The accession of Solomon had not been without bloodshed, and Judah, together with David's old general Joab and his faithful priest Abiathar, were opposed to the son of a woman who had been the wife of a Hittite warrior.
The precedence claimed by Judah was challenged by the northern tribes even on the day of David's victorious return to his capital, and a rupture ensued, headed by Sheba, which but for the energy of Joab might have led to a second and more dangerous rebellion.
The natural heir to the throne, on the death of Absalom, he sought with the help of Joab and Abiathar to seize his birthright, and made arrangements for his coronation (1 Kings i.
He himself was caught in the boughs of an oak-tree, and as David had strictly charged his men to deal gently with the young man, Joab was informed.
David surrounded the royal city with a wall and built a citadel, probably on the site of the Jebusite fort of Zion, while Joab fortified the western town.
The census unwillingly carried out by Joab at the behest of David related exclusively to the fighting men of the community, and the dire consequences ascribed to it were quoted in reprobation of such inquiries as late as the middle of the 18th century.
After Asahel met his death at the hands of Abner, Joab expostulated with David for not taking revenge upon the guilty one, and indeed the king might be considered bound in honour to take up his nephew's cause.
The glory of this victory was increased by the complete subjugation of Edom in a war conducted by Joab with characteristic severity (2 Sam.
The base murder of Abner by Joab did not long defer the inevitable issue of events.
But when Joab himself killed Abner David's imprecation against him and his brother Abishai showed that he dissociated himself from the act of vengeance, although it brought him nearer to the throne of all Israel (2 Sam.