# Oh Zealots So Red

Of cedar paneled chambers,1 and the vow

That Joab swore, and how your foe did cling

In vain to our most holy shrine,2 I'll now

Relate, my lord—and may your servant bring

A smile of pleasure to your face.3  He swore

He'd never leave that place—and it was so.4

Defile the altar with his very gore—

That was his plan—and with that same blood flow

To stain your name.  He mocked you, said the sword

Devours this way and that,5 and now, withdrawn

From him, his curse inures to you, my lord:

Impure and leprous, lame and hungry spawn.6

I struck—and summoned him as he lay dead,

"Repeat it now—exactly as you said."

# Footnotes

1: Solomon's Temple was lined with cedar wood. See I Kings 6:15.

2: Joab had supported a rebellion against Solomon. See I Kings 2:28.

3: Benaiah addresses Solomon.

4: See I Kings 2:30.

5: Joab here quotes David. See II Samuel 11:25.

6: When Joab killed Abner, David cursed him concerning his progeny. (See II Samuel 3:29.) In confronting Benaiah, Joab argued his execution at Solomon's command would represent double punishment for one crime. Therefore, the curses which David had put on him would be transferred to Solomon. So it was. See Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 48b for details.

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