Chapter 22 – Zeruiah
Zeruiah was an exceptionally strong and important woman in the Bible. Her name is mentioned 25 times and yet we know nothing about her. The conclusion that she was so influential comes from the fact that where other men are identified by their fathers, her sons are always listed as “the son of Zeruiah” and that is why she is mentioned so often.
Zeruiah was the older sister of King David and the mother of Abishai, Joab and Asahel. To draw conclusions about her we can only examine the lives of her sons. All three sons of Zeruiah held leadership positions in David’s army. Sometimes they did things that were of questionable ethics.
Abishai daringly and with great bravery went into the enemy’s camp with David. He was ready and willing to proceed with military cunning and “extreme prejudice” against King Saul, but David overruled him.
Asahel was “fleet-footed” and chased after Abner, pursuing him even when he should have turned aside to avoid a political catastrophe. Had he not refused to give up the pursuit he would have saved his own life, since Abner grew weary of him and thrust the butt of his spear into Asahel’s stomach and out his back.
David had sent Abner away in peace, but Joab went after Abner and took him aside as though to speak with him privately. Then, to avenge his brother Asahel’s death, he stabbed Abner in the stomach and killed him. Joab was also a conniver, aiding David in his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, having Bathsheba’s husband killed and then holding his knowledge of David’s actions over David in something of a crafty blackmail. Joab also took clever measures to manipulate David into bringing back Absalom from his banishment.
Studying these men I've found much to dislike in their worldly and evil ways. Since all three sons exhibited “wickedness” I’m going to give the thumbs down to Zeruiah’s parenting skills.