When they [were] at the great stone which [is] in Gibeon
Which, according to Josephus F18, 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 thick F19. 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
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.
F18 Antiqu. l. 7. c. 11. sect. 7.
F19 Diodor. Sic. l. 2. p. 100. Vid. ib. p. 53. Herodot. Euterpe, c. 111.