Abner, after quarrel with Ish-bosheth, convinced the elders of Benjamite and the whole Israel to make David as the king of Israel. When he was working on this arrangement with David, Joab killed Abner without David’s knowledge and David did not like this act of Joab. So, David mourned for Abner. Thus people knew that David was not part of this killing.
David’s power increases His family. (1-6) The length of this war tried the faith and patience of David, and made his settlement at last the more welcome.
V. 1: David grew stronger…house of Saul grew weaker…: There was a prolonged war between David and Saul’s household. It was not a continued fighting, but that the hostility between the house of David and the house of Saul continued for a long time. Sometimes in our struggle against sin will take prolonged time; but if we face our spiritual struggles with the power of the spirit of the LORD, we will see an end to it.
Sons of David at Hebron:
1. Amnon by Ahinoam. Amnon was killed by the people of his brother Absalom (13:28 & 29).
2. Chileab by Abigail (1 Chronicles 3:1). He was mentioned as Daniel. Since he was not Chileab mentioned as the successor for David’s throne, it is assumed that he died at young age which is not recorded.
3. Absalom by Maacah, daughter of king of Geshur. Absalom was killed in his revolt against his Absalom father David (18:15).
4. Adonijah by Haggith. After the death of his 3 elder brothers, he was proposed to be the Adonijah successor of David.
5. Shephatiah by Abital.
6. Ithream by Eglah.
Abner revolts to David. (6-21)
Vs. 7 & 8: Father’s concubines.. The conflict between Abner and Ish-bosheth. According to the culture of those days and regions, concubines are said to be considered as the inherited property of the king’s successor. So taking a deceased king was considered as equal to claiming succession. That is why Ish- boseth was concerned about this act of Abner.
Vs. 9 & 10: as the LORD has sworn to him… Abner, along with the people of Israel, had the knowledge of what God had promised to David. But, now he is convinced that he can’t stand in between anymore. Sometimes, people willfully stand against what God is upto in our lives. This may be because some personal reasons, or they make an attempt to see if they can change it. It is like sometime people float a party or an organization to see if it picks up in time (like election) and then they dissolve it. But David knew that what God has willed will come to pass no matter how many people stand against it. So, he did not have any ill feeling against Abner.Dan to Beersheeba..(v.10). This was a common expression while talk about whole Israel that consists of all the 12 tribes.
Vs. 12 & 13: I will make a covenant with you… Though David was not hasty to become the king of unified Israel, he was not slack in acting when God’s time came. He did not refuse with false humility. Instead, he was responsible to do according to God’s call in God’s time. Also, David was relating himself as Saul’s son-in-law by asking to give his wife back.
Vs. 14 – 16: Michal was returned to David.
Vs. 17 – 19: as the LORD has sworn to him… This passage indicates that Ish-bosheth’s own people, the tribe of Benjamin agreed to have David as their king as they would have felt that they are moving nowhere with Ish-bosheth as king.
Vs. 20 & 21: David mad a feast… This is a friendly gesture. David sent Abner away… in peace…The preparing the way for David’s ascending to the throne is moving smoothly.
Joab kills Abner. (22-27)
Vs. 22 & 25: Joab was not there during Abner’s visit to Hebron. When he learnt everything, he confronted David for sending him away. Abner came to deceive you… Joab used a common assumption. We can see how a spiritual person looks at things and move forward confidently and how an unspiritual person looks at things.
Vs. 26 & 27: Stabbed him… for the blood of Asahel his brother… Joab killed Abner not for his king but to take vengeance for his brother Asahel’s death.
David mourns for Abner. (28-39)
Vs. 28 – 30: Even though David knew that Joab’s action was not correct; he did not punish Joab by killing for many reasons.
1. A double killing around the king would be too much for Israel.
2. David could not expect the people to think the way he was thinking. It is normal for the people to think hostile about Abner since Abner was on the opposite camp.
3. There was no reason for the people to think that Joab really killed Abner as a vengeance to Asahel’s death.
4. My kingdom and I are guiltless of the blood of Abner (V. 28)… Let it rest on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house… David knew this act will draw the attention of God.
V. 31: David said to Joab…Tear your clothes, gird yourselves…and mourn for Abner: David turned this incident into a national mourning even by making Joab and his men to mourn for the one Joab killed. This incident probable, mad the whole nation to come together.
Vs. 32 – 34: king…lifted up his voice and wept at the grave…: David himself lead the mourning.
V. 35: David’s refusal to eat until dusk was understood by the people as this death of Abner was serious one.
V. 36: …whatever the king did pleased all the people…. This is a notable act of God’s blessing for David and for the progress of the nation.
V. 37: …all people and all Israel understood that day… This mourning of David also made the people to understand that David had no hand in Abner’s death. This was necessary to gain the trust of the northern tribes.
V. 38…prince and a great man has fallen…: David did not consider Abner as an enemy and he did not consider the 10 tribes as his enemies. If Joab was important, then Abner also was equally important for the good future of the nation of Israel.
V. 39… I am weak today, though anointed king;…: Since Joab acted without David’s concern, David was shaken and counted himself practically weak. So, David refrained from acting against Joab and his brother. Joab was David his sister’s son and he was not appointed by David. He usually acted independently; thus the mention of “Joab and David’s men” (v. 22).