2 Samuel 2 Ė 3 part 2
Now last week in chapter one we learned about how David
finds out about Saul and his sons death and he mourned greatly over this loss
and he even wrote song to commemorate them.†
Now starting in chapter 2 we begin an new turning point in the life of
David as he will be anointed king of Judah.
2 Samuel 2:1 It
happened after this that David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go
up to any of the cities of Judah?"
And the LORD said to him, "Go up." David said, "Where shall I go
up?" And He said, "To Hebron."† 2 So David went up there, and his
two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the
Carmelite.† 3 And David
brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So
they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.† 4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king
over the house of Judah.
And they told David, saying, "The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who
buried Saul."† 5 So David
sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, "You are
blessed of the LORD, for you have shown this kindness to your lord, to
Saul, and have buried him.† 6
"And now may the LORD show kindness and truth to you. I also will repay
you this kindness, because you have done this thing.† 7 "Now therefore, let your
hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also
the house of Judah
has anointed me king over them."
One characteristic I like
about David is most of time he ask God what he should do because he relied upon
God to guide him through his life. This is certainly a great characteristic
that every Christian should have today as well. Far to many times we do things
in our life without asking guidance from God and many times things donít work
out quite like we would have hoped. I believe there is great need for each of
us to spend more time in prayer to God seeking guidance and wisdom from him.
Well, learn from our text
that David is told to go to Hebron.
This is mountainous area in Judah
and would make a very strategic location for David and his men. It here where
David is anointed king. Now might recall that Samuel had already anointed David
as the future King when he was just a shepherd boy but now it was being made
official. It interesting to note the King Saul went through this same process.
First he was anointed by Samuel and then latter anointed by the people to be
Now when David finds out
what the people of Jabesh Gilead had done for Saul and his sons he praised them
for their action and gave them his blessing. Again we can see that even though
Saul had wanted to kill David over and over again David never stopped caring
for him because he had great respect him and his sons. This can be seen of well
David speaks of Saul after his death and how wept bitterly at his death.
2 Samuel 2:8 But
Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, took Ishbosheth (ihsh-boe-sheth)the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim; (may-huh-nay-im) 9 and he made him king over
Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, over Benjamin, and over
all Israel.† 10 Ishbosheth, (ihsh-boe-sheth) Saul's son, was forty years old
when he began to reign over Israel,
and he reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David.† 11 And the time that David was
king in Hebron over the house of Judah
was seven years and six months.
Now to help us keep some
of these names straight on who they are I want to remind you the Ner was Saulís
uncle and so this tells us why his son Abner would have been so concerned about
keeping Saul reign alive through is only living son† Ishbosheth. So at least for 2 year period we
have Saul son ruling most of the children of Israel
and David ruling over Judah.
2 Samuel 2:12 Now
Abner the son of Ner (nur), and the servants of Ishbosheth(ihsh-boe-sheth) †the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim (may-huh-nay-im) to
13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David,
went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon.
So they sat down, one on one side of the pool and the other on the other side
of the pool.† 14 Then Abner
said to Joab, "Let the young men now arise and compete before us."
And Joab said, "Let them arise."†
15 So they arose and went over by number, twelve from
Benjamin, followers of Ishbosheth (ihsh-boe-sheth) the son of
Saul, and twelve from the servants of David.†
16 And each one grasped his opponent by the head and thrust
his sword in his opponent's side; so they fell down together. Therefore that
place was called the Field of Sharp Swords, which is in Gibeon.
these verse we learn about head to head competition. Some believe that this was
going to be a single battle that would determine a winner between these
kingdoms but as we as we read this battle ended up with tie where all 24 men
ended up dead. The each grabbed each others head or hear and at the same time
ran their swords through each others side. This caused a bigger battle to break
out which we read about in a min. But first I want to point out that Joab was
David nephew (1Chron. 2:16). We also will learn as we continue on that Joab and
Abner seem to have a mutual respect for one another after these men are
brethren and it is shame that they are finding themselves in the middle of† a civil war.
2 Samuel 2:17 So there
was a very fierce battle that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were
beaten before the servants of David.† 18
Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai (ah-bish-a-eye) and
Asahel. (as-ah-hell)And Asahel was as fleet of foot as a wild
gazelle.† 19 So Asahel pursued
Abner, and in going he did not turn to the right hand or to the left from
following Abner.† 20 Then
Abner looked behind him and said, "Are you Asahel?" He answered,
"I am."† 21 And
Abner said to him, "Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay
hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself." But Asahel
would not turn aside from following him.†
22 So Abner said again to Asahel, "Turn aside from
following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your
brother Joab?"† 23
However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach
with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back; and he
fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the
place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.
we learn that Asahel was very quick runner and that he was trying his best to
chase down Abner. These verses also reveal to us that Abner did not want to
kill Asahel because he was concerned about how could face his brother Joab afterwards.
Again this gives a big clue that Abner had a great respect for Joab. Well, as
we read Abner ends having to kill Ashel or be killed by him. Now we also learn
that Asahel must have been considered very amongst his people because when
people came and saw where his dead body lay they stood still.
2 Samuel 2:24 Joab
and Abishai (ah-bish-a-eye) also pursued Abner. And the sun was going down
when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is before Giah by the road to
the Wilderness of Gibeon.† 25 Now the children of Benjamin
gathered together behind Abner and became a unit, and took their stand on top
of a hill.† 26 Then Abner
called to Joab and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know
that it will be bitter in the latter end? How long will it be then until you
tell the people to return from pursuing their brethren?"† 27 And Joab said, "As God
lives, unless you had spoken, surely then by morning all the people would have
given up pursuing their brethren."† 28
So Joab blew a trumpet; and all the people stood still and did not pursue Israel anymore,
nor did they fight anymore.† 29
Then Abner and his men went on all that night through the plain, crossed over
the Jordan, and went through all Bithron;(bith-run) and they came to
Mahanaim.(may-huh-nay-im)† 30 So Joab returned from pursuing
Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of
David's servants nineteen men and Asahel.†
31 But the servants of David had struck down, of Benjamin and
Abner's men, three hundred and sixty men who died.† 32 Then they took up Asahel and
buried him in his father's tomb, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all
night, and they came to Hebron
So Abner continues to run
for his life and he makes his way up a hill where is able to get some
reinforcements and he is wanting this battle to be over to cries out to Joab to
end the killing spree and a few sharp words from Joab he calls for his men to
stop the battle. Davidís men were seasoned veterans when came to warfare and we
can see that they had been very successful in this battle as they only lost 20
men to Abnerís 360 men.
And again we can see that Asahel was someone who stood out by the statement
that Davidís side lost 19 men and Asahel.
2 Samuel 3:1 Now
there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But
David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and
weaker.† 2 Sons were born to
David in Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;† 3 his second, Chileab, (kil-ih-ab)by
Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; the third, Absalom the son of Maacah,
(may-ah-kah) the daughter of Talmai,
(tal-migh) king of Geshur;† 4 the fourth, Adonijah (add-oh-nye-juh)
the son of Haggith; the fifth,
Shephatiah the son of Abital;† 5
and the sixth, Ithream, (ith-ree-umh)
by David's wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron. †
Well the war rages on
between the house of Saul and the house of David but Davidís kingdom keeps
getting stronger and stronger. Now the custom of the day was that a king would
marry multiple women which was reflection of how much they prospered and we can
see that David was following that custom because we see that he had at least 6
wives here in chapter 3. Now I want to point that David was breaking Godís law
by multiplying is wives. Please note God set up some rules for those who become
a king over the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 17:17 "Neither
shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he
greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.
Not only does it state
this law the verses following after this say that the king is to write these
laws down and he read them all the days of his life so that he doesnít turn
from Lord. God universal law for marriage has always been one and one wife.
2 Samuel 3:6 Now it
was so, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David,
that Abner was strengthening his hold on the house of Saul.† 7 And Saul had a concubine, whose
name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. (a-eye-ah) So Ishbosheth (ihsh-boe-sheth) †said to Abner, "Why have you gone
in to my father's concubine?"† 8
Then Abner became very angry at the words of Ishbosheth, (ihsh-boe-sheth) †and said, "Am I a dog's
head that belongs to Judah?
Today I show loyalty to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to
his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and you charge
me today with a fault concerning this woman?†
9 "May God do so to Abner, and more also, if I do not do
for David as the LORD has sworn to him --†
10 "to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and
set up the throne of David over Israel
and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba."† 11 And he could not answer Abner
another word, because he feared him.
Here where we start
getting a glimpse at what Abner had been up to all these years. It seems that
Abner had been setting himself up to possible to become the next leader of the
children of Israel.
After all it was him that put Saulís son forth to become king and he was the
one that had the power and influence over the people. Although Isbosheth had
the title King it was Abner that was making everything work and now here in
Saulís son trying to call him on his relationship with Saulís concubine. This
makes Abner mad and he tells Ishbosheth how it is and how he is now going to
turn things upside down and make sure that David will now rule Israel as it
was prophesied. Once Abner finished his speech this left Ishbosheth speechless
because he was afraid of Abner.
2 Samuel 3:12 Then
Abner sent messengers on his behalf to David, saying, "Whose is the
land?" saying also, "Make your covenant with me, and indeed my
hand shall be with you to bring all Israel to you."† 13 And David said,
"Good, I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you:
you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when
you come to see my face."† 14
So David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, (ihsh-boe-sheth) ††Saul's son, saying, "Give me my
wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for a hundred foreskins of the
Philistines."† 15 And
Ishbosheth (ihsh-boe-sheth) †sent
and took her from her husband, from Paltiel (pal-tih-uhl)the son of Laish.† 16 Then her husband went along
with her to Bahurim, weeping behind her. So Abner said to him, "Go,
return!" And he returned.
Here we learn that Abner
was kidding about what he said. He sets up a covenant with David. David only
had one stipulation he wanted his first wife Michal back which if you are
keeping count this makes 7 wives for David now. Now we will learn more about
what Abner does to shift control of power from Saulís household to Davidís.
2 Samuel 3:17 Now
Abner had communicated with the elders of Israel, saying, "In time past
you were seeking for David to be king over you.† 18 "Now then, do it! For
the LORD has spoken of David, saying, 'By the hand of My servant David, I will
save My people Israel
from the hand of the Philistines and the hand of all their enemies.'
"† 19 And Abner also
spoke in the hearing of Benjamin. Then Abner also went to speak in the hearing
of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel and the
whole house of Benjamin.† 20
So Abner and twenty men with him came to David at Hebron. And David made a feast for Abner and
the men who were with him.† 21
Then Abner said to David, "I will arise and go, and gather all Israel
to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may
reign over all that your heart desires." So David sent Abner away, and he
went in peace.
Basically Abner goes on a
political campaign for David and he uses his power of influence to convince all
that David is the man they need to follow because he will be able to rescue
them from the hand of the Philistines. Abnerís plan works and David allows Abner
to go off in peace. However we find out that some of Davidís men have a
2 Samuel 3:22 At that
moment the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought much spoil
with them. But Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had
gone in peace.† 23 When Joab
and all the troops that were with him had come, they told Joab, saying,
"Abner the son of Ner (nur) came to the king, and he sent him away,
and he has gone in peace."† 24
Then Joab came to the king and said, "What have you done? Look, Abner came
to you; why is it that you sent him away, and he has already
gone?† 25 "Surely you
realize that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you, to know your going out
and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing."† 26 And when Joab had gone from
David's presence, he sent messengers after Abner, who brought him back from the
well of Sirah. But David did not know it.† 27 Now when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him
aside in the gate to speak with him privately, and there stabbed him in the
stomach, so that he died for the blood of Asahel his brother.
Now need to remember that
Abner had killed Joabís brother earlier in battle and so Joab was wanting to
seek revenge. We see that he tries to belittle what Abner was doing and the
covenant that was made between him David. However his words apparently did not
convince David because Joab sends out messenger for Abner to come back behind
Davidís back and Joab stabs him in him to stomach killing him for the death of
his brother. Now lets read Davidís response.
2 Samuel 3:28
Afterward, when David heard it, he said, "My kingdom and I are guiltless
before the LORD forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner.† 29 "Let it rest on the head
of Joab and on all his father's house; and let there never fail to be in the
house of Joab one who has a discharge or is a leper, who leans on a staff or
falls by the sword, or who lacks bread."†
30 So Joab and Abishai (ah-bish-a-eye) his
brother killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.
As you can tell David was
not happy at this news at all and he wanted everyone to know that he had
nothing to do with this cowardly act of revenge. He even pronounced a curse of
him and his household that they would suffer greatly for his sin.
2 Samuel 3:31 Then
David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, "Tear your
clothes, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner." And King
David followed the coffin.† 32
So they buried Abner in Hebron;
and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the
people wept.† 33 And the king
sang a lament over Abner and said: "Should Abner die as a fool dies?† 34 Your hands were not bound Nor
your feet put into fetters; As a man falls before wicked men, so you
fell." Then all the people wept over him again.† 35 And when all the people came to
persuade David to eat food while it was still day, David took an oath, saying,
"God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till
the sun goes down!"† 36
Now all the people took note of it, and it pleased them, since whatever the
king did pleased all the people.† 37
For all the people and all Israel
understood that day that it had not been the king's intent to kill Abner the
son of Ner.† 38 Then the king
said to his servants, "Do you not know that a prince and a great man has
fallen this day in Israel?† 39 "And I am weak today,
though anointed king; and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too harsh for me.
The LORD shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness."
Now it would have been
natural for the children of Israel
to have thought that David had a hand in putting Abner to death. But after
David mourned at his death and asked everyone else to do the same and after he
wrote song in honor naming his senseless death and speaking highly of him and
also since he wound not even eat anything until that evening no one had a doubt
in their mind that David had nothing to do with the death of Abner. To make
sure that Joabís household paid for the unwarranted crime before David died he
gave these instruction to his Solomon.
2:5"Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and
what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of
Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war
in peacetime, and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist,
and on his sandals that were on his feet.†
6 "Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let
his gray hair go down to the grave in peace.†
As we can see David was
going to make sure that Joabís wickedness was paid in full.