II Samuel 2
II Samuel 1 closed with David writing and singing a moving tribute song entitled "The BOW;" to honor Saul and Jonathan who had been killed in battle against Israel's arch enemy the Philistines at Mount Gilboa. He also commanded the Tribe of Judah to learn and sing this song; however, he bade them to not publish it abroad, in order that, the Philistines might hear it and rejoice over the death of Israel's king his sons and many of Israel’s sons.
It is in this Chapter, II Samuel 2 that David will take the reins of the House of Judah, no, not king over all Israel yet, even, though he has already been anointed such by Father through Samuel back in I Samuel 16:13. David will become king over Judah; while, Abner, General of Israel’s Army will take Ish-bosheth, Saul’s only surviving son and make him king over the House of Israel. Father didn’t direct this, so, Ish-bosheth’s reign will only last for two years, this doesn’t mean that David will then be king over all Israel, as, that, still won’t happen for another five years.
2:1-24:25 KING DAVID. (Division.)
2:1-4:12 The kingdom. Divided.
2:1-4:12 KINGDOM DIVIDED. (Alternation.)
2:1-11 Followers. Accessions.
2:1-2:11 FOLLOWERS. ACCESSIONS. (Introversion and Alternation.)
2:1-3 David goes to Hebron.
II Samuel 2:1 And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the LORD said unto him, “Go up.” And David said, “Whither shall I go up?” And He said, “Unto Hebron. -> Came to pass after this=After the major defeat of the Israelite Army and the death of Saul and his sons; and, then, David writing and singing the tribute song he wrote concerning these events.
David enquired of the LORD=Remember that Abiathar the High Priest is with David; so, he is probably enquiring of Father through Abiathar and the use of the Urim and Thummim in Abiathar's Breastplate. David continues seeking Father; his counsel and direction for his life - always a good thing to do. Remember also, that, David is currently in Ziklag, so, he is asking Father where He wants David to be.
Father tells David to go up to Hebron, which will be the Capital of Judah, which is where David will rein during his seven plus year reign over the House of Judah; prior to taking the reins of all the House of Israel. Hebron is very easily defensible as it sits in a hilly region, it is also centrally located in Judah; so, this is a good location for the Capital and the king to be.
II Samuel 2:2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite. -> Abigail and Ahinoam are not David's only wives. He is also married to one of Saul's daughters, Michal, who at present is with another man because in Saul's anger with David, he gave her to another man--to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim--and, it is in the next chapter that David will ask for her return to him. We'll also see in the next chapter that David accumulates even more wives.
II Samuel 2:3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. -> David, his family, and his men and their families, all leave Ziklag, and, return home to their land - the Promised Land, specifically Hebron.
2:4 David anointed over the House of Judah.
2:4-7 Those who followed David.
II Samuel 2:4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That “the men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul.” -> Anointed David=This is the second of David’s three anointing’s: (1) the first in I Samuel 16:13 by Samuel; (2) this, the second; and, lastly, (3) the third will be by the “elders of Israel” in II Samuel 5:3. David is approximately 30 years of age at this anointing by the men of the House of Judah. As I said earlier; David will reign for a total of forty--the number for probation--years, seven and a half over the House of Judah, and, then another 32 and a half over the whole House of Israel.
They told David=The "they" here; are, the men of Judah, and, upon David's arrival, they told him that the men of Jabesh-gilead had retrieved Saul's and his son's bodies from the Philistines, burned their carcasses, and then buried the remains under a tree.
II Samuel 2:5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said unto them, “Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. -> David openly expresses his gratitude for the men of Jabesh-gilead at their kind treatment of Saul and his sons by sending a messenger to them to thank them. David never forgot this act of bravery that these men and community had displayed in risking their lives in retrieving the bodies of Saul and his friend Jonathan. We too should always show respect to those whom Father has touched; and, that help us.
II Samuel 2:6 And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. -> David asks Father to bestow stability unto the men of Jabesh; and, he further tells them, that, he, too, will repay their charity, and, will never forget what they have done for one of Father's anointed. In essence, what he does is, make a covenant with the men of Jabesh-gilead because of their heroic actions.
The 20th Seder of the Thirty-Four Sedarim (or cycles for public reading) which began at I Samuel 30:25, ended with this verse v2:6, showing no break in the text, proving that these two Books of Samuel should be treated as one Book. A seder was a prescribed amount of scripture which was to be read during certain times of the year- such as, during the Feasts, and, also, other times throughout the year.
II Samuel 2:7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.” -> Here David is asking the men of Jabesh to show the same valor and honor which they showed to Saul; to, also show it to him, as, the men of Judah having anointed him their king. In David stating that the House of Judah has anointed him as their king, it reinforced the covenant which he had made with the men of Jabesh-gilead. Everyone knew that David was a man of his word, and they knew that they could count on his help in a time of need. Having a good character; and, a good reputation does have a value to it; for, in times of need, both sides can rely on what is being said.
We change direction and shift our focus to Saul's son Ish-bosheth starting in the next verse.
2:8-10 Ish-bosheth anointed over Israel.
II Samuel 2:8 But Abner (father of light that is [enlightening]) the son of Ner (a light; or, lamp), captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth (man of shame) the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim (double camp); -> When Abner—who was the cousin to Saul and Captain over his army—saw that the men of Judah had anointed David as king over the House of Judah, he hasted and grabbed one of Saul’s surviving sons Ish-bosheth, and, had the House of Israel anoint him king over the rest of the Tribes. With Saul dead; and now Ish-bosheth a puppet in his hand, Abner would be the authority over all the land of Israel. Abner, not YHVH, chose Saul's son to rule over the tribes - this is our-right rebellion on Abner's part. In the Hebrew tongue, Ish-bosheth correctly translated means "a man of shame," and this was the young man whom Abner was going to force on the people to be their new king.
We'll read when we come to II Samuel 21 that Saul has two other sons who were not on the battlefield that fateful day, and therefore not killed by the Philistines. They are born of one of his concubines - Rizpah, who in the next Chapter II Samuel 3 will be part of the rift between Abner and Ish-bosheth. The name of these two sons are Armoni and Mehpibosheth. They will be hung by the Philistines in II Samuel 21 for restitution of Saul's slaying of the Gibeonites who Joshua and the Elders of Israel had made a covenant with back in Joshua 9. Yes, the Israelites were at that time to have slain all the inhabitans of the Promised Land - which they failed to do; yes, these Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the Elders and Joshua did not seek Father's counsel before making the covenant with them; but the fact remains that they had made the covenant and Saul broke it and slew the Gibeonites. Therefore, these two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth along with five other of Saul's offspring will pay the price for his breaking of the covenant - that will have Father's approval.
Abner=Son of Ner, who was the brother of Kish I Chronicles 9:36, the father of Saul. (B.C. 1063.) Abner, therefore, was Saul's first cousin, and was made by him commander-in-chief of his army I Samuel 14:51; 17:57; and 26:5-14. After the death of Saul David was proclaimed king of Judah; and sometime subsequently Abner proclaimed Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, king of Israel. War soon broke out between the two rival kings, and a "very sore battle" was fought at Gibeon between the men of Israel under Abner and the men of Judah under Joab I Chronicles 2:16. Abner had married Rizpah, Saul's concubine, and this, according to the views of Oriental courts, might be so interpreted as to imply a design upon the throne. Rightly or wrongly, Ish-bosheth so understood it, and he even ventured to reproach Abner with it. Abner, incensed at his ingratitude, opened negotiations with David, by whom he was most favorably received at Hebron. He then undertook to procure his recognition throughout Israel; but after leaving his presence for the purpose was enticed back by Joab, and treacherously murdered by him and his brother Abishai, at the gate of the city, partly, no doubt, from fear lest so distinguished a convert to their cause should gain too high a place in David's favor, but ostensibly in retaliation for the death of Asahel. David in sorrow and indignation, poured forth a simple dirge over the slain hero II Samuel 3:33-34..
Ner=Son of Jehiel, according to I Chronicles 8:33 father of Abner, and grandfather of King Saul. (B.C. 1140.) Abner was, therefore, uncle to Saul, as is expressly stated in I Samuel 14:50..
Ish-bosheth=The youngest of Saul's four sons, and his legitimate successor. (B.C. 1068.) Ish-bosheth was "forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years" II Samuel 3:10. During these two years he reigned at Mahanaim, though only in name. The wars and negotiations with David were entirely carried on by Abner II Samuel 2:12 and 3:6,12. The death of Abner deprived the house of Saul of its last remaining support. When Ish-bosheth heard of it, "his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled." He was murdered in his bed.. Ish-bosheth whose name means "man of shame" i.e. the idol, "baal." We can compare this with I Chronicles 8:33 where his name is identified as "Esh-baal."
Mahanaim=A town on the east of the Jordan. The name signifies two hosts or two camps, and was given to it by Jacob, because he there met "the angels of God" Genesis 32:1-2. We next meet with it in the records of the conquest Joshua 13:26,39. It was within the territory of Gad Joshua 21:38-39, and therefore on the south side of the torrent Jabbok. The town with its "suburbs" was allotted to the service of the Merarite Levites Joshua 21:39; and I Chronicles 6:80. Mahanaim had become in the time of the monarchy a place of mark II Samuel 2:8,12. David took refuge there when driven out of the western part of his kingdom by Absalom II Samuel 17:24; and I Kings 2:8. Mahanaim was the seat of one of Solomon's commissariat officers I Kings 4:14. and it is alluded to in the song which bears his name Song of Solomon 6:13. There is a place called Mahneh among the villages of the part of Jordan, through its exact position is not certain..
II Samuel 2:9 And made him king over Gilead (rocky region), and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel (YHVH will sow), and over Ephraim (double fruit), and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. -> The House of Israel is now split, and, will stay as such for several years; until, they all act in one accord, and, make David king over the entire House. It again will stay as "one House" under both David and Solomon's reins; however, due to Solomon's idolatry, Father tells him that He will again divide the Nation, though not while Solomon still lives, but, after he returns Home to Father. Let’s turn to I Kings 11 and read it: I Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange (foreign) women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites (Moab was the son of Lot and his oldest daughter who lay with her father after getting him drunk, along with her younger sister in order to continue populating the earth as they thought they were the last people on earth after Father destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The Moabites are all Moab’s descendants), Ammonites (Ammon was the son of Lot and his younger daughter. The Ammonites are descended from Ammon), Edomites (Edom is another name for Isaac and Rebekah’s oldest son—Jacob’s brother—Esau. The Edomites are his descendants), Zidonians, and Hittites; -> Strange women=When we read the Book of Proverbs we can note the frequent reference to these. Note also, the three steps to Solomon’s downfall: wealth; weapons; and women; of which we can compare with Deuteronomy 17:14-17: Deuteronomy 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, ‘I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;’ -> It didn’t take long for the House of Israel to fulfill this prophesy from Father; they rejected Him pretty quickly and asked for a king to be set over them like as the other nations around them. They had had Judges, but, that wasn’t enough, they wanted a king, so, He gave them Saul as a bad example, followed by David a righteous king, and after David, David’s son Solomon, only the third king of Israel and he is already gone astray and hear what Father tells him here: [17:15] Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. [17:16] But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, ‘Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.’ [17:17] Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. -> Father laid down the law concerning what the Israelite kings should not do, and, sadly, even after Father asked him in Prayer what he wanted and he replied wisdom to judge Father’s Children, he still later went on to accumulate the three idolatrous things Father commanded they not seek after, as we’re reading here in I Kings 11. [11:2] Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, “Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods:” Solomon clave unto these in love. -> Father said that our forefathers were not to give their daughters to the sons of foreigners; not take foreign daughters for the sons. He knew what would happen; the Israelites would soon turn away from Him; and, start to worship the foreigner’s false gods. [11:3] And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. -> I won’t say it started with Solomon; however, he, as king, should have never turned from following Father, and, he should had done as Father commanded to any who had turned from following Him, and, started worshiping false gods. [11:4] For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. -> It will be because of this that Father will rend the kingdom into two Houses. [11:5] For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. -> We read of these different false gods back in Judges 10, so let’s go and review it again: Judges 10:6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him. -> No sooner had the Judges who kept the children of Israel just above the borderline of slipping back into idolatry died, and they fell immediately back into whoredom and worshipping other, false gods; baal and ashtaroth; the gods of the syrians – bel, saturn, or jupiter and astarte; the gods of the Zidonians – ashtaroth, astarte and venus; the gods of moabites – chemosh; the gods of the ammonites – milcom or molech; and the gods of the philistines – dagon.
Here they are; so, let's review what the worship of baal and ashtaroth is all about; and, also, review the rest of these false gods: ashtaroth, astarte, baal, bel, chemosh, dagon, and molech (milcom), briefly, there is no need to get into too much detail of jupiter and saturn as they are planets and that is easy enough to understand - planet worship.
ashtaroth - H6252 - ‛ashtârôth or ‛ashtârôth, pronounced - ash-taw-roth', ash-taw-roth' and means: Plural of H6251; Ashtaroth, the name of a Sidonian deity, and of a place East of the Jordan: - Ashtaroth, Astaroth. See also H1045, H6253, H6255. - This H6255 was ashtaroth karnahyim which translated means Ashtaroth of (the) double horns – sounds like the picture we have of satan today.
astarte - astarte is also known as Astarat and Astoreth. She is an incarnation of Ishtar and Inanna. This Semitic Goddess was worshipped by the Syrians, Canaanites (today called Palestinians), Phoenicians, Egyptians and other Semitic Tribes. King Solomon built a Temple to Her as Astoreth, near Jerusalem. Astarte was worshipped as many things, to the Egyptians, She was honored as a Goddess of War and tenacity, to the Semites, She was a Goddess of Love and Fertility. Among the Greeks She was transposed into the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. In the Bible, She is referred to as "the abomination." Considering Her widespread devotion in Biblical times, the attempts to discredit the Goddess are not surprising. When we speak of baal, we have to include the worship of ashtaroh, because they are tied together as a unit. Where ever baal worship exists, the groves are mentioned, as well as the word "asherah." The word "Asherah" in the Hebrew is from the root word "Aahar;" and, it means "to be straight, erect, and\or upright." It is from this word that we get the moral reference, "to be upright." hence happy and prosper. The male part called "asherah"--baal--is distinguished from "ashtaroth" the female goddess, yet the images are worshipped together. The ashtaroth being representative of the productive (or passive) principle of life; and "baal" or "asherah" being representative of the generative (or active) part of the process for producing life. In other words this is using the sexual process in a form of worship, and the shaping of the trunks of the trees as the idols and images (groves) are done to excite the worshippers into the practice, and Father hates the practice. It was from this form that the religious practices of "evolution" that we have today came from, giving "chance," and the reproductive processes of men and women the credit of creation and salvation for mankind. It leaves ELOHIM - the Creator – our Heavenly Father, out of the creation process, and man ends up worshipping the creation and himself, rather than the Creator, Who is The ONE and ONLY True Living God. In some religions, symbols mean everything; and the ashrah, or the "phallus" was the symbol for the baal worship. The forming of this symbol in their formed images, made from the topping of a tree, and shaping of it became the image of worship. What started out to be the honoring of the origin of life, became a corrupted form of worshipping of the organs that produce the life. These symbols in turn, became the incentive to all forms of impurity, which in time turned into nothing but sexual orgies. Since the creation of man on the sixth day and no written knowledge of what they were worshipping, we don't really know when this all started. However, we also can look to what was happening and happened when the fallen angels came in Genesis 6, we know that they were mating with women and doing who knows what else sexually with them, but suffice it to say that is was probably perverted, and from it also they were worshipping the reproductive organs. We do know some of this started also in the ancient Canaanite religions, which originated way back in Nimrod's day who was the grandson of Noah, the son of Ham. Ham had four sons and their names were Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. Canaan was the father of the Canaanites who were the originators of baal, and ashtorah. Nimrod was the son of Cush. It was for this reason that God gave the commandment to Israel that when they entered into the Promised Land – Father told Abram that He was going to allow some of this to come to pass back in Genesis 15, but as soon as they came out of Egypt; they were to kill all of the Canaanites, tear down their images and destroy their groves. That's right! Father said to utterly destroy all the men, women and children, and even their animals. Sadly, they did not listen to Father; they did not destroy the Canaanites but mixed in with them and also the Gibeonites (Hivites) as we can read of in Joshua 9. Because of their disobedience to God, the Israelites have brought all their troubles upon themselves.
bel – H1078 - bêl, pronounced – bale and means: By contraction for H1168; Bel, the Baal of the Babylonians: - Bel. – bel - signifying "lord" or "master," is a title rather than a genuine name, that is applied to the various gods in Babylonian religion. The feminine form is belit or 'Lady, Mistress.' bel is represented in Greek as Belos and in Latin as belus. Early translators believed that the ideogram for the god called in Sumerian – enlil (the god of breath, wind, loft breadth or "height and distance). This is now known to be incorrect; but one finds bel used in referring to Enlil in older translations and discussions. Bel became especially used of the Babylonian god marduk and when found in Assyrian and neo-Babylonian personal names or mentioned in inscriptions in a Mesopotamian context, it can usually be taken as referring to Marduk--sun god of Babylon--and no other god. Similarly "belit" without some disambiguation mostly refers to bel marduk's spouse.
chemosh - H3645 - kemôsh, kemıysh, pronounced - kem-oshe', kem-eesh', and means: From an unused root meaning to subdue; the powerful; Kemosh, the god of the Moabites: - Chemosh. – Little doubt can be made that the Moabites tried to aspire chemosh to the height of power of Father.
dagon - H1712 - dâgôn, pronounced - daw-gohn', and means: From H1709 (and H1711 "fish as in prolific" again –offspring - sex); the fish god; Dagon, a Philistine deity: - Dagon. – We know what happened to dagon when the philistines put Father in the same room with him in I Samuel 5, he (it) could not stand with Father in the same room, Father kept knocking him (it) over.
molech or milcom - H4432 - môlek, pronounced - mo'-lek, and means: From H4427; Molek (that is, king), the chief deity of the Ammonites: - Molech. Compare H4445 (milcom).
So, this takes us through the different false gods that the Israelites will serve in the future, but, let's continue down this vein a little further. When the Judge, Jair, died; the Israelites not only returned to baalism (plural of baal), they also turned to other heathen practices as well. As we just learned, the god of Moab was molech, and the Moabites worshipped molech through the practice of burning their children in sacrifice. The god of Syria we first read of in Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. -> We read of Shechem in Judges 9; and we're still talking about the same people and place. The "gods of Syria" were charms which they wore in their ears, on their hands, and on their body. They made themselves charms and put their trust in these charms for their protection. Have you ever heard of a rabbit's foot, a good luck charm and so on, well this is the sort of thing the Syrians relied heavy upon. The "earrings" were part of Jacob's booty in the victory, and they were items made of precious metals. The gods of Zidon was also baal worship, and also astarte, which was the female part in baal worship. There was another name for Astarte, and that was "ishtar." It was from the feast of ishtar that we get the celebratory practice of easter which still is practiced in most Christian church houses today. The Christian churches brought in the customs and items of this feast of Ishtar; such as the egg hunt and rolling, the bunnies, the bonnets and dresses with their beautiful, bright spring colors, the early morning bowing to the sun in their sunrise services, and other such items of worship, took on a new identity and Christians think that those things have been purified by their traditions. Rather than putting aside those items of heathen worship, the Christian world has hung on to them by redefining what they represent and their use. Sadly and unknowingly, it is a game that many Christians play with Father, mistakenly thinking that somehow they can con Father out of His hatred of those heathen images and symbols and what they actually represent. The god of the Philistines as we know, was the fish god - dagon. In Judges 16:23; we can read more of dagon; later still in Father's Word, it was at the feast to dagon that all the philistines gathered into one place and Sampson brought down the house. Then some six hundred years after than Sampson's defeat of the philistines, the assyrians were made to accept the teaching of Jonah and repent of their sins when they thought Jonah was sent by dagon the fish god. When the people of Nineveh witnessed and heard of Jonah being cast out, and up onto the shore by the great fish that Father prepared for Jonah, they wanted to hear all that Jonah had said. Their god was dagon; and they thought that all the words from Jonah, were from dagon, Jonah was the messenger who dagon sent to them, and they were therefore ready to listen to and comply with all of Jonah's words.
If you foolishly believe that these false gods aren't present and being worshipped today, even by Christians; step back and take a good look all around you. See what items, doctrines and such people are using to put their faith in, and what strange things they do in the name of "religion." Solomon told us - there is nothing new under the sun, and what once was practiced and worshipped, sadly has returned as a type. Our nation was established on the very principles of Father's Word; His Laws, His Commandments, and His Principles – all prescribed and set forth in His Word. Yet many of those principles today, including even, His laws and commandments, are being replaced in our Government, our Courts and even in our schools. The very laws of our land – our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we see our leaders--the president, and both the Congress and House of Representatives--mocking Father, and the sad part of it is that they think in their own minds that they can get away with it, it reminds me of - Ezekiel 8:17 Then said He unto me, "Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke Me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. -> This branch is an "asherah" - a piece of wood cut and formed to the shape of a man's penis. It represented their form of worship that they did in the "groves" where they held their orgies. And symbolically, what did they then do with this branch? To Father, they were rubbing it right under his nose. In the original manuscripts this reads "and they put the branch to "MY" nostrils." It reads differently here in the King James and other versions as well, because the Sopherim - Scribes of the word - the kenites and nethinims - NOT those of the House of Israel or those of the House of Judah - changed the way it reads, because they felt it too derogatory a term and they wanted to hide what Father really felt about it. Ezekiel 8:18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with loud voice, yet will I not hear them." -> Can you now feel our Father's feelings on this and hear the anger of our Father's voice?! – Yeah, our Governmental leader's minds are set in the same mode of wickedness as our forefathers that we're reading of in the days of the Judges. They tempted Father by taking away His standards, and at the same time accepting the most hated forms of practices, such as sodomy. They remove Father, His Word, Prayer and anything else of Father from the schools and the public buildings, and then they turn around and wonder why our streets and filled with crime and children are doing the things that they are doing on today. Our Constitution, our Preambles and our Bill of Rights were all taken from and giving ode to Father, whereby the people under these documents and their guidelines would better serve Father. Sadly, it has only taken our government two hundred years to now substitute a new form of government, whereby we now exclude Father from many of the basic elements of our lives. They have taken away the Absolutes of Father's Law, and have now replaced it with a new, different type of law, one called the "law of precedent." whereby one court-case decision now sets the example of how all other similar court-cases arising thereafter should be judged. The "right or wrong of the case" is determined by one man and that man calls himself - Judge, completely disregarding the absolutes of Father's Word. The Law has become a game that these legal minds like to play, which does two things; it serves only to make them much money – thereby getting them rich, and, they place the outcome in their hands and not the hands of Father. The practice of law of today is like the practice of Spiritual games that the preachers and their church systems like to play with Father's Word, and sadly, the outcome is the same – serving only to make the preachers rich with their prosperity doctrines and such. So, as we can see, not much has changed at all in the past several thousand years. [11:6] And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. -> Makes you wonder how one Father was so pleased with and He Blessed so richly—and I don’t mean monetarily—could fall so far, so fast; well, I’ll tell you brethren, we all fall short of the Glory of Father, only He was sinless. [11:7] Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. -> As the old saying goes…so goes the king; so goes the nation. When Solomon set-up and started worshipping the false gods that his wives served; then the whole nation—I’m sure that if they didn’t then he would have punished them—started worshipping them as well; and, once they started down that road, neither never recovered, fully. [11:8] And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. -> He loved his women and his wives so much that he was sure to include each of their gods in his worship practices. [11:9] And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, -> Not once; but, twice did Father reveal Himself to Solomon. He had every right to be angry with him and our nation today too; because, we’re no better. Heck, we even have His Word as an ensample of what will happen and we still do it. [11:10] And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. -> Punishment is about to be doled out. [11:11] Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, “Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. -> So, tell me my church going brethren who have listened to their preachers say that our Father is an unconditional loving Father, Who loves us no-matter what. Did you not just see and read the standards; and, conditions, which Solomon failed to live up to in this verse; and, is now going being punished for? [11:12] Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. -> Though the punishment seems to be squarely on the shoulders of Solomon; believe me when I tell you that the whole Nation was punished and suffered for it. [11:13] Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake which I have chosen. -> Ten tribes will be given over to this servant's hand, and two will remain with the son of Solomon. The tribe of Judah for the sake of David, and the tribe of Benjamin because Jerusalem was in the land of Benjamin. These two small tribes will be the only tribes to make up the nation of the house of Judah under the control of the sons of Solomon. All the other tribes will split off from Judah, and go to make up an entire separate nation, carrying the name of Israel. To this day, the house of Israel and the house of Judah are two separate peoples. God dealt with each of these peoples separately, and the joining of these people into one nation will not take place until Jesus Christ returns at the seventh and last trumpet to set up his kingdom right here on earth.
Note all the "and(s)" in this verse indicating the polysyndeton - meaning there is more to the verse than what is being said.
Gilead=A mountainous region bounded on the west by the Jordan, on the north by Bashan, on the east by the Arabian plateau, and on the south by Moab and Ammon Genesis 31:21; and Deuteronomy 3:12-17. It is sometimes called "Mount Gilead" Genesis 31:25, sometimes "the land of Gilead" Numbers 32:1, and sometimes simply "Gilead" Genesis 37:25; and Psalms 60:7. The name Gilead, as is usual in Palestine, describes the physical aspect of the country: it signifies "a hard rocky region." The mountains of Gilead, including Pisgah, Abarim and Peor, have a real elevation of from 2000 to 3000 feet; but their apparent elevation on the western side is much greater, owing to the depression of the Jordan valley, which averages about 3000 feet. Their outline is singularly uniform, resembling a massive wall running along the horizon. Gilead was specially noted for its balm collected from "balm of Gilead" trees, and worth twice its weight in silver..
Ashurites=The descendants of Asher, who are mentioned among whom Ish-bosheth was made king over, here in II Samuel 2:9..
Jezreel=A city situated in the plain of the same name between Gilboa and Little Hermon, now generally called Esdraelon. It appears in Joshua 19:18, but, its historical importance dates from the reign of Ahab, B.C. 918-897, who chose it for his chief residence. The situation of the modern village of Zerin still remains to show the fitness of his choice. In the neighborhood, or within the town probably, were a temple and grove of Eastward, with an establishment of 400 priests supported by Jezebel I Kings 16:33; and II Kings 10:11. The palace of Ahab I Kings 21:1; and 18:46, probably containing his "ivory house" I Kings 22:39, was on the eastern side of the city, forming part of the city wall, Compare with I Kings 21:1; and II Kings 9:25,30,33. Whether the vineyard of Naboth was here or at Samaria is a doubtful question. Still in the same eastern direction are two springs, one 12 minutes from the town, the other 20 minutes. The latter, probably from both its size and its situation, was known as "the spring of Jezreel." With the fall of the house of Ahab the glory of Jezreel departed..
Ephraim=That portion of Canaan named after Joseph's second son Genesis 41:50-52. The boundaries of the portion of Ephraim are given in Joshua 16:1-10. The south boundary was coincident for part of its length with the north boundary of Benjamin. It extended from the Jordan on the east, at the reach opposite Jericho, to the Mediterranean on the west, probably about Joppa. On the north of Ephraim and Manasseh were the tribes of Asher, Zebulun and Issachar. The territory thus allotted to the "house of Joseph" may be roughly estimated at 55 miles from east to west by 70 from north to south. It was one at once of great richness and great security. Its fertile plains and well-watered valleys could only be reached by a laborious ascent through steep and narrow ravines, all but impassable for an army. Under Joshua the tribe must have taken a high position in the nation, to judge from the tone which the Ephraimites assumed on occasions shortly subsequent to the conquest. After the revolt of Jeroboam the history of Ephraim is the history of the kingdom of Israel, since not only did the tribe become a kingdom, but the kingdom embraced little besides the tribe..
2:10 Those who followed David.
II Samuel 2:10 Ish-bosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. -> Two years is not a long time for a 40 year old man to reign. Of course, Ish-bosheth would never have come to power had it not been for his uncle Abner.
You also have to wonder as to the "why" he was not with his father and brothers on the battlefield against the Philistines.
2:11 David reigns in Hebron.
II Samuel 2:11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. -> You may wonder how it was possible that Ish-bosheth only reigned for two years over the House of Israel while David reigned for seven and a half years over Judah before he took the reins over the whole House of Israel. Remember, the House of Israel was in disarray after the shellacking they took at the hands of the Philistines when they lost king Saul and his sons; so, it took almost five and a half years from the starting time of David's reign; to, when, Abner joined the tribes in support of Ish-bosheth. Though Ish-bosheth was king over the other tribes, we will see that the two houses are not joined until David moves the capital city from Hebron to Jerusalem.
2:12-32 Conflicts. Military.
2:12-32 CONFLICTS. MILITARY. (Extended Alternation.)
2:12-14 Abner and Joab. Colloquy.
II Samuel 2:12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon (hilly; or, hill city). -> Went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon=As we read in I Chronicles 9:35-36, Abner's father Ner, lived in Gibeon, a city in Benjamin, making it his city as well. So, what we have here; is, Abner taking his puppet king home to his city where he can watch-over and protect him. But, also as we’re about to read of; is, it is now time for the leaders of both kingships to meet in order that they determine where both kingdoms will head. In other words, this will be a gathering of the heads of state, of the house of Israel and the house of Judah, to determine who will be the king over all Israel.
There are some who believe that Abner's motive for bringing Ish-bosheth to Gibeon was; because, by doing so, he thought he might have been able to bring Judah under Ish-bosheth's reign as well; and that would have removed David as Ish-bosheth's competition, leaving Abner to possibly take the reins from Ish-bosheth - thereby, making Abner king over the entire House of Israel. I tend to side with and agree with those who believe this.
Gibeon=One of the four , cities of the Hivites, the inhabitants of which made a league with Joshua Joshua 9:3-15, and thus escaped the fate of Jericho and Ai. Compare Joshua 11:19. Gibeon lay within the territory of Benjamin, compare Joshua 18:25 and with its "suburbs" was allotted to the priests, compare Joshua 21:17 of whom it became afterwards a principal station. It retains its ancient name almost intact, el-Jib . Its distance from Jerusalem by the main road is about 6 1/2 miles; but there is a more direct road reducing it to five miles..
II Samuel 2:13 And Joab (whose Father is YHVH; or, YHVH Fathered) the son of Zeruiah (wounded), and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. -> Zeruiah=Zeruiah is David's sister, making Joab, David's nephew.
What we have here with this gathering of the heads of State; is, Joab, David's leader so-to-speak is on one side; while, Abner, Ish-bosheth's leader is on the other side - keeping the pool between them as they speak. Now, Abner and Joab are no strangers to one another; as, they are both high ranking members of the Israelite Army, and, before the split between Saul and David, they were most likely close friends, or, at least, allies.
Zeruiah=David’s sister, and the mother of the three leading heroes of David’s Army, – Abishai, Joab or Joah, and Asahel, they were known as the “sons of Zeruiah.” With Zeruiah being David’s sister, that makes these three his nephews; and, they were admitted to the closest companionship with him. Of Zeruiah’s husband there is no mention in Father’s Word..
Israel - Abner, is sitting one side of this pool; and, Judah - Joab, is sitting on the other, what's going to happen? Let's read the next verse and see:
II Samuel 2:14 And Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men now arise, and play before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.” -> What is about to happen here is very sad; however, it takes place all the time between people. They come together for things relating to peaceful things, and innocent matters get out of control. What Abner suggested was, allowing the soldiers to pair off against each other in sport, or, "mock war" in order to prevent an all-out war between the two Houses – think of this situation as to when we first met David. There was Goliath coming out every day challenging the Israelites to send out their champion in a “winner-takes-all” fight with him – the Philistine champion. So, here, Abner suggests that he send out 12 of his men, and, Joab send out 12 of his, in a, the “winner-takes-all,” as to who will rule over the House of Israel. Of course, Abner and Joab are leaving something out of their equation – Father. He chose and Anointed David to lead the House of Israel and that is who will become king.
2:15-17 Conflict ensues.
II Samuel 2:15 Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. -> The twenty-four men are now about to face-off against each other, 12 from each side. Again, the leaders suggested "mock war"- sport; however, we'll quickly discover that that is not what takes place, and, that is not a good thing, as it is more-or-less, civil war, even though, the entire armies are not fighting here, it still is leading to such - Father isn't going to be pleased.
II Samuel 2:16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim (pronounced: khel-kath' hats-tsoo-reem' – smoothness of the rocks), which is in Gibeon. -> Instead of war play, these men grabbed each other, and, slew each other. In other words, the "entertainment" or horseplay, quickly escalated into something more sinister - warfare, with 24 men now dead. This will make matters worse; as, it will make the entire situation even more volatile and intensify it into all-out-war between the two Houses.
Helkath-hazzurim=Plot of the sharp blades, or the field of heroes here in II Samuel 2:16. After the battle of Gilboa, so fatal to Saul and his house, David, as divinely directed, took up his residence in Hebron, and was there anointed king over Judah. Among the fugitives from Gilboa was Ish-bosheth, the only surviving son of Saul, whom Abner, Saul’s uncle, took across the Jordan to Mahanaim, and there had him proclaimed king. Abner gathered all the forces at his command and marched to Gibeon, with the object of wresting Judah from David. Joab had the command of David’s army of trained men, who encamped on the south of the pool, which was on the east of the hill on which the town of Gibeon was built, while Abner’s army lay on the north of the pool. Abner proposed that the conflict should be decided by twelve young men engaging in personal combat on either side. So fiercely did they encounter each other that “they caught every man his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim.” The combat of the champions was thus indecisive, and there followed a severe general engagement between the two armies, ending in the total rout of the Israelites under Abner. The general result of this battle was that “David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker” II Samuel 3:1..
II Samuel 2:17 And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David. -> Remember, David and his army are only 600 men strong; however, they are all seasoned warriors, having defeated at every challenge, those who opposed them. Abner and the Israelite army on the other hand; have just suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Philistines, many of Abner's men have either died; or, had fled the battlefield in fear of and for their lives. And, now, David's men have also handed Abner another major set-back; so, all they can do now is limp back home and lick their wounds. Not a good thing for the Army of YHVH; but, had they followed Him, instead of, man and his foolish ways, they would be in better shape than they now find themselves.
2:18-25 Pursuit. Asahel’s death.
II Samuel 2:18 And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai (father of a gift [that is, probably generous]), and Asahel (YHVH has made, or made by YHVH): and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. -> Joab and Abishai=Remember, Zeruiah is David's sister; making, all three of these men David's nephews; Joab is already a General in David's Army, and, Abishai will become one.
Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe=This is a deer; in other words, he is as quick as one of the gazelles which are in the field. This is said in order to assist in explaining what is about to happen in the coming verses.
Abishai=The eldest of the three sons of Zeruiah, David's sister, and brother to Joab and Asahel I Chronicles 2:16. Like his two brothers he was the devoted follower of David. He was his companion in the desperate night expedition to the camp of Saul I Samuel 26:6-9. (B.C. 1055.) On the outbreak of Absalom's rebellion he remained true to the king, and commanded a third part of the army in the decisive battle against Absalom. He rescued David from the hands of the gigantic Philistine, Ishbi-benob in II Samuel 21:17. His personal prowess on this, as on another occasion, when he fought singlehanded against three hundred, won for him a place as captain of the second three of David's mighty men II Samuel 23:18; and I Chronicles 11:20..
Asahel=Nephew of David, being the youngest son of his sister Zeruiah. He was celebrated for his swiftness of foot. When fighting under his brother Joab at Gibeon, he pursued Abner, who was obliged to kill him in self-defense here in II Samuel 2:18 (B.C. 1050)..
II Samuel 2:19 And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. -> Asahel, the youngest of Zeruiah's sons; figures, that, since they already have the Israelite Army on the run, purses after Abner, whom, he sees trying to flee this melee which he instigated.
Asahel has on his side; the, advantage of youngness and speed; whereas, Abner has the advantage of weight, skill and experience. This probably will not turn out well for Asahel.
II Samuel 2:20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said, “Art thou Asahel?” And he answered, “I am.” -> Abner hearing the footfalls behind him; correctly asks, if it is David's youngest nephew quickly gaining on him. Asahel replies that, yes, it is he who is rapidly catching up to the elder man. Abner is asking for a reason; and, that reason is because he knows who this young man is, that he is David's sister's youngest son, and, he again correctly assumes that this one wants to try and prove something to his uncle and brothers. However, Asahel, as Abner knows, is not match for this veteran warrior, he, therefore is going to try and warn-off Asahel, in order that he won't have to hurt; or, maybe, even kill him if he doesn't stop.
II Samuel 2:21 And Abner said to him, “Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him. -> Abner knows that Asahel, being David's nephew, makes him part of the royal family; and, killing him, will bring major consequences back upon Abner, so he flat-out tells Asahel to turn away from pursuing after him, and, to take-on one of the less seasoned young men who is fleeing with him, in order to satisfy he need for revenge. Bravado can sometimes be a good thing--and, that is what I think Asahel is displaying here--however, it can also sometimes lead you into some troublesome areas, if, you're not careful. Here, Asahel is in one of those troublesome areas; and, it's about to bite him harder than he's almost willing to bargain for; for, it will cost him his life. Abner will have no choice; but, to defend himself, and, kill Asahel.
II Samuel 2:22 And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?” -> Abner knows that if he does defend himself; and, at the same time kills Asahel, he'll have to face Asahel's older brother, General of David's Army - Joab, not something Abner relishes; if, he is to try and change things and keep peace between the two Houses. So, he warns Asahel for the second time to turn from his course; and, instead, fall upon one of the more inexperienced men of Abner's.
II Samuel 2:23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still. -> From experience, I can tell you that, "pride can make a young man do some very foolish things." Here, Asahel is full of pride; and, is--if you'll excuse the expression - "hell bent," on taking the life of Abner; as, he is still coming at him full-speed. Abner uses his spear and administers a fatal blow to Asahel; he gets him under his fifth rib, running it all the way through his body, killing him instantly.
Stood still=At the horror of the sight of the loss of one of the royal family.
Hinder end of the spear=In other words, the non-business end of the weapon. What Abner did, was turn his spear around and drove the non-bladed end into Asahel's rib. Though it isn't the bladed-end, it is still sharp enough that when you drive it into the ground, the spear will stand without falling. This is done in order to prevent damaging the spearhead against a rock or some other similarly hard object in the ground, when driving it into the ground.
Fifth rib=If you'll put your fingers on your lowermost part of your ribcage and count moving them upward, you'll notice that when you get to the fifth one from the bottom, your fingers are right about where your heart is. This is why when Abner drove his spear into and through Asahel, he died immediately. Death was swift and sure, no room; or, time, for pain; and, no suffering.
II Samuel 2:24 Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah (head), that lieth before Giah (a fountain; or, a waterfall) by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon. -> After the fighting was over and there was no sign of Abner--nor their younger brother Asahel for that matter--Joab and Abishai gather all the remaining men to pursue after Abner and the rest of his men who were also fleeing. Joab and Abishai I'm sure, have heard by now from one of their own men that their brother, has been slain by Abner. So, the muster their troops to start their pursuit of Abner and his remaining men.
Hill of Ammah=A hill facing Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon, named as the point to which Joab pursued Abner here in II Samuel 2:24..
Giah=A place named only in II Samuel 2:24 to designate the position of the hill Ammah..
II Samuel 2:25 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill. -> We read in verses v2:4-6 above that David honored the men of Jabesh-gilead for their honoring; and, burying of Saul and his sons. However, now the same Benjamites are siding with Saul and the House of Israel; and, not David and the House of Judah. It's sort of Ironic; because, in the Future, it is the Tribe of Benjamin who sides with; and joins onto the House of Judah, when Father splits the House into two houses.
On top of an hill=This is still the Hill of Ammah from the previous verse.
2:26-27 Abner and Joab. Colloquy.
II Samuel 2:26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, “Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the People return from following their brethren?” -> Abner tells Joab to come to his senses; and, stop his pursuit of he and his men; as, this which started as a winner-takes-all sport but escalated to all-out war, has gone on long enough; and, far too many men have now lost their lives because of it. It's sad that you lost your younger brother; however, when the facts come out, you'll see that I tried to warn him off; not just once, but twice, He just would not turn to the right hand nor to the left and I had no choice but to defend myself and in doing so, yes, I killed him.
II Samuel 2:27 And Joab said, “As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the People had gone up every one from following his brother.” -> Outward appearances can sometimes be deceiving; and, here, I believe that Joab has decided that Abner was correct in that far too many of Israel’s sons have lost their lives; so, he decides that he’ll wait for another day when he can exact revenge for his brother Asahel, without having to take the life of anybody else but Abner.
This though, is an excellent example of how quickly things can get out of hand; and, before long both sides forget how the mess started in the first place. It can happen just about anywhere and\or anytime; even, in churches. An argument starts; and, before long it blows so far out of proportion and control; that, the church splits over it; and, Father is left completely out, not one person in the conflict sought Father, His guidance or counsel. So, as believers in Father’s Word, who fight with each other and find causes against one another, your church also can end up just as these brethren have, both sides tossing words from hilltop to hilltop; and, working themselves up to the point of getting ready to go to battle against each other. This was how denominationalism started and then expanded; however, today, Christians would rather nit-pick each other until someone leaves the church.
Brethren, when we claim the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are to show the love of Christ to the non-believing world; that, there is a difference between us and them. We are to show kindness to those who are weaker; while at the same time showing the same forgiveness that Christ had; and, showed to us when He went to the cross for our sins. That is the beauty of Christianity. This is why there should be no horse play between Christians when it comes to the Word of God. When brother fights brother, you are going against every aspect of Father's Word.
2:28 Conflict ended.
II Samuel 2:28 So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more. -> After speaking his peace to Abner, Joab then had his trumpeter blow his horn to signal David's men that the fighting was over; and everybody was to return to their homes.
Our Father doesn't like civil war, we can read of this in Deuteronomy 2 where when He was leading our forefathers up out of Egypt, and they came to the land of first the Edomites; He told them to not disturb them; because, they were their Adamic brothers; and, He was not giving Israel the land of Edom; likewise also, the land of Moab and the land of the Ammon. Moses and the Israelites were to just pass on through and that stayed; until, Edom, then Moab and then the Ammonites attacked the Israelites; then Father said they could defend themselves against these nations.
2:29-32 Return. Asahel’s burial.
II Samuel 2:29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron ([with the article] the craggy spot), and they came to Mahanaim. -> Abner and his men also heard the trumpet blow of Joab's trumpeter and knew the war had ended; so, they too packed-up their belongings to return to their homes. They walked all night and first came to the Jordan river, passed over it, and, then the rugged section of the mountains; then, continuing on their way, they finally came to their homes in Mahanaim.
Notice though that Abner marched his men all night long without stopping along the way. He knew his men were still filled with adrenaline from the fighting; and, at any moment could turn and re-start the battle against their brothers; so, he marches it out of them.
Bithron=Or more accurately the Bithron, a place, doubtless a district, in the Arabah or Jordan valley on the east side of the river here in II Samuel 2:29. It was probably the designation of the region in general; which, is broken and intersected by ravines..
II Samuel 2:30 And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the People together, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel. -> Nineteen man and Asahel=All-in-all, we see that David's men are some good war-fighters; for, besides the more experienced Abner defending himself against Asahel; and, the twelve men who died by the pool of Gibeon, they only lost another 7 men.
II Samuel 2:31 But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died. -> Abner and the Israelite Army lost far more men; for, they lost in this war against their brothers, 360 men. This is not to say that they weren't seasoned warriors; it's just that, David's men were more skilled in the art of war; and, were used to fighting against armies which were larger than they. Remember also, that Israel's Army; or, what was left of it, was basically those who fled from before the Philistines when Saul and his sons died.
Now, let's change perspective and look at this from this angle: three hundred and eighty sons of Israel lost their lives needlessly; because there was a lack of common sense. Stop and think for a moment; for, there was not one thing that was gained by all this competition and strife. All it brought was pain and sorrow into many homes; and, the loss of loved ones on all sides.
II Samuel 2:32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Beth-lehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day. -> The sepulchre of his father=Zeruiah's husband is never named; but, that is whose burying place or grave they buried Asahel.
Just as Abner marched his men all night toward their homes in Mahanaim; Joab, after burying his brother Asahel, marched David's men all night in the opposite direction, putting much distance between the two armies. Once an agreement had been reached, the strife ended, and both sides traveled all night putting distance between themselves and the other side.
What happened here was a tragedy; however, it is another side that is there within all of mankind, and it exists even within the churches houses today. I guess the lesson that we can take from this chapter; is, to take care of the things you say; and, not allow our pride to overrun what Father's Word instructs us to do. Jesus set the example for us; and, if we too are not careful, then our pride and self-important thinking can grow out of control. If you allow your arrogance in your belief to take control of your thinking, then don't ever take it out on your brethren when they don't hold up to your knowledge and belief that you do.
Remember, that, whatever knowledge you have in Father’s Word, you have because the Holy Spirit has placed it there in your mind; and, as we know from Luke 24:45 Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, -> It is Father Who deserves all the credit, not you, and you should be praising Him for whatever knowledge is placed in your mind.