Tuesday, May 27, 2008

David, Joab, Abner II Samuel 3

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."

In regard to the long war, it seems it was about 7 years since after that time David became king of all Israel including Judah.

Verses 2-6 list David's wives to date. It does not list Michal whom Saul gave to Phaltiel after he became enemies with David. The chapter list 6 wives and their firstborn. One note: Abigail's son is called Chileab here but in I Chronicles he is called Daniel. Perhaps he had two names or as was the case with the prophet Daniel, he may have had a Hebrew name and another given by Abigail.

Abner leaves his king in this chapter and has gone over to David's side. The reason is given in this verse:

v7 "And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine? v8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ishbosheth..."

Like the face that launched a thousand ships, so Rizpah was the reason Abner left his king and went over to the other side. It was a turning point for Israel.

David had a condition for meeting with Abner. He was to bring his first wife Michal. Along with telling Abner this he also sent messengers to Ishbosheth the king of Israel and Michal was sent to David. It was a tough time for her then husband.

v16 "And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned."

This being done, Abner then uses his influence to undermine Ishbosheth. He communicated to the elders of Israel to support David as king.

v18 "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 and of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies."

Although Abner was really mad about the concubine or perhaps the king he set up going against him, he now invokes the words of the LORD to win over the elders. Politics was alive and well even then.

David met with Abner and let him go in peace, a sign that David would accept Abner's help.

v20 "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."

Abner seems to be master of his plan and has consolidated his position. He has perhaps forgotten that he killed the brother of Joab who is David's captain. Abner goes on his way but Joab sent messengers to call him back. I suppose Joab thought the king wanted to tell him something more so he came back. Joab called him aside.

v27 "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."

There is often this bloodshed after a war. People do not forget their personal hurt. David then declared his innocence because he knew nothing of Joab's plan to kill Abner. He ordered mourning for him. David fasted that day and Israel was pleased with him.

v38 "And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?"

Joab has avenged his brother's death but the act will follow him as we will see later.

Psalm 14:2 "The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God."

Keywords: Old Old Story, Bible Study, Old Testament, Milton Southerland, David, Abner, Joab, Judah, Israel. Abner has fallen.

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