And David cried unto the people
To the army of Saul with a loud voice, that he might be heard:
and to Abner the son of Ner;
particularly to him, because he was general of the army:
saying, answerest thou not, Abner?
it seems he had called to him more than once, and he had returned no answer; perhaps not being thoroughly awake, or not knowing whose voice it was, and from whence it came:
then Abner answered and said, who [art] thou [that] criest to the king?
but it does not appear that David called to the king, only to the people, and to Abner their general, and therefore may be better rendered, "by the king" F19; that is, near him, or "before him" F20, in his presence. Kimchi and Ben Melech explain it, upon the king, or over him; and the Targum is, at the head of the king; the meaning is, how he could act such a part as to call so loud within the king's hearing, as to disturb the king's rest, and awake him out of his sleep.
F19 (Klmh la) "juxta regem", Vatablus
F20 Ceram rege, Nodlus, p. 58. No. 284.