2 Samuel 2:30

30 Then Joab stopped pursuing Abner and assembled the whole army. Besides Asahel, nineteen of David’s men were found missing.

Read 2 Samuel 2:30 Using Other Translations

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.
Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing from David's servants nineteen men besides Asahel.
Meanwhile, Joab and his men also returned home. When Joab counted his casualties, he discovered that only 19 men were missing in addition to Asahel.

What does 2 Samuel 2:30 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
2 Samuel 2:30

And Joab returned from following Abner
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 honourable 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. This has made some think that the twelve men of the servants of David were not killed in the duel, or otherwise there must be but seven slain in the battle; though that is not more strange than that in the battle with Midian not one should be slain, and, yet a terrible slaughter was made of the Midianites, ( Numbers 31:1-54 ) . So in a sharp battle between the Spartans and Arcadians, ten thousand of the latter were slain, and not one of the former F17. Stilicho killed more than an hundred thousand of the army of Rhadagaisus, king of the Goths, without losing one of his own men, no, not so much as one wounded, as Austin affirms F18. At the battle of Issus the Persians lost an hundred ten thousand men, and Alexander not two hundred F19. Julius Caesar killed in the three camps of Juba, Scipio, and Labienus, ten thousand men, with the loss of fifty men only {t}. After these instances, not only the case here, but that between the Israelites and Midianites, cannot be thought incredible, for the sake of which the above are produced. This account, according to Josephus F21, was taken the day following.


F17 Diodor. Sic. l. 15. p. 383.
F18 De civilate Dei, l. 5. c. 23.
F19 Curtius, l. 3. c. 11.
F20 Hirtius de Bello African. c. 86.
F21 Antiqu. l. 7. c. 1. sect. 3.
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