Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 2:8

But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abner;   Armies;   Hebron;   Ish-Bosheth;   Israel;   Judah;   Mahanaim;   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ish-Bosheth;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Armies of Israel, the;   Benjamin, Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Abner;   Ishbosheth;   Mahanaim;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Abner;   David;   Ephraim;   Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Eshbaal;   Mahanaim;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   Gilead;   Ishbosheth;   Jerubbaal;   Jonathan;   Mahanaim;   Sheba (1);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abner;   Esh-Baal;   Gilead;   Ish-Bosheth;   Lo-Debar;   Mahanaim;   Ner;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abner;   Mahanaim;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Abner ;   Ishbosheth ;   Mahanaim ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Ishbosheth;   Joab;   Mahanaim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Hebron;   Ish-bosheth;   Mahanaim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Mahana'im,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Eshbaal;   Ishbosheth;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - David;   Ephraim (1);   Gad (1);   God, Names of;   Ish-Bosheth;   Jerubbesheth;   Joab;   Mahanaim;   Ner;   Samuel, Books of;   Saul;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Benjamin;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abner;   Benjamin;   Gad;   Ish-Bosheth;   Jezreel;   King;   Mahanaim;   Names of God;   Rehoboam;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Abner the son of Ner - This man had long been one of the chief captains of Saul's army, and commander-in-chief on several occasions; he was probably envious of David's power, by whom he had often been out-generalled in the field.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Mahanaim - See Genesis 32:2. From 2 Samuel 2:12 it would seem to have been Ish-bosheth‘s capital.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-2.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 2:8

Ishbosheth.

Isbosheth and Abner

Saul's son was a poor, weak creature, who would never have thought of resisting David but for the stronger will behind him. To be weak is, in this world full of tempters, to drift into being wicked. We have to learn betimes to say “No,” and to stick to it. Moral weakness attracts tempters as surely as a camel fallen by the caravan track draws vultures from every corner of the sky. The fierce soldier who fought for his own hand while professing to be moved by loyalty to the dead king, may stand as a type of the self-deception with which we gloss over our ugliest selfishness with fine names, and for an instance of the madness which leads men to set themselves against God's plans, and therefore to be dashed in pieces, as some slim barrier reared across the track of a train would be. To “rush against the thick bosses of the Almighty's buckler” does no harm to the buckler, but kills the insane assailant. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 2:8". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-samuel-2.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

ABNER ELEVATED ISHBOSHETH TO THE KINGSHIP

"Now Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, had taken Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; and he made him king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreel and Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. Ishbosheth, Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months."

"Abner ... took ... Saul's son ... brought him over to Mahanaim ... made him king ... over all Israel" (2 Samuel 2:8-9). Following the death of Saul, Abner was by far the most powerful man in Northern Israel, and it could have been nothing less than his sinful and disobedient heart that led him into this open defiance of what he certainly knew to be the will of God, namely, that David was God's choice to succeed Saul, a fact which even Saul himself knew.

"Ishbosheth reigned two years" (2 Samuel 2:10). Some of the commentaries we have consulted are preoccupied with what is called difficulties in the chronology here. It is well known that David did not become king over all Israel until after the death of Ishbosheth, a full seven and one half years after his moving to Hebron. So why is it said that Ishbosheth reigned only two years?

We fail to see any problem. Abner was the only person in Northern Israel with any real power. He was probably an uncle of King Saul (1 Chronicles 8:33) and was in full command of Saul's army following the king's death. Ishboshesh (actually Eshbaal in 1 Chronicles 8:33) was evidently incompetent for some reason, because otherwise he would have perished fighting beside his father as did Jonathan. Jamieson believed that incompetence was due to "his imbecility."[6] Abner's proclaiming him "king" was only a ploy on Abner's part, who almost certainly intended to seize the kingship himself. The proof of this is his taking one of the concubines of Ishbosheth.

Therefore, when we read that "Ishbosheth reigned two years," the only satisfactory explanation is that Abner took complete control after two years. Some of the older commentators understood this perfectly as, for example, did Adam Clarke. "Some think that Abner in effect reigned the last five years of Ishbosheth, who had only the name of king after the first two years."[7] Another possible explanation of this is that offered by Haley: "Ewald and Keil maintain that after Saul's death, five years were spent in warfare against the Philistines, before Ishbosheth was anointed king over Israel."[8] This, of course, might very well have been true; however, we believe Clarke's explanation is the better one.

"The time that David was king in Hebron ... seven years and six months" (2 Samuel 2:11). "The length of David's reign in Hebron as given here coincides with the data in 2 Samuel 5:5, and we have no reason to doubt its correctness."[9]

We have noted that the original name of Ishbosheth was Eshbaal. Young notes that, "Hebrew names were often compounded with `Baal,' that of the old Canaanite god of fertility. But since the word was peculiarly associated with the low standards of Canaanite sex morality and baseness in worship, this practice was discontinued. Later copyists of the O.T. substituted the word [~bosheth], which means `shame' in those names where `Baal' had been used."[10]

R. P. Smith attempted to justify the use of "Baal" as a suitable compound for personal names in the times of Saul, stating that, "At that time, Baal was not the specific name of any idol, but meant simply "lord" or "master."[11] We do not accept that opinion as correct because of Numbers 25:1-5. which proves that even during the wilderness wanderings of Israel, Baal was indeed the name of a specific idol, namely, the one worshipped in Peor. There can be little doubt that "Baal" in the original name of Saul's son Eshbaal was a reference to the Canaanite sex god, but that does not mean that Saul honored Baal instead of Jehovah. Keil gave the meaning of Eshbaal as "`The fire of Baal,' which has the equivalent meaning of, `the destroyer of Baal.'"[12]

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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 2:8". "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

But Abner, the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host,.... This man's father, Ner, was Saul's uncle, 1 Samuel 14:50, and he was his own cousin, and being general of his army, a post he was willing to keep, might be the reasons for doing what he did, as follows:

took Ishbosheth the son of Saul; and who seems to be his only son left, except what he had by his concubine. This man's name is Eshbaal in 1 Chronicles 8:33. Baal is the name of a shameful idol, and which was therefore sometimes called Bosheth, "shame". See Hosea 9:10; wherefore such names of men, which had Baal in them, were changed for Besheth or Bosheth, as the names of Jerubbaal and Meribbaal, who were called Jerubbesheth and Mephibosheth. See Judges 8:35; compared with 2 Samuel 11:21, and 2 Samuel 4:4 with 1 Chronicles 8:34. The latter of these, a son of Jonathan, bid fairest for the crown by lineal succession, but he being but five years of age, and lame, this man Abner judged fittest for his purpose; and though he knew it was the will of God, and he had sworn that David should be king, yet so blind and obstinate was his ambition, that he set up another against him:

and brought him over to Mahanaim; a city on the other side Jordan, in the tribe of Gad, on the border of the half tribe of Manasseh; see Joshua 13:26; and hither Abner had Ishbosheth, partly to keep the men of Jabeshgilead in awe, to whom David had sent messengers, acquainting them with his being king of Judah, and prevent their joining with him; and partly that he might be at a proper distance both from the Philistines and from David, till he could form his measures, and gradually carry his point, as he did.

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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 2:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-2.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;

Abner — Tho' ambition and desire of rule, because he knew that Ishbosheth would have only the name of king, whilst he had the power.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-2.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Abner

(See Scofield "Judges 8:1")

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 2 Samuel 2:8". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/2-samuel-2.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 2:8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;

Ver. 8. But Abner the son of Ner.] An ambitionist and an atheist; for he went against God’s express command, and the light of his own conscience, [2 Samuel 3:9] to bring about his own designs, and to keep himself in the saddle; but it turned to his own ruin, and his master’s also: so vain a thing is it to strive against God. But "all men have not faith," and are therefore "unreasonable and wicked." [2 Thessalonians 3:2]

Took Ishbosheth.] Passing by Mephibosheth, the rightful heir, because young and lame, he setteth up Ishbosheth, a weak, unworthy man: as thinking to rule all under him, using him as a stale, or stalking horse: whence, [2 Samuel 3:6] not Ishbosheth but Abner is said to have made himself strong for the house of Saul.

And brought him over to Mahanaim.] Which was beyond Jordan, and not far from Jabeshgilead: which town David had so courted, and Abner therefore might be jealous of, and would thus overawe.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". 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 2:8. Abner, the son of Ner Abner was Saul's general, and near kinsman. Interest and ambition, therefore, and it may be envy too, strongly swayed him against his duty; for it appears sufficiently from the sequel of his history, that he was well acquainted with David's divine designation to the throne. But should he now submit to it, he must no more hope for the supreme command of the army, of which Joab was in possession, and well deserved to be so, as he was a tried friend and near kinsman of David. Nor was this all: Ish-bosheth was Abner's near kinsman, the interest of whose tribe and family was connected with his own. Add to all this, that Abner commanded under Saul in all the expeditions that he made against David; and it appears sufficiently clear from the history, that David was greatly an over-match for him in all military conduct. Thus envy, ambition, interest, and personal pique, led him to espouse the cause of Ish-bosheth, whom he brought over Jordan with him to Mahanaim; a city in the tribe of Gad, (see Genesis 32:2.) which he chose for his residence, the better to gain that part of the country to his interest, to be more out of the reach of David's and the Philistines' incursions, and to have the better opportunity of recruiting his army among a people not only brave and courageous, but very well affected to the cause that he had espoused.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". 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

Partly out of envy and malice against David; and partly out of his own ambition and desire of rule, because he knew that Ish-bosheth would have only the name of king, whilst he had the power.

Ish-bosheth, called also Esh-baal, 1 Chronicles 8:33 9:39; it being usual with the Hebrews, instead of Baal, the name of false gods, to put Bosheth, which signifies shame, or confusion, or a shameful thing; as appeareth by comparing Jude 9:53, with 2 Samuel 11:21; and 2 Samuel 4:4, with 1 Chronicles 8:31; and from Jeremiah 3:21 Hosea 9:10.

Mahanaim; a place beyond Jordan, whither he carried him; partly to secure those brave and valiant men of Jabesh-gilead to himself; and principally because this place was most remote from David, and from the Philistines too; and therefore here he might recruit his forces with less disturbance than in other places.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". 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

8.Captain of Saul’s host — Abner’s position and influence in the army rendered it meet for him, at the present emergency, to look after the interests of the family of his fallen king. His action in making Ishbosheth king may have been hastened by this message of David to the men of Jabesh-gilead.

Ishbosheth — Called also Eshbaal. 1 Chronicles 8:33. He was the fourth and only surviving son of Saul

Mahanaim — A place of importance on the east side of the Jordan, probably at the modern Mahneh, but its site has not been satisfactorily determined. See on Genesis 32:2, and Joshua 13:26. The reason of Abner’s anointing Ishbosheth king in one of the cities east of the Jordan was, because the chief cities of the west were now in the hands of Philistines, and Mahanaim was especially appropriate from its sacred associations.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". "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 2:8. Abner took Ish-bosheth — Abner was not only Saul’s general, but his near kinsman also, and in this instance his interest and ambition, and perhaps also envy, strongly influenced him. He knew that Ish-bosheth, if advanced to the sovereignty, would only have the name of a king, while he himself had the power. It appears, however, sufficiently from the sequel of his history, that he was well acquainted with David’s divine designation to the throne; but should he now submit to it he must no more hope for the chief command of the army. Joab was in possession of that under David, and well deserved to be so; and it was not probable he would displace him, a tried friend and a near kinsman, (being the son of Zeruiah, David’s sister,) to make way for an inveterate enemy newly reconciled. Nor was this all; Ish-bosheth was Abner’s near kinsman; whom, if he did not support, the interest of his tribe and of his family must fall with his own. Add to all this, that Abner commanded under Saul in all the expeditions he made against David; and it appears sufficiently from the history that David was greatly an over-match for him in all military conduct. Thus envy, ambition, interest, and personal pique led him to espouse the cause of Ish- bosheth, whom he brought over Jordan with him to Mahanaim, a place in the tribe of Gad, (Joshua 13:26,) which he chose for his residence, the better to gain that part of the country to his interest, to be more out of the reach of David’s and the Philistines’ incursions, and to have the better opportunity of recruiting his army among a people not only brave and courageous, but well affected to the cause he had espoused. See Delaney.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-2.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Camp. Hebrew Machanayim, which many take for a proper name (Calmet) of the town, on the river Jabok, where Jacob had encamped, Genesis xxxii. 2. (Haydock) --- Abner was aware that he should not retain his authority under David, and therefore conducted Isboseth to the camps in various places, (Menochius) but chiefly on the east side of the Jordan, (Haydock; ver. 29.) where the people were particularly attached to Saul's family. Isboseth seems to have been a fit tool for his purpose.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Ish-bosheth = man of shame: i.e. the idol "Baal". In 1 Chronicles 8:33 = Esh-baal.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". "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

But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;

Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth. Here was the establishment of a rival kingdom, which, however, would probably have had no existence but for Abner. "Ish-bosheth" - or Esh-baal

(i:e., man of Baal), 1 Chronicles 8:33; 1 Chronicles 9:39. The Hebrews usually changed names ending with Baal into Bosheth (shame): cf. Judges 9:53 with 2 Samuel 11:11. This prince, being not mentioned with the other sons of Saul (1 Samuel 14:40), was probably not born until his father had violated his duty as a theocratic king, and the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him, (1 Samuel 15:1-35.) Esh-baal was the proper name of this young son, while Ish-bosheth (man of shame) was a popular nickname, most probably applied to him, as bosheth, shame, abomination, is uniformly in the sacred writings, with reference to the idol after whom he was called (cf. Judges 6:32 with 2 Samuel 11:21). The name of this son seems to warrant the inference that Saul became in his latter days an unhappy apostate to the worship of Baal (see the note at 1 Chronicles 8:34). "Abner" was first cousin of Saul, commander of the forces, and held in high respect throughout the country. Loyalty to the house of his late master was mixed up with opposition to David, and views of personal ambition in his originating this factious movement. He, too, was alive to the importance of securing the Eastern tribes; so, taking Ish-bosheth across the Jordan, he proclaimed him king at Mahanaim, a town on the north bank of the Jabbok, hallowed in patriarchal times by the divine presence (Genesis 32:2). There he rallied the tribes round the standard of the unfortunate son of Saul; and he judged rightly that the interests of the Sauline dynasty would be strongest in the region east of the Jordan.

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

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) But Abner the son of Ner.—According to 1 Chronicles 9:36, Ner was the brother of Kish, Saul’s father. Abner was therefore the cousin-german of Saul, and had been made by him the commander in chief of his army (1 Samuel 14:51). He was thus, both by kindred and office, strongly attached to the house of Saul. He had been with Saul in his pursuit of David, and may have resented David’s address to him on that occasion (1 Samuel 26:14-16). There is no statement of the time that had elapsed after the death of Saul before Ish-bosheth was set up as king by Abner, but it was probably four or five years, for the following reasons: Ish-bosheth reigned only two years (2 Samuel 2:10), but David appears to have been acknowledged as king over all Israel soon after his death, and had then reigned over Judah alone seven and a half years. Again, at the death of Saul all the northern part of the country was under the control of the Philistines, and some time must have elapsed before the Israelites would have been in condition to make themselves a new king; and, finally, Ish-bosheth was the youngest of Saul’s sons, born apparently some time after he came to the throne, and he was now forty years old (2 Samuel 2:10), Saul himself having reigned about forty years (Acts 13:21).

Ish-bosheth.—Called in 1 Chronicles 8:33; 1 Chronicles 9:39, “Eshbaal” (the fire of Baal), just as his nephew, Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 4:4), is called in the same places Meribaal, and Gideon’s surname Jerubbaal (Judges 6:32; Judges 8:35) is changed to Jerubbesheth (2 Samuel 11:21). These names compounded with Baal may have been originally given, as certainly was the case with Jerubbaal, in consequence of the manful opposition to idolatry of those who bore them, and have been subsequently changed to a compound with “bosheth” (shame), in view of the sequel of their histories; or, on the other hand, in the case of Saul’s family the compound with Baal may have been a later name, given in view of their opposition to the divinely appointed king, and to mark God’s utter rejection of the house of Saul.

Mahanaim, famous in the story of Jacob (Genesis 32:2), was on the east of the Jordan, and not far from the brook Jabbok. A Levitical city (Joshua 21:38), in comparative safety from the Philistines, was well chosen by Abner for the coronation and residence of his new king. Mahanaim afterwards became the place of refuge for David in his flight from Absalom (2 Samuel 17:24). The expression “brought him over” refers to the crossing of the Jordan.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
Abner
1 Samuel 14:50; 17:55; 26:14
Saul's host
Heb. the host which was Saul's. Ish-bosheth.
3:7,8; 4:5,6; 1 Chronicles 8:33; 9:39
Esh-baal
Mahanaim.
17:26,27; Genesis 32:2
Reciprocal: Joshua 13:26 - Mahanaim;  1 Samuel 26:5 - Abner;  2 Samuel 3:6 - Abner;  2 Samuel 3:38 - a prince;  2 Samuel 17:24 - Mahanaim;  1 Kings 4:14 - Mahanaim;  2 Kings 10:3 - Look even;  1 Chronicles 12:29 - the greatest part of them;  Psalm 60:2 - broken;  Psalm 60:6 - divide;  Psalm 108:8 - Gilead

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". "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

"But Abner the son of Ner."2 Samuel 2:8.

Eccentric men there will always be in society. The word "But" marks Abner as taking a course of his own, and doing that which was pleasing in his own sight. He did not take the common course. Whilst David was being made king at Hebron, Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul"s host, took Ish-bosheth and made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. The local limitations of the text are evident, but the moral suggestion is applicable to a large sphere of life. Eccentricity is not always to be blamed. There are some great enough, or small enough, to differ from everybody; they must always have their own course, their own idea, their own way of doing things. Let all workers go on together or separately, as may appear best to them, always remembering, however, that the judgment is at the end, and that the judgment is with God. Sometimes eccentricity is a great blessing in the Church; it destroys monotony, it stimulates inquiry, it rebukes the spirit of infallibility. In the end we shall know who is right and who is wrong. Much time is often wasted by those who differ from the general judgment, and yet that time, though lost, may not be wholly wasted. The majority should sometimes think of its own fallibility. Men are not necessarily right simply because they are parts of an overwhelming multitude. Sometimes the solitary thinker is entrusted with divine stewardship. Often, indeed, the minority has been right in history, and the majority has been wrong. Men should not be eccentric merely for the sake of singularity. That would be mere frivolity, sheer folly, and would end in mischief and disaster. No individual conscience contains the whole sense of righteousness. Conscience, like reason, is the better for friction. There is a quality of righteousness, there is a quality of Wisdom of Solomon, there is a quality of strength,—and this quality can only be realised by intercommunion, by frank and generous interchange of thought and feeling.

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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 2:8". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/2-samuel-2.html. 1885-95.