2 Samuel 2

2 Samuel 2

2 Samuel 2 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

There is an interesting backstory on the relationships that take place in this chapter.

Abner crowns Saul’s son Ishbosheth to be king over all Israel, Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, and Benjamin. Ishbosheth was never mentioned previously as a son of Saul, so it’s possible he was an illegitimate son, or possibly a son of one of Saul’s concubines. Abner was Saul’s cousin, the commander of his armies and, ironically, the man that David challenged and somewhat insulted when he had the opportunity to kill Saul but didn’t do it. Here is the encounter…

David answered, “Abner, aren’t you the greatest man in Israel? So why aren’t you protecting your master, the king? Just now someone entered the camp to kill your master. 16 You failed in your duty, Abner! I swear by the living LORD that all of you deserve to die, because you have not protected your master, whom the LORD made king. Look! Where is the king’s spear? Where is the water jar that was right by his head?”

1 Samuel 26:15-16 GNB

David essentially said that Abner couldn’t protect his king.

Even though David knows he is supposed to be king (being anointed by Samuel long before), he allows Ishbosheth to reign for 2 years. This is similar to the patient David we see when Saul was trying to kill him. He will only act on God’s command. I also believe that we see David as a very respectful man. He shows honor even to his enemies at times. So these 2 years may have been simply out of respect for Saul’s family. Regardless, it’s an amazing attribute of David.

What eventually follows is a very obscure battle between Abner’s forces and David’s commander, Joab. The bloodshed that would follow, although strange, would see David’s forces prevailing. This would set the tone for a long history of battles between the house of Saul and the house of David.

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