And the news. The news that Adoniyahu was killed and Evyatar was exiled. He feared for himself because he sided with Adoniyahu and didn't side with Avshalom, for if he had sided with Avshalom and not Adoniyahu he wouldn't have had anything to fear, because all Israel wanted to crown him (Avshalom) it wasn't a revolt deserving of the death penalty for if so Amasa would have deserved death and behold David wanted to appoint him over the army and then held Yoav responsible for his murder. But in this (Adoniyahu's) revolt, he merited the death penalty for he knew that David wanted to crown Shlomo and he rebelled against David and Shlomo and joined Adoniyahu. Before Shlomo killed Adoniyahu he wasn't afraid because he didn't know what David told Shlomo and he wasn't afraid of the revolt because he said behold Adoniyaho rebelled and Shlomo forgave him, saying I won't harm you, and his helpers were also forgiven. When he heard that Adoniyahu was killed and Evyatar exiled, he feared for himself and fled to the tent of G-d for there was the ark in Jerusalem and he held the horns of the altar to escape because the altar was there as it is written that there David sacrificed before the ark and Shlomo didn't kill him until now because he said until we find some cause to kill him for so David had ordered him, do it wisely. He waited to find a cause to kill him and when Shlomo was told that he had gone to hold the horns of the altar he said this is a kind of revolt for he is thinking to be saved from me so he is still in the mindset of rebellion since he fled from me and I never said kill him, therefore he ordered Bnayahu to strike him. And the rabbis give a different reason for 'he didn't side with Avshalom.' They say he wanted to go with him but didn't, which means that with Avshalom too Yoav rebelled in his heart and wanted to side with him but he didn't. He said, 'David's moisture still exists,' which is to say his strength. But in the matter of Adoniyahu when David was old and bedridden he turned after Adoniyahu openly and Ibn Ezra says that Yoav didn't side with Avshalom because he knew he wasn't fitting for the kingship and he thought the same about Shlomo.
(יג):... וּמִי הָיָה זֶה שֶׁבָּרַח לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְנֶהֱרַג, יוֹאָב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים א ב, כח): וְהַשְּׁמֻעָה בָּאָה עַד יוֹאָב וגו' אֶל אֹהֶל ה' ... אֶלָּא אָמַר הֲרוּגֵי בֵּית דִּין אֵין נִקְבָּרִין בְּקִבְרוֹת אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם אֶלָּא הֵם לְעַצְמָן, מוּטָב לִי שֶׁאָמוּת כָּאן וְאֶקָּבֵר בְּקִבְרוֹת אֲבוֹתַי (מלכים א ב, ל לא): וַיָּשֶׁב בְּנָיָהוּ אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּבָר לֵאמֹר כֹּה דִּבֶּר יוֹאָב וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ עֲשֵׂה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר וּפְגַע בּוֹ וּקְבַרְתּוֹ וַהֲסִירֹתָ דְּמֵי חִנָּם אֲשֶׁר שָׁפַךְ יוֹאָב מֵעָלַי וּמֵעַל בֵּית אָבִי, וְלָמָּה נֶהֱרַג, שֶׁכֵּן צִוָּהוּ דָּוִד אָבִיו (מלכים א ב, ה): וְגַם אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לִי יוֹאָב בֶּן צְרוּיָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לִשְׁנֵי שָׂרֵי צִבְאוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְאַבְנֵר בֶּן נֵר וְלַעֲמָשָׂא בֶן יֶתֶר וַיַּהַרְגֵּם. מֶה עָשָׂה לוֹ אַתְּ מוֹצֵא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁכָּתַב דָּוִד לְיוֹאָב (שמואל ב יא, טו): הָבוּ אֶת אוּרִיָּה אֶל מוּל פְּנֵי הַמִּלְחָמָה הַחֲזָקָה וְשַׁבְתֶּם מֵאַחֲרָיו וְנִכָּה וָמֵת, עָשָׂה כָּךְ וְנֶהֱרַג, נִתְקַבְּצוּ כָּל רָאשֵׁי הַחַיָּלִים עַל יוֹאָב לְהָרְגוֹ, שֶׁהָיָה רֹאשׁ הַגִּבּוֹרִים, שֶׁכָּךְ כְּתִיב בּוֹ (שמואל ב כג, לט): אוּרִיָּה הַחִתִּי כֹּל שְׁלשִׁים וְשִׁבְעָה, הֶרְאָה לָהֶם אֶת הַכְּתָב, לְפִיכָךְ כְּתִיב אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לִי יוֹאָב בֶּן צְרוּיָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וגו' ... וְצִוָּה לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְּנוֹ שֶׁיַּהֲרֹג אוֹתוֹ, שֶׁהָיָה יוֹאָב בֶּן אֲחוֹתוֹ שֶׁל דָּוִד וְהָיָה מְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲבִיאוֹ לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא, כֵּיוָן שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ שְׁלֹמֹה לַהֲרֹג אוֹתוֹ אָמַר יוֹאָב לִבְנָיָהוּ לֵךְ אֱמֹר לִשְׁלֹמֹה אַל תְּדִינֵנִי בִּשְׁנֵי דִינִין, אִם תַּהַרְגֵנִי טֹל מֵעָלַי הַקְּלָלוֹת שֶׁקִּלְּלַנִי דָּוִד אָבִיךָ, אִם לָאו הַנַּח אוֹתִי בַּקְּלָלוֹת. מִיָּד וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ עֲשֵׂה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר וּפְגַע בּוֹ וּקְבַרְתּוֹ. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה כָּל הַקְּלָלוֹת שֶׁקִּלֵּל דָּוִד אֶת יוֹאָב נִתְקַיְּמוּ בְּזַרְעוֹ שֶׁל דָּוִד, זָב, מֵרְחַבְעָם בֶּן שְׁלֹמֹה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים א יב, יח): וְהַמֶּלֶךְ רְחַבְעָם הִתְאַמֵּץ לַעֲלוֹת הַמֶּרְכָּבָה, וּכְתִיב בְּזָב (ויקרא טו, ט): וְכָל הַמֶּרְכָּב אֲשֶׁר יִרְכַּב עָלָיו הַזָּב יִטְמָא. מְצֹרָע, מֵעֻזִיָּהוּ ... וּמִפְּנֵי מָה נֶהֱרַג אַבְנֵר, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעָשָׂה דָּמָן שֶׁל נְעָרִים שְׂחֹק, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל ב ב, יד): וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְנֵר אֶל יוֹאָב יָקוּמוּ נָא הַנְּעָרִים וִישַׂחֲקוּ לְפָנֵינוּ וגו', רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי אָמַר עַל שֶׁהִקְדִּים שְׁמוֹ לִשְׁמוֹ שֶׁל דָּוִד, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמואל ב ג, יב): וַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְנֵר מַלְאָכִים אֶל דָּוִד תַּחְתָּו לֵאמֹר לְמִי אָרֶץ. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים עַל שֶׁלֹא הִנִּיחַ לְשָׁאוּל לְהִתְפַּיֵּס מִדָּוִד, וְהָיָה סִפֵּק בְּיָדוֹ לִמְחוֹת בְּנוֹב עִיר הַכֹּהֲנִים וְלֹא מִחָה.
... And who is the one who fled to the altar and was killed? Yoav, as it says: And Yoav heard etc. to the tent of G-d... He said to himself, those killed by the court are not buried in the graves of their fathers but rather by themselves, better that I die here and be buried with my fathers: "And Bnayahu reported the matter to the king saying so spoke Yoav and the king said to him, do as he said and strike him and bury him and remove the innocent blood that Yoav spilled from myself and from the house of my father." And why was he killed? Because David his father ordered him: "And you also know what Yoav son of Tzruya did to me, what he did to the two officers of Israel to Avner ben Ner and Amasa ben Yeter and he killed them." What did he to do him (David)? We find that when David wrote to Yoav: "Put Uriah the Hittite at the strongest front of the war and retreat after him and he will be struck and die," he did so and he was killed. The heads of the soldiers gathered to kill Yoav, for he (Uriah) was the head of the great men, as it is written: "Uriah the Hittite, all thirty seven." He showed them the letter, therefore it is written "what Yoav ben Tzruyah did to me."
... And he commanded Shlomo his son to kill him, for Yoav was the on of David's sister and he wanted to bring him to the next world. When Shlomo sought to kill him, Yoav said to Bnayahu go say to Shlomo, don't sentence me with two sentences. If you kill him, remove the curses that David your father cursed me with. If not, leave me with the curses. Immediately the king said to him, do as he says, he struck him and buried him. Rabbi Yehudah says, all the curses that David cursed Yoav with were applied to the offspring of David...
... And why was Avner killed? Because he made a game out of the blood of young men, as it says: "And Avner said to Yoav, let the boys get up and play before us etc." Rabbi Yehoshua b Levi says because he put his name before that of David, as it says: "And Avner sent messengers to David saying to whom does the land belong." And our scholars say because he didn't persuade Shaul to be reconciled with David, and he could have prevented the massacre in Nov the city of priest but he didn't prevent it.
אתיוה ליואב דייניה.
אמר ליה מאי טעמא קטלתיה לאבנר?
אמר ליה גואל הדם דעשאל הואי.
עשאל רודף הוה!
אמר ליה היה לו להצילו באחד מאבריו
They brought Joab before Solomon, who judged him. Solomon said to Joab: What is the reason that you killed Abner? Joab said to him: I was the blood redeemer of the blood of Asahel; Solomon said to him: But Asahel was pursuing Abner with the intention of killing him, and therefore he had the status of a pursuer. Joab said to Solomon: Abner could have saved himself by wounding Asahel in one of his limbs.
אמר ליה לא יכיל ליה
א"ל השתא בדופן חמישית כיון ליה דכתיב (שמואל ב ב, כג) "ויכהו אבנר באחרי החנית אל החומש" וא"ר יוחנן בדופן חמישית במקום שמרה וכבד תלויין בו. באחד מאיבריו לא יכיל ליה?!
אמר ליה ניזיל אבנר. מאי טעמא קטלתיה לעמשא?
אמר ליה עמשא מורד במלכות הוה דכתיב (שמואל ב כ, ד) "ויאמר המלך לעמשא הזעק לי את איש יהודה שלשת ימים וגו'" "וילך עמשא להזעיק את יהודה ויוחר וגו'"
אמר ליה עמשא אכין ורקין דרש, אשכחינהו דפתיח להו במסכתא. אמר כתיב (יהושע א, יח) "כל איש אשר ימרה את פיך ולא ישמע את דבריך לכל אשר תצונו יומת." יכול אפילו לדברי תורה? תלמוד לומר רק חזק ואמץ.
אלא ההוא גברא מורד במלכות הוה דכתיב (מלכים א ב, כח) "והשמועה באה עד יואב כי יואב נטה אחרי אדניה ואחרי אבשלום לא נטה."
מאי לא נטה? אמר רב יהודה שביקש לנטות ולא נטה.
ומאי טעמא לא נטה? אמר רבי אלעזר עדיין ליחלוחית של דוד קיימת...
Solomon said to him: Abner was not able to injure Asahel, because he was running and could not aim with precision. Joab said to Solomon: Now Abner was able to aim and hit him precisely in the fifth rib, as it is written: “And Abner smote him with the butt end of the spear in the ḥomesh” (II Samuel 2:23), and Rabbi Yoḥanan says that this means that he hit him in the fifth rib, the place where the gallbladder and liver hang. If Abner could aim with precision at the fifth rib, could he not have successfully aimed at one of Asahel’s limbs?
Solomon said to Joab: Set aside Abner. What is the reason you killed Amasa? Abner said to him: I killed Amasa for his having rebelled against the king, as it is written: “And the king said to Amasa: Muster to me the men of Judah within three days. And Amasa went to call the men of Judah, but he was later than the set time that he had assigned to him” (II Samuel 20:4–5).
Solomon said to him: Amasa was not guilty of rebelling against the king because he interpreted the words akh and rak in a restrictive manner, and in that way he limited the king’s authority.
How so? Amasa found the men of Judah starting to study a new tractate. He said to himself: It is written: “Any man who rebels against your commandment, and will not listen to your words in all that you command him, he shall be put to death” (Joshua 1:18), indicating that the king of Israel has unlimited power. Based on these words alone, one might have thought that the king must be obeyed even when that would lead to abstention from the study of the words of Torah. Therefore, that same verse states: “Only [rak] be strong and of a good courage.” The word “rak” is a restrictive term that serves to limit the king’s authority in a situation where obeying his command will minimalize the study of Torah. Consequently, Amasa was justified when he did not muster the men of Judah at the appointed time, and you had no right to kill him.
Solomon continued: Rather, the opposite is true. That man, you, Joab, rebelled against the king, as it is written: “Then tidings came to Joab, for Joab had followed after Adonijah, though he had not followed after Absalom.” (I Kings 2:28).
The Gemara asks: What does the verse mean to teach when it says that Joab did not follow Absalom? Rav Yehuda says: It serves to teach that Joab wanted to follow Absalom, but in practice he did not follow him. The Gemara asks: If he wanted to do so, what is the reason that Joab did not follow Absalom? Rabbi Elazar says: When Absalom rebelled against his father, David was still in full possession of his vitality...
... ופליגא דרבי אבא בר כהנא, דאמר רבי אבא בר כהנא אילמלא דוד לא עשה יואב מלחמה, ואילמלא יואב לא עסק דוד בתורה, דכתיב (שמואל ב ח, טו) "ויהי דוד עושה משפט וצדקה לכל עמו ויואב בן צרויה על הצבא."
מה טעם דוד עשה משפט וצדקה לכל עמו? משום דיואב על הצבא.
ומה טעם יואב על הצבא? משום דדוד עושה משפט וצדקה לכל עמו.
(שמואל ב ג, כו) "ויצא יואב מעם דוד וישלח מלאכים אחרי אבנר וישיבו אותו מבור הסירה." מאי בור הסירה? אמר רבי אבא בר כהנא בור וסירה גרמו לו לאבנר שיהרג.
The Gemara notes: And those who view Joab in a negative light disagree with the opinion of Rabbi Abba bar Kahana, as Rabbi Abba bar Kahana says: Were it not for David, who studied Torah, Joab would not have been able to wage war successfully, and were it not for the military acumen of Joab, David would not have been able to study Torah. As it is written: “And David executed judgment and justice to all his people, and Joab, son of Zeruiah, was over the army” (II Samuel 8:15–16). What is the reason that David “executed judgment and justice to all his people”? He was able to do so because “Joab, son of Zeruiah, was over the army,” assisting him and fighting his battles. And what is the reason that “Joab, son of Zeruiah, was over the army”? He was able to do so because “David executed judgment and justice to all his people.”
§ The verse states: “And Joab went out from David, and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from Bor Sirah” (II Samuel 3:26). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the name Bor Sirah? Rabbi Abba bar Kahana says: A well [bor] and a thorn [vesira] caused Abner to be killed.
Abner became liable to be killed when he failed to take advantage of two opportunities to bring about a reconciliation between King Saul and David. First, when David cut off a corner of Saul’s robe after he entered a cave in order to relieve himself, and second, when David found Saul sleeping and took the jug of water and the spear from next to his head. Rather than tell Saul that David could have killed him and refrained from doing so, Abner suggested to Saul that his robe may have been torn by a thornbush and that his jug of water may have been taken by one of his own men. These two incidents are alluded to by the words bor, well, i.e., jug of water, and sira, thornbush.
(שמואל ב ג, כז) ויטהו יואב אל תוך השער לדבר אתו בשלי. אמר רבי יוחנן שדנו דין סנהדרי.
א"ל מ"ט קטלתיה לעשאל?
עשאל רודף היה.
היה לך להצילו באחד מאיבריו
לא יכילי ליה
השתא בדופן חמישית כוונת ליה באחד מאיבריו לא יכלת ליה?
"לדבר אתו בשלי." אמר רב יהודה אמר רב על עיסקי שלו
(שמואל ב ג, כז) "ויכהו שם אל החומש." אמר רבי יוחנן בדופן חמישית מקום שמרה וכבד תלויין בו
(מלכים א ב, לב) "והשיב ה' את דמו על ראשו אשר פגע בשני אנשים צדיקים וטובים ממנו."
טובים שהיו דורשין אכין ורקין והוא לא דרש.
צדיקים שהן בפה ולא עשו והוא באיגרת עשה
(שמואל ב כ, י) "ועמשא לא נשמר בחרב אשר ביד יואב."
אמר רב שלא חשדו.
The verse states: “And Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly” (II Samuel 3:27). Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Joab judged Abner according to the halakha of the Sanhedrin, which would sit in judgment by the gate of the city. Joab said to Abner: What is the reason you killed Asahel? Abner said to him: Asahel was a pursuer, whom I had the right to kill in self-defense. Joab said to Abner: Even so, you could have saved yourself by wounding one of his limbs. Abner replied: I was not able to do so as I was running and could not aim with precision. Joab said to him: Now seeing that you were able to aim and hit him precisely in the fifth rib, could you not have successfully aimed at one of his limbs?
The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of “to speak with him quietly [basheli]”? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: He took him aside to speak to him by way of deception [shalu]. As for what is stated: “And Abner smote him with the butt end of the spear in the ḥomesh” (II Samuel 2:23), Rabbi Yoḥanan says: He hit him in the fifth [ḥamishit] rib, the place where the gallbladder and liver hang.
§ The verse states that Solomon said to Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, concerning Joab: “And the Lord shall return the blood upon his own head, for he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he” (I Kings 2:32). The Gemara explains: Amasa and Abner were “better” that Joab, as they interpreted the words akh and rak in a restrictive manner that limited the king’s authority, while he did not interpret them in that way, demonstrating that they were greater than him in Torah. Amasa and Abner were also “more righteous” than Joab, as they both received oral instructions directly from Saul to slay the priests of Nov and they did not do so, whereas Joab was instructed by David in a letter to kill Uriah and he did so.
The verse states: “But Amasa took no heed of the sword in Joab’s hand” (II Samuel 20:10). Rav says: Amasa took no heed of the sword because he did not suspect that Joab was capable of murdering him.
(מלכים א ב, לד) "ויקבר בביתו במדבר." אטו ביתו מדבר הוא?
אמר רב יהודה אמר רב כמדבר מה מדבר מופקר לכל אף ביתו של יואב מופקר לכל
דבר אחר, כמדבר: מה מדבר מנוקה מגזל ועריות אף ביתו של יואב מנוקה מגזל ועריות.
(דברי הימים א יא, ח) "ויואב יחיה את שאר העיר." אמר רב יהודה אפילו מוניני וצחנתא טעים פריס להו:
The verse states with regard to Joab: “And he was buried in his own house, in the wilderness” (I Kings 2:34). The Gemara asks: Is that to say that Joab’s house was a wilderness? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Joab’s house was like the wilderness; just as the wilderness is freely open to all, so too, Joab’s house was freely open to all, as he generously opened his house to the poor. Alternatively, Joab’s house was like the wilderness; just as the wilderness is clean of theft and sexual immorality, as it is uninhabited, so too, Joab’s house was clean of theft and sexual immorality, owing to his righteousness. As for the verse: “And Joab kept alive the rest of the city” (I Chronicles 11:8), Rav Yehuda says: Not only would Joab feed the poor, but he would even give them treats of types of small fish so they would lack for nothing.