Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 2:30

Then Joab returned from following Abner; when he had gathered all the people together, nineteen of David's servants besides Asahel were missing.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abner;   David;   Israel;   Joab;   Truce;   War;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Joab;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abner;   Gibeon;   Joab;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Asahel ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Joab;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Asahel;  
Encyclopedias:
Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abner;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ish-Bosheth;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Joab returned from following Abner,.... It being in his commission from David to shed as little blood as he could:

and when he had gathered all the people together; who had been pursuing the Israelites, some one way and some another:

there lacked of David's servants nineteen men, and Asahel; who is particularly mentioned, because a very honourable man, valiant and courageous, a relation of David, and brother of Joab the general, and the loss of him was greater than all the rest. This has made some think that the twelve men of the servants of David were not killed in the duel, or otherwise there must be but seven slain in the battle; though that is not more strange than that in the battle with Midian not one should be slain, and, yet a terrible slaughter was made of the Midianites, Numbers 31:1. So in a sharp battle between the Spartans and Arcadians, ten thousand of the latter were slain, and not one of the formerF17Diodor. Sic. l. 15. p. 383. . Stilicho killed more than an hundred thousand of the army of Rhadagaisus, king of the Goths, without losing one of his own men, no, not so much as one wounded, as Austin affirmsF18De civilate Dei, l. 5. c. 23. . At the battle of Issus the Persians lost an hundred ten thousand men, and Alexander not two hundredF19Curtius, l. 3. c. 11. . Julius Caesar killed in the three camps of Juba, Scipio, and Labienus, ten thousand men, with the loss of fifty men onlyF20Hirtius de Bello African. c. 86. . After these instances, not only the case here, but that between the Israelites and Midianites, cannot be thought incredible, for the sake of which the above are produced. This account, according to JosephusF21Antiqu. l. 7. c. 1. sect. 3. , was taken the day following.

Copyright Statement
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 2:30". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-2.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 2:30 And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel.

Ver. 30. There lacked of David’s servants, &c.] War is the slaughter house of mankind, and the hell of this present world, saith one: Mars Alpha malorum. It openeth the gates of infelicity that were shut up in times of peace. Wherefore Lactantius (a) thought it not lawful for a just man to be a warrior: whose justice was to be his warfare. Some Anabaptists also hold the same. But God is called a man of war, [Exodus 15:3] and said to have war with Amalek; [Exodus 17:16] he sendeth the sword; [Ezekiel 14:17] mustereth the men; [Isaiah 13:4] ordereth the ammunition; [Jeremiah 50:25] batheth the sword in heaven. [Isaiah 34:5] David fought his battles. [1 Samuel 25:28] Captain Cornelius, who was of the Italian band, was highly accepted in heaven. John Baptist disliked not the soldiers’ calling, but directeth them how to manage it, &c.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:30". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-2.html. 1865-1868.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

30.Nineteen men and Asahel — Whilst Abner lost three hundred and sixty men. But Abner’s army had been weakened and disheartened by the defeat at Gilboa, and perhaps by other subsequent struggles with the Philistines, whilst Joab’s men were probably all picked warriors, who had for years followed David, and taken lessons from his consummate military skill.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:30". "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 2:30. There lacked of David’s servants nineteen men — This renders it probable that the twelve men of Judah, who in the beginning of the fight engaged in combat with as many men of Benjamin, were not killed; for if they were, then there would have been no more than seven men killed in the subsequent battle; which is not likely.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:30". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-2.html. 1857.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(30) Joab returned.—He cannot be supposed to have returned that day farther than to Gibeon, since it was already sunset (2 Samuel 2:24) before the pursuit ended. There, doubtless, he mustered his forces, and counted and buried the slain.

Nineteen men.—It is uncertain whether these numbers include the twelve champion combatants on each side. The great disparity of numbers slain on the two sides is to be accounted for partly by the advantage given by bow and spear, the chief weapons of ancient warfare, to the pursuer over the pursued, and partly by the fact that Joab’s men had been long trained under David in hardship and deeds of valour, while Abner’s men were the remnants of Saul’s defeated army.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:30". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-2.html. 1905.