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king of Israel.
Asahel is slain.
Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over and Asahel: and Asahel was as light
+ Heb. of his 10 Ish-bosheth Saul's son was forty 19 And Asahel pursuedafterAbner; + Heb. as one years old when he began to reign and in going he turned not to the challenges over Israel, and reigned two years. right hand nor to the left from + fol- Feld.
+ Heb. from But the house of Judah followed lowing Abner.
after Abner. David.
20 Then Abner looked behind him, + Heb.
11 And the time that David was and said, Art thou Asahel ? And he number of
king in Hebron over the house of answered, I am.
12.1 And Abner the son of Ner, thee aside to thy right hand or to thy
But Asahel would not turn 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, aside from following of him.
and the servants of David, went out, 22 And Abner said again to + Heb. them and met † together by the pool of Asahel, Turn thee aside from followtogether.
Gibeon : and they sat down, the one ing me: wherefore should I smite
14 And Abner said to Joab, Let ther?
young men now arise, and play 23 Howbeit he refused to turn before us.
And Joab said, Let them aside: wherefore Abner with the arise.
hinder end of the spear smote him 15 Then there arose and went over under the fifth rib, that the spear by number twelve of Benjamin, which came out behind him; and he fell pertained to Ish-bosheth the son of down there, and died in the same Saul, and twelve of the servants of place: and it came to pass, that as David.
many as came to the place where 16 And they caught every one his Asahel fell down and died stood still. fellow by the head, and thrust his 24 Joab also and Abishai pursued sword in his fellow's side ; so they after Abner: and the sun went down
fell down together: wherefore that when they were come to the hill of | That is, place was called || Helkath-hazzurim, Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the The field of which is in Gibeon.
way of the wilderness of Gibeon. strong men. 17 And there was a very sore bat
25 And the children of Benjamin tle that day; and Abner was beaten, gathered themselves together after and the men of Israel, before the Abner, and became one troop, and servants of David.
stood on the top of an hill.
Abner had acted on principles of justice, and as a faith- the two armies, and to undergo a trial of their strength ful friend to the succession of Saul's house, he would and courage. Bp. Patrick. Abner seems to have meant, have advanced to the crown, not Ish-bosheth, but Me- not that they should fall upon, and destroy one another, phibosheth, Jonathan's son, to whom, if the crown was but merely that they should practise a little their milito descend by hereditary right, it certainly belonged. tary exercises, to divert the spectators. Stackhouse. Dr. Chandler.
i6.- they caught every one &c.] The sense seems to - brought him over to Mahanaim ;] Brought him be, that the servants of David thrust a sword into each over Jordan to Mahanaim, a place in the tribe of Gad, of the Benjamites, so that the twelve men of Benjamin so called from the appearance of angels to Jacob, Gen. fell down dead together. Bp. Patrick, Dr. Wells. The xxxii. 1, 2. Abner's reasons for retreating hither seem sense is uncertain : either all the Benjamites fell by the to have been, to secure the people on that side of Jor- hand of David's men, or the whole twenty-four fell by dan, who were generally attached to Saul's family, to the hands of each other. Pyle. prevent the Philistines from falling on the king whom 23.- Abner with the hinder end of the spear &c.] he had under his protection, and chiefly to be at a These words should rather be rendered, “ Abner smote greater distance from David. Stackhouse.
him in the belly, turning his spear backwards.” As 9. -— over all Israel.] Over all the tribes on the west- Abner was the foremost, he turned his spear backward, ern side Jordan, save the tribe of Judah. Bp. Patrick. and so killed Asahel. Houbigant.
14. — and play before us.] While the two armies faced as many as camestood still.] They ceased one another, on different sides of the pool, Abner desires from the pursuit, fearing perhaps the same fate. Bp. that some soldiers may be picked out, to make sport for Patrick.
Joab soundeth a retreat.
Six sons are born to David. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, of David: but David waxed stronger
CHRIST about 1053, and said, Shall the sword devour for and stronger, and the house of Saul about 1053,
ever ? knowest thou not that it will waxed weaker and weaker.
unless thou hadst spoken, surely then Abigail the wife of Nabal the CarHeb, from t in the morning the people had melite ; and the third, Absalom the || Or, gone
11 gone up every one from following son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai
king of Geshur;
5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eg-
Saul and the house of David, that
Aiah: and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, 31 But the servants of David had Wherefore hast thou
8 Then was Abner very wroth for
the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, 32 ^ And they took up Asahel, Am I a dog's head, which against and buried him in the sepulchre of Judah do shew kindness this day unto his father, which was in Beth-lehem. the house of Saul thy father, to his And Joab and his men went all night, brethren, and to his friends, and have and they came to Hebron at break of not delivered thee into the hand of day.
David, that thou chargest me to
day with a fault concerning this CHAP. III.
9 So do God to Abner, and more
2 Six sons were born to him in Hebron. 6 also, except, as the Lord hath sworn
ner a word again, because he feared
the house of Saul and the house 12 And Abner sent messengers
27. — unless thou hadst spoken,] Unless thou hadst plified in the case of Adonijah, 1 Kings ii. 17, &c. sent the challenge, mentioned at ver. 14. Dr. Wells. Stackhouse. Unless thou hadst provoked me to battle. Locke. 8. — Am I a dog's head,] He thought Ish-bosheth
used him, not as captain of the host of Israel, but as Chap. III. ver. 7.- gone in unto my father's concu if he had been keeper of his dogs.
Bp. Patrick. Or bine ?] It was in those days looked upon as an insult else, “ Am I as insignificant and worthless as a dog's to the royal family, and a proof of aspiring to the king- head?” Dr. Chandler. dom, to have any intercourse with the relicts of princes, 9. So do God to Abner, &c.] These words shew that of what denomination soever they were. This is exem- he knew very well God had unalterably resolved to be
Before CHRIST about 1048.
cl Sam. 25.
Abner is feasted by David.
Joab killeth Abner. to David on his behalf
, saying, Whose And David made Abner and the men
Israel unto my lord the king, that
make a league with thee: but one and that thou mayest reign over all + Heb. thing I require of thee, + that is, that thine heart desireth. And David saying.
Thou shalt not see my face, except sent Abner away; and he went in
David and Joab came from pursuing
liver me my wife Michal, which I David in Hebron ; for he had sent » 1 Sam. 18. espoused to me b for an hundred fore-him away, and he was gone in peace. skins of the Philistines.
23 When Joab and all the host that 15 And Ish-bosheth sent, and took | was with him were come, they told her from her husband, even from Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner c Phaltiel the son of Laish.
came to the king, and he hath sent
Bahurim. Then said Abner unto and said, What hast thou done? be-
Ner, that he came to deceive thee,
Abner, which brought him again from
and smote him there under the fifth peaceably. 20 So Abner came to David to rib, that he died, for the blood of
e Chap. 2. Hebron, and twenty men with him. e Asahel his brother.
stow the kingdom of Israel upon David; and yet his publication of it may turn for his advantage, he wins ambition led him hitherto, to oppose not only David, the heart of Israel, by shewing God's charter for him but the Lord himself. Bp. Patrick.
whom he had so long opposed. Hypocrites make use 12. — saying, Whose is the land ?] Acknowledging, of God for their own purposes, and care only to make by these words, that he owned David to be lord of all Divine authority a colour for their own designs. Bp. the country, by God's special gift. Bp. Patrick. Abner Hall. in his behaviour on this occasion, cannot be excused 26. — the well of Sirah :) Probably not far from from a treacherous inconstancy. If Saul's son had no Hebron: Josephus says, twenty furlongs from it. true title to the crown, why did he maintain it? If he 27.- in the gate] As this was a publick place, where had, why did he forsake the cause and person? Had men met to transact business, and the courts of justice Abner withdrawn his hand, out of remorse for further sat, Abner suspected no danger there. Bp. Patrick. ing a false claim, I know not wherein he could be smote him there—that he died,] Who can but blamed, except for not doing it sooner; but now, to glorify God in his justice, when he sees the bitter end withdraw his professed allegiance upon a private re- of this treacherous dissimulation ! David might devenge, was to take a graceless leave of a bad action. servedly welcome a guest who undertakes to bring all Bp. Hall.
Israel under allegiance to himself; but God never 18.- the Lord hath spoken of David, &c.] Abner meant to use so unworthy means for so good a work. knew before full well that God had destined the king- Joab returns from pursuing a troop; and, finding dom for David ; yet then he was well content to smo- Abner dismissed in peace and expectation of beneficial ther a known truth for his own turn; but now that the return, follows him; and whether out of envy at a
Before CHRIST about 1048,
+ Heb. loods.
David curseth Joab,
and mourneth for Abner. 28 9 And afterward when David 33 And the king lamented over about 1048. heard it, he said, I and my kingdom Abner, and said, Died Abner as a
are guiltless before the Lord for ever fool dieth ?
thy feet put into fetters : as a man
do God to me, and more also, if I 30 So Joab and Abishai his bro- taste bread, or ought else, till the sun
ther slew Abner, because he had slain be down. Chap. 2.23. their brother fAsahel at Gibeon in 36 And all the people took notice the battle.
of it, and it + pleased them : as what- + Heb. 31 9 And David said to Joab, and soever the king did pleased all the
was good in to all the people that were with him, people. Rend your clothes, and gird you with 37 For all the people and all Issackcloth, and mourn before Abner. rael understood that day that it was
And king David himself followed the not of the king to slay Abner the son + Heb. bed. + bier.
day in Israel?
new rival of honour, or from a desire of revenging The word, translated “fool," seems to signify a man Asahel, he repays him both dissimulation and death. of blasted character or morals; or perhaps one, who by God does most justly by the hand of Joab, that which his misdemeanour has forfeited the privileges of a Joab did for himself most unjustly. Bp. Hall
. This citizen, and rendered himself obnoxious to publick jusmurder of Abner by Joab is allowed to be a base piece tice; in short, a rogue,"or “ felon." No doubt such of treachery : though his pretence for this villanous depravity implies folly in the extreme; but by “fool” action was to revenge the death of his brother Asahel, we generally understand, not one who goes wilfully yet undoubtedly his principal reason was, his jealousy wrong, but one who has a natural defect in the underof Abner, and his fear of losing the first post under the standing. For this reason the present passage is perking. Dr. Chandler. How empty and ill-founded are haps not properly understood in general. The meaning the purposes of vain man! Abner, who promises king- is this : David is represented as lamenting over the doms, (ver. 10,) cannot secure to himself one certain death of Abner, and doing justice at once to the chahour of life. David had sent him away, and he departed racter of that great general, and to his own innocence in peace; but, being called back by Joab, he fell. Envy, of any share or concern in the murder. His words doubtless, and jealousy of Abner's merit with David, in properly understood are as follow : “Died Abner, as a gaining over the tribes to him, were the principal mo- felon or malefactor dieth ?" No, for if he had, the cirtives to this base action, as well as revenge for the blood cumstances of his death would have been different: he of Asahel. Dr. Delaney.
would have been led, as such persons used to be, bound 29. Let it rest on the head of Joab, &c.] These, and hand and foot, to the place of execution. But, conthe following words, must be looked upon rather as a tinues the king, “Thy hands were not bound, nor thy, prophetical prediction, than as a private imprecation; feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked or else, as the expressions of violent passion, since he men, so fellest thou.” That is, thou sufferedst not by thought that the punishment for so horrid a crime could a legal sentence; but, as many good and virtuous men not be too severe or too lasting. Bp. Patrick.
have done besides, thou fellest by the hand of envious that falleth on the sword] That commits suicide and ruffianlike assassins. Dr. Blayney. out of some discontent or disturbance of mind. Dr. - came to cause David to eat meat &c.] This
was a customary practice among the Hebrews, whose 31. - the bier.]. The word here translated, “the friends were wont to come, after the funeral was over, bier,” is in the original
, “ the bed,” on which persons to comfort those who had buried their dead, and send in of quality were wont to be carried forth to their graves, provisions to make a feast; it being supposed that they as ordinary people were upon that which we call a bier. themselves were so sorrowful, as not to be able to think Kings were sometimes carried out on beds richly of their necessary food. See Jerem. xvi. 5.7, 8; Ezek. adorned and gilt, as Josephus tells us was the case with xxiv. 17. Bp. Patrick. See the note on the above pasHerod. Bp. Patrick.
sage of Jeremiah. 33. — Died Abner as a fool dieth ?] Died he by the 38. — there is a prince and a great man fallen] The hands of justice for some folly or wickedness? No fall of a great man like Abner must inspire every mind such matter. Dr. Wells. Or, ** Died he as a worthless with grave and serious reflections. A great man fallen! vile fellow dieth ?” so the Hebrew word properly sig- and fallen by so unexpected and so surprising a treanifies. Dr, Chandler.
chery, and in the very moment of his returning to his
Baanah and Rechab
slay Ish-bosheth. 39 And I am this day + weak, to the house of Ish-bosheth, who lay Before T about 1048, though anointed king; and these men on a bed at noon.
the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for + Heb.
6 And they came thither into the me : the LORD shall reward the doer midst of the house, as though they of evil according to his wickedness. would have fetched wheat; and they
smote him under the fifth rib: and CHAP. IV.
Rechab and Baanah his brother es-
Abner, 2 Baanah and Rechab slay Ish 7 For when they came into the
slew him, and beheaded him, and
Abner was dead in Hebron, his through the plain all night.
Ish-bosheth unto David to Hebron,
of the one was Baanah, and the name enemy, which sought thy life; and + Heb. of the + other Rechab, the sons of the LORD hath avenged my lord the
Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children king this day of Saul, and of his
9 And David answered Rechab
unto them, As the Lord liveth, who 4 And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a hath redeemed my soul out of all son that was lame of his feet. He adversity, was five years old when the tidings 10 When a one told me, saying, a Chap. 1. 15. came of Saul and Jonathan out of Behold, Saul is dead, † thinking to + Heb. he was Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, have brought good tidings, I took and fled: and it came to pass, as she hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, bringer, &c. made haste to flee, that he fell, and || who thought that I would have given i Or, which became lame. And his name was him a reward for his tidings: Mephibosheth.
11 How much more, when wicked him for his
tidings. 5. And the sons of Rimmon the men have slain a righteous person in Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, his own house upon his bed? shall I and came about the heat of the day not therefore now require his blood of
in his own
eyes as a
was the reward I gave
duty, and in the juncture of a great revolution, seem Chap. IV. ver. 1. — his hands were feeble,] He deingly, depending on his fate ; but then this great man spaired of his cause, knew that he had no strength to sported with the lives of his brethren, and perhaps de support his interest, and gave up all for lost. Dr. liberately opposed himself to the dictates of his known Chandler. duty to God, for a series of years. It is true, Abner 2.- of the children of Benjamin :] It is specially was now returned to his duty ; but it is as true, that mentioned that Rechab and Baanah were Benjamites, he returned to it now, as he departed from it before, because, being of the same tribe with Saul, they had upon a pique, and from motives of ambition, interest, stronger ties upon them to be honest and faithful to his and revenge. He well knew the purposes and declara- family. It is thus shewn more fully how vile and untions of God in relation to David, and yet he delibe- grateful they were, and how justly they deserved the rately opposed himself to them. And it is but just in severe but exemplary punishment which David inflicted the appointments of Providence, (and nothing is more on them. Stackhouse. conspicuous in his government of the world,) not to - for Beeroth also &c.]. Though this place was permit the wicked to effect that good from wrong mo now in the hands of the Philistines, yet it belonged to tives, which they once obstructed from the same mo- the tribe of Benjamin, Josh. xviii. 25. Bp. Patrick. tives. The occasions of duty, once notoriously neg 5. — who lay on a bed at noon.] As the custom was and lected, seldom return, at least to equal advantage. Let still continues to be, in all hot climates. Dr. Chandler. no man decline the good that is within his power; if he 6. – as though they would have fetched wheat ;]. In once does so, he is no more worthy to be the happy the Hebrew, " carrying wheat :” which they either instrument of effecting it in the hand of God. Dr. brought into the king's granaries for the use of his Delaney.
household; or carried forth for the supply of the sol. 39. - I am this day weak, &c.] That is, he was not diers, who were maintained at the king's charge. Bp. so established in his new kingdom, as to deem it pru- Patrick. dent to punish Joab and Abishai, in the manner they 7. - through the plain] The Alat country between deserved, for so base a fact. Dr. Wells.
Mahanaim and Hebron.