When Israel went to war with Ammon, David stayed behind, seeming to lose heart as a monarch. After his affair with Bat Sheva, he did not even go out to the city gates to judge cases, as the courthouse in ancient Israeli cities was always in the gate. He seemins to wonder, “How could I judge when I have sinned so terribly.” It gave his son Avshalom the political operating space to begin planning his rebellion, which started at Jerusalem’s city gate. As the Israeli army marches out to do battle with the renegade Avshalom, David first wants to go with them, and then stands by the city gate and watches them pass. This seems to indicate David is reasserting his military and judicial leadership.