Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 3:26

When Joab came out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah; but David did not know it.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Accusation, False;   Homicide;   Jealousy;   Sirah;   Treachery;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Abner;   Joab;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Sirah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Sirah, the Well of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Sirah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abner;   Joab;   Sirah, the Well of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Joab ;   Sirah ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - David;   Dwelling;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Si'rah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Asahel;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Joab;   Sirah, Well of;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abner;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The well Sirah - Nowhere else mentioned; according to Josephus, about two and a half miles from Hebron.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:26". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

JOAB AND ABISHAI'S MURDER OF ABNER

"When Joab came oat from David's presence, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah; but David did not know about it. And when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him privately, and there he smote him in the belly, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. Afterward when David heard of it, he said, "I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the Lord for the blood of Abner the son of Ner. May it fall upon the head of Joab, and upon all his father's house; and may the house of Joab never be without one who has a discharge, or who is leprous, or who holds a spindle, or who is slain by the sword, or who lacks bread." So Joab and his brother Abishai slew Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle of Gibeon."

One may only pity David's helplessness in this situation. Much as was the case with Ishbosheth and Abner, David was dependent upon the man who commanded his army. The only difference was that Joab was loyal to what he believed to be the interests of the king, whereas Abner changed his loyalty to David.

The terrible curse which David invoked upon the house of Joab finally culminated in Solomon's slaughter of Joab between the horns of the altar, following Joab's backing of Adonijah to be the successor of David. Among David's last words, were those in which he admonished Solomon not to allow the gray hairs of Joab to go down to the grave in peace. The incredible damage to the entire history of Israel which resulted from this shameful assassination of Abner could hardly be overestimated. The eventual division of the kingdom in the reign of Rehoboam was due in part to the mistrust and hatred that followed this terribly unjust action of Joab and Abishai.

"They brought him (Abner) back from the cistern of Sirah" (2 Samuel 3:26). Josephus tell us that this place was located only, "Twenty furlongs from Hebron,"[26] that is, about two miles.

Abner was a very evil man and fully deserved to die for his long and bitter opposition to David at a time when he most certainly knew that he was opposing God's will, but that in no way justified the totally unjustifiable murder inflicted upon him by the evil hands of Joab and Abishai. "This evil deed brought upon David an evil name, and four or five more years had to elapse before the tribes could be induced to take him as their king."[27]

"One who has a discharge, or who is leprous, or who holds a spindle, or who is slain by the sword, or who lacks bread" (2 Samuel 3:29) The five curses here invoked by David upon the head of Joab and upon his father's house were itemized by Willis as: "(1) gonorrhea; (2) leprosy; (3) effeminacy; (4) untimely death; and (5) hunger."[28]

David did not content himself with this imprecation against Joab; he also took further action against Joab. "During the intervening years, Joab was deprived of his office, which he regained only by an act of daring bravery (1 Chronicles 11:6)."[29]

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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 3:26". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And when Joab was come out from David,.... Which perhaps he did at once, as soon as ever he had spoken his mind, and flew out of the room in a great passion, not waiting for the king's answer, since we read of none returned; though it may be the king disdained to give him one, or cared not to confer with him while in his passion, until it subsided; or chose not to provoke him more, for it is plain he had great power over him; which generals of armies at this time very much assumed, see 2 Samuel 3:39;

he sent messengers after Abner; in the name of the king, as Abarbinel rightly supposes, and so JosephusF6Antiqu. l. 7. c. 1. sect. 5. ; for otherwise it can hardly be thought he would have returned on a message from Joab only, who he knew bore him ill will:

which brought him again from the well of Sirah; which might have its name from the thorns and briers that grew about it. JosephusF7Ibid. calls it Besira, and says it was twenty furlongs or two and an half miles from Hebron:

but David knew it not; that Joab had sent messengers in his name after Abner to fetch him back; it was not done by his order, with his consent or knowledge; this is observed, to clear David from any concern in the death of Abner, as follows.

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 3:26". "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 3:26 And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but David knew [it] not.

Ver. 26. And when Joab was come out from David] In a great heat, flinging out from his presence: as did likewise Robert, Earl of Essex, once from Queen Elizabeth; who followed him at the heels, and fetched him again with a cuff on the ear. (a) But so durst not David deal by General Joab.

He sent messengers.] In the king’s name, saith Josephus.

From the well of Sirah.] The Vulgate hath it, the cistern Syra; Tremellius, the cistern of Sisera. But Piscator thinketh that Sisera was there mendose scripture pro Sira, the fault of the scribe, for Sira writing Sisera.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:26". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-3.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He sent messengers after Abner, in the king’s name, and upon pretence of some further communication with him.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:26". 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

26.Well of Sirah — Evidently a place well known at the time of the writer, and apparently on the northern road from Hebron. There is said to be a spring and reservoir called Ain Sara on this road about a mile north of Hebron, and this would seem still to mark the ancient spot — GROVE, in Smith’s Dictionary.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:26". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-3.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Messengers, in the king's name. --- Sira. See Judges iii. 26. Josephus says the place was 20 stadia from Hebron. (Antiquities vii. 1.)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:26". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

blood. Hebrew = bloods. Figure of speech Heterosis (of Number) = much or noble blood. (App-6).

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:26". "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

(26) Sent messengers after Abner.—Whether this was done in his own or in David’s name (though without his knowledge) does not appear, but in either case Abner would readily suppose that the coming of Joab had made further conference desirable. His entire confidence in David is shown by his unsuspecting return.

The well of Sirah.—The only knowledge of this locality is from the testimony of Josephus (Antt. vii. 1, 5), that it was twenty stadia (two and a half miles) from Hebron; and there is still a spring and reservoir called Ain Sareh, rather more than a mile north of the town. If this is correct, Abner must have just left David when Joab arrived.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:26". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not.
he sent
Proverbs 26:23-26; 27:4-6
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 2:32 - my father

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:26". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-3.html.