Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 2:23

However, he refused to turn aside; therefore Abner struck him in the belly with the butt end of the spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died on the spot. And it came about that all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abner;   Asahel;   David;   Homicide;   Israel;   Joab;   War;   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Asahel;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Spear;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Asahel;   Gibeon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Abishai;   Abner;   Joab;   War;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Joab;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Arms;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Arms and Armor;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abner;   Asahel;   Gibeon;   Joab;   Samuel, Books of;   War;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Abner ;   Asahel ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Joab;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Armor;   Arms;   Asahel;   Gibeon;   Joab;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Arms, Armor;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Arms;   War;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Rib;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abner;   Arms - armor;   Asahel;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abner;   Asa;   Athletes, Athletics, and Field-Sports;   Ish-Bosheth;   Liver;   Medicine;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

With the hinder end … - i. e. the wooden end, which was more or less pointed to enable the owner to stick it in the ground 1 Samuel 26:7.

The fifth rib - The word so rendered here (and in marginal references) means the abdomen, and is not etymologically connected with the Hebrew for five, as the translation “fifth rib” supposes, but with a verb meaning to be fat, or strong.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". "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

Howbeit, he refused to turn aside,.... Determined on making him his captive if possible.

Wherefore Abner, with the hinder end of the spear; he had in his hand, which seems to have had a pike at both ends; so that with the hinder end of it, next to Asahel, he thrust it at him, without turning to him: and

smote him under the fifth rib; the place where hang the gall and liver, as the Jewish commentators from their TalmudF9T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 49. 1. observe. There are twelve ribs, seven of which are called true ones, and five spurious; if this was the fifth of the seven, the spear must pierce the breastF11"Transadigit costas, et crates pectoris ensom". Virgil. Aeneod. l. 12. ver. 506. , and strike the seat of life, the heart and lungs; if the fifth from the eighth and first of the spurious ones, then wounding the hypochondria, it must pass to the vital bowels of the abdomen, which seems to be the case hereF12Vid. Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 501. : according to someF13Weemse's Portrait of Man, p. 24. this is meant of the inferior ribs, which we call the short ribs, and any of these five are called the fifth rib; and Abner must strike him in the right side, because he was behind him, and which stroke must be deadly, because he struck him through the liver:

that the spear came out behind him: the thrust was so violent that the spear went through him, and came out at his back:

and he fell down and died in the same place; he fell at once, and died on the spot immediately:

and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still; that is, such of David's men who were in the pursuit after the Israelites, when they came to the spot, and saw Asahel dead, they had no power to proceed in the pursuit, being so troubled and grieved at the death 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 2:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the m fifth [rib], that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, [that] as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.

(m) Some read, in those parts where the lively parts lie, the heart, lungs, liver, and gall bladder.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-2.html. 1599-1645.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

But when he still refused to depart in spite of this warning, Abner wounded him in the abdomen with the hinder part, i.e., the lower end of the spear, so that the spear came out behind, and Asahel fell dead upon the spot. The lower end of the spear appears to have been pointed, that it might be stuck into the ground (vid., 1 Samuel 26:7); and this will explain the fact that the spear passed through the body. The fate of the young hero excited such sympathy, that all who came to the place where he had fallen stood still to mourn his loss (cf. 2 Samuel 20:12).

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-2.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.

And died — So Asahel's swiftness, which he presumed on so much, only forwarded his fate! With it he ran upon his death, instead of running from it.

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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 2:23". "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 2:23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth [rib], that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, [that] as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.

Ver. 23. Under the fifth rib.] (a) Where the liver and gall are, a sure killing place; for a punishment of his pertinacy, and too eager pursuit of a yielding enemy.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-2.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The hinder end of the spear was sharp-pointed, after the manner.

Under the fifth rib; the seat of the liver and bowels, where wounds are mortal.

In the same place; upon the spot, not being able to go one step further.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". 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

23.He refused to turn aside — He believed that he could conquer Abner, and he was unwilling to lose the opportunity of gaining that honour.

The hinder end of the spear — Which was sharpened, so as to stick in the ground when not in use. 1 Samuel 26:7.

Under the fifth rib — Rather, in the abdomen. The Hebrew word comes from the root חמשׂ, to be fat.

Stood still — Horror stricken at the bloody sight.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-2.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 2:23. He fell down there and died — So Asahel’s swiftness, which he presumed on so much, only forwarded his fate: with it he ran upon his death, instead of running from it. As many as came to the place stood still Ceased from the pursuit; fearing, perhaps, the same fate if they followed further; or staying out of respect to Asahel, that his body might not be exposed to any indignity.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-2.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Stroke, (aversa.) Hebrew, "with the hinder end of the spear, under the fifth rib." Septuagint, "in the loin."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

stood still: i. e, with horror at the sight.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-2.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.

Under the fifth rib, [ hachomesh (Hebrew #2570), in the abdomen. The Septuagint has: epi teen psoan, in the groin].

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-2.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.
the fifth rib
3:27; 4:6; 5:6; 20:10
stood still
20:12,13
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-2.html.