Joab was reluctant to give the job to Ahimaaz, an Israelite. Perhaps Joab was worried about David’s response to the death of his son and decided that it would be more appropriate for a foreigner to deliver the news than an Israelite. See Charles Convoy, “Absalom! Narrative and Language in 2 Samuel 13–20, ” Analecta Biblica 81 (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1978), p. 69. Convoy suggests that Joab chose the Cushite, not necessarily because he was black, but simply because he was a foreigner.