2 Samuel

by Ken Cayce

© Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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2 Samuel Explained

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Book of 2 Samuel Explained

Introduction: See 1 Samuel for the introductory discussion.

First and Second Samuel were originally one book in the Hebrew Canon but were divided by the translators of the Septuagint. Originally, 2 Samuel was called 2 Kings, as it is in the Latin vulgate. The book now bears the name of the first principal character to appear in 1 Samuel. The prophet Samuel was already deceased before the events recorded in 2 Samuel. The content of 2 Samuel deals with the life and reign of King David and could have been entitled the Book of David.

Historical Setting: Second Samuel picks up the narration where 1 Samuel left off and serves as a transition from the reign of Saul to the reign of David. An account of the death of Saul opens the book, followed by the abortive reign of his son Ish-bosheth. It then traces David's rise to power, first at Hebron in Judah, and then at Jerusalem over all Israel. David's success is described as the result of God's blessing on his life during a time when Israel's neighbors, Egypt, Babylon and Assyria were in decline. By contrast, this was the dawning of the golden era for the kingdom of Israel. The consecutive 40 year reigns of David and his son Solomon established Israel as one of the greatest nations of the ancient east.

Author: As with 1 Samuel, the author is unknown. The prophets Nathan and Gad may have recorded the events of 2 Samuel (see 1 Chronicles 29:29), adding to the sections by Samuel himself. Since the division of the kingdom had already taken place (1 Samuel 27:6); the final form of the two books must have taken shape after the death of Solomon in 931 B.C.

The Davidic covenant is clearly set forth in 2 Samuel 7:4-17. It includes God's promise to perpetuate the line of David until the coming of the Messiah. Thus, the events in this book record God's providential protection of the dynasty and of His covenant people, Israel.


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2 Samuel 1 2 Samuel 9 2 Samuel 17
2 Samuel 2 2 Samuel 10 2 Samuel 18
2 Samuel 3 2 Samuel 11 2 Samuel 19
2 Samuel 4 2 Samuel 12 2 Samuel 20
2 Samuel 5 2 Samuel 13 2 Samuel 21
2 Samuel 6 2 Samuel 14 2 Samuel 22
2 Samuel 7 2 Samuel 15 2 Samuel 23
2 Samuel 8 2 Samuel 16 2 Samuel 24

2 Samuel 1

2 Samuel Chapter 1

Verses 1:1 - 3:5: David ascends to the kingship of Judah.

2 Samuel 1:1 "Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;"

"The death of Saul" (2 Samuel 1:1-14 begins where 1 Sam. 31:1-13 ends), with the death of Saul (1 Chron. 10:1-12).

"Amalekites": The mention of these people serves as a reminder of David's obedience to the Lord (1 Sam. 30:1-31), and Saul's disobedience (1 Sam. 15:1-33; see notes on Exodus 17:8-16).

"Ziklag" (see notes on 1 Sam. 27:6; 30:1). This town was not so completely sacked and destroyed that David and his 600 men with their families could not stay there.

This book is a continuation of 1 Samuel. We will read primarily of the history of the reign of David in this book. Saul, and his three sons, were killed in the battle with the Philistines.

David would have been in this battle, except the LORD found a way for the Philistines to refuse his help. While he was gone for three days, the evil Amalekites came and destroyed his city, and took his family. They burned Ziklag. David and his men went after them, and killed them. After they returned to Ziklag, and had been there 2 days (this is when verse 1 is set). Saul is dead, but David is not yet aware of it.

2 Samuel 1:2 "It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and [so] it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance."

The refugee from the "camp" of the defeated "Saul" came with torn "clothes" and with "earth" [dust] "upon his head," both signs of mourning or grief (Josh. 7:6; 1: Sam. 4:12; 2 Sam. 15:32). This Amalekite (verse 8), thus bore all the marks of lamenting the death of Saul and his sons.

This was a common cultural sign of anguish and mourning over a death (15:32; 1 Sam. 4:12).

Adversity is the test of faith; prosperity is the test of integrity. David had proven that he could handle adversity, but as the king of Israel, he would know unparalleled prosperity, and what he would do with it would set the tone for the rest of his life.

This man is aware who David is, because he bows to him. He is in mourning, when he comes, because he had his clothes rent and dust upon his head. This takes place the very next day (after verse 1 above). He had been with Saul, but David is not immediately aware of that.

2 Samuel 1:3 "And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped."

It is very likely by his appearance and circumstances he suspected from whence he came: and he said unto him, out of the camp of Israel am I escaped; which plainly suggested that that was in danger, confusion, and distress.

This man was in the camp area after the battle was over, to pick up anything of value that might be left. He does not tell David that. He tells David, that he just happened by. When David asks him where he came from, he tells him from the camp of Israel.

Verses 1:4-12 (see 1 Samuel 31:1-13; 1 Chron. 10:1-12).

2 Samuel 1:4 "And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also."

That is, how went the battle? On which side the victory?

"And he answered, that the people are fled from the battle": Meaning the people of Israel, they had given way, and turned their backs upon their enemies, and were fled.

"And many of the people also are fallen and dead": Fell by the sword in the pursuit of them, and were not only wounded, but were slain, and these great numbers of them.

"And Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also": Which are mentioned last, because they fell some of the last. And this part of the account is reserved by the messenger to the last, because it was the article of the greatest importance; the death of these two persons. The one the enemy, and the other the friend of David, and the death of both made way for his accession to the throne.

This is terrible. This is not what David wanted to hear. Jonathan was his best friend. The Israelites have lost the battle, and Saul and his sons are dead.

Verses 5-10: There is no discrepancy in Scripture: (1 Sam. 31:4-5), gives God's record of Saul's death. These verses are the fabricated story of an Amalekite who found "Saul" already "dead" and was trying to exploit his death to ingratiate himself to the new king. In trying to gain David's favor, the "Amalekite" signed his own death warrant (1:16).

2 Samuel 1:5 "And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?"

The things that had happened.

"How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?" This he particularly inquired after, as what most affected him, and was most material for him to know. And his meaning is, whether he had this of his own sight and knowledge, or by report.

David does not want to hear that Saul and Jonathan are dead. He wants the young man to give him proof.

Verses 1:6-10: The details of Saul's death here are at variance with those of (1 Samuel 31:3-5). But the difference originates with the "Amalekite" who has made up a false account so as to win David's favor. However, his "reward" was vastly different from what he expected (verse 15), for he had dared to touch the Lord's anointed (verse 16), a thing David had twice refrained from doing (1 Sam. 24:6); 26:11).

2 Samuel 1:6 "And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him."

Chariots and horsemen: Chariots and horsemen were a symbol of power and strength (Exodus 14:9; 1 Sam. 8:11; 13:5; 2 Sam. 8:4; 1 Kings 4:26; 9:19; 10:26; 1 Chron. 19:6; 2 Chron. 1:14; 9:25; 12:3; 16:8; Dan. 11:40). The Philistines were in pursuit of Saul with an abundant number of warriors, making Saul's escape hopeless.

2 Samuel 1:7 "And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here [am] I."

To see how near the enemy was, and who were pursuing him.

"He saw me, and called unto me": By which it should rather seem that he belonged to the Philistines than to the Israelites, and as his being an Amalekite shows. For such a one would hardly be admitted among the latter, though it is most likely he was with neither, but happened to come that way just at that time.

"And I answered, here am I": Ready to hear what thou hast to say, and do thy pleasure.

In the (last chapter of 1 Samuel), the account was a little more vague than here. Saul was wounded by the Philistines, and then, he fell upon his sword. We did read in the other account, where he died. It does not say that the act of him falling upon his sword did not kill him. This man is saying that after Saul fell upon the sword, he called to him. This meant that his falling on the sword did not kill Saul.

2 Samuel 1:8 "And he said unto me, Who [art] thou? And I answered him, I [am] an Amalekite."

"Amalekite": the man claiming to have killed Saul was from among the people whom David recently slaughtered (verse 1), whom God wanted eliminated (Exodus 17:14; 1 Sam. 15:3), and who would plague Israel for generations (Exodus 17:16), due to Saul's disobedience (1 Sam. 15:9-11).

Saul did not want a Philistine to kill him. This man is an Amalekite. He tells Saul who he is.

2 Samuel 1:9 "He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life [is] yet whole in me."

Which it can hardly be thought Saul would say; since he might as well have died by the hands of the uncircumcised Philistines, which he endeavored to avoid, as by the hands of an Amalekite.

"For anguish is come upon me": Or trembling, as the Targum, not through fear of death, but through fear of falling into the hands of the Philistines, and of being ill used by them. Some render the words, "my embroidered coat", or "breastplate", or "coat of mail" holds me, or hinders me from being pierced through with the sword or spear; so Ben Gersom.

"Because my life is yet whole in me": For though he had been wounded by the archers, yet he did not apprehend he had received any mortal wound, but his life was whole in him. And therefore feared he should fall into their hands alive, and be ill-treated by them.

Saul asked the Amalekite to stand upon him, and drive the sword deeper into his body. It appears that, Saul was in great pain, and this would quicken his death.

2 Samuel 1:10 "So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that [was] upon his head, and the bracelet that [was] on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord."

"Slew him": The Amalekite claimed responsibility for Saul's death, saying that Saul was still alive when he found him. However (1 Sam. 31:3-6), makes it clear that Saul died by falling on his own sword, not by the hand of the Amalekite. Thus, this man, who may have witnessed Saul's suicide, claimed to have killed Saul when in reality he had only reached his body before the Philistines and had fabricated the story to ingratiate himself with the new king by killing his enemy and by bringing Saul's crown and bracelet to David. The crown and bracelet in the hands of the Amalekite show that he was the first to pass by the body of Saul.

He did just as Saul had asked him to do. He, in a sense, killed Saul, but he really just shortened his life. He would have died anyway. He just shortened the time it took for him to die. He took his crown and bracelet to prove who he was.

Verses 11-17: David's extreme grief at the death of the man who tried to kill him for 30 years is astonishing (Prov. 24:17), but it is consistent with David's belief that Saul was God's anointed (1 Sam. 24:6). Whenever there is report on one of God's choice servants falling by the wayside in moral or physical defeat, the response should follow David's response. Not gladness, not smug complacency or a superficial piety, but sorrow for the person, sorrow for the people and sorrow for the work of God that person had committed his or her life to do.

2 Samuel 1:11 "Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that [were] with him:"

Not on the young man's but his own.

"And rent them": On bearing of the death of Saul and Jonathan (see Genesis 37:34); from whence the Jews gather, that a man is bound to rend his clothes for a prince, and for the father of the Sanhedrim, since Saul they say was the prince and Jonathan the father of that court.

"And likewise all the men that were with him": Rent their clothes also, in imitation of him; the same custom obtained among the Gentiles on mournful occasions.

The tearing of the clothes was a sign of deep mourning. David, and all the men, tore their clothes in grief.

2 Samuel 1:12 "And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword."

"Mourned, and wept, and fasted": David demonstrates genuine, heartfelt grief for the death of Saul and Jonathan by mourning and weeping, as well as fasting, which were common ways to demonstrate grief (Easter 4:3; Joel 2:12).

David had never stopped loving Saul, Jonathan, or his countrymen. He was so overwhelmed with grief, that he cried and did not eat food. This was grief of a personal nature, but it was, also, a grief for their fallen nation. Israel, in its greatness, had been the people of God. Saul, and some of his men, had turned from the pure keeping of God's commandments. This terrible loss of life was punishment for their sins.

This is so much like the church. Many of us start out with God, keeping His commandments. The world, sometimes, calls so strongly, that we wander away from the absolute truth. This was Saul's problem. At first, he seemed to have every intention of following God, but more and more started doing things that were advantageous to him.

2 Samuel 1:13 "And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence [art] thou? And he answered, I [am] the son of a stranger, an Amalekite."

This expression signifies one who resided among the Israelites, and had embraced their religion, though not admitted into their communion.

2 Samuel 1:14 "And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD'S anointed?"

David said: "How wast thou not afraid ... to destroy the Lord's anointed? Who possibly might have recovered, and been carried off by some of his own men; the Philistines, by some extraordinary providence of God, being diverted from the pursuit. It was the greater presumption in this young man to do it, since none of Saul's own servant's would venture upon such an act.

"The LORD's anointed": Despite Saul's many attempts on David's life, David would not allow himself to see Saul as just a mere man or human monarch; he remained "the Lord's anointed," who occupied a sacred role before God (1 Sam. 24:1-15; 26:1-20).

This Amalekite had come to David, believing that David would rejoice in the death of Saul. He really thought that David wanted him dead. It really does not matter, whether his story of killing Saul is true, or not. It seems that he was out to be rewarded for the death of Saul. This Amalekite was not a Hebrew. He did not understand about not raising his hand against the anointed of God. David is explaining to him the error in destroying the anointed.

2 Samuel 1:15 "And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, [and] fall upon him. And he smote him that he died."

"Fall upon him": This most certainly came as a great surprise to the Amalekite, for he intended to win the favor of David by saying he had killed Saul. This story is very similar to that of the men who later killed Ish-bosheth, thinking they would be able to endear themselves to David (4:5-12).

This young man was an Amalekite, but had, probably, settled in Israel. David had not immediately killed him, so it was not done from a fit of rage. He fasted and wept, even before he sentenced the man. If his story is true, he assisted Saul in the act of suicide. If it is not true, he was a looter and had taken the things he brought off the body of Saul. He was looking for advantage from Saul's death, at the least. I would believe that David consulted with the LORD, during his fast, to find what to do with the man. I, also, would believe this judgment is from God. He is executed.

2 Samuel 1:16 "And David said unto him, Thy blood [be] upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD'S anointed."

"Thy blood be upon they head": David executed the Amalekite on the basis of his own testimony, not on the basis of the truthfulness of his story.

The Lord's instruction to the people of Israel concerning the Amalekites was very specific (Deut. 25:17). As the king, David was responsible for carrying out God's commands, and the first order of business was to do what God told him to do.

We have seen, on two previous occasions, the respect that David had for the position Saul held as being the anointed of God. Even though Saul had fallen in his own character, David still respected the office. We remember the remorse he felt from just cutting off the skirt of the anointed. Somehow, this was an affront to the LORD himself, to kill His anointed.

2 Samuel 1:17 "And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:"

"Lamented": David chose to have both Saul and his noble son Jonathan remembered through this lament, which would be taught to all Israel as a national war song.

"Lamented", in this, means chanted, or wailed, at a funeral. The sorrow that David felt was not just a surface grief. This was a hurt deep in his heart. We remember that, Jonathan was David's best friend.

Verses 18-27: This passage has been referred to as the "Song of the Bow." It is a classic funeral dirge from which many dirges or eulogies have been adapted. The lament "How the mighty have fallen!" is the key refrain in the song and brackets the entire poem for emphasis (1:19, 25, 27).

2 Samuel 1:18 "(Also he bade them teach the children of Judah [the use of] the bow: behold, [it is] written in the book of Jasher.)"

"The use of the bow": This was the title of the poem in which the word "bow" may have been chosen with reference to Jonathan, whose bow is mentioned (in verse 22).

The book of Jasher was a poetic collection of Israel's wars in which Israel's events and great men were commemorated (Joshua 10:13).

For the "book of Jasher" (see the note on Joshua 10:12-15).

Since Saul was initially injured by an arrow from a bow, David trains his men in the bow. This is training for their future wars. This book of Jasher is not in the Bible, but is an important book. This book of Jasher is sometimes called The Book of Canticles. The Song of Solomon is also called Canticles.

Verses 19-27: David's lamentation over "Saul" and "Jonathan" is one of the most eloquent eulogies in all of the Bible. The pronouncement of a curse against "dew" and "rain" (verse 21), on the occasion of the death of a heroic figure is known also in the literature of ancient Syro-Palestine.

2 Samuel 1:19 "The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!"

"The beauty of Israel": Literally the gazelle or antelope of Israel, the chosen symbol of youthful elegance and symmetry, most likely referring to Jonathan. Thus, the song began and ended with Saul's noble son (verses 25-26).

"High places": These were open-air worship sites generally established at high elevations. In this case, the high place was Mt. Gilboa, where Saul had died.

"How are the mighty fallen": They were not only Israel's slain "beauty," but Saul and Jonathan were mighty men who had fallen in battle. This phrase is repeated as a refrain (in verses 25 and 27).

David felt so strongly about the personality of Jonathan, that this may indirectly be speaking of him. Their friendship was beautiful. The relationship of the LORD with His people Israel was very beautiful, as well.

2 Samuel 1:20 "Tell [it] not in Gath, publish [it] not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph."

"Gath ... Ashkelon": Two chief cities which together could represent all of the Philistine territory. Gath was situated in the eastern part of the Philistine territory, while Ashkelon was in the west by the sea. David did not want the Philistines to rejoice at the calamities of Israel as Israel had rejoiced at the defeat of the Philistines (1 Sam. 18:7).

Hearing that Philistine cities such as "Gath" and "Ashkelon" rejoiced over Saul's death, as the women of Israel did (in 1 Samuel 18:6-7), distressed David. Despite Saul's poor leadership and repeated efforts to kill him, David eulogized Saul in glowing terms and did not mention any of his faults. These words model the way to honor someone who has died.

David could not stand thinking of the uncircumcised Philistines gloating about the victory over Israel. Gath was near him, and he would be repulsed, hearing them speak of their victory over Saul and Israel. It was, generally, the custom for the women to rejoice in song and dance when there was a decisive victory. He is saying, he prays this will not happen close enough, that he will hear it with his own ears.

2 Samuel 1:21 "Ye mountains of Gilboa, [let there be] no dew, neither [let there be] rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, [as though he had] not [been] anointed with oil."

"Let there be no dew": David spoke a curse, seeking the absence of dew or rain upon the mountain where Saul and Jonathan died.

"Not been anointed with oil": It was necessary in those times to anoint a shield with oil (Isa. 21:5), to prevent the leather from being hard and cracked. But there on Mt. Gilboa lay the shield of Saul dried out, a symbol of defeat and death.

This is speaking of the shield of Saul, which had been taken and set up as a symbol of their victory. David is praying to the LORD, to withhold rain from the place where it is set up. He wants them to be aware of the LORD's displeasure in their defamation of the character of God's anointed. David is praying to God, to withhold the crops from the Philistines.

2 Samuel 1:22 "From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty."

"Bow ... sword": These two weapons were used by Saul and Jonathan with much power, accuracy, and effectiveness. It was also with the bow that Jonathan helped David escape Saul's wrath (1 Sam. 20:35-42).

Jonathan, as well as Saul, had been a mighty warrior. They had come back from many battles with the blood of the enemy upon their swords. Now, their swords and their shields were in the possession of the Philistines.

2 Samuel 1:23 "Saul and Jonathan [were] lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions."

"Were lovely": This generous commendation, including Saul who was seeking to kill David, showed David's gracious, forgiving attitude, a model of gracious love (Matt. 5:43-48).

David is like many of us looking back over the lives of someone we loved very much. He was unable to see the faults of Saul. He remembers only the good things. True, Saul and Jonathan were powerful men of war, winning many battles. Even though Saul knew he would lose his life in this battle, he did not run and hide. He fought as a brave soldier. He was a very strong man, physically.

2 Samuel 1:24 "Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with [other] delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel."

This refers to Saul's division among the people of the spoil of his conquered foes, and to the prosperity resulting from his many successful campaigns. Notwithstanding that his light at last went out under the cloud of a crushing defeat, he had been on the whole a successful warrior. The Philistines, the Ammonites, the Amalekites, and others, had felt the power of his arm, and the relations of Israel to the surrounding nations had been wonderfully changed for the better during his reign.

This weeping that David is calling for over Saul, is for the material things he had furnished them with from his battles.

Verses 25-26: David sorrowed over Jonathan as he would a brother. There is no hint of an inappropriate or sexual relationship, as some modern translators allege. Besides grieving the closest of friends, David also honored Jonathan for his extreme sacrifice in willingly giving up the throne. For more on their relationship (see I Sam. 1:1-4; 23:16-18).

2 Samuel 1:25 "How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, [thou wast] slain in thine high places."

The mighty and valiant men of war, the common soldiers as well as their general officers, whose loss David mourns, and the repetition of, shows how much it affected him.

"O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places": In the high places of the land of Israel, the mountains of Gilboa, which though high, and in his own country, could not protect him from his enemies, and from falling by their hands. He who had been so valiant and victorious a prince, and yet he fell, not in an enemy's country, but his own.

2 Samuel 1:26 "I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."

"Was wonderful, passing the love of women": The bond between David and Jonathan was strong. However, this does not mean that their friendship was necessarily superior to the bond of love between a man and a woman. The commitment shared between the two of them was a noble, loyal and selfless devotion (1 Sam. 18:3), which neither of them had ever felt for a woman. Unlike love between a man and a woman in which a sexual element is part of the strong attraction, this love between these two men had no such sexual feature, yet was compellingly strong.

The friendship of David and Jonathan still remains today, an example of two friends who stick to each other, even greater than two natural brothers do. This is not speaking of sexual attachment they had for each other. This is speaking of two men who had a communion of thoughts and ideas. This is speaking of them having great mutual admiration for each other. They believed so much alike, they made covenants with each other. David loved and trusted Jonathan more than anyone else. This friendship grew from Jonathan's great admiration of David, for standing up against Goliath. He admired David greatly. This became a mutual admiration for each other. On occasion, Jonathan had warned David, and saved his life.

2 Samuel 1:27 "How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!"

"Weapons of war": A figurative expression referring to Saul and Jonathan.

This is very much like a eulogy given at a funeral. David reflects on the greatness of Saul and Jonathan. He laments their death.

2 Samuel Chapter 1 Questions

1. How long had David been back at Ziklag in verse 1?

2. Who had he slain in the battle, he had just returned from?

3. 2 Samuel is a continuation of _____________.

4. Why did David go after these Amalekites?

5. When did David hear of Saul's death?

6. What condition was the man in, who brought the sad news of Saul's death?

7. Where had the man come from?

8. What question did David ask the man?

9. What was the condition of the battle?

10. What terrible news did he give David?

11. How did he prove their death to David?

12. What does he tell about Saul's death?

13. This man was an ____________.

14. What does he say, that Saul asked him to do?

15. When David believed, that Saul and Jonathan were dead, what did he do?

16. What two types of grief was David feeling?

17. Why had this terrible thing happened?

18. Why did this man not understand about raising his hand against God's anointed?

19. Why does it not matter, whether his story is true, or not?

20. What had testified against this Amalekite?

21. What punishment did David pronounce on the man?

22. What does "lamented", in verse 17, mean?

23. What did David have them teach the Israelites?

24. Who is David speaking of in verse 19?

25. Where did David not want to hear celebrations of this victory from?

26. How did the women, generally, rejoice over a victory?

27. What is verse 22 speaking of?

28. Who had the swords and shields of Jonathan and Saul?

29. How is David like many of us, in verse 23?

30. Why did David say, the daughters of Jerusalem should mourn over Saul?

31. Describe the friendly relationship between David and Jonathan?

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2 Samuel 2

2 Samuel Chapter 2

2 Samuel 2:1 "And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron."

The moment for which David had prepared for 15 years had finally come. Nevertheless, he did not rush off to claim the promised throne, but he requested clear counsel from the Lord. David had learned at least one thing in his wilderness experience: he would be taking a great risk if he moved forward on his own. It was better to wait on the Lord's timing (1 Sam. 30:31).

"David inquired of the Lord": After the death of Saul, David could move about the land freely as the Lord directed him. A contrast can be seen between Saul, who had inquired of the Lord and the Lord would not answer (1 Sam. 28:6), and David, who also inquired of the Lord and the Lord gave him direction.

"Cities of Judah": David sought guidance from the Lord as to where to start his reign. David first asked if he should begin in the southern area of Judah. The Lord responded affirmatively and thus David sought for a more precise destination. The nucleus of David's future government would come from the cities of Judah.

"Hebron": With the highest elevation of any town in Judah, the city was strategically chosen to be the initial location of David's rule over Israel. Hebron is located 20 miles south southwest of Jerusalem. Abraham had located there long before (Gen. 13:18), and later Hebron had been given to Caleb (Joshua 14:13-14; Judges 1:20), when Israel occupied the land after the wilderness wanderings.

David mourned greatly for Saul and Jonathan. When he had finally recovered from his grief, he began to think of his homeland. David always consulted the LORD, before he did anything. He prayed and asked the LORD, if he should go back to his homeland. When the LORD told him that he should, he prayed, again, and asked the LORD where he should go. The Lord told him to go to Hebron, which is a short distance from Jerusalem. We must remember that Samuel, on instructions from the LORD, had anointed David to be king.

2 Samuel 2:2 "So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite."

"Ahinoam ... Abigail": Abigail became David's wife after the death of Nabal (1 Sam. 25:40-44).

2 Samuel 2:3 "And his men that [were] with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron."

They and their families, and no doubt provided well for them when he was settled on the throne, who had shown themselves to be his faithful friends, closely attached to his interest, and had run the risk of their all on his account (see Matt. 19:28).

"And they dwelt in the cities of Hebron": In the towns and villages about it, for that itself being a city of refuge, and inhabited by priests, there was not room enough for all David's men, who were now increasing. As persons from various tribes were flocking to him (See 1 Chron. 12:1).

David had been living in exile in Ziklag. We will find that, after the death of Saul and his three sons in the battle against the Philistines, many of the men of Judah had come to be with David. It was now time for him to go home and pull his countrymen together. He is moving permanently out of the Philistine territory, so he carries the families with them. David's nephew gathered a large group of men to come and join him, to show that the people were behind David.

We will find that David did nothing without a Word from the LORD. Abiathar was in charge of the ephod at this time. The LORD spoke to David through this ephod. David and his men took their families with them to Hebron, and carried the flocks they had, as well. They would not be a burden to the land, but an asset.

2 Samuel 2:4 "And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, [That] the men of Jabesh-gilead [were they] that buried Saul."

Samuel had already anointed David privately. This was David's second anointing (see the note on 1 Samuel 16:13-14). But the public ceremony would allow others to recognize his calling. This anointing was done is southern Israel ("Judah").

(In 5:3), northern Israel would also anoint him as king, thus bringing the two kingdoms under one reign.

"Men of Jabesh-gilead": Jabesh, a city of Israel east of the Jordan, demonstrated its loyalty to Saul by giving him a proper burial (1 Sam. 31:11-13).

The anointing from Samuel, of David, was an anointing from God. This anointing from the people was to make him an earthly king. David will never stop being the LORD's king for this earth. The people admire him for his physical strength and his power in battle. They are unaware that the LORD had Samuel to anoint him. This just proves that those the LORD chooses to be king, will be made king in the secular world.

2 Samuel 2:5 "And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said unto them, Blessed [be] ye of the LORD, that ye have showed this kindness unto your lord, [even] unto Saul, and have buried him."

To return them thanks for their courage and boldness in rescuing the bodies of Saul and his sons out of the hands of the Philistines, and for their civility in the burial of them.

"And said unto them, blessed be ye of the Lord; which may be considered either as a wish, the Lord bless you for it, or as a prediction, the Lord will bless you.

"That ye have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him": To bury the dead, with the Jews, was always reckoned an instance of humanity and kindness, and indeed of piety; an act done in imitation of God, who buried Moses, and so it might be expected the divine blessing would attend it.

This is the first thing that David did as king. David never stopped loving Saul, in spite of Saul trying to destroy him. Anyone that did a kindness to Saul was thought of highly by David. We remember, how the Philistines had nailed him to the wall, and these men went and got his body and buried him.

2 Samuel 2:6 "And now the LORD show kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing."

Meaning true and real kindness, not in words only, but also in actions, as you have now done to your king, the Lord's anointed.

"I also will requite you this kindness": So far am I from being offended with you for this kindness to my late enemy, that I will repay it.

David is pleased that these men have been kind to Saul and Jonathan, and now, he is speaking a blessing upon these men. David will show kindness to them, because of their kindness.

2 Samuel 2:7 "Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them."

"Saul is dead": David referred to Saul as "your lord" so as not to antagonize the men of Jabesh-gilead. He sought to win Israel over to his side, not force them into submission.

David's message to them is a message that would, generally, be sent by the king. In a sense, he is telling them not to give up, because their leader has fallen. He also explains to them, that he has been anointed king in the stead of Saul. The people of Judah have already accepted David as their king.

Verses 8-11: The recognition by "all Israel" of "Ish-bosheth," Saul's "son," as "king" apparently took place only after about five years, since "David," his rival, reigned for "seven years and six months" in "Hebron" (compare 5:5; 1 Chron. 3:4). This may be due to Israel's disastrous defeat at Mount Gilboa (1 Sam. 31), a loss from which northern tribes recovered only after five years. The name Ish-bosheth means "Man of Shame".

(1 Chronicles 8:33 and 9:39), recorded his name as Esh-baal, "Man of Baal" or perhaps, "Baal Lives." Apparently, the editor of the text of Samuel has changed the name to dramatize the stigma of having a name of a king linked with such a vile pagan deity. Similarly, Merib-baal (1 Chron. 8:34; 9:40), became Mephibosheth (4:4), and Jerubbaal (Judges 6:32; 8:35), became Jerubbesheth (11:21). Note that Baal and shame (boshet) occur in parallel (in Hosea 9:10). Such name changes probably occurred when Baal worship rose in popularity. Abner seemed to be the one pulling the strings in this grab for power, and Ishbosheth was a willing pawn.

"Abner" had been the commander of Saul's army (1 Sam. 14:50), and was thus loyal to Saul and his descendants.

2 Samuel 2:8 "But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;"

"Abner": Abner, cousin of Saul and general of his army (1 Sam. 14:50-51), did not desire to follow the Lord's new anointed king, but placed Ish-bosheth on the throne, causing tension between Judah and the rest of the tribes in Israel.

"Ish-bosheth": His name means "man of shame." Saul's only surviving son was placed as king over the northern tribes of Israel and the eastern ones across the Jordan.

"Mahanaim": A town in Gilead to the east of the Jordan River. Ish-bosheth established himself there and reigned for two years in this city. This was the same city where Jacob saw the angels while on his way to Penuel (Gen. 32:2). It was appointed to be a Levitical city from the territory of Gad (Joshua 21:28; 1 Chron. 6:80). It later became the haven for David while fleeing from Absalom (17:24, 27; 19:32; 1 Kings 2:8), because likely it was well fortified (18:24).

We must remember that, Abner had been with Saul, when he sought to kill David. It would be a natural thing for the remainder of the men of Saul to elevate Abner to continue to lead them. All they had known was the leadership of Saul. They had been trained to follow Abner. Ish-bosheth was the youngest of Saul's 4 sons. His name means man of shame. Abner was his uncle, and he thought the rule should go to the surviving son of Saul.

At this point, there was very little to lead. The Philistines had destroyed many of their cities. There was also, just a remnant of the three thousand soldiers Saul had. He only reigns 2 years. His reign is actually in name only anyway. Abner is their true leader. Mahanaim was on the east of the Jordan River, on the border of Manasseh and Gad.

2 Samuel 2:9 "And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel."

At this point, David controlled Judah and Simeon and the Philistines retained control over large sections in the north, so Ishbosheth's kingdom was actually quite small. There is no evidence that he had widespread support among the Israelites.

"King over Gilead ... all Israel": Ish-bosheth's power seemed more solidified in the land of Gilead (east of the Jordan), than in the rest of Israel.

His rule was of just the families listed above. This is the first breaking of the twelve tribes. This was not absolute rule over these people, because of the weakness of Abner and Ish-bosheth.

2 Samuel 2:10 "Ish-bosheth Saul's son [was] forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David."

"The house of Judah": A natural opposition arose between the tribe of Judah and the rest of Israel since Judah was under the reign of David, while the rest of Israel recognized the reign of Ish-bosheth.

He was not a youngster when he began to reign, but the country never quite accepted him as king. His reign was short and uneventful. Judah led the way in accepting David as king.

2 Samuel 2:11 "And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months."

"Seven years and six months": Several years passed before Ish-bosheth assumed the throne of Israel, so that Ish-bosheth's two year reign came at the end of David's 7 year and 6 month reign over Judah. It must have taken Ish-bosheth about 5 years to regain the northern territory from the Philistines.

We will find that David reigns as king 40 years. The time listed here, is the time that he reigned only in Judah. Even though David is depicted as a bloody man, he does not seem to oppose Ish-bosheth and try to take leadership over his people. To the end, he respected the house of Saul. It seems as though, this was not so with Abner. He did not respect, or receive David as king.

Verses 12-14: Abner's aim was to prevent David from gaining more influence north of Judah. "Gibeon" was part of the area of the Benjamites, the tribe to which Saul belonged (Joshua 10:2-12).

2 Samuel 2:12 "And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon."

"Gibeon": During the time of Joshua, Gibeon was a very important city (Joshua 10:2). Its people probably had sided with David because Saul had broken a treaty with the Gibeonites and acted treacherously toward them (21:1).

We can easily see, from this, that Abner was really the controlling force, even though he was not king. It was Abner, who was making the decisions.

2 Samuel 2:13 "And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool."

"Joab the son of Zeruiah:" Joab was the leader of David's army and thus led the men against Abner. Although Ish-bosheth and David sat on the thrones of their respective territories, Joab and Abner truly had wielded the power and control by leading the military forces. Zeruiah was the sister of David (1 Chron. 2:16).

This Gibeon was about 6 miles from Jerusalem and 26 miles from Hebron. It was also, 26 miles from Mahanaim. Even though David had no intention of coming against Abner in force and taking the people, Abner had other plans about David and Judah. Abner felt that Ish-bosheth should be uncontested ruler of all the people. If Abner and David finally war against each other, both would lose. The Philistines would benefit from this internal war.

Verses 2:14-16: The "play" of the "young men" was actually a gladiatorial contest in lieu of a full-pitched battle. Representatives from each army were chosen, so an all-out war would not be necessary. Such a practice is amply documented in the literature and the art of the ancient Near East (1 Sam. 17:8-10). A full battle followed anyway (verse 17), because all of the contestants in the representative combat had fallen.

2 Samuel 2:14 "And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise."

"The young men ... play before us": Rather than all-out war, Abner proposed a representative contest between champions on behalf of the opposing armies. Because all 24 of the contestants lay fallen and dying in combat (verses 15-16), the contest settled nothing, but excited passions so that a battle between the two armies ensued (verse 17).

Abner represented Ish-bosheth in this, and Joab represented David. These were not games, as you and I think of games. These young men, chosen from each side, will enter into mortal combat. Those chosen from each side will represent the entire army. The name "Joab" means Jehovah is father. Joab had confidence, even though Abner was the aggressor.

2 Samuel 2:15 "Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which [pertained] to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David."

Some think that the proposal was only for an exhibition of a little tilting match for diversion. Others suppose that, both parties being reluctant to commence a civil war, Abner proposed to leave the contest to the decision of twelve picked men on either side. This fight by championship instead of terminating the matter, inflamed the fiercest passions of the two rival parties; a general engagement ensued, in which Abner and his forces were defeated and put to flight.

The number "twelve" has always been a representative of the whole. Each side sends twelve of their best men to engage in combat with the enemy.

2 Samuel 2:16 "And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and [thrust] his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which [is] in Gibeon."

Caught the hair of his head with his hand.

"And thrust his sword in his fellow's side": Which he had in the other.

"So they fell down together": The twelve on each side, all the twenty four; some think only the twelve on Abner's side fell; but to me it seems that they all fell dead as one man, since they thrust their swords in each other's sides.

"Wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon; the field of rocks, or of mighty men as strong as rocks, which stood as immovable, and would not give way, but fell and died in the field of battle. The Targum interprets it, the inheritance of the slain.

Helkath-hazzurim means field of swords. It appears, they had no shields and by brute force, they grab the hair of the head of their opponents and stab them through with the sword. It appears, to me, this was a field of blood. It also appears to me, that this shows the cruelty of men toward each other. It seems that Abner, and Joab thought very little of the bloodshed of these men.

2 Samuel 2:17 "And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David."

Because the attempt to avoid full-scale war by sending forward 12 men from each side failed, a "fierce battle" ensued. David won a resounding victory, losing only 19 men but killing 360 of Abner's troops (2:31).

This does not tell how many on each side of the twelve died. Perhaps all 24 died. It does seem to start a battle between Abner and Joab. The men they had with them on both sides begin to fight, and it seems that David's men, led by Joab, win.

2 Samuel 2:18 "And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel [was as] light of foot as a wild roe."

"Joab" became a prominent figure in David's reign. He, along with Abishai and Asahel, was David's nephew, the son of David's older sister Zeruiah (1 Chron. 2:16).

"Abishai": Brother of Joab, he was an aide to David throughout his rise to power. Abishai was with David in the camp of Saul when David had opportunity to kill Saul and encouraged the murder of Saul, which David would not allow (1 Sam. 26:6-9).

"Asahel": Another brother of Joab, Asahel was single-minded with dogged determination; though he was extremely fleet-footed, his determination would prove to be fatal (verse 23).

Zeruiah was the mother of the three sons mentioned above. She and Abigail were earlier specified as the sisters of David. These three young fighters for David are his nephews, then.

2 Samuel 2:19 "And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner."

He was ambitious of the glory of taking or slaying the general of the army of Israel. Trusting to his swiftness, not considering that the race is not always to the swift, and that he had to deal with a veteran soldier, and he a raw young man, though valiant.

"And in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left in following Abner": He kept his eye upon him, and pursued him closely, disregarding persons on the right or left he could have made prisoners; but those he neglected, being bent on taking Abner if possible.

The name "Asahel" means made of God. His swiftness got him to Abner before the others. He did not get distracted along the way. He went directly within hearing distance of Abner.

2 Samuel 2:20 "Then Abner looked behind him, and said, [Art] thou Asahel? And he answered, I [am]."

Perceiving that someone was at his heels, and making haste to catch up to him.

"And said, art thou Asahel?" for it seems he knew him personally, being well acquainted with his family.

"And he answered, I am": So that they were very near to each other, as to discourse together, and be heard and understood by each other.

The only reason I can think of for Abner hesitating to kill Asahel, was because he was David's nephew. He knew he would have trouble with David, if he killed his nephew. The fact that he could ask this question, and get it answered, shows just how close they really were.

2 Samuel 2:21 "And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armor. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him."

"Take thee his armor": To gain the armor or spoil of the enemy general, Abner, who was fleeing the defeat, would be to possess the greatest trophy. Asahel was ambitious to get it, while Abner kept warning him and suggested he take the spoil of some other soldier for his trophy, since he was not able to defeat Abner.

It seems that, Asahel felt if he could catch and kill Abner, the kingship of Ish-bosheth would be over. The power behind him was Abner. Abner must have had on armor, and told the young man to put on armor. Asahel would not be distracted from his mission, however.

2 Samuel 2:22 "And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? How then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?"

"How then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?" Abner sought to spare Asahel so as to avoid unnecessary vengeance from Joab or David. Abner tried to give Asahel reasons to stop his pursuit, but Asahel was determined. Abner did not wish to strike down Asahel, but Asahel refuses to listen, so he was forced to stop his effort with a fatal back stab by the butt end of his spear.

Abner did not want to kill him, because he knew his brother Joab would come to fight with him, if he did. The battle had been instigated by Abner. He had not taken into consideration that Joab was a powerful man. He, also, thought the battle would be easily won, and he lost instead.

2 Samuel 2:23 "Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth [rib], that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, [that] as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still."

Abner's slaying of Joab's brother was accomplished by thrusting the back end of the "spear" through his abdomen. The butt "end" would be sharpened for ease of sticking into the ground (1 Sam. 26:7). Joab would eventually avenge his brother's death (3:27).

Abner saw that Asahel was going to kill him, if he did not kill him. The spear went through the heart of Asahel, and killed him.

2 Samuel 2:24 "Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that [lieth] before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon."

They both stood not still as the rest, but, filled with indignation and resentment, pursued after Abner, to be avenged on him.

"And the sun went down when they came to the hill of Ammah; a hill by the side of which was a pool of water, as Kimchi thinks, and from thence so called.

"That lieth before Giah; a place near Gibeon, but nowhere later mentioned. By the way of the wilderness of Gibeon; very likely not far from the city from which it had its name.

The pursuit of the other two brothers became even more intent, after Abner killed Ahasel. They pursued after him all day long, until the evening.

2 Samuel 2:25 "And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of a hill."

The rest of Abner's force appears to have been hopelessly scattered in the flight, but he succeeded in rallying the Benjamites, his own and Saul's kinsmen, in a strong position "on the top of a hill."

Abner ran far enough, that he came to some troops to back him up. The men of Benjamin joined him, to come against Joab and Abishai. These men stood on a hill waiting for them, to ambush them.

2 Samuel 2:26 "Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?"

"Shall the sword devour for ever": As Abner had earlier proposed that the hostilities begin, he now proposed that they cease.

We see that, finally, Abner decides that fighting among the tribes of Israel is of no advantage. He calls out to the two brothers, who are in hot pursuit to avenge the death of their brother Asahel. Abner had enough men with him, that he could have killed the two brothers. He would not, however, be ahead, because this would cause a bitter war with David. He shows that he is a statesman here, by trying to stop this futile battle.

2 Samuel 2:27 "And Joab said, [As] God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother."

Joab's speech means either "unless thou hadst spoken (challenged us to fight, 2 Sam. 2:14), the people would have returned from the pursuit of their brethren (many hours ago, even) this "morning;" or, "If thou hadst not spoken (asked for peace, 2 Sam. 2:26), surely the people would have returned, etc., "in the morning". I. e. would not have ceased the pursuit until the morning. The latter interpretation is the more accordant with Joab's boastful character.

Joab makes it very plain, that it was Abner who wanted this war in the first place. Joab is willing to stop the war, before it goes any further. Joab was just repelling an attack, not beginning an attack.

2 Samuel 2:28 "So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more."

The blowing of the "trumpet", a ram's horn or shofar, signified a truce between the two sides.

It appears that, David's men had followed after Joab, and they were just about to have an all-out war. When Joab blew the trumpet, it was to stop the pursuit, which would have eventually wound up in a war.

2 Samuel 2:29 "And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim."

"The plain": Arabah": The central valley region marked by Mt. Hermon to the north and the Red Sea to the south.

"Mahanaim" (see note on 2:8).

Abner and his men left the place where the battle would have taken place, and walked all night. The separation of the two armies would stop any more confrontation.

2 Samuel 2:30 "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."

It being in his commission from David to shed as little blood as he could.

"And when he had gathered all the people together; who had been pursuing the Israelites, some one way and some another.

"There lacked of David's servants nineteen men, and Asahel"; who is particularly mentioned, because a very honorable man, valiant and courageous, a relation of David, and brother of Joab the general, and the loss of him was greater than all the rest.

We see from this, there was a limited confrontation. Most of the nineteen were, probably, the twelve which fought originally. The total loss was 20 because Asahel, the nephew of David, was lost along with the nineteen regular soldiers.

2 Samuel 2:31 "But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, [so that] three hundred and threescore men died."

Of those that were from the tribe of Benjamin that joined him; and of those that he brought with him from Mahanaim. There were many of them smitten as appeared by their bodies lying on the field of battle.

"So that three hundred and threescore men died": The number of the slain on each side was very unequal.

We read earlier that David's men had won the battle. We definitely see, here, that was true. Abner's army lost 360 men in this confrontation.

2 Samuel 2:32 "And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulcher 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."

Joab, having stopped the pursuit, passed the night with his army on the field of battle. The next morning, he numbered the missing and buried the dead; they carried the body of Asahel to Beth-lehem and buried him there, and then joined David at Hebron. Hebron would be about 14 miles from Bethlehem, or about five hours' march.

The name of the father of Asahel is never given. It does appear that, he was from Bethlehem, as was the mother of Asahel, since they buried him in Beth-lehem. David had set up his headquarters at Hebron. The men, that Joab led, returned to Hebron at the same time that Abner's men returned to their home. The battle is over.

2 Samuel Chapter 2 Questions

1. Where did the LORD tell David to go, to make his home?

2. Where is that city located?

3. Who were David's wives at this time?

4. Who went with David and his wives?

5. The men of Judah anointed David __________.

6. Why do they want David?

7. Who had buried Saul?

8. What was different about David's anointing by the people here?

9. What does David speak to these people, who buried Saul?

10. David offered them what?

11. Who did Abner set up as king?

12. Who was Ish-bosheth?

13. Where was Mahanaim located?

14. How old was Ish-bosheth, when he began to reign?

15. _________ led the way in accepting David as king.

16. How long was David king of just Judah?

17. How was David different from Abner?

18. Who went out and met against Abner?

19. Where did they meet?

20. What is play, in verse 14, speaking of?

21. How many men met in battle?

22. The number "twelve" has always been a ______________ number.

23. What was unusual about their fighting?

24. After the young men met and killed each other, what happened?

25. Who was Zeruiah?

26. How many sons did she have?

27. What does "Asahel" mean?

28. Why did Abner hesitate to kill Asahel?

29. When Asahel kept coming forward, what did Abner do to him?

30. In verse 26, what did Abner say that stopped the bloodshed?

31. What did Joab do, to stop his troops?

32. How many of David's men were killed?

33. How many of Abner's men were killed?

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2 Samuel 3

2 Samuel Chapter 3

2 Samuel 3:1 "Now there was 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."

"Long war": The conflict between Ish-bosheth and David did not end in quick victory. There was a gradual transfer of power from the house of Saul to the house of David (verse 10), that lasted at least through the two year reign of Ish-bosheth and maybe longer.

Even after David was anointed king, he did not pursue conflict with his opponents; he fought only when confronted, willing to wait on God to make this kingdom, which was his in precept, become his in practicality (1 Chron. 3:1-4).

This is speaking of a period of several years. There just seemed as if there was too much revenge to take for past happenings.

Verses 2-5 (see 1 Chronicles 3:1-4).

Verses 2-5: David had already become a polygamist (compare 1 Sam. 25:43). Here the total number of wives becomes six, but only the childbearing wives are listed. Therefore Michal, Saul's daughter, is not listed. "David" had not yet recovered her from Phaltiel, to whom Saul had given her in the days of David's flight from Saul (compare 1 Sam. 25:44 with 2 Sam. 3:13-16). Although practiced in Israel, polygamy was neither sanctioned nor honored (compare Gen. 2:24).

2 Samuel 3:2″And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;"

"Amnon" He raped and defiled his half-sister Tamar and later, by the command of Absalom, was killed for his crime (13:1-39).

David was like many of the kings who had several wives. It seemed that, the prosperity that went with being king caused them to marry several times. Sometimes, they were marriages of state to help their political position. In the case of Ahinoam, this was not true. She was actually the third wife of David. "Amnon" means faithful.

2 Samuel 3:3 "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;"

"Chileab": He apparently died before he was able to enter into position to contend for the throne, for nothing more is said about him. This child was born to David by the wife whom David had taken upon the death of Nabal (see 1 Sam. 25:3).

"Absalom": Literally "My Divine Father Is Peace" or "Divine Father of Peace." Absalom was the son of Maacah who was a Geshurite princess from a region in Syria, not Israel. David may have married her as part of a diplomatic agreement made with Talmai, the Geshurite king, to give David an ally north of Ish-bosheth. Later Absalom, in fear of his life, fled to Geshur (13:37-38).

The name "Chileab" means protected by the father, or quite like the father. Abigail had married David after the death of her husband. In (1 Chronicles chapter 3 verse 1), he is called Daniel. This son, perhaps, did not live very long, because he is not mentioned as the eldest son, after the deaths of Amnon and Absalom.

Geshur was a small Armenian town in the northeast of Bashan. Absalom was the only son of Maacah. It appears, she was from a very prominent family, since her father was a king. Absalom is best known for killing his brother Amnon for raping their sister Tamar. In later years, he tried to take over his father's kingdom.

2 Samuel 3:4 "And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;"

"Adonijah": He was a prominent figure in the contention for David's throne at the end of his reign (1 Kings 1 and 2), but was assassinated, allowing the throne to be given to Solomon (1 Kings 2:25). Haggith was probably married to David after his accession to the throne.

"Shephatiah ... Abital": Shephatiah means "The Lord Judges." Abital means "My Divine Father is Dew" or "My Divine Father of Dew."

Adonijah becomes the eldest son of David, after the death of the first three. "Adonijah" means Jehovah is my LORD. Adonijah is eventually put to death by Solomon. There is nothing more known of Haggith, except the fact that she was the wife of David, and the mother of Adonijah. The fifth son of David's, Shephatiah, has a name that means Jehovah judges. About the only thing we know of Abital, the wife of David, was that she was born in Hebron and bore this son to David.

2 Samuel 3:5 "And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron."

"Eglah": Eglah is called "David's wife." This may be because she is the last of the list and serves to draw emphasis to David's polygamy. The inclusion of these sons indicates all who would have been in contention for the throne.

"Born to David": More children were born to David when he moved to Jerusalem (5:14).

David was in Hebron about seven and one-half years. These children, listed above, all were born during that time. All of these were born about 1,000 B.C. Nothing else is known of this son, but what is here. Some believe that Eglah, Ithream's mother, is the same as Michal.

Verses 3:6 - 5:16: David assumed the kingdom of all Israel by a similar progression of events as those which led to his assuming the throne of Judah. In both cases, a man comes seeking David's favor (Amalekite, 1:1-13; Abner, 3:6-21). Both of these men are executed for their deeds (Amalekite, 1:14-16; Abner, 3:22-32). In both cases, this is followed by a lament of David (1:17-27; 3:33-39). Close to the middle of both accounts is a brief look at the anointing of David as king (over Judah, 2:1-7; over Israel, 5:1-5). After this, David and his men are successful in defeating their enemies (2:8-3:1; 5:6-12). Each section concludes with a list of the children born to David (Hebron, 3:2-5; Jerusalem, 5:13-16).

Verses 6-7: Taking a former kings "concubine" was considered a power move for the throne. Abner usurped Ish-bosheth's authority ("strengthening his hold"), so Ish-bosheth made a false accusation against him.

2 Samuel 3:6″And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul."

"Abner made himself strong": Abner was the military leader of the country and the one who had put Ish-bosheth on the throne and whose power held him there. As time passed, Abner began to make his own move to take the throne.

In the last lesson, it was Abner who tried to call off the war between him and the followers of David. Perhaps, that was for a selfish reason, because we read here that they continued to fight off and on for the entire rule of Ish-bosheth.

Verses 7-10: The charge was a serious one. To take the king's "concubine" was to make a claim on the throne itself (1 Kings 2:19-25). The reference to a "dog's head" (probably a euphemism), implies vileness, in this case, a traitor. For the dog as a symbol of contempt (see the note on 1 Sam. 24:14). The "Lord" would use this incident to bring the loyalties of "Abner" and his forces to the side of "David" (verses 12-21).

2 Samuel 3:7 "And Saul had a concubine, whose name [was] Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and [Ish-bosheth] said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine?"

"Rizpah": By taking Rizpah, the concubine of Saul, Abner made a clear statement to the people that he would take the place of Saul as king over Israel. Going in to the king's concubine was a statement of power and rightful claim to the throne (compare 16:21-22; in regard to Absalom). Ish-bosheth reacted strongly against Abner, so Abner resented his reaction as an indignity and, compelled by revenge, determined to transfer all the weight of his influence and power to David's side (verses 9-10).

Abner was the strength of Saul's army. He really had made Abner more powerful, than he would have been without him. What makes the statement above ridiculous is the fact that Saul is dead. As long as Saul was alive, she was his, but when he died she is free to marry anyone she wishes. In the case of a king, sometimes she would be taken by the next king, when her husband died. This is the only error, we could, possibly, see in this. The Levitical law does not give the woman to the next king. This would make this a fleshly custom, and not a law.

Verses 8-21: Fueled by his "anger" at being unjustly accused by "Ish-bosheth, Abner" admitted that David had been chosen by God to be Saul's successor, and from that point on, he worked toward that aim. What motivated him to accept David's leadership after he had fought against it is unknown. Perhaps he realized that David was a much better leader than Ish-bosheth, or perhaps Abner wanted to secure a position with the conquering king.

2 Samuel 3:8 "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 today with a fault concerning this woman?"

"Dog's head": This was another way to ask, "Am I a contemptible traitor allied with Judah?" This was a common expression to show disdain (1 Sam. 17:43). Abner used this opportunity to condemn Ish-bosheth by reminding him that he would not have been in power had Abner himself not placed him there.

Abner was very wroth, because Ish-bosheth was trying to defame him. Abner, possibly, thought that the king was going to demote him. Abner is asking the king, if he had betrayed him to Judah? He does not understand why the king is trying to make him look bad, before the people. He is explaining to the king, that he could have turned him over to the armies of David, if he had not been loyal. He says, that Ish-bosheth is just trying to find some little something wrong, to demote him.

2 Samuel 3:9 "So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him;"

"As the Lord hath sworn to David": Abner seemed to demonstrate the knowledge that David was to be the next king of Israel as God had sworn to David (1 Sam. 13:14-15; 15:28; 24:20).

2 Samuel 3:10 "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."

"Translate the kingdom": Part of Saul's kingdom had already been transferred to David, namely Judah; however, Abner vowed to complete the process by helping David obtain the rest of the kingdom.

"Dan even to Beer-sheba": This was an expression meaning the whole country (Judges 20:1), i.e., from Dan in the north to Beer-sheba in the south.

We see from this, that Abner knew all along that the LORD had anointed David king by Samuel. Suddenly, he is saying that David will be king over all the people. It is inevitable, because the LORD anointed him as king. He is speaking prophetically, that David will be king of both Israel and Judah. It is not if David will be king of them all, but when.

2 Samuel 3:11 "And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him."

That is, he would not, he dared not. Otherwise, if it was fact he charged him with, he could have insisted on the truth of it, and aggravated the crime and scandal of it. And observed it to him, that the kindness he had shown him was no excuse for it; but such things, though he would, he dared not say.

"Because he feared him": He had the army at his command, and could dethrone him when he pleased. And it has been the fate of greater men than Ish-bosheth to be awed by their generals, and even David himself (see 2 Sam. 3:39).

Ish-bosheth was not a strong person in the beginning. Even though what he said was treason, he did not arrest Abner, for fear Abner would kill him. Ish-bosheth had no idea, whether the men would be faithful to him or not, if he went against their military leader, Abner. He just did and said nothing.

2 Samuel 3:12″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."

"Whose is the land": Though Abner's language (verses 9-10), implied the conviction that in supporting Ish-bosheth he had been going against God's purpose of conferring the sovereignty of the kingdom on David, this acknowledgment was not justification of his motives. He selfishly wanted to be on the winning side and to be honored as the one who brought all the people under David's rule.

Abner, it seems, was not afraid of Ish-bosheth. He did not even regard that Ish-bosheth was king. He sent word to David, that he could give him possession of the land, if David would go into an agreement with him. "Whose is the land" is a sarcastic remark that he can hand over the land of Ish-bosheth to David.

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."

"Michal Saul's daughter": David requested Michal for two reasons. One, it would right the wrong Saul had committed toward David by having given Michal, who was David's wife and who loved him (1 Sam. 18:20, 28), to another man (1 Sam. 25:44). Two, it would serve to strengthen David's claim to the throne of all Israel by inclining some of Saul's house to be favorable to his cause.

Saul had given David Michal to wife in his youth. She was David's first wife. When Saul turned on David, and David had to go in exile to save his life, Saul gave her to another man. It appears, from this, that David wanted her back. David not only wants her for his wife, but wants the recognition of Saul's daughter being his wife. The only way that David will make an agreement with Abner is, if Abner brings David's wife back to him.

2 Samuel 3:14 "And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver [me] my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines."

"A hundred foreskins of the Philistines": David reminded Ish-bosheth that he had not only paid the dowry to Saul for his daughter, 100 foreskins of the Philistines, but had delivered double the asking price (1 Sam. 18:25-27). Thus, Michal rightfully belonged to David.

David had bought the right to be Michal's husband by killing the Philistines, and carrying their foreskins to Saul. Saul had no right to give David's wife to another. She was David's, not Saul's, to do with such as this.

2 Samuel 3:15 "And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from [her] husband, [even] from Phaltiel the son of Laish."

Her second husband, to whom Saul had given her (1 Sam. 25:44).

"Even from Phaltiel the son of Laish": He is called Phalti (in 1 Sam. 25:44).

"Phaltiel" means deliverance of God. This is first strange, that it would be Ish-bosheth that would do this instead of Abner. It is also very unusual for a woman, who is living with her husband, to be taken from him for another. This is really what happened in the beginning with Michal and David, so perhaps, that is why this happens here.

2 Samuel 3:16 "And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned."

"Bahurim" Located just east of Jerusalem, it became the final location where Phaltiel (compare 1 Sam. 25:44) would see Michal. This was also the town of Shimei, the man who cursed David during his flight from Jerusalem before Absalom (16:5). David's soldiers also found refuge in a well at Bahurim while being pursued by Absalom's men (19:16).

They had lived together for a number of years, so it would be understandable that this would grieve her husband. He must understand, however, that it grieved David, when she had been taken from him earlier. Abner refuses to let him go with Michal, and sends him home.

2 Samuel 3:17″And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past [to be] king over you:"

"Elders of Israel": These men were the recognized leaders of the people serving as Ish-bosheth's advisers who would have been consulted when important decisions needed to be made (19:7).

It seemed that, many of the elders had felt they should have David for king. They had to go along with Abner taking Michal back to David, as well. They had wanted David to be king all along.

2 Samuel 3:18 "Now then do [it]: for the LORD hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies."

"My servant David": David is called "the Lord's servant" more than 30 times in the Old Testament. Abner's words to the elders of Israel clearly recognized David as the servant of the Lord, thus having the right to the throne according to God's sovereign will.

It appears Abner knew all along that David was the choice of the LORD for king. He knew that the LORD had told David, he would save his people from the Philistines. The Philistines were their enemies, as well as David's enemies. Abner had suffered defeat at the hands of the Philistines. He had also suffered defeat at the hands of Joab, David's military leader. Abner has lost his leadership qualities.

2 Samuel 3:19 "And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin."

"Benjamin": Abner gave special attention to the tribe of Benjamin, for they were Saul's and Ish-bosheth's kinsmen (see 1 Sam. 9:1-2).

It appears that, the house of Benjamin wanted to follow David. They were in mutual consent, that the agreement with David would be a very good thing. Abner had extra strength to carry to the bargaining table, because the house of Benjamin was behind him.

2 Samuel 3:20 "So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that [were] with him a feast."

These were doubtless representative men, selected by Abner from Israel and Benjamin to accompany him and confirm his report. The feast which David made for them is not to be understood of mere conviviality, but of a solemn sacrificial feast, such as was customary in ancient times in connection with important negotiations (see Gen. 26:30; 31:54; 1 Kings 3:15).

Many times, agreements were made over a big feast of celebration. These 20 men that came to this feast were possibly, the elders spoken of earlier. They were men of influence who also, wanted to make agreement with David. The group brought Michal back to David. This was their part of the bargain, to get David to sit down and talk to them. There would be details to work out for David to become king of all Israel.

2 Samuel 3:21 "And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace."

"Covenant with you": This covenant moved beyond the personal agreement made between Abner and David and was operative on the national level, uniting both north and south.

"In peace": The repetition of this phase (in verses 22-23), serves to emphasize the fact that David sought to ensure peace with Abner. This also accentuates the fact that David was not involved in Abner's death (verses 26-30).

The tribes would be gathered together and unanimously make David their king. Abner had been their true leader, and he would tell them he thought this would be a good thing to do. David allowed Abner to leave peacefully, to go and tell the others of the plans.

2 Samuel Chapter 3 Questions

1. During the wars between the house of Saul and the house of David, what happened?

2. Who was the firstborn son of David?

3. Who was the mother of the son?

4. Who was David's son by Abigail?

5. Who was Abigail, before she married David?

6. What does "Chileab" mean?

7. What name is Chileab called in the book of (1 Chronicles 3:1)?

8. Who was Absalom the son of?

9. What is Absalom best known for?

10. When does Adonijah become the eldest son of David?

11. What does "Adonijah" mean?

12. How many years did David reign from Hebron?

13. Who was strong in the house of Saul?

14. Who ruled at that time?

15. What was the name of Saul's concubine, who Abner went in to?

16. If there is no law about taking a dead man's wife or concubine, then this is a ___________.

17. In verses 9 and 10, what is Abner saying about David?

18. Why did Ish-bosheth not arrest Abner for saying, David would be king?

19. What sarcastic remark did Abner make in verse 12?

20. How did David answer Abner's offer to an agreement?

21. Why did David want Michal?

22. What was the condition David placed upon the possibility of an agreement?

23. Who did David send a message to, to release his wife to him?

24. Who was her husband at this time?

25. What is unusual about all of this?

26. How did her husband act at them taking Michal?

27. Who had Abner communicated with?

28. What had Abner known from the beginning?

29. Who came with Abner to Hebron to meet with David?

30. Who will Abner go back to, to get them to agree to the proposal he and David had made?

31. How did David let Abner leave?

2 Samuel Chapter 3 Continued

2 Samuel 3:22 "And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from [pursuing] a troop, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner [was] not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace."

He had been either on some expedition against the Philistines, the Amalekites, or other enemies of Judah, or else engaged in repelling some attack from them. In either case, he returned elated with victory and bringing great spoil. But Abner had concluded his interview and gone away before his return.

We remember from a previous lesson, that Joab was the leader of David's military. He was a very brave man. He has been off in a battle, and has come home victor. He has brought the spoil from the battle home with him. David was aware that Abner had killed Joab's brother. David may have sent Abner on this mission to get him away from headquarters, while Abner was there. This is the first that Joab has heard about Abner coming over to David's side. David has made the agreement without consulting Joab. The agreement is set, and David has sent Abner away in peace.

Verses 23-29: For the cause of Abner's murder (see the note on 2:23). Joab's avenging of "his brother" was at "Hebron," a city of refuge (Joshua 21:13). Such an act was against the regulations in the law (Num. 35:22-28), even if "Joab" were acting as an avenger of blood (see the note on Joshua 20:2). Accordingly, because Joab's deed was born of vengeance and jealousy (verses 24-25), Joab does not receive David's blessing, but his curse. "David" leads the people of Hebron in a sincere time of public mourning (verses 31-39).

2 Samuel 3:23 "When Joab and all the host that [was] with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace."

To Hebron or rather to David's court, for their coming to the city is before mentioned. This must be understood not of the whole army, of all the common soldiers, but of the chief officers, who with Joab came to court, to wait upon David, and report their success.

"They told Joab, saying, Abner the son, of Ner came to the king": Some of the courtiers informed him of it, who knew it would not be very agreeable to him.

"And he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace": Instead of seizing him, and laying him in a prison as his enemy, he has let him go with all the marks of friendship and good will.

Joab hates Abner for killing his brother. He cannot seem to forget that. The men heard the people of Hebron tell of the visit of Abner. They also relate that David let him live. In fact, he let him go peacefully. This has to bother Joab, who has not forgiven him for killing his brother.

2 Samuel 3:24 "Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why [is] it [that] thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone?"

Joab's somewhat rough remonstrance with David may have been supported by an honest suspicion of Abner, for which there was some ground in Abner's long opposition to the known Divine will and his present revolt from Ish-bosheth. But there was also a personal enmity, due partly to the fear of being himself supplanted by an older and famous warrior, and partly to the desire to revenge the death of his brother Asahel. Joab seeks to poison David's mind against Abner so that he may better carry out his revenge.

Verses 25-27: Whether "Joab" was defending David or looking out for his own position, his act against "Abner" was murder since it was neither an act of war nor a justifiable act of revenge. This is especially true because "Hebron" was a city of refuge (Num. 35:22-25; Joshua 20:6-7).

2 Samuel 3:25 "Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest."

"Abner ... came to deceive thee": It is ironic that Joab accused Abner of deception in spying on David (in verse 25 when in verse 26 he deceived David), by not telling him of his request to have Abner returned to Hebron. Joab used this deception to slay Abner out of personal vengeance for the death of his brother Asahel (verse 27; see 2:19-23).

David had to be a tolerant king, to let his subordinate speak to him in this manner. Perhaps, Joab thinks that David might replace him with Abner, the military leader of Saul's army. He actually feels that David has deliberately not told him of his plans. Joab tries to say, that Abner cannot be trusted. Whether Joab really believes that Abner is a spy, or whether there is a touch of jealousy, is not clear. He is not satisfied with the way David handled Abner. He feels he had better take care of this himself.

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."

"Well of Sirah": The only mention of this location is found here. The town was located about 2.5 miles northwest of Hebron.

Joab did not get orders from David, to go after Abner. He did this on his own. The scouts that Joab sent out told a lie to Abner, undoubtedly. Abner would not have come back with them at all, if he had known that it was Joab, and not David, that wanted him. The well of Sirah, mentioned here, is about two and a half miles out of Hebron. This is where Joab waited for him.

2 Samuel 3:27 "And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth [rib], that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother."

"Smote here there under the fifth rib": Abner died in a similar manner to Joab's brother Asahel, the man he had killed (2:23). However, Abner struck Asahel during battle (2:18-23), in self-defense, while Joab murdered Abner to avenge the death of Asahel.

In a sense, Joab was paying a tooth for a tooth. His brother had been killed by a spear going in under his fifth rib. It was Abner, who had actually speared him. The action of Joab was an act of revenge. The place where Joab killed him was a private place. He possibly, made Abner believe there was something secret he needed to talk to him about. When they met in secret, Joab struck him under the fifth rib and killed him.

Verses 28-29: "David" did not punish "Joab" immediately, perhaps because Joab was too important as a military commander. Solomon eventually punished Joab for his crime (1 Kings 2:5-6; 29-35).

2 Samuel 3:28 "And afterward when David heard [it], he said, I and my kingdom [are] guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner:"

"The blood of Abner": Since life is in the blood (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11, 14; Deut.12:23), this expression refers to the life of Abner. David made it clear he had nothing to do with the murder of Abner, and David sought the Lord's help to punish Joab for his evil deed (verse 39).

The fact that the leader of David's military did this would cause people to believe that David was in on the plot to kill Abner. David immediately denies any part in this deceit. He places the blame clearly at Joab's feet. This act of treachery, if it were done by David, could cost him the agreement he had just made to be the king of all Israel.

2 Samuel 3:29 "Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread."

That is the blood of Abner, who was the shedder of it; let the guilt of it be charged to him, and let punishment for it be inflicted on him.

"And on all his father's house": On Abishai his brother, and other relations that might be privy to the death of Abner, and advising to it, and ready to assist in it if necessary.

"And let there not fail from the house of Joab": Let there be always in his family, and of his seed, one or other of the persons described as follows.

"One that hath an issue": A gonorrhea, which was reckoned infamous, and very impure, according to the Jewish law, and rendered persons unfit for society (see Lev. 15:1).

"Or that is a leper": Whose disease was very loathsome and infectious, and shut him out of the company of men (see Lev. 13:1).

"Or that leaneth on a staff": Being blind, as Aquila renders the word; or through weakness of body, not being able to walk without one. Or through some disease of the feet, as the Jewish writers generally understand it; and Isaiah interprets it of the gout particularly. The word for "staff" is rendered "spindle" (Prov. 31:19); and to this sense it is rendered here in, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions. And then the meaning is, let his posterity, or some of them, be so poor, that they shall be obliged to get their livelihood in so mean a way as by spinning. Or let them be of such an effeminate disposition, as be more fit to handle the spindle, and do the, work of women, than to use the sword.

"Or that falleth on the sword": Not by it honorably in the field of battle, but cowardly destroying themselves with it.

"Or that lacketh bread": And is obliged to beg it. All which David might say, not by a spirit of prophecy, but in a passion; and to show with what horror he resented the action, and how detestable it was to him, and how far it was for him to have any concern in it. But though it was a very wicked action in Joab to murder Abner in this manner, and for the reasons he did; yet it was a just vengeance from the Lord on Abner for fighting against God. And acting against the dictates of his own conscience; for his rebellion against David, and perfidy to Ish-bosheth, and for having been the cause of much bloodshed in Israel.

David is very angry with Joab, for this terrible thing he has done. In a sense, he speaks a curse on Joab and his family. He is very disappointed that the leader of his army would do such a thing. David had a strong feeling of justice to all men. He had just made an agreement that would have brought all of Israel under him as king. This incident could cause the other tribes not to make David their king.

David was an honorable king. He was completely revolted by the sneaky manner that Joab killed Abner to take revenge. Joab never once thought of the good of his country, he just wanted to get even for his brother's murder. This terrible curse was on all of Joab's people. They would be sickly from that day forward.

2 Samuel 3:30 "So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle."

For though Joab only committed the murder, yet Abishai was guilty of it. Because it was done with his consent, counsel, help and approbation. For by these and such-like actions men are involved in the guilt of other men's sins, at least in God's judgment. Abner slew Asahel in the fury of battle, and for his own necessary defense; and therefore, it was no justification of this unnecessary and treacherous murder in a time of peace.

This is simply a brutal revenge on Abner.

2 Samuel 3:31 "And David said to Joab, and to all the people that [were] with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David [himself] followed the bier."

"Mourn": Joab was instructed to lament the death of Abner, as was the custom for commemorating the death of an individual. To further demonstrate David's condemnation of the killing of Abner, he instructed "all the people" to mourn the death of Abner, including Joab and his men (verses 32-34).

The whole nation must mourn for Abner. David spoke a command, and they must do it, want to, or not. King David showed Abner the respect of a high diplomat in following the bier.

Verses 32-39: David had to distance himself from Joab's murder of Abner so that the nation would not be divided over it. He was successful in demonstrating his innocence in the matter.

2 Samuel 3:32 "And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept."

The family home, and therefore the natural burial-place, of Abner was at Gibeon (1 Chron. 8:29; 8:33; 9:33); but this may have been now under Ish-bosheth's control. And at all events, a burial in the royal city of Hebron was more honorable and a more marked testimony to the grief of David.

King David truly was sorry about the death of Abner. David had given his word. Joab actually broke David's word. Abner was buried with honor in Hebron.

2 Samuel 3:33 "And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth?"

Delivered an elegy or funeral oration, which he had composed on this occasion, as Josephus suggests: for he had cried and wept before, but now he expressed something as follows.

"And said, died Abner as a fool dieth?" The meaning of the interrogation is, he did not. The Targum is "did Abner die as wicked men die? " No, he did not. He did not die for any wickedness he had been guilty of. He did not die as a malefactor, whose crime has been charged and proved in open court, and sentence of condemnation pronounced on him righteously for it. But he died without anything being laid to his charge, and much less proved, and without judge or jury. He was murdered in a clandestine, insidious, and deceitful manner. So the word "fool" is often taken in Scripture for a wicked man, especially in the book of Proverbs. The Septuagint version leaves the word untranslated, "died Abner according to the death of Nabal?" No; but it could hardly be thought that David would mention the name of any particular person on such an occasion.

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."

The people were moved greatly by the sight of David's sorrow, but still more by this brief poem of serious reflection over Abner. The whole circumstances are summed up in a few significant words: Abner, so valiant in war, with his hands free for defense, with his feet unfettered, unsuspicious of evil, fell by the treacherous act of a wicked man.

David gave the eulogy for Abner. The thing that disturbed David the worst was the fact that Abner had not been given a chance to defend himself. He had not been tried in a court of law, and found guilty. Joab had taken the law into his own hands. He had killed him without a trial.

Verses 35-39: David's feelings and conduct in response to Abner's death tended not only to remove all suspicion of guilt from him, but even turned the tide of public opinion in his favor and paved the way for his reigning over all the tribes much more honorably than by the negotiations of Abner (3:17-19).

2 Samuel 3:35 "And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down."

The fasting of David in his grief had already attracted attention, so that the people came to urge him to take food; but he utterly refused "till the sun be down," the usual time of ending a fast. David's conduct had a good effect upon the people, and indeed, they were generally disposed to look favorably upon whatever the king did.

David fasted the entire day, until the sun went down, to show the sincerity of his grief over what had happened.

2 Samuel 3:36 "And all the people took notice [of it], and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people."

Not only of his oath, that he would not eat food till evening, but of his whole conduct at the funeral of Abner; the sorrow he expressed for his death, and the oration he made on account of it, in which he pretty severely reflected on his murderer.

"And it pleased them": That he showed such a concern for his death, and that it was a clear case he had no hand in it.

"As whatsoever the king did pleased all the people": What he did at this time, burying Abner with so much pomp and ceremony. And indeed, he had so much of the hearts of the people, and such a share in their affections, and they had such a high opinion of him, that all that he did in public and private affairs they reckoned well done. They were highly approved of by them, such an interest had he in them.

David's respect for Abner and his actions at his death showed that David was an honorable man. The people were very pleased with the way David handled this situation.

2 Samuel 3:37 "For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner."

Not the people of Judah only, but of Israel also, to whom the knowledge of these things came. They knew and were satisfied by his conduct and behavior, by his words and actions.

"That it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner": It was not by the counsel or advice of the king, as the Targum. It was without his knowledge and consent and was contrary to his mind and will; that he had no manner of concern in it, and that if it had been in his power he would have prevented it.

Not only did the people of Judah understand what happened was not the wishes of David, but all of Israel realized it.

2 Samuel 3:38 "And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?"

His courtiers, giving a reason why he mourned as he did; or "had said", and so is a reason why the people concluded, and were fully satisfied, he had no hand in his death. But the first is best, because what follows was said not to the people at the grave, but to his servants at court.

"Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? A "prince", being of the royal family, his father was Saul's uncle, and he his own cousin; a "great" man, being general of the army. A very valiant and skillful commander and a man of great wisdom and parts. David says nothing of his grace and virtue, only of his grandeur, his high birth and civil excellences; he praises him in what he was commendable, and proceeds no further. And this was sufficient to show there was just cause of mourning on civil accounts; and this they might easily know and perceive that the fall or death of such a man, which had that day happened in Israel, was a public loss, and matter of lamentation. And the fact that he was employing all his talents in civil affairs and all his interest in the people of Israel; to unite them to Judah and bring them under the government of David.

David speaks high praise of his opponent Abner here. He and Abner had been caught on opposite sides for a long time, but they had settled their differences and decided to live in peace.

2 Samuel 3:39 "And I [am] this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah [be] too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness."

"Weak ... hard": David had not yet solidified his power enough to exact his own judgment without jeopardizing his command. He was still "weak" and needed time to consolidate his authority. Once that was accomplished, he no longer needed to fear the strength of Joab and Abishai, who were Zeruiah's sons (2:18).

David blames himself for being too weak to control the actions of Joab. David tries to convince them that what Abner tried to do in uniting them, was the right thing to do. David asks God to punish the evil doers.

2 Samuel Chapter 3 Continued Questions

1. How did Ish-bosheth feel about Abner's death?

2. Why was he so afraid?

3. Who were the two men, who were captains of the bands?

4. __________ was reckoned to Benjamin.

5. Where did the Beerothites flee to?

6. What was wrong with Jonathan's son?

7. How did the accident happen?

8. How old was he, when Jonathan was killed?

9. What was his name?

10. __________ was David's best friend.

11. What does Mephibosheth mean?

12. When did Rechab and Baanah go to Ish-bosheth's house?

13. What did they pretend to be there doing?

14. How did they kill him?

15. What was he doing, when they killed him?

16. What did they do, after they killed him?

17. Why did they take his head to David?

18. In verse 9, who did David say took care of his adversity?

19. Who did David tell them about, before he passed sentence on them?

20. What did he have his men do to them?

21. What was the purpose of this type of punishment?

22. What was done with Ish-bosheth's head?

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2 Samuel 4

2 Samuel Chapter 4

2 Samuel 4:1 "And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled."

"Feeble ... troubled": David had not yet solidified his power enough to exact his own judgment without jeopardizing his command. He was still "weak" and needed time to consolidate his authority. Once that was accomplished, he no longer needed to fear the strength of Joab and Abishai, who were Zeruiah's sons (2:18).

Ish-bosheth was greatly troubled that his military man was killed. He probably thought that David would come after him next. He did not know that David had nothing to do with this. Saul's son here, is speaking of Ish-bosheth. It appears that the people were not aware of the circumstances surrounding this.

Verses 2-3: Beeroth ... Gittaim": Beeroth was a Canaanite town belonging to the tribe of Benjamin. Gittaim was also a village of the tribe of Benjamin.

2 Samuel 4:2 "And Saul's son had two men [that were] captains of bands: the name of the one [was] Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin."

"Children of Benjamin": It is stressed that these men were of the tribe of Benjamin (verses 2-3), perhaps to show the friction within the house of Saul and his son Ish-bosheth, and how the grab for power began once Abner was gone.

These two were men in the army. They were not related to Saul, or to Ish-bosheth. These Beerothites were not true Benjamites, but were actually captured by them. These two men were willing to follow anyone that might benefit them.

2 Samuel 4:3 "And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)"

At the death of Saul, many of the Israelites deserted their cities, and left them to the Philistines (1 Sam. 31:7); and so the inhabitants of Beeroth forsook their city, which was near the Philistines, and went to Gittaim, a city in the same tribe, though a little further off (see Neh. 11:33).

They were actually driven out, when the Benjamites took them over. They fled to Gittaim as a refuge.

2 Samuel 4:4 "And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son [that was] lame of [his] feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name [was] Mephibosheth."

"Mephibosheth": With the death of Ish-bosheth, the only remaining heir to the throne was Jonathan's son "Mephibosheth" (9:1-13; 16:1-4; 19:24-29; 21:7). His original name was Merib-Baal, derived from the idol Baal (1 Chron. 8:34). Samuel changed his name to Mephibosheth, which probably means "He Strikes Down Shame" (see note on 2:8-11). Because he was lame and was a child, he was not a likely candidate to inherit the throne from Ish-bosheth. Hence, Mephibosheth is introduced in this passage to show that there was no real threat to David's kingship from Saul's family once Ish-bosheth was killed.

He may be introduced here to demonstrate that his youth and physical handicap disqualified him from being considered from ruling Israel. He would have been only 12 years old at the time of Ish-bosheth's death. For the history of this man (see 9:6-13; 16:1-4; 19:24-30; 21:7).

We must remember that, Jonathan was David's best friend. At the death of Ish-bosheth, there were no more sons to carry on the family of Saul. This son of Jonathan was the only real family connection that David had with his old friend. The son of Jonathan was Mephibosheth. His name meant destroying idols. This son of Jonathan is a crippled man. We are not told whether David had been aware of this son of Jonathan before, or not. He was just 5 years old, when Jonathan was killed.

Verses 5-12: Apparently "Rechab" and Baanah" were not aware of David's response to the death of Saul. They expected accolades and status for killing Ish-bosheth but instead received the death penalty for killing him under such unjust circumstances. David consistently showed that he would not take personal revenge on his enemies and would deliver the death penalty to anyone who killed in an unjust manner.

Verses 5-6: It was the custom to secure wheat for the soldiers under their command (verse 2), along with some pay. Under the pretense of that normal routine, they came and killed the king.

2 Samuel 4:5 "And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, who lay on a bed at noon."

According to the custom in hot countries; by the taking a siesta at midday. Ish-bosheth's bed was, of course, in the coolest and most retired part of the house.

Ish-bosheth seemed to be a very lazy man. He was lying down at noon here. He really had very little power himself. He had depended upon Abner to get him by as king. Abner is gone now, and his power is gone. These two men are not really loyal to him either.

2 Samuel 4:6 "And they came thither into the midst of the house, [as though] they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth [rib]: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped."

They not only came unto it, but entered into it, and went into the inmost part of it. The guards being asleep also perhaps, or not on duty, so that there were none to obstruct them; or if there were, they deceived them, since they went in.

"As though they would have fetched wheat": Out of the king's granaries, for the payment and support of the soldiers under them, who in those days were paid in corn, as were the Roman soldiers in later times. And these granaries might not only be in the king's house, but near his bedchamber; for in those ancient ages of simplicity there was not such grandeur in the courts of princes as now; the Targum is, "as sellers of wheat." In the guise and habit of such persons, pretending they came to sell wheat to the king's purveyors, who were at the granaries; or, as others interpret it, they went in along with the wheat merchants as if they belonged to them, and so found their way to the king's bedchamber.

"And smote him under the fifth rib" (see 2 Sam. 2:23).

"And Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped": They got out of the palace after they had committed the murder undiscovered and unsuspected.

Under the fifth rib is mentioned again here, because this is the easiest area to kill a person. These two evil men believe, if they kill Ish-bosheth, it will put them in good standing with David. This is murder. They have no cause to kill Ish-bosheth.

2 Samuel 4:7 "For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night."

"The plain": To avoid easy detection, the men traveled by way of the Arabah (2:29), i.e., the Jordan Valley. This plain extended about 30 miles from Mahanaim to Hebron.

Ish-bosheth was taking his siesta, as most of the people did in the heat of the midday. They were not satisfied just to kill him; they behead him, so that David will believe they have killed him.

2 Samuel 4:8 "And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed."

"The Lord hath avenged": The murderers of Ish-bosheth came to David and proclaimed that the Lord had avenged David. However, as happened earlier to the Amalekite (1:2-15), the men were very surprised at the response of David. David did not see their deed as the Lord's vengeance, but as murder of an innocent man.

These two very evil men did not care what they did to others, if it would advantage them some way. Saul was not hated by David. David had made no move against Ish-bosheth himself, either. These two men had heard about Abner's death, and they thought it was David who ordered his death. They, in a sense, are saying the line of Saul will die out with Ish-bosheth. They brought this head to David, believing he would be pleased that they had killed Ish-bosheth.

2 Samuel 4:9″And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, [As] the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity,"

"The Lord ... hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity": A striking contrast is shown between David and the two murderers who claimed they were performing the Lord's work by killing Ish-bosheth. However, David praised the Lord for His providential work through Ish-bosheth's life and proclaimed the Lord's deliverance; thus, David condemned the murderers of Ish-bosheth and had them executed as he had done to the man who claimed to kill Saul (1:15-16).

We see that, David spoke to them of the power of God working for him, and in him. God took care of David's adversity. David knew that God had saved him over and over from capture and death from Saul. We remember that, David would not raise his sword against Saul.

2 Samuel 4:10 "When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who [thought] that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:"

No more is related, not that he killed him, or assisted in killing him, only that he was dead. By which it appears, as Abarbinel thinks, that the Amalekite did not slay Saul, and that David did not put him to death on that account, but for what follows.

"Thinking to have brought good tidings": Which would have been very acceptable to David that he would have rejoiced and exalted at it as he did; but he was mistaken so instead of that.

"I took hold of him, and slew him at Ziklag": That is, ordered one of his young men to lay hold on him, and slay him, as he did (2 Sam. 1:15).

"Who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings": A handsome present, as the Targum here, a gift, or raised him to some post of honor and profit.

We remember, from an earlier lesson, how the Amalekite came to David with the news of Saul's death. He had even taken jewelry off of Saul, to prove it was the body of Saul. David had the man killed for trying to take gain of the death of Saul. Here, these two men are trying to do the same thing; the only difference is that they actually killed Saul's son. How could they expect any better from David? David did not need vicious, evil men to help him. He did not want, or need, their help. They had murdered for money and influence. David will not let them live.

2 Samuel 4:11 "How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?"

The "slain" Israelite king was termed "righteous" (or innocent), by David. He had done no crime by allowing himself to be placed on his father's throne. Because he was Saul's son, his murderer could expect no better fate than the lying Amalekite (1:14-16). David's severe justice (verse 12) is paralleled elsewhere in the ancient Near East. For public hanging as a punishment in a case involving a capital offense (see Deut. 21:22-23).

David was totally revolted at the sin they had committed. This man was not a military man. He was a harmless puppet king. They have killed a man, who could not defend himself. The worst part was they had invaded his home, and killed him in his own bed. They are not just killers, they are murderers. God's law required the death of those who murder others.

2 Samuel 4:12 "And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged [them] up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried [it] in the sepulcher of Abner in Hebron."

The mutilation of the bodies of the criminals was itself a disgrace, and the hanging them up near the pool, to which all the people resorted, made this as public as possible and a terrible warning against the commission of such crimes by others. On the other hand, the head of Ish-bosheth was honorably buried in the sepulcher of his chief friend and supporter, Abner.

The cutting off of their hands and feet was in retaliation for their murder of Ish-bosheth. Their hands were cut off; because of the evil thing they had done with their hands. Their feet were cut off, because they had carried Ish-bosheth's head to David. They were hung up, so that others intending to do some hideous crime would change their minds, when they saw what happened to them. The head of Ish-bosheth was buried to show that David honored him.

2 Samuel Chapter 4 Questions

  1. How did Ish-bosheth feel about Abner's death?
  2. Why was he so afraid?
  3. Who were the two men, who were captains of the bands?
  4. __________ was reckoned to Benjamin.
  5. Where did the Beerothites flee to?
  6. What was wrong with Jonathan's son?
  7. How did the accident happen?
  8. How old was he, when Jonathan was killed?
  9. What was his name?
  10. __________ was David's best friend.
  11. What does Mephibosheth mean?
  12. When did Rechab and Baanah go to Ish-bosheth's house?
  13. What did they pretend to be there doing?
  14. How did they kill him?
  15. What was he doing, when they killed him?
  16. What did they do, after they killed him?
  17. Why did they take his head to David?
  18. In verse 9, who did David say took care of his adversity?
  19. Who did David tell them about, before he passed sentence on them?
  20. What did he have his men do to them?
  21. What was the purpose of this type of punishment?
  22. What was done with Ish-bosheth's head?

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2 Samuel 5

2 Samuel Chapter 5

Verses 1-5: The death of Saul's son brings the submission of all "Israel" to "David." David's third anointing takes place in "Hebron", as had his second (see the notes on 1 Samuel 16:13-14 and 1 Chronicles 11:1-3; 12:38).

"All the tribes of Israel": The term "all" is used 3 times (verses 1, 3, 5), to emphasize that the kingdom established under King David was truly a united monarchy. The "elders" of Israel (verse 3), representing the "tribes" (verse 1), came to David at Hebron with the express purpose of submitting to his rule.

Beginning with this chapter and continuing (to the end of 2 Samuel), many of the events told here have parallel accounts in (1 Chronicles). Representatives from the 12 tribes accepted David's leadership because:

(1) He was an Israelite;

(2) He had successful military campaigns; and

(3) God had anointed him.

"Shepherd" was a metaphor used to describe God Himself and the human rulers of Israel (Gen. 48:15; Psalm 23:1; Ezek. 34:1-10).

2 Samuel 5:1 "Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we [are] thy bone and thy flesh."

All the rest of the tribes, except the tribe of Judah, who had made him king over them in Hebron seven years ago. These were ambassadors sent in the name of the several tribes to him, quickly after the deaths of Abner and Ish-bosheth. From having any hand in which David had sufficiently cleared himself, and which had tended to reconcile the minds of the people of Israel to him.

"And spake, saying, we are thy bone and thy flesh": For though he was of the tribe of Judah, yet as all the tribes sprung from one man, they were all one bone, flesh, and blood. All nearly related to each other, all of the same general family of which David was; and so, according to their law, a fit person to be their king (Deut. 16:18). And from whom they might expect clemency and tenderness, being so near akin to them.

This does not mean that every single person came, but means that large numbers of them came. Some believe the number that came were into the hundreds of thousands. This happened, probably, quite a time after the death of Ish-bosheth. This large gathering to see David is possibly, to remind him that they are the same nationality that he is. Their common enemy is the Philistines. They are all Israelites descended from Jacob.

2 Samuel 5:2 "Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel."

To wit, by Samuel (1 Sam. 16:11-13). For though the words may vary, still the meaning of them is the same.

"Thou shalt feed my people Israel": I.e. rule them, and take care of them, as a shepherd doth of his sheep (Psalm 78:70-71). This expression he used to admonish David, that he was not made a king to advance his own glory and interest, but for the good and benefit of his people; and that he ought to rule them with all tenderness, and to watch over them with all diligence.

This is recognition of David, as being the anointed king of Israel. David was highly respected as a mighty military leader. This however, is recognizing him as a leader in domestic affairs as well.

2 Samuel 5:3 "So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel."

"King David made a league": David bound himself formally to certain obligations toward the Israelites, including their rights and responsibilities to one another and to the Lord (2 Kings 11:17). As good as this covenant was, it did not end the underlying sense of separate identity felt by Israel and Judah as the revolt of Sheba (20:1), and the dissolution of the united kingdom under Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:16), would later demonstrate.

"They anoint David": David's third anointing (2:4; 1 Sam. 16:13), resulted in the unification of the 12 tribes under his kinship.

David had ruled over Judah because they elevated him to that position, but the northern tribes recognized his rule by a treaty or covenant. Years later, they would not renew this treaty with David's grandson Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:1-16). The covenant ceremony ended with a third anointing for David from the leaders of northern Israel, David now reigned over all of Israel.

Israel had never been governed by an earthly king, until Saul. We see, in this verse above, that all of Israel had decided they want David to rule over them. They have unanimously agreed that he should be their king, so they anoint him for that office. They all travelled to anoint him in Hebron. He had already ruled locally in Hebron for seven and a half years.

2 Samuel 5:4″David [was] thirty years old when he began to reign, [and] he reigned forty years."

This statement of the age and of the length of the reign of David (which is repeated in 1 Chron. 29:26-27), at the end of the history of David's life, shows us approximately the length of time since the combat with Goliath as some ten or twelve years. It also proves that the greater part of Saul's reign is treated very briefly (in 1 Samuel), and further shows that David was seventy years old at his death.

He was thirty when he began his reign in Hebron. Not at the time they made him king of all Israel. He was 70 years old when he died.

2 Samuel 5:5 "In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah."

"Israel and Judah": The united kingdom was still known by its two component parts.

"Jerusalem" was the sacred city and well-known capital of Palestine during Bible times. The earliest known name for the city was Urushalem. Salem, of which Melchizedek was king (Gen. 14:18), was a natural abbreviation for Jerusalem (Psalms 76:2). Thus, the city appears as early as the time of Abraham. Jerusalem is mentioned directly in the Bible for the first time (in Joshua 10:1-4). David united the kingdom after Saul's reign and quickly made Jerusalem the political and religious capital of the kingdom (1 Chron. 11:4-9). Jerusalem was chosen as the place for the capital because it was centrally located between the northern and southern tribes and because the topography of the city made it easy to defend. David gave the city the name Jerusalem, and it is also referred to as the "city of David." He built a palace in the highest section of the city, frequently referred to as Mount Zion. David also moved the Ark of the Covenant from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem. There Solomon would build the temple of which David had dreamed (2 Chronicles 3 and 4).

Now, we see that the 40 year reign included the seven and a half years he reigned over just Judah.

Verses 6-10 (see 1 Chronicles 11:4-9).

Verses 6-8: The Jebusites claimed that their city was so strong that even "blind and lame" men could defend it, but David turned this taunt around and called the Jebusites "blind and lame", saying they would not be allowed in David's court.

2 Samuel 5:6″And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither."

"Jerusalem": This city is mentioned in the Bible more than any other (from Gen. 14:18 to Rev. 21:10). The city was located in the territory of Benjamin, near the northern border of Judah and was excellently fortified because of its elevation and the surrounding deep valleys, which made it naturally defensible on 3 sides. In addition, it had a good water supply, the Gihon spring, and was close to travel routes for trade. The city had earlier been conquered by Judah (Judges 1:8), but neither Judah nor Benjamin had been successful in permanently dislodging the Jebusite inhabitants (Joshua 15:33; Judges 1:21). By taking Jerusalem, David was able to eliminate the foreign wedge between the northern and southern tribes and to establish his capital.

"Jebusite": A people of Canaanite descent (Gen. 10:16-18). Since the earlier inhabitants of Jerusalem were Amorites (Joshua 10:5), it seems that the Jebusites took control of Jerusalem after the time of the Israelite conquest.

"The blind and the lame": The Jebusites taunted the Israelites and mocked the power of David by boasting that the blind and the lame could defend Jerusalem against him.

Hebron had been associated as the capital of Judah. These other tribes did not want to become part of Judah. They just wanted David to rule over them as a united Israel. They would have to seek a new capital. The Jebusites had been defeated a number of times, but always seemed to come back strong. At this time mentioned here, they seemed to have control of Jerusalem, known as Jebus. Shalom was added to the name, because it meant peace. This signified that Jerusalem was a city of peace. These Jebusites were proud, obstinate people, who thought they could not be overthrown. They thought of David and his men as helpless against them, as the blind and lame.

2 Samuel 5:7 "Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same [is] the city of David."

"Strong hold of Zion": This is the first occurrence of "Zion" in the Bible and the only one (in 1 and 2 Samuel). Referring here to the Jebusite citadel on the southeastern hill, the name was also later used of the temple mount (Isa. 10:12), and of the entire city of Jerusalem (Isa. 28:16).

"City of David": Both Bethlehem, David's birthplace (Luke 2:4), and Jerusalem, David's place of reign, were called by this title.

All of their powerful boasting was to no avail. David took Zion. Zion was the hill on the southwest corner. It is also, the place the LORD chose for the sight of the temple later. The city of David is Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 5:8 "And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, [that are] hated of David's soul, [he shall be chief and captain]. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house."

This was a water tunnel that channeled the city's water supply from the Gihon spring outside the city walls on the east side into the citadel.

Some understand the word translated "gutter" to mean a water course; others, a grappling hook used by siege forces in assaulting the walls of a town. Still others suggest that the word refers to some bodily part such as the throat or windpipe. The mentioning of "the lame and the blind" is probably an ancient play on words. The Jebusite defenders had such confidence in their fortress-like city that they boasted that the lame and blind could defend such a town. "David" calls them all lame and blind. The whole episode gave birth to a proverb reflecting social customs of gaining access to the royal quarters. David had anticipated a return to Jerusalem long beforehand (1 Sam. 17:54). For added details on the capture of Jerusalem (see 1 Chronicles Chapter 11).

The city was thought of as impossible to penetrate. They had overlooked the water system, and possibly, some of David's men went in through the gutter, spoken of above, into the city. They would have had to wade in water, probably, shoulder deep to get in that way. The brave men, who would slip into the city this way, would be given the high positions of chief and captain. It appears that Joab was one of the volunteers who went in and then he regained his position in David's army. They speak of weak people as the lame and the blind; those who are unable to help themselves.

2 Samuel 5:9 "So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward."

"Millo": Stone-filled terraces were built to serve as part of Jerusalem's northern defenses, since the city was most open to attack from that direction.

Millo means "The Filling." Whatever its precise identification was, it served as part of the defensive system (1 Kings 9:15, 24).

This is speaking of a fort on Mount Zion. This is where David stationed himself, until the whole city could be taken. This fort at Millo became known as the Citadel.

Verses 10-12: both the author of the Book of Samuel and David himself acknowledge that God Himself promoted David "for the sake of His people Israel."

2 Samuel 5:10 "And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts [was] with him."

In honor and wealth, in fame and reputation, in subduing his enemies, obtaining conquests over them, and enlarging his dominions.

"And the Lord God of hosts": Of armies above and below.

"Was with him": To whom all his prosperity and success was owing. The Targum is, "the Word of the Lord God of hosts was for his help, or his helper".

We know the LORD had been with David from the very beginning. It was the strength of the LORD in David that made him win over the giant Goliath. This victory over Goliath threw him into prominence. We also know that the LORD protected David from the jealousy of Saul. The LORD had Samuel to anoint David as king, many years before he became king. The LORD protected him over and over. God was with him in every battle. God will set up the city of Jerusalem as David's city. It will be known as the city of God. At first, only Samuel, David, and David's family knew that the LORD had Samuel to anoint him king. Soon, it became apparent to everyone that the LORD wanted David to be the king over all Israel.

2 Samuel 5:11″And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David a house."

"Hiram king of Tyre": Tyre was a Phoenician port city about 35 miles north of Mt. Carmel and 25 miles south of Sidon. During the latter part of David's reign and much of Solomon's, the friendly Hiram traded building materials for agricultural products. He also provided craftsmen to build David's palace, indicating how the long war had brought the nation to a low place where there were few good artisans. (Psalm 30), could possibly refer to the dedication of this house or to the temporary shelter for the Ark in Jerusalem (6:17).

King "Hiram" was the first international king to recognize David as the leader of Israel. Tyre was dependent on Israel for much of its food and for its inland trade routes. Later on, Hiram (possibly the son of the Hiram), supplied cedar for building the temple (1 Kings 5:1-18).

Hiram's supplying of the "cedar" and builders for David's new "house" was a mark of international recognition (1 Chron. 14:1-7).

Cedar trees have strength and durability that makes houses built of them last a very long time. Perhaps, this gesture from the king of Tyre was to let David know he wanted to be friends with him. He did not want to have war with a man such as David, who was so blessed of God. David's men were not as skilled in the fine arts as the men of Tyre. The men of Tyre were artisans at building and decorating. David's men were men of war.

2 Samuel 5:12 "And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake."

"The Lord had established him king": Witnessing God's evident blessing on his life, David recognized the Lord's role in establishing his kingship.

We know from reading the Psalms, that David had some very sad times in his life, when he was not sure of being king over all Israel. The first few years, when Saul was chasing him to kill him, were certainly uncertain. The fact that he was recognized by the king of Tyre and built a home to live in, helps him realize that he is truly king of all Israel. David was aware that the LORD did this to help all of Israel. The LORD had a special love for David because David loved and obeyed the LORD with all his heart.

Verses 13-15: David's additional marriages may reflect the ancient international protocol by which treaty arrangements were sealed by the marriage of the royal princess of one nation to the other nation's king or his son (1 Kings 11:1-3). Also, the size of a king's harem was a matter of great prestige. Although this procedure may have helped cement David's prominence in Jerusalem and his relationship to the Jerusalemites, it was nevertheless a violation of the Mosaic Law (Deut. 17:17).

2 Samuel 5:13″And David took [him] more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David."

"More concubines and wives": The multiplication of David's wives and concubines was in direct violation of (Deut. 17:17). These marriages probably (2 Sam. 3:3), reflected David's involvement in international treaties and alliances that were sealed by the marriage of a king's daughter to other participants in the treaty. This cultural intuition accounted for some of David's and many of Solomon's wives (see 1 Kings 11:1-3). In each case of polygamy in Scripture, the law of God was violated and the consequences were negative, if not disastrous.

One indication of the greatness of a king was the number of wives that he had. It appears that, each person on this earth has a weakness in some area. We would have to say that David's weakness was women. David would have a very large family by all these wives and concubines.

2 Samuel 5:14 "And these [be] the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,"

The names of his sons, for his daughters are not mentioned, and these seem to be such only those who were born of his wives (see 1 Chron. 3:9).

"Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon": These four were by Bath-sheba; the first of these is called Shimea (1 Chronicles 3:5).

Solomon, of course is the one who stands out in this. He would follow his father on the throne as king of Israel. He was the son of David by Bath-sheba. Shammuah was, also, the son of Bath-sheba and David. The name "Shobab" means backsliding or rebellious. He was also the son of Bath-sheba. Nathan seems to have not been involved in the politics of government. He, too, was a son of David by Bath-sheba. The genealogy of Jesus from the book of Luke, which leads to Mary, shows Nathan as her ancestor.

2 Samuel 5:15 "Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia,"

Elishua is called Elishama (1 Chron. 3:6).

2 Samuel 5:16 "And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet."

Seven more by some other wife or wives; nine are mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:6; there being in that account two Eliphelet, and another called Nogah; which two, one of the Eliphelets, and Nogah, might die without sons, as Kimchi thinks, and so are not mentioned here.

These are all sons born of the wives of David. There seem to be no listing of children by concubines. There are two more names listed in Chronicles that are not listed here. Perhaps, they were children who died in their youth. Very little is known of the sons mentioned above.

Verses 5:17 - 8:18: This section is bracketed by the descriptions of David's military victories (5:17-25; 8:1-14). In between (6:1 - 7:29), David's concern for the Ark of the Covenant and a suitable building to house it, are recounted.

5:17-23 (see 1 Chronicles 14:8-17).

2 Samuel 5:17 "But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard [of it], and went down to the hold."

"Philistines": The Philistines had remained quiet neighbors during the long civil war between the house of Saul and David, but jealous of the king who has consolidated the nation, they resolved to attack before his government was fully established. Realizing that David was no longer their vassal, they took decisive military action against his new capital of Jerusalem.

The "Philistines" became concerned when David's reign extended beyond Judah. David most likely fled to the areas he had hidden in when he was a fugitive from Saul.

Verse 17 is not in chronological order. The children were not born, before this happened. This happens soon after David was anointed king of all Israel. This hold was, probably, a cave that David was in. The Philistines wasted no time coming against David. The fact that all of Israel is united under David would cause great concern to the Philistines. They could easily fight a fragmented army by individual families, but it would be much more difficult to come against all Israel. This would be especially true with a strong leader like David.

2 Samuel 5:18 "The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim."

"The valley of Rephaim": Literally "the valley of the giants." It was a plain located southwest of Jerusalem on the border between Judah and Benjamin (Joshua 15:1, 8; 18:11, 16), where fertile land produced grain that provided food for Jerusalem and also attracted raiding armies.

The valley of Rephaim is about three miles long by two miles wide. "Rephaim" means giants. Og was a good example of the great size of the earlier people of Rephaim. The Philistines were here to attack David's army. They prefer to starve them out and make them come to them, instead of going in to attack.

2 Samuel 5:19 "And David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand."

David once again "inquired of the Lord." He could have chosen to fight the battle on his own, but instead he chose to seek God's will first. God's way was the only way he could secure victory (2:1; 1 Sam. 23:2).

The one thing that I truly admire about David is the fact that he prays to the LORD before making a military attack. In this case, when he prays to the LORD, the LORD tells David that He will give these Philistines to him. David will go against them and David will win.

2 Samuel 5:20 "And David came to Baal-perazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal-perazim."

"Baal-perazim": The image seen in this name was that of flooding waters breaking through a dam as David's troops had broken through the Philistine assault.

"Baal-perazim" means possessor of breeches. It was the LORD who went before David, and caused the victory here. When David is in the will of God, there is no way for him to lose.

2 Samuel 5:21 "And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them."

This event mirrors the Israelites' loss of the Ark of the Covenant, when they carried it into battle for good luck (1 Sam. chapter 4). The Philistines had carried their idols ("images"), into battle to protect them, only to leave them behind once they fled. In the parallel account of this battle (in 1 Chron. 14:12), the Israelites burned the idols as they were instructed (in Deut. 7:5).

These were images of false gods; they had brought to bless them in battle. Idols and images have no power at all. That is pretty obvious here, since David's men gathered them and burned them. It appears that, the Philistines had run in defeat, here.

2 Samuel 5:22″And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim."

And, as Josephus says, with an army three times larger than the former.

"And spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim": in the same place where they were before (2 Sam. 5:20).

We find that the first battle had not killed a large number of the Philistines; they had just driven them off. They have re-grouped, and have come back to fight against David's army. David's army is small, but the LORD is with them.

Verses 23-25: This account of heaven's armies fighting for David echoes the accounts of Joshua's victories (Joshua 6:2-5; 8:1-12; 11:6), as God once again supernaturally helped Israel conquer the Promised Land (1 Chron. 14:14-16). The "sound of marching" may have been camouflaged by the sound of the wind in the "trees," enabling the Israelites to sneak up on the Philistines.

2 Samuel 5:23 "And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; [but] fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees."

The enemy, on the same battle-expound, would have prepared for attack from the same direction as before. Consequently David is directed to go round them and attack them unexpectedly from the opposite quarter.

Notice, David did not rely upon the message that he had in the past from the LORD. He asked for guidance in this battle, as well. The LORD has another plan this time. The Philistines would be expecting a frontal attack, since that is the way David's men attacked the first time. The compass means they slipped around to the rear of their army, and used the mulberry trees for cover to get in close.

2 Samuel 5:24 "And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines."

"The sound of a going in": The leaves of this tree would rustle at the slightest movement of air, much of which would be generated by a large army marching.

The LORD will even give the sound of attack, when the mulberry trees begin to rustle. If David follows the exact commands of the LORD, the LORD will go before them and defeat the Philistines for them.

2 Samuel 5:25 "And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer."

"Geba ... Gazer": Geba was located about 5 miles north of Jerusalem and Gezer was about 20 miles west of Geba. David drove the Philistines out of the hill country back to the coastal plain.

This just means that they killed the Philistines, who were in wait to come into the battle, as well as those in the valley of Rephaim. This was a large army, and it seemed to take a fairly long time to destroy them. They were spread out over many miles. Victory for David, and for us, comes, when we are in the perfect will of God. Had David varied from the instructions the LORD gave him, he would have been defeated. He followed the commands of the LORD to the utmost, and won a very difficult battle.

2 Samuel Chapter 5 Questions

1. Where did all the tribes come to speak with David?

2. What did they say to him?

3. Their common enemy is the ____________.

4. What is the message in verse 2?

5. The elders of Israel anointed David _________ over Israel.

6. How long had David ruled in Hebron, before he was anointed king over all Israel?

7. How old was David, when he began to reign?

8. How many years did he reign?

9. Who held Jerusalem at this time?

10. Why did they not make Hebron the capital of the Israelites?

11. What was another name used first for Jerusalem?

12. What does "Shalom" mean?

13. Where was Zion?

14. What honor would David show those, who slip into the city and smite the Jebusites?

15. It appears one of the volunteers is ___________.

16. The fort at Millo became known as the _______ ____ __________.

17. How do we know the LORD protected David?

18. Who sent cedar trees, carpenters, and masons to build David a house?

19. Why did the LORD have a special love for David?

20. Whose sons are the names in verse 14?

21. Which of these sons succeeds David on the throne?

22. What does "Shobab" mean?

23. What special name is associated with Nathan?

24. Who are the sons in verses 15 and 16?

25. What did the Philistines do, when they heard David was anointed king?

26. Where did David go for protection?

27. Where did the Philistines set up camp?

28. What is one thing the author really admires David for?

29. What does "Baal-perazim" mean?

30. What did David's men do with the Philistine images?

31. When the Philistines re-grouped, what did they do?

32. What did the LORD tell David to do this time?

33. What were the results?

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2 Samuel 6

2 Samuel Chapter 6

Verses 6:1-23: After a few skirmishes with the Philistines, the first item on David's royal agenda was to restore the Ark to its place of prominence within Israel. We might think that to be a rather strange priority for the king's agenda, but the Ark of the Covenant was the center point of worship in the tabernacle and needed to be returned to Jerusalem. This section demonstrates who really ruled Israel during David's reign: The Lord. He set the course for David's kingdom.

Verses 1-11 (see 1 Chronicles 13:1-14).

2 Samuel 6:1 "Again, David gathered together all [the] chosen [men] of Israel, thirty thousand."

Which was done by the advice of his officers (1 Chron. 13:1). The word "again" refers either to the gathering of them when they made him king in Hebron, as the Jewish writers generally observe; but then they gathered themselves, and not David. Or rather to his gathering them to fight the Philistines a little while ago; and as they were the choice and young men that were gathered for war, as being the fittest, so now to fetch up the Ark with dancing and singing, and to protect it. The Septuagint version says they were about seventy thousand; but the Targum, Syriac, and Arabic versions, have thirty thousand, agreeably to the Hebrew text.

Thirty thousand of the chosen men were representative of each of the tribes. There were the choicest of the military from all the tribes, but there were elders and well respected men from each tribe, as well. David tried to impress upon them the necessity of them being one nation under God. Jerusalem has been recognized as their capital.

Verses 2-4: The Ark of the Covenant had been separated from Israel for 50 years (1 Sam. 6:19-20). While David did the right thing by bringing it back to Jerusalem, he did so in the wrong way, using a "new cart" to carry it. This was contrary to God's instructions, which required that it be transported using poles inserted through its rings (Exodus 25:14-15; Num. 4:4-6; Deut. 10:8; 31:9).

2 Samuel 6:2 "And David arose, and went with all the people that [were] with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth [between] the cherubims."

Now that the Philistines had been routed in two successful campaigns (5:17-25; 1 Chron. 14:8-17); the recently taken Jerusalem could serve as David's new capital. It was defensible and strategically located in a territory that had belonged neither to the northern nor southern tribes. The new capital would serve not only as the political center, but also as the religious center for David's kingdom. Hence, it was time for the "Ark," which was still quartered at "Baale of Judah" (or Kirjath-jearim; Joshua 15:9; 1 Chron. 13:6), to be brought to Jerusalem (1 Chron. 13:1-4). The bringing up of the Ark was by agreement of the leadership of Israel (see the note on 1 Sam. 7:1).

"Baale of Judah": Literally "lords of Judah." Also known as Kirjath-jearim (1 Sam. 7:1-2), this town was located about 10 miles west of Jerusalem.

"Ark of God": The Ark of the Covenant represented the glorious reputation and gracious presence of the Lord to Israel.

"The name" (see note on Deut. 12:5).

"Lord of hosts" (see note on 1 Sam. 1:3).

Jerusalem will not be truly thought of as their capital, until they get the Ark of the Covenant permanently headquartered there. This mutual place of worship will draw them even closer together as one nation. It appears, there is a break in the fighting, and they are going after the Ark. The Ark symbolized the presence of the LORD with them. Baale here, is probably the same as the city of woods. It is just out of Jerusalem about 8 miles. It appears these 30,000 men had agreed that it was time to bring the Ark to their capital.

Verses 3-7: The whole episode concerning "the Ark" reflects the peril of doing a noble deed in an ignoble manner. The law prescribed that the Ark should be carried by the sons of Kohath (Num. 4:4-15; 7:9), and specifically prohibited the use of a "cart" (Exodus 25:14-15; Num. 4:5-8). Nor was a human "hand" allowed to touch it (Num. 4:15). Doing God's work is a serious business and must never be perfunctorily performed (compare 1 Sam. 15:22-23), or done irreverently or in accordance with mere expediency (1 Sam. 6:19-20).

2 Samuel 6:3 "And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that [was] in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart."

"New cart": The Philistines had used a cart to transport the Ark (1 Sam. 6:7). But the Old Testament law required that the sacred Ark be carried by the sons of Kohath (Num. 3:30-31; 4:15; 7:9), using the poles prescribed (Exodus 25:12-15).

God's work must be done God's way. When it is not, the workers either suffer delay, or God passes the blessing on to someone else who will do His work as He intends. By using a "cart" to transport the Ark as the Philistines had done (1 Sam. chapter 6), David was doing the work of God with the methods of the world (1 Chron. 13:1-2).

"House of Abinadab" (see 1 Sam. 7:1).

"Uzzah and Ahio": Descendants of Abinadab, possibly his grandsons.

David had made an error here. He was not supposed to have the Ark on a cart. It was to be carried by the family of the Levites, and even they were supposed to have it covered with a cloth that it might not be seen. Even they were not to touch the Ark itself. It was carried by poles through loops on the sides. This is not a willful act of sin on the part of David. Much of the teaching of the proper way to handle the Ark in travel had long since been forgotten. David wanted deeply in his heart to please God. The Ark had been in safe keeping in the house of Abinadab. Uzzah and Ahio could have been the great grandsons of Abinadab. Sometimes, the word son means grandson, or descendent of.

2 Samuel 6:4 "And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which [was] at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark."

That is, the new cart, which is the last thing spoken of 2 (Sam. 6:3); and the bringing of the Ark out of his house is mentioned before. Though some take this to be the coffer in which were the presents of the Philistines, which was now brought out along with the Ark (see 1 Sam. 6:8).

"Accompanying the Ark of God": Or "with the Ark of God"; that is, they brought the new cart "from" the house of Abinadab on the hill, with the Ark of God upon it.

"And Ahio went before the Ark": Guiding the oxen that drew it, and Uzzah might go behind, or on one side, to take care that the Ark fell not out of it.

It seems, from this, that Ahio was in the front of the Ark leading the way, and Uzzah was at the side watching it.

2 Samuel 6:5 "And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of [instruments made of] fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals."

That is, before the Ark; that was a symbol of the presence of the Lord.

"On all manner of instruments made of fir wood": Which is a general expression, the particulars follow; though instruments of different sorts are mentioned, and even some of metal, as cymbals, which were vessels of brass, they struck one against another, and gave a very acute sound, being hollow:

"Even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals": Harps, psalteries, and timbrels, are frequently met with; cornets, according to Kimchi, and are such sort of instruments, that in playing upon them it required an agitation of the whole body. Now it was that David penned the sixty eighth psalm, which begins, "let God arise" (Psalm 68:1), words used by Moses when the Ark set forward (Num. 10:35).

This was like a joyful parade taking the Ark to their capital. There was music and dancing by David and many of the chosen people in front of the Ark. This was like a marching band in a parade, but the parade here, was of a spiritual nature. They were singing praises to the LORD, playing wooden instruments, such as guitars and harps, and dancing in front of the Ark.

Verses 6-8: Uzziah's motive for putting out "his hand" to steady the Ark is not in question; he was trying to keep it from falling, and perhaps his action was even an involuntary reflex. But if David had followed God's commands for transporting the Ark, it would have needed no steadying. This was vivid reminder of God's holiness to the Israelites, and is a poignant warning to leaders today: when a leader disobeys God, it is probable that innocent people will suffer in the wake of his or her disobedience.

(See 1 Chronicles 13:9-12).

2 Samuel 6:6 "And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put forth [his hand] to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook [it]."

The use of the Heb. word here is unusual. Some take the word as (in 2 Kings 9:33), and render the passage: "The oxen were throwing, or had thrown it down," very likely by turning aside to eat what grain there might be on the threshing-floor.

It seemed, the Ark was about to fall over, and Uzzah reached up to stop its fall. It was strictly forbidden to touch the Ark. He had made a bad mistake.

2 Samuel 6:7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for [his] error; and there he died by the ark of God.

"For his error": No matter how innocently it was done, touching the Ark was in direct violation of God's law and was to result in death (see Num. 4:15). This was a means of preserving the sense of God's holiness and the fear of drawing near to Him without appropriate preparation.

Uzzah had not deliberately done the forbidden thing. He had reached out to the Ark on impulse, when he thought it was falling. Some modernist would question why such a thing would happen. We must realize the holiness of the Ark. God had given specific instructions about the caring and moving of it. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. This probably benefited those around it. It would leave a lasting impression on those who saw this, not to touch the Ark. (In Numbers 4:15), there are specific instructions not to touch the holy things, lest ye die.

2 Samuel 6:8 "And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perez-uzzah to this day."

"David was displeased": Probably anger directed at himself because the calamity resulted from David's own carelessness. He was confused as to whether to carry on the transportation of the Ark to Jerusalem (verse 9), and would not move it, fearing more death and calamity might come on him or the people (verse 10). It is likely that he waited to see the wrath of God subside before moving the Ark.

David was displeased with such a harsh punishment, when he, or Uzzah, meant no harm at all. It seemed to David, as if the LORD was suddenly angry with them. "Perez-Uzzah" means breach of Uzzah.

Verses 9-11: Rather than using God's judgment on Uzzah as an opportunity to uncover his sin and repent, David let his anger and fear of God determine his actions. Obedience to the Lord produces joy in the soul. Disobedience dispels joy and introduces fear (1 Chron. 13:11-14).

2 Samuel 6:9 "And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?"

Apprehensive it seems that he himself was in danger. Hence he dared not bring the Ark into his city; either thinking, in great humility, that he was unworthy to have it so near him. Or that he did not sufficiently understand how to treat it. This however, he understood better afterward, as we learn from (1 Chron. 15:2-15).

David, suddenly, is afraid of the LORD. Now, David was not so sure he wanted the Ark to go with him to Jerusalem. He had meant no harm. David will not take the Ark into the city of David at this time. He realizes there is much about the Ark he does not understand. He takes it to the home of the nearest Levite.

2 Samuel 6:10 "So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite."

Obed-edom the Gittite": Literally "servant of Edom." The term "Gittite" can refer to someone from the Philistine city of Gath, but here it is better to see the term related to Gath-rimmon, one of the Levitical cities (Joshua 21:24-25). Obed-edom is referred to as a Levite in 1 Chronicles (1 Chron. 15:17-25; 16:5, 38; 26:4-5, 8, 15; 2 Chron. 25:24).

Obed-edom was spoken of as a Gittite, but was of the Levitical tribe. He was actually a Kohathite which is of the Levitical tribe. He was born in one of the Levitical cities of Dan.

2 Samuel 6:11 "And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obed-edom, and all his household."

David, and those with him, returned to their habitations, where they continued during this time.

"And the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household": He and all his family, with spiritual blessings, and with an affluence of temporal good things; for godliness has the promise of this life, and of that which is to come. Men are not losers but gainers, even in things temporal, for their attachment to the cause of religion, and the service of God, and their regard to that in their own houses, as well as in the house of God. Josephus says, that Obed-edom was very poor before, and in a low condition, out of which he soon emerged, and came into affluent circumstances, so as to be taken notice of by his neighbors.

We see that for the three months' time that the Ark is in the hands of Obed-edom, they are greatly blessed. It is not a curse, but a blessing, when it is properly handled. It appears that this three months was spent finding out exactly what they had done wrong when they first moved the ark.

Verses 12-15: According to the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles, David, now back in fellowship with the Lord, had the Ark transported in the way that was commanded by God through Moses (1 Chron. 15:15): he first prepared a place for it to rest in Jerusalem ("the City of David"), and then he had the Levites carry it using the designated poles while offering sacrifices along the way (1 Chron. 15:1-15). God's way of doing things can be known by searching His Word.

Verses 12-19 (see 1 Chron. 15:25 - 16:3).

2 Samuel 6:12 "And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that [pertaineth] unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness."

"Blessed ... because of the Ark of God": During the 3 months when the Ark remained with Obed-edom, the Lord blessed his family. In the same way God had blessed Obed-edom, David was confident that with the presence of the Ark, the Lord would bless his house in ways that would last forever (7:29).

"The Ark", which had been placed in the "house of Obed-edom," a Levite of the family of Korah (1 Chron. 13:13-14), was now "brought up" to Jerusalem in the prescribed manner. It was done with careful forethought (1 Chron. 15:1-2). The transferal of the Ark was accompanied by sacrifices, pomp, and great rejoicing. David's dancing or whirling about (verse 14), was an expression of spiritual joy (1 Chron. 15:25-28).

David wanted the presence of the LORD, which the Ark symbolized, to be with him in the city of David. Again, there was music, and dancing, and singing of praise, as the Ark was carried to the city of David from Obed-edom. This time the priests had been consulted, and they knew more about how to carry the Ark.

2 Samuel 6:13 "And it was [so], that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings."

"They that bare the Ark": In David's second attempt to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, it was transported in the manner prescribed by Old Testament law (see note on verse 3).

"Six paces": I.e., after the first 6 steps, not after every 6 steps.

David wanted to be sure; this trip with the Ark was blessed of God. The sacrifices were for that purpose. They were sacrificed to insure the blessings of the LORD in the moving of the Ark.

2 Samuel 6:14 "And David danced before the LORD with all [his] might; and David [was] girded with a linen ephod."

"David danced before the Lord" (Psalm 150:4). The Hebrews, like other ancient and modern people, had their physical expressions of religious joys as they praised God.

David was so overcome with joy at the return of the Lord's presence to Jerusalem that he expressed it in a lively "dance" (Psalms 149:3; 150:4). In wearing the "linen ephod", David assumed the role of both king and priest.

"Linen ephod" (see 1 Sam. 2:18).

David was overwhelmed by the Spirit of the LORD and danced before the Ark. He had taken off his kingly robes and danced as a child would. He wore the linen garment which indicated righteousness. He was symbolically clothed in the righteousness the LORD provides for those who believe. The linen ephod showed that he was wrapped in the righteousness of the LORD.

2 Samuel 6:15 "So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet."

The elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands (1 Chron. 15:25); besides the common people; there might be as large a number with him now as before.

"With shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet": With the shouts of the people in common, and with blowing of trumpets by those who were appointed for that purpose, and with other instruments of music (see 1 Chron. 15:27). Josephus says, that seven choirs went before the priests bearing the Ark, as the king commanded, he himself playing on the harp; so the Septuagint version.

This was a happy occasion bringing the Ark to their capital. The shouting was expressing their happiness at their worship being restored in their capital. The trumpet was blown to gather the people to worship.

Verses 16-23: David's wife "Michal" had been given in marriage to another man while David was a fugitive (1 Sam. 24:44), and then returned to David, perhaps unwillingly (3:14-16). Perhaps she thought he should have worn royal robes instead of the priestly ephod; in any case, she was more concerned for her reputation than for the return of the Ark. David came home to "bless his household" and was instead greeted with sarcastic, biting words from his wife.

2 Samuel 6:16 "And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart."

"Michal ... despised him in her heart": Michal's contempt for David is explained by her sarcastic remark in verse 20. She considered David's unbridled, joyful dancing as conduct unbefitting for the dignity and gravity of a king because it exposed him in some ways.

"Michal" saw in David's actions a conduct unbefitting a "king". She doubtless neither appreciated nor entered into the spirit of the occasion. Accordingly, "David" rebuked her and consigned her to separation from the king's graces, a condemnation that left her childless (verses 20-23). A negative and critical spirit born of spiritual shallowness and insensitivity is a dangerous thing!

Michal thought of David as the mighty king. She was ashamed that he had humbled himself in such a manner.

Verses 17-19: According to (1 Chronicles Chapter 16), the joyous feast held on this occasion was followed by David's singing of a psalm of thanksgiving and the installation of the Levites into various positions of temple service.

2 Samuel 6:17 "And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD."

"Tabernacle": David had made a tent for the Ark of the Covenant until a permanent building for it could be built. (Psalm 30), could refer possibly to this tent or to David's own home. (5:11-12).

David had probably found out from the priests, the way the tabernacle should be set up, and he has this one as nearly like the tabernacle in the wilderness as he can. The actual offerings were taken care of by the priests, but they were given by David for this occasion. David was pleased to have the Ark at home, at last in the city of David.

2 Samuel 6:18 "And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts."

While the "burnt offerings" were dedicatory, the peace offerings were Eucharistic, and were also intended here (as in 1 Kings 8:62-65), to supply the wants of the people by a religious feast of communion with God.

He blessed the people": As Solomon did at the dedication of the temple (1 Kings 8:14; 8:55), and in both cases this was eminently fitting. But such blessing is by no means to be mistaken for the peculiar priestly blessing for which the form was prescribed in (Num. 6:22-26).

David was not the high priest, but was the anointed of God to lead His nation Israel. It would be proper for David to speak the blessing of the LORD upon these people.

2 Samuel 6:19 "And he dealt among all the people, [even] among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece [of flesh], and a flagon [of wine]. So all the people departed every one to his house."

Gave a dole unto them as he divided among them.

"Even among the whole multitude of Israel": And if there were so many as at first, there were thirty thousand of them (2 Sam. 6:1); and perhaps more, since it follows.

"As well to the women as men": To both the one and the other; and the women, it is very probable, were not among those that went to fetch the Ark. But assembled to attend the entrance of it into the city, and were present at the solemnities of its settlement.

"To everyone a cake of bread": Or a loaf of bread, of what quantity is not said, no doubt sufficient for any one person, or more.

"And a good piece of flesh": Not only that was good in quality, but large in quantity, a very large piece of it; the Jews said the sixth part of a bullock, they dividing it into six parts as we into four quarters; but it is not likely that such a quantity of flesh should be given to each person.

"And a flagon of wine": But what such a vessel held cannot be said, though at least we may suppose it equal to a bottle of ours, or more (see SOS 2:5).

"So all the people departed everyone to his house": To refresh themselves with the provisions David had given them.

The sacrifice offered by David, is now shared by all the people. He gives each person a piece of the meat, a portion of bread, and a portion of wine. A city is not home to a believer, until their place of worship is there. Joy has returned to Israel. Everyone went home happy.

2 Samuel 6:20 "Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!"

"Bless his household": David desired the same inevitable success from the Lord as experienced in the household of Obed-edom (see verse 11). The attitude of Michal aborted the blessing at that time, but the Lord would bless David's house in the future (7:29).

"Uncovereth": A derogatory reference to the priestly attire that David wore (verse 14), in place of his royal garments.

David had blessed all the other families, now it is time to care for his own family. The feast that took place in his house would be attended by his wives and children. Michal was too proud. She thought David should have worn his kingly robes in front of the Ark, instead of clothes fit for a servant. "Vain" here means worthless. She did not want David to appear as an ordinary man and especially in front of the servant girls.

2 Samuel 6:21 "And David said unto Michal, [It was] before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD."

"Before the Lord": David's actions were for the delight of the Lord, not for the maidens.

David had humbled himself before the LORD in public. He was not ashamed to be thought of as the LORD's servant. He knew that what authority he had come from the LORD. This was the same LORD who had chosen David and anointed David king of all Israel, and had put down the house of Saul and elevated David to king. Michal was like her father Saul. She put too much emphasis on superiority of people and not the superiority of the LORD over all.

2 Samuel 6:22 "And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honor."

"Base in mine own sight": David viewed himself with humility. It is the humble whom the Lord will exalt (1 Sam. 7:7-8).

These maidservants understood, better than Michal did, that David was humbling himself before Almighty God. David did not think of himself more highly than he should. He humbled himself before the LORD and would do it again, if the occasion arose. His only regret was that he could not have humbled himself even more. The maidservants will honor David even more, knowing that he regards the LORD that greatly.

2 Samuel 6:23 "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death."

"Michal ... had no child": Whether David ceased to have marital relations with Michal or the Lord disciplined Michal for her contempt of David, Michal bore no children. In Old Testament times, it was a reproach to be childless (1 Sam. 5:6). Michal's childlessness prevented her from providing a successor to David's throne from the family of Saul (1 Sam. 15:22-28).

Having children was thought of by the Hebrews as a blessing from God. The blessings of God were not upon her, because she would not humble herself. She never had any children because of her pride.

2 Samuel Chapter 6 Questions

1. How many chosen men of Israel did David assemble?

2. Who did they represent?

3. What was David trying to impress upon the people?

4. Where did David go, and take these people with him?

5. When will Jerusalem be thought of as the capital of the people?

6. How did they carry the Ark?

7. What was the only way permissible to carry the Ark?

8. Whose house had the Ark been in?

9. Why was the Ark to be covered with a cloth?

10. Why did they not know this way of carrying the Ark would be a sin?

11. Who were the two young relatives of Abinadab that went to help with the Ark?

12. Where did David go in this group of people carrying the Ark?

13. What was David doing?

14. How did this differ from a marching band in a parade?

15. Where was the Ark, when Uzzah put forth his hand and touched it?

16. Where in the Bible do we find specific instructions not to touch the holy things?

17. What happened to Uzzah?

18. Why was David displeased with what happened?

19. Why did David not continue on with the Ark?

20. Where do they take the Ark?

21. ______-________ was a Levite.

22. While the Ark was in his possession, what happened to Obed-edom?

23. How long did the Ark remain with him?

24. What did David do, after they had gone 6 paces with it?

25. What was David wearing before the Ark?

26. How did he show his gladness?

27. What did the people with David do in celebration?

28. What caused Michal to despise David in her heart?

29. Where did they put the Ark?

30. What was the first thing done by David, after the Ark arrived?

31. He blessed the people in the ________ of the ________.

32. Who came to meet David?

33. "Vain", in verse 20, means what?

34. Why had David done the dancing before the Ark in the linen ephod?

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2 Samuel 7

2 Samuel Chapter 7

Verses 1-2: During this time of "rest" within David's kingdom, a dream was born. While the context of the dream was peace, the concern was a place. David looked out at the world from his "house of cedar" and saw that there was no permanent place to carry on the work of God.

2 Samuel 7:1 "And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;"

"Sat in his house" (see 5:11). David's palace was built with help from Hiram of Tyre. Since Hiram did not become king of Tyre until around 980 B.C., the events narrated in this chapter occurred in the last decade of David's reign.

Rest ... from all his enemies": David had conquered all the nations that were around Israel (see 8:1-14), for the details which occur prior to (2 Sam. Chapter 7).

This is speaking of a time of peace from wars with the Philistines. David is now, the undisputed king of all Israel.

2 Samuel 7:2 "That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains."

"Nathan": Mentioned here for the first time, Nathan played a significant role (in chapter 12), confronting David's sin with Bathsheba. And (1 Kings Chapter 1), upsetting Adonijah's plot to usurp the throne from Solomon.

"Within curtains" (see note on 6:17).

Although David's zeal for God gave birth to a desire to build a "house" for the "ark of God," the Lord had in mind a far different and more glorious house, an everlasting dynasty (verse 11). Even the great prophet "Nathan" had to be instructed properly as to the divine purpose.

This again shows that David realizes that the LORD is the real King. He is just acting king. He feels guilty, having a beautiful cedar home, and the LORD is still dwelling in tents. He wants to do something to show the greatness of his God to all the world. At this time, Nathan is acting prophet. Nathan was David's spiritual adviser.

2 Samuel 7:3 "And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that [is] in thine heart; for the LORD [is] with thee."

"Nathan" responded to David's question out of turn, before he had received a revelation from the Lord, and his first answer turned out to be inconsistent with God's will (1 Chron. 17:1-15).

"Go, do": Nathan the prophet encouraged David to pursue the noble project he had in mind and assured him of the Lord's blessing. However, neither David nor Nathan had consulted the Lord.

Nathan speaks hastily here. He knows that David has very good intentions. His quick answer is probably, because he knows the love that David has for the LORD.

Verses 4-16: The Lord revealed His will to Nathan in this matter, to redirect the best human thoughts of the king.

2 Samuel 7:4 "And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying,"

The night following Nathan's conversation with David; when the prophet's mind would have been full of what he had heard, and thus prepared for the Divine communication. That communication is distinctly marked as coming from a source external to the prophet himself, by its being in direct opposition to his own view already expressed.

Verses 5-7: David's desire to "build a house" for God to dwell in was noble; but God had given him the role of warrior. The time to build the temple would be after all the battles were won (2 Chron. 6:7-9). Furthermore, the Lord of Israel was not like other nations' gods, who were concerned about the temples that were built for them. God was concerned with raising up a spiritual kingdom of people.

2 Samuel 7:5 "Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me a house for me to dwell in?"

"Shalt thou build me a house ...?" Verses 5-7 are framed by two questions asked by the Lord, both of which pertain to building a temple for Him. The first question, asking if David was the one who should build the temple, expected a negative answer (see 1 Chron. 17:4). According to (1 Chron. 22:8; 28:3), David was not chosen by God to build the temple because he was a warrior who had shed much blood.

We are not told, whether Nathan was asking the LORD about this, or whether the LORD just makes Nathan aware of His presence, and tells him. It could have been through a dream, or a vision, or even a spoken Word from God. We do know that the LORD communicated with Nathan and told him to go and speak to David before he starts on a house for the LORD. The office of prophet was a divine call from God. Nathan would speak to David the Words the LORD has given him. We see in this, not a direct command not to build the house of the LORD, but showing that the LORD cannot be held in a house made with human hands.

2 Samuel 7:6 "Whereas I have not dwelt in [any] house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle."

In any fixed or stated place of living.

"Since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day": A space of five or six hundred years, though he might before.

"But have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle": Moving from place to place while in the wilderness, and since in the land of Canaan, first at Gilgal, then at Shiloh, afterwards at Nob, and now at Gibeon. "Tent" and "tabernacle" are distinguished, though they were but one building and habitation. The tent was the curtains of goats' hair, and the tabernacle the linen curtains (see Exodus 26:1). In (1 Chron. 17:5), it is "from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another"; which does not intend variety of tabernacles, but changes of place.

The presence of the LORD in the tabernacle in the wilderness had been obvious to the people by the smoke by day and the fire by night. Perhaps, the fact that the LORD was in the tabernacle (like a tent), was because He would remain with them as long as they kept His commandments. The blessings, received by His presence, were conditional on their keeping His commandments. These people were not aware that the LORD is "omnipresent". He is not confined to just one place at one time. He is everywhere all the time. His obvious presence in the tabernacle was to reassure them. He was not limited to one location.

2 Samuel 7:7 "In all [the places] wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me a house of cedar?"

"Why build ye not me an house of cedar?" The second question, asking if the Lord had ever commanded any leader to build a temple for His ark, also expected a negative answer. So, contrary to Nathan's and David's intentions and assumptions, God did not want a house at that time and did not want David to build one.

The LORD had never commanded anyone to build Him a permanent house of Cedar. This would be a little futile, since all the world cannot contain Him. We see in the following Scripture, what Solomon says about this very thing.

2 Chronicles 6:18 "But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!"

Verses 8-16: These verses state the promises the Lord gave to David (verses 8-11a), give the promises to be realized during David's lifetime.

(Verses 11b-16), state the promises that would be fulfilled after David's death. During David's lifetime, the Lord:

(1) Gave David "a great name" (see note on Gen. 12:2);

(2) Appointed a place for Israel; and

(3) Gave David "rest" from all his enemies.

After David's death, the Lord gave David:

(1) A son to sit on his national throne, who the Lord would oversee as a father with necessary chastening, discipline, and mercy (Solomon); and

(2) A Son who would rule a kingdom that will be established forever (Messiah).

This prophecy referred in its immediacy to Solomon and to the temporal kingdom of David's family in the land. But in a larger and more sublime sense, it refers to David's greater Son of another nature, Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:8).

2 Samuel 7:8 "Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:"

For it was taken well at his hands, in part, that it was in his heart, and he had a desire to build a house for God, though he was wrong in determining upon it without seeking the Lord. And lest he should be discouraged by the prohibition of him from building, the following things are observed to assure him it was not from disregard unto him, or displeasure at him, that he would not be employed in this service. Since the Lord had given sufficient tokens of his favor to him, and with which he should be content, as having honor enough done him; it was enough that God had raised him up from a low estate to great grandeur and dignity.

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel": For that was his employment, to keep his father's sheep, before he was taken into Saul's court, and married his daughter, when after his death he came to have the crown, of Israel. Now this is said, not to upbraid him with his former meanness, but to observe the goodness of God unto him, and what reason he had for thankfulness, and to look upon himself as a favorite of God. Who as a keeper of sheep was made a shepherd of men, to rule and feed them; so, Cyrus is called a shepherd (Isa. 44:28); and Agamemnon. In Homer, he is called "the shepherd of the people".

This is an explanation from the LORD, about the high calling that was on David's life. God had chosen David from a meager childhood to be his servant. There are not many people in the Bible spoken of as servant of God. It is a very high calling. Saul had been a king of the people's desire. David is a king of the LORD's desire. He was to show the world, what a servant of God is. The Messiah (Jesus Christ), was the ultimate of those who are servant of God. He was a visual example of the LORD in heaven, here on the earth.

Jesus is descended from David in the flesh, but in the Spirit, is the God of David. The kingly office that David held over all Israel (physical Israel), is a type and a shadow of Jesus, who will be KING of kings and LORD of lords. Spiritual Israel (all believers in Christ), are waiting for that Day, when Jesus will reign over all the earth, as KING.

2 Samuel 7:9 "And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great [men] that [are] in the earth."

When he went against Goliath, when he went forth against the Philistines, when he was in Saul's court and when he fled from Saul and was obliged to go to various places. God was with him protecting and preserving him, prospering and succeeding him everywhere, and in everything.

"And have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight": As Saul, and others in the land of Israel, and the Philistines, and other enemies round about him, so that he had rest from them all.

"And have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth": A name for a mighty king, warrior, and conqueror, such as some mighty kings and great men of the earth had obtained. And such fame, being made king over all Israel; and his success against the Jebusites had got him a name, as well as former victories he had been favored with. On account of all which his name and fame had been spread abroad in the world, and he was reckoned as one of the greatest princes in it.

Among flesh and blood men that dwelled upon the earth, David was highly honored. David's reign on the earth was a type and shadow of the millennium reign of Jesus Christ as KING of all the earth. David won every battle, because the LORD was with him. David is the only earthly king that is spoken of in connection with the LORD Jesus.

Mark 12:36 "For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool."

Mark 12:37 "David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he [then] his son? And the common people heard him gladly."

David called Jesus LORD, and yet, He was the ancestor of Jesus in the flesh. Jesus is even spoken of as Son of David.

2 Samuel 7:10 "Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,"

"I will appoint a place": I.e. I will make room for them; whereas hitherto they have been much constrained and distressed by their enemies. Or, I will establish (for so that verb sometimes signifies), a place for them, i.e. I will establish them in their place or land. Some learned men render the verse thus, and the Hebrew words will bear it: And I have appointed (or assigned, or given), a place for my people Israel, (to wit, the land of Canaan). And have planted them in it that they may dwell in their own place, and be no more driven to and fro; or rather, and they shall dwell in their own place, etc. I.e. as I did long ago appoint it to them, and afterwards planted them, or put them into actual possession; so now they shall continue or dwell in it, in spite of all their enemies.

"For my people Israel": Among the favors which God had granted, and would further give to David, he reckons his blessings to the people of Israel, because they were great blessings to David. Partly because the strength and happiness of a king consists in great part in the multitude and happiness of his people; and partly because David was a man of a pious and public spirit, and therefore no less affected with Israel's felicity than with his own.

"In a place of their own": I.e. in their own land, not in strange lands, nor mixed with other people.

"As beforetime": Either, first, as in the land of Egypt; and so he goes downward to the judges. Or secondly, as in Saul's time; he goes to the judges.

The LORD is speaking of the Promised Land. This is the land promised to Abraham, so very long ago. This was the land that the LORD had chosen for the children of Israel. The Lord had gone to great trouble to see that they received this land as their inheritance from Him. This is their permanent home.

2 Samuel 7:11 "And as since the time that I commanded judges [to be] over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee a house."

"He will make thee a house": Although David desired to build the Lord a "house," i.e., a temple, instead it would be the Lord who would build David a "house", i.e., a dynasty.

Rather than allowing David to build a house for Him (7:5), God promised to build "a house" for David that would last forever, culminating in the eternal reign of the Lord Jesus.

The house that the LORD made for Israel was the land of Israel. He had also built them a spiritual house, built to show the world the greatness of the LORD. The judges had been given the people to bring them to the knowledge of the severity of the law if it were not kept, and the blessings that went with keeping the law. God blessed the land, while the judges were ruling the land. Their rebellion against their LORD is what had brought difficulties for them. The establishment of David as king is a shadow of a better kingdom to come through Jesus Christ our LORD.

Verses 12-16: The covenant that was given to Noah and then to Abraham and his descendants was renewed for David. It was an unconditional promise grounded in God's purposes that would one day be fulfilled in the Messiah. Using familial language, God promised that unlike Saul's line, which had ended, David's royal line would continue in dynastic succession until the coming of Christ.

Like the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. Chapter 17), and the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-37), the Davidic covenant constitutes an unconditional promise of God (1 Chron. 17:11-15). Structurally, it is patterned after the royal grant treaties of the ancient Near East in which a sovereign freely bestows his favor on this chosen recipient. Although several of the items mentioned here inaugurate the benefits of the covenant, such as the promise to David of a "son" (Solomon), who (rather that David), would build the temple (verses 12-13), and through whom the Davidic kingdom would be established (verses 14-16). The central promise concerns the fact of the everlasting extent of the covenant (verse 16).

2 Samuel 7:12 "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom."

"Thy seed": According to the rest of Scripture, it was the coming Messiah who would establish David's kingdom forever (see Isa. 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33).

This is speaking of a time, when David will die and his son, Solomon, takes his place as king of Israel. In this, David is assured that one of his sons will reign as king of Israel.

2 Samuel 7:13 "He shall build a house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever."

God did not want a permanent temple to be built until the nation of Israel had conquered the Promised Land and was at rest (1 Chron. 6:31; 28:2-8).

The LORD will have the son of David to build the house of the LORD that David desires to build. The kingdom established in David is a never-ending kingship.

1 Chronicles 17:14″ But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore."

2 Samuel 7:14 "I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:"

"His father ... my son": These words are directly related to Jesus the Messiah (in Heb. 1:5). In Semitic thought, since the son had the full character of the father, the future seed or descendants of David would have the same essence of God. That Jesus Christ was God incarnate is the central theme of John's gospel (see introduction to the book of John).

"If he commit iniquity": As a human father disciplines his sons, so the Lord would discipline David's descendants, it they committed iniquity. This has reference to the intermediary seed until Messiah's arrival (any king of David's line from Solomon on). However, the ultimate Seed of David will not be a sinner like David and his descendants were, as recorded (in Samuel and Kings; see 2 Cor. 5:21). Significantly, Chronicles, focusing more directly on the Messiah, does not include this statement in its record of Nathan's words (1 Chron. 17:13).

2 Samuel 7:15 "But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took [it] from Saul, whom I put away before thee."

This is an expression of the unconditional character of the Davidic Covenant. The Messiah will come to His glorious, eternal kingdom and that promise will not change.

This is speaking of Solomon as a type of king of peace. Solomon's reign will be a reign of peace upon the earth. The chastening from God comes through the men of the earth. God's grace is eternal. This grace is speaking of the grace that is in Jesus Christ. The law is fulfilled in Him and grace will reign in its stead.

2 Samuel 7:16 "And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever."

"Thine house ... thy kingdom ... thy throne": (Luke 1:32b-33), indicates that these 3 terms are fulfilled in Jesus. " ... And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."

"For ever": This word conveys the ideas of an indeterminately long time or into eternity future. It does not mean that there cannot be interruptions, but rather that the outcome is guaranteed. Christ's Davidic reign will conclude human history.

This verse declares that three essential features make up the ongoing Davidic covenant:

(1) A "house" - a continued posterity;

(2) A "kingdom" - a realm of political power; and

(3) A "throne" - the rulership of that kingdom centered in David's posterity.

Great stress is put on the "mercy" or (lovingkindness), of God in maintaining this promise. (Psalm 89), reports that although individual members of the house of David may fail to appropriate fully the privileges of the covenant because of their disobedience, the covenant itself remains inviolable (Psalm 89:3-4; 19-24, 27-37). Thus, although Israel was later driven into exile, it will be re-gathered and brought back to the land so that ultimately God's promise to Israel through the Davidic covenant will be realized in the universal rule of Messiah, David's "seed" (Jer. 33:19-26; Ezek. 34:22-31; 36:16-38). At that time, the promises of God given in the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New covenants will be realized in full (Ezek. 37:21-28), through Christ, in whom the provisions of these three covenants come together (Matt. 26:28-29, 31-33, 54-55; Luke 1:68-78; Acts 2:29-36; 3:25-26; 15:16-17; Gal. 3:13-16; 26-29; Heb. 9:16-29; Rev. 11:15).

1 Kings 2:45 "And king Solomon [shall be] blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever."

This is speaking of that never-ending kingdom that is finally established through the LORD Jesus Christ.

2 Samuel 7:17 "According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David."

All the words of this prophecy, just as they were delivered to Nathan, were exactly expressed by him; he did not vary from them in the least, but with the greatest faithfulness related them.

"So did Nathan speak unto David": Though in the part which related to the history of the house of God, it was contrary to the advice which he had given; but he was not ashamed to retract his sense, when he was made acquainted with the mind of God.

These words of Nathan, which were actually Words of the LORD through Nathan, encouraged David in several ways. God would allow the temple that David wanted to be built. David would not build it, however. It would be built by his son, Solomon. The kingdom of David would be an everlasting kingdom through Jesus Christ.

Verses 18-29: The extension of the covenant to David and his household (7:12-16), elicited this beautiful prayer of thanksgiving to God. David prayed for God's reputation to be praised for all generations through His work in the nation of Israel (see 1 Chronicles 17:16-27). David prayed with awe and thanksgiving over God's sovereign claim to bestow the divine blessing on his seed and nation.

2 Samuel 7:18 "Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who [am] I, O Lord GOD? and what [is] my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?"

"Sat before the Lord": I.e., before the Ark of the Covenant in the temporary tent.

"Who am I ...?" David was overwhelmed by the Lord's promise that He would bring His kingdom through David's seed. In verses 18-29, David referred to himself 10 times as "Your servant" (verses 19:20-21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29), acknowledging his God-given title, "My servant David" (verse 5).

David never stops being humble before the LORD. David is truly overwhelmed by the promises from the LORD spoken to him through Nathan. David actually stayed for a while before the LORD, is what the sitting means. We know that Solomon would kneel before the altar of the LORD with both of his hands raised in praise, when he dedicated the temple. I would assume he learned this humbleness from David.

2 Samuel 7:19 "And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come. And [is] this the manner of man, O Lord GOD?"

"A great while to come": David recognized that the Lord had spoken about the distant future, not only about his immediate descendant, Solomon.

"The manner of man": Literally "and this is the law of man." The idea is that God's covenant promise is for an eternal kingdom, whereby the whole world of man shall be blessed, through the coming seed of David. The Davidic Covenant is thus a grant, conferring powers, rights, and privileges to David and his seed for the benefit of mankind, a promise that left David speechless (verses 20-22).

A grateful David realizes that "God" has established "the manner of man" (or mankind), in David's line. It was nothing less than the basic prescription for the ordering of man's destiny through David, a privilege and responsibility that he humbly acknowledges and to which he gladly submits (23:2-5; Psalms 2:7-12; 110). For David's beautiful prayer (verses 18-29, see the note at 1 Chron. 17:16-27).

Whatever the LORD says is an absolute truth and David is aware of that. David is also, very aware that the eternal blessing he had heard is not an earthly blessing at all, but is a heavenly blessing on the house of David. This is not difficult for the LORD, but it is a major thing in the sight of David.

2 Samuel 7:20 "And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant."

In a way of self-abasement or thankfulness for such wonderful favors or in prayer for more and other mercies, he wants words, as if he should say, to express his sense of his own nothingness and unworthiness, and to praise the Lord for all his benefits. And so large are the grants and promises made, that there is no room for him to ask for more.

"For thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant": What a sense he has of his own meanness and vileness, what gratitude his heart is filled with, and what his wants and necessities are, which God only can supply, and does abundantly, even more than he is able to ask or think. The Targum is, "and thou hast performed the petition of thy servant, O Lord God".

This is true of all mankind. The LORD knows what is in our hearts, sometimes, even better than we know ourselves. David knows there is no need to try to explain to the LORD how he feels. The LORD already knows.

2 Samuel 7:21 "For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know [them]."

For the sake of the promise he had made to him by Samuel that he should be king, and his kingdom should be established. Or for the sake of the Messiah, that should spring from him; the Word, as the Targum, the essential Word of God. And so the Septuagint version, "because of thy servant", with which agrees the parallel text (in 1 Chronicles 17:19).

"And according to thine own heart": Of his own sovereign good will and pleasure, of his own grace, as the Arabic version, and not according to the merits and deserts of David.

"Hast thou done all these great things": In making him king of Israel, and settling the kingdom in his posterity to the times of the Messiah, who should spring from him.

"To make thy servant know them": As he now did by Nathan the prophet. What he and his should enjoy for time to come; so that it is not only a blessing to have favors designed, purposed, and promised, but to have the knowledge of them, to know the things that are freely given of God.

The following Scripture tells exactly how God feels about His Word.

Psalms 138:2 "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

David has weaknesses, just like all of us. The reason that the LORD has chosen to do this through David is, because of God's love, and not David's goodness.

2 Samuel 7:22 "Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for [there is] none like thee, neither [is there any] God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears."

Compare (1 Chronicles 17:17). Our passage may be thus understood: But this is the law (or prerogative), of a great man to found dynasties which are to last into the far future. David expresses his astonishment that he, of such humble birth, and one so little in his own eyes, should not only be raised to the throne, but be assured of the perpetuity of the succession in his descendants, as if he were a man of high degree.

David knows of the greatness of the LORD. He has been protective of David in every danger. He found David a little shepherd boy and made him a king. David made mistakes, as we all do, but he had a heart that was stayed upon God.

1 Kings 8:23 "And he said, LORD God of Israel, [there is] no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:"

2 Samuel 7:23 "And what one nation in the earth [is] like thy people, [even] like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, [from] the nations and their gods?"

"Thy people ... thy land": David is remembering aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. Chapters 12, 15, 17).

"Israel" (in verses 18-21), David praised the Lord for His favor to him. In (verses 22-24), David praised the Lord for the favor shown to the nation of Israel (Deut. 7:6-11).

David is looking back when there was no nation of Israel. There was a family of Jacob in bondage to an Egyptian Pharaoh. They had no hope left. The LORD sent Moses and the ten plagues, and freed the house of Jacob from bondage in Egypt. They were made the nation of Israel during their wilderness wanderings. God gave His law to them. The blessings of God were upon them. All he wanted from them was for them to put away false gods and be faithful to Him. Over and over in the Bible, the LORD is spoken of as the LORD God of Israel. They were His chosen people.

2 Samuel 7:24 "For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel [to be] a people unto thee for ever: and thou, LORD, art become their God."

So long as they were obedient to him, and observed his laws and statutes, and abode by his worship and ordinances, otherwise he would write a "lo-Ammi" (you are not my children), on them, as he has (see Hosea 1:9).

"And thou, Lord, art become their God; their covenant God, they having affirmed him to be their God, and he having affirmed them to be his people (Deut. 26:17).

The original promise was made to Abraham. God keeps His Word. God honored His covenant with Abraham through physical Israel and spiritual Israel (Christians). The gates of hell shall not prevail against spiritual Israel (Christians).

Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

2 Samuel 7:25 "And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish [it] for ever, and do as thou hast said."

"The word ... hast spoken" (in verses 25-29), David prayed for the fulfillment of the divine promise spoken to him.

This is like David saying "Amen", so be it. He is pleased that the LORD has chosen to do this. He does not understand why God has chosen to do this through his lineage, but he is pleased and believes that it will happen, because God said it.

Verses 26-29: "Thy words be true": David's prayer indicated that he fully accepted by faith the extraordinary, irrevocable promises God made to David as king and to Israel as a nation.

2 Samuel 7:26 "And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts [is] the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee."

David desired the performance of the above things not so much for his own sake, and for the sake of his family, as for the glory of God. His great concern was, that God might be magnified, and his greatness displayed, in making him and his family great. And particularly that he might be magnified and glorified in that famous Son of his; the Messiah as he has been (John 13:31). And by all his people in the succeeding ages.

"Saying, the Lord of hosts is the God over Israel": The Lord of armies above and below, is God over all, and in a special and peculiar manner God over Israel, literal and spiritual, that takes care of them, supplies, protects, and defends them.

"And let the house of thy servant David be established before thee": As he had promised (2 Sam. 7:16).

Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised. David is saying, let it be. David has decided for himself that he will forever magnify the name of the LORD. The desire of every Christian is that all of their children, grandchildren, and so on will know the Lord and trust Him. David is thrilled that his ancestry will follow the Lord the same as he has done.

2 Samuel 7:27 "For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee a house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee."

As He is called (in 2 Sam. 7:26).

"Hast revealed to thy servant", which he otherwise could not have known.

"Saying, I will build thee a house" (see 2 Sam. 7:11).

"Therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee": Found his heart disposed to this service, or found freedom and boldness in him to put up this prayer to God. What encouraged and emboldened him to do it was the gracious promise of God that he would build up his family, and establish his kingdom. Or otherwise he could not have taken such liberty, and used such boldness with God in prayer, as to have requested it of him.

David is so pleased that the LORD has told him all of this and now, he has found courage to pray, that all the LORD said would be true. He would have felt presumptuous praying for such a wonderful thing, had the LORD not revealed to him that it would happen.

2 Samuel 7:28 "And now, O Lord GOD, thou [art] that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:"

The promises of God are the true guide to the prayers of His people. We may dare to ask anything, how great whatsoever it may be, which God has promised to give. In this and the two following verses David expresses the same wonder at the riches of God's grace, and the same expectation founded on that grace (which Paul does in such passages as Eph. 1:5-7; 2:7).

This is David speaking confidently that the LORD, He is God. He knows beyond a shadow of doubt, that the LORD is Truth and His Word is True. David is saying, "Lord you said it, and I know all these good things are true".

2 Samuel 7:29 "Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken [it]: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever."

Not according to the merits of him or his family, but according to the sovereign will and pleasure of God; the Targum is, begin and bless. Let the promised blessings begin to descend, that there may be some appearance of the performance of the promise, which may give encouragement that the whole will be fulfilled.

"That it may continue for ever before thee": Under his care and protection.

"For thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it": Whose words never fall to the ground, but have a sure accomplishment.

"And with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever": Even both with temporal and spiritual blessedness.

David is praying that the LORD will not regret placing this wonderful blessing on him. We see a very positive statement from David that he believes the LORD will do, just as He has said. Notice the word "now". David says, "let the blessings begin". We all feel that way. True Christians now are crying out, "Lord Jesus, come quickly". We want to be blessed also.

2 Samuel Chapter 7 Questions

1. Who is the king in verse 1?

2. Who was the prophet David spoke to?

3. What was concerning David?

4. How does Nathan speak hastily in verse 3?

5. What happened that night that made Nathan change his message to David?

6. The office of prophet was a _________ ________ from God.

7. What does the Lord say to David in verse 6?

8. How had the presence of the LORD been obvious to the people in the wilderness?

9. The blessings received by the presence of the LORD were ________________.

10. What does "omnipresent" tell us?

11. Had God asked them to build a house of cedar for Him?

12. Why would that be a futile thing to do?

13. What was David called, in verse 8, that few are called?

14. Jesus is descended from David in the ________.

15. Who are spiritual Israel?

16. What was David's reign a type and shadow of?

17. What land is the Lord speaking of in verse 10?

18. Why had God given them judges?

19. When David dies, who will reign in his stead?

20. Who will build the temple?

21. Solomon was a type of king of _______.

22. Nathan's words were actually whose?

23. What question does David ask the Lord in verse 18?

24. When Solomon dedicated the temple, how did he pray?

25. Why is it not necessary for David to explain what is in his heart to the LORD?

26. How does David know of the goodness of the LORD?

27. God honors His promise to Abraham through whom?

28. The ______ of ________is the God over Israel.

29. How had David found courage to pray?

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2 Samuel 8

2 Samuel Chapter 8

Verses 1-18: This catalog of David's military activities emphasizes his many victories and offers details about the treasures he amassed during this time. In all these matters, he "administered judgment and justice".

These verses outline the expansion of David's kingdom under the hand of the Lord (verses 6, 14). Israel's major enemies were all defeated as David's kingdom extended north, south, east and west (see 1 Chron. 18:1-13). This conquering occurred before the event of chapter 7 (see 7:1).

2 Samuel 8:1 "And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines."

"Philistines ... subdued": David's first priority was to deal with the Philistines to the west, whom he quickly defeated and subjugated (see 5:25).

Probably this is a reference to the chief city of the Philistines (1 Chron. 18:1). He defeated his enemies to the west.

The war with the Philistines was a never-ending battle front. It seemed they would defeat them in one place and then there was another place to fight them. "Metheg-ammah" means the bridle of the mother city. This city is the same as the city of Gath, where David had run to for refuge when Saul was after him. David had already defeated the other four prominent cities. With the defeat here now, David would have control of the whole land. The LORD fought on the side of David, or he would not have been able to defeat this strong city.

2 Samuel 8:2 "And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And [so] the Moabites became David's servants, [and] brought gifts."

"Moab" David also defeated the Moabites who dwelt in Transjordan, east of the Dead Sea. This represented a change from the good relationship David once enjoyed with the Moabite royalty (1 Sam. 22:3-4). He defeated his enemies to the east.

Moab was the territory of the Philistines in which David had spent considerable time (1 Sam. 22:3-4). His great-grandmother Ruth was a Moabitess. The people of Moab were born of the incestuous relationship between Lot and his oldest daughter (Gen. 19:36-37).

"With two lines measured": This could mean that David spared the young Moabites (whose height was approximately one cord), and executed the adults (whose height was two cords), or that one out of 3 rows of soldiers was arbitrarily chosen to be spared from execution. Such was a common practice of eastern kings in dealing with deadly enemies.

It appears that David ordered at least half, and perhaps two-thirds, of the Moabites killed. The others became servants to David. The gifts were for saving their lives. Some of the historians believe David killed these people because they had killed David's mother and father when they ran there for safety from Saul. I do not find that in the Bible however. It could be so, and that would answer why so much blood was shed here.

Verses 3-8: He defeated his enemies to the north. David had already defeated the Amalekites to the south (1 Sam. 20:16-17).

2 Samuel 8:3 "David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates."

"Hadadezer": Literally "Hadad (the personal name of the Canaanite storm god), is my help." (Psalm 60), was written to commemorate this battle.

"Zobah": An Aramaean kingdom north of Damascus (1 Sam. 14:47).

"River": I.e., the most southwesterly point of the Euphrates River around the city of Tiphsah.

Hadadezer was the Armenian king of the state of Zobah. David led the battle against them and he was utterly destroyed.

Verses 4-5 (1 Chronicles 18:4), records the number taken in the fighting as a thousand "chariots" and seven thousand "horsemen" (or charioteers), a figure also read by the Septuagint (in 2 Samuel 8:4). The Hebrew text was probably miscopied, the higher figures being the correct ones (see the note on 1 Chronicles 19:18).

2 Samuel 8:4 "And David took from him a thousand [chariots], and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot [horses], but reserved of them [for] a hundred chariots."

"Took ... seven hundred horsemen": The reading of "7000" (in 1 Chron. 18:4), is preferable (see note there).

It is unknown why David "hamstrung the horses" (cut the tendon above the hoof so that the animals could not run). It could be that he was trying to obey the command not to acquire horses (Deut. 17:16; Joshua 11:6-9), or perhaps he was simply preventing his enemies from using the horses in battle against him.

When David "houghed" the "chariot horses" (i.e., cut the back sinews of their rear legs), he rendered them unfit for further military use. David's successful campaigning against the "Syrians" (Arameans), of "Damascus" brought the extension of his kingdom to its farthest northern boundary.

The number of chariots shows that Hadadezer was strong militarily. David kept only one hundred of the horses of the enemy here. It would be much faster travel with the horses than on foot. This means that they cut the hamstrings on 900 horses. This seems a terrible thing to do to the horses. They would not be able to walk. They would just lie down and die. The 20,000 men were either taken captive, or killed.

2 Samuel 8:5 "And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succor Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men."

"Syrians" Arameans, who were peoples located around the city of Damascus as well as in the area of Zobah.

"Succor" means protect, aid or help. This 22,000 is in addition to the 20,000 above. This is part of the reason David was known as a bloody king.

2 Samuel 8:6 "Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, [and] brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went."

"Garrisons": The word is used for officers (in 1 Kings 4:5; 4:19), and some think that that is its meaning here. Perhaps, however, it is best to take it with the King James Version in the same sense (as in 1 Sam. 10:5; 13:3).

"Brought gifts": Rather, "tribute" (and in 2 Sam. 8:2); meaning they became subject and tributary.

Those, who were not killed in the massacre, became servants of David. The Syrians were allowed to stay on their land and work, but they had to pay tribute to David. The garrisons were outposts of strength to keep them from raising an army against David.

2 Samuel 8:7 "And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem."

"Shields of gold": Ceremonial or decorative insignias that were not used in battle, but for decoration.

There had to be an abundance of gold, for the servants to have gold. This was spoil from the battle that David took home.

2 Samuel 8:8 "And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass."

"Brass" (1 Chronicles 18:8), notes 3 towns belonging to Hadadezer which yielded brass that was later used in the construction of the temple.

This is believed to be the same brass that was used in the temple to make the laver. Solomon and David had much brass, gold and silver.

2 Samuel 8:9 "When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer,"

"Toi king of Hamath": Hamath was another Aramean territory located about 100 miles north of Damascus. The king, Toi, was thankful to see his enemy Zobah crushed and desire to establish good relations with David. So he gave David gifts to indicate that he voluntarily submitted to him as his vassal.

Toi was like many of the kings of the smaller countries, here. Hadadezer had them all under the yoke of his rule. David delivered them, when he defeated him.

2 Samuel 8:10 "Then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And [Joram] brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass:"

Who is called Hadoram (in 1 Chron. 18:10); though the Syriac and Arabic versions read Joram there.

"To salute him": To inquire of his welfare after his fatigue in the battles he had had with the Moabites and Syrians, and to wish him all happiness and prosperity for the future.

"And to bless him": To congratulate him on his victory, and to wish him success in all after wars he might be engaged in. And particularly to give him thanks for delivering him from so great an enemy as Hadadezer had been to him, as also to bring a present to him, which is sometimes called a blessing (see Gen. 33:11).

"Because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him": That is, David had, which had endeared him to Toi.

"For Hadadezer had wars with Toi": Was an enemy of his, sought to take his kingdom from him, and had had many battles with him: and though he could not conquer him, he sadly harassed him, being too mighty for him.

"And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass": As a present to David, in gratitude for his deliverance from his enemy by him, and as a token of his homage and subjection to him. At least as a sign that he put himself under his protection, and desired to be his friend and ally. The word "Joram", though not in the Hebrew text, is rightly supplied; for none else can be supposed to bring the present.

This wonderful offering of precious metals was in appreciation to David for ridding them of their oppressor.

2 Samuel 8:11 "Which also king David did dedicate unto the LORD, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued;"

Solomon gave the "silver and gold" from the nations David conquered to the priests to use in building the temple (1 Kings 7:51).

King David dedicated these precious metals to the LORD, and they would be used in the fine things in the temple, that Solomon builds to the LORD.

2 Samuel 8:12 "Of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah."

"Syria" These were David's enemies to the south.

These are some of the people defeated by David and spoiled of their precious metals, which were dedicated to the LORD for the use in the temple.

2 Samuel 8:13 "And David gat [him] a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, [being] eighteen thousand [men]."

"A name": The Lord began to fulfill His promise of giving David a great name (see 7:9).

"Syrians" There is an alternate manuscript reading that makes this a reference to David's defeat of the Edomites, not the Arameans. This reading is supported by (Psalm 60 and 1 Chron. 18:12).

"Valley of salt": An area south of the Dead Sea.

Because in Hebrew the d (dalet) and the r (resh) looked very much alike, they were often mistaken for one another. Probably Edomites rather than "Syrians" (i.e., Edom rather that Aram) should be read here (as in 1 Chronicles 18:12), and the title of (Psalm 60; see the note on 1 Chronicles 18:12).

The battles, we just read about, were hardly over, when the Edomites attacked them. On the way back, they battled and killed 18,000 more in the valley of salt near the Dead Sea. This made quite a reputation for David. David's victories were because the LORD was with him.

2 Samuel 8:14 "And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went."

To keep the inhabitants in subjection to him; as their forts and strong holds came into his hands, he placed companies of soldiers in them for the said purpose. Or governors, as the Targum, men of his own nation, into whose hands he put their principal cities, who governed them for him, and under him. Jarchi interprets it of officers appointed to collect the tribute he exacted of them.

"Throughout all Edom put he garrisons": This was observed to show that the whole country was brought into subjection to him.

"And all they of Edom became David's servants": And hereby were fulfilled the oracle delivered to Rebekah, and the prophetic blessing of Isaac (Gen. 25:23).

"And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went" (See 2 Sam. 8:6).

This is the same as we read about earlier. David allowed them to live in their own homes and do their regular work. They had to pay tribute to David however. David left soldiers in the garrisons to see that they did pay tribute.

Verses 15-18 (see 1 Chron. 18:14-17). This is the record of the cabinet under David's rule.

2 Samuel 8:15 "And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people."

Judgment and justice": David ruled his kingdom in a righteous manner, and in the future the "Messiah" will rule in a similar fashion (Isa. 9:7; Jer. 23:5; 33:15).

We know that David knew his power was of God. He would be just and would judge fairly, remembering that he would someday be judged of God himself.

2 Samuel 8:16 "And Joab the son of Zeruiah [was] over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud [was] recorder;"

"Joab": David's general (2:13; 1 Sam. 26:6).

"Jehoshaphat ... recorder": The keeper of state records, and possibly the royal herald (1 Kings. 4:3).

This was speaking of the officers of David who took care of these jobs for him. This would have been a time of great prosperity for David and his men that worked for him.

2 Samuel 8:17 "And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, [were] the priests; and Seraiah [was] the scribe;"

"Zadok the son of Ahitub": Zadok, meaning "righteous," was a Levitical priest descended from Aaron through Eleazar (1 Chron. 6:3-8, 50-53), who, along with his house, was the fulfillment of the oracle by the man of God (in 1 Sam. 2:35). Future sons of Zadok will be priests in the millennial kingdom of Messiah (Ezek. 45:15). Later, he became the only High-Priest in Solomon's reign, fulfilling God's promise to Phinehas (Num. 25:10-13).

"Ahimelech the son of Abiathar" (see 1 Sam. 22:20), which indicates that Abiathar is the son of Ahimelech. This is best accounted for by a scribal copying error (1 Chron. 18:16; 24:3, 6, 31). Abiathar was David's priest along with Zadok (15:24, 35; 19:11). Abiathar traced his lineage through Eli (1 Kings 2:27), to Ithamar (1 Chron. 24:3). With Abiathar's removal (1 Kings 2:26-27), God's curse on Eli was completed (1 Sam. 2:33), and God's promise to Phinehas of Eleazar's line was fulfilled (Num. 25:10-13; 1 Sam. 2:35).

"Seraiah was the scribe": His name means "The Lord prevails," and he served as the official secretary of David.

Zadok was of the line of Eleazar. Zadok, at a later time, will be thrown out and Abiathar will replace him. At the time this was written, they were both priests. Seraiah was a scribe, which could be compared to a modern secretary of state.

2 Samuel 8:18 "And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada [was over] both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David's sons were chief rulers."

"Benaiah": His name means "The Lord builds," and he served as the commander of David's personal bodyguard. He later became the commander-in-chief of Solomon's army (1 Kings 2:34-35; 4:4), after he killed Joab, David's general (1 Kings 2:28-35).

"Cherethites" and "Pelethites" (see notes on 1 Sam. 30:14 and 1 Kings 1:38-40).

"Chief rulers": Though the Hebrew text referred to the sons of David as priests, the LXX referred to them as "princes of the court". The latter reading is supported by (1 Chron. 18:17), which refers to David's sons as "chiefs at the king's side."

David had many sons, and they also had plenty to rule over. David was king of all Israel, but also had defeated the Philistines and the countries around them. This meant there were many places where these sons of David could actively rule as subordinate to David. The Cherethites and the Pelethites were small countries of people, who were basically Philistines. Benaiah and Jehoiada were over them.

2 Samuel Chapter 8 Questions

1. Who does David attack in verse 1?

2. What does "Metheg-ammah" mean?

3. What is another name for Metheg-ammah?

4. Why was David so successful in these wars?

5. Who did David measure with a line, to determine who would live?

6. The Moabites who lived became David's ____________.

7. Why do some historians believe that David killed these Moabites?

8. Why did the living bring gifts to David?

9. Hadadezer was an ___________ king.

10. How many chariots did David take from Hadadezer?

11. What does "houghed" mean?

12. How many horses did David keep for himself?

13. Who came to their rescue?

14. What does "succor" mean?

15. How many of the rescuers were killed?

16. David put ____________ in Syria of Damascus.

17. The Syrians became __________ of David.

18. The Syrians were allowed to stay on their land and work, but they paid __________ to David?

19. Whose shields of gold did David take?

20. Where did David take brass from?

21. Who sent his son to king David to salute him?

22. Who had Toi been fighting against?

23. What did Toi send David as gifts?

24. Why did he send David gifts?

25. What did David do with these precious metals?

26. Who are listed, in verse 12, that David defeated?

27. How many Edomites did David kill at the valley of salt?

28. What did David do with the other Edomites?

29. David executed _____________ and __________ unto all his people.

30. Who was Joab?

31. Who was recorder?

32. Who were priests to David?

33. What would a scribe be compared to in our society?

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2 Samuel 9

2 Samuel Chapter 9

Verses 9:1 - 20:26: These chapters begin with "the house of Saul" (9:1), and end with "Sheba ... a Benjamite" (20:1). As with Saul, David is shown to be a failed king, albeit a repentant failure. It was only the grace and mercy of the Lord and His irrevocable covenant that kept David from being removed from the kingship, as Saul had been (7:15). The emphasis in this section is upon the troubles of David, troubles brought on by his own sin.

(In verses 1-13), David remembered his promise to Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:15, 42), and sought out a descendant to whom he could show kindness. The grace of David's actions is accentuated by the fact that "Mephibosheth" was a member of Saul's family, and some in David's position might have suspected Jonathon's son of wanting the throne. The next episode of Mephibosheth's story is recorded (in 16:1-4 and 19:24-30).

2 Samuel 9:1 "And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?"

"Shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake": David continued to display loving loyalty toward Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:42), by ministering to the physical needs of his crippled son, Mephibosheth (4:4).

The "kindness" of "David" related to the covenant bond into which he and Jonathan had entered. (See the note on 1 Sam. 20:14-17). David's kindly behavior toward "Jonathan's" helpless son in raising him from a lowly state and providing for his every need stands as an illustration of God's own grace to men in their need (Eph. 2:4-7).

At the time of this chapter, it had been somewhere between 15 and 20 years after the battle that Jonathan and Saul died in. David had made a covenant with Jonathan to watch after his family. All of these years since the death of Jonathan, David had been extremely busy in wars and establishing himself as king of all Israel. David is finally secure in his office as king and looks for Jonathan's family.

2 Samuel 9:2 "And [there was] of the house of Saul a servant whose name [was] Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, [Art] thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant [is he]."

"Ziba": A former servant of Saul, who is first mentioned here.

Mephibosheth (Jonathan's son), was unknown to David during this period of time. He had not even known of his birth, much less his survival, when his father and grandfather were killed. It appears that it came to David's attention that someone who had worked in the house of Saul was now with them. David sent for Ziba (Saul's servant). David still had kind feelings toward Saul, Jonathan, and their tribe. He possibly thought he might help Ziba. David wants to help all who are left of Jonathan or Saul.

2 Samuel 9:3 "And the king said, [Is] there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, [which is] lame on [his] feet."

In extending kindness to Mephibosheth, who was crippled and in need of mercy, David exemplified the "kindness of God," who shows mercy to all who are crippled spiritually by sin and longing for grace (Rom. 5:6-8; Eph. 2:8-9).

David even gave God credit for the kindness in his heart toward Jonathan and Saul and their descendants. We know this must have been good news to David that his best friend had a child that he might help. He would certainly need the help of David, since he is lame.

2 Samuel 9:4 "And the king said unto him, Where [is] he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he [is] in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar."

"Machir, the son of Ammiel": A man of wealth (see 17:22-29).

"Lo-debar": A city located in Gilead, east of the Jordan, about 10 miles south of the Sea of Galilee.

Machir, it seemed, had cared for Jonathan in his home. He seemed to be a wealthy man, who had a very generous heart. Later, we will see his father, Ammiel; befriend David when he is having trouble with Absalom. Lo-debar is probably the same as Debir, which is in Gilead north of the river Jabbok.

2 Samuel 9:5 "Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar."

Messengers; it may be Ziba, none being more proper than he that knew him, and where he was.

"And fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lode bar": They demanded him in the king's name, and being delivered to them, they brought him from thence to Jerusalem.

At the time this happened, he would have been glad to come, because David had become a very famous and powerful king.

2 Samuel 9:6 "Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!"

For "Mephibosheth (Merib-baal; see the notes on 2:8-11 and 4:4).

Mephibosheth had no idea why David had sent for him. It was the general rule, that the king, who takes the throne, destroys all the members of the family they replace to keep them from coming back to power. Mephibosheth thinks he will be killed. He bows to David to show he recognizes him as king. He even speaks of himself as the servant of David, to show he is not trying to take the throne from David. David's love for Jonathan is possibly, in the tone of voice he speaks his son's name.

2 Samuel 9:7 "And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually."

"Restore thee all the land of Saul": The estate belonging to Saul was probably quite substantial.

"Eat bread at my table": David desired to honor Mephibosheth by bringing him into the royal palace and providing for his daily needs (2 Kings 25:29).

David went above and beyond what could have been expected, returning the family property, appointing servants for Mephibosheth, and allowing him to eat "at" his "table."

It was a very high honor to eat at the king's table and be his friend. Mephibosheth is certainly relieved that he is not to be killed. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to get back his grandfather's land. This will not please Ziba because he held some of this land. David leaves no doubt, the reason he is doing this is in memory of his old friend Jonathan.

2 Samuel 9:8 "And he bowed himself, and said, What [is] thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I [am]?"

"Dead dog": A "dead dog" was considered contemptible and useless. Mephibosheth saw himself as such in that he knew that he had not merited David's kindness and that there was no way for him to repay it. David's offer was an extraordinary expression of grace and beauty of his covenant with Jonathan (1 Sam. 18:3; 20:15, 42).

For the phrase "dead dog" (see the note on 1 Sam. 24:14).

Mephibosheth had a very low opinion of himself it seems. This could however, be a way of expressing the difference in the station of the king and himself. Compared to the king, he was the dog. It also is a very unusual way of saying thank you. Mephibosheth is very well aware that this is not deserved, but freely given.

2 Samuel 9:9 "Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house."

Who had been his servant.

"And said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son": Meaning either, as some, the son of Mephibosheth, Micha after mentioned; or rather Mephibosheth himself, the grandson of Saul, whose servant Ziba had been.

"All that pertained to Saul, and to all his house; all his paternal estate, or what he had acquired, or in any wise belonged to him and his family. Which David had in possession, and which he readily and cheerfully delivered up to Mephibosheth, having so great a regard to the memory of his father.

This was a very sad day for Ziba. This is a total restoration of the personal holdings of Saul. Of course, the statement master's son actually means grandson. By a few words spoken by David, Mephibosheth is a rich man with many servants.

2 Samuel 9:10 "Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the land for him, and thou shalt bring in [the fruits], that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy master's son shall eat bread always at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants."

"Fifteen sons and twenty servants": This number shows the power and influence of Ziba. It also shows that the land given by David was substantial.

All of these are now to serve Mephibosheth. He would now live in Jerusalem, as a very rich man. The crops from the land will be cultivated and harvested by Ziba's sons and servants and the wealth from it will belong to Mephibosheth. This does not mean that Ziba's family will have nothing. It does mean they will not have it all as before.

2 Samuel 9:11 "Then said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for Mephibosheth, [said the king], he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons."

Till the land, and bring the fruits of it to Mephibosheth, for the support of his family; he promised to be fair, as he had been as faithful to his trust.

"As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king's sons": Which is repeated, for the confirmation of it, and to show that he should be treated with equal respect, and fare as the king's sons themselves did. Though the clause "said the king" is not in the original text, and the words are thought by Abarbinel and others to be the words of Ziba continued. Who promised to do what the king had ordered, though Mephibosheth had eaten at his table, as one of the king's sons, and needed not anything, and needed not to eat at the king's table. And if it was his pleasure, he would maintain him out of this estate like the son of a king. But the phrase "my table" seems to be too arrogant for Ziba to say, and rather fits the mouth of David the king.

We see the rank and privilege that went with eating at the kings table. He is now a prince, like all the sons of the king. We see that David's rule was absolute, because Ziba gave no argument back.

2 Samuel 9:12 "And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name [was] Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba [were] servants unto Mephibosheth."

"Micha": The descendants of Micah, the son of Mephibosheth, are listed (in 1 Chron. 8:35-38; 9:41-44).

2 Samuel 9:13 "So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: For he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet."

Either in some apartments in the king's palace, or in some house in the city provided for him; for he returned not to Lode-bar, nor to any mansion house upon the estate, of Saul restored unto him.

"For he did eat continually at the king's table": To which he was invited, and he accepted of.

"And was lame on both his feet": Or "though" he was, yet this was no objection to David, he admitted him notwithstanding his infirmity; or any obstruction to Mephibosheth, who found ways and means to be carried to the king's table daily.

This crippled son of Jonathan had a family. His family lived in the house of Ziba and all of Ziba's people were servant to Mephibosheth.

2 Samuel Chapter 9 Questions

1. What inquiry does David make in verse 1?

2. How long had it been, since Jonathan had died until this inquiry was made?

3. Why had David not tried to find Jonathan's family earlier?

4. Who did they find, that had been servant to Saul?

5. Who was Mephibosheth?

6. Was David aware that Jonathan had a son, when he called Ziba before him?

7. Why did David inquire of the family of Saul?

8. Who was the one the servant mentioned?

9. What physical ailment did he have?

10. Where was this son of Jonathan staying?

11. What does Ammiel do for David later?

12. Where were they living?

13. Why would Mephibosheth not run away, instead of coming to David?

14. What did he do, when he came into David's presence?

15. What are the first two words David says to him?

16. What does David give him?

17. What does he call himself in verse 8?

18. What are some of the possibilities, why he called himself this?

19. Who did David call, to carry out the things David had given Mephibosheth?

20. What will happen to Ziba and his family?

21. How many sons did Ziba have?

22. Where shall Mephibosheth eat?

23. What rank goes with eating at the king's table?

24. What was the name of the son of Mephibosheth?

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2 Samuel 10

2 Samuel Chapter 10

Verses 1-5: David sent out his men as a "kindness" to the son of Hanun, but the Ammonites treated them with mistrust and contempt. In the ancient world, having one's "beard shaved" was an extreme insult, for it was supposed to be a voluntary act reserved for times of mourning (Isa. 15:2; Jer. 41:5; Ezek. 5:1). Prisoners of war had their "garments cut off" (Isa. 20:24).

Verses 10:1-19 (see 1 Chronicles 19:1-19).

2 Samuel 10:1 "And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead."

"King of the child of Ammon": I.e., Nahash (see note on 1. Sam. 11:1).

The Ammonites had been in battle with David before, but once the battle was over, David forgot the hate. We see in the verse above, the father of the children of Ammon. As is the case in many countries, one of the sons becomes king in his stead. In this particular instance, it is Hanun.

2 Samuel 10:2 "Then said David, I will show kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon."

"Show kindness unto Hanun": Since Nahash was an enemy of Saul; he was viewed as a friend and supporter of David. It was implied that David and Nahash had entered into a covenant relationship, on the basis of which David desired to communicate his continuing loyalty to Nahash's son, Hanun.

Apparently the Ammonites had been an encouragement to "David" during his days as a fugitive from Saul, much as their neighbors across the Jordan, the Moabites (1 Sam. 22:3-5). Certainly "Nahash" was no friend of Saul (1 Sam. 11;1-11).

We see that David tries to show them kindness. It seems, when Saul was trying to destroy David, he had found help with this Nahash. Since Nahash was an enemy of Saul, he helped David. Nahash had been enemies with Saul because he wanted to put out the right eye of the people of Jabesh-gilead to have peace with them. Saul attacked them, and was always enemies with them. David appreciated the kindness Nahash had shown him and wanted to be friendly with his sons. David sent some servants to tell the sons of his sorrow of their dad's death.

2 Samuel 10:3 "And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honor thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David [rather] sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?"

"The city": I.e., Rabbah (see note on 11:1).

It appears they did not trust the intentions of David. They were probably, jealous of the great power that David had won in war. It seemed they did not trust David, or the servants he sent them.

2 Samuel 10:4 "Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, [even] to their buttocks, and sent them away."

"David's" kindness is met with suspicion and his "servants" with contempt. The shaving of "one half of" the men's "beards" was a mark of humiliation (Jer. 41:5; 48:37).

"Shaved off the one half of their beards": Forced shaving was considered an insult and a sign of submission (compare Isa. 7:20).

"Cut off their garments ...even to their buttocks": To those who wore long garments in that time, exposure of the buttocks was a shameful practice inflicted on prisoners of war (Isa. 20:4). Perhaps this was partly the concern of Michal in regard to David's dancing (see 6:14, 20).

This was done to disgrace them. The Orientals wore long beards, as a symbol of their freedom. They wore no undergarments, so this was a terribly embarrassing thing, to have half of their clothes cut off. David had wanted peace with them, but this will bring war.

2 Samuel 10:5 "When they told [it] unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and [then] return."

"Jericho": The first place west of the Jordan River that would have been reached by the servants of David as they returned from Rabbah.

They sent someone on to tell David of their plight. He knew the embarrassment it would cause them to come into camp, so he allowed them to stay at Jericho until their beards were grown out.

Verses 10:6-11: The Ammonite army was in the city ready for defense, while the Aramean mercenaries were at some distance, encamped in the fields around the city. Joab divided his forces to deal with both (see note on 1 Sam. 11:1).

2 Samuel 10:6 "And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men."

The two victories (verses 6-14; 15-19), were to settle the Syrian (Aramean), problem for David and bring security to his northern boundary.

The war with the Ammonites was caused by foolishness. David did not provoke it, but the Ammonites started it by disgracing the Israelite ambassadors.

"Beth-rehob": An Aramean district located southwest of Zobah (Num. 13:21; Judges 18:28).

"Zoba" (see note on "Zobah" on 8:3).

"Maacah": The region north of Lake Huleh north of Galilee (Deut. 3:14; Joshua 13:11-13).

"Ish-tob" A city east of the Jordan River, located 45 miles northeast of Rabbah (Judges 11:3, 5).

The children of Ammon knew they had done something that David would not overlook. There would be war. They must have been very wealthy, because they hired soldiers to help them fight against David. They had hired 33,000 men to fight David.

2 Samuel 10:7 "And when David heard of [it], he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men."

Of the preparation made by the Ammonites to fight with him.

"He sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men": He sent out Joab his general and an army under his command, consisting of men of strength, valor, and courage. Or all the host and the mighty men, as Kimchi and Ben Melech, the famous mighty men mentioned in (2 Sam. 23:8). he did not think it advisable to wait for the Ammonites, but carried the war into their own country, and, instead of suffering them to invade his dominions, he invaded theirs.

This is speaking of the large army led by Joab. David's troops are skilled in war, and they have become mighty warriors. David quickly sends men to the area, where the enemy is gathering for war.

2 Samuel 10:8 "And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ish-tob, and Maacah, [were] by themselves in the field."

The Ammonites and their allies formed separate armies, the former taking their stand immediately before the city, the latter "by themselves" at some distance, where the ground was more favorable for the maneuvers of their chariots.

It appears from this, that the hired soldiers will be at the most risk out in the field. The Ammonites will stay back in relative safety, near the entering of the gate. The hired soldiers have not united yet with the Ammonites. Joab gets his troops there while they are still separated.

2 Samuel 10:9 "When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice [men] of Israel, and put [them] in array against the Syrians:"

The keen eye of this experienced general at once took in both the advantages and the danger of this disposition of the enemy. He threw his whole force between their two divisions, organizing his own army in two parts, one facing the Ammonites and the other the Syrians, but each capable of supporting the other in case of need. The enemy was thus cut in two, while the Israelites formed one compact body. He himself took command of the wing facing the Syrians with the choice troops of Israel, as having the stronger enemy to meet, while he gave the rest of the forces opposing the Ammonites into the hand of his brother Abishai.

Joab would have to divide his army up, also. He takes his very choicest men and sets them against the Syrians, which are 33,000 in number.

2 Samuel 10:10 "And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put [them] in array against the children of Ammon."

Who was a commander under him, and a very valiant man; and thus, as his enemy had two armies, he divided his into two parts, that he might the better attack them.

"That he might put them in array against the children of Ammon": Draw them up in a line, place them rank and file to meet the children of Ammon, and give them battle.

It appears from this that Joab has placed his army between the Ammonites and the Syrians. Abishai, the brother of Joab, will face the Ammonites. Whichever one needs help, the other can turn their troops and help. The only thing that will save David's army is the LORD.

2 Samuel 10:11 "And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee."

Which he might perceive by Joab's forces giving way, or by some signal agreed on between them.

"Then thou shall help me": Detach a part of his army to his support and assistance.

"But if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee": In the same manner.

2 Samuel 10:12 "Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good."

Be of good courage ... the Lord do that which seemeth him good": Finding himself fighting on two fronts, Joab urged the army to "be strong" and recognize that the outcome of the battle depended ultimately upon the Lord (15:26). It was a just and necessary war forced on Israel, so they could hope for God's blessing - and they received it (verses 13-14).

Joab expressed the determination to "be strong" and "of good courage" and to trust the Lord. These words are similar to the famous charge given to Joshua (Joshua 1:6-7). This is the balance between action and faith that each person needs when faced with challenges.

This army of David had been in battle before. They were brave men, who knew the fate of their nation depended upon them standing and not running. Notice also, that Joab calls on the help of the LORD in this battle. Joab and Abishai were brave men, and would do their best.

2 Samuel 10:13 "And Joab drew nigh, and the people that [were] with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him."

The attack was begun, not against both parts of the foe at once, but Joab threw the weight of his forces against the stronger division of the enemy while Abishai watched and held in check the Ammonites. His tactics were completely successful. The Syrians fled, and the Ammonites, seeing that the whole army of Israel could now be thrown upon them, retired precipitately into the city.

We are not told the size of Joab's army. We are told here, that the Syrians became afraid and ran away. It appears that Joab and his men started advancing and that is when the Syrians ran.

2 Samuel 10:14 "And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem."

"So Joab returned" He did not attempt to siege and capture the city of Rabbah at this time because the time was unseasonable (see note on 11:1; compare 12:26-29).

They were no longer boastful when their hired soldiers ran. They ran back into their city for safety. The Ammonites refusal of friendship from David had greatly cost them. They not only lost the war, but lost self-respect in the process.

2 Samuel 10:15 "And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together."

Considered it in their minds, and conversed with one another about it, and fearing what would be the consequence of it.

They gathered themselves together": Not only the forces got together again, that fled before Joab, but all the kings of Syria united their forces together, as appears from (2 Samuel 10:19). Supposing that David would avenge himself on them for assisting the Ammonites against him; and therefore, judged it advisable to raise a large army, that they might be in a condition to receive him.

2 Samuel 10:16 "And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that [were] beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer [went] before them."

"Hadarezer" (see note on 8:3).

"Helam": The place of battle, about 7 miles north of Ish-tob

All of this seems to be a fuller explanation of the same battles we read of (in chapter 8). Hadarezer had not entered personally in hiring out to the Ammonites to fight for them. It does seem that when they lost the battle, however he felt obligated to restore their good name by fighting the troops of David himself. He sent for his men to come back to him. Shobach was the captain of his hosts.

2 Samuel 10:17 "And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him."

What preparations the Syrians were making to fight him, and where they were.

"He gathered all Israel together": All the fighting men in the country.

"And passed over Jordan, and came to Helam": Which, according to Bunting, was twenty miles from Jerusalem. David seems to have gone himself in person to this war.

"And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him": They formed themselves in a line of battle, and attacked him first, being eager to fight, and perhaps confident of victory, because of their numbers.

2 Samuel 10:18 "And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew [the men of] seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there."

The large number of soldiers in the campaign suggests that perhaps seven thousand charioteers were involved in the battle, as stated (in 1 Chronicles 19:18).

David leads the men himself in this. Joab had not gone in and finished the job on the Ammonites and Syrians in the last confrontation. There is a slight discrepancy in the numbers in this war against David. The exact number is not that important however. The important thing is that David and his men destroy them.

2 Samuel 10:19 "And when all the kings [that were] servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more."

"Made peace with Israel": All the petty kingdoms of Aram became subject to Israel and feared to aid Ammon against Israel.

There were thousands of the enemies slain in this battle led by David. It seems, Hadarezer had been over several countries before this battle and they had paid tribute to him. Now that he is defeated, they made peace with Israel and became their subjects. The Syrians saw how futile it was to fight against David, so they do not help the Ammonites anymore.

2 Samuel Chapter 10 Questions

1. Who reigned in Ammon, when his father died?

2. What does David attempt to do at the death of Nahash?

3. Who did David send with greetings to Hanun?

4. Why had Saul been enemies with Nahash?

5. What did the princes of Ammon decide about David's offer of friendship?

6. What did Hanun do to David's servants?

7. Why did Orientals wear long beards?

8. What will this embarrassment bring?

9. Where did David tell his servants to tarry, until their beards grew back out?

10. What did the children of Ammon do, when they realized they stank before David?

11. How many soldiers did they hire?

12. Who did David send to lead his army?

13. Where would the children of Ammon fight?

14. Who does Joab set his very choicest army against?

15. Who led the other part of the army?

16. Where had Joab placed his men?

17. The only thing that will save David's army is the ________.

18. What were David's soldiers encouraged to do?

19. When Joab and his men came toward the Syrians, what did the Syrians do?

20. What happened to the sons of Ammon, when they saw what the Syrians did?

21. Where do we read another place of these same battles?

22. Why did Hadarezer get involved in this battle?

23. Who led the army of Israel against Hadarezer?

24. What did the other kings do, when they saw David defeat Hadarezer?

25. Why did the Syrians no longer fight against David?

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2 Samuel 11

2 Samuel Chapter 11

Verses 1-4: David's sin occurred because he ignored his duty and indulged his desire. Had David been leading the troops as a king should, he would never have found himself in this moment of enticement. Also, he literally presided over a harem despite God's command to refrain from multiplying wives and concubines (Deut. 17:16-17). So that moment on the rooftop was part of a pattern: sin is never satisfied. It gets more and more daring as it opposes God. It was simply a matter of time before David's sins would catch up with him.

2 Samuel 11:1 "And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth [to battle], that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem."

"After the year was expired ... when kings go forth to battle": In the Near East, kings normally went out to battle in the spring of the year because of the good weather and the abundance of food available along the way (see note on 10:14).

"David sent Joab": David dispatched Joab, his army commander, with his mercenary soldiers and the army of Israel to continue the battle against Ammon begun the previous year (10:14).

"Rabbah": The capital of the Ammonites, about 24 miles east of the Jordan River opposite Jericho. The previous year, Abishai had defeated the Ammonite army in the open country, after which the remaining Ammonites fled behind the walls of the city of Rabbah for protection (10:14). Joab returned the next year to besiege the city.

"But David tarried still at Jerusalem": Staying home in such situations was not David's usual practice (5:2; 8:1-14; 10:17; but compare 18:3; 21:17). This explicit remark implies criticism of David for remaining behind, as well as setting the stage for his devastating iniquity.

We must remember in the last lesson, that Joab allowed them to go back into their city unharmed. David did not lead the battle against Rabbah, but sent Joab. Perhaps, this was to finish the job, he started a year ago. This army is made up of men of all the tribes. This is quite a large army gathered against the Ammonites.

Verses 2-5: Nowhere does Scripture implicate "Bath-sheba" in this event. She was innocently taking a bath, as she normally did within the supposed privacy of her courtyard. David "saw" her and he coveted her. Then he "sent" for her and "took" her. She was a subject of the king and was required to do his bidding.

The sequence of David's sinful affair with Bath-sheba is most instructive. He "saw" (verse 2), he sought knowledge of Bath-sheba (verse 3), he "sent" for her (verse 3), and sinned with her (verse 4). The rapid development of sin from lust as catalogued by James (James 1:14-15), is applicable here. The sin of "David" and Bath-sheba was to result in further deceit (verses 6-13), and eventually in the death of the innocent party (verses 14-17). Unless rapidly refused, one sin so often leads to another (Joshua 7:21; Luke 22:33-62). David's sin was punishable by death (Lev. 20:10). Although it was forgiven by God (Psalm 51), the sin was to have tragic consequences for him personally, for his own family, and for his nation.

2 Samuel 11:2 "And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman [was] very beautiful to look upon."

"Walked upon the roof": The higher elevation of the palace roof allowed David to see into the courtyard of the nearby house. That same roof would later become the scene of other sinful immoralities (see 16:22).

Possibly, David was unable to sleep. The roof of the house was a common place for these people to go and cool off in the heat. There would be a breeze on the roof. It appears, this woman's house was very near the king's house. She was bathing herself. She was a very beautiful woman, and David looked upon her. She was the wife of one of his officers in the army.

2 Samuel 11:3 "And David sent and inquired after the woman. And [one] said, [Is] not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"

"Bath-sheba" was the daughter of Eliam, son of Ahithophel, one of David's advisers (verse 3; 23:34). She was the beautiful wife of Uriah the Hittite, whom David coveted and seduced while her husband was off fighting against the Ammonites with Joab (verses 1-4). After David had ordered Uriah to the frontlines where he was killed, he married Bath-sheba. But the child conceived in adultery died. God blessed them with four more children: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon (1 Chron. 3:5). The adultery with Bath-sheba was rebuked by Nathan the prophet. After she became the mother of Solomon (12:24), she begged the elderly David for Solomon's succession to the throne (1 kings 1:15-17). According to Jewish tradition (Proverbs 31), was written by Solomon to memorialize his mother. In the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:6), Bath-sheba is mentioned indirectly as the wife of Uriah and the mother of Solomon by David.

Not until (12:24), is her name used again. Rather, to intensify the sin of adultery, it is emphasized that she was the wife of Uriah (verses 3, 26; 12:10, 15). Even the New Testament says "the wife of Uriah" (Matt. 1:6; compare Exodus 20:17).

"Eliam": The father of Bath-sheba was one of David's mighty men (23:34). Since Eliam was the son of Ahithophel, Bath-sheba was Ahithophel's granddaughter (15:12; 16:15). This could explain why Ahithophel, one of David's counselors (15:12), later gave his allegiance to Absalom in his revolt against David.

"Uriah": Also, one of David's mighty men (23:39). Although a Hittite (Gen. 15:20; Exodus 3:8, 17, 23), Uriah bore a Hebrew name meaning "the Lord is my light," indicating he was a worshiper of the one true God.

Caught in the passion of the moment, David ignored the question of his servant. That query was his way out, if only he had heeded it.

"Uriah" was one of David's elite soldiers (23:39). To pursue Bath-sheba would be not only foolish but also unjust.

This should settle the whole matter. She is a married woman. Her husband is off fighting a war that David has sent him to. Her name is Bath-sheba, which means daughter of an oath.

2 Samuel 11:4 "And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house."

"She came ... he lay": Theses terms are euphemistic references to sexual intercourse (Gen. 19:34), indicating that both Bath-sheba and David were guilty of adultery.

"Her uncleanness": Her recent days had involved menstruation and the required ceremonial purification (Lev. 15:19-30). They were followed by adulterous intercourse. The fact that she had just experienced menstruation makes it plain that Bath-sheba was not pregnant by Uriah when she came to lie with David.

David had a weakness, and it was women. He already had a large number of wives and 10 concubines. His lust for this woman has caused him to commit adultery. She had no choice in this matter. She would not dare disobey the king. It appears that this sin left him out of God's good graces and many sins took place between his children. This was the beginning of the downfall of David.

2 Samuel 11:5 "And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I [am] with child."

"I am with child": The only words of Bath-sheba recorded concerning this incident acknowledges the resultant condition of her sin, which became evident by her pregnancy and was punishable by death (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22).

The sin of adultery for a woman was punishable by stoning to death. She is pregnant and there is no way to conceal that very long. The only thing she could do was get word to David and perhaps he could save her life. We must remember that she did not instigate this thing, he did.

Verses 6-7: This inane conversation was a ploy to get Uriah to come home and sleep with his wife, so it would appear that he had fathered the child, thus sparing David the public shame and Bath-sheba possible death.

Verses 6-13: Hebrew law required that anyone caught in adultery should be stoned (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22-24). While it was improbable that the people would insist on such punishment for their king, his actions would have discredited him had they been known, so David tried to cover up his adultery and make it appear as if Bath-sheba's child belonged to "Uriah". There is no limit to the depths of sin a person is capable of once he or she starts to walk away from God.

2 Samuel 11:6 "And David sent to Joab, [saying], Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David."

David proposed thus to cover up his crime. By calling for Uriah and treating him with marked consideration, he thought to establish a friendly feeling on his part, and then by sending him to his wife to have it supposed that the child, begotten in adultery, was Uriah's own.

David is supreme ruler of the land. The head of the army, Joab, would not dare refuse to send Uriah home if the king ordered it.

2 Samuel 11:7 "And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded [of him] how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered." David pretended that his reason for calling Uriah home, was to see how the war was going.

Giving way to sin hardens the heart, and provokes the departure of the Holy Spirit. Robbing a man of his reason, is worse than robbing him of his money; and drawing him into sin, is worse than drawing him into any worldly trouble whatever.

2 Samuel 11:8 "And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess [of meat] from the king."

"Wash thy feet": Since this washing was done before going to bed, the idiom means to go home and go to bed. To a soldier coming from the battlefield, it said boldly, "enjoy your wife sexually." Hopefully, David's tryst with Bath-sheba would be masked by Uriah's union.

"A mess of meat": This was designed to help Uriah and Bath-sheba enjoy their evening together.

David's plan was for Uriah to sleep with Bath-sheba and everyone would believe the baby was his. David in a sense is sending him home to relax before going back to the battleground. The mess of meat is a present from the king for Uriah and his wife. Uriah was one of David's highest ranking officers. Some believe he was one of the 37 heroes of David.

2 Samuel 11:9 "But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house."

"Uriah slept": Wanting to be a loyal example to his soldiers who were still in the field, Uriah did not take advantage of the king's less-than-honorable offer (verse 11).

The trick has not worked. He did not go home to be with Bath-sheba. He stayed in the soldier's quarters at the door of the king's house.

2 Samuel 11:10 "And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from [thy] journey? why [then] didst thou not go down unto thine house?"

The bodyguards which were probably placed there to watch the palace during the night. Uriah first fell into a conversation with these as is highly probable, to whom he was well known, and who might inquire of one and another of their friends in the army; and he being weary, laid himself down among there, and slept.

"And went not down to his house": Whether the trifling questions David asked him, or the information the guards might give him of his wife being sent for to court; made him suspect something, and so had no inclination to go to this own house. Or however so it was ordered by the providence of God, which directed him to act in this manner, that the sin of David and Bath-sheba they studied to hide might be discovered.

David could not understand why Uriah would not go to visit so beautiful a wife as Bath-sheba? He calls him to explain that he had given him a day off to be with his wife, before going back into battle.

2 Samuel 11:11 "And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? [as] thou livest, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing."

"The Ark": The Ark of the Covenant was residing in either the tent in Jerusalem (6:17), or in a tent with the army of Israel on the battlefield (1 Sam. 4:6; 14:18). The Ark, it seems, was now carried with them for their encouragement and direction, as was usual (see Num. 10:35).

In the open fields": To wit, in tents which are in the fields.

"And to lie with my wife": He might possibly add these words, to insinuate his apprehension of the king's design, and to awaken his conscience to the consideration of his sin, and of the injury which he had done him. His meaning is, now when God's people are in a doubtful and dangerous condition; it becomes me to sympathize with them, and to abstain even from lawful delights. Whereby he might possibly intimate how unworthy it was for David in such a season to indulge himself in sinful and injurious pleasures. But David's ear was now deaf, his heart being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Uriah was a man who believed in fairness. He did not believe it fair for him to be with his wife, when his men were still on the battlefield. The Ark at this time was housed in a tent. It had no permanent building. The tent was a tabernacle where the people could worship. It was not in a permanent building. What he is really saying, is that he feels bad about being home having a good time when his men are facing death on the battlefront.

2 Samuel 11:12 "And David said to Uriah, Tarry here today also, and tomorrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow."

In his court, when he found he could not persuade him to go to his own house.

"And tomorrow I will let thee depart": After he had tried one method more with him.

"So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day and the morrow": Not in his own house, but the king's palace.

2 Samuel 11:13 "And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house."

"Made him drunk": Failing in his first attempt to cover up his sin, David tried unsuccessfully to make Uriah drunk so he would lose his resolve and self-discipline and return to his home and his wife's bed.

Uriah's sense of duty, even when he was drunk, contrasted with David's failure to even show up for battle.

David thought surely if he could get him drunk, he would go home to his wife. Even while he was drunk, he was a man of honor. He did not go home but slept with the king's guards.

Verses 14-25: David was so anxious to cover up his sin that he was willing to commit murder, an act he had vehemently opposed regarding Saul, Abner, and Ish-bosheth. Committing just one sin often makes people callous to bigger sins, until they find themselves doing things they never imagined they would do.

2 Samuel 11:14 "And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent [it] by the hand of Uriah."

The brave soldier is made the bearer of his own death-warrant, and his well-known valor for his king is to be the means of accomplishing his destruction, to relieve that king of the consequences of his crime, which also involved a great wrong to himself. No reason is given to Joab for this order, but as a loyal and somewhat unscrupulous general he obeys without question.

Not everyone could write, but David had been taught in the school of the prophets. Uriah was such a man of honor that he would not look at the message David sent to Joab by him.

Verses 15-17: "Joab" did not exactly follow David's instructions, which were to have his men "retreat" from Uriah. Perhaps this maneuver would have been too difficult to explain to veteran soldiers. Instead, Joab sent a group of men close to the wall (11:20-21), resulting in the unnecessary death of more soldiers.

2 Samuel 11:15 "And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die."

"He may be smitten, and die": Failing twice to cover up his sin with Bath-sheba, the frustrated and panicked David plotted the murder of Uriah by taking advantage of Uriah's unswerving loyalty to him as king, even having Uriah deliver his own death warrant. Thus, David engaged in another crime deserving of capital punishment (Lev. 24:17). This is graphic proof of the extremes people go to in pursuit of sin and in the absence of restraining grace.

Now David has added premeditated murder to his sin of adultery. Be sure, one sin leads to another. David is not only committing this sin himself, but is including his nephew Joab in it as well. The worst thing of all this, is the fact that the doomed man took the message, as a good soldier would, to Joab.

2 Samuel 11:16 "And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men [were]."

Where lay its greatest strength and where it was best defended; or besieged it, as the Targum.

"That he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were": Who would not easily give way, and when they saw an opportunity would leave suddenly. Joab cannot be excused from sin, unless he thought that Uriah had been guilty of death, and that David took this way of dispatching him for some political reason. However David was king, and to be obeyed.

This is just saying he put him in the most dangerous part of the battle. They were stationed outside the city, but the place he sent Uriah was a very vulnerable place.

2 Samuel 11:17 "And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell [some] of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also."

They suddenly withdrew, as Joab expected they would, when they appeared before them at that part of the city where valiant men were.

"And fought with Joab": At least with part of his army posted with Uriah.

"And there fell some of the people of the servants of David": Which made David's sin the more heinous, that several lives were lost through the strategy he devised to procure the death of Uriah; who could not be placed in a dangerous post alone, and therefore others must be sacrificed with him as well.

"And Uriah the Hittite died also": Which was the objective aimed at, and the end to be accomplished by this scheme.

The enemies are the men of the city, who came out trying to break the blockade against their city. During the battle, Uriah was killed along with some of the other servants of David.

Verses 18-24: "Joab ... Uriah ... died": He sent a messenger with a veiled message to tell David his wish had been carried out. Joab must have known the reason behind this otherwise stupid military deployment.

2 Samuel 11:18 "Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;"

Joab sent messengers to David, as soon as Uriah was killed.

"And told David all the things concerning the war": How the siege had been carried on; what success they had had, good or ill; what their advantages and disadvantages; what men they had lost, and especially in one account of the enemy upon them, for the sake of which the plan had been sent.

2 Samuel 11:19 "And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,"

Gave him a particular direction and instruction what he should say at the close of his narrative, according as he should observe the king's countenance to be.

"Saying, when thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king": Giving an account of all the events that happened since the siege was begun to that time.

This is a report of the disaster in which Uriah was killed. It appears, the men of Israel had come too close to the wall of the city and some of the soldiers were killed with Uriah. Perhaps Joab thought this would be less conspicuous, than doing exactly what David had said. The sad thing is that more innocent people were killed because of this.

2 Samuel 11:20 "And if so be that the king's wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?"

Which might be seen in his countenance, or expressed in his words.

"And he say, wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight?" As to expose the king's troops to the enemy on the wall, who by stones or darts greatly annoyed them, or ran out on them, and killed many of them.

"Knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?" They must have known that, and therefore should have kept out of the reach of their shot.

Joab knew that David would not approve of this move, until he hears that Uriah is killed. David would generally be angry with Joab for making such a poor decision. It appears from this, that Uriah was killed with an arrow from someone shooting from the wall.

2 Samuel 11:21 "Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also."

The same with Jerubbaal, who was Gideon (Judges 6:32). Baal, one part of his name, was the name of an idol, and sometimes called Bosheth or Besheth, which signifies shame, being a shameful idol. Gideon had a son called Abimelech, who was smitten, and it is here asked, by whom?

"Did not a woman cast a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez?" Which should have been a warning not to go too near the wall of an enemy; (the history is recorded in Judges 9:52).

"Why went ye nigh the wall?" Exposing your lives to so much danger, and by which so many lives were lost.

Then say thou, thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also": The whole has not been told, the worst of all is, as the messenger was to represent it, that brave gallant soldier Uriah is dead. This Joab ordered to be told last, as knowing very well it would pacify the king's wrath, and was the agreeable news he wanted to hear.

Joab and all the mighty men of Israel had been taught of mistakes made in battles in the past, so they would not make them again. "Jerubbesheth" is speaking of Gideon, who was known as Jerubbaal. When David heard that Uriah was killed, he would understand why Joab made such a foolish decision.

2 Samuel 11:22 "So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for."

From Joab, from the army before Rabbah.

"And came": To David in Jerusalem, a course of sixty four miles.

"And showed David all that Joab had sent him for": All the events of the war so far.

2 Samuel 11:23 "And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate."

The particulars of his account follow.

"Surely the men prevailed against us": The men of the city of Rabbah, the besieged there, in one onset they made upon them.

"And came out unto us in the field": The besiegers that lay encamped there; they rushed out upon them.

"And we were upon them, even unto the entering of the gate; rallied upon them, and drove them back, and pursued them to the gate of the city.

2 Samuel 11:24 "And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and [some] of the king's servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also."

Arrows shot from their bows, or stones out of their engines. The Israelites following them so closely to the gate of the city came within the reach of their shot from the wall.

"And some of the king's servants be dead": Killed in the attack upon them, and by the shot from the wall.

"And thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also": The messenger did not entirely obey the orders of Joab to wait and observe if the king's wrath arose, but was in haste to tell him the last piece of news. Perhaps he had some suspicion, from the manner of Joab's telling him what he should say, that this would be acceptable to the king.

This is an even more detailed description of what happened here. The servant that Joab sent, is relating this, as if he were involved in the battle and therefore knew the details.

2 Samuel 11:25 "Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him."

"And encourage thou him": David hypocritically expressed indifference to those who died, and he consoled Joab, authorizing him to continue the attack against Rabbah.

This messenger is unaware of what is going on. He is to carry a message of encouragement back to Joab. David also insists on them going ahead and taking the city. It appears the blockade is not working and they must go on in and take the city.

Verses 26-27: "She mourned for her husband": The customary period of mourning was probably 7 days (Gen. 50:10; 1 Sam. 31:13). Significantly, the text makes no mention of mourning by David.

2 Samuel 11:26 "And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband."

The news of which were soon sent her by David, though it is very probable she knew nothing of the plot to take away his life; and, besides, David chose to have his death published abroad as soon as possible, the more to hide his sin.

"She mourned for her husband": Expressed tokens of mourning by shedding tears, putting on a mourning habit, seeing no company, and this continued for the space of seven days. It may be, (1 Sam. 31:13); as little time as possible was spent in this way, and the marriage hastened, that the adultery might not be discovered.

One thing, we must remember about Bath-sheba, is that she was not in on the plan to kill her husband. She probably loved her husband. She mourned for the appropriate number of days. Some people were mourned for thirty days. We do not know for sure how long her period of mourning was.

2 Samuel 11:27 "And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD."

"The thing that David had done displeased the Lord": This sinful act would bring forth evil consequences.

The literal rendering of "displeased the Lord" is: "was evil in the eyes of the Lord" (12:9; Psalm 51:4). David had urged Joab not to be displeased (11:25), but the Lord's perspective mattered most. David's actions concerning Uriah were premeditated. His was a sin of the mind and of the will as well as a sin of passion.

We know that David had been a man who pleased the LORD. This act of adultery and then murder was displeasing to the LORD. It caused a tear in the relationship of David with the LORD. This child that David and Bath-sheba had from this adulterous affair was a son. The sad thing in this is that we see no confession of this sin of David, nor do we see David repent of this. It is as if he feels he is above sin. He has probably become calloused and thinks the king can do whatever he wants to. He has forgotten that even kings have to answer to God.

2 Samuel Chapter 11 Questions

1. Where had David sent Joab and his warriors in verse 1?

2. Where did David stay?

3. What did David do in the evening?

4. Who did he see from his rooftop?

5. When David inquired of her, what answers was he given?

6. Why should this have stopped his interest in her?

7. What did he have a messenger go and do?

8. What was David's weakness?

9. What sin did she and David commit?

10. What terrible news did she send back to David?

11. Who did David immediately send for?

12. What did David ask Uriah, when he came?

13. What was David's real plan for having Uriah come home?

14. What did Uriah do instead?

15. What did David do the second night, thinking surely Uriah would go to his wife?

16. Why did he not go home?

17. When David saw he could not trick him into sleeping with Bath-sheba, what did he do?

18. What was in the letter?

19. What sin has David, now, added to adultery?

20. What did Joab do about the note?

21. Was Uriah killed?

22. Who did Joab send with the news?

23. Why would the messenger not suspicion that he was bringing word of Uriah's death?

24. What message did David send back to Joab?

25. What did Uriah's wife do, when she heard he was dead?

26. What is one thing we must remember about Bath-sheba?

27. When her mourning was over, what did David do?

28. What did this do to David's and the LORD's relationship?

29. What was really sad about all of this?

30. What had David forgotten about even kings?

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2 Samuel 12

2 Samuel Chapter 12

Verses 1-14: Psalm 51 records David's words of repentance after being confronted by Nathan over his sin with Bath-sheba (Psalm Chapter 32), where David expresses his agony after Nathan's confrontation.

In verses 1-4: When the prophet "Nathan" came to see David, it was not for encouragement or confirmation but for confrontation. Nathan used a parable to help David see his sin and call him to repentance. (Psalms 32 and 51), express David's intense feelings of guilt and his repentance after Nathan's prophecy.

"Rich ... poor": To understand this parable, it is necessary only to recognize that the rich man represented David, the poor man, Uriah, and the ewe lamb, Bath-sheba.

2 Samuel 12:1 "And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor."

"The Lord sent Nathan": The word "Lord" is conspicuously absent from the narrative of (chapter 11 until verse 27), but then the Lord became actively involved by confronting David with his sin. As Joab had sent a messenger to David (11:18-19), so the Lord now sent His messenger to David.

This is a continuation (of chapter 11). We know from that chapter, that David and Bath-sheba had committed adultery, and she had conceived a child. David had sent her husband to the front of the battle, and had him killed, so he and Bath-sheba could marry. At the end of the last lesson we learned that they had a son born from that affair. It appears that David has not repented before the LORD for these sins.

At least a year has passed, since the adulterous affair began. Nathan is a prophet of God. The LORD has sent Nathan to speak to David. The parable, he gives, will show David just how guilty he is of this sin. Of course, the rich man in this is speaking of David, and the poor man is Uriah.

2 Samuel 12:2 "The rich [man] had exceeding many flocks and herds:"

In which the wealth of men lay in those times and countries; these in the parable signify David's wives and concubines, which were many; he had six wives in Hebron, and he took more wives and concubines out of Jerusalem, when he was come from Hebron, (2 Sam. 3:2); and besides his master's, or Saul's wives, given to him, (2 Sam. 12:8).

2 Samuel 12:3 "But the poor [man] had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter."

"All these circumstances are exquisitely contrived to heighten the pity of the hearer for the oppressed, and his indignation against the oppressor."

2 Samuel 12:4 "And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him."

By which some understand Satan, who came to David, and stirred up his lust by the temptations that offered; who is a walker, as the word used signifies that goes about seeking whom he may devour, and is with good men only as a wayfaring man, who does not abide with them. And whose temptations, when they succeed with such, are as meat and drink to him, very entertaining. But the Jews generally understand it of the evil imagination or concupiscence in man, the lustful appetite in David, which wandered after another man's wife, and wanted to be satisfied with her.

"And he spared to take of his own flock, and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that came unto him": When his heart was inflamed with lust at the sight of Bath-sheba. He did not go as he might, and take one of his wives and concubines, whereby he might have satisfied and repressed his lust.

"But took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that came to him": Sent for Bath-sheba and lay with her, for the gratification of his lust, she being a young beautiful woman, and more agreeable to his lustful appetite. The Jews (in their Talmud), observe a gradation in these words that the evil imagination is represented first as a traveler that passes by a man, and lodges not with him. Then as a wayfaring man or host, that passes in and lodges with him. And at last as a man, as the master of the house that rules over him, and therefore called the man that came to him.

This is a parable about what David had done to Uriah. David was, indeed, rich, but he, also, had many wives and many concubines. Uriah had only one wife. This is telling how David took the only wife that Uriah had, instead of being satisfied with the wives he already had.

Verses 5-7: David's sense of justice was still alive and well, but he had lost the ability to see his own sin. How easy it is to see the sins of others without applying the scriptural standards to ourselves (Matt. 7:3-5). David called for the full weight of the law to be applied (Exodus 22:1).

2 Samuel 12:5 "And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, [As] the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this [thing] shall surely die:"

"Shall surely die": According to (Exodus 22:1), the penalty for stealing and slaughtering an ox or a sheep was not death, but restitution. However, in the parable, the stealing and slaughtering of the lamb represented the adultery with Bath-sheba and the murder of Uriah by David. According to the Mosaic law, both adultery (Lev. 20:10), and murder (Lev. 24:17), required punishment by death. In pronouncing this judgment on the rich man in the story, David unwittingly condemned himself to death.

2 Samuel 12:6 "And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."

"Fourfold": Exodus 22:1 demanded a (4-fold restitution), for the stealing of sheep. There is an allusion here to the subsequent death of 4 of David's sons: Bath-sheba's first son (verse 18), Amnon (13:28-29), Absalom (16:14-15), and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:25).

David had a sense of fairness, even though he had not shown it in the case of Uriah. He had judged many things among his people, and he immediately knew the man in the parable was very wrong. David is saying that the man that would do such a thing should surely die. The last part of this really would be impossibility, if the man had been killed. He could not give 4 back for one if he is dead.

2 Samuel 12:7 "And Nathan said to David, Thou [art] the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;"

"Anointed": Earlier, the prophet Samuel's confrontation with the sinful Saul emphasized the same point (1 Sam. 15:17).

Suddenly, Nathan tells David the man in the parable is speaking of him. God had shown great confidence in David. God had trusted David with the whole kingdom when He anointed him. He had miraculously saved him from Saul. David has ruined God's trust in him.

2 Samuel 12:8 "And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that had been] too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things."

"Thy master's wives": This phraseology means nothing more than that God in His providence had given David, as king, everything that was Saul's. There is no evidence that he ever married any of Saul's wives, though the harem of eastern kings passed to their successors.

Ahinoam, the wife of David (2:2; 3:2; 1 Sam. 25:43; 27:3; 30:5), is always referred to as the Jezreelitess, whereas Ahinoam, the wife of Saul, is distinguished clearly from her by being called "the daughter of Ahimaaz" (1 Sam. 14:50).

The custom in the orient was that all possessions, including wives, belonged to the king who took over the throne from another. This is what is meant by houses and wives. David did not take the wives of Saul or Ish-bosheth, for his own. David had taken many wives however. He had everything he should have wanted. If there was a desire of his heart he did not have, he should have asked God and God would have given it to him.

2 Samuel 12:9 "Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife [to be] thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon."

"Despised": To despise the word of the Lord was to break His commands and thus incur punishment (Num. 15:31). In summarizing David's violations, his guilt is divinely affirmed.

David broke the tenth commandment (coveting; Exodus 20:17), the seventh commandment (adultery; Exodus 20:14), and the sixth commandment (murder; Exodus 20:13).

We can easily see that just because David had not pierced Uriah with his own sword, did not free him from the guilt of killing him. Truly, David killed Uriah and God holds him responsible.

Verses 10-11: The price of sin is often much higher than is realized (Psalm 32), even when a person has repented and been forgiven. The consequences of David's sin toward Bath-sheba and Uriah continued for generations. From this time forward, David's household experienced many violent deaths by the "sword", including his sons Amnon (13:29), Absalom (18:15), and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:24-25). David's son Absalom also took David's "wives" (16:22).

These judgments came to pass literally in the sins of his own household (Chapter 13), the rebellion by his own son, Absalom (Chapter 15), and the civil war that followed (Chapters 16-20). David was never to fully know rest again.

2 Samuel 12:10 "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife."

"The sword shall never depart from thine house": David's tragic punishment was a lingering one. Since Uriah was killed by violence, the house of David would be continually plagued by violence. These words anticipated the violent deaths of Amnon (13:28-29), Absalom (18:14-15), and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:24-25).

The punishment for David killing Uriah will continue on until the death of David. God does not count this sin as an ordinary sin, but it is a sin against God, as well as against Uriah. We will see in David's children the punishment of God through his children. Amnon was murdered. Absalom rebelled against David and died before David's death. There were so many violent things that happened to David's children, we will just mention these two here. In addition to the two mentioned, is a sentence that both David and Bath-sheba are punished by, when they lose the baby that was born from their adulterous affair.

2 Samuel 12:11 "Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give [them] unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun."

"Evil ... out of thine own house": David had done evil to another's man's family (11:27). Therefore, he would receive evil in his own family, such as Amnon's rape of Tamar (13:1-14), Absalom's murder of Amnon (13:28-29), and Absalom's rebellion against David (15:1-12).

"Lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun": This prediction was fulfilled by Absalom's public appropriation of David's royal concubines during his rebellion (16:21-22).

David had spoken of death, as part of the punishment on the man in the parable that Nathan brought. He also spoke of the lamb being replaced four times over. The punishment of David from the LORD came right out of his own mouth. Perhaps, this is speaking of Absalom trying to take David's wives. He rebelled against his father and wanted to be king, which would have given him David's wives.

2 Samuel 12:12 "For thou didst [it] secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun."

Committed adultery with Bath-sheba privately, and endeavored to conceal it, by getting her husband killed in battle, and then marrying her as soon as he could to hide the shame of it.

But one will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun": As the above fact was; that is, he would suffer it for what he done, and so order it in his providence, that everything should concur to the doing of it; as David's leaving his wives behind him. Ahithophel's wicked counsel he was suffered to give, and the lustful inclination Absalom was left unto, and not any of the people of Israel having religion, spirit, and courage enough to complain against it.

What David thought was a secret sin, was something the LORD knew all about. David had not come forward and repented of this sin. The Lord punishes him in the open.

Verses 13-14: David repented and God forgave him (Psalms 32 and 51). However, because David had "given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme," David lost his son (12:19).

2 Samuel 12:13 "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die."

"I have sinned against the Lord": David did not attempt to rationalize or justify his sin. When confronted with the facts, David's confession was immediate. The fuller confessions of David are found in Psalms 32:5; 51:3-4.

"The Lord also hath put away thy sin": The Lord graciously forgave David's sin, but the inevitable temporal consequences of sin were experienced by him. Forgiveness does not always remove the consequences of sin in this life, only in the life to come. "David" genuinely grieved and repented. However, the seed of sin was immediately to bear bitter fruit for the child born of the adultery which became grievously ill and died (verses 15-18).

"Thou shalt not die": Although the sins of David legally demanded his death (see verse 5), the Lord graciously released David from the required death penalty. There are events in the Old Testament record where God required death and others where He showed grace and spared the sinner. This is consistent with justice and grace. Those who perished are illustrations of what all sinners deserve. Those who were spared are proofs and examples of God's grace.

David is truly sorry and has repented in his heart. He was so in love with Bath-sheba, that he was blinded to his sin. David confesses his sin to Nathan. David knows he deserves to die. David knew the penalty for adultery and for murder was death. Both penalties would be very hard to carry out against a king. David was not as concerned of what man could do to him, as he was with his standing with God. Nathan assures David that the sin has been set aside by the LORD and He will not kill David for the sin. In the Psalms, we read of the great sorrow that David felt, because of his sins.

2 Samuel 12:14 "Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also [that is] born unto thee shall surely die."

"Enemies of the Lord": Because of God's reputation among those who opposed Him, David's sin had to be judged. The judgment would begin with the death of Bath-sheba's baby son.

David's sin had brought the name of God into disrepute. Such knowledge ought to serve as a deterrent to willful sin on the part of believers (1 Tim. 5:14; 6:1).

David represented the LORD, especially to the heathen world. They were aware that David was anointed of the Lord to carry out His wishes. The fact that David committed so terrible a sin would be a shame for David, and for God who chose David. It would actually make the heathens think less of the LORD, because He let David get away with such a sin. The death of the baby would be a visible sign of the LORD punishing David for his sin.

Verses 15-19: Sin sometimes has natural consequences, such as the rupture of a relationship that results from betrayal. Sometimes the consequences are a form of divine punishment, as was the case for David and Bath-sheba's first "child" (although the loss of a child is not always divine punishment). David hoped God might change His mind, but He did not. When Christians seek forgiveness from God, the guilt goes away but the consequences remain.

2 Samuel 12:15 "And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick."

His own house, which was probably, was in the city of Jerusalem, having delivered his message, and brought David to a sense of his sin and declared to him from the Lord the forgiveness of it. Yet for the honor of religion, and the stopping of the mouths of blasphemers, the death of the child is threatened and foretold. Then Nathan took his leave of him, having nothing more from the Lord to say to him.

"And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David": For so she was, and not David's wife, when this child was begotten of her. And, as a mark of God's displeasure at the sin of adultery, the child was struck with a sore disease by the immediate hand of God.

"And it was very sick": Even unto death, as the event showed.

Notice this punishment is from the LORD. This is not something Satan did to David. This is from the LORD. The death of the baby would prove to the heathen world that the LORD was just and was so powerful, that He could strike the king for sin. The baby is very sick.

2 Samuel 12:16 "David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth."

Perhaps went into the tabernacle he had built for the Ark, and prayed to the Lord to restore the child, and spare its life. For though the Lord had said it should die, he might hope that that was a conditional threatening, and that the Lord might be gracious and reverse it (2 Sam. 12:22).

"And David fasted": All that day.

"And went in": To his own house from the house of God.

"And lay all night upon the earth": Would neither go into, nor lie upon a bed, but lay on the floor all night, weeping and praying for the child's life, and especially for its eternal welfare. He, having through sin, been the means of its coming into a sinful and afflicted state.

David did all he knew to do. He fasted and lay on his face before the LORD. His prayer was sincere, but the LORD would not hear.

2 Samuel 12:17 "And the elders of his house arose, [and went] to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them."

The death of the infant child of one of the numerous harem of an Oriental monarch would in general be a matter of little moment to the father. The deep feeling shown by David on this occasion is both an indication of his affectionate and tender nature, and also a proof of the strength of his passion for Bath-sheba. He went into his most private chamber, his closet (Matt. 6:6), and "lay upon the earth" (2 Sam. 13:31), rather "the ground," meaning the floor of his chamber as opposed to his couch.

His grief was so overwhelming that the elders tried to get him up. He fasted while the baby was sick. His prayers were sincere and with deep grief, but the LORD would not hear.

2 Samuel 12:18 "And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?"

Not the seventh day from its being taken ill, but from its birth.

"And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead": Lest he should be overwhelmed with too much sorrow.

"For they said, behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him": To rise from the ground, and eat food: And he would not hearken unto our voice; we could not prevail upon him to do the one nor the other.

"How will he then vex himself if we tell him that the child is dead?" Or should we acquaint him with it, "he will do mischief" to himself, to his body; he will tear his flesh to pieces, and cut and kill himself. This they were afraid of, observing the distress and agony he was in while it was living, and therefore they concluded these would increase upon hearing of its death.

David prayed and fasted the entire 7 days that the baby was sick. It was to no avail, because the baby died. They were afraid of the worst, when they told David the baby was dead. He knew it was his sin that brought this upon his baby. The elders had tried to talk to him, but he would not listen. Now, they were afraid of what he might do, on hearing of the baby's death.

2 Samuel 12:19 "But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead."

For they said the above to one another with a low voice, that he might not hear them, though in the same room with them.

"David perceived the child was dead": He guessed it was, and that this was the thing they were whispering about among themselves.

"Therefore David said unto his servants, is the child dead?" And they said he is dead; for putting the question to them so closely, they could not avoid giving the answer they did, and which he was prepared to receive, by what he had observed in them.

The servants were afraid to tell David, for fear of what he might do. The whispering gave indication to David, that the baby was dead. David helped them by asking the question. Then they must answer. The baby is indeed dead.

2 Samuel 12:20 "Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed [himself], and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat."

From the floor on which he lay.

"And washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel. Neither of which he had done during his time of fasting.

"And came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped": Went into the tabernacle he had built for the Ark of God, and then in prayer submitted himself to the will of God, and acknowledged his justice in what he had done. He gave thanks to God that he had brought him to a sense of his sin, and repentance for it, and had applied his pardoning grace to him, and given him satisfaction as to the eternal welfare and happiness of the child, as appears from (2 Sam. 12:23).

"Then he, came to his own house": From the house of God, having finished his devotion there.

"And when he required": He ordered food to be brought in.

"They set bread before him, and he did eat": Whereas before, while the child was living, he refused to eat.

David had not been in the sanctuary before. He had been lying before the LORD somewhere in his own house. There is no need to weep for the baby any longer, the baby is dead. He went to the sanctuary after cleansing himself and worshipped the LORD. David knows he deserves the punishment the LORD brings upon him. He finally agrees to eat after the baby is dead.

2 Samuel 12:21 "Then said his servants unto him, What thing [is] this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, [while it was] alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread."

Or what is the reason of such conduct and behavior? They knew what was done, but they did not know the meaning of it, which is what they inquired after.

Thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive": Prayed with fasting and weeping for it, that it might live and not die.

"But when the child was dead thou didst rise and eat bread": And appeared cheerful; this seemed strange to them, when they expected his sorrow would be increased.

The servants did not understand why David was weeping and fasting. He was fasting and weeping, as much for the sin he committed, as he did for the life of the child. He did grieve over the child, but his greatest grief was that he had done something that displeased God so greatly. David actually showed the people around him, that he accepted the punishment levied upon him by the LORD, when he went to the sanctuary to worship at the death of the baby.

2 Samuel 12:22 "And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell [whether] GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?"

This time for fasting was over. God's will had been made known. It was time for David to learn the divine lesson and get on with a proper and productive life in the light of the inevitability of his own death.

David was very aware of the gracious forgiveness of the LORD; he had been shown so many times. He fasted and wept, hoping that the LORD would, one more time, be gracious and let the child live. There was still hope of receiving that forgiveness until the baby died. Now, it is too late.

2 Samuel 12:23 "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."

Some scholars have seen in David's words the added thought that David trusted God to graciously care for the soul of the dead infant, whom a believing David would join in the presence of God after his earthly life was over (see the note on 1 Kings 14:13).

"I shall go to him": i.e., David would someday join his son after his own death (1 Sam. 28:19). Here is the confidence that there is a future reunion after death, which includes infants who have died being reunited with saints who die (see note on Matt. 19:14; Mark 10:13-16).

This is an encouraging verse for Christian parents who have lost children. Believers are assured that they will be reunited with them in heaven.

The answer is no, he cannot bring him back. David has done all that he can. We know that truly, it is appointed unto man once to die.

Verses 24-25: The grace of God is abundantly demonstrated in allowing "Bath-sheba" to give birth to the "son" through whom the promise in the Davidic covenant would continue. "Solomon" was blessed by "Nathan, the prophet," with the name "Jedidiah," "Beloved of the Lord."

2 Samuel 12:24 "And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him."

"Solomon": Either "(God is) peace" or "His replacement." Both were true of this child.

It appears that David had great love for Bath-sheba. The fact that she conceived again, and God gave her a son, shows that God had forgiven them for their sins. Notice the statement, "the LORD loved him". "Solomon" means peaceable. Solomon was known as a man of peace. The name David gave Solomon indicates that the wars of David's early days are over.

2 Samuel 12:25 "And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD."

"Jedidiah" is the same as Solomon, and it means beloved of Jehovah. Remember, this name is the one God gave him, not his parents. Nathan was speaking as a representative of the LORD, when he gave the name. Solomon, who was loved in the sense of being chosen by the Lord to be the successor to David's throne, a remarkable instance of God's goodness and grace considering the sinful nature of the marriage.

2 Samuel 12:26 "And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city."

The consequences of David's sin would also surface in renewed warfare with the Ammonites (verse 10). David's victory here brought stability to his eastern border.

2 Samuel 12:27 "And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters."

Rabbah, like Aroer, was divided into two parts, one the lower town, insulated by the winding course of the Jabbok, which flowed almost round it, and the upper and stronger town, called the royal city. "The first was taken by Joab, but the honor of capturing so strongly a fortified place as the other was an honor reserved for the king himself."

This is not in chronological order. This battle is the same one that Uriah was involved in. Even though it was a long siege, all of the above things did not happen during this time. The two Scriptures above happened a short time after the death of Uriah.

2 Samuel 12:28 "Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name."

Gather the rest of the soldiers in the land of Israel and come to Rabbah.

"And encamp against the city": invest it in form.

"And take it": Upon surrender or by storm; for it could not hold out long.

"Lest I take the city, and it be called after my name": So great a regard had Joab, though an ambitious man, to the fame and credit of David his king. Like Craterus at the siege of Artacacna, being prepared to take it, waited for the coming of Alexander, that he might have the honor of it.

Verses 29-31 (see 1 Chronicles 20:1-3).

2 Samuel 12:29 "And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it."

"David ... took it": The soldiers that were with him, or near him; which was done partly to recruit Joab's troops, who, by the continuance of the siege, and attacks of the enemy on them, might be greatly diminished; and partly to make conquests of other cities of the Ammonites, and to carry off the spoil of them.

"And went to Rabbah": Which must be after the death of Uriah, and very probably during the time of Bath-sheba's mourning for him.

"And fought against it, and took it": By assault. David completed what Joab had begun by capturing the city of Rabbah.

David needed to lead the actual final assault on the city. David took more men with him too. David needed the honor of the conquest very much at this point. Joab is also saying, if he takes the great risk of storming the wall, he would claim the city for himself. David will lead the assault. The men fight better, knowing their king is leading them.

2 Samuel 12:30 "And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof [was] a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was [set] on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance."

This was the king's part of the spoil. The weight thereof was a talent of gold, Or rather, the price or value of it, as the Hebrew frequently signifies, and not only weight; and so it is to be taken here; for who could be able to carry on his head such a weight as a talent; which is computed to be seventy-five pounds.

"With the precious stones": which this made the value of it so great. Josephus says that there was a stone of great price in the middle of the crown, which he calls a sardonyx. And it was set on David's head to show the inhabitants that they were to submit to him as their king.

This crown weighed about 7 pounds. This would be a terrible weight for a man to have on his head. This crown had to be taken off their king's head and symbolically placed on David's head to show his supreme rule. This was a proclamation of victory.

2 Samuel 12:31 "And he brought forth the people that [were] therein, and put [them] under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem."

"Put them under": David imposed hard labor on the Ammonites. But these verses can also be translated with the sense that the Ammonites were cut with saws, indicating that David imposed cruel death on the captives in accordance with Ammonite ways (1 Sam. 11:2; Amos 1:13).

A comparison with (1 Chronicles 20:3), has led to two views regarding David's judgment against the Ammonites:

(1) David repaid the traditional Ammonite cruelty (1 Sam. 11:2; Amos 1:13) in kind; or

(2) David sentenced the Ammonites to hard labor.

Either view demands some harmonization between the two texts. On the whole, the second suggestion is to be preferred, perhaps by understanding the verb translated in (1 Chronicles 20:3), as "cut' to mean "consigned to."

This is a description of cruelty to the ultimate. This does not say whether this is all the people, or just the soldiers. We should hope it was just the soldiers. It appears, some of them died by being sawed. It seemed the Israelites dismembered the people with pieces of iron swung like a sickle. Some were beheaded with axes. The brickkiln is probably the cruelest. These kilns are heated to extreme heat to bake the bricks, as they pass through the heat. A person could not last long in there as they would burn to death. They returned to Jerusalem with the name of being a bloody king. The only answer we have for the cruelty that David showed here is the fact that had they lost, the enemy would have killed them in this same manner.

2 Samuel Chapter 12 Questions

1. Who did the LORD send to David with a message?

2. How was the message presented?

3. How much time had elapsed since the adulterous affair?

4. What is this parable truly about?

5. What reaction did David have to the parable?

6. What punishment did David speak on himself?

7. What did Nathan tell David about the man in the parable?

8. What did the LORD tell David, He had done for him?

9. What is the custom in the orient about wives and houses of kings?

10. David had despised the _________________ of the LORD.

11. Who really killed Uriah in the sight of God?

12. What judgment did the LORD speak on David?

13. What were some of the examples of this judgment?

14. What was meant by taking his wives?

15. David's punishment will be _________, because his sin had been secret.

16. Who did David admit his sin to?

17. What reassurance did he give David?

18. What terrible news did Nathan give David about his baby with Bath-sheba?

19. Who did David's sin hurt?

20. What would the death of the baby prove to the heathen world?

21. What did David do, to show his sincere wish for the baby to live?

22. When did the baby die?

23. Who told David the baby was dead?

24. What did David do, after the baby died?

25. What was another reason David was weeping and fasting, besides wanting the baby to live?

26. David _______________ Bath-sheba.

27. How do we know God forgave them?

28. What does "Solomon" mean?

29. What did God name Solomon?

30. What does that name mean?

31. What word did Joab send David from the war?

32. How much did the crown of gold weigh, that they captured?

33. What horrible ways did they kill the people they defeated?

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2 Samuel 13

2 Samuel Chapter 13

Verses 1-2: "Tamar": "Palm tree." She was David's daughter by Maachah, the daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur (3:3). Absalom's (David's third son), full sister and half-sister of Amnon, David's first son by Ahinoam (3:2). Amnon's love for her was not filial, but lustful, as became clear in the story. Unmarried daughters were kept in seclusion from men, so that none could see them alone. Amnon had seen Tamar because of their family relationship and had conceived a violent passion for her. This was forbidden by God (see Lev. 18:11), yet with the example of Abraham (Gen. 20:12), and the common practice among the surrounding nations of marrying half-sisters, he felt justified and wanted his passion fulfilled with Tamar.

Verses 1-22: This is the first example of the punishing sword upon David's house for his sin with Bathsheba (see note on 12:10-11). These verses repeat a dozen times that "Tamar" and "Amnon" were "brother" and "sister" (literally half siblings, because they were both children of David). Thus, Amnon's lust for Tamar was a "disgraceful thing" that should not have occurred among God's chosen people, "be done in Israel" (Leviticus 18:9).

2 Samuel 13:1 "And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name [was] Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her."

"David"; had many wives and concubines. Both "Absalom," his third "son," and "Tamar," his daughter, were born to him by Maacah. "Amnon," his first son, was born to him by Ahinoam (3:2-3; see 1 Chron. 3:1-9).

Tamar was the daughter of Maacah. David had married Maacah while he was in Hebron. Absalom and Tamar were full brother and sister. They had the same mother and the same father. David was their father. Amnon was half-brother to Tamar. His father was David but his mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel. Amnon was David's first son. One bad thing about having more than one wife is there are many children. Some of them not very closely related, but living in the same house. It appears that Amnon fell in love with his half-sister Tamar.

2 Samuel 13:2 "And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she [was] a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her."

Distressed, straitened, and perplexed in his mind through unruly and unbridled lusts that raged in him.

"That he fell sick for his sister Tamar": As Antiochus son of Seleucus did for his mother in law Stratonice, who, to cure him of it, was delivered to him by his father.

"For she was a virgin": And so kept very recluse from the company of men, that he could not come at her. So Philo, speaking of the Jewish women, and particularly virgins, says, that they were shut up in their chambers, and through modesty shun the sight of men, even those of their own house. Hence, they are called from a word which signifies to hide; and Phocylides the poet advises to the shutting of them up in like manner.

"And Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her": That it was difficult to have access to her, almost impossible. What he despaired of, and what, if attained to, would be wonderful and amazing; he was at his wits' end how to contrive any scheme to get at her, and obtain his desire. Amazing; he was at his wits' end how to contrive any scheme to get at her, and obtain his desire.

Amnon must have been older than Tamar. He was the oldest of David's children. I would assume that Tamar is somewhere around 15 or 16. Amnon wanted to sleep with his sister, but she was in the women's quarters with her mother and he could not get her out of there. He also knew that he would be in terrible trouble if he raped her. The sad thing is that he was not thinking of her good, but his desires. He thought about it so much, he was sick.

2 Samuel 13:3 "But Amnon had a friend, whose name [was] Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab [was] a very subtil man."

"Jonadab": The son of David's brother, called Shammah (in 1 Sam. 16:9; 17:3), and Shimea (in 1 Chron. 2:13). Jonadab was Amnon's cousin and counselor who gave Amnon the plan by which he was able to rape Tamar.

Jonadab was David's nephew. "Subtil" here means clever, wise or cunning. Amnon did not go to an elder for advice. He went to someone his own age. This is a mistake.

2 Samuel 13:4 "And he said unto him, Why [art] thou, [being] the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."

Or "morning by morning"; he was the king's eldest son, heir to the crown, fed at his table, had everything to make him gay and cheerful, and yet pined away. His flesh wasted, his countenance waxed wan and pale, and especially in the mornings. In the daytime he met with diversions which, in some measure, took off his thoughts from the object his mind was impressed with, but in the night season they were continually employed about it. So that he could have no rest and sleep, which made him look ruefully in the morning. And this man had a suspicion of his case, and therefore put this and the following question to him.

"Wilt thou not tell me?" Who is so nearly related to thee, and who have such a particular value and affection for thee.

"And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister": He does not call her his sister, but Absalom's sister, to lessen his sin of unlawful love to her, which, being thus closely pressed, and by a friend, he could not conceal.

The girls were kept very secluded in those days, so Jonadab probably, had never seen her. Amnon explains that she is whole sister to Absalom. His love (lust), for Tamar had him not wanting to eat, and he was very thin. Jonadab did not understand why a king's son would be so thin, until he heard Amnon's story.

2 Samuel 13:5 "And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see [it], and eat [it] at her hand."

Being a subtle man, he presently formed a scheme to relieve him, and open a way for the enjoyment of what he desired.

"Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick": Feign thyself sick, pretend that thou art so, by lying down on the bed, and making complaints of one kind or another.

"And when thy father cometh to see thee": As he quickly would, after hearing of his illness, being very affectionate to his children.

"Say unto him, I pray thee let, my sister Tamar come, and give me meat": Here he is directed to call her not Absalom's sister, but his own, the more to cover his ill design upon her.

"And dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand": Pretending that his stomach was very weak and squeamish, that he could not eat anything which his servants dressed for him, and which he did not see done with his own eyes.

The daughters lived in a separated place with their mothers. They did not generally, come in direct contact with the young men. The older sons seemed to have separate quarters of their own in the palace. This pretense that he is sick was to get Tamar away from her mother and into his private quarters. The terrible thing is he uses his father, David, to help him with his plot.

2 Samuel 13:6 "So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand."

Took the advice of his cousin Jonadab, and acted according to it.

"And when the king was come to see him": As he quickly did, after he had heard of his illness.

"Amnon said unto the king": Who perhaps inquired of his appetite, whether he could eat anything, and what.

"I pray thee let my sister Tamar come": He calls her sister, as Jonadab had directed, the more to blind his design; though it is much that so sagacious a man as David was had not seen through it. But the notion he had of his being really ill, and the near relation between him and Tamar, forbad his entertaining the least suspicion of that kind.

"And make me a couple of cakes in my sight": Heart cakes, as the word may be thought to signify. Called so either from the form of them, such as we have with us, or from the effect of them, comforting and refreshing the heart.

"That I may eat at her hand": Both what is made by her hand, and received from it.

We see that Amnon took the advice and David did come to see about him, thinking he was truly sick. He said to David, exactly what his friend had told him to.

2 Samuel 13:7 "Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat."

Who perhaps was not in the king's palace, but at her brother Absalom's house (2 Sam. 13:20).

"Saying, go now to thy brother Amnon's house": Who also had a separate house and equipage, being the king's son, and his eldest son.

"And dress him meat": Such as he may desire, and his stomach will bear.

David did not suspicion that anything was wrong. He did just as Amnon had asked. The word of the father was like law, so Tamar did as she was told.

2 Samuel 13:8 "So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded [it], and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes."

In obedience to the king's commands, and in affection to her brother, with an innocent heart, having no suspicion of any design upon her chastity.

"And he was laid down": Upon a couch or bed in his chamber, as being sick as was pretended, into which she was introduced.

"And she took flour, and kneaded it": Made it into a paste.

"And made cakes in his sight": A kind of fritters of them, as in the Talmud.

"And did bake the cakes": Or fried them in a frying pan, in oil.

2 Samuel 13:9 "And she took a pan, and poured [them] out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him."

Out of the frying pan, in which they were, into another dish; and all this was done in his presence, that he might see and know of what, and in what manner it was made, that his stomach might not recoil at it.

"But he refused to eat": For that was not what he wanted.

"And Amnon said, have out all men from me; as if company was troublesome to him, and he wanted rest, etc.

"And they went out every man from him": At his orders, that he might get some sleep, as he seemed desirous of it.

The trick has worked and Tamar is in his house. She is obeying David, fixing a meal for her brother. He could not rape her in front of witnesses, so he sent everyone out but her.

2 Samuel 13:10 "And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought [them] into the chamber to Amnon her brother."

It is probable that when Tamar first came, Amnon had received her in an outward room, but that, pretending now to be fatigued, he retired into his chamber, desiring her to go along with him, that he might put his design upon her in execution without being interrupted; it being an inner chamber probably, remote from any other room.

Verses 11-12: Such relationships between family members were forbidden by the Law of Moses (Lev. 18:9, 11; 20:17).

2 Samuel 13:11 "And when she had brought [them] unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister."

Not only into the chamber, but to the side of the bed or couch where he had laid himself, or sat, in a proper position to answer his purpose.

"He took hold of her; by the arm, or threw his hands about her.

"And said unto her, come, lie with me, my sister": One would think the relation he observes she stood in to him would have checked him from making so vile a motion.

Now the truth is out. He was not hungry for food; he wanted to sleep with her.

2 Samuel 13:12 "And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly."

"Do not thou this folly": Literally "a wicked thing." Tamar appealed to Amnon with 4 reasons that he should not rape her. First, it was an utterly deplorable act in Israel because it violated the law of God (see Lev. 18:11), and Tamar knew that such action could bring disharmony and bloodshed to the king's family, as it did.

Hebrew women were very careful to keep their reputation unspotted. Adultery was punishable by death. Worse than adultery is incest, this is the very sin he wants to commit here. This is one of the blackest marks on our society today. Incest is practiced in over a fourth of the homes. God has strictly forbidden this type of relationship with members of one's own family. To force her, would be rape. That also is punishable by death. This would bring disgrace on David's family.

2 Samuel 13:13 "And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? And as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee."

"My shame": Second, as a fornicator, Tamar would be scorned as an object of reproach. Even though resistant to the evil crime perpetuated against her, Tamar, would bear the stigma of one defiled. Tamar's words were probably an attempt to dissuade Amnon from his folly.

"As one of the fools in Israel": Third, Amnon would be regarded by the people as a wicked fool, a God-rejecting man without principles who offended ordinary standards of morality, thereby jeopardizing Amnon's right to the throne.

"The king, for he will not withhold me from thee": Fourth, Tamar appealed to Amnon to fulfill his physical desire for her through marriage. She surely knew that such a marriage between half siblings was not allowed by the Mosaic Law (Lev. 18:9, 11; 20:17; Deut. 27:22), but in the desperation of the moment, Tamar was seeking to escape the immediate situation.

Tamar is trying to talk him out of committing so deplorable a sin. She reminds him that his reputation, as well as her own, will be ruined if he does this. Her last advice is that if he is in love with her, go tell David the king, and he will let them marry. The Levitical law forbids such marriages, however.

Leviticus 18:9 "The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, [whether she be] born at home, or born abroad, [even] their nakedness thou shalt not uncover."

2 Samuel 13:14 "Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her."

"Forced her": A euphemism for "raped."

His feelings toward her were lust and not true love. Love does not violate someone else. There is no good that could come from him raping his sister. This is some of the violence that came to the house of David in punishment for his sin.

Verses 15-17: Amnon's sending Tamar away was a greater wrong than the rape itself because it would inevitably have been supposed that she had been guilty of some shameful conduct, i.e., that the seduction had come from her.

In ancient Near Eastern culture, if a man seduced a woman, he had to marry her. If he raped her, he was especially obligated to care for her (Exodus 22:16; Deut. 22:28-29). A woman who was no longer a virgin could not be offered in marriage to another man, so to refuse to marry her was to leave her without any means of provision.

2 Samuel 13:15 "Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her [was] greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone."

"Hated her": Amon's "love" (verse 1), was nothing but sensual desire that, once gratified, turned to hatred. His sudden revulsion was the result of her unwilling resistance, the atrocity of what he had done, feelings of remorse, and dread of exposure and punishment. All of these rendered her intolerably undesirable to him.

Lust, whether fulfilled or not, often turns to hatred (Gen. 39:13-19). True love "never faileth" (1 Cor. 13:8).

As we said above, he had never loved her. He lusted for her body. The deed done, this would be replaced by hate. Every time he looked at her he would be reminded of the terrible sin he had committed. He no longer desires her, so he tries to send her away.

2 Samuel 13:16 "And she said unto him, [There is] no cause: this evil in sending me away [is] greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her."

For such treatment as this.

"This evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me": Not that this was a greater sin, but it was a greater evil or injury to her, that being done secretly. This openly; being turned out in that open manner, it might look as if she was the aggressor, and had drawn her brother into this sin, or however had consented to it. Had it been kept a secret, she would not have been exposed to public shame and disgrace, and she might have been disposed of in marriage to another. It would not have been known to the grief of her father, to the revenge of Absalom, and to the dishonor of religion. Besides, the sin of Amnon might have been more easily excused, if any excuse could be made for it, as that it arose from the force of lust, and a strong impure affection, but this from barbarity and inhumanity.

"But he would not hearken unto her": But insisted upon her immediate departure.

2 Samuel 13:17 "Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this [woman] out from me, and bolt the door after her."

Amnon doubtless intended to give the impression that Tamar had behaved shamefully towards him. The baseness of this insinuation is in keeping with his brutality.

He has humiliated her. His sending her away is saying that this was all her fault. He has no compassion for her feelings at all. At least he could marry her and save her good name. In addition to committing the sin of rape, he had also lied. He told her that he loved her, when in fact he had no regard at all for her. She was a thing to be used and thrown away. The worst thing of all is having the other men throw her out.

2 Samuel 13:18 "And [she had] a garment of divers colors upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters [that were] virgins appareled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her."

"A garment of divers colors" (see Gen. 37:33). A garment which identified the wearer's special position. For Tamar, the robe identified her as a virgin daughter of the king. The tearing of this garment symbolized her loss of the special position (verse 19).

The servant would have known that this was a daughter of the king, because of the colorful garment. This is the actions of a very selfish man. He did not want to share in the shame he caused her.

2 Samuel 13:19 "And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colors that [was] on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying."

"Tamar's" actions expressed symbolically her grief and vexation (Job 2:12; Jer. 2:37).

"Put ashes ... rent her garment ... laid her hand ... went on crying": The ashes were a sign of mourning. The torn garment symbolized the ruin of her life. The hand on the head was emblematic of exile and banishment. The crying showed that she viewed herself as good as dead.

We see that Tamar did not try to hide the shame. The throwing of the ashes on her head showed that she was mourning for her lost virginity. The tearing of the clothes, that the virgins wore, showed that she was no more a virgin.

2 Samuel 13:20 "And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he [is] thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house."

"Regard not this thing": Absalom told his sister not to pay undue attention or worry about the consequences of the rape. Absalom minimized the significance of what had taken place only for the moment, while already beginning to plot his revenge in using this crime as reason to do what he wanted to do anyway, remove Amnon from the line of succession to the throne (note also verse 32), where Jonadab knew of Absalom's plans.

"Desolate": She remained unmarried and childless. Her full brother was her natural protector and the children of polygamists lived by themselves in different family units.

Absalom comforted his sister. He stopped her from causing a big commotion over this terrible thing. He was in hopes that David would take care of this, being her father. It appears that Tamar remained in Absalom's quarters, to keep down trouble and the gossip spreading. We will find later, that Absalom did not forget this humiliation of his sister by Amnon. Whatever Amnon gets, he deserves for so terrible a sin.

Verses 21-23: Although the "king" was angry, there is no record of Amnon's punishment. Absalom's hatred would boil for "two years" until his opportunity to avenge "his sister" would come.

2 Samuel 13:21 "But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth."

"David ... was very wroth": Fury and indignation were David's reactions to the report of the rape (Gen. 34:7). Because he did not punish Amnon for his crime, he abdicated his responsibility both as king and as a father. The lack of justice in the land would come back to haunt David in a future day (15:4).

David's own sin immobilized him from confronting his son. Consequently, he allowed the matter to pass by. Meanwhile, Absalom plotted to avenge his sister's rape.

He was angry, but what did he do? At the least, Amnon should have been cut off from his people. Probably the reason David did not punish Amnon, is the fact that he had sinned so greatly himself.

Verses 22-23: The phrase "spake ...neither good nor bad" could be translated "did nothing against." "Absalom" hated Amnon, but he bided his time for "two full years" and allowed his bitterness to fester before taking revenge.

2 Samuel 13:22 "And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar."

"Absalom hated Amnon": As Amnon hated Tamar (verse 15), Absalom loathed his half-brother, Amnon.

Absalom was waiting for the right time. He did not do anything immediately, but would later. He hated Amnon for his disgrace of his sister. It appears that Absalom did not push David to punish Amnon, thinking he would find a time to do it himself.

Verses 23-27: "Baal-hazor": The Benjamite village of Hazor (Neh. 11:33), located about 12 miles northeast of Jerusalem, was the place for a sheep-shearing feast put on by Absalom, to which he invited all his brothers and half-brothers, as well as King David and his royal court (verse 24). David declined, but encourages Absalom to hold the feast for "the king's sons" as a means to unity and harmony (verses 25-27). With David's denial of the invitation, Absalom requested that Amnon go as his representative. Although David had reservations concerning Absalom's intent, he allowed all his sons to go.

2 Samuel 13:23 "And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which [is] beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons."

Absalom had now silently nourished his revenge for "two full years." No doubt he chose also to give full opportunity for his father to punish Amnon's iniquity if he would; and by this long quiet waiting he so far disarmed suspicion that he was able to carry out his purpose. Sheepshearing always was, and still is, a time of feasting (compare 1 Sam. 25:2). The situation of Baal-hazor and of Ephraim are quite unknown, but Absalom's property was probably not many miles from Jerusalem.

We learned in another lesson that this particular time was a time of parties and rejoicing. The two years that Absalom waited was to find just the right time to get even with Amnon for disgracing his sister. This was about 8 miles out of Jerusalem, and would not have been far for the king's sons to come.

2 Samuel 13:24 "And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant."

At Jerusalem, to invite him in person.

"And said, behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers": Persons employed in shearing his sheep: and this being a time of entertainment and joy.

"Let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants, go with thy servant": He invited the king and the whole royal family to go with him to Baal-hazor, and partake of the sheepshearing feast. For by "his servants" are not meant the king's domestic servants, his guard and retinue, but his sons, as appears by what follows.

2 Samuel 13:25 "And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him."

Pretending great desire of his presence there, to prevent any jealousies, which otherwise he thought would arise in the breast of a king so wise and experienced, and under the expectation of God's dreadful judgments to be inflicted upon his family.

"Blessed him": Dismissed him with thanks for his kindness, and with his fatherly blessing·

David would not go to the party himself, but he would allow his sons to go and celebrate with Absalom. David gave him a large gift of some kind. That is what is meant by the blessing.

2 Samuel 13:26 "Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee?"

Absalom then asks that if the king himself will not come, Amnon, as his eldest son and heir-apparent, may represent him at the feast. David hesitates, but as he could not well refuse without acknowledging a suspicion which he was unwilling to express, he finally consents.

David, probably, sensed the hate that Absalom had for Amnon. That is why he asked why he should go?

2 Samuel 13:27 "But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him."

It is strange that Absalom's urgent desire of Amnon's company raised no suspicion in the mind of so wise a king: but God suffered him to be blinded that he might execute his judgments upon David, and bring upon Amnon the just punishment of his lewdness.

This was a time for the young sons of David to celebrate and he relented and let Amnon and in fact, all the sons go.

Verses 28-29: "Then kill him": Absalom murdered Amnon through his servants (compare 11:15-17), just as David had killed Uriah through others (11:14-17). Though rape was punishable by death, personal vengeance such as this was unacceptable to God. Due course of law was to be carried out.

2 Samuel 13:28 "Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant."

Absalom repeated David's crime, but in a different way and in a different setting. With the murder of Amnon, Absalom was the next in line for the throne of David. (14:7).

Absalom has been waiting for just this moment for two years. He has planned it with great detail. He had already explained to his servants to wait until Amnon is drunk, and then kill him. Absalom will take the blame after it is over. Perhaps he would not be able to get as close as Absalom's servants could.

2 Samuel 13:29 "And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled."

"His mule": Mules were ridden by the royal family in David's kingdom (18:9; 1 Kings 1:33, 38, 44).

We see that the very thing that Absalom had commanded his servants to do, they did. In those days, you could tell who the king's sons were, because they all had a mule to ride. Amnon is dead and all of the other sons mount their mules and hurry away. They left in such a hurry, thinking they might be the next one killed.

2 Samuel 13:30 "And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left."

"All the king's sons": This exaggeration plunged everyone into grief (verse 31), until it was corrected (verse 32).

2 Samuel 13:31″ Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent."

In token of extreme grief and sorrow, as Jacob did when he was shown the coat of Joseph, supposing him to have been slain, as David thought all his sons were (Genesis 37:34).

"And lay on the earth": On the bare ground, another token of mourning; so Job did on hearing the death of his sons (Job 1:20).

"And all his servants stood by with their clothes rent": Did as David did, in imitation of him, joining with him in expressions of sorrow; these were his courtiers, ministers of state, and principal officers in his household.

The sons had not made it back to David, but news came that all of David's other sons had been killed by Absalom. David prayed this was not true. He went into deep mourning immediately, and all of his servants with him. He tore his clothes and lay face down before God, praying this news is not true.

2 Samuel 13:32 "And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose [that] they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar."

"Jonadab ... answered": Jonadab knew of Absalom's plot to kill Amnon (see verse 20), for the rape of Tamar. Death was prescribed (in Lev. 18:11, 29). "Cut off" means to execute (see note on verses 28-29).

2 Samuel 13:33 "Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead."

Neither suppose it, nor be troubled for it.

"To think that all the king's sons are dead": Which was not to be thought, nor could any good reason be given for such a supposition.

"For Amnon only is dead": He repeats it again with great assurance, which seems to confirm the suspicion of him before suggested; though some think he said this not from certain knowledge, but by conjecture.

This is the same Jonadab that helped Amnon trick Tamar to his house. He knew that the rape of Tamar had never been paid for, and that her brother Absalom has done that now. His hate was not for all of the brothers; it was just for one who disgraced his sister. Jonadab probably, did not know of the plot, but he was aware of the details of the sin that Amnon committed. He probably had realized the hate that Absalom had let build up inside for his brother Amnon.

Verses 34, 37: "Absalom fled": The law regarding premeditated murder, as most would view Absalom's act, gave him no hope of returning (see Num. 35:21). The cities of refuge would afford him no sanctuary, so he left his father's kingdom to live in Geshur, east of the Sea of Galilee, under the protection of the king who was the grandfather of both Tamar and Absalom (see note on 13:1-2).

2 Samuel 13:34 "But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him."

He who promised his servants protection could not protect himself, and who no doubt fled with him. He knew what he had done was death by law, and that there was no city of refuge for such sort of murder as this, and he had no reason to hope the king would suffer so foul a crime as this to pass unpunished.

"And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked": To the way that led from Absalom's house to Jerusalem, to see if he could spy any other messenger on the road from thence.

"And, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him": That is, behind the watchman, who, looking round him, saw them. These people were the king's sons and their attendants, who, being at some distance, the young man could not discern who they were. They did not come the direct road from Absalom's house, but came a roundabout way, for fear, as R. Isaiah rightly conjectures, lest Absalom should pursue, or send pursuers after them, and slay them. Though others, as Kimchi, think this refers to the hill, and that the sense is, that the watchman saw them coming from the way which was behind the hill, and began to see them when they came to the side of it. Which was the way that led to the city surrounded by mountains (see Psalm 125:2).

Absalom was afraid for his own life because he killed Amnon. He fled to his grandfather for protection. These are the mules carrying the sons of David coming.

2 Samuel 13:35 "And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said, so it is."

For as they came nearer, it was plainly discovered that they were the king's sons; seen on the side of the hill.

"As thy servant said, so it is": He seems to applaud himself, and exult at his penetration and foresight.

Jonadab did not volunteer the fact that the whole plot of Amnon's was his idea. He does speak here, that David's other sons are coming. He knew that he was right, that Absalom had killed no one by Amnon.

2 Samuel 13:36 "And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore."

As soon as the above words were out of his mouth.

"That, behold, the king's sons came": Into the palace, and into the apartment where the king was.

"And lifted up their voice and wept:" Not being able to tell the sorrowful news with their mouths, but declared it by gestures.

"And the king also and all his servants wept very sore": They joined the king's sons in weeping, and were the more moved to it by their weeping. And the rather, since hereby the news of Amnon's murder was confirmed.

The weeping was in mourning for Amnon, but it is plain that David realizes this too, is punishment for him killing Uriah, and taking his wife. The sword is indeed, present in the life of David within his own home. They all wept for the loss of Amnon.

2 Samuel 13:37 "But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And [David] mourned for his son every day."

Talmai, his maternal grandfather (see note on 2 Sam. 3:2-5). This verse may be considered parenthetical: The king's sons came . . . and wept sore. ("Only Absalom fled and went to . . . Geshur.") In this case, the omission of "David" in the latter clause of the verse is explained, as the nominative is easily supplied (from 2 Sam. 13:36).

"For his son every day": Amnon is certainly the son here meant, for whom David continually mourned until his grief was gradually assuaged by the lapse of time.

Talmai was the father of Absalom's mother. This would be a safe place. David knew in his heart that again, he had made a mistake. If he had punished Amnon properly, he would still be alive and Absalom would not be a fugitive from his own father.

2 Samuel 13:38 "So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years."

This is the third time it is mentioned, and the reason of it here Abarbinel thinks is, that when he first fled to his grandfather, he used to stand openly in the court of his palace, and go with him wherever he went from place to place. But when he understood that his father mourned so for the death of Amnon, he was afraid he would send some person to lay hold on him, and take vengeance on him. Therefore he would go no more with the king from place to place, but went and abode in Geshur always, which was a fortified city, as it follows.

"And went to Geshur, and was there three years": And never went out of it, until he was fetched by Joab (as 2 Samuel 14:23 relates). Nor is there anything in (2 Samuel 13:37), disturbed and mutilated, as Spinosa intimates, but the whole is very expressive and emphatic.

2 Samuel 13:39 "And [the soul of] king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead."

"Longed to go": David gradually accepted the fact of Amnon's death and desired to see Absalom again, but took no action to bring him back.

David's love for his own, despite their faults, often clouded his good judgment (verse 21; 1 Kings 1:6). His yearning to see "Absalom" sets the stage for Absalom's return and the resulting rebellion (Chapter 14).

David understood why Absalom had done this thing. After Absalom was gone three years, David longed to see him because he loved him. David blames himself, not Absalom, for the death of Amnon.

2 Samuel Chapter 13 Questions

  1. What was the name of the sister of Absalom?
  2. Who does verse 1 say, loved her?
  3. What relation was Tamar to Amnon?
  4. How badly does verse 2 say, Amnon wanted Tamar?
  5. Why did he not have access to Tamar?
  6. He is not thinking of her good, but his ___________.
  7. What was the name of Amnon's friend?
  8. What advice did he give Amnon?
  9. Who actually sent for Tamar to come to Amnon's quarters?
  10. What was she supposed to be in Amnon's house for?
  11. When he asked her to come and lie with him, what answer did she give him?
  12. Incest is practiced in over __ _________ of the homes in America.
  13. Adultery, or rape, was punishable by __________.
  14. What did she tell him to do, if he truly loved her?
  15. His feelings toward her were _________, not true love.
  16. After he had raped her, how did his feelings change?
  17. What did she say was a greater sin, than what he had done?
  18. What did he do in reply to that?
  19. How were the king's virgin daughters dressed?
  20. What did the servant do to her?
  21. How did Tamar mourn?
  22. Who found her, and told her to not regard the thing?
  23. How did David react, when he heard of what happened?
  24. Absalom hated ___________.
  25. What went on at sheep-shearing time?
  26. Did David go with Absalom?
  27. Who did David let go with Absalom to celebrate?
  28. What had Absalom told his servants to do, when Amnon got drunk?
  29. What bad news came to David about his sons?
  30. Who told David, that it was just Amnon who was dead?
  31. What did David's sons ride?
  32. Where did Absalom go for safety?

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2 Samuel 14

2 Samuel Chapter 14

Verses 1-24: "Joab" was concerned about David's preoccupation with Absalom, so he convinced a woman from "Tekoa" to deliver a parable to convince David to allow Absalom to return to Jerusalem. Joab would later have a change of heart about Absalom (18:10-18).

2 Samuel 14:1 "Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart [was] toward Absalom."

"Absalom" was the spoiled, impatient, overly ambitious son of David, who tried to forcibly seize the kingship from his father. This act, motivated by vanity and pride, led to his tragic death. He was David's third son by Maacah, the daughter of the king of Geshur (3:3; 1 Chron. 3:2). Absalom was a potential heir to the throne, of very attractive appearance and charming manners. He was especially noted for his beautiful long hair, in which he took great pride (verses 25-26). He also was a popular prince with the people and a favorite of his father. Absalom avenged the rape of his sister by having Amnon executed (Chapter 13). Then fearing his father's wrath, he fled into exile. After three years, he returned and plotted a revolt against the throne. He was anointed king after taking Jerusalem (16:15-23; 19:10), but lost 20,000 men in the ensuing battle with David (18:6-7). Joab then killed Absalom despite David's request that he not be harmed. Some of the saddest words in the Bible express David's sorrow over Absalom's death (18:33). His body was cast into a pit, and a great heap of stones was piled over him in contempt (18:17).

David was strongly attached to Absalom, and, having gotten over the death of Amnon, he desired the fellowship of his exiled son, 3 years absent. But the fear of public opinion made him hesitant to pardon his son. Joab, perceiving this struggle between parental affection and royal duty, devised a plan involving a wise country woman and a story told to the king.

The heart of David was the heart of a father. David loved Absalom in spite of what he might have done. Joab was David's nephew, by his sister Zeruiah. Joab is around David enough, that he knows his feelings.

2 Samuel 14:2 "And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead:"

"Tekoah": A town about 10 miles south of Jerusalem (Amos 1:1).

Joab wanted to get David to show some emotion about Absalom. This plot with the woman had to be done perfectly to keep David from finding out and punishing the woman and Joab. Tekoah" is the town this wise woman comes from. The town is about 6 miles out of Bethlehem. She must be able to convince David, that she is truly a mourner of long standing, to be able to talk to David. She is to pretend to have been mourning for the dead a very long time.

Verses 2-3: "Joab put the words in her mouth": Joab used a story, as Nathan had (12:1-12), to show David the error of his ways and to encourage him to call Absalom back to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 14:3 "And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth."

At his palace, in the above condition and circumstances.

"And speak on this manner unto him": Something to the following purpose he dictated to her.

"So Joab put the words in her mouth": The substance of what she should say; the fable she was to deliver as her own case might be framed by Joab, and which she delivered word for word exactly as he put it, and the application of it. But as he knew not what questions the king would ask her, so he could not dictate to her what to reply, unless he supposed this and the other, and so formed answers. But this he left to her prudence, and for the sake of which he chose a wise woman to manage this affair.

"Joab put the words in her mouth" is saying he told her exactly what to say.

2 Samuel 14:4 "And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king."

Or after she had spoken to him, being introduced by Joab, as is probable; when she had saluted him with God save the king, or May the king live, or some such like expressions.

"She fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance": To him as her king, in reverence of his majesty.

"And said, help, O king": Signifying that she was in great distress, and came to him for assistance and deliverance.

The word "obeisance" means depress, or prostrate. This means she fell on her face to the ground before the king. She was showing extreme respect for the king. She asks David for his help.

2 Samuel 14:5 "And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I [am] indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead."

Or what is thy case? What is the condition, and what the circumstances, that thou art in, which require help and assistance? Intimating that he was ready to grant it on knowledge thereof; however, he was ready to hear what she had to say.

"And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman": Of a truth a widow, as the Targum; she was really one, a widow indeed (as in 1 Tim. 5:3). Not one that was separated from her husband, he being alive, or divorced from him on any account.

"And mine husband is dead": And has been a long time; this she said to move the pity and compassion of the king, who, as the supreme magistrate in God's stead, was a Father of the fatherless, and the judge of the widow.

This speaks highly of David, that he would even hear her. We must remember that this whole story is made up. She is a good actress and David believes her.

2 Samuel 14:6 "And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and [there was] none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him."

The woman represents the killing of one's brother or sister as unpremeditated and without malice. This really made the case essentially different from that of Absalom. But at this point of the story the object is to dispose the king favorably towards the culprit, while by the time the application is reached, this point will have passed out of mind.

This should sound familiar to David, because one of his sons, Absalom, had killed his oldest son Amnon.

2 Samuel 14:7 "And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband [neither] name nor remainder upon the earth."

"Leave to my husband neither name nor remainder": The story the woman told involved one brother killing another (verse 6). If the death penalty for murder was invoked (Exodus 21:12; Lev. 24:17), there would be no living heir in the family, leaving that family with no future, a situation the law sought to avoid (Deut. 25:5-10). This would extinguish the last "coal" of hope for a future for her line (compare 21:17; Psalm 132:17, where the lamp refers to posterity).

We hear a sad story from this woman of how the people of her tribe want to kill her remaining son for killing his brother. She beautifully describes how the fire of her life will be completely put out, if they kill her surviving son. He is the last son in her family to carry on the family name. In a case like this, she has appealed to the highest court. A king has wide privileges pertaining to this. If he speaks the word, the boy will not be killed.

2 Samuel 14:8 "And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee."

Go home and make thyself easy.

"And I will give charge concerning thee": Intimating that he would inquire into her case; and if it was as she had represented it, he would give orders that she should not be disturbed, or be obliged to deliver up her son, and that he should be safe from those that sought his life.

2 Samuel 14:9 "And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity [be] on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne [be] guiltless."

"The iniquity be on me": The woman was willing to receive whatever blame might arise from the sparing of her guilty son.

She has appealed to the highest court in the land. What a beautiful job, she has done with her acting. She even goes so far as to say the penalty for any sin regarding this would be on her shoulders, and not on the kings. She has made this seem very real. She is asking for a full pardon for her son. In reality, she is asking for a full pardon for Absalom.

2 Samuel 14:10 "And the king said, Whosoever saith [ought] unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more."

Demanding her to deliver up her son to justice; and reproaching her for not doing it.

"Bring him to me": Give him in charge to a proper officer to be brought before me, and I shall chastise him for it.

"And he shall not touch thee any more": Give her any further trouble, by words or deeds.

2 Samuel 14:11 "Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, [As] the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth."

The "avenger of blood" was the family protector charged with bringing vengeance on someone who had killed a family member. Cities of refuge were established to protect from the avenger anyone who had accidentally killed someone (Num. 35:9-34). At this point, David relented and offered protection for the woman's son.

This is a specific term identifying the nearest relative of the deceased who would seek to put to death the murderer (Num. 35:6-28; Deut. 19:1-13; Matt. 27:25).

"Not one hair": This is an expression meaning that no harm will come to the son of the widow in the story.

This assurance for the safety of her make-believe son is an assurance of the safety for Absalom. She did mention the fact that the law said a murderer should not live. David, by his own words, has pardoned this fictitious son.

2 Samuel 14:12 "Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak [one] word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on."

Having gained her point, and gotten a decree from him confirmed by an oath, that her son though he had killed his brother should not die; she proceeds to accommodate the parable, and apply it to the case of Absalom, and improve it in his favor.

"And he said, say on": Gave her leave to say what she had further to observe to him (see Luke 7:40).

2 Samuel 14:13 "And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished."

"Against the people of God": The woman asserted that by allowing Absalom to remain in exile, David had jeopardized the future welfare of Israel. If he would be so generous to a son he did not know in a family he did not know, would he not forgive his own son?

She has said a very dangerous thing. The king could have her killed for this deception. The people of God in this, is the bereaved mother. She says that she was speaking for the people, when she represented this story to David. Most everyone would understand why Absalom killed Amnon. It was the law of the land if someone raped another, they were to be killed. Tamar was Absalom's sister. He had every right to kill her attacker.

2 Samuel 14:14 "For we must needs die, and [are] as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect [any] person: yet doth he devise means that his banished be not expelled from him.

"Devise means ... expelled from him": The woman stated that since God acts according to the dictates of mercy, as in David's own experience (12:13), David was obligated to do likewise.

"As water spilt on the ground": I.e., death is irreversible.

"God does not take away life". The woman stated that since God acts according to the dictates of mercy, as in David's own experience (12:13), David was obligated to do likewise.

She is saying that there is no way to bring Amnon back. He should allow Absalom to live at home with the family. God restored David to right standing. David should do the same for Absalom.

Verses 15-16: "The people ... the man that would destroy me and my son": Those who were seeking to kill the son of the woman were like the people David feared who resented what Absalom had done and would have stood against a pardon for him.

2 Samuel 14:15 "Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, [it is] because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid."

Of the case of Absalom, under a feigned one of hers.

"It is because the people have made me afraid": Having heard of their whisperings, murmurings, and uneasiness among them, because Absalom was not sent home. Fearing there would be an insurrection in the nation, or an invasion of it by Absalom at the request of his friends; in which he might be supported by the king of Geshur. Or however that disputes would arise about the succession, at the death of David. On these accounts, she determined to speak to the king and him then to him in the manner she had done. Though some understand this of the discouragement the people laid her under, telling her the king would not hear her; nevertheless, she was resolved to make trial.

"And thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the king": It may be the king will perform the request of his handmaid. Not only with respect to her own son, as feigned; but with respect to Absalom, the grand thing in view.

Joab and some of the others had been afraid to speak to the king about this. They hired this woman to speak for them. She thanks David for hearing her, and appeals to his forgiveness and grace.

2 Samuel 14:16 "For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man [that would] destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God."

She was fully persuaded of it, as now he had heard her.

"To deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God": He had given his word and his oath that he would deliver her son from the avenger of blood, that neither he nor any other should destroy him, which would have been the destruction of her and her whole family out of the land of Israel. The land which God had chosen for his inheritance; and had given to the people of Israel to be theirs. And since the king had heard her, and granted her this favor, she doubted not but that he would deliver his own son from death, and restore him to the inheritance of the land, where he might worship the Lord God of his fathers, of which he was now deprived.

In her behalf, the king has authority to let her go in peace. She appeals for him to restore the inheritance to his son Absalom.

2 Samuel 14:17 "Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so [is] my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee."

Or, "for rest"; what will give ease and satisfaction not only to her, but to all the people of Israel, when they shall hear of the king's intention and resolution to bring back Absalom.

"For as an angel of God, so is my lord the king": As they are very wise, knowing, and understanding creatures, so was David.

"To discern good and bad": To hear both the one and the other, and to discern the difference between them, and choose and pursue what is right, as in all other things, so in the present case.

"Therefore the Lord thy God shall be with thee": As to counsel and advise and so to assist in performance, and to prosper and succeed. The Targum is, "the Word of the Lord thy God shall be for thine help".

David has figured out what is going on. She will be satisfied with the decision that David makes, because she knows it is right. He is guided from above. The LORD will direct David in his decision.

Verses 18-20: David gets the intent of the story and discerns the source as Joab.

2 Samuel 14:18 "Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak."

Understanding plainly what she meant by all this, that the case she brought was a feigned one, and that the intention of it was to let him know the sense of the people with respect to Absalom, and the recall of him.

"Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee": He suspected that this was not a scheme of her own, but some considerable person had formed it, and made use of her to execute it, which was what he desired to know.

"And the woman said, let my lord the king now speak": Ask what question he pleases, I am ready to answer.

Verses 19-21: David recognized that "Joab" was behind the woman's parable. Nevertheless, he weakly relented and allowed Absalom to return. David's poor decision would have extremely negative results.

2 Samuel 14:19 "And the king said, [Is not] the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, [As] thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:"

That is, is not this done by the advice, assistance, and direction of Joab? Did not he form this scheme for thee, and direct thee to this method, and put thee upon prosecuting it?

"And the woman answered and said, as thy soul liveth, my lord the king": What I am about to say is as sure as thou art alive; though this may be only a wish that he might long live and be happy; nothing is more desirable than thy valuable life.

"None can turn to the right hand or the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken": He has hit upon the truth of the matter. There is no dissimulation or prevarication to be used; the thing cannot be denied; for thy servant Joab he bade me, and put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid. He sent for me, and laid his commands on me, and directed me what to say to the king, and how to conduct this affair.

In verse 18, David tells her to tell him the truth. He then realizes, and gets her to admit that Joab put her up to bringing this message to him. Joab told her exactly what to say. She said it so well, that it was a while before David realized that this was directed to him.

2 Samuel 14:20 "To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord [is] wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all [things] that [are] in the earth."

Concocted a story in such form and manner as had been delivered to the king, that it might be accommodated and applied to the case of Absalom, and to transfer it in a figure to the king, to use the apostle's phrase (1 Cor. 4:8).

"And my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God": As not only to understand the design of this fable or parable, but of such shrewdness and perception as to find out the author of it.

"To know all things that are in the earth": Either in the whole world, or rather in the land of Israel. And it is to be understood not of all actions natural and moral done by men in it, which would be to ascribe omniscience to him. But of all political things, all things respecting civil government; that he had such a spirit of discerning of men and things, that nothing could be said or done, or scheme formed, but he got intelligence of it, and insight into it; and which was carrying the compliment to a great height.

She is flattering David, that he discovered these were the words of Joab in her mouth.

2 Samuel 14:21 "And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again."

Who was present, or but at a little distance, waiting the issue of this affair.

"Behold now I have done this thing": Have agreed to recall Absalom, at the suit of this woman, which thou hast put her upon. Or, according to the textual reading, "thou hast done this thing"; contrived this scheme, to let me know the mind of the people with respect to Absalom, or to represent to me the propriety of sending him home.

"Go, therefore, bring the young man Absalom again": I give my consent to it, and you may send for him, or fetch him as soon as you please; it is thought he calls him a young man, to extenuate his crime, that it was done in youthful heat and passion, and therefore he should pass it over.

David tells Joab that he has given his word to let Absalom go free. It is time to go get him.

2 Samuel 14:22 "And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, Today thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant."

Joab's motives were selfish, in that he sought to ingratiate himself further with David for greater influence and power.

Joab had used this woman to do something he knew he would never be able to convince David to do. Now that he is found out, he falls on his face before David. He has allowed Joab's plan to work.

2 Samuel 14:23 "So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem."

David's failure to immediately punish the sins of his sons because of his own past conduct was living proof of how past sin can keep people in its grip if it is not healed.

"Geshur" (see note on 13:34, 37).

We remember that Absalom was gone three years, before he returned to David's home. Joab brought him home.

2 Samuel 14:24 "And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face."

"Let him not see my face": Absalom returned to Jerusalem, but the estrangement with his father continued.

David loved Absalom, but did not want to see his face to remind him of what he did to Amnon. His house was like an apartment in David's house and grounds.

Verses 25-33: More of "Absalom's" character surfaces in this account. Blessed with a handsome appearance (verse 25), and a winsome personality, he was able through his cunning and viciousness to achieve his desire ends (verses 28-33).

2 Samuel 14:25 "But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him."

"Beauty": As with Saul before him (1 Sam. 9:1-2), Absalom looked like a king. His extraordinary popularity arose from his appearance.

2 Samuel 14:26 "And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled [it]: because [the hair] was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight."

"Hair of his head": At his annual haircut, it was determined that Absalom's head produced approximately 5 pounds of hair that had to be cut off.

Verse 25, above, speaks of a very handsome man. He had lived as a king's son, so he had no cuts and bruises. "Polled" means shaved. His hair was so thick and heavy to carry around, that he shaved his head once a year.

2 Samuel 14:27 "And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name [was] Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance."

"Three sons" (see note on 18:18).

"Daughter ... Tamar": Absalom named his daughter after his sister Tamar.

Absalom named his daughter for his sister, Tamar. His sister Tamar, had been very beautiful, and so was this daughter. His three sons are not named, because they died at a very early age.

Verses 28-33: By setting Joab's "field on fire", Absalom successfully got Joab's attention, but he also showed himself to be impetuous and foolish. Absalom got his wish to see the king and they were reconciled, as evidenced by the fact that "the king kissed Absalom."

2 Samuel 14:28 "So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face."

"Two full years": Whatever were David's errors in recalling Absalom, he displayed great restraint in wanting to stay apart from Absalom to lead his son through a time of repentance and a real restoration. Rather than produce repentance, however, Absalom's non-access to the royal court and all its amenities frustrated him so that he sent for Joab to intercede (verse 29).

This is hard to believe with them living in such a close area. David did not want to see Absalom, and the king's word was obeyed.

2 Samuel 14:29 "Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come."

Joab felt that he had already gone far enough in procuring Absalom's return, and, as he still continued under the displeasure of the king, he was not disposed to do anything more. Possibly also he thought Absalom should have shown some sign of penitence for his great crime.

This again is very strange. Joab had gone to a lot of trouble to get him back to Jerusalem, and now will not speak to King David for him.

Verses 30-32: "Set it on fire": This was an act of aggression by Absalom to force Joab to act in his behalf with David, his father. Such a crime was serious, as it destroyed the livelihood of the owner and workers. It reveals that Absalom's heart was not repentant and submissive, but manipulative. He wanted an ultimatum delivered to David: Accept me or kill me!

2 Samuel 14:30 "Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire."

That did his business for him in the field, in keeping his flocks, and tilling his ground.

"See Joab's field is near mine": For great personages in those days attended to husbandry.

"And he hath barley there, go and set it on fire": It being ripe, and so capable of being fired, and therefore must be sometime in March or April, when barley harvest began. He served Joab as Samson did the Philistines (Judges 15:4); which shows him to be a bold, and revengeful, and ungrateful man, to use his friend, and the general of the king's army, after this manner.

"And Absalom's servants set the field on fire": As their master had bid them, and which is no wonder; for as they murdered Ammon at his command, they would not stop at burning Joab's field, when he bid them do it (see 2 Samuel 13:28).

2 Samuel 14:31 "Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto [his] house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?"

It may seem strange that so furious a man as Joab should not immediately revenge himself by ordering Absalom's fields to be burned, or in some such way. But he was so wise as to consider, that, being the king's son, Absalom might, sometime or other, be reconciled to his father, and do him a prejudice. He therefore concealed his resentment, and only expostulated with him on the injury done him.

Absalom did this to get the attention of Joab. He had asked him to come and he had not. This would make him come. Joab came immediately to find out why Absalom burned his field.

2 Samuel 14:32 "And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? [it had been] good for me [to have been] there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be [any] iniquity in me, let him kill me."

Rather than here, because my estrangement from him now when I am so near to him is both more grievous and more shameful to me. But the truth of the business was this, Absalom saw that his father had accomplished his design in bringing him thither, having satisfied both his own natural affection, and his people's desire of Absalom's return from banishment. But that he could not without restitution into the king's presence and favor compass his design, i.e. confirm and improve that interest which he saw he had in the people's hearts.

"Let him kill me": For it is better for me to die, than to want the sight and favor of my dear father. Thus, he insinuates himself into his father's affections, by pretending such respect and love to him. It seems that by this time Absalom having so far recovered his father's favor as to be recalled, he began to grow upon him. And take so much confidence as to stand upon his own justification, as if what he had done had been no iniquity, at least not such as to deserve death; for so much this speech intimates.

Absalom's answer is understandable. Why had he come back, if his father will have nothing to do with him? Really, Absalom had done no wrong, because he was taking vengeance for the disgrace of his sister. Besides that, David had pardoned him. He wants to see David.

2 Samuel 14:33 "So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom."

What Absalom had said to him.

"And when he had called for Absalom": Sent messengers to his house to order him to come to him.

"He came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king": Made a very reverend bow to him, according to the custom of those times, throwing himself at his feet in great submission to him.

"And the king kissed Absalom": In token of his reconciliation to him; which laid the foundation of his after troubles from him, related in the following chapters.

When Joab carried the message to David, he gave Absalom audience. After over five years, the father accepted his son Absalom. Absalom bowed to David as his king, and David kissed him as his father.

2 Samuel Chapter 14 Questions

1. The king's _________ was toward Absalom.

2. What relation was Joab to David?

3. "Tekoah" is the __________ this woman comes from?

4. It is about _____ miles out of Bethlehem.

5. Who put the words into the woman's mouth?

6. How did the woman approach the king?

7. What does "obeisance" mean?

8. What question did the king ask her, as she fell before him?

9. What does she tell David that is made up?

10. What did the king do for her?

11. What surprising statement does she make about the king?

12. Who does the bereaved mother in her story represent?

13. What is she saying in verse 14?

14. What does she say; the king is as in verse 17?

15. Who had sent her with this story?

16. What did David tell Joab to do for Absalom?

17. What was one negative condition of him coming back?

18. What did Absalom do once a year, because he had so much hair?

19. What did Absalom name his daughter?

20. How many sons did he have?

21. Why were their names not given?

22. What did Absalom's daughter and his sister have in common, besides their names?

23. How long did Absalom dwell in Jerusalem, and not see the king?

24. How many times did Absalom send for Joab, and he did not come?

25. How did he get Joab to come?

26. What did Absalom want Joab to do?

27. When Absalom bowed before king David, what did his father do?

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2 Samuel 15

2 Samuel Chapter 15

Verses 1-6: "Stole the hearts": Public hearings were always conducted early in the morning in a court held outside by the city gates. Absalom positioned himself there to win favor. Because King David was busy with other matters or with wars, and was also aging, many matters were left unresolved, building a deep feeling of resentment among the people. Absalom used that situation to undermine his father, by gratifying all he could with a favorable settlement and showing them all warm cordiality. Thus, he won the people to himself, without them knowing his wicked ambition.

In the vacuum created by David's family problems, his declining health, and the fractures within the kingdom, a prideful Absalom exalted himself, unlike David, who waited to be exalted by God. And Absalom stole "the hearts of the men of Israel," ingratiating himself to the people.

2 Samuel 15:1 "And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him."

"Chariots and horses, and fifty men": After the reconciliation, Absalom possessed the symbols of royalty (see 1 Sam. 8:11).

The Chariots and horses were probably for himself, and the men with him ran beside him. These fifty men that ran before him showed his position as prince, and he hoped soon to be king.

2 Samuel 15:2 "And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was [so], that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city [art] thou? And he said, Thy servant [is] of one of the tribes of Israel."

Business and judicial proceedings were carried out at the city "gate" (see the note on Ruth 4:1).

We know that David judged at the palace. It was even said of him, that he was a just judge. The gate spoken of here is the entrance to the palace. Absalom was stopping them before they made it to David for judgment. Absalom was convincing them that David was not doing a good job as judge.

2 Samuel 15:3 "And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters [are] good and right; but [there is] no man [deputed] of the king to hear thee."

There is no official hearer appointed. It was impossible for the king to hear every case in detail; certain persons were therefore appointed to hear causes and report the facts to the king, who thereupon pronounced his judgment. Absalom uses the same arts which have been used by the demagogue in all ages. He does not accuse the king himself of wrong, but insinuates that the system of government is defective, and expresses his own earnest wish to set things right.

Absalom was siding with whoever he was speaking to at the time, to win favor with them. He was blaming his father for his negligence in hearing these cases more rapidly.

2 Samuel 15:4 "Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!"

To flatter each man by pronouncing a favorable verdict in his case, to excite a sense of grievance and discontent by censuring the king for remissness in trying the causes brought before him by his subjects, and to suggest a sure and easy remedy for all such grievances, namely, to make Absalom king. All this, coupled with great affability and courtesy, which his personal beauty and high rank made all the more effective, were the arts by which Absalom worked his way into favor with the people, who were light and fickle as himself.

This is the first indication that Absalom would like to overthrow David, and be king himself. He is making friends with all who came in, and trying to win their loyalty to him.

2 Samuel 15:5 "And it was [so], that when any man came nigh [to him] to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him."

To pay his respects, and bow to him, as being the king's son, a prince of the blood, and heir to the crown, as was supposed.

"He put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him": He put out his hand and shook hands with him, or took him about the neck and kissed him, and by this free, familiar, affable, and courteous manner, strangely won upon and gained the affections of the people, as follows. Fortunatus Schacchus thinks he put forth his hand to be kissed by them, and then kissed them, which was more than was usual.

Absalom was kissing them, when they offered to bow to him. He wanted them to feel that he was their friend.

2 Samuel 15:6 "And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel."

Anger over David's previous snubbing doubtless continued to smolder under the surface of Absalom's seeming civic concern.

"Absalom" could be patient in gaining his revenge (13:20-29). Moreover, although he was an ambitious man, he was also resourceful and cunning (14:28-33), so his sinister ends could easily go undetected (verses 7-12).

This sort of treatment won the people over to Absalom, because he had shown himself to be on their side.

Verses7-9 "Hebron": The city of Absalom's' birth (3:2-3), and the place where David was first anointed king over Judah (2:4), and over all Israel (5:3). Absalom said he had made a vow while in Geshur (see note on 13:34, 37), that if he was restored to Jerusalem, he would offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving in Hebron, where sacrifices were often made before the temple was built. David, who always encouraged such religious devotion, gave his consent.

2 Samuel 15:7 "And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron."

"Forty years": The better reading is "four" because the number "forty" could refer neither to the age of Absalom since he was born at Hebron after David had begun to rule (3:2-5), nor that time of David's reign, since he ruled only 40 years total (5:4-5). The 4 year period began either with Absalom's return from Geshur (14:23), or with his reconciliation with David (14:33).

Forty was apparently miscopied and should read four "years," as read by the Septuagint and Syriac versions, and as given by Josephus.

Hebron was the home town of Absalom. We know that all the bitterness David had felt against Absalom was gone. Perhaps this means when Absalom was forty years old. It could also, be speaking of 40 years after they came to Jerusalem the first time. This time really does not make a difference for what we are studying.

2 Samuel 15:8 "For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD."

Meaning worship him by the offering of sacrifices of thanksgiving to God, for restoring me to the place of his presence and service, and to my father's favor. But why should not this service have been performed at Zion, or at Gibeon? Here was some ground of suspicion; but God blinded David's eyes, that he might bring upon David and upon Absalom the judgments which they deserved and he designed.

This is a very dangerous thing to do. He is telling a lie. He is going to win support to himself against David.

2 Samuel 15:9 "And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron."

He gave him leave to go, and wished happiness and prosperity might attend him.

"So he arose and went to Hebron": With a company of men, whose number is after mentioned.

David had no idea what Absalom was doing, so he sent him away in peace.

Verses 10-12: Absalom formed a conspiracy, which included taking some of the leading men to create the impression that the king supported this action, and was in his old age sharing the kingdom. All of this was a subtle disguise so Absalom could have freedom to plan his revolution. Absalom was able to do this against his father not merely because of his cleverness, but also because of the laxness of his father (see 1 Kings 1:6).

2 Samuel 15:10 "But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron."

Absalom sent from Hebron; or, had sent from Jerusalem; that when he went to Hebron, they should go into the several tribes to sift the people, and to dispose them to Absalom's party, and acquaint them with his success.

"As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet": Which I shall take care to have sounded in several parts by other persons. And when that is done, you shall inform them of the reason of it. Or, as soon as you understand that the trumpet was sounded at Hebron; partly to call the people together for my assistance; and partly to celebrate my inauguration to the kingdom, which you shall speedily know by messengers whom I shall send to you to that end.

We know that Absalom had been building himself up in the eyes of the Israelites, while he was tearing his father down. These spies were not to bring information back. They were to work themselves in among the people, and when the trumpet blew, they were to shout "Absalom reigneth in Hebron". They are hoping their shouting would start the people shouting the same thing.

2 Samuel 15:11 "And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, [that were] called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing."

The two hundred guests, whom Absalom had invited to take part with him in his sacrifices, were doubtless prominent and influential citizens of Jerusalem. That they were entirely ignorant of Absalom's purposes, which shows the extreme secrecy for which the affair had been managed. Absalom, no doubt, hoped when he once had them at Hebron, to secure them for his side, or, failing this, forcibly to prevent their opposition. In any case it would appear to the people that they were with him, and he would thus secure additional prestige.

The simplicity, spoken of here, was the fact that they did not know they were part of an army to come against David. Absalom had made friends with them, and when he called for someone to go with him, they went willingly, not knowing the purpose of this trip.

2 Samuel 15:12 "And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city, [even] from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom."

"Ahithophel": A counselor of David who was considered a man who "inquired of the word of God" (16:23). This man was the father of Eliam (23:34) and the grandfather of Bath-sheba (11:3); 23:24-39), who may have been looking for revenge on David.

"Giloh": A town in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:48, 51), probably located a few miles south of Hebron.

The "sacrifices" Absalom offered were part of his own coronation ceremony. Absalom was once again tricking people into doing what he wanted.

Ahithophel was Bath-sheba's grandfather. Ahithophel had been a counselor for David. He was thought to speak as an oracle of God. We can see why Absalom would want him. He advised Absalom to take the harem of David. David found out what was going on, and sent another counselor. They believed the one David sent and Ahithophel went home and hanged himself. It appears, in the verse above, that more and more people were believing and following Absalom.

Verses 15:13 - 16:14: Psalm 3 was written in response to this event.

Verses 13-17: David's escape from Absalom is remembered (in Psalm Chapter 3). Because he wanted to preserve the city he had beautified, and not have a war there, and since he felt that he could find greater support in the country, David left the city with all his household and personal guards.

2 Samuel 15:13 "And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom."

Perhaps one of the two hundred men that went with Absalom and were ignorant of his plans; which, when discovered, he disapproved of, and got away from him, and came to David, and informed him how things were.

"Saying, the hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom": To make him king.

Verses 14-16: Although "David" sensed the danger to his life, he was concerned more about a general massacre of the populace and with a need for time to assess and regroup his forces. He left "ten" of his "concubines" behind to keep the palace (16:21-22), doubtless with every intention of returning.

2 Samuel 15:14 "And David said unto all his servants that [were] with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not [else] escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword."

His courtiers and ministers of state and the officers of his household; as many of them as were with him in the city. For some of them very probably were in the country; as Ahithophel was, and some might be along with Absalom, whom he had invited to his peace offerings.

"Arise, and let us flee": It is much that a man of such courage and valor as David should be so intimidated at once as to make a flight as soon as he heard of a conspiracy forming against him.

"For we shall not else escape from Absalom": His fears ran so high, that he fancied he would be upon them presently.

"Make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly": Which still more clearly shows the panic he was in.

"And bring evil upon us": Kill them, or make them prisoners.

"And smite the city with the edge of the sword": The inhabitants of it, should they make resistance.

David still had a few loyal men, and he and the men fled for safety. It appears that Absalom had become very strong to run his daddy out of the palace.

2 Samuel 15:15 "And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants [are ready to do] whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint."

In answer to him, and to show that they were quite conformable to his pleasure.

"Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shalt appoint": Or "choose", whether to prepare to fight, and defend him and the city, or to depart and make their escape.

2 Samuel 15:16 "And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, [which were] concubines, to keep the house."

Which determined the case.

"And all his household after him family and his court": They followed his example, and attended him in his flight.

"And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house": Not to defend it, which they were unable to do, but to look after the household goods and furniture, that they were not damaged by the conspirators. Though one would think they could be of little service, and may wonder what he should leave them behind for. But this seems to be ordered by the overruling providence of God, to bring about what was threatened him (2 Sam. 12:11). And it is much he had not thought of it; but it was hid from his eyes, that it might be fulfilled.

The king's servants were speaking again, of those high ranking officers with David. We know that David took his wives and children with him, and left ten concubines to keep the house. David would go into hiding with his family.

2 Samuel 15:17 "And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off."

David's kind nature induced him to spare Jerusalem the horrors of a siege, and the risk of being taken by assault. He had no standing army with which to resist this sudden attack from so unexpected a quarter. Possibly too he remembered Nathan's prophecy (2 Sam. 12:10-12).

2 Samuel 15:18 "And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king."

"Cherethites ... Pelethites": Foreign mercenary soldiers of King David (see note on 1 Sam. 30:14).

"Gittites" Mercenary soldiers from Gath, i.e., Philistines.

This was not enough men to form an army. These were more like a guard for the king. It is interesting that David had 600 men with him, when he had run from Saul earlier. This could possibly be made up of the same mighty men he had then. These were not Philistines, which Gath would indicate, but they were Israelites like David.

Verses 19-22: "Ittai": The commander of the Gittites, who had only recently jointed David. In spite of David's words, he displayed his loyalty by going into exile with him. Ittai's later appointment as commander of one-third of the army (18:2, 5, 12), was David's way of expressing appreciation for his loyalty.

2 Samuel 15:19 "Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou [art] a stranger, and also an exile."

Who was over the band of Gittites, the six hundred men (2 Sam. 15:22).

"Wherefore goest thou also with us?" one should think the king should not have discouraged any from joining and following him, when his numbers were not very large, and they in such fear on account of Absalom.

"Return to this place": To Jerusalem, where his station was.

"And abide with the king": With Absalom, who set himself up for king, and whom the people perhaps had proclaimed as such in Hebron, where the conspiracy began.

"For thou art a stranger, and also an exile": Not a native of Israel, but of another nation. And at a distance from it, and therefore not altogether under the same obligations to attend David in his troubles as others were. And by this it seems that he was a Gittite by nation. Whatever the six hundred men were, and rather favors the first sense given of them (in 2 Samuel 15:18).

Ittai was a Philistine, who had given his loyalty to David. David was telling him that he was not expected to fight, since he was not an Israelite.

2 Samuel 15:20 "Whereas thou camest [but] yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth [be] with thee."

From Gath or from an expedition he and his men had been on.

"Should I this day make thee, go up and down with us?" Wander up and down from place to place with David, when he was but just come off a journey, weary and fatigued.

"Seeing I go whither I may": Where it will be most safe for me, I know not where; may be obliged to flee here and there, which would be very inconvenient to Ittai in his circumstances.

"Return thou, and take back thy brethren": The six hundred men under him, and whom David could ill spare at this time. And yet, consulting their ease, advises to return to Jerusalem with them.

"Mercy and truth be with thee": The Lord show mercy and kindness to thee, in that thou hast shown favor and respect to me, and make good all his promises to thee, who hast been true and faithful to me.

David was, in a sense, giving him permission to go home if he wanted to, and not risk the lives of his people in an Israelite affair. David also speaks a blessing on him for offering to help.

David will not hold it against him if he goes home.

2 Samuel 15:21 "And Ittai answered the king, and said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be."

With an oath, as follows.

"As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth": Which he took to confirm what he after says, and to put an end to the debate between them.

"Surely, in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be": Signifying that he would attend him wherever he went, hazard his life in his cause, and live and die with him.

His loyalty was to David the king. He had no intentions of leaving in this time of trouble. He has made his mind up to follow David even to death, if necessary.

2 Samuel 15:22 "And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that [were] with him."

It being his resolution to abide with him, he urged him no more to depart, but bid him pass over the brook Kidron before him.

"And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men": The six hundred Gittites that were under his command.

"And all the little ones that were with him": That belonged to him and his men, and no doubt their wives also.

This brave Philistine went first, to make sure there was no danger in crossing the Kidron. They would hide in the wilderness.

Verses 23-28: Psalm 63 has this occasion in view or possibly (1 Sam. 23:14).

2 Samuel 15:23 "And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness."

"Brook Kidron": This familiar valley, running north/south along the eastern side of Jerusalem, separates the city from the Mt. of Olives.

This was a sad time, for the people loved David. David and his family and servants passed over the brook of Kidron.

Verses 24-29: Zadok ... Abiathar" (see notes on 8:17). They brought the Ark to comfort David with assurance of God's blessing, but he saw that as placing more confidence in the symbol that in God and sent it back. David knew the possession of the Ark did not guarantee God's blessing (1 Sam. 4:3).

David was convinced that the "Ark of God" belonged in Jerusalem. So he sent "Zadok" (the high priest) and the "Levites" back with the Ark. Although he hoped to return to Jerusalem and his throne, he would leave the final result to God.

2 Samuel 15:24 "And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites [were] with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city."

Zadok appears here as in charge of the Ark, and David (2 Sam. 15:27), addresses him exclusively, while Abiathar is merely mentioned. This gives no indication of the relations existing between the two, but merely shows how matters went on this day of hurry and confusion. The language is obscure, but probably means that Zadok and the Levites brought the Ark out of the city, and set it down while the multitude were assembling. Meantime Abiathar led the multitude forward up the Mount of Olives until they had all come out of the city.

It appears that the Ark was carried part of the way by the Levites. The Ark was there until David and all of his people were out of the city.

Verses 25-26: David did not treat the Ark as a mascot (1 Sam. 4:3, 21), but instead selflessly returned it to Jerusalem so that God's presence could rest with His people. He acknowledged that he had no claim to the throne except if God chose to give it to him.

2 Samuel 15:25 "And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and show me [both] it, and his habitation:"

The reason of which is not easy to account for, since being carried back it would fall into the hands of the conspirators. And now the priests were with it to take care of it, and there might be occasion to inquire at it before the Lord. But David thought it being a sacred thing would not be violated by Absalom and his men, and that it would be safest in its own habitation or tabernacle, which David had built for it. For that the reason of it should be, what Procopius Gazaeus suggests, cannot be given into, that he could not bear to carry about him the law, which accused of adulteries and murders.

"If I shall find favor in the eyes of the Lord": If he will appear for me, be on my side, and deliver me from those who have risen up against me.

"He will bring me again": To Jerusalem, and to his palace there.

"And show me both it and his habitation": The Ark and the tabernacle he had erected for it (2 Sam. 6:17).

David and the priests had brought the Ark into Jerusalem with much rejoicing. He would not, now take it with him. He tells Zadok to carry it back to the tabernacle and set it up. He will see it again, if the LORD favors him and lets him remain king. The proper place for the Ark is in Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 15:26 "But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, [here am] I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him."

David recognizes that he is suffering under the punishment pronounced by Nathan for his sin, and he seeks to throw himself entirely into the hands of God, trusting in His mercy. (Compare 2 Sam. 24:14). He is therefore, unwilling to have the ark carried with him lest he should seem to undertake to compel the Divine presence and blessing. He feels sure that if God so will, he shall be brought again in peace; but if not, yet he will perfectly submit himself to God's ordering.

David is willing for the LORD to judge him. He will accept whatever the LORD decides is right.

2 Samuel 15:27 "The king said also unto Zadok the priest, [Art not] thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar."

A prophet, as well as a priest (see 1 Sam. 9:9). Or a seeing, knowing man, and one that can penetrate into men and things, and so might be of more service to David at Jerusalem than with him; wherefore he said to him.

"Return into the city in peace": To the city of Jerusalem with peace, quietness, and satisfaction of mind; where he doubted not. Or at least hoped and wished he would be in safety and prosperity, being one of the Lord's priests.

"And your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar": The one was of the line of Eleazar, and the other of the line of Ithamar.

A "seer" is a prophet. He is not a priest. In this case, he is both high priest and seer. It appears he sends two back with him. Ahimaaz was a priest, the son of Zadok, who would follow him as high priest. Jonathan was a priest as well.

2 Samuel 15:28 "See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me."

"Plain of the wilderness": Probably the region along the western bank of the Jordan River (see 17:16; Joshua 5:10).

David will remain in the wilderness until he receives word to come back to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 15:29 "Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there."

That is, ordered it to be carried, and took care that it was carried, by the Kohathite Levites, and they themselves attended it.

"And they tarried there; at Jerusalem": Though their two sons that went with them entered not into the city, but stayed at a place called En-rogel, at some little distance from it (2 Sam. 17:17).

The Ark must be handled by the priests, who are anointed for this.

2 Samuel 15:30 "And David went up by the ascent of [mount] Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that [was] with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up."

"Mount Olivet": The hill to the east of the city of Jerusalem was the location for David's contrition and remorse over his sins and their results. This was the location from which Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-12).

The Mount of Olives is just a few miles out of Jerusalem. In fact, it is on a hill overlooking the old city. The fact that his head was covered showed the grief that David was feeling. He was barefoot, which showed his humbleness before God (take off your shoes, for this is holy ground). The weeping was showing their grief as well.

Verses 31-37: God answered David's prayer for Ahithophel's advice to be foolishness by sending Hushai, who could act as a spy. Sometimes our prayers are answered quickly through God sending other people to help us.

2 Samuel 15:31 "And [one] told David, saying, Ahithophel [is] among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness."

That came either from Hebron or from Jerusalem.

"Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom": Absalom sent for him, and it seems he came to him, and continued with him (see 2 Sam. 15:12).

"And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness": Either suffer him to give foolish counsel, or confound the schemes projected by him, and let them not be carried into execution. For God can, and sometimes does, disappoint crafty counsellors, that they cannot perform what they devise. But they are taken in their own craftiness, and their counsel is carried headlong, Job 5:12; this prayer was answered (2 Sam. 17:14).

Since it is the LORD who gives the counselor his ability, the LORD could confuse the counsel he gives and make it unacceptable.

2 Samuel 15:32 "And it came to pass, that [when] David was come to the top [of the mount], where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head:"

"Top": This was the place from which David could look toward the city and the temple to the west.

"Hushai the Archite": Hushai was the clan of the Archites who lived in Ephraim on the border with Manasseh (Joshua 16:2), and served as an official counselor to David (verse 37); 1 Chron. 27:33). David persuaded Hushai to return to Jerusalem and attach himself to Absalom as a counselor. His mission was to contradict the advice of Ahithophel (17:5-14), and to communicate Absalom's plans to David (17:21; 18:19).

"Hushai" came to meet David with the traditional symbols of grief (see the note on 1:2).

The rent clothes and the earth upon his head indicated great sorrow. He was a dear old friend of David's, and would do whatever he could to help.

Verses 33-37: "David," too, could be cunning. Knowing that he could count on Hushai's loyalty, he sent him back to Jerusalem" to serve as his informant and to act as a counterforce to Ahithophel (Chapter 17). "Hushai" would also have the help of "Zadok" (verses 27-29).

2 Samuel 15:33 "Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden upon me":

For he was not provided, it seems, with sufficient support for his own family. And Hushai, though famous as a counsellor in the cabinet, being unpracticed in the camp, and no soldier, could not be so useful to him in the army as he might be at court. David therefore, conceives the idea of employing him in endeavoring to defeat or render abortive the counsel of Ahithophel.

We are not told why he would be a burden, but we know this was not said to insult him. It was a fact for some reason.

2 Samuel 15:34 "But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; [as] I [have been] thy father's servant hitherto, so [will] I now also [be] thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel."

David here counsels fraud and treachery, and Hushai willingly accepts the part assigned to him, in order to thwart Ahithophel's counsel and weaken Absalom's rebellion. The narrative simply states the facts without justifying them. But while we cannot too strongly condemn such a strategy, two things are to be remembered. First, that like frauds in time of war and rebellion have been practiced in all ages, and still continue. And, secondly, that David and Hushai had but slender knowledge of the Divine revelation of truth and righteousness which enables us to condemn them. Therefore, did with a clear conscience many things which we see to be wrong.

He could be a tremendous help to David by spying for him. Absalom will probably, believe him and not believe Ahithophel.

2 Samuel 15:35 "And [hast thou] not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, [that] what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell [it] to Zadok and Abiathar the priests."

To assist in forming schemes directly opposite to Ahithophel's, or to whom he could communicate the secrets of Absalom's court.

"Therefore it shall be that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house": Absalom's, who had now, at possession of the house and palace of David.

"Thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests": To whom he might have recourse without suspicion, pretending he had business with them as priests, on religious accounts, to offer sacrifices for him, etc.

The high priest and the priests were true to David as well. They will probably, not be noticed because of their position in the tabernacle.

2 Samuel 15:36 "Behold, [they have] there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's [son], and Jonathan Abiathar's [son]; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear."

As (in 2 Samuel 15:27); not that they were in the city with them, but they were near it (2 Sam. 17:17); with whom they had a communication.

"And by whom ye shall send unto me everything that ye can hear": That is, by the sons of the priests. He by telling the priests about how things were at court; and them sending their sons with messages to David. Which was a good scheme to get intelligence, and easy to be put into execution.

If Zadok remains in the tabernacle to serve as high priest, the priests can be spared to take messages to David. Hushai could listen to the plans of Absalom and the priests could bring the information to David. It is very important for Hushai to be in the palace with Absalom.

2 Samuel 15:37 "So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem."

The city of Jerusalem; by the direction and persuasion of David. And in obedience to him, in order to serve him to the uttermost.

"And Absalom came into Jerusalem": Just at the same time; so that he knew not that Hushai had been out of it, and been with David, and which also appears from what he said to him, 2 Samuel 16:17.

It appears they arrived at about the same time. Absalom probably thought he would defeat his father in Jerusalem. He did not know that he would go into hiding. The plan is now in place. David has his strategic men in place.

2 Samuel Chapter 15 Questions

1. How many men did Absalom have to run before him?

2. The chariots and horses were for ___________.

3. Where did Absalom station himself, to be able to talk to men coming to see David?

4. What was said of David's judgment?

5. What was Absalom trying to convince these people of?

6. In verse 3, Absalom is telling them what about their getting judged fairly?

7. What is all of this an indication that Absalom wants to do?

8. When these people came and bowed to Absalom, what did he do?

9. Absalom stole the ________ of the men of Israel.

10. What did Absalom ask David to let him go and do?

11. What did David say to him?

12. What were the spies, that Absalom sent out, to say when the trumpet blew?

13. How many men went with Absalom out of Jerusalem?

14. What was their simplicity?

15. Who was David's counselor, who went with Absalom?

16. How was he connected to David?

17. What message was brought to David?

18. What did David do, in response to this news?

19. Who stayed behind to care for the house?

20. How many men passed before the king?

21. Who was a Philistine, who was with David?

22. What did David offer him?

23. How did Ittai answer David?

24. Who passed over the brook Kidron first?

25. Where would they hide?

26. Who wept, when David and his people left?

27. Who, of the priesthood, was with David?

28. What did David insist that Zadok do with the ark?

29. David is willing for the _________ to judge him.

30. What is a "seer"?

31. Who carried the ark back?

32. Where did David go?

33. Why did David have his head covered?

34. What did David pray to God about Ahithophel?

35. Who came to meet David on the Mount of Olives?

36. What did David send him to do?

37. Who will he report to?

38. How will David get the message?

39. Where did Hushai meet Absalom?

40. Why had Absalom come here?

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2 Samuel 16

2 Samuel Chapter 16

Verses 1-4: David was too quick to believe Ziba's story, which turned out to be untrue (19:24-29). His snap judgment had lasting consequences for Mephibosheth.

2 Samuel 16:1 "And when David was a little past the top [of the hill], behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred [loaves] of bread, and a hundred bunches of raisins, and a hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine."

Of the Mount of Olives, the ascent of which he is said to go up by, to the top of it (2 Sam. 15:30).

"Behold, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, met him": (of whom see 2 Sam. l 9:2). "Mephibosheth": Saul's grandson by Jonathan (see note on 4:4).

"With a couple of asses saddled": And so fit to ride on, but for the present he used them to another purpose.

"And upon them two hundred loaves of bread": A hundred on each ass very probably.

"And a hundred bunches of raisins": Or dried grapes, as the Targum.

"And a hundred of summer fruits": Not in number, but in weight, as apples, pears, plums, apricots, etc. so the Targum, a hundred pounds of figs.

"And a bottle of wine": A cask or flagon of wine; for a bottle, such as is in use with us, would have signified nothing in such a company.

We remember, in a previous lesson, that David took the land of Ziba and gave it to Mephibosheth. Ziba had been a servant of Saul. This food would raise the spirits of those with David. It is not explained why he brought this.

2 Samuel 16:2 "And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses [be] for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink."

Are they to be as said, or are they presents?

"And Ziba said, the asses be for the king's household to ride on": For himself, his wives, and children, his courtiers, and the principal officers of his house; it being usual in those times and countries for great personages to ride on asses (see Judges 5:10).

"And the bread and summer fruits for the young men to eat": The king's menial servants, his guards and his soldiers.

"And the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink": Where no water was to be had, that their fainting spirits might be revived, and they be able whether to fight or march.

David had no idea why Ziba would do this and he asks him. These things are much needed by David's people, but I am not sure the purpose of Ziba is to bless David.

2 Samuel 16:3 "And the king said, And where [is] thy master's son? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, Today shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father."

"Where is thy master's son?" According to (9:9-10), Ziba was able to garner such food and drink. His master had been Saul before his death and was then Mephibosheth.

"Restore me the kingdom of my father": Ziba, evidently trying to commend himself in the eyes of David by bringing these gifts, accused his master of disloyalty to the king and participation in Absalom's conspiracy for the purpose of bringing down the whole Davidic house. Thus, the house of Saul would re-take the throne, and he would be king. This was a false accusation (see 19:24-25), but it was convincing to David, who believed the story and made a severe and rash decision that inflicted injury on a true friend, Mephibosheth.

David is inquiring of Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son. We know the answer Ziba gives is not true. Absalom wanted the throne for himself, not for the family of Saul. He was a cripple and it was difficult for him to leave in a hurry. This would have been a more correct answer.

2 Samuel 16:4 "Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine [are] all that [pertained] unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee [that] I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king."

The truth about Ziba's lies would eventually surface (see 19:24-30).

It is difficult to believe, that David would not question the motives of this Ziba. David tells Ziba, that he, now, owns all of Mephibosheth's wealth. He has taken it back from Mephibosheth, and given it to Ziba.

Verses 5-8: Shimei": Shimei was a distant relative of Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, who cursed David as a "man of bloodshed" (verses 7-8), and a "worthless fellow" (see note on 1 Sam. 2:12). He could possibly be the Cush (of Psalm 7). Shimei declared that the loss of David's throne was God's retribution on