The death of Joab (1 Kings 2:28-2:35)

“When the news came to Joab, as he had supported Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom, he fled to the tent of Yahweh and grasped the horns of the altar. It was told to King Solomon. ‘Joab has fled to the tent of Yahweh. He is now inside beside the altar.’ Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying. ‘Go, strike him down.’ So Benaiah came to the tent of Yahweh, and said to him. ‘The king commands. Come out.’ But he said. ‘No, I will die here.’ Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying. ‘Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.’ The king replied to him. ‘Do as he has said. Strike him down and bury him. Thus take away from me and from my father’s house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. Yahweh will bring back his bloody deeds upon his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself, Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. So shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever. But to David, and to his descendants, and to his house, and to his throne, there shall be peace from Yahweh forevermore.’ Then Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, and struck him down. He killed him. He was buried at his own house near the wilderness. The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in his place. The king put the priest Zadok in the place of Abiathar.”

Joab knew that he was in trouble because he had supported Adonijah, not Solomon. However, he had never supported Absalom. Joab went to the altar tent and grasped the horns of the altar, just as Adonijah had done in chapter 1. When King Solomon heard this, he sent Joab’s old friend Benaiah to kill him. Solomon did not want the guilt from the two killings of Abner and Amasa by Joab on him. Besides, David had told Solomon to do it. Benaiah went and did as the king requested. He killed his old fighting buddy Joab. Then he became the head of the army. Meanwhile the priest Zadok became the high priest in the place of Abiathar.