INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES II Samuel Lesson 2
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II Samuel Chapter 2


Memory verses for this week: Psa 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Overview of II Samuel 2: The second chapter of II Samuel begins the transition of David becoming king of Israel. He first is received back as king over the tribe of Judah. Meanwhile, Abner makes Ishbosheth king over the other eleven tribes of Israel which in turn provokes a civil war. In chapter 2, we find details about Abner killing Davidís nephew Asahel.


I. David Received as King by Judah in Hebron


2 Sam 2:1 And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
2 Sam 2:2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite.
2 Sam 2:3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.

The chapter opens with David still staying at Ziklag in Philistia. However, he clearly had an inclination to return home. He therefore inquires of the Lord once again for direction and guidance. To Davidís credit, when faced with a major decision in life, he sought Godís
leading in the matter. We as Christians should take note of this and follow Davidís example in any kind of decision we have to make. In both small and large matters, we should be in prayer asking God to guide us with our decisions.

1 Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
1 Th 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
1 Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
1 Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
1 Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.


David seeks Godís guidance, and this inquiry likely was through the Urim and Thummim available to him through the agency of Abiathar the priest who was with him. God revealed His will to David and directed him to return to Hebron in the tribe of Judah. David goes back and takes his band of men along with their families to the vicinity of Hebron.

I Chronicles 12:1-40 indicates that after the matter of Ziklag and Davidís return to Judah that many men of other tribes of Israel flocked to him. They therefore lived in the region near Hebron.

1 Chr 12:1 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
1 Chr 12:2 They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.

2 Sam 2:4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul.


David is anointed king over the house of Judah. He begins to finally realize the anointing which Samuel had bestowed upon him about ten years earlier. David is now king of at least his home tribe of Judah. David was once again anointed as king.

In Psalm 92, David would later write of being anointed with fresh oil. Anointing with oil was the custom ordained by God for Israel to coronate a king into office.

Psa 92:8 But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.
Psa 92:9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
Psa 92:10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil
.

Jesus first presented Himself to the tribe of Judah, Thus, like David His kingdom is set up by degrees. He is Lord of all by divine designation but we see not yet all things put under His feet, and will not until His second coming.

It is of further significance that the terms ĎMessiahí and ĎChristí both literally mean Ďthe Anointed One.í The greater significance is how that Jesus Christ is King.

David was told by the men of Judah that the men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul.

II. Davidís Message to the Men of Jabesh-gilead


2 Sam 2:5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.
2 Sam 2:6 And now the LORD show kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing.
2 Sam 2:7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.

Once again, David showed respect to his fallen nemesis. He sent praise and honor to the men of Jabesh-gilead for their heroic kindness in giving Saul an honorable burial. David further invoked Godís blessing and kindness to them for their loyalty to their king thus encouraging them. As a matter of fact and perhaps of political diplomacy, David informed them that the house of Judah had anointed him king over them. He knew that God had chosen him to be king over all of Israel and was already wisely laying the political groundwork toward that end.

Matthew Henry made these comments about verses 1-7.
After the death of Saul, many went to David at Ziklag, 1 Chronicles 12:22, but he trusted in God who promised him the kingdom, 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.

III. Abner Makes Ishboseth king over 11 Tribes


2 Sam 2:8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
2 Sam 2:9 And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
2 Sam 2:10 Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.
2 Sam 2:11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months


Abner had been Saulís chief general. He thus took Saulís son to Mahanaim which is east of the Jordan River in Gilead and there made him king. Ishbosheth was the only surviving son of Saul after the battle of Mount Gilboa. It would appear that Abner had to convince the various tribes of Israel, one by one, of their next king beginning with the tribe of Asher. Then, the region of Jezreel came on board followed by the tribe of Ephraim, Benjamin, and then the remaining tribes except Judah.

The inspired chronicler of this book provided further historical details about both Ishbosheth and David. ďIshbosheth Saulís son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.Ē Saulís son, Ishbosheth, reigned only two years before being murdered by Rechab and Baanah as recorded in chapter 4. Meanwhile, the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. It would therefore appear that the eleven other tribes of Israel were without a king for about five-and-one-half years until David became king over the entire nation.

IV. The Second Civil War

2 Sam 2:12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
2 Sam 2:13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.
2 Sam 2:14 And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.
2 Sam 2:15 Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
2 Sam 2:16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which is in Gibeon.
2 Sam 2:17 And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.


Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. Abner clearly remained as Ishboshethís chief general. He thus led forces from Mahanaim in Gilead over to Gibeon. Gibeon was a city in Benjamin which had been the home area of Saul. At Gibeon was a larger cistern carved deeply into the ground to collect rain water for both domestic as well as military purposes. The Word of Abnerís forces being in the territory near to Judah evidently prompted Joab to bring forces loyal to David to confront him.

Joab is noted as the son of Zeruiah, Davidís sister. He thus was Davidís nephew. David had apparently appointed him to be his chief general over his forces. Though Abner led collective forces from Benjamin, Judah was a powerful tribe. Moreover, many from the other tribes had begun to gather themselves to David when he came to power at Hebron, (See I Chronicles 12).

Front elements of each army therefore positioned themselves on their respective sides of the pool at Gibeon and eyed each other. The fact that they sat down would seem to indicate that they thus paused to size up each other. It would appear that David had issued orders to not attack, but stand defensively lest Abnerís forces should invade Judah. However, Abner rather challenged Joab. Abnerís idea was to let young soldiers from each side duel like gladiators before them. ) Twelve young athletic soldiers of Benjamin came out to fight against the twelve counterparts from the forces of David. Davidís men had been men of war for some years by now. They were practiced in the art of hand-to-hand combat. Verse 16 points out that when the men of Benjamin came out against them, Davidís men caught every one his opponent by the head, and thrust his sword in his opponentís side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which is in Gibeon.

Davidís men had a proven tactic for overcoming their adversaries. They quickly dispatched them.
The word Helkathhazzurim literally means Ďfield of swords.í Evidently, that victorious skirmish won by Davidís men sparked a greater battle. In the ensuing battle, the forces of David overwhelmed those of Abner and Ishbosheth.

2 Sam 2:18 And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe.
2 Sam 2:19 And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.
2 Sam 2:20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am.
2 Sam 2:21 And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.
2 Sam 2:22 And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?
2 Sam 2:23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.
2 Sam 2:24 Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.

Verse 18 turns to a personal struggle waged in the greater battle. Record is made how that there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. David had three nephews involved in the battle. Joab was commander, but his younger brothers were there as well. The youngest, Asahel, was fleet of foot. The reference to a wild roe is an allusion to a gazelle or deer. Young Asahel could run like a deer.

As the battle became a rout and Abner and his men were forced to flee, young Asahel pursed after the much older Abner. There was no question as to whom his target was. He pursued directly behind Abner. Abner recognized Asahel as Joabís younger brother. He therefore, as they both ran, advised young Asahel to fight a man of his own age and experience. Asahel refused, continuing to close in on Abner. To which Abner warned him to back off or he would kill him. Furthermore, Abner did not look forward to facing Joab if he had to kill his brother. Though Asahel was young and swift, Abner was the old warrior who, though not swift of foot, knew how to defend himself. Young Asahel would not heed Abnerís warning. Therefore, as he closed in upon Abner, the old warrior rammed the back end of his spear into Asahelís ribs mortally wounding him. It is more than likely his spear had a spike on each end for just such circumstances. Abner thus ran his spear through Asahel who fell down and died on the spot. After this, Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner. Perhaps seeing their brother fall, or at least hearing about it, Joab and Abishai pursued after Abnerand the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon. By then dusk had fallen.


2 Sam 2:25 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill.
2 Sam 2:26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?
2 Sam 2:27 And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother.
2 Sam 2:28 So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.
2 Sam 2:29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.
2 Sam 2:30 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.
2 Sam 2:31 But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died.
2 Sam 2:32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.


Abner requested a Ďcease-fireí in verse 26. In realizing they were defeated, and perhaps being sick of shedding the blood of other Israelites, Abner requests that the fighting end. Inasmuch as it was Abner who had provoked the battle by his threatening troop movements and now was willing to call off the battle, Joab agreed. The blowing of a trumpet (shofar) was a recognized military signal.

At the sound of the trumpet, Joabís men ceased their pursuit. Abnerís men walked home all night back to Mahanaim, east of the Jordan River. Joab returned back to Hebron that night as well. The forces of David lost a total of twenty men including Asahel, Joabís brother. However, Abnerís forces (which were primarily from the tribe of Benjamin) lost 360 men. Clearly, Davidís forces were the overwhelming victors.

Verse 32 details that they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day. Thus ended the battle of the pool of Gibeon. A lingering civil war between David and the house of Saul would continue for some time. However, in this initial battle, the eventual outcome was clearly predicted.



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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

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