2 Samuel 2 Ė 3 part 2

 

Now last week in chapter one we learned about how David finds out about Saul and his sons death and he mourned greatly over this loss and he even wrote song to commemorate them.Now starting in chapter 2 we begin an new turning point in the life of David as he will be anointed king of Judah.

 

2 Samuel 2:1 It happened after this that David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?" And the LORD said to him, "Go up." David said, "Where shall I go up?" And He said, "To Hebron."2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite.3 And David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, "The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul."5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, "You are blessed of the LORD, for you have shown this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him.6 "And now may the LORD show kindness and truth to you. I also will repay you this kindness, because you have done this thing.7 "Now therefore, let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them."

 

One characteristic I like about David is most of time he ask God what he should do because he relied upon God to guide him through his life. This is certainly a great characteristic that every Christian should have today as well. Far to many times we do things in our life without asking guidance from God and many times things donít work out quite like we would have hoped. I believe there is great need for each of us to spend more time in prayer to God seeking guidance and wisdom from him.

 

Well, learn from our text that David is told to go to Hebron. This is mountainous area in Judah and would make a very strategic location for David and his men. It here where David is anointed king. Now might recall that Samuel had already anointed David as the future King when he was just a shepherd boy but now it was being made official. It interesting to note the King Saul went through this same process. First he was anointed by Samuel and then latter anointed by the people to be King.

 

Now when David finds out what the people of Jabesh Gilead had done for Saul and his sons he praised them for their action and gave them his blessing. Again we can see that even though Saul had wanted to kill David over and over again David never stopped caring for him because he had great respect him and his sons. This can be seen of well David speaks of Saul after his death and how wept bitterly at his death.

 

2 Samuel 2:8 But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, took Ishbosheth (ihsh-boe-sheth)the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim; (may-huh-nay-im) 9 and he made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, over Benjamin, and over all Israel.10 Ishbosheth, (ihsh-boe-sheth) Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David.11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

 

Now to help us keep some of these names straight on who they are I want to remind you the Ner was Saulís uncle and so this tells us why his son Abner would have been so concerned about keeping Saul reign alive through is only living sonIshbosheth. So at least for 2 year period we have Saul son ruling most of the children of Israel and David ruling over Judah.

 

2 Samuel 2:12 Now Abner the son of Ner (nur), and the servants of Ishbosheth(ihsh-boe-sheth) the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim (may-huh-nay-im) to Gibeon.13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon. So they sat down, one on one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool.14 Then Abner said to Joab, "Let the young men now arise and compete before us." And Joab said, "Let them arise."15 So they arose and went over by number, twelve from Benjamin, followers of Ishbosheth (ihsh-boe-sheth) the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David.16 And each one grasped his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent's side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called the Field of Sharp Swords, which is in Gibeon.

 

In these verse we learn about head to head competition. Some believe that this was going to be a single battle that would determine a winner between these kingdoms but as we as we read this battle ended up with tie where all 24 men ended up dead. The each grabbed each others head or hear and at the same time ran their swords through each others side. This caused a bigger battle to break out which we read about in a min. But first I want to point out that Joab was David nephew (1Chron. 2:16). We also will learn as we continue on that Joab and Abner seem to have a mutual respect for one another after these men are brethren and it is shame that they are finding themselves in the middle ofa civil war.

 

2 Samuel 2:17 So there was a very fierce battle that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai (ah-bish-a-eye) and Asahel. (as-ah-hell)And Asahel was as fleet of foot as a wild gazelle.19 So Asahel pursued Abner, and in going he did not turn to the right hand or to the left from following Abner.20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, "Are you Asahel?" He answered, "I am."21 And Abner said to him, "Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself." But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.22 So Abner said again to Asahel, "Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your brother Joab?"23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back; and he fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.

 

Here we learn that Asahel was very quick runner and that he was trying his best to chase down Abner. These verses also reveal to us that Abner did not want to kill Asahel because he was concerned about how could face his brother Joab afterwards. Again this gives a big clue that Abner had a great respect for Joab. Well, as we read Abner ends having to kill Ashel or be killed by him. Now we also learn that Asahel must have been considered very amongst his people because when people came and saw where his dead body lay they stood still.

 

2 Samuel 2:24 Joab and Abishai (ah-bish-a-eye) also pursued Abner. And the sun was going down when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is before Giah by the road to the Wilderness of Gibeon.25 Now the children of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became a unit, and took their stand on top of a hill.26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the latter end? How long will it be then until you tell the people to return from pursuing their brethren?"27 And Joab said, "As God lives, unless you had spoken, surely then by morning all the people would have given up pursuing their brethren."28 So Joab blew a trumpet; and all the people stood still and did not pursue Israel anymore, nor did they fight anymore.29 Then Abner and his men went on all that night through the plain, crossed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron;(bith-run) and they came to Mahanaim.(may-huh-nay-im)30 So Joab returned from pursuing Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel.31 But the servants of David had struck down, of Benjamin and Abner's men, three hundred and sixty men who died.32 Then they took up Asahel and buried him in his father's tomb, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at daybreak.

 

So Abner continues to run for his life and he makes his way up a hill where is able to get some reinforcements and he is wanting this battle to be over to cries out to Joab to end the killing spree and a few sharp words from Joab he calls for his men to stop the battle. Davidís men were seasoned veterans when came to warfare and we can see that they had been very successful in this battle as they only lost 20 men to Abnerís 360 men.
And again we can see that Asahel was someone who stood out by the statement that Davidís side lost 19 men and Asahel.

 

2 Samuel 3:1 Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.2 Sons were born to David in Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;3 his second, Chileab, (kil-ih-ab)by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; the third, Absalom the son of Maacah, (may-ah-kah) the daughter of Talmai, (tal-migh) king of Geshur;4 the fourth, Adonijah (add-oh-nye-juh) the son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;5 and the sixth, Ithream, (ith-ree-umh) by David's wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.

 

Well the war rages on between the house of Saul and the house of David but Davidís kingdom keeps getting stronger and stronger. Now the custom of the day was that a king would marry multiple women which was reflection of how much they prospered and we can see that David was following that custom because we see that he had at least 6 wives here in chapter 3. Now I want to point that David was breaking Godís law by multiplying is wives. Please note God set up some rules for those who become a king over the children of Israel. Please notice,

 

Deuteronomy 17:17 "Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

 

Not only does it state this law the verses following after this say that the king is to write these laws down and he read them all the days of his life so that he doesnít turn from Lord. God universal law for marriage has always been one and one wife.

 

2 Samuel 3:6 Now it was so, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner was strengthening his hold on the house of Saul.7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. (a-eye-ah) So Ishbosheth (ihsh-boe-sheth) said to Abner, "Why have you gone in to my father's concubine?"8 Then Abner became very angry at the words of Ishbosheth, (ihsh-boe-sheth) and said, "Am I a dog's head that belongs to Judah? Today I show loyalty to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and you charge me today with a fault concerning this woman?9 "May God do so to Abner, and more also, if I do not do for David as the LORD has sworn to him --10 "to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba."11 And he could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.

 

Here where we start getting a glimpse at what Abner had been up to all these years. It seems that Abner had been setting himself up to possible to become the next leader of the children of Israel. After all it was him that put Saulís son forth to become king and he was the one that had the power and influence over the people. Although Isbosheth had the title King it was Abner that was making everything work and now here in Saulís son trying to call him on his relationship with Saulís concubine. This makes Abner mad and he tells Ishbosheth how it is and how he is now going to turn things upside down and make sure that David will now rule Israel as it was prophesied. Once Abner finished his speech this left Ishbosheth speechless because he was afraid of Abner.

 

2 Samuel 3:12 Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to David, saying, "Whose is the land?" saying also, "Make your covenant with me, and indeed my hand shall be with you to bring all Israel to you."13 And David said, "Good, I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you: you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see my face."14 So David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, (ihsh-boe-sheth) Saul's son, saying, "Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines."15 And Ishbosheth (ihsh-boe-sheth) sent and took her from her husband, from Paltiel (pal-tih-uhl)the son of Laish.16 Then her husband went along with her to Bahurim, weeping behind her. So Abner said to him, "Go, return!" And he returned.

 

Here we learn that Abner was kidding about what he said. He sets up a covenant with David. David only had one stipulation he wanted his first wife Michal back which if you are keeping count this makes 7 wives for David now. Now we will learn more about what Abner does to shift control of power from Saulís household to Davidís.

 

2 Samuel 3:17 Now Abner had communicated with the elders of Israel, saying, "In time past you were seeking for David to be king over you.18 "Now then, do it! For the LORD has spoken of David, saying, 'By the hand of My servant David, I will save My people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and the hand of all their enemies.' "19 And Abner also spoke in the hearing of Benjamin. Then Abner also went to speak in the hearing of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel and the whole house of Benjamin.20 So Abner and twenty men with him came to David at Hebron. And David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him.21 Then Abner said to David, "I will arise and go, and gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires." So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.

 

Basically Abner goes on a political campaign for David and he uses his power of influence to convince all of Israel that David is the man they need to follow because he will be able to rescue them from the hand of the Philistines. Abnerís plan works and David allows Abner to go off in peace. However we find out that some of Davidís men have a different agenda.

 

2 Samuel 3:22 At that moment the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace.23 When Joab and all the troops that were with him had come, they told Joab, saying, "Abner the son of Ner (nur) came to the king, and he sent him away, and he has gone in peace."24 Then Joab came to the king and said, "What have you done? Look, Abner came to you; why is it that you sent him away, and he has already gone?25 "Surely you realize that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you, to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing."26 And when Joab had gone from David's presence, he sent messengers after Abner, who brought him back from the well of Sirah. But David did not know it.27 Now when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him privately, and there stabbed him in the stomach, so that he died for the blood of Asahel his brother.

 

Now need to remember that Abner had killed Joabís brother earlier in battle and so Joab was wanting to seek revenge. We see that he tries to belittle what Abner was doing and the covenant that was made between him David. However his words apparently did not convince David because Joab sends out messenger for Abner to come back behind Davidís back and Joab stabs him in him to stomach killing him for the death of his brother. Now lets read Davidís response.

 

 

2 Samuel 3:28 Afterward, when David heard it, he said, "My kingdom and I are guiltless before the LORD forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner.29 "Let it rest on the head of Joab and on all his father's house; and let there never fail to be in the house of Joab one who has a discharge or is a leper, who leans on a staff or falls by the sword, or who lacks bread."30 So Joab and Abishai (ah-bish-a-eye) his brother killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.

 

As you can tell David was not happy at this news at all and he wanted everyone to know that he had nothing to do with this cowardly act of revenge. He even pronounced a curse of him and his household that they would suffer greatly for his sin.

 

2 Samuel 3:31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, "Tear your clothes, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner." And King David followed the coffin.32 So they buried Abner in Hebron; and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept.33 And the king sang a lament over Abner and said: "Should Abner die as a fool dies?34 Your hands were not bound Nor your feet put into fetters; As a man falls before wicked men, so you fell." Then all the people wept over him again.35 And when all the people came to persuade David to eat food while it was still day, David took an oath, saying, "God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!"36 Now all the people took note of it, and it pleased them, since whatever the king did pleased all the people.37 For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the king's intent to kill Abner the son of Ner.38 Then the king said to his servants, "Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?39 "And I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too harsh for me. The LORD shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness."

 

Now it would have been natural for the children of Israel to have thought that David had a hand in putting Abner to death. But after David mourned at his death and asked everyone else to do the same and after he wrote song in honor naming his senseless death and speaking highly of him and also since he wound not even eat anything until that evening no one had a doubt in their mind that David had nothing to do with the death of Abner. To make sure that Joabís household paid for the unwarranted crime before David died he gave these instruction to his Solomon.

1 Kings 2:5"Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war in peacetime, and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet.6 "Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace.

 

As we can see David was going to make sure that Joabís wickedness was paid in full.