Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 18:14

Then Joab said, "I will not waste time here with you." So he took three spears in his hand and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Absalom;   Dart;   Ephraim;   Oak;   Thompson Chain Reference - Absalom;   Joab;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Arms, Military;   Oak-Tree, the;   Spear;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahimaaz;   Joab;   Oak;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   David;   Joab;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Arms;   Fox;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Amasa;   Dart;   Joab;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abishai;   Armour, Arms;   Joab;   Oak;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Dart;   Joab ;   Oak;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   Armor;   Arms;   David;   Joab;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Arms, Armor;   Jo'ab;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Trees;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Armor;   Dart;   Oak;   Terebinth;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Dart;   Heart;   Medicine;   Treason;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I may not tarry thus with thee - He had nothing to say in vindication of the purpose he had formed.

Thrust them through the heart of Absalom - He was determined to make sure work, and therefore he pierced his heart.

Joab should have obeyed the king's commandment: and yet the safety of the state required the sacrifice of Absalom. But independently of this, his life was quadruply forfeited to the law: -

  1. In having murdered his brother Amnon.
  • In having excited an insurrection in the state.
  • In having taken up arms against his own father, Deuteronomy 21:18, Deuteronomy 21:21.
  • In having lain with his father's concubines, Leviticus 18:29.
  • Long ago he should have died by the hand of justice; and now all his crimes are visited on him in his last act of rebellion. Yet, in the present circumstances, Joab's act was base and disloyal, and a cowardly murder.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-18.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    I may not tarry … - i. e., lose time in such discourse.

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-18.html. 1870.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee,.... It is not worth while to talk with thee any longer, nor must I lose time, and neglect my opportunity; I do not desire you to go and smite him, I will go and do it myself:

    and he took three darts in his hand; or three rods, which were either all iron, or however the tops of them were iron spikes:

    and thrust them through the heart of Absalom; or through the midst of his body; for if he had thrust through his heart, properly speaking, he must have died instantly, whereas he seems to have lived after this:

    while he was yet alive; Joab found him alive when he came to him, and so he was when he thrust his darts through him; and so he was afterward; for the words may be rendered, "being yet alive", even after the darts were fixed in him, and even so deeply as to pierce through his body:

    in the midst, or "heart":

    of the oak; into which the darts penetrated.

    Copyright Statement
    The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
    A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-18.html. 1999.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    2 Samuel 18:14-32. He is slain by Joab.

    he took three darts  …  and thrust them through the heart of Absalom — The deed, partially done by Joab, was completed by his bodyguard. Being a violation of the expressed wish, as well as of all the fond paternal feelings of David, it must have been deeply offensive to the king, nor was it ever forgotten (1 Kings 2:5); and yet there is the strongest reason for believing that Joab, in doing it, was actuated by a sincere regard to the interests of David, both as a man and a monarch.

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    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-18.html. 1871-8.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    2 Samuel 18:14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he [was] yet alive in the midst of the oak.

    Ver. 14. And thrust them through the heart of Absalom.] In which execution of this arch-rebel, contrary to David’s charge, whether Joab did well or ill, the doctors are divided. I think he did well for the main; though he might have some mixed motives in it. Absalom was incorrigible, a great murderer, and a parricide, whom though he had now escaped, yet vengeance would not have suffered long to have lived. Selymus, the great Turk, struck with a most loathsome and incurable disease, ended his days at Chiurbus with an untimely and tormenting death, where he had joined battle with his own father, Bajazet, A.D. 1511; God in the same place with revenging hand taking just punishment for his detestable disloyalty towards his aged father. (a)

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    Bibliographical Information
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-18.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    2 Samuel 18:14. And he took three darts, &c.— Joab's killing Absalom was a direct, deliberate, cowardly murder, and a treasonable murder too against the express orders of the king, and in open defiance and contempt of him.

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    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-18.html. 1801-1803.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    I may not tarry thus with thee; I must not lose time in contending with thee till I let the occasion slip.

    Through the heart of Absalom; not properly so called, for he was yet alive after these wounds, and was slain, 2 Samuel 18:15; but through his middle, as the word heart is oft used, as Psalms 46:2, and that too not exactly, but more largely understood, as Deuteronomy 4:11 Ezekiel 27:4 Matthew 12:40; or through his body; which might be, and yet the wounds not mortal.

    While he was yet alive, or, yet he continued alive, i.e. the darts did not despatch him, and therefore they smite him again, and kill him, 2 Samuel 18:15.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-18.html. 1685.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    14.I may not tarry — I have no time to lose in thus talking with thee, and am not thus careful to obey the king in this matter. Absalom’s life, says Clarke, “was quadruply forfeited to the law. (1) In having murdered his brother Amnon; (2) In having excited an insurrection in the state; (3) In having taken up arms against his own father, (Deuteronomy 21:18; Deuteronomy 21:21;) (4) In having lain with his father’s concubines. Leviticus 18:29. Long ago he should have died by the hand of justice.” But we cannot, with Clarke and others, denounce this act of Joab as a cowardly murder, base and disloyal. True, he disobeyed the king, but he felt it a duty to disobey. He was too much of a warrior and statesman to think that the rebellion could be successfully subdued without the death of Absalom, and he afterwards vindicated himself before David with a severity of rebuke which the king dared not gainsay or resist. 2 Samuel 19:1-8.

    Yet alive — Compare note on 2 Samuel 18:10.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-18.html. 1874-1909.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    Sight. Hebrew, "I will not tarry thus with thee." I will not stand to refute these reasons, nor imitate thy example. (Haydock)

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-18.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    darts = clubs. Hebrew. shebet, a club with a long spike at the end. Still used in Palestine.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-18.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.

    He took three darts, [ sh

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    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-18.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (14) I may not tarry thus.—Joab evidently feels the home-thrusts made by the man in the argument, but, determined on his deed of violence, he sees that it is worse than useless to delay. His act was simply murder. In a lawless age it was defensible as the one act which terminated the rebellion and made a renewal of it impossible, and destroyed a traitor and would-be parricide who was likely otherwise to escape punishment; but it was a distinct disobedience of express orders, and Joab’s taking the execution into his own hands was wilful and deliberate murder.

    Three darts.—The word means a rod or staff. Also the word heart is the same as the following word midst, and is not therefore to be taken too literally. Joab seized such sticks as were at hand in the wood and thrust them into Absalom, giving him most painful and probably mortal wounds, but not instantly killing him. Then (2 Samuel 18:15) the ten men who had Joab’s armour and weapons came up and finally killed Absalom.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-18.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
    with thee
    Heb. before thee. thrust them.
    5; Judges 4:21; 5:26,31; Psalms 45:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:3
    midst
    Heb. heart.
    Matthew 12:40
    Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 12:10 - the sword;  2 Samuel 18:9 - his head;  2 Samuel 19:1 - General2 Samuel 19:10 - is dead;  2 Samuel 23:5 - Although;  1 Kings 2:5 - Joab;  1 Kings 2:28 - Joab had;  1 Chronicles 3:2 - Absalom;  Job 20:25 - drawn;  Psalm 35:8 - into;  Psalm 55:15 - Let death;  Psalm 119:96 - I have seen;  Proverbs 30:17 - eye;  Galatians 3:13 - for

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    Bibliographical Information
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-18.html.