Joab was son of Zeruiah who was sister to David and therefore his nephew. He had two other brother; Abishai and Asahel. See 1 Chronicles 2:16. He was one of King David’s officials while King David reigned over all Israel as head of the army. See 2 Samuel 8:15,16.

Joab seems to be rather implusive and hot headed, bearing little mind to what is moral or right in God’s eyes.

  • He murdered Abner out of revenge for the death of Asahel (his brother). See 2 Samuel 3:22-29. Abner had killed Asahel out of self defense during war (2 Samuel 2:22-27) and therefore his murder by Joab wasn’t merited. Before his murder, Abner had just made peace with King David (2 Samuel 3:6-21) therefore King David immediately condemned the act in 2 Samuel 3:31-38.

  • He was a mighty man when it came to fighting. In 2 Samuel 10:6-14 an army of 30,000 men fled before him without at fight.

  • King David used him to get rid of Uriah by placing him in the front line where the fighting was fiercest so that he would be struck down and die. See 2 Samuel 11:14-27.

  • He was instrumental in putting down Absalom’s coup attempt. See 18:1-18. He could boldly rebuke even the King of Israel … in 2 Samuel 19:5-7 he does this to King David for his reaction to Absalom’s death which shamed the men who had been loyal to him. Note that he rebukes King David yet he’s the person who’s just killed the person whom the king is lamenting about.

  • Interestingly Joab supported Adonijah’s attempt at grabbing power against the intended succession plan. This was similar to Absalom’s coup attempt. See 1 Kings 1.

  • King David’s dedication to him was not extended to King Solomon (and Joab’s cousin) who eventually had him killed. See 1 Kings 2:5-6.