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Chs. 2-4 talk about the struggle and progress of David in becoming the king of unified Israel.
David anointed king of Judah in Hebron. (1-7): It took about 7 years for David to be crowned as the king of unified Israel. 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.
Vs. 1&2: to Hebron…: According to God’s guidance, David and his people moved from Ziklag to Hebron in Judah.
– is the region from where his wives are from.
– He sent the spoils from the battle with Amalekites to the elders of this area (1 Sam 30:26-31).
– Hebron, which is close to Bethlehem, is the most important city in southern Judah.
– Abraham had connections with this city. Gen. 13:18
– Built an Altar. Gen. 23. He buried his wife there where he made the first purchase. Gen 25:8-10 Abraham himself was buried there along with his wife Sarah. Genesis 19:27-28 Abraham witnessed The Destruction Of Sodom from Hebron (also.. Gen 18:1).
– Given to Caleb (Joshua 14:13-14).
– It was a city of refuge (Joshua 20:7, 21:11) (see Cities Of Refuge).
– It was a Levitical city (Joshua 21:13).
– Hebron was royal residence of King David when he was king of Judah (2 Samuel 5:5),
– It was in Hebron that he was later anointed as king over all Israel.
V. 4 Judah…: It seems Judah quickly decided to have David as their king rather than looking for someone from Saul’s household. During Saul’s time itself Judah formed a separate wing of the army (1 Samuel 11:8, 15:4). Now, it was easier for them to side with David.
Vs. 4-7 Jabesh-Gilead…: It was told to David that the people of Jabesh-Gilead gave Saul a burial, and David promised those people a due honor as a successor to Saul (vs. 5-7). However, soon Ishosheth took over Gilead to be his capital city.
Ishbosheth made king of Israel by Abner (8-11): 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.
V. 10 – Ishbosheth….reigned two years: The name Ishbosheth is not found in Saul’s genealogy listed in 1 Chronicles 8:33 and 9:39. It is believed that Ishbosheth’s original name was Esh-baal means “man of Baal”. Ishbosheth means “Man of shame”. Ishbosheth, after being made as the King of Israel by his commander’s son Abner, could rule only for two years.
V. 11 David was king….was seven years and six months…: The discrepancy between the time that Ishbosheth ruled (2 Yrs) and the time David was in Hebron before ruling over entire Israel (7 yrs & 6 Mos) is best explained by David’s refusal to seize the throne. He was content to wait until the people came to him, confirming God’s anointing and timing.
Israel and Judah at war (12-32): (Battle of Gibeon and Asahel slain by Abner)
V. 13 Joab…: The first appearance of Joab, and he lead the war.
V. 17 men of Israel were beaten…: David’s men were victorious. The Israelites were beaten up by Judah’s army.
V. 18 Asahel was as fleet of the foot as a wild gazelle…: Asahel trusted in his ability.
V. 19: Abner did not want to kill Asahel because of his respect for Asahel’s brother, Joab.