Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 20:8

When they were at the large stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was dressed in his military attire, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened at his waist; and as he went forward, it fell out.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abishai;   Amasa;   David;   Girdle;   Joab;   Pillar;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Girdles;   Sword, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Amasa;   Gibeon;   Gird, Girdle;   Sheba;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Joab;   Sheba;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Amasa;   Armour;   Gibeon;   Girdle;   Joab;   Sheba;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Abner;   Arms;   Dress;   Gibeon;   Sheba (1);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abel-Beth-Maachah or Abel-Beth-Maacah;   Apron;   Gibeon;   Girdle;   Sword;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Armour, Arms;   Dress;   Joab;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Amasa ;   Bichri ;   Gibeon ;   Joab ;   Sheba ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Armor;   Arms;   David;   Gibeon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Arms, Armor;   Da'vid;   Girdle,;   She'ba;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Arms;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Amasa;   Armor;   Leasing;   Loins;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Arms - armor;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Gibeon and Gibeonites;   Stone and Stone-Worship;   Sword;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Joab's garment - It appears that this was not a military garment; and that Joab had no arms but a short sword, which he had concealed in his girdle; and this sword, or knife, was so loose in its sheath that it could be easily drawn out. It is thought farther, that Joab, in passing to Amasa, stumbled, (for so some of the versions, and able critics, understand the words it fell out). and that the sword fell down when he stumbled; that he took it up with his left hand as if he had no bad intention; and then, taking Amasa by the beard with his right hand, pretending to kiss him, he, with his sword in his left hand, ripped up his bowels. This seems to be the meaning of this very obscure verse. It is worthy of remark that in the Eastern country it is the beard, not the man, which is usually kissed.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

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.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-20.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon,.... Which, according to JosephusF18Antiqu. l. 7. c. 11. sect. 7. , was forty furlongs, or five miles from Jerusalem: what this great stone was, whether an obelisk, or what, is not certain; one of the greatest stones we read of was that which Semiramis cut out of the mountains of Armenia, which was an hundred thirty feet long, and twenty five broad and thickF19Diodor. Sic. l. 2. p. 100. Vid. ib. p. 53. Herodot. Euterpe, c. 111. . This place was appointed for the rendezvous of David's forces, and hither Amasa came with what he had assembled together, and joined them, and took the command of them: for it follows:

Amasa went before them; as the general of them:

and Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him; who went along with his brother Abishai at the head of his own men, to which he was obliged by virtue of his commission; or went of himself to serve the common cause, and perhaps chiefly with a design to murder Amasa, whom he envied, because he was put into his post as general, and therefore accoutred himself for it; he put on, not a coat of mail, but a common garment which he girt about him, that it might be no incumbrance to him or hinderance of him, in doing what he intended, but that he might more expeditiously execute it:

and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; the sword in the belt was not on his thigh, but on his loins, on the outside of his clothes, and was put into a sheath too large, and placed in such a position, that with the least motion, when he pleased, it would easily drop out of it, without drawing it, and so give no suspicion of his design:

and as he went forth; to meet Amasa, just as he came to him:

it fell out; the sword fell out of the sheath to the ground.

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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 20:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-20.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

When they [were] at the great stone which [is] in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's g garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle [with] a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.

(g) Which was his coat, that he used to wear in the wars.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-20.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Amasa went before them — Having collected some forces, he by a rapid march overtook the expedition at Gibeon, and assumed the place of commander; in which capacity, he was saluted, among others, by Joab.

Joab‘s garment, that he had put on was girded unto him — in the fashion of travelers and soldiers.

a sword … and as he went forth it fell out — that is, out of the scabbard. According to Josephus, he let it drop on purpose as he was accosting Amasa, that stooping, as it were accidentally, to pick it up, he might salute the new general with the naked sword in his hand, without exciting any suspicion of his design.

He went forth — in a ceremonious manner to meet Amasa, now commander-in-chief, in order to seem to render to that officer, whom he considered as usurping his post, a conspicuous honor and homage.

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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 20:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-20.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.

Amasa went — Having gathered some forces, and given due orders for the rest to follow him, he returned to Jerusalem, and by the king's command went after those mentioned verse7, and being come up to them at the place where they waited for him, he put himself in the head of Joab's men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and such as he had brought along with him, and marched before them as their general.

Girded — After the manner of travellers and soldiers.

Went forth — To meet and salute Amasa, who was coming towards him to do him honour.

It fell — Things having (it is likely) been so contrived by Joab, that upon the least motion of his body, his sword should drop out, and he might take it up without raising Amasa's suspicion.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-20.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 20:8 When they [were] at the great stone which [is] in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab’s garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle [with] a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.

Ver. 8. And as he went forth, it fell out.] He had taught it, as it were, at a certain motion or posture of his body, to fall out of the scabbard, that taking it up in his hand again, he might inter salutandum smite Amasa, suspecting no harm.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-20.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Amasa went before them; having gathered some forces, and given due orders for the rest to follow him, he returned to Jerusalem, and by the king’s command went after those mentioned 2 Samuel 20:7; and being come up to them at the place where they waited for him, he put himself into the head of Joab’s men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and such as he had brought along with him, and marched before them as their chief and general.

Girded unto him, after the manner of travellers and soldiers.

As he went forth to meet and salute Amasa, who was coming towards him to do him honour.

It fell out; things having (it is likely) been so contrived by Joab, that upon the least motion of his body his sword should drop out, and he might take it up without raising Amasa’s suspicion.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-20.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.The great stone — Some old landmark well known at the time of the writer, but now not recognised or identified by travellers, perhaps because long since removed.

Gibeon — Where occurred the sore battle between Abner and Joab. 2 Samuel 2:12-17.

Amasa went before them — At this place he had probably ordered the men of Judah, whom he had been summoning, to rendezvous; and now, arriving at the place himself, and finding David’s servants there under command of Abishai, he went before them all; that is, assumed command of the entire host. This was more than Joab’s jealousy could endure, and he felt that now was the opportune moment for revenge.

And Joab’s garment that he had’ on — A better translation is, And Joab was girt about with his military coat as his upper garment, and upon it a sword-girdle fastened on his loins, in its sheath, and he went forth and it fell; that is, the sword fell out.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-20.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 20:8. Amasa went before them — As their commander-in-chief. Having gathered some forces, and given due orders for the rest to follow him, he returned to Jerusalem, and by the king’s command went after those mentioned 2 Samuel 20:7, and being come up to them at the place where they waited for him, he put himself at the head of Joab’s men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and such as he had brought along with him, and marched before them as their general. Joab’s garment was girded unto him — After the manner of travellers and soldiers: for he had now no armour on, but only such a garment as soldiers wore, closely girt to him. Upon it a girdle with a sword — A belt, in which a sword hung by his side. As he went forth — To meet and salute Amasa, who was coming toward him to do him honour; it fell out — Having, probably, been designedly so hung by Joab, that upon some particular motion of his body, it might drop out of the sheath, and he might take it up without awaking Amasa’s suspicion.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-20.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Stone, where Abner and Joab had formerly joined battle, chap. ii. (Menochius) --- Habit, or body. --- Flank; they usually hand at the thigh, Psalm xliv. 4. --- Strike: the scabbard was very wide; so that, when it was hanging very high, it would easily fall out, when he stooped; and thus afford Joab an opportunity of stabbing Amasa, without suspicion. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "Joab's garment, that he had put on, was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword, fastened upon his loins, in the sheath thereof, and as he went forth, it fell out."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

as he went forth it fell out = and it (the sword) dropped out, and fell.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.

Amasa went before them. Having collected some forces, he by a rapid march overtook the expedition at Gibson, and assumed the place of commander, in which capacity he was saluted, among others, by Joab.

Joab's garment ... was girded - in the fashion of travelers and soldiers.

A girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins, [ maat

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-20.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) Went before.—Translate, met. (Comp. Note on 2 Samuel 19:6.)

As he went forth it fell out.—The object of this verse is to explain how Joab, in consequence of the arrangement of his dress, was able to stab Amasa without his purpose being suspected. He had a girdle bound round his military coat, and in this he had stuck a dagger so arranged that it might fall out as he advanced. He then picked this up naturally in his left hand, and stretching out his right hand to greet Amasa, his movements gave rise to no suspicion.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out.
in Gibeon
2:13; 3:30
Amasa
4,5
Reciprocal: Hosea 6:8 - polluted with blood

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-20.html.