2 Samuel 11:14-17 ESV

In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.” 16 And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died

Joab is instructed by the king through a letter to put Uriah in a vulnerable position during the battle with Ammonites so as to get him killed.Joab complies and gets Uriah killed.

The prophet comes and rebukes David for the heineous crime and nothing is said about the part Joab had played in this treacherous move

Was Joab guilty of Uriah's death?

  • Joab was following orders. The commanding officer (King David here) that issues instructions takes responsibility for those instructions, and those carrying them out do NOT.
    – Dottard
    Nov 18, 2021 at 10:48
  • @Dottard, in another heinous incident Saul's men refused to kill the priests at nob, we never heard them charged for that Nov 18, 2021 at 11:01
  • True - and if I were either Joab or Saul's men I would have done the same but Joab followed orders blindly.
    – Dottard
    Nov 18, 2021 at 20:21

2 Answers 2


nothing is said about the part Joab had played in this treacherous move

Was Joab guilty of Uriah's death?

Only if he knew the real reason behind David's intention; otherwise, he is as innocent as an executioner carrying out the judge's death sentence.

  • Maybe he was privy to the plot through the letter. Nov 18, 2021 at 8:43
  • @collenndhlovu: Maybe, maybe not; I prefer facts over speculation.
    – Lucian
    Nov 18, 2021 at 22:54

Well, he doesn't exactly do what David tells him to do. It just seems like the valiant men that Uriah was assigned to accompany made a tactical error and Joab used Uriah's death as shield against David giving him a tongue lashing for their blunder. I don't think Uriah intended to jeopardize the lives of the other men.

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