Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy and not sacrifice; and THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD more than burnt offerings.

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                   II Samuel 3

II Samuel 2 closed with both the Israelite Army--under the tutelage of General Abner--and David's Army--under the hand of General Joab--coming to an agreement; and, parting ways from one another to return to their homes. As we know, the Nation of Israel lost a total of 380 of her sons--a tragedy--in this little conflict between the two Houses.

David, at present, is the king over the House of Judah; while, Ish-bosheth is the puppet king over the House of Israel - all the tribes except Judah. Who is Ish-bosheth's puppet-master? Abner is. Israel and Judah are two separate and distinct nations; under rule of two separate kingships. So, it is in this chapter II Samuel 3; where, we'll see the move will be to bring all the tribes back together again under "one umbrella," so to speak. However; historically, we know that these two houses will again at a later date--after the death of Solomon--be divided; and, stay divided until Jesus Christ returns for His Second Advent at the sounding of the seventh trump, in order to set up his 1,000 year Millennial Reign here on earth; and, draw all nations, tribes, and people together under His Kingship. Of course, after Jesus' Millennial reign, comes the letting loose of satan--who was thrown into the abyss at the return of Jesus--in order to again try and deceive the people into following him; then, comes the Great White Throne of Judgment, where those found unfit are cast into the Lake of Fire and consumed; then, comes the eternity and those found fit, living with Father forever.

But, before I get side-tracked too far, let's return to our Study here of II Samuel 3; and David's becoming king of Israel; as, Father had Samuel anoint him to be.

2:1-24:25 KING DAVID. (Division.)
2:1-4:12 The kingdom. Divided.
2:1-4:12 KINGDOM DIVIDED. (Alternation.)
3:1-39 Followers. Defectors.
3:1-39 FOLLOWERS. DEFECTIONS. (Introversion.)
3:1 House of David.
3:1 House of Saul.

II Samuel 3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.   ->   Note the Antimetabole or, counterchange—meaning, a word or words repeated in a reverse order, with the object of opposing them to one another—in this verse: it begins with: House of Saul, House of David; and, then, changes to: House of David, House of Saul.

There was long war=this is a continuation from the last Chapter. Yes, the two sides had separated and returned to their own homes; however, as we see, the warring between the two was not completely stayed, only temporarily halted and the physical fighting was held in abeyance. With first, the loss to the Philistines; and, then, the loss of the 360 men against David's Army, Israel's Army did for a while continue to weaken. Remember also, David is Father's anointed; and, He is with David; therefore, David will continue to grow the stronger; until, the House is brought back together as a whole, under David; then, they will be a mighty Nation again. Notice also though, that David was patient during this whole time; he didn't just rush in, and, proclaim, "Saul is dead; and, I'm the anointed king, so "make it so now." David knew he was supposed to take the reins of the whole House; however, he just didn't know the "how;" or, the "when," it was supposed to transpire.

We change subjects for the next four verses--focusing now; on, David's wives and sons--beginning in the next verse.

3:2-5 Sons of David.

II Samuel 3:2 And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon (faithful), of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;   ->   With the birth of children, especially sons, a man's house becomes stronger and stronger; and, during this seven and a half year split between the two Houses, David fathered many children from his growing collection of wives.

Amnon=He dishonored his half-sister Tamar, and was in consequence murdered by her brother II Samuel 13:1-29 (Born B.C. 1052)..

II Samuel 3:3 And his second, Chileab (restraint of [his] father; or, like his father), of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom (father of peace [that is] friendly; or, father of peace) the son of Maacah (oppression; or, depression) the daughter of Talmai (ridged; or, bold) king of Geshur ([meaning to join] bridge; or, a bridge);   ->   Abigail the wife of Nabal=Notice that, though Nabal is dead; and, Abigail very shortly after his death accepted David's invitation to become his wife, she is still referred to as "Nabal's wife."

Absalom=Absalom, which pronounced is a
b-shaw-lome', is a Derivative "ab" and "shalom,"  - "ab" meaning, father; and, "shalom" meaning, peace - hence Absalom's name meaning "father of peace." Noteworthy also, is the fact that Absalom was born in the Jubilee year of 958-957. It will be Absalom who in the future will try and usurp the throne from his father David. He'll go so far as sitting in the gate--the place of judgment--and as the people go by; he'll ask them if the judgment went the way they thought it should have. If they say, "yes," then he just let them go; however, if they happened to say, "no," then, he quickly replied, "if I was king, I would have ruled in your favor," all in order to gain their "trust" and support. He also hired men to run in front of his chariot wherever he went, declaring, "make way for Absalom."

Chileab=David’s second son, he was born of Abigail as read here in II Samuel 3:3; called also Daniel in I Chronicles 3:1. He seems to have died when young..

Absalom=The third son of David, this one by Maachah, daughter of Tamai king of Geshur; a Syrian district adjoining the northeast frontier of the Holy Land. Absalom had a sister, Tamar, who was violated by her half-brother Amnon. The natural avenger of such an outrage would be Tamar's full brother Absalom. He brooded over the wrong for two years, and then invited all the princes to a sheep-shearing feast at his estate in Baal Hazor, on the borders of Ephraim and Benjamin. Here he ordered his servants to murder Amnon, and then fled for safety to his grandfather's court at Geshur, where he remained for three years. At the end of that time he was brought back by an artifice of Joab. David, however, would not see Absalom for two more years; but at length Joab brought about a reconciliation. Absalom now began at once to prepare for rebellion. He tried to supplant his father by courting popularity, standing in the gate, conversing with every suitor, and lamenting the difficulty which he would find in getting a hearing. He also maintained a splendid retinue II Samuel 15:1, and was admired for his personal beauty. It is probable too that the great tribe of Judah had taken some offence at David's government. Absalom raised the standard of revolt at Hebron, the old capital of Judah, now supplanted by Jerusalem. The revolt was at first completely successful; David fled from his capital over the Jordan to Mahanaim in Gilead, and Absalom occupied Jerusalem. At last, after being solemnly anointed king at Jerusalem II Samuel 19:10; Absalom crossed the Jordan to attack his father, who by this time had rallied round him a considerable force. A decisive battle was fought in Gilead, in the wood of Ephraim. Here Absalom's forces were totally defeated, and as he himself was escaping his long hair was entangled in the branches of a terebinth, where he was left hanging while the mule on which he was riding ran away from under him. He was dispatched by Joab in spite of the prohibition of David, who, loving him to the last, had desired that his life might be spared. He was buried in a great pit in the forest, and the conquerors threw stones over his grave, an old proof of bitter hostility Joshua 7:26..

Maacah=A daughter of Talmai, king of the old native population of Geshur. She became one of David’s wives, and was the mother of Absalom..

Talmai=Son of Ammihud king of Geshur II Samuel 3:3; 13:37; and I Chronicles 3:2. He was probably a petty chieftain, dependent on David. (B.C. 1040)..

Geshur=A little principality of Syria, northeast of Bashan Deuteronomy 3:14; and II Samuel 15:8. It is highly probable that Geshur was a section of the wild and rugged region now called el-Lejah, still a refuge for criminals and outlaws..

II Samuel 3:4 And the fourth, Adonijah (lord [that is, worshipper] of YAH; or, my LORD is YAH) the son of Haggith (festive; or, festive dancer); and the fifth, Shephatiah (YAH has judged; or, judged by YHVH) the son of Abital (father of the dew; or, fresh);   ->   With Eglah from the following verse; David, is already up to seven wives. What did Father prophesy to Moses back in Deuteronomy 17? That when they came into the land He promised their fathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - the Promised Land, that they'd forsake Him and instead desire for themselves a man to be set over them as king - this has come to pass. What else did He prophesy and tell the future king not to do in that same Chapter? To multiply wives to themselves: Deuteronomy 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.   ->    David, only the second king of the Nation has already disregarded Father on that.

Adonijah like his brother Absalom will have designs on the throne and try and take it from his father David, he will also try and take it from another of his brothers - Solomon, the next rightful heir chosen by Father.

Adonijah=The fourth son of David by Haggith, born at Hebron while his father was king of Judah II Samuel 3:4. After the death of his three brothers, Amnon, Chileab and Absalom, he became eldest son; and when his father's strength was visibly declining, he put forward his pretensions to the crown. Adonijah's cause was espoused by Abiathar (the High Priest) and by Joab the famous commander of David's army. His name and influence secured a large number of followers among the captains of the royal army belonging to the tribe of Judah, compare with I Kings 1:5; and, these, together with all the princes except Solomon, were entertained by Adonijah at the great sacrificial feast held "by the stone Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel." Apprised of these proceedings, David immediately caused Solomon to be proclaimed king I Kings 1:33-34, at Gihon. This decisive measure struck terror into the opposite party, and Adonijah fled to the sanctuary, but was pardoned by Solomon on condition that he should "show himself a worthy man" I Kings 1:52. The death of David quickly followed on these events; and Adonijah begged Bath-sheba to procure Solomon's consent to his marriage with Abishag, who had been the wife of David in his old age I Kings 1:3. This was regarded as equivalent to a fresh attempt on the throne; and therefore Solomon ordered him to be put to death by Benaiah I Kings 2:25..

Haggith=A wife of David and the mother of Adonijah II Samuel 3:4; I Kings 1:5,11; 2:13; and I Chronicles 3:2, who, like her son Absalom, was famed for her beauty..

Shephatiah=The fifth son of David II Samuel 3:4; and I Chronicles 3:3. (Born B.C. about 1050)..

Abital=David’s fifth wife and father of Shephatiah..

II Samuel 3:5  And the sixth, Ithream (excellence of people; or, abundance of people), by Eglah (a heifer) David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.   ->   David now has six sons, more will follow, as will more wives; however, notice these all were born even before the two houses were brought back together; and, the House of Israel conquered Jebus and renamed it Jerusalem.

Another important note concerning these six sons and their mothers; is, that, Father will not be born through this seedline. Of course, it is this seedline from which Mary's husband - Joseph - will be born. The seedline which will bear the woman's side, namely Mary, will be through the Priest-line. Remember, Father Himself--through the Holy Spirit which came upon Mary--fathered Jesus.

Ithream=Sixth son of David, born to him in Hebron, and distinctly specified as the sixth, and as the child of Eglah, David's wife II Samuel 3:5; and I Chronicles 3:3..

Eglah=One of David’s wives, and mother of Ithream II Samuel 3:5; and I Chronicles 3:3. According to a Jewish tradition she was Michal..

We change subjects again here, re-focusing our attention back on the warring between the two nations.

3:6-11 House of Saul.
3:6-11 HOUSE OF SAUL. (Alternation.)
3:6 Abner. Strong.

II Samuel 3:6 And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul.   ->   Ish-bosheth, though king of the House of Israel (Saul); however, remember, he is Abner's puppet king, Abner is the strength of the house. Abner continued going to the people; offering protection and such, in order to strengthen the House of Israel; and, more importantly to himself - himself.

3:7 Ish-bosheth. Wrath with Abner.

II Samuel 3:7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah (clamor): and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, “Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine?”   ->   Ish-bosheth is correctly concerned about Abner "going into" his father's; and, now, his concubine. What this (Ish-bosheth) is saying, is that, the concubine being the king's--please forgive my use of this word as I do not share the same view--"property;" when one went into her, was to have sexual intercourse with her; and, by doing so, meant one was making a move on the king to de-throne him, making what Abner did - treason. Abner; Ish-bosheth's puppet-master, isn't going to be very happy with his little pawn for calling him out on his going in onto Rizpah and laying with her.

We will also in the future, see, one of David's sons; Adonijah, ask Bath-sheba for one of his concubines, in that instance, his son is making a move on the throne of Solomon - it'll cost him his life.

Aiah=Father of Rizpah, the concubine of Saul II Samuel 3:7; 21:8,10-11 (B.C. before 1040)..

3:8-10 Abner. Wrath.

II Samuel 3:8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, “Am I a dog's head (meaning, very contemptible), which against Judah do shew kindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to day with a fault concerning this woman?   ->   Yeah, Abner isn’t too pleased with his little lapdog for asking about his laying with his concubine; so, he reminds Ish-bosheth that, he was the top general who showed kindness to the house of Saul - his father; and, to all of Israel. Just how did Abner do so? By saving the house of Saul for his last surviving son; who, just happens to be sitting here and insulting me for the simple fact of taking a woman. Abner set up Ish-bosheth’s little kingdom; and, be assured, Abner can make it all come to an end. Because of this insult, Abner will start the wheels turning to bring all of Israel back under the house of David.

II Samuel 3:9 So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him;   ->   As the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him=Here, Abner is swearing an oath in Father's name to Ish-bosheth; that, just as he had established, supported and protected him; he, is, now going to switch; and, do everything within his power to ensure that the kingdom of Israel is transferred into David's hand; and, he will also provide that same level of loyalty to David.

In the back of Abner's mind; he, may. still have designs on taking the reins of the House of Israel; but, for now, his foremost thought is going to David; and, cutting a deal with him, to turn the Tribes over to him, of course, there has to be something in it for Abner too. In the long run; if, Abner does have thoughts of taking over the House of Israel, it won't matter; because, unbeknownst to him at this time, is the fact that Joab is going to avenge his brother Asahel's death, by murdering him.


II Samuel 3:10 To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba.   ->   Abner continues telling Ish-bosheth that he will ensure David controls the entire House of Israel, from the very North in Dan; to the extreme South in Beer-sheba. Father told David that He would establish his throne; and, Father is using Abner to bring His Word to come to pass. This is the "how" and  the "when" that David didn't know about concerning his bringing the entire House under the "one umbrella" - one king.

3:11 Ish-bosheth. Fear of Abner.

II Samuel 3:11 And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him.   ->   Ish-bosheth rightfully so, feared Abner. After all, Abner is a veteran warrior; and, General of the Israelite Army, he's quite powerful, and, he is Ish-bosheth's puppet-master; Ish-bosheth, on the other hand, yes, he is the son of the now deceased Saul; however, other than that claim, and his being of royal seed, he has nothing. He wasn't anybody in Israel's Army - he never held any leadership or command positions; heck, he wasn't even on the battlefield when his father and brothers all died. So, now, reality sets-in; and, he fully understands that he maybe went just a little too far in his challenge of Abner sleeping with one of his father's concubines, after all, without Abner having set him up and his support, Ish-bosheth wouldn't be where he is.

3:12-39 House of David.
3:12-39 HOUSE OF DAVID. (Alternation.)
3:12 Abner’s overtures to David.

II Samuel 3:12 And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, “Whose is the land?” saying also, “Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee.”   ->   Whose is the land=In other words, Abner is asking David, "other than you, who does the land belong to?" The answer of course is Father.

Make thy league with memy hand shall be with thee=Abner tells David that the two of them can here and now make a covenant between them to bring about the joining of all the tribes under the house of David. All the tribes would become one nation again. Abner was dedicating his strength and leadership into placing David as king over all the people of all the tribes of Israel.

3:13-16 Return of Michal to David.

II Samuel 3:13 And he said, “Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face.”   ->   David sends his reply back to Abner via messenger saying, "that yes, the two of them can make a covenant; however, there is a condition which must first be met, the first thing that needs to take place is the return of my first wife, Michal." Remember, when Saul was seeking to kill David, he had taken Michal and given her to Phaltiel for his wife; so, now, David wants his wife back prior to his making a covenant with Abner, for the joining of all the tribes.

He sends the messenger first to Abner as a means to let the General know that he is also going to send a messenger to Ish-bosheth requesting same; but, the messenger to Abner is to let him know David's intent.

II Samuel 3:14 And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth Saul's son, saying, “Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.   ->   Now after first notifying Abner of his intent; David, next sends his messenger to Ish-bosheth demanding his wife - Ish-bosheth's sister, be returned to him.

I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines=That was Saul's price for David to buy his daughter's dowry. Of course Saul thought David would die at the hand of the Philistines in trying to acquire these foreskins; however, David brought Saul, not just 100; but, 200 Philistine foreskins, and those men didn't willingly hand them over to David, he had to slay them to get them.

Ish-bosheth knows he's between the proverbial "rock and a hard place" as on one side he has his puppet-master Abner, and on the other he has Father's anointed, king David. What's a man of his stature and status to do? Send for the return of his sister to her rightful husband, that's what.

II Samuel 3:15 And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel (here it is Phaltiel; however, back in I Samuel 25:44 his name was Phalti, so don't let this confuse you ) the son of Laish.   ->   Saul being the scam artist that he was, no doubt also required a dowry from Phalti in order to marry his daughter. Most likely, Phalti was from a wealthy family and could afford to pay Saul, required price which is why Phalti--as we'll see--is so attached to his wife and feels he was wronged in having to give her back. Of course, David having first paid a dowry for Michal, is the rightful husband.

And, again, like Ish-bosheth, this Phalti is not mentioned in any other place in Israel's history, so therefore, this leads one to believe that, other than possibly being wealthy, he is a "nobody;" and, probably doesn't want to go up against the king. 

II Samuel 3:16 And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim (young men; or, low ground) . Then said Abner unto him, “Go, return.” And he returned.    ->   David fled from Saul quite a few years ago; and, most likely when he did so, Saul wasted no time in marrying Michal off to Phalti in order to get back at his enemy. Michal had also probably been a good wife to Phalti; so, now, after having been married to Michal for all these years--and I can relate to this--Phalti doesn't want to give his wife up to another man, even if he is her rightful husband. But, Abner allows him to come only so far, and he has heard enough of Phalti's whimpering, and sends him packing back to his--now empty--home. Father's Word doesn't say there were any children born of this marriage, so I doubt there were.

Bahurim=A village in II Samuel 3:16, apparently on or close to the road leading up from the Jordan valley to Jerusalem, and near the south boundary of Benjamin..

3:17-19 Abner’s overtures to Israel.

II Samuel 3:17 And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel (these are the leaders of the ten Tribes), saying, “Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you:   ->   In times past=Both these words: H8543 - תּמל    תּמול, temôl or temôl, pronounced - tem-ole', tem-ole'; and, H8032 - שׁלשׁם  שׁלשׁום, shilshôm or shilshôm, pronounced - shil-shome', shil-shome', have the same meaning: yesterday and the third day, which is a figure of speech meaning - a long period of time. So, in other words, Abner is telling the elders of Israel that they had sought for a good many years for David to be king over the entire House of Israel; now is the opportune time to take advantage of this desire and make it come to pass.

Abner's mindset was possibly working on two different scenarios playing out: (1) that the elders would see Ish-bosheth for what he was; a weak man who didn't have the aptitude, competence nor the intellect to run the nation; and, would, therefore appoint him in Ish-bosheth's place; or (2) for the very same reason, they would take up Father's anointed - David to be their king. He was most likely desiring they chose the first scenario.

II Samuel 3:18 Now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David, saying, ‘By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.’”   ->   Abner tells the elders that now is the time for action to make David your king; so, make your choice and follow through with it; don't hesitate, don't hem-and-haw, and, don't squander this opportunity away; as David is Father's anointed who will deliver us out of all out enemies hands.

II Samuel 3:19 And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin.   ->   In the ears of Benjamin=Benjamin is specifically mentioned as a separate entity only because it was from the Tribe of Benjamin that Saul was from; and, at present, it is this tribe that needs to be brought onboard with David's being king over the entire House of Israel, especially seeing that Saul's son Ish-bosheth is currently their king. Abner is trying to ensure a smooth, peaceful transition of power.

3:20-39 Return of Abner to David.
3:20-39 RETURN OF ABNER TO DAVID. (Extended Alternation.)
3:20 Feasting.

II Samuel 3:20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast.   ->   Is Abner still scheming? We'll never know the answer to this. Remember, though, Abner was with Saul since the beginning of Saul's chasing after David in order to kill him. He was there both times that David had acquired an artifact of Saul's: in I Samuel 24 it was the skirt of Saul's robe, while he was covering his feet in the cave upon the rocks of the wild goats; and, it was Saul's cruse of water from hos bolster and his spear in I Samuel 26 as Saul and Abner lay sleeping in Ziph. The second time of course David taunted Abner about being a better guard of his king. So, there could still be in Abner's heart the desire to rule the House of Israel; however, as I said, we'll never know. But, these men that Abner has brought with him for this meeting with David, are there pretty much for "visual effects;" as, Abner has brought them to support him in that what he has told David concerning all the House of Israel now being behind David; and, ready to make him king over all the tribes, is true.

David for his part is happy to see them; and, is thankful for the ground-laying work that Abner has done in order to make this shift of power as easy and calm as it has been; therefore, he throws a feast for he and they, to thank them for his efforts.

We too see this exchange of power here in the USA every two and four years as that is our Election Cycle for electing our Representatives, Governors, Congress, Senate and President. Some transitions go very smooth, while some do not. Also, with this shift of power the new leaders bring in their favorite people to fill positions in the Cabinet and such, with that comes perks and benefits. These are some of the things the Benjamites as a tribe have been enjoying with first Saul; and, now, Ish-bosheth as their king; these are privileges that they be giving up and forfeiting with David at the helm.

3:21-26 Treatment of Abner.
3:21-26 TREATMENT OF ABNER. (Alternation.)
3:21 David and Abner.

II Samuel 3:21 And Abner said unto David, “I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth (the entire Nation - good news for David).” And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.   ->   At present David feels Abner is being truthful; and, therefore, he sends him on his way. The two men are parting on good-standing, with no malice and mutual respect for one another.

Again, Abner could still be scheming, having designs on the kingdom; or, he could also be thinking of a position high-up on David's Administration - such as being David's General, thusly replacing David's nephew - namely Joab; which, of course, would cause a further rift between those two men.

3:22-23 Return of Joab.

II Samuel 3:22 And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from pursuing a troop, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace.   ->   While this meeting between David and Abner was taking place, Joab and the rest of David’s little rag tag army has been out on a raiding party hunting an enemy; and, they had gotten a very good spoil from this raid. However; Joab, being out on this raiding party, completely missed the entire meeting; and, he also missed Abner’s being there, as he was well on his way back home by the time Joab returned. Is this important? To you and I is it not, it has no bearing at all; however, to Joab it's very important. Remember, Joab is plotting to revenge the death of his brother Asahel; and, he knows he missed a prime opportunity with Abner's having been right there in his camp.

II Samuel 3:23 When Joab and all the host that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace.”   ->   This news will not in any way, shape, or, form, please Joab; actually, it'll cause him to completely loose his cool. He wants revenge for is brother's life; and, he in no wise trusts Abner. Remember, thought they are both Israelites, they're pretty much enemies - Abner was protecting Saul who was out to kill David; and, it was Joab's job to protect his uncle, David. Therefore, Joab cannot understand how David could even think of sending Abner away in peace.

3:24-25 David and Joab.

II Samuel 3:24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, “What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone?   ->   Yes, Joab and David are relatives; yes, Joab is David's protector - as if David needed one; especially, seeing that he is Father's anointed and Father watches over him. But, that still doesn't give him the right to go to the king and demand of him to answer as to "why" the king did anything; or, made a decision without Joab's input or knowledge. Joab is very close to crossing the line.

Yeah, he has the right to be angry that Abner slipped out of his hand here in Hebron; but, he'll have other chances to exact his revenge. Again, though, it's really isn't revenge; because, Asahel came to his own demise foolishly, trying to slay Abner who was the better warrior; and, had warned Asahel off - twice.

II Samuel 3:25 Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest.”   ->   Joab says to the king--keeping his plans to himself--"don't you know that Abner is only seeking to injure you by spying on you; while, at that same time is seeking personal gain from you?"

3:26 Return of Abner.

II Samuel And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah (departure; or, the turning): but David knew it not.   ->   When Joab was come out=In other words, after Joab was through giving the king of piece of his mind.

Well of Sirah=Obviously Abner was in no hurry; and, hadn't even gotten very far out of Hebron; for, it wasn't long at all before Joab's messengers had caught up with him. Joab was bringing him back to Hebron on his own--though he is doing so "in the name of the king"--in order to murder him, clearly without the king's knowledge, permission or approval.

Well of Sirah=The well of, from which Abner was recalled by Joab to his death at Hebron here in II Samuel 3:26. It was apparently on the northern road from Hebron. There is a spring and reservoir on the western side of the ancient northern road, about one mile out of Hebron, which is called Ain Sara..

3:27-34 Death of Abner. Joab guilty.
3:27-34 DEATH OF ABNER. (Alternation.)
3:27 Retaliation of Joab.

II Samuel 3:27 And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.   ->   When Joab’s men got Abner back to Hebron, Joab followed through with his conspiracy to kill Abner, he calls him aside to the entrance of the city. Abner is completely unaware of the evil that is about to befall him d at himself; for, when he departed David and Hebron, he left in peace. Joab thought Abner murdered his brother to get at him--however, as we know from Father Word, that isn’t at all what happened—and as such, he isn’t going to give Abner the opportunity to try and kill him; nor, is he even going to give Abner the opportunity to explain what truly happened. This act of Joab’s was, out-right murder.

Fifth rib=There are 4 instances in Father's Word - all of them here in the Book of II Samuel where this phrase is used: (1) the last Chapter II Samuel 2 when Abner stuck Asahel; (2) here in II Samuel 3 where Joab sticks an instrument such as a knife into Abner; (3) in the next Chapter II Samuel 4 where two men slay Jonathan's son Mephibosheth; and, (4) in II Samuel 20 where Joab again kills someone, this time Amasa who in the future, will be in charge David's son Absalom's army. In every instance, where someone is stuck between the fifth rib, they die.

Check out this word blood; for, in the Strong's Concordance it is Hebrew word number H1818 - דּם, - dâm, pronounced – dawm, and means: From H1826 (compare H119); blood (as that which when shed causes death) of man or an animal; by analogy the juice of the grape; figuratively (especially in the plural) bloodshed (that is, drops of blood): - blood (-y, -guiltiness, [-thirsty]), + innocent., figuratively this word is a heterosis: meaning, there is an “exchange of accidence,” or an exchange of one voice, mood, tense, person, number, degree, or gender for another. So, changing then the word “blood” to “bloods,” what this is ultimately saying; is: that when you kill a man; you also kill all the generations that would have come from him. So, Joab not only killed Abner; but, he also killed any offspring that Abner would have possibly had. This is the same as back in Genesis 4 when Cain slew his brother Abel, Cain took away all the offspring that Abel would have fathered; therefore, leaving him no progeny - no one to carry forth his father's name.

3:38-29 David’s imprecation.

II Samuel 3:28 And afterward when David heard it, he said, “I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner:   ->   When David hears of Abner's murder by Joab, he immediately replies that he had absolutely no prior knowledge of what Joab was about to do and then distances himself from the entire incident. David is in a bad situation; as, when Joab sent his riders to retrieve Abner, remember they did so according to Joab, "in the king's name;" and, this is happening while he is trying to bring all the tribes together under one rule - one House. So, this could have catastrophic consequences on what he is trying to accomplish.

II Samuel 3:29 Let it (the blood of Abner) rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread.”   ->   Rest=Recoil, in other words, this all comes back on Joab.

The laws covering those who have an issue are found in Leviticus 15, and those laws state that whoever has an issue is unclean and is prevented from participating in any holy activities and such until they are again clean by "bathe themselves in water and be unclean until evening."

Leper=Lepers were also considered unclean and had specific requirement which had to be met and verified by a priest before they were considered clean again.

Leaneth on a staff=Those who were lame were considered unclean - think of the Passover lamb; and, then, think of Christ Who became our Passover, even the lamb and our Lamb could not unclean or defiled.

That falleth on the sword=Figuratively, this is a periphrasis; or, circumlocution, and takes place when a description is used instead of the name; so, what this is actually saying; is, death by execution, or war, or other such way: commonly used where guilt of some sort is involved.

One that lacketh bread=One who is poor or destitute.

What all this boils down to is that David is putting a curse on the entire family of Joab from youngest to oldest and forever, from generation to generation, for murdering Abner. This is quite a curse to place on the entire family of Joab, because of his murder of Abner, a good man. This curse was on the house of his own nephew, the son of his sister and her husband. The curse was on Joab's father's house, only it is his mother's name that gave him his title and position. By stating "his father's house," this curse would apply to all of Joab's brothers as well.

3:30 Retaliation of Joab.

II Samuel 3:30 So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.   ->   Joab and Abishai=Ah, the plot thickens and we learn a little more concerning the slaying of Abner. It wasn't mentioned before that Abishai was involved in the planning and murder; it's only revealed here, now.

The killing of someone in a warfare; or, combat, is not murder, even though the one at the pool of Gibeon was a stupid fight. It was not murder. There was no plotting or planning to kill in that fake battle that had taken place, which then ended in many lives being lost. Even when Asahel kept pressing Abner and trying to kill him after almost all the fighting was over that was still considered as “engaging in warfare.” Abner tried warning Asahel off two or three times; but, when he didn’t turn aside, the action of Abner was in self-preservation of his own life. This is why it was not murder of Asahel. On the other hand, Joab’s plotting of revenge for his brother’s death; and, then, his following through with the killing of Abner was indeed – murder; and, when these two brothers, Joab and Abishai took the life of Abner, it was cold and calculated. It was well plotted; carried out in detail, and that was what made it premeditated criminal homicide in the first degree.

Now, had Abner truly murdered Asahel; then, the act of Joab and Abishai killing Abner would have been legal; because, then these two brothers would have been playing the role of kinsman redeemer. Notice though the similarity in that it was even "to the fifth rib," just as Abner's spear pierced the body of Asahel.

3:31-34 David’s lamentation.

II Samuel 3:31 And David said to Joab, and to all the People that were with him, “Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner.” And king David himself followed the bier.   ->   What David is going to do is publicly prove or display a mourning for the loss of Abner. Though it is done publically, it is not being done "just for show," it is to demonstrate to the ten tribes to the North that David is sincere in his statement that he had no previous knowledge; or, participation in the planning or murder of their Ambassador. David is requiring that all Judah take part in this open display, which David himself is leading.

Followed the bier=In the Strong's Concordance, this word bier is Hebrew word number H4296 - מטּה, miṭṭâh, pronounced - mit-taw', and means: From H5186; a bed (as extended) for sleeping or eating; by analogy a sofa, litter or bier: - bed ([-chamber]), bier.; so, what this verse is saying, is, that David himself followed behind Abner’s burial bed or casket to the burial site. It's a good thing--as we'll see in the next verse, it was only in Hebron where they buried Abner and not back in, let's say Jabesh-gilead or one of the other northern cities, as that'd have been a long journey for the funeral procession.

II Samuel 3:32 And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the People wept.   ->   The king lifted up his voice, and wept=Again, this is not “just for show,” David is truly grieving and showing remorse over Abner, just as he mourned Saul and his sons and all the other sons of Israel when they were defeated by the Philistines. Abner's loyalty to Saul and Israel never wavered; he might have had designs on taking the reins of the House of Israel; but, David never saw that. Yes, Abner set Ish-bosheth’s son over the ten northern tribes; but, again, he was setting the king’s son—at that time, the royal seedline—on the seat of power – the throne. Yes, again, it was against Father’s will and against His anointed; but, we just cannot say for sure what his intentions were, we can only speculate as Joab and Abishai murdered him before he had any opportunity to put a plan—if he had one—into action.

II Samuel 3:33 And the king lamented over Abner, and said,
“Died Abner as a fool dieth?
  ->   David, being the poetic man who sings and writes, and who did so in many Psalms, now starts a sorrowful lamentation for the loss of Abner.

As a fool dieth=Asahel died as the fool dieth; not, Abner. Why? Because it is the fool who goes running needlessly into danger, not taking heed to his surroundings. David is saying to remember that Abner was a General in the Israelite Army and his death therefore, was a non-noble death, in other words, as the death of a commoner.

Fool=In the Hebrew language, this word is synonymous with being  wicked, impious or "ungodly."

II Samuel 3:34 Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters:
as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou.”
And all the People wept again over him.
  ->   Thy hands were not bound=David is saying that Abner wasn't a "malefactor," in other words, he wasn't a criminal - his killing of Asahel was in self-defense, and therefore, he committed no crime.

As a man falleth before wicked men=Joab and Abishai may not have liked it; but, David here is calling them unrighteous, evil men for their slaying of Abner.

Wicked men=There are many synonymous words to represent the outworking of man's fallen nature. As these are not always translated by the same English word, it is necessary that we should distinguish them. The student, by reference to the following list, will be able to do so :-- here in this verse wicked men is one such of these words and it translates to ‘Aval meaning: unjust, unfairness, sin in its nature as deceitful, dishonesty, that which is not equal and right, unfairness in dealings. Rendered “unjust” in here in II Samuel 3:34; Psalms 43:1; 82:2; Proverbs 29:27; and Isaiah 26:10, and “unrighteous in Leviticus 19:15,35.

II Samuel 3:35 And when all the People came to cause David to eat meat (food in general, not just meat) while it was yet day, David sware, saying, “So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down.”   ->   More outward display by David to show the ten northern tribes he was truly sorrowful for the loss of Abner, a man who had helped wrought many victories in in Israel, had brought Saul's son Ish=bosheth to power, and now sadly murdered while unarmed, unknowledgeable and without even a fighting chance against his attackers.

II Samuel 3:36 And all the People took notice of it (including the ten tribes to the north), and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the People.   ->   It pleased them=Seeing David this sad at the loss of Abner pleased everybody, they could all tell that David was being sincere in his mourning. All people of all the tribes saw how David honored Abner; and, that he was truly innocent of the blood of Abner. This unfeigned lamenting pleased all the tribes enough; that, it brought both houses back together as one House.

II Samuel 3:37 For all the People and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.   ->   Everybody knew by David's actions that he truly had nothing to do with the murder of Abner and the people respected him for his heartfelt words over Abner's loss.

II Samuel 3:38 And the king said unto his servants, “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?   ->   David knew that this act happened in Judah - his land; so, in his mind, he was responsible for bringing Abner to Hebron in the first place. This then was a memorial to Abner who fell at the hands of some very cruel and wicked men. Abner’s murderers were his own nephews; yet, David was Father’s anointed ruler; and, he had to pass this hard sentence on his own nephews. It was his sister’s family that this sentence would fall on; so, it wasn’t a very happy day at all for David.

II Samuel 3:39 And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.  ->   Seeing David's actions and listening to what he was saying; the people of all the tribes could sense Father's Holy Spirit upon David; and, they were drawn to that, just as people today are drawn to those who have Father's Spirit upon them.

Though anointed kingshall reward=David knew he was Father’s anointed; and, that he had to punish his sister’s family. He felt bad because he never got around to completing this; and, so, he therefore upon his deathbed charged Solomon to finish it for him, we can read and compare this with I Kings 2: I Kings 2:1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,   ->   David lying on his deathbed tells his son that he is to follow Father in all he does; and, should he chose to do so; then, everything will go exceedingly well for him during his time on the throne. David then changes subject to the death of Abner by Solomon’s uncle Joab – let’s skip down a few verses to verse v2:4: [2:4] That the LORD may continue His word which he spake concerning me, saying, ‘If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee’ (said He) ‘a man on the throne of Israel.’ [2:5] Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet. [2:6] Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.   ->   David was calling to Solomon’s attention that this matter is very emotional for him; for, he now must pass sentence on his uncles. I'm sure that when David was alone, he had shed many tears over the orders that must come from his throne for the murder of Abner. This was so hard for David that he did nothing but assign to Father whatever had to be done over the death of Abner. When good men do nothing, wickedness prevails.

I am this day weak=David knew that Abner was a good man and he therefore, as we read in the previous verse, called him a "prince," David was weaken by Abner's loss on several different fronts: (1) he knew Israel lost a General and would thereby be weakened by it; (2) he knew he lost one whom served his king - Saul - well; and, could have possibly served him well also; (3) he knew prior to Joab's true nature coming out, that, he had also served David well; so, when the evil spirit got ahold of him, he--David--and Israel also lost a good man in Joab, all these combined, did indeed man David a weaker man; and, he being their king, made the Nation a weaker nation.

July 2013

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