The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Samuel

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2 Samuel 3

2Sa 3:1

2Sa 3: "Antagonism between the houses of Saul and David continued; irritating, annoying, fretful conflicts, but inevitably the house of Saul waxed weaker, for God was with David. Established in Hebron (the south), David's power and influence was becoming more evident. The birth of his sons was evidence of his accepted status amongst his followers...

"Meanwhile Ishbosheth alienated Abner (vv 6-11). Abner had made himself indispensable to the cause of the house of Saul. He saw that Ishbosheth lacked the necessary qualities of true leadership, and so long as he remained in the standing of king, the cause was lost. He therefore took steps to supersede him by marrying Rizpah, and obtaining rulership for himself, thus causing a rift within the house of Saul. Abner's treachery (v 12) demonstrated the sad case of those who plot against the righteous. To secure his position in Judah, David demanded the return of Michal (vv 13-16).

"However distressing the circumstances, it was important that David strengthen his position, and to do that he could not leave a princess in the possession of a man who might, in her right as daughter of Saul, make pretensions to the throne. She was David's lawful wife, and not that of Phaltiel, and to have her restored to him at this time would demonstrate to the followers of Saul, the strength of his claim to the power and the weakness of the opposition. The beginnings of the reign of David, though involved in changing circumstances, soon became recognised by all Israel" (GEM).

WAR... A LONG TIME: An extended "cold war".

2Sa 3:2

More wives for David: ct Deu 17:17.

2Sa 3:3

GESHUR: A small Aramean kingdom or city-state located in what is now Jaulan (NT period Gaulanitis), in the nw sector of Bashan. Mentioned several times in the story of Absalom (2Sa 3:3; 13:37; 14:23,32; 15:8), as Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, its king, was the mother of Absalom (cp 1Ch 3:2). Absalom fled to that country after killing Amnon. The kingdom was apparently later absorbed into the larger Aramean kingdom of Damascus.

2Sa 3:7

WHY DID YOU SLEEP WITH MY FATHER'S CONCUBINE?: In effect, Abner was laying claim to the throne of Saul (cp 2Sa 12:8; 16:22; 1Ki 2:22).

2Sa 3:9

'If you doubt me, then I WILL change sides!'

2Sa 3:16

The whole nation, in seeing Abner's and Ishbosheth's compliance with David's wish, would realize his increased strength.

BAHURIM: Poss the last town in Ishbosheth's Benjamite "kingdom". A highway village east of Olivet. Here Shimei cursed David (2Sa 16:5; 19:16; 1Ki 2:8), and Jonathan and Ahimaaz hid in the well of a man in Bahurim (2Sa 17:18).

2Sa 3:17

FOR SOME TIME YOU HAVE WANTED TO MAKE DAVID YOUR KING: Even in northern Israel, there was a strong party which had always favored David for king (2Sa 5:2).

2Sa 3:22

A RAID: Prob a foray to gather supplies.

2Sa 3:26

THE WELL OF SIRAH: Hebron itself was a city of refuge (Jos 20:7), but the well was 3 mi away.

2Sa 3:27

TO AVENGE THE BLOOD OF HIS BROTHER ASAHEL: Publicly proclaiming his right to do as an avenger of blood. But this was wrong: Joab "shed the blood of war in peace' (1Ki 2:15). Another reason for Joab's action: he wanted to protect his position as first in command.

2Sa 3:29

LEANS ON A CRUTCH: Or "works a spindle", lowly work for a man.

2Sa 3:39

I AM WEAK: David had recently conferred with Abner, and thus Abner's murder was an insult to David's authority.

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