Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 2:29

Abner and his men then went through the Arabah all that night; so they crossed the Jordan, walked all morning, and came to Mahanaim.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abner;   Bithron;   David;   Israel;   Joab;   Jordan;   Truce;   War;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Judea;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gilead;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Arabah;   Bith-Ron;   Joab;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bether;   Bithron;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Arabah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abner;   Bithron;   Gibeon;   Joab;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Asahel ;   Bithron ;   Mahanaim ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Joab;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Asahel;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Bith'ron;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Arabah;   Bithron;   Champaign;   Ford;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abner;   Bithron;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abner;   Arabah;   Ish-Bosheth;   Mahanaim;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

They came to Mahanaim - So they returned to the place whence they set out. See 2 Samuel 2:12. This was the commencement of the civil wars between Israel and Judah, and properly the commencement of the division of the two kingdoms, through which both nations were deluged with blood.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Through the plain - See 1 Samuel 23:24. Bithron is unknown. From the expression all (the) Bithron, it seems likely that it is a tract of country, intersected by ravines lying on the east side of Jordan.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-2.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 2:29

And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain.

The cost of success

We would remind ourselves of such events in order that we may see what has been accomplished by military discipline, by the subordination of merely personal whims and desires. Even conquerors have no easy time in life. We think of success, of triumph, of coronation, but we forget that before these things, and as necessary to them, there must be discipline, suffering, loss, trial of every kind. We read with glowing hearts the accounts of explorers, discoverers, adventurers, who have gone into regions unknown and undreamed of; and here, again, we forget the night watchings, the night marchings, the continual perils and difficulties of the road. Self-denial is not confined to Christian experience. Whoever would be great in any department or relation of life must over know the pain of self-mortification--must, in other words, achieve the mastery himself--must, so to say, stand upon himself in an attitude of triumph. (J. Parker, D. D.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 2:29". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-samuel-2.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

ABNER WITHDREW HIS FORCES EAST OF THE JORDAN RIVER

"And Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah; they crossed the Jordan, and marching the whole forenoon they came to Mahanaim. Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner; and when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of David's servants nineteen men besides Asahel. But the servants of David had slain of Benjamin three hundred and sixty of Abner's men. And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. And Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron."

"Abner and his men went all that night" (2 Samuel 2:29). It is of interest that the commanders of each of these opposing armies at once ordered an all-night march, Abner for the purpose of putting a safe distance between him and the victorious troops of Joab, and Joab for the purpose of overtaking Abner as soon as possible after the funeral for Asahel. There were two reasons for the march to Hebron following the burial of Asahel in Bethlehem. As one of the cities of refuge, Joab might have anticipated that Abner would go there; and, of course, that was David's headquarters and capital, the center of authority for the king of Judah, where Joab was to report to the king. "Hebron lay about fourteen miles north of Bethlehem."[22]

As for the distance covered by those all-night marches, Smith stated that, "Each army had about twenty six miles to cover."[23]

"Through the Arabah" (2 Samuel 2:29). "This is the name given to the broad floor of the great valley through which there flows the Jordan river. The valley lies generally some three thousand feet below the mountains of Israel."[24]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-2.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain,.... The plain of Jordan. He marched with his men all night, lest Joab should return, and pursue him, and take vengeance on him for the death of his brother:

and passed over Jordan; at one of the fords of it:

and went through all Bithron; the name of a province or country, as Jarchi, called so perhaps from its being separated from the rest of the tribes of Israel by the river Jordan; some think the mountains of Bether were in this country, Song of Solomon 2:17. From Gibeon, where the battle was fought, to Bithron, according to BuntingF15Travels, &c. p. 145, 146. , was twenty eight miles, the which he says was in the tribe of Gad, twenty eight miles from Jerusalem northeastward, lying between Dibon and Jordan:

and they came to Mahanaim: from whence they came, and where they had left Ishbosheth, 2 Samuel 2:8. From Bithron to this place, according to the same writerF16Ibid. , was sixteen miles.

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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 2:29". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-2.html. 1999.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

Abner proceeded with his troops through the Arabah, i.e., the valley of the Jordan, marching the whole night; and then crossing the river, went through the whole of Bithron back to Mahanaim. Bithron is a district upon the eastern side of the Jordan, which is only mentioned here. Aquila and the Vulgate identify it with Bethhoron ; but there is no more foundation for this than for the suggestion of Thenius, that it is the same place as Bethha r am, the later Libias, at the mouth of the Nahr Hesbגn (see at Numbers 32:36). It is very evident that Bithron is not the name of a city, but of a district, from the fact that it is preceded by the word all, which would be perfectly unmeaning in the case of a city. The meaning of the word is a cutting; and it was no doubt the name given to some ravine in the neighbourhood of the Jabbok, between the Jordan and Mahanaim, which was on the north side of the Jabbok.

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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 2:29". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-2.html. 1854-1889.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 2:29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.

Ver. 29. And went through all Bithron,] i.e., Through the separate or divided country: sundered from Canaan by the river Jordan, as Junius rendereth it. They went back to Mahanaim, by weeping cross. Dubia est Martis alea, nec raro utrique parti noxia.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". 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

Bithron; otherwise called the mountains of Bether, Song of Solomon 2:17, which were beyond Jordan; or some other country now not known by that name, which is the case of hundreds of places.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". 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

29.Through the plain — The valley of the Jordan.

Bithron — Literally, the broken or divided place. As no locality bearing this name is ever afterwards mentioned, and the Hebrew word has the article — all the Bithron — it probably designates not a single place, but the broken and intersected region beyond the Jordan through which one must pass in order to go from the river to Mahanaim.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-2.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Beth-horon. Septuagint, "the extended plain." Hebrew Bithrun, (Haydock) or the country towards the Jordan. (Calmet) --- Thus the battle ended in his disgrace; (Haydock) and many from all Israel began to flock to the standard of David, 1 Paralipomenon xii. 22. (Tirinus)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Bithron = the ravine.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-2.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(29) Through the plain (or the Arabah).—The wilderness of Gibeon lay to the east of the town, and Abner’s flight had thus carried him towards the Jordan. He now passed up the valley of the Jordan (which the word here used generally designates), and, crossing at a ford, went “through all Bithron to Mahanaim.” Bithron is evidently the name of a district on the east of the Jordan, but is not further known.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.
Bithron
Bithron or Bether is probably the same as Betarus, which is placed in the Antonine Itinerary between Caesarea of Palestine and Diospolis or Lydda, 18 miles from the former, and 22 from the latter. The Jerusalem Itinerary mentions a place called Bethar, 16 miles from Caesarea, and 20 from Diospolis, which is probably the same. The Talmudists say that it was four miles distant from the sea.
Song of Solomon 2:17
Bether
Mahanaim.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-2.html.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain."2 Samuel 2:29.

We should remind ourselves of such events in order that we may see what has been accomplished by military discipline, by the subordination of merely personal whims and desires. Even conquerors have no easy time in life. We think of success, of triumph, of coronation, but we forget that before these things, and as necessary to them, there must be discipline, suffering, loss, trial of every kind. We read with glowing hearts the accounts of explorers, discoverers, adventurers, who have gone into regions unknown and undreamedof; and here, again, we forget the night watchings, the night marchings, the continual perils and difficulties of the road. The Apostle Paul makes use of all this aspect of discipline, saying, "They do it to obtain a corruptible crown," and his argument is that if men will do so much for a crown that must fade, what ought they to do who are struggling for a crown eternal? If men are so anxious to win the prizes of earth, what ought they to be to win the infinitely greater prizes of heaven? Self-denial is not confined to Christian experience. Whoever would be great in any department or relation of life must know the pain of self-mortification—must, in other words, achieve the mastery over himself—must, so to say, stand upon himself in an attitude of triumph. We cannot dream ourselves into heaven, nor can we dream ourselves into any form of greatness that is really worthy of realisation. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life,—into life of every kind, of eminence, of usefulness, of truest pleasure, and most lasting renown.

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Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:29". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/2-samuel-2.html. 1885-95.