. Room = place, space, from A.-S. rúm, Germ. Raum. Cp. Matthew 2:22.

Verse 13. - Of my bone, and of my flesh; Hebrew, art thou not my bone and my flesh? - a most near and dear relative. It is difficult to understand why in the Authorized Version this common metaphor in the Hebrew has been so meddled with, Ewald thinks that this purposed degradation of Joab and the substitution of Amasa in his stead was a wise and politic act. It was to some extent just, for Joab was a man stained with many murders; but politic it was not. Passing over the fact that Amasa had actually taken the command of the rebel army, he was an ambitious and selfish man, and could lay no claim to that sturdy fidelity which had characterized Joab throughout his long service. For all he had done had been for David's good, and his advice, however roughly given, had averted grave misfortunes. Joab's murder of Absalom was an act of wilful disobedience; but David had used Joab for a far meaner murder, committed, not for reasons of statesmanship; but for purposes of lust. The guilt of slaying Absalom was as nothing compared with that of slaying Uriah, nor was it so base as the assassination of Abner, which David had tolerated, though made angry by it. The dismissal of Joab could have been effected only by putting him to death, and this certainly he did not deserve at David's hands; and the attempt, unless carried out secretly, would have led to tumult and insurrection. Joab, too, was a far more skilful general than Amasa, who, with larger forces, had just suffered a disastrous defeat; and if Joab was removed secretly, his brother Abishai remained to avenge him. David was, in fact, blinded by love for the son whom for so many years he had treated with coldness. There was a strong reaction now in the father's mind, and under its influence he was prepared to sacrifice the nephew who had been faithful to him and saved him, for the nephew who had joined in Absalom's rebellion. But possibly it had an immediate good effect, as Amasa, assured of forgiveness and promotion, now took David's side. 2 Samuel 19:13"And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not my bone and flesh? so shall God do to me, and so add, if thou shalt not be prince of the army (chief captain) before me continually in the place of Joab."
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