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I Sam. 31. 13,

sons of valour.

CHAPTER II.-(1) And it came to a 1 Mac. 2. 57.! o the men of Jabesh-gilead were they pass after this, that David enquired of

that buried Saul. (5) And David sent the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any

messengers unto the men of Jabeshof the cities of Judah ? And the LORD

gilead, and said unto them, Blessed be said unto him, Go up. And David said,

ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed Whither shall I go up? And he said,

this kindness unto your lord, even unto Unto Hebron. (2) So David went up

Saul, and have buried him.

(6) And thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam 1 vel., be ye the now the LORD shew kindness and truth the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's

unto you: and I also will requite you wife the Carmelite. (3) And his men

this kindness, because ye have done this that were with him did David bring up,

thing. (7) Therefore now let your hands every man with his household: and they

be strengthened, and I be ye valiant : for dwelt in the cities of Hebron. (4) a And

your master Saul is dead, and also the the men of Judah came, and there they

house of Judah have anointed me king anointed David king over the house of

over them. Judah.

(8) But Abner the son of Ner, captain And they told David, saying, That which was sau's. of ? Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth the

B.C.

cir. 1065.

2 Heb. the host

ai namo They anointed David.–The first private

II.

far south, and its strategical strength, as well as its By the death of Saul, David was now left as the

sacred associations, was à peculiarly fitting place for anointed king of Israel. This chapter narrates the first

the beginning of David's reign. steps he took towards securing the throne, and the op

(2) His two wives.-See 1 Sam. XXV. 42, 43. position made to him by the adherents of the house of

(3) Dwelt in the cities of Hebron.-David's Saul. At first thought it may seem surprising that no

whole force of 600 men, with their families, accom. invitation to assume the vacant throne should have panied him, and made their permanent settlement in come to David from his countrymen, by whom he had

the towns of the district to which Hebron gave its been formerly so greatly beloved and admired; but it must be remembered that for several years he had been secluded from their observation, living among

anointing of David (1 Sam. xvi.) had been in token of their hereditary foes on friendly terms, and that the

his Divine commission ; this was a sign of his recogni. last news of him probably was his marching with the

tion as king by the tribe of Judah ; and there was still Philistines to the disastrous battle of Gilboa. As yet

a third subsequent anointing (chap. v. 4), when he was he had had no opportunity to place these things in

accepted by all Israel. Comp. Saul's anointing by their true light before his people.

Samuel privately (1 Sam. x. 1), and his subsequent

double recognition as king by the people (1 Sam. x. 24; (1) Enquired of the Lord.- At this important xi. 15). The "men of Judah” were not only of David's juncture of affairs, David's first care is to know the tribe, but were doubtless aware of his having been Divine will. His inquiry was, doubtless, made through divinely selected for their future king, and, for the the high priest Abiathår, as in 1 Sam. xxiii. 9, 10 most part, had been on friendly terms with him during (comp. chaps. xxii. 20; xxiii. 1, 4). The answer de- his long ontlawry; they had also lately received prefinitely directed him to go up to Hebron.

sents from him in recognition of their kindness (1 Sam. Hebron is one of the most ancient cities of the XXX. 26–31). world (built “ seven years before Zoan in Egypt,”Num. The men of Jabesh-gilead. - This town had xii. 22), long the residence of Abraham (Gen. xiii. 18), been destroyed in the civil war against the tribe of and the place where he and Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, were Benjamin (Judges xxi. 9—12), and its 400 virgins buried.

Its original name was Kirjath-arba (Gen. given in marriage to the surviving Benjamites. There Ixiii. 2; Josh. xiv. 15, &c.). It is situated in a valley was therefore a special connection between Saul, who among the hills of Southern Judea, at a height of was of the tribe of Benjamin, and this city. It is nearly 3,000 feet above the Mediterranean. It is about altogether probable also that the remnants of Saul's twenty miles S.S.W. from Jerusalem, somewhat more defeated army had sought refuge in Gilead. than this N.E. of Beersheba, and about fifteen miles (6) I also will requite you.-David's message of E.S.E. of the Philistine town of Gath. From Ziklag, kindness and blessing is quite in accordance with his where David had been living, it was distant about whole bearing towards Saul and his house, and, at the thirty-eight miles. It has always been famous for its same time, was one of wise policy. The literal ren. vineyards, and its grapes are still considered the finest dering is, 1 also show you this good, the Hebrew not in Southern Palestine. The valley in which it is conveying directly the idea of future recompense, as in situated is probably the “valley of Eshcol,” from the English. The thought is that David, as now the which the spies brought the great “ cluster of grapes rightful king of Israel, appreciates the act, and wishes to Moses in the wilderness (Num. xiii. 23). It was a to show publicly his favour to the men of Jabeshpriestly city (Josh. xxi. 10, 11), and the most southerly gilead. He then, in the following verse, suggests the of the cities of refuge (Josh. xx. 7). Here was the propriety of their now recognising him as the successor home and the throne of David for the next seven and a of their lost monarch and friend. half years (verse 11; v. 5). The larger part of the land, (8) But Abner the son of Ner. - According since the recent defeat, was in the power of the Philis- to 1 Chron. ix. 36, Ner was the brother of Kish, Saul's tines; and Hebron, on account of its situation at the father. Abner was therefore the cousin-german of Abner makes Ish-bosheth King.

II. SAMUEL, II.

Abner's Party Defeated.

1 Heb., number of

duys.

B.C. cir. 1963.

B.C. 1065.

son of Saul, and brought him over to

went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. Mahanaim ; (9) and made him king over

(13) And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over

the servants of David, went out, and Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over

met 2 together by the pool of Gibeon : Benjamin, and over all Israel (10) Ish

and they sat down, the one on the one bosheth Saul's son was forty years old

side of the pool, and the other on the when he began to reign over Israel, and

other side of the pool. (14) And Abner reigned two years. But the house of

said to Joab, Let the young men now Judah followed David. (11) And the

arise, and play before us. And Joab 1 time that David was king in Hebron 2 Heb., them toge- said, Let them arise. (15) Then there over the house of Judah was seven years

arose and went over by number twelve and six months.

of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish(12) And Abner the son of Ner, and the

bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul,

the servants of David.

(16) And they

ther.

Sanl, and had been made by him the commander-in- of this name as it stands has been found, but it is chief of his army (1 Sam. xiv. 51). He was thus, both by probably meant for Asherites, or the tribe of Asher, kindred and office, strongly attached to the house of Saul. the reading of some MSS. and of the Chaldee Version; He had been with Saul in his pursuit of David, and may the name of this tribe standing for the whole region have resented David's address to him on that occasion west of the Jordan, and north of the plain of Esdraelon; (1 Sam. xxvi. 14--16). There is no statement of the then southwards,“ over Jezreel,” the wide plain between time that had elapsed after the death of Saul before the mountains of Gilboa and the little Hermon; then Ish-bosheth was set up as king by Abner, but it was over Ephraim,” including the half-tribe of Manasseh ; probably four or five years, for the following reasons : and, still southwards, “over Benjamin ;” and finally, Ish-bosheth reigned only two years (verse 10), but “over all Israel," excepting, of course, Judah. David appears to have been acknowledged as king over (12) To Gibeon.-Gibeon, in the territory of Benall Israel soon after his death, and had then reigned jamin, had become noted in the original conquest of over Judah alone seven and a half years. Again, at the the land as the only city which succeeded, though by death of Saul all the northern part of the country was craft, in making a league with the conquerors (Josh. under the control of the Philistines, and some time ix.). It was five and a half miles north-west from must have elapsed before the Israelites would have been Jerusalem, and at a long distance both from Mahanaim in condition to make themselves a new king; and, and from Hebron. Here the generals of the rival finally, Ish-bosheth was the youngest of Saul's sons, monarchs met, possibly by design, but more likely each born apparently some time after he came to the throne, engaged in the effort to extend their respective masters' and he was now forty years old (verse 10), Saul him- sway over the tribe of Benjamin. self having reigned about forty years (Acts ii. 21).

(13) Joab the son of Zeruiah.-Zeruiah was Ish-bosheth.-Called in 1 Chron. viii. 33; ix. 39, David's sister (1 Chron. ii. 16), and Joab the most “Eshbaal” (the fire of Baal), just as his nephew, Mephi. prominent of her three distinguished sons. Subsebosheth (2 Sam. iv. 4), is called in the same places quently, by his successful leading of the forlorn hope Meribaal, and Gideon's surname Jerubbaal (Judges in the siege of Jerusalem (1 Chron. xi. 6; comp. vi. 32 ; viii. 35) is changed to Jerubbesheth (2 Sam. 2 Sam. y. 8), he became permanently established as xi. 21). These names compounded with Baal may have commander-in-chief of David's army. He was in. been originally given, as certainly was the case with doubtedly among the brethren of David ” who came Jerubbaal, in consequence of the manful opposition to down to him at the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. xxii. 1), idolatry of those who bore them, and have been subse- though he is not mentioned by name, like his brother quently changed to a compound with “bosheth” (shame), Abishai (1 Sam. xxvi. 6—9), in the narrative of David's in view of the sequel of their histories; or, on the other outlawry. hand, in the case of Saul's family the compound with The pool of Gibeon is a large reservoir or Baal may have been a later name, given in view of their tank, arranged to store the overflow from a subter. opposition to the divinely appointed king, and to mark ranean reservoir fed by a spring in the rocky hill-side. God's utter rejection of the house of Saul.

Its ruins still remain, about 120 feet long by 100 broad. Mahanaim, famous in the story of Jacob (Gen. The hostile forces halted in full sight of each other on xxxii. 2), was on the east of the Jordan, and not far the opposite sides of the pool. from the brook Jabbok. A Levitical city (Josh. xxi. (14) Let the young men.-To avoid unnecessary 38), in comparative safety from the Philistines, was bloodshed between the tribes of a common parentage, well chosen by Abner for the coronation and residence and also, perhaps, to prevent the weakening of the of his new king. Mahanaim afterwards became the nation in the face of their common Philistine foe, place of refuge for David in his flight from Absalom Abner proposes that the struggle should be decided by (chap. xvii. 24). The expression “ brought him over? a combat between a few champions chosen on either refers to the crossing of the Jordan.

side, and Joab immediately accepts the proposal. (9) The Ashurites, and over Jezreel. This Hervey (Speaker's Commentary) aptly compares this verse apparently expresses the gradual extension of Ish- combat to that of the Horatii and Curiatii, under bosheth's dominion as the country became freed from strikingly similar circumstances and with similar rethe Philistines. At first, his authority was established sults, as described by Livy (I., c. x. 25). over Gilead-i.e., the country on the east of the Jordan; (16) Helkath-hazzurimis interpreted in the then “over the Ashurites.” No satisfactory explanation margin“ the field of strong men,” but the etymology Asahel Slain by Abner.

II. SAMUEL, II.

The Pursuit Stayed by Joab.

of strong men.

3 Heb., as one of

the roos that is
in the field.

caught every one his fellow by the head, 11 That is, The field that the spear came out behind him; and thrust his sword in his fellow's side;

and he fell down there, and died in the so they fell down together: wherefore

same place: and it came to pass, that as that place was called 1 Helkath-hazzurim,

many as came to the place where Asahel which is in Gibeon. (17) And there was

fell down and died stood still. (24) Joab a very sore battle that day; and Abner 2 Heb, of his feet. also and Abishai pursued after Abner: was beaten, and the men of Israel, be

and the sun went down when they were fore the servants of David.

come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth (18) And there were three sons of

before Giah by the way of the wilderZeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and

ness of Gibeon. Asahel: and Asahel was as light % of

(25) And the children of Benjamin gafoot as a wild roe. (19) And Asahel

thered themselves together after Abner, pursued after Abner; and in going he

and became one troop, and stood on the turned not to the right hand nor to the

top of an hill. (26) Then Abner called to left from * following Abner. (20) Then

Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour Abner looked behind him, and said, Art " Heh: from after for ever ? knowest thou not that it will thou Asahel? And he answered, I am.

be bitterness in the latter end ? how (21) And Abner said to him, Turn thee

long shall it be then, ere thou bid the aside to thy right hand or to thy left,

people return from following their and lay thee hold on one of the young

brethren ? (27) And Joab said, As God men, and take thee his 5 armour. But 5 Or, spoil. liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely Asahel would not turn aside from

then 6 in the morning the people had following of him. (22) And Abner said

gone up every one from following his again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from

brother. (28) So Joab blew a trumpet, following me : wherefore should I smite

and all the people stood still, and purthee to the ground ? how then should I

sued after Israel

more, neither hold up my face to Joab thy brother?

fought they any more. (23) Howbeit he refused to turn aside :

(29) And Åbner and his men walked all wherefore Abner with the hinder end of

that night through the plain, and passed the spear smote him under the fifth rib, 7 Or, gone away. over Jordan, and went through all Bith

7

6 Heb.. from the

morning,

no

is

very doubtful. Most modern expositors understand be conjectured that it was not far from that town, and it as meaning “ the field of sharp edges.”

hence that the pursuit was not long. (17) A very sore battle.-The combat of the (25) The children of Benjamin.-The rest of twelve on each side having decided nothing, the two Abner's force appears to have been hopelessly scathosts joined battle. Abner and the Israelites were tered in the flight, but he succeeded in rallying the worsted. The numbers engaged were probably not Benjamites, his own and Saul's kinsmen, in a strong large, as the whole number of the slain was nineteen position “ on the top of an hill.” on David's side, and 360 on that of Israel (verses (26) Abner called to Joab.-It may be that 30, 31). It was, however, a turning-point in the Abner was already considering the expediency of struggle.

transferring his allegiance to the house of David, or, at (19) Asahel pursued after Abner.-Asahel, least, had had enough experience of Ish-bosheth to see the youngest of the three nephews of David, took part that it would be impossible to unite the tribes under in the battle with his elder brothers, and well knowing his sway. At all events, his sense of the disastrous how completely the cause of Ish-bosheth depended upon effects of civil war was doubtless quickened by his own Abner, pertinaciously sought him out in the pursuit. defeat and present danger. His great fleetness enabled him to overtake Abner and, (27) Unless thou hadst spoken.--Joab's reply coming behind him, endanger his life.

Abner was to Abner admits of either of two interpretations : (1) unwilling to injure him, and only after remonstrating Joab seeks to throw the whole blame of the conflict with him, and urging him to seek the spoil of some upon Abner, by saying that if he had not proposed the warrior more nearly his equal (verses 20-22), did he combat between the champions (verse 14) there would unwillingly slay him “with the hinder end of his have been no battle, but * the people" of both sides spear. The spears were sharpened at the “hinder would have separated peaceably at Gibeon; or (2), as end” for the purpose of sticking them into the ground the phrase is more generally and more probably under(1 Sam. xxvi. 7). Abner's reluctance to kill Asahel stood, that Joab had intended to keep up the pursuit may have been partly on account of his extreme youth, only until the following morning, but as Åbner already but was chiefly through dread of the vengeance of sued for mercy, he was content, and would stop now. Joab (verse 22). “The fifth rib” here, and wherever (28) Neither fought they any more-i.e., in else it occurs (chaps. iii. 27; iv.6; xx. 10), should be this present campaign. In chap. ii. 1, it is said that translated abdomen.

“there was a long war between the house of Saul and (24) The hill of Ammah.-No identification of the house of David.” either Ammah or Giah has yet been made, but as it (29) Through the plain (or the Arabah).-The was " by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon,” it may wilderness of Gibeon lay to the east of the town, and

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65

Asahel's Burial.

II. SAMUEL, III.

David's Sons.

ron, and they came to Mahanaim. (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. (31) But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died.

(32) And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Beth-lehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.

long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.

(2) And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; (3) and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the

son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; (4) and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; (5) and the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife.

These were born to David in Hebron.

CHAPTER III. - (1) Now there was

Abner's flight had thus carried him towards the Jordan. fuller realisation that he was the divinely appointed He now passed up the valley of the Jordan (which the sovereign. In 1 Chron. xii. 19-22 there is an account word here used generally designates), and, crossing at of an important accession to David from the tribe of a ford, went “through all Bithron to Mahanaim." Manasseh on the eve of Saul's last battle, and a further Bithron is evidently the name of a district on the east mention of continued accessions to him“ day by day." of the Jordan, but is not further known.

As the necessary result of this constant transference of (30) Joab returned.-He cannot be supposed to strength to vid, the house of Saul waxed weaker have returned that day farther than to Gibeon, since it and weaker." was already sunset (verse 24) before the pursuit ended. (2-5) And unto David.- The list of David's sons There, doubtless, he mustered his forces, and counted born during his seven and a half years' reign in Hebron and buried the slain.

rather interrupts the continuity of the narrative, but is Nineteen men.-It is uncertain whether these quite in accordance with the habit of the sacred histonumbers include the twelve champion combatants on rians to insert at the beginning or at some turningeach side. The great disparity of numbers slain on the point in each reign statistics about the house or family two sides is to be accounted for partly by the advan. of the king. (See 1 Sam. xiv. 49–51; 2 Sam. v. 13; tage given by bow and spear, the chief weapons of 1 Kings iii. 1; xiv. 21; xv. 2, 9, &c.) ancient warfare, to the pursuer over the pursued, and Amnon.-Written Aminon in chap. xiii. 20. partly by the fact that Joab's men had been long trained His great crime and miserable end are related in chap. under David in hardship and deeds of valour, while xiii. Abner's men were the remnants of Saul's defeated army. Chileab.-Called “Daniel” in 1 Chron iii. 1. None

(32) They took up Asahel.- The bodies of the of the attempts to explain these as two forms of the ordinary soldiers were probably buried on the spot, but same name have been successful. Either, therefore, on account of Asahel's position and near relationship Chileab” is an error of the scribe (all but the first to David, his body was carried to Bethlehem, for letter being the same as the first three letters of the burial “in the sepulchre of his father.” It thus following word), or, more probably, Chileab had a appears that Zerniah's husband (of whom there is no

double name.

Nothing further is known of him, and other mention) was also of Bethlehem. The burial as he does not appear in the subsequent troubles, it is must have taken place on the next day (see Note on supposed that he died early. These two sons were verse 30), and, with the previous march of ten miles, born of the wives whom David had taken while an would have filled up that day. It was, therefore, outlaw. twenty-four hours after the close of the battle before Absalom.-His history, rebellion, and death are they were ready to start from Bethlehem. The night narrated in chaps. xiii.- xviii. His mother was "the may have been chosen for the march to avoid the heat; daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur,” a petty province and the distance from Bethlehem to Hebron was about north-east of Bashan. How David was brought into thirteen miles.

connection with him, and whether this alliance had any III.

political object or not, we are not told, but the fact that

Absalom in his exile naturally sought refuge with his (1) There was long war.-Not actual fighting of maternal grandmother (chap. xiii. 37) may have had a pitched battles, but a state of hostility, in which Ish. connection with David's subsequent campaigns in that bosheth and David each claimed the allegiance of the region. whole nation, and this continued until the death of Ish. Adonijah.-After the death of his three elder bosheth. During this time Ish-bosheth was too weak brothers, Adonijah considered himself the heir to carry on actual war, and David was content to abide to the throne, and embittered the last days of his the fulfilment of the promises of the Lord in His own father by a rebellion (1 Kings i.). He was at last put good time.

to death by Solomon (1 Kings ii. 25). Waxed stronger.-Time was working in David's Of the other•two sons, Shephatiah and Ithream, and favour, partly, doubtless, on account of Ish-bosheth's of the mothers of the last three, nothing is known, manifest incompetence, partly from a growing appre- although there is an absurd Jewish tradition that ciation of the character and prowess of David, and a “Eglah” was another name for “ Michal.”

Abner Quarrels with Ish-bosheth,

II. SAMUEL, III.

and goes over to David.

was

B.C. 1018

(6) And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made a ch. 21. 10. himself strong for the house of Saul. (7) And Saul had a concubine, whose name Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah : and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine? (8) Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head, which against Judah do show kindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to day with a fault concerning this woman? (9) So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the Lord hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; (10) to translate

the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba (11) And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him.

(12) And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land ? saying also, Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee. (13) And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, 1 that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face. (14) And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred

1 Heb., saying.

O I Sam. 18. 25, 27.

66

(6) Abner made himself strong. It has already (12) Whose is the land ?—These words in thembeen noticed that the fortunes of the house of Saul selves may be understood in either of two senses : (1) depended entirely upon Abner, but the fact of Ish- • Is not the land thine by promise ?” or (2) “Who has bosheth's great obligation to him is again mentioned the power to bring the land into subjection to whom he here in explanation of the following story.

will except myself ?” Since the question is put for(7) Rizpah.-The name of this woman is associated ward as the basis for making a league with Abner, the with her strong and tender grief over the loss of her latter is evidently the sense intended, and it is quite in sons, recorded in chap. xxi. 8–11.

accordance with the pride and haughtiness of Abner's Wherefore hast thou gone in ?-The harem character. He proposes a league, that he may have a of an Eastern monarch was considered as the property definite assurance of consideration for himself, and he of his successor, and therefore the taking of a woman makes this the price of exerting his influence on David's belonging to it as the assertion of a claim to the throne. behalf. The repetition of the word " saying " has occa(See chaps. xii. 8; xvi. 21; 1 Kings ii. 22.). It is not sioned some difficulty to the commentators, but this probable that Abner had any such design, since he was disappears when it is remembered that the two clauses exerting himself to maintain Ish-bosheth on the throne. are separate parts of Abner's message. His messengers But the king appears to have so regarded the act, as it were charged first to represent the importance of is this implied charge of treachery that so greatly Abner's influence, and then afterwards to say that he ronses the anger of Abner. The name of Ish-bosheth would exert it for David for a satisfactory consideration. has dropped out of the Hebrew text, but appears in a (13) Except thou first bring Michal.-David few MSS., and is rightly restored in all the versions. consents to negotiate with Abner only on condition of

(8) Am I a dog's head ?- The translation of the previous restoration of his lawful wife. Besides this clause is taken from the Vulg., and is hardly the justice of this demand (Michal having been wrongpossible; it should rather be, Am I a dog's head belong. fully taken from him by Saul), and besides all question ing to Judah ?

of affection towards one who had loved him and saved (9) So do God to Abner.-The anger of Abner his life (1 Sam. xviii. 20; xix. 11–17), there were policulminates in a solemn oath to transfer the kingdom to tical reasons of importance for the demand. The David, “as the Lord hath sworn to him.” There is no demand itself showed to all Israel that he bore no record of a Divine oath to give the kingdom to David, malice against the house of Saul, and the restoration but the prophetic declaration that God's choice of him would again constitute him Saul's son-in-law, and thus was unalterable (1 Sam. xv. 29) may well have been further his claims to the throne; while it also showed considered to have the force of an oath. Abner does publicly that he was in a condition to enforce his rights not propose to do this in order to fulfil the Divine will, as against the house of Saul. for his words show that he had been acting hitherto in (14) To Ish-bosheth.-The demand is made upon conscious opposition to that will, but to revenge himself the de facto king that all may be done legally, and for the insult now offered him. He had doubtless also David may not appear to be reclaiming his wife by become satisfied of his master's entire unfitness for the force. At the same time, Ish-bosheth is thus compelled throne, and his power over Israel opened before him the to acknowledge the wrong done to David and his in. prospect of high preferment from David.

ability to refuse his demand. It appears from verse 16 (10) To translate the kingdom. This sudden that Abner was employed to execute the command, expression of Abner's resolve seems to imply that he and, in fact, the whole matter was really deterinined had before had the matter under consideration, and by him, the king being merely the official and legal shows that there was some ground for the reproach of instrument. Ish-bosheth. The following verse brings out clearly An hundred foreskins - David had actually dethe utter weakness of Ish-bosheth.

livered to Saul as her dowry two hundred, but only one

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