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Catholic Dictionary




The commander of David's army. He first caught David's attention when he distinguished himself in a battle against the Jebusites culminating in the capture of Jerusalem (I Chronicles 11:6). He proved to be a capable leader but bloodthirsty. He murdered Abner, a Northern Kingdom general, which shocked David into giving Abner a soldier's funeral and ovation (II Samuel 3:26-34). Joab also won great victories against the Syrians and the Ammonites. He tried to keep peace between David and his rebellious son Absalom (II Samuel 18:14). On another occasion he brought about the death of Uriah at David's request in order to facilitate the king's marriage to the widow Bath-Sheba (II Samuel 11:6-25). Joab made a fatal decision in supporting Adonijah against Solomon. When the latter gained the throne, he had Joab executed (I Kings 2:34).