Sheba's rebellion. (1-3) Amasa slain by Joab. (4-13) Sheba takes refuge in Abel. (14-22) David's officers. (23-26)
Verses 1-3 One trial arises after another for our good, till we reach the place where sin and sorrow are for ever done away. Angry disputers misunderstand or misconstrue one another's words; proud men will have every thing their own way, or wholly refuse their assistance. The favour of the many is not to be depended upon; and what have others to expect, when Hosanna to the Son of David was soon changed to Crucify him, crucify him?
Verses 4-13 Joab barbarously murdered Amasa. The more plot there is in a sin, the worse it is. Joab contentedly sacrificed the interest both of the king and the kingdom to his personal revenge. But one would wonder with what face a murderer could pursue a traitor; and how, under such a load of guilt, he had courage to enter upon danger: his conscience was seared.
Verses 14-22 Justly is that place attacked, which dares to harbour a traitor; nor will the heart fare better which indulges rebellious lusts, that will not have Christ to reign over them. A discreet woman, by her prudent management, satisfied Joab, and yet saved the city. Wisdom is not confined to rank or sex; it consists not in deep knowledge; but in understanding how to act as matters arise, that troubles may be turned away and benefits secured. A great deal of mischief would be prevented, if contending parties would understand one another. Let both sides be undeceived. The single condition of peace is, the surrender of the traitor. It is so in God's dealing with the soul, when besieged by conviction and distress; sin is the traitor; the beloved lust is the rebel: part with that, cast away the transgression, and all shall be well. There is no peace on any other terms.
Verses 23-26 Here is the state of David's court, after his restoration. It is well when able men are appointed to discharge public duties; let all seek to perform those duties, as faithful servants to the Son of David.
This chapter gives an account of a new rebellion raised by Sheba, 2Sa 20:1,2; of David's shutting up his concubines unto the day of their death, whom Absalom had lain with, 2Sa 20:3; of Amasa being ordered to assemble the men of Judah to crush the rebellion, but being dilatory, Abishai is sent out with David's servants, and was followed by Joab with the men under him, 2Sa 20:4-7; and of the murder of Amasa by Joab, 2Sa 20:8-13; and of Sheba being shut up in the city Abel, 2Sa 20:14,15; whose head, by the means of a wise woman, was delivered to Joab, and so an end was put to the rebellion, 2Sa 20:16-22; and, lastly, of the chief officers in David's camp and court, 2Sa 20:23-26.