2 Samuel 3 – “David’s Rise; Abner’s Untimely Death”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
After having a falling-out with Ish-bosheth, Abner and his forces join David’s side. Joab avenges his brother’s death by killing Abner. David mourns for Abner and protests his own innocence.

II. Photo
Abner joins David’s forces: “When Abner came to David in Hebron, accompanied by twenty men, David made a feast for Abner and the men with him.” (v. 20)

III. Important Verses
1: The war between the House of Saul and the House of David was long-drawn-out; but David kept growing stronger, while the House of Saul grew weaker.
6-11: During the war between the House of Saul and the House of David, Abner supported the House of Saul. Now Saul had a concubine named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah; and [Ish-bosheth] said to Abner, “Why have you lain with my father’s concubine?” Abner was very upset by what Ish-bosheth said, and he replied, “Am I a dog’s head from Judah? Here I have been loyally serving the House of your father Saul and his kinsfolk and friends, and I have not betrayed you into the hands of David; yet this day you reproach me over a woman! May God do thus and more to Abner if I do not do for David as the LORD swore to him — to transfer the kingship from the House of Saul, and to establish the throne of David over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beer-sheba.” [Ish-bosheth] could say nothing more in reply to Abner, because he was afraid of him.
31-34: David then ordered Joab and all the troops with him to rend their clothes, gird on sackcloth, and make lament before Abner; and King David himself walked behind the bier. And so they buried Abner at Hebron; the king wept aloud by Abner’s grave, and all the troops wept. And the king intoned this dirge over Abner, “Should Abner have died the death of a churl? Your hands were not bound, Your feet were not put in fetters; But you fell as one falls Before treacherous men!” And all the troops continued to weep over him.
37: That day all the troops and all Israel knew that it was not by the king’s will that Abner son of Ner was killed.

IV. Outline
1. David grows stronger; Ish-bosheth grows weaker
2-5. David’s family in Hebron
6-11. Abner and Ish-bosheth have a falling-out over Saul’s concubine
12-16. Abner contacts David; David demands Michal as a wife
17-19. Abner rallies support for David
20-21. David and Abner make a pact over a meal
22-27. Joab kills Abner
28-29. David protests his innocence
30. The guilty party
31-32. Abner is buried
33-34. David laments Abner’s death
35-39. David makes it clear that he is innocent

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Anderson, A. A. “2 Samuel” Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 11 (Waco Texas: Wordbooks, 1989).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
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