And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf
On his own account, and not on the account of Ishbosheth, or the people of Israel; but to obtain terms for himself, or in his own name, as representing him and standing in his stead; or secretly, as Kimchi explains it, unknown to Ishbosheth, or the people of Israel. The Targum is,
``out of his place;''he sent them from the place where he was, from Mahanaim:
saying, whose [is] the land?
the land of Israel, is it not thine, David? verily it is; to whom does it belong but unto thee, to whom the Lord has given it? not to any of Saul's posterity: this he ordered the messengers to say in the first place, in order to ingratiate himself to David, and gain his messengers an audience. The Targum is,
``I swear by him that made the earth;''so Jarchi says, it is an oath by him whose the earth is, even by the living God, whose is the earth, and the fulness thereof:
saying [also], make thy league with me;
he desired to enter into a covenant of friendship with him, that everything that had passed might be forgiven and forgotten:
and, behold, my hand [shall be] with thee, to bring about all Israel
he promises on his part to do his utmost to bring all Israel under his government and to obedience to him.