2 Samuel 20:10
But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) In the fifth rib= Abdomen. (See Note on 2Samuel 2:23.)

So Joab and Abishai.—Joab here comes forward as the commander of the pursuit without previous mention. He may have accompanied Abishai from Jerusalem, or he may have joined him on the route; but, now, having murdered Amasa, he assumes his old place as commander-in-chief, doubtless with the connivance of his brother.

2 Samuel 20:10. Amasa took no heed to the sword — Which, falling out, as it seemed, casually, he supposed that Joab intended only to put into its scabbard, and therefore took no care to defend himself against the stroke. So Joab and Abishai pursued after Sheba — He boldly and immediately resumed his former place, and marched at the head of the army. It may appear strange that Amasa’s soldiers did not attempt to revenge his death; but it must be observed that not many of them were yet come up, as the following verses show, and Joab’s interest and authority with the military men were very great, especially with David’s guards, who were here present, and who had neither confidence in nor affection for Amasa, as having been the general of the rebellious army; and, as they probably thought, not fit to be put into a place of such great trust.

20:4-13 Joab barbarously murdered Amasa. The more plot there is in a sin, the worse it is. Joab contentedly sacrificed the interest both of the king and the kingdom to his personal revenge. But one would wonder with what face a murderer could pursue a traitor; and how, under such a load of guilt, he had courage to enter upon danger: his conscience was seared.Amasa went before them - Rather, "advanced to meet them." Amasa was no doubt returning to Jerusalem, according to his orders 2 Samuel 20:4, and was probably much surprised to meet the army in march. Joab's resolution was quickly taken.

And Joab's garment ... - Render, "And Joab was girded with his military garment, as his clothing, and upon it" - i. e., the military garment - (or "him"), "the girdle of a sword fastened on his loins in its sheath, and as he went forth" (to meet Amasa) "it fell" out of the sheath. What appears to have happened is that, by accident or design, Joab's sword fell out of the scabbard on the ground as he was going to meet Amasa, and that he picked it up with his left hand so as to have his right hand free for the customary salutation 2 Samuel 20:9. This awakened no suspicion in Amasa's mind. Compare the case of Ehud, Judges 3:21.

2Sa 20:10-13. Amasa Is Slain.

10. smote him … in the fifth rib—the seat of the liver and bowels, where wounds are mortal.

struck him not again—that is, despatched him at the first blow.

The sword that was in Joab’s hand; which falling out, as it seemed, casually, he supposed that Joab intended only to put it into its scabbard, and therefore took no care to defend himself against the stroke.

In the fifth rib: See Poole on "2 Samuel 2:23". Struck him not again; he despatched him at one stroke, or gave him his death’s wound at the first blow, and needed not to smite him again.

Joab now boldly resumed his former place, and marched in the head of the army. It is not strange that Amasa’s soldiers did not fight to revenge his death; partly because not many of them were yet come up, but came by degrees, as the following verses show; and partly because Joab’s interest and authority with the military men was very great, especially with David’s guards, who were here present, and who had no kindness for Amasa, as having been the general of the rebellious army; and, as they might think, was not fit to be put into a place of so great power and trust.

But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand,.... In his left hand, for with his right hand he took him by the beard; he might see the sword drop out of the scabbard, and Joab take it up, which he supposed he did in order to put it into its sheath again, having no suspicion of his wicked design, and therefore not at all upon his guard to prevent it:

so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib; in the same place where Abner smote Asahel, and Joab Abner; See Gill on 2 Samuel 2:23 and See Gill on 2 Samuel 3:27, he must strike him, as some observe, on the left side, because he was embracing him; and the stroke must be deadly, because he struck him in the pericardium, which surrounds the heart round with water, to refrigerate it; for the lower part of the heart reaches to the fifth rib; see John 19:34 (u):

and shed out his bowels to the ground; which fell out through the incision made by the sword:

and struck him not again: he gave him such a home thrust, there was no need to repeat it, he dispatched him at once:

and he died; and thus, though he was pardoned by David, and promoted to honour by him, yet the providence of God would not suffer him to go unpunished for joining with Absalom in an unnatural rebellion against his uncle:

so Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri: for Amasa being slain, Joab without any ceremony reassumed his post as general, and, with his brother Abishai under him, made all the haste they could in pursuit of the rebel.

(u) Weemse's Portrait of Man, p. 25.

But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. in the fifth rib] In the belly. See note on ch. 2 Samuel 2:23.

strake him not again] Cp. 1 Samuel 26:8. Strake is an archaism for struck. Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 12:15; Acts 27:17.

So Joab] Better, But Joab, &c. Covered with the stains of murder (1 Kings 2:5), Joab started in pursuit of Sheba, leaving his victim where he fell.

Verse 10. - In the fifth fib; in the abdomen (see note on 2 Samuel 2:23). He struck him not again. When his sword fell out of its sheath, Joab picked it up with his left hand, which was not the hand for action, and as he could not put it into its place without taking it into his right hand, his continuing to hold it while he took his cousin's beard in his fight hand and kissed him, was too natural to awaken any suspicion. But holding down Amasa's head, he struck him with his left hand so fiercely that no second blow was necessary; and then continued his march forward as if what had occurred was a matter of little importance. 2 Samuel 20:10Joab asked Amasa how he was, and laid hold of his bear with his right hand to kiss him. And as Amasa took no heed of the sword in Joab's hand, he smote him with it in the paunch (abdomen), and shed out his bowels upon the ground, "and repeated not (the stroke) to him" (cf. 1 Samuel 26:8). Laying hold of the beard to kiss is still customary among Arabs and Turks as a sign of friendly welcome (vid., Arvieux, Merkwrdige Nachrichten, iv. p. 182, and Harmar, Beobachtungen, ii. p. 61). The reason for this assassination was Joab's jealousy of Amasa. Joab and Abishai then followed Sheba.
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