And say ye to Amasa
Who was the general of Absalom's army, and who might fear he should never be pardoned, whoever was, and looked upon his case as desperate; who had led on the army with Absalom against the king's threes, and fought them:
[art] thou not of my bone, and of my flesh?
nearly related to him, being his sister's son:
God do so to me, and more also:
than he had done to Absalom; or he imprecates the greatest evil upon himself that could be thought of or named:
if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of
signifying that he would not only pardon the treason he had been guilty of, but raise him to the highest post in the army; and to assure him of it, of which he might be doubtful, considering what he had done to merit his displeasure, he makes this oath or imprecation. Joab had got his ill will by many instances, as by the murder of Abner, and now by slaying Absalom against his orders; and by his rude and insolent behaviour to him when lamenting the death of his son; he wanted to be rid of him, and now, having an opportunity of putting a valiant man into his place, and thereby attaching him to his interest, he was determined to make use of it.