Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 3:13

He said, "Good! I will make a covenant with you, but I demand one thing of you, namely, you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see me."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abner;   Conspiracy;   Michal;   Treason;   Thompson Chain Reference - Michal;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Michal;   Talmai;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Michal;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Evil;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Michal;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Benjamin;   David;   Ishbosheth;   Jerusalem;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ishbosheth ;   Michal ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - David;   Dwelling;   Michal;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Mi'chal;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Covenant, in the Old Testament;   Joab;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abner;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Covenant;   Michal;   Rizpah;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Except thou first bring Michal - David had already six wives at Hebron; and none of them could have such pretensions to legitimacy as Michal, who had been taken away from him and married to Phaltiel. However distressing it was to take her from a husband who loved her most tenderly, (see 2 Samuel 3:16;), yet prudence and policy required that he should strengthen his own interest in the kingdom as much as possible; and that he should not leave a princess in the possession of a man who might, in her right, have made pretensions to the throne. Besides, she was his own lawful wife, and he had a right to demand her when he pleased.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

David‘s motive in requiring the restitution of Michal was partly his affection for her, and his memory of her love for him; partly the wish to wipe out the affront put upon him in taking away his wife, by obtaining her return; and partly, also, a politic consideration of the effect on Saul‘s partisans of a daughter of Saul being David‘s queen.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-3.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he said, well, I will make a league with thee,.... He accepted of the offer, he was ready and willing to enter into a covenant of friendship with him, and forgive all past offences:

but one thing I require of thee; as the condition of this covenant:

that is, thou shall not see my face; be admitted into my presence, or have any mark of my favour and respect:

except thou first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face; he insisted on it that Michal, Saul's daughter, and his wife, should be brought along with him, and presented to him; this was the preliminary to the league and covenant; if this was not complied with, the proposal would not be attended to. This shows the great affection David retained for his first wife, though he had had six since, see 2 Samuel 3:2, and though she had lived with another man, 1 Samuel 25:44; as also his great regard to the honour of Saul's family, that one of them might share with him in the grandeur of the kingdom; though this also might be a piece of policy in him, to gain the friends of Saul's family to 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 3:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-3.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 3:13 And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul’s daughter, when thou comest to see my face.

Ver. 13. Except thou first bring Michal.] David’s first love, and rightful wife; though wrongfully she had been detained from him, against her will haply, by the authority and importunity of her father. God seemeth to say the same to us concerning our hearts, so long held from him by the devil.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 3:13. One thing I require David did right in making this stipulation; for, whatever may be said of his other wives, he had certainly a claim to this, as she was his first wife, and a king's daughter: and there was something of true generosity in this, both to her and to Saul, in that he received her after she had been another man's, remembering how once she loved him; knowing, probably, that she was without her consent separated from him, and to shew that he did not carry his resentment of Saul's cruel and unjust persecutions of him to any of his family; whereas many princes, for much less provocations of a wife's father, would have turned off their consorts, in revenge of them; and even put them to death for having been married to another. Chandler. Mr. Bayle considers it as cruelty in David to ravish Michal from a husband who loved her so well; see 2 Samuel 3:16.; that is, Mr. Bayle thinks it a great cruelty in David to disturb Phaltiel in an adultery which was agreeable to him, and to restore Michal to her only husband, the husband of her affection and her choice, for whom she had so much tenderness as to save his life at the hazard of her own. Phaltiel certainly is no proper object of pity; and yet his distress upon this occasion as one of the finest pictures of silent grief that any history has left us. Conscious that he had no right to complain, or molest Michal with his lamentations, he follows her at a distance, with a distress silent and self-confined, going and weeping behind her. However such fine paintings of nature pass unregarded in the sacred writings, I am satisfied that in Homer we should survey this with delight. The Jewish rabbies are unanimously of opinion, that Phaltiel was a strictly religious man, and had no nuptial commerce with Michal. Note; Polygamy had long received sanction from prevailing custom; but it is in itself evil, and no custom or authority can consecrate a bad practice. And could David, indeed, have foreseen how his children would have turned out, it would have abated his joy at their birth; for three of them at least lived to give him many a bitter pang. So often do we find our scourges in that wherein we promised ourselves the greatest comfort.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-3.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I will make a league with thee, to wit, upon thy terms; which, all circumstances considered, seems to be lawful, to prevent the great effusion of Israelitish blood, which otherwise would certainly have been split. And although the principle of this action of Abner’s was base and wicked, yet the action itself was lawful and commendable, and no more than his duty to God and David obliged him to; and therefore David might well persuade and induce him to it.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-3.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13.First bring Michal — She was his own proper wife, and he had a right to demand her. With her restored to him he would stand before the nation as the son in law of Saul. “No doubt it was of great importance to David, on every account, to maintain this matrimonial connexion with the house of Saul as long as possible, in order to preserve the sort of claim to the succession which his alliance gave him; but an additional motive, which urged him to demand her restoration, was the prudential desire of possessing in her a pledge against possible treachery on Abner’s side.” — Ewald.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-3.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 3:13. And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee — David agreed to enter into a treaty with him, but upon condition that he procured the restitution of Michal his wife. Hereby David both showed the sincerity of his conjugal affection to his first and most rightful wife, from whom neither her nor his marrying another had alienated it, and also testified his respect to the house of Saul. “David did right in making this stipulation; for, whatever may be said of his other wives, he had certainly a claim to this, as she was his first wife, and a king’s daughter. And there was something of true generosity in this, both to her and to Saul, in that he received her after she had been another man’s, remembering how once she loved him, and knowing, probably, that she was, without her consent, separated from him; and to show that he did not carry his resentment of Saul’s cruel and unjust persecutions of him to any of his family; whereas many princes, for much less provocation of a wife’s father, would have turned off their consorts, in revenge of them, and even put them to death for having been married to another.” — Chandler.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-3.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Thee. Could David thus authorize treachery? It is answered, that Abner knew that the throne belonged to him, and he was already responsible for all the evils of the civil war. David does not approve of his conduct, but only makes use of him to obtain his right. --- Michol. He might justly think that the people would have less repugnance to acknowledge him for their sovereign, when they saw that he had married the daughter of Saul. she had never been repudiated by him. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Well = Good!

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-3.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) Except thou first bring Michal.—David consents to negotiate with Abner only on condition of the previous restoration of his lawful wife. Besides the justice of this demand (Michal having been wrongfully taken from him by Saul), and besides all question of affection towards one who had loved him and saved his life (1 Samuel 18:20; 1 Samuel 19:11-17), there were political reasons of importance for the demand. The demand itself showed to all Israel that he bore no malice against the house of Saul, and the restoration would again constitute him Saul’s son-in-law, and thus further his claims to the throne; while it also showed publicly that he was in a condition to enforce his rights as against the house of Saul.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face.
that is
Heb. saying. Thou shalt.
Genesis 43:3; 44:23,26
except
As Michal was not divorced, but violently separated from David, he had a legal right to demand her, and was justified in receiving her again. It is probable, also, that her marriage with Phaltiel was a force upon her inclinations; and whatever affections he might have for her, it was highly criminal for him to take another man's wife. David required Michal probably both out of affection for her, and to strengthen his interest, by asserting his affinity with the house of Saul.
Michal
20-23; 1 Samuel 18:20-28; 19:11-17; 1 Chronicles 15:29
Reciprocal: Genesis 33:10 - I have seen;  1 Samuel 14:49 - name of the firstborn;  2 Samuel 14:24 - let him not

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-3.html.