2 Samuel 10:11
"If the Arameans are too strong for me," said Joab, "then you will come to my rescue. And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to your rescue.
A Father's Kindness Repaid to His SonL. A. Banks, D. D.2 Samuel 10:2-19
David and HanunW. G. Blaikie, D. D.2 Samuel 10:2-19
Two Aspects of DavidJ. Parker, D. D.2 Samuel 10:2-19
Ungenerous JudgmentsH. W. Beecher.2 Samuel 10:2-19
An Agreement of Mutual HelpB. Dale 2 Samuel 10:6-11
Bond of UnionDavid Walters.2 Samuel 10:11-12
Cooperation, Courage, and ResignationG. Wood 2 Samuel 10:11, 12
Joab's Soldierly QualitiesA. Maclaren, D. D.2 Samuel 10:11-12
Mutual AidDavid Waiters.2 Samuel 10:11-12
Mutual Helpfulness -- Great Need of SocietyNorman McLeod, D. D.2 Samuel 10:11-12
Pious PatriotismJ. Thain Davidson, D. D.2 Samuel 10:11-12

Joab here appears at his best. A great occasion, involving great peril for the army and the kingdom, calls forth, not only his eminent military qualities, but sentiments of piety and religious patriotism worthy of David himself. He presents an example worthy of imitation by commanders of armies; but we take his words as adapted to guide and animate the soldiers of Christ in their warfare against error and sin. They Call attention to three duties incumbent upon individual Christians, the several bands of each division of the Christian army, and the several divisions themselves.

I. MUTUAL HELP. (Ver. 11.) The servants of Christ are engaged in the endeavour to conquer the world for him, and, in pursuing it, have to fight against enemies of various kinds. In this warfare they ought to cheerfully cooperate, and, as opportunity may arise, help each other. Much mutual assistance they cannot but render, however any might desire to confine the benefits of their activity to their own party. Every hymn book testifies to this. No individual or section can do good work without helping others. But there should be more of conscious and hearty cooperation.

1. Why it should be so.

(1) The cause is one - the cause of Christ our King, the defence and extension of his kingdom, the cause of truth and righteousness and human salvation.

(2) Christians are comrades in the same army. They should cherish the feeling of brotherhood, realize that they are fighting against common foes, and be glad to encourage and help each other. The success of any is the success of all, and should be so regarded; the failure of any should be a trouble to all; and, if any can aid their brethren to turn threatening defeat into victory, their aid should be cheerfully afforded and joyfully accepted.

(3) The need is urgent. The spiritual necessities of men, the special needs in particular cases. The field is extensive; the opposing forces numerous, powerful, and incessantly vigilant and active. The utmost exertions of all are required. To hold back, to refuse cooperation with fellow soldiers because they belong not to our regiment or division of the army, to observe with pleasure the failure of any of them, or to waste energies and resources in fierce conflicts with one another, is to be disloyal to their Sovereign,, unbrotherly to each other, and unfaithful to the souls of men.

2. Why it often is not so.

(1) Deficiency of spiritual insight. Incapacity, voluntary or involuntary, to discern:

(a) The real nature of the kingdom of Christ. That it is essentially spiritual, consisting in "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost;" that "he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men" (Romans 14:17, 18); and that in Christ Jesus nothing avails but "a new creature," "faith which worketh by love," and "the keeping of the commandments of God" (Galatians 6:15; Galatians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 7:19).

(b) The essential qualities of Christ's soldiers, which are not the dress they wear, nor the particular drill to which they are accustomed, but love and loyalty to Christ.

(2) Deficiency of spiritual affections. Want of supreme and ardent love for Christ and his kingdom, and for his servants as such. These deficiencies of mind and heart act and react on each other, and they open the way for all kinds of blundering and perversity. Fellow soldiers are mistaken for enemies, and treated as such. The great cause is made practically subordinate to matters infinitely small in comparison. Sectarian rivalry takes the place of Christian cooperation; or a worse thing happens - petty personal ambition and selfishness, or likings and dislikings, dominate, separating those who should be acting together, and introducing low, worldly principles into a region where the spiritual should alone reign. Pride, jealousy, envy, uncharitableness, perhaps the merest avarice, reduce to a fraction, if they do not altogether extinguish, those noble Christian feelings which Christianity inspires, and which would impel brothers to own brothers, cordially to render or receive help in the common work, to rejoice in each other's successes, and sorrow for each other's reverses.

3. Who should take the lead in effecting cooperation? Joab addresses Abishai, his fellow commander; and it is just the leaders and commanders in Christ's army who should be foremost in promoting a good understanding between its various bands, and inducing them to work together. But, alas! they are often foremost in promoting alienation and separation. The people are frequently more disposed to be friendly towards each other than the clergy.

II. COURAGE. (Ver. 12.) In war this is essential to success. In the Christian warfare it is not so obviously or universally required. It is, however, still required in many cases. When unpopular truth has to be proclaimed, when strongholds of sin or superstition have to be assailed, when the evangelization of barbarous tribes is attempted, or perilous climates have to be encountered, the Christian soldier must be prepared to endure hardship, suffering, or death. Even the ridicule which not unfrequently assails the earnest Christian calls for a good deal of courage. Joab sought to inspire his brother, and through him the soldiers under his command, with courage, by reminding him that it was "for our people, and for the cities of our God," that they were about to fight. In like manner Christians may be exhorted to "be of good courage" and "play the men" for the Church of God, and for the sake of the world which they aim to conquer for Christ. Joab might have added, "for our king;" and the strongest and most animating consideration for us is that we are witnessing and working and fighting for our great King, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is worth living for, suffering for, dying for. He has gone before us in the labour and the suffering. He is present with us. His eye is upon each of us. He will overlook no true-hearted soldier of his when he distributes the rewards of victory. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12).

III. RESIGNATION. Those who engage in war, though they may hope for victory, must be prepared for defeat. "The battle" is not always "to the strong" (Ecclesiastes 9:11) or the brave. Nor in the better warfare can we "command success" in this or that particular encounter, however faithful or brave or zealous we may be. We are to recognize, like Joab, that "the Lord" is over all, and be content that he should "do that which seemeth him good." Not that we are required to be resigned to ultimate failure, for we are assured of final and complete victory.

"The saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they're slain."

Nor are the courage and devotedness of any single soldier lost. All the faithful contribute to the final triumph, and all shall unite in the song of victory, "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ." "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!" "And he shall reign forever and ever" Revelation 11:15; Revelation 19:6). - G.W.

If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me.
I. MUTUAL HELPFULNESS. As occasion demands, says Joab, you will help me, or I will help you. Now, this is a word for us all. God has so ordained that we are mutually dependent on one another; and I hardly know which of the two is worse, the self-conceit of the man who imagines he can stand alone, or the selfishness of the. man who has no instinctive desire to help his neighbour when in trouble. Why, away from religion altogether, it is our duty both to lean and to carry; for it, is seldom indeed that there is not a stronger than ourselves, who can render us aid; and equally seldom that there is not s feebler than ourselves, to whom we may do a service. Too often the sentiment of the world is, "every man for himself" — the survival, If not of the fittest, at least of the strongest. Let the bold and lithe push to the front, and the weak go to the wall. There is a great deal of this in business, as some of you well know; certain men, elbowing and driving forward, not caring whom they push over or trample under their feet, if only they are successful themselves. The result is that many a good, able worthy fellow, simply because he has not the audacity, the impudence, of others, is left behind and gets disheartened. Now it is here that Christian principle should come in, balancing and regulating the various elements at work, giving confidence to the weak and-generosity to the strong, and so securing the largest amount of success and happiness.

II. MANLY HEROISM, "Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly." Never on field of battle did officer shout across to brother officer s nobler sentiment. The army has indeed, produced lame grand men, heroes in the truest sense of the world. But I would not for a moment wish to convey the impression that heroes are confined to campaigns and battlefields. I venture to assert that in the commonest spheres of civil and prosaic life may be found instances of an equally noble; though less showy, heroism. There are heroes of the workshop, of the counter, of the office, of the market-place, on whose courage may be put as severe a strain as though they stood upon the field of battle, amid the glitter of cold steel and the rattle of musketry. When a man has to fight with poverty, with losses, with bad debts, with disappointments, with temptations: and still keeps his head to the wind, battles on bravely, refuses to knock under, vows still to "trust in God and do the right," I say, though he has no epaulettes on his shoulders, nor medals on his breast, he is as truly s man and a hero as though he had stormed a citadel. "Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves," would be an excellent motto for the employees in many a London establishment. You want the "courage" of your principles, and then no fear of your "behaviour." When a man's life is dominated by the one aim, not to make money, not to find idle pleasure, but to please his Master in heaven, it is wonderful how much respect he commands, and how much pure inward happiness he enjoys.

III. TRUE PATRIOTISM. Listen again to General Joab: "Be of good courage, brother, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God." Now you will notice the motive which he adduced. Bravo! ye sons of Zeruiah! "God and our country" was their cry. It was no empty, silly Jingo shout, like that which we have heard in our own day from a hysteric rabble that clamour for glory, but would turn tail with the first shot that whizzed about their ears; it was a call to action and to danger, impelled by love to Israel, and to Israel's God. Sirs, patriotism is one of the noblest sentiments that can occupy the human breast; but .there is no patriotism so pure and disinterested as that which is kindled at the altar of love to God. Never was there a more remarkable instance of it than the dauntless British officer to whom I have already adverted. Self-negation characterised his whole career. After all his great work in China, General Gordon left the country as poor as he entered it, having refused all rewards. When a sum of £10,000 was forwarded to him by the Emperor, he divided it all amongst his troops. On his arrival in England he declined every honour, preferring to bury himself in obscurity. The very medals that were showered upon him he put no value upon, and would even have them melted down to provide relief for those who were in want. GENUINE PITY. "And let the Lord do that which is good in His sight." I do not venture to say that Joab was a saint, nor would I like to answer for many things which he did: but on this occasion, certainly, his conduct and language were admirable, and worthy of imitation. "Abishai," he seems to say, "you and I shall do our best, and leave the issue with God. We cannot command success, but we can do our duty, and leave the result in higher hands than our own." It is a fine thing to see a God-fearing soldier. It is an interesting feature of our time that there is in the British army a very considerable amount of deep and unaffected piety. Some of our highest officers, some of our most distinguished generals, both abroad and at home, are real men of God. They are none the less, but all, the more, valuable as soldiers. They have more pluck and less fear than the others A man is all the braver soldier for being a Christian. When true piety is engrafted on a fearless and gallant nature, it forms a splendid character. For a noble and beautiful Christianity, commend me to a converted soldier. "General Gordon," says one of the morning papers, "is not a man whose actions or whose fortunes can be estimated by the ordinary standard to which human affairs are submitted. His singularly pure and lofty character impresses every one with whom he is brought into contact. He believes himself to be always fulfilling a mission from a higher authority than any earthly government. A man of this heroic mould, who combines no small share of worldly wisdom with the integrity of a saint and the simplicity of a child, may walk securely in places where any other foot would slip. But, on the other hand, General Gordon would march quietly on to what he knew was certain destruction, if he believed that to do so was his duty."

(J. Thain Davidson, D. D.)

The true and only cure for the misery and discontent that exist in our country seems to me to lie in the personal and regular communion of the better with the worse — man with man — until each Christian, like his Saviour, becomes one with those who are to be saved; until he can be bone of their bone, sympathise, teach, weep, rejoice, eat and drink with them as one with them in the flesh. The world will not believe because it cannot see that Christianity is true, by seeing its reality in the marvellous oneness of Christ and His people.

(Norman McLeod, D. D.)

A book has been published, written by Prince Kropotkin on "Mutual Aid," in which he maintains that there is far more evidence in nature of "mutual aid" than of "the ruthless struggle of each against all." He makes out a very strong case for the statement "that mutual aid between members of the same species has had much more to do with their survival than selfish struggle." We recognise at once that a world evolved by means of the struggle of each against all. Prince Kropotkin maintains that care for others is at the very heart of things; the world has been built on this principle. The late Professor Drummond recognised "the struggle for the life of others" in the world, and he tried to reconcile this with Darwin's "struggle for existence" or for one's own life, by suggesting that the altruisic principle appeared with the mother in her concern for her offspring. Kropotkin denies this, and produces a wonderful mass of evidence to show that the struggle for the life of others is a natural instinct implanted in nature herself. God did not merely work up to it in motherhood: He based all progress upon it.

(David Waiters.)

Danger woke the best of Joab. Fierce and truculent as he often was, he had hero's metal in him, and in that dark hour he flamed like a pillar of light. His ringing words to his brother as they parted, not knowing if they would ever meet again, are like a clarion call. They extract encouragement out of the separation of force, which might have depressed, and cheerily pledge the two divisions to mutual help. What was to happen, Joab, if the Syrians were too strong for thee, and the Ammonites for Abishai? That very possible contingency is not contemplated in his words. Rash confidence is unwise, but God's soldiers have a right to go into battle not anticipating utter defeat. Such expectation is apt to fulfil itself, and, on the other hand, to believe that we shall conquer goes a long way towards making us conquerors. Does not Joab's pledge of mutual help carry in it a lesson applicable to all the divisions of God's great army? In the presence of the coalition of evil, is not the separation of the friends of good madness? When bad men unite, should not good men hold together? The defeat or victory of one is the defeat or victory of all. We serve under the same banner, and, instead of shutting up our sympathies within the narrow limits of our own regiment, and even having a certain satisfaction at the difficulties which another has got into, we should feel that if "one member suffer, all the members suffer with it," and should be ready to help all our fellow-soldiers who need help. Self-preservation as well as comradeship, and, above all, loyalty to Him for whom we fight, should lead to that; for, if Abishai is crushed, Joab will be in sorer peril.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The old Theban regiments fought with such desperation upon the field or battle because it was the principle of Theban military science that those who stood next each other in the rank should always, if possible, be bosom friends. Let us, in our great battle of life, learn the secret of affection and mutual trust.

(David Walters.)

Abishai, Ammonites, Aram, David, Hadadezer, Hadarezer, Hanun, Israelites, Joab, Maacah, Nahash, Rehob, Shobach, Syrians
Beth-rehob, Euphrates River, Helam, Jericho, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Maacah, Rehob, Tob, Zobah
Ammon, Ammonites, Aram, Aramaeans, Arameans, Bene-ammon, Better, Hast, Rescue, Salvation, Sons, Strong, Stronger, Syrians
1. David's messengers, sent to comfort Hanun are villainously treated
6. The Ammonites, strengthened by the Syrians, overcome by Joab and Abishai
15. Shobuch, making a new supply of the Syrains at Helam, is slain by David

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 10:1-19

     5087   David, reign of

'More than Conquerors through Him'
'And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ish-tob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field. 9. When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians: 10. And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

BY REV. GEORGE MILLIGAN, M.A., D.D. "There is nothing," says Socrates to Cephalus in the Republic, "I like better than conversing with aged men. For I regard them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom it is right to learn the character of the way, whether it is rugged or difficult, or smooth and easy" (p. 328 E.). It is to such an aged traveller that we are introduced in the person of Barzillai the Gileadite. And though he is one of the lesser-known characters
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Voluntary Suffering
I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. T hat which often passes amongst men for resolution, and the proof of a noble, courageous spirit, is, in reality, the effect of a weak and little mind. At least, it is chiefly owing to the presence of certain circumstances, which have a greater influence upon the conduct, than any inherent principle. Thus may persons who appear to set death and danger at defiance in the hour
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

2 Samuel 10:11 NIV
2 Samuel 10:11 NLT
2 Samuel 10:11 ESV
2 Samuel 10:11 NASB
2 Samuel 10:11 KJV

2 Samuel 10:11 Bible Apps
2 Samuel 10:11 Parallel
2 Samuel 10:11 Biblia Paralela
2 Samuel 10:11 Chinese Bible
2 Samuel 10:11 French Bible
2 Samuel 10:11 German Bible

2 Samuel 10:11 Commentaries

Bible Hub
2 Samuel 10:10
Top of Page
Top of Page