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Monday, June 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 4

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-12

2 Samuel 4:12 . David slew them. What a glory to Israel to have a king clothed with justice: a righteous monarch makes a righteous nation. This act of David would elevate him in the eyes of good men.


How awful and rapid was the fall of Saul’s house, and without war. Abner was dead; Mephibosheth was an infant, and lame; Ishbosheth and all his friends were troubled. Why then did he not send and make a covenant with David? Ah, Abner was dead, and now the dispirited prince had no minister of state, nor captain-general to keep the nation in awe.

A still greater calamity was at hand. Rechab and Baanah, two brothers, whom he had raised to rank, as generals, and to whom he had entrusted his person, conspired to slay him, and solely with the hope of procuring great preferment with David. Saul’s court had been wicked and bloody: he had taught his servants to shed innocent blood, and now they practise the art on his own family. He had shed the blood of all the priests at Nob; and now God shed the blood of all his house, with the exception of Mephibosheth.

Wicked men we see are often infatuated to their own destruction. Could those brothers, living much at court, be ignorant of the sentence David had passed on the young man who slew Saul? And could they think that slaying their inoffensive master while sleeping on his bed, would procure them promotion and reward? In what country could they live after so foul a deed? Surely they realize an ancient proverb; he whom God is about to destroy, is first mad.

While we see in the tragic fall of Saul’s house, all the agents acting from mean and mercenary motives, we also see them all acting in behalf of David, and fulfilling the sentence of heaven against the disobedient king. What then have the righteous to fear, while God is their defence: and what have the wicked not to fear when that defence is departed from them? Every object is armed against them, and their own shadow makes them afraid.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/2-samuel-4.html. 1835.
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