Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 2:21

So Abner said to him, "Turn to your right or to your left, and take hold of one of the young men for yourself, and take for yourself his spoil." But Asahel was not willing to turn aside from following him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abner;   Asahel;   David;   Homicide;   Israel;   Joab;   War;   Thompson Chain Reference - Armour;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Arms, Military;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Abishai;   Abner;   Joab;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abner;   Asahel;   Gibeon;   Joab;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Abner ;   Asahel ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Joab;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Asahel;   Gibeon;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - War;  
Encyclopedias:
Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abner;   Asahel;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abner;   Asa;   Ish-Bosheth;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Take thee his armor - It seems Asahel wished to get the armor of Abner as a trophy; this also was greatly coveted by ancient heroes. Abner wished to spare him, for fear of exciting Joab's enmity; but as Asahel was obstinate in the pursuit, and was swifter of foot than Abner, the latter saw that he must either kill or be killed, and therefore he turned his spear and ran it through the body of Asahel. This turning about that he might pierce him is what we translate "the hinder end of his spear." This slaying of Asahel cost Abner his life, as we shall find in the next chapter.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

His armour - Rather, as in the margin; i. e. content thyself with the spoil of some inferior soldier for a trophy.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-2.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Abner said unto him,.... Having a respect for him, and consulting his good, and however fearing his brother Joab should he slay him:

turn thee aside to thy right or to thy left; he does not advise him to go back, which would have been to his disgrace, having engaged in the pursuit, but to turn to the right or left, as if pursuing some other person and not Abner:

and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour; one of the common soldiers, or an attendant on Abner, a young man like himself, whom he might be able to cope with, and take him a prisoner and disarm him, when he was not a match for such an old experienced officer as he was; and this Abner seems to speak as a friend, consulting the young man's safety and his honour too.

But, Asahel would not turn aside from following him; fired with the ambition of taking him, and not content with any prey short of him; and perhaps was the more animated by what he said, as supposing it arose from fear of him.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-2.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.

And take, … — If thou art ambitious to get a trophy or mark of thy valour, desist from me who am an old and experienced captain, and go to some young and raw soldier; try thy skill upon him, and take away his arms from him.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-2.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 2:21 And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.

Ver. 21. Lay thee hold on one of the young men.] Meddle with thy match, and contend not with him that is mightier than thou. Patroclus is no meet match for Hector. When Carolostadius opposed Luther’s consubstantiation, but weakly and insufficiently, Zuinglius said he was sorry that so good a cause wanted shoulders. (a) Heat of zeal sometimes, in the indiscreet pursuit of a just adversary, proves mortal to the agent, prejudicial to the service.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 2:21. Turn thee aside to thy right hand, &c.— The conduct of Abner appears heroic and amiable. He was very desirous of sparing Asahel, advising him not to engage with an old and experienced officer like himself, but to turn against one of the young men, who would be an easy conquest, and whose armour he might carry off as his spoil. Asahel, however, was not to be persuaded; and therefore Abner smote him under the fifth rib, 2 Samuel 2:23 or in the belly. See 2 Samuel 20:10. With the hinder end of the spear we render it, which does not seem to have been the case, as he rather smote him with the upper end of the spear; for the spear went through his belly and came out at his back: therefore Houbigant renders it, properly, Abner smote him in the belly, turning his spear backwards: as Abner was foremost, he turned his spear behind him, and so killed Asahel. See Scheuchzer on the place.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-2.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Take thee his armour: if thou art ambitious to get a trophy or mark of thy valour, desist from me, who am an old and experienced captain, and go to some young and raw soldier; try thy skill upon him, and take away his arms from him.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-2.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21.Lay thee hold on one of the young men — One of the common soldiers.

Take thee his armour — Asahel’s object was to slay Abner and take his armour as a trophy.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-2.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Spoils. Attack one who may be a more equal match for thee. (Haydock)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-2.html. 1859.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.
and take thee
It seems that Asahel wished to get the armour of Abner as a trophy.
armour
or, spoil.
Judges 14:19
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 2:19 - turned

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-2.html.