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1 It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8 Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king.



  1. David’s prolonged grief with the death of Absalom caused the whole army to be under a heavy cloud (vv2-3). Joab went to David and spoke boldly that David shouldn’t, because of his personal grief, withhold the public acknowledgement and appreciation of his loyal soldiers in risking their lives to fight for his throne. He even threatened that this might lead to another revolt.
  2. David wisely accepted Joab’s advice, so he “got up and took his seat in the gateway” to take part in the victory celebration and to publicly praise and thank the soldiers. Thus, a possible crisis was averted.
  3. Misunderstanding, overlook and neglect occur often in personal relationships. How do we resolve these situations? Here, Joab representing the army spoke up with David of the feelings and needs of these soldiers. David took Joab’s advice. He turned his attention to the country and sat at the gate for the celebration of their victories.



Pray for myself, especially that I’ll see, when misunderstanding and neglect happen, that I am willing and able to implement any possible steps toward resolving the conflict (for example, moving out of regret and valuing the people in front of them, or speaking up to someone who is devaluating others.)