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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

2 Samuel 3

Verses 1-39

Abner is Treacherously Murdered by Joab

3. Chileab] We read nothing more of him and he probably died as a child. In 1 Chronicles 3:1 he is called Daniel. Geshur] a kingdom on the border of Bashan, where Absalom afterwards took refuge (2 Samuel 13:37) It must not be confused with the Geshur of 1 Samuel 27:8.

4. Adonijah] see 1 Kings 1.

7. Rizpah] see 2 Samuel 21:8-11. Gone in unto my father’s concubine] According to Eastern ideas this was equivalent to laying claim to the throne: see 2 Samuel 12:8; 2 Samuel 16:22; 1 Kings 2:22.

8. Am I a dog’s head, which against Judah?] RV ’Am I a dog’s head that belongeth to Judah?’ i.e. a despised enemy. Do shew kindness this day] RV ’This day’ (i.e. at the very time you bring this trivial charge) ’do I shew kindness’: see on 1 Kings 2:17. This woman] LXX ’a woman.’ It was the question of a mere woman.

9. Except.. even so I do to him] RV ’if. I do not even so to him,’ i.e. support David instead of Ish-bosheth.

12. On his behalf] RM ’where he was.’ Whose is the land? saying] LXX omits.

13. Except thou first bring Michal] see 1 Samuel 25:44.

16. Bahurim] in Benjamin, on the road from Jerusalem to the Jordan. It was probably the last town in the dominions of Ish-bosheth.

17. Ye sought for David] It would thus seem that even in northern Israel there was a strong party, who wished to make David king on the death of Saul. It was probably the personal influence of Abner that decided the day in favour of Ish-bosheth. The whole passage clearly shows how weak was the hereditary principle, and how completely the ’king’ was still regarded merely as a military leader and ’judge.’ The element of popular choice is more fully emphasised here than in Judges (except for the Abimelech episode).

19. Benjamin] as being Saul’s fellow-tribesmen they would be specially attached to the royal house and need additional persuasion.

21. Make a league with thee] as they did with Saul (1 Samuel 10:25) and as they tried to do with Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:4). Before making him king, they wished to see their rights safeguarded.

22. From pursuing a troop] RV ’from a foray.’ David had probably arranged a time when Joab was absent.

24. Why is it that thou hast sent him away?] As a kinsman of Asahel, Joab thought that David should have avenged his death.

27. For the blood of Asahel his brother] According to Eastern ideas Joab was bound to avenge his brother’s murder. Neither Judaism, Christianity, nor Mohammedanism has been able to eradicate this feeling. But the Law provided a remedy in the Cities of Refuge (see Numbers 35:11). In the case before us, Joab was probably influenced by the fear that Abner would interfere with his authority: see on

29. On all his father’s house] According to Jewish ideas the family was involved in the fate of the ancestor: cp. 2 Samuel 21:6; 2 Kings 5:27. Leaneth on a staff] rather, ’that holdeth the spindle’: cp. Proverbs 31:19. It was despicable work for a man.

31. Mourn before Abner] i.e. precede the bier. This was all the punishment David was strong enough to inflict.

33. Died Abner as a fool dieth?] i.e. as one who runs into needless danger, or meets his death when engaged in a shameful conspiracy: see on 1 Samuel 25:25.

35. Till the sun be down] The regular time for ending a fast, as it still is in Mohammedan countries. The Hebrew day was reckoned from sunset to sunset.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.