Shmuel Bais 2

1 And it came to pass after this, that Dovid inquired of Hashem, saying, Shall I go up into any of the towns of Yehudah? And Hashem said unto him, Go up. And Dovid said, To where shall I go up? And he said, Unto Chevron.
2 So Dovid went up there, and his two nashim also, Achinoam the Yizre’elit, and Avigal eshet Nabal the Carmeli.
3 And his anashim that were with him did Dovid bring up, every ish with his household; and they dwelt in the towns of Chevron.
4 And anshei Yehudah came, and there they anointed Dovid Melech over Bais Yehudah. And they told Dovid, saying, The Anshei Yavesh-Gilead were they that buried Sha’ul.
5 And Dovid sent malachim unto the Anshei Yavesh-Gilead, and said unto them, Berukhim atem of Hashem, that ye have showed this chesed unto adoneichem, even unto Sha’ul, burying him.
6 And now Hashem show chesed and emes unto you; and I also will repay you this tovah, because ye have done this thing.
7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, be ye bnei chayil; for adoneichem Sha’ul is dead, and also the Bais Yehudah have anointed me Melech over them.
8 But Avner ben Ner, Sar Tzava of Sha’ul, took Ishboshet Ben Sha’ul, and brought him over to Machanayim;
9 And made him melech over Gil‘ad, and over the Ashuri, and over Yizre’el, and over Ephrayim, and over Binyamin, and over all Yisroel.
10 Ishboshet ben Sha’ul was forty shanah when he began to reign over Yisroel, and reigned two shanim. But Bais Yehudah followed Dovid.
11 And the time that Dovid was Melech in Chevron over Bais Yehudah was shivah shanah and shishah chodashim.
12 And Avner ben Ner, and the avadim of Ishboshet Ben Sha’ul, went out from Machanayim to Giveon.
13 And Yoav Ben Tzeruyah, and the avadim of Dovid, went out, and met together by the pool of Giveon; and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.
14 And Avner said to Yoav, Let the young men now arise for a contest before us. And Yoav said, Let them arise.
15 Then there arose and went over by mispar twelve of Binyamin, which pertained to Ishboshet ben Sha’ul, and twelve of the avadim of Dovid.
16 And they caught every one his re’a by the rosh, and thrust his cherev in his re’a’s side; so they fell down together; therefore that makom was called Chelkat-Hatzurim, which is in Giveon.
17 And there was a very fierce milchamah that day; and Avner was defeated, and the Anshei Yisroel, before the Avadim of Dovid.
18 And there were three Bnei Tzeruyah there: Yoav, Avishai, Asahel; Asahel was as swift of foot as a gazelle.
19 Asahel pursued after Avner; and in going he turned not to the right nor to the left from following Avner.
20 Then Avner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am.
21 And Avner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the ne’arim, and capture thee his armor. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.
22 And Avner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me; why should I strike thee to the ground? How then should I hold up my face to Yoav achicha?
23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside; therefore Avner with the butt end of the khanit struck him under the fifth rib, that the khanit came out his back; and he fell down there, and died in the same place; and it came to pass, that as many as came to the makom where Asahel fell down and died, stopped.
24 Yoav also and Avishai pursued after Avner; and the shemesh went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giach by the derech midbar Giveon.
25 And the Bnei Binyamin gathered themselves together after Avner, and became aguddah echat (one unit), and stood on the top of one hill.
26 Then Avner called to Yoav, and said, Shall the cherev devour lanetzach (forever)? Knowest thou not that it will be marah in the latter end? Ad mosai shall it be then, until thou bid the people return from pursuing their brethren?
27 And Yoav said, As HaElohim liveth, if thou hadst not spoken, HaAm would have continued every one following his brother, not stopping until haboker.
28 So Yoav blew a shofar, and kol haAm stood still, and pursued after Yisroel no more, neither fought they any more.
29 And Avner and his anashim marched kol halailah through the Aravah, and passed over Yarden, and went through all Bitron, and they came to Machanayim.
30 And Yoav returned from following Avner; and when he had gathered kol HaAm together, there lacked of Dovid’s avadim nineteen ish and Asahel.
31 But the avadim of Dovid had struck down of Binyamin, and of anshei Avner, so that three hundred and threescore ish died.
32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the kever of aviv, which was in Beit-Lechem. And Yoav and his men marched kol halailah, and they came to Chevron at dawn.

Shmuel Bais 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

David made king in Hebron. (1-7) Abner makes Ishbosheth king Battle between Abner's men and those of Joab. (8-17) Asahel slain by Abner: 25-32. Both parties retreat. (18-24)

1-7. After the death of Saul, many went to David at Ziklag, ( 1 Chronicles. 12:22 ) to give it in his own time and manner. Yet assurance of hope in God's promise, will quicken pious endeavours. If I be chosen to the crown of life, it does not follow, Then I will do nothing; but, Then I will do all that God directs me. This good use David made of his election, and so will all whom God has chosen. In all our journeys and removes, it is comfortable to see God going before us; and we may do so, if by faith and prayer we set Him before us. God, according to the promise, directed David's path. David rose gradually: thus the kingdom of the Messiah, the Son of David, is set up by degrees; he is Lord of all, but we see not yet all things put under him.

8-17. The nation in general refused David. By this the Lord trained up his servant for future honour and usefulness; and the tendency of true godliness was shown in his behaviour while passing through various difficulties. David was herein a type of Christ, whom Israel would not submit to, though anointed of the Father to be a Prince and a Saviour to them. Abner meant, Let the young men fight before us, when he said, Let them play before us: fools thus make a mock at sin. But he is unworthy the name of a man, that can thus trifle with human blood.

Verses 18-24 Death often comes by ways we least suspect. We are often betrayed by the accomplishments we are proud of! Asahel's swiftness, which he presumed so much upon, did him no service, but hastened his end.

Verses 25-32 Abner appeals to Joab concerning the miserable consequences of a civil war. Those who make light of such unnatural contests, will find that they are bitterness to all concerned. How easy it is for men to use reason, when it makes for them, who would not use it, if it made against them! See how the issue of things alter men's minds! The same thing which looked pleasant in the morning, at night looked dismal. Those who are most forward to enter into contention, will repent before they have done with it, and had better leave it off before it be meddled with, as Solomon advises. This is true of every sin, oh that men would consider it in time, that it will be bitterness in the latter end! Asahel's funeral is here mentioned. Distinctions are made between the dust of some and that of others; but in the resurrection no difference will be made, but between the godly and ungodly, which will remain for ever.

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates that David, upon inquiring of the Lord, was directed to go up to Hebron, and did, where he was anointed king of Judah, 2Sa 2:1-4. And that being told of the kindness of the men of Jabeshgilead in burying Saul, he sent them thanks, and promised to remember it, and took the opportunity to let them know he was anointed king over Judah, 2Sa 2:5-7. It also relates that Abner set up Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, to be king over Israel, 2Sa 2:8-11; and that there was an encounter between twelve of Abner's men and twelve of David's, which brought on a sore battle between them, in which Abner was beaten, 2Sa 2:12-17; and Asahel, who was of David's party, was slain in the pursuit by Abner, 2Sa 2:18-25; when a retreat was sounded by Joab, at the influence of Abner, who, with his wen, betook themselves to Mahanaim, where he had left Ishbosheth, 2Sa 2:26-29. And the chapter closes with an account of the slain on both sides, the burial of Asahel, and the return of Joab with David's men to Hebron, 2Sa 2:30-32.

Shmuel Bais 2 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.