WHEN THE NEWS REACHED JOAB... HE FLED TO THE TENT OF THE
LORD AND TOOK HOLD OF THE HORNS OF THE ALTAR: Joab must have thought that,
as Adonijah had done this successfully before, he -- that is, Joab -- might
repeat it, and have some hope of being spared. Joab was an old man by now, who
had about thirty years earlier committed two atrocious murders, and now those
"chickens" have finally come home to roost.
And so he retreated to the horns of the altar in the LORD's
house, which -- so far as we can tell -- he had very seldom approached before.
He seems to have had little respect for religion during his lifetime. He was a
coarse man of war, and had taken little or no time to think of God, or the
tabernacle, or the priests, or the altar... until he was in danger. But then, he
fled to that which he had avoided, and sought to take refuge in that which he
Joab is not the only man to seek for help in such a way. But
it was of no use: it was too little, and too late. God will not be mocked, and a
man will reap what he has sown (Gal 6:7).