Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 3:34

"Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put in fetters; As one falls before the wicked, you have fallen." And all the people wept again over him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abner;   Elegy;   Mourning;   Poetry;   Tact;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Burial;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - David;   Funeral;   Joab;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Funeral;   Psalms, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Chain;   Lamentation;   Mourn;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - David;   King;   Lamentations;   Samuel, the Books of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Poetry;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abner;   Mourning Customs;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Fetters;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Abner;   David;   Dwelling;   Samuel first and second books of;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ab'ner;   Chain;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Justice;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bible, the;   Chain;   Punishments;   Son;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abner;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Cruelty;   Fetters;   Samuel, Books of;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Thy hands were not bound … - This thought prepares the way for the solution; Abner had been treacherously murdered by wicked men.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-3.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 3:34

Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters.

The moral of affliction

I. What there is in the text expressive of afflictive scenes.

1. Let us observe, that the text contains the speech, which was made at the grave of a very respectable person.

2. The next thing observable in the text, is the manner of describing a death, that was brought about by the most execrable villany.

3. The text concludes with assuring us, that the concern for such a death, of such a person, was deep and universal.

II. What useful lessons such a scene of affliction hath a more peculiar tendency to inculcate upon us.

1. It should more deeply convince us, that sin is the worst and greatest of all evils.

2. This scene of affliction may lead us to reflect on the vanity, which attends human life, even in its most prosperous state. Let Ira, on this occasion, thankfully acknowledge our obligations to Divine Providence, for the continuance of our lives and comforts. (B. Fawcett, M. A.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 3:34". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-samuel-3.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters,.... As malefactors are when they are taken up for any crime, and especially when proved upon them, and condemned for it, and brought forth to be executed. This was not his case, and had he been aware of the design against him, as his hands and feet were at liberty, he might have defended himself; or if he found he had too many to deal with, might have made use of his feet and fled:

as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou; as a man being before bloodthirsty and deceitful men, falls before them, through treachery and deceit, privately and unawares, so fell Abner before Joab and Abishai; this David said in the presence of Joab, and before all the people, to declare the plain fact how it was, to express his detestation of it, and to show he had no hand in it; and Joab must be an hardened creature to stand at the grave of Abner, and hear all this, and not be affected with it:

and all the people wept again over him; over Abner, being laid in his grave; they had wept before, but hearing this funeral oration delivered by the king in such moving language, and in such a mournful tone, it drew tears afresh from them.

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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 3:34". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-3.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him.

Not bound — Thou didst not tamely yield up thyself to Joab, to be bound hand and foot at his pleasure. Joab did not overcome thee in an equal combat, nor durst he attempt thee in that way, as a general or soldier of any worth would have done.

Wicked men — By the hands of froward, or perverse, or crooked men, by hypocrisy and perfidiousness, whereby the vilest coward may kill the most valiant person.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-3.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 3:34 Thy hands [were] not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, [so] fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him.

Ver. 34. Thy hands were not bound.] As one either conquered or condemned. Hadst thou not been treacherously surprised and assassinated, manibus pedibusque obnixe omnia fecisses, thou wouldst have made thy party good with the stoutest he, and have stood with Joab in a trial of manhood.

So fellest thou.] Before this wicked Joab. And this perhaps was the elegy appointed to be sung at Abner’s funeral, to the reproach of Joab, whom David durst not as yet otherwise punish: but that he deferred it so long, when he had power in his hand, was an oversight.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". 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

Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters; thou didst not tamely yield up thyself to Joab, as his prisoner, to be bound hand and foot, at his pleasure. Joab did not overcome thee generously and honourably in an equal combat, nor durst he attempt thee in that way, as a general or soldier of any worth would have done.

Before wicked men; or, before, i. e. in the presence or by the hands of froward, or perverse, or crooked men, by hypocrisy and perfidiousness, whereby the vilest coward may kill the most valiant person. Thus he reproached Joab to his very face, before all the people; which was a great evidence of his own innocency herein; because otherwise Joab, being so powerful, and proud, and petulant to his sovereign, would never have taken the shame and blame of it wholly to himself, as he did.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". 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

34.Thy hands’ not bound — Thou wast not delivered up to death bound hand and foot, like a convicted malefactor, for thou wast guilty of no crime that called for such penalty. Some think that here is an allusion to a custom of delivering up, bound hand and foot, to the avenger of blood, the person who had fled for safety to one of the cities of refuge.

Numbers 35:6.

As a man falleth before wicked men — The victim of jealous and desperate passions.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-3.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Iniquity. David does not spare Joab, in this canticle, which was sung by all the people. (Calmet) --- He intimates, that if he had not used deceit, Abner would not have been so easily overcome. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

not bound: i.e. as a malefactor. Compare 1 Samuel 25:25, 1 Samuel 25:26.

fetters. Hebrew = brass, put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause) for fetters made of it. App-6.

wicked men = "sons of `avlah". App-44.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". "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

(34) Thy hands were not bound.—The people were moved greatly by the sight of David’s sorrow, but still more by this brief elegy over Abner. The whole circumstances are summed up in a few pregnant words: Abner, so valiant in war, with his hands free for defence, with his feet unfettered, unsuspicious of evil, fell by the treacherous act of a wicked man.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him.
hands
The hand of malefactors were usually secured with cords, and their feet with fetters; a custom to which David affectingly alludes in his lamentation over the dust of Abner. Thy hands, O Abner, were not bound, as found to be a malefactor, nor thy feet put in fetters; thou was treated with honour by him whose business it was to judge thee, and thy attachment to the house of Saul was esteemed rather generous than culpable: as the best of men may fall, so thou fellest by the sword of treachery, not of justice.
Judges 16:21; Psalms 107:10,11
wicked men
Heb. children of iniquity.
Job 24:14; Hosea 6:9
wept
1:12
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 11:21 - Thy servant;  2 Samuel 14:19 - of Joab;  Ezekiel 32:16 - General

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 3:34". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-3.html.