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Poole on 2 Samuel 2:18-32: The Death of Asahel the Swift

Verse 18:[1]  And there were (1 Chron. 2:16) three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel:  and Asahel was (1 Chron. 12:8) as light of foot (Heb. of his feet[2]) (Ps. 18:33; Song 2:17; 8:14) as a wild roe (Heb. as one of the roes that is in the field[3]).


Verse 19:[4]  And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner (Heb. from after Abner[5]).


Verse 20:[6]  Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel?  And he answered, I am.


Verse 21:[7]  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 (or, spoil;[8] Judg. 14:19[9]).  But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.

[Lay hold on one of the young men, etc.]  The sense is:  Return to thine own men:  we do not wish to kill thee, although thou art in the midst of us.  And, if thou art afraid, take with thee one of our young men, who might conduct thee.  And, if thou art afraid of him also, take his arms from him (Munster, Kimchi in Martyr, similarly Vatablus).

[Take to thee his spoils, ‎אֶת־חֲלִצָתוֹ [10]]  His arms (Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Montanus, Septuagint, Tigurinus, Vatablus); his booty (Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus), his girdle, or belt, that is, the sword wherewith he was girded (Jonathan in Vatablus); his changeable garment (Montanus).

Take thee his armour:  if thou art ambitious to get a trophy or mark of thy valour, desist from me, who am an old and experienced captain, and go to some young and raw soldier; try thy skill upon him, and take away his arms from him.


Verse 22:[11]  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?

[I will not be able to lift up my face to Joab]  That is, after this I will not dare to look upon Joab (Vatablus), understanding, if I shall have smitten thee (Malvenda):  I will no longer dare to treat with him concerning a treaty or peace; for he will be hostile to me on account of this killing (Menochius).  Abner was thinking that David would prevail, and then would need the goodwill of Joab (Lyra).  I would not wish to exasperate thy brother too much, with whom, although we serve in opposite camps, familiarity and personal friendship intercede (Osiander).

How then should I hold up my face to Joab:  He was loth to enrage Joab too much against him, because his guilty conscience told him that his cause was bad, and therefore he presaged ill success, and that he might need such a friend as Joab to make his peace with David.


Verse 23:[12]  Howbeit he refused to turn aside:  wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him (2 Sam. 3:27; 4:6; 20:10) 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.

[Who paid no heed]  Out of youthful ardor (and temerity [Grotius]), that he might obtain extraordinary glory from the spoils of a general (Sanchez).

[He smote him with the spear facing away, ‎בְּאַחֲרֵ֙י הַחֲנִ֜יתIn the posteriors (posterior, understanding, part [Pagnine, Tigurinus, Vatablus], or point [Junius and Tremellius], extremity [Arabic, similarly the Syriac]) of the lance, or spear (Montanus, Menochius, Piscator), that is, tip, and posterior blade; for they fashion spears with a twofold blade (Menochius).

The hinder end of the spear was sharp-pointed, after the manner.

[In the groin (thus the Septuagint), ‎אֶל־הַחֹמֶשׁBy the fifth (Montanus), understanding, rib (Pagnine, Munster, Vatablus, Menochius, Lyra, Junius and Tremellius), in which part is the liver and gall (Grotius out of the Hebrews).  The Hebrew words in Greek express κατὰ τὴν πεντάδα (Piscator):  that is to say, towards that group of five, namely, of spurious ribs; that is to say, at or around one of the false ribs; whichever of them by reason of the others is numbered the Fifth.  Therefore, the place is not to be understood of the upper ribs (which they call legitimate), which are seven; but of the lower (which they call false and spurious, because they do not extend to the opening of the chest), for these five certainly exist.  But that part of the body, because it is hollow (whence it is called κενεὼν, the hollow between the chest and hips,[13] by the Greeks), being open and soft, is especially vulnerable to violent strokes.  Moreover, Abner carried his spear in his right hand:  wherefore in the same part of the body (for this was opposite to the right hand of Abner in his flight) he wounded Asahel.  In that place is the gall, and the liver (Fuller’s[14] Sacred Miscellany[15] 5:1).  The Greeks rendered it ἐπὶ τὴν ψόαν, upon the muscles of the loins.  But by ψόας are understood the two largest muscles situated in the internal region of the loins (Piscator).  In his chest (Arabic, Syriac); towards his vital entrails (Tigurinus).  Others explain חוֹמֶשׁ as fortitude, according to that in Exodus 13:18, they went up armed, ‎חֲמֻשִׁים, more specifically, so that it might be the place of the body in which is the seat of life and natural heat, namely, the heart (certain interpreters in Munster).

Under the fifth rib; the seat of the liver and bowels, where wounds are mortal.

[And he pierced him, ‎וַתֵּצֵ֤א הַֽחֲנִית֙ מֵאַחֲרָ֔יוAnd the spear came out of his back, that is, he drove the tip of the spear beyond his back (Vatablus).

[And he died in the same place, וַיִּפָּל־שָׁ֖ם וַיָּ֣מָת תַּחְתָּ֑ו]  Verbatim:  And he fell (collapsed) there, and died in his place (Vatablus, thus Jonathan, Arabic, Munster, Junius and Tremellius, Dutch, Tigurinus, Syriac), or, in the same place (English), in the very place in which he had been smitted (Vatablus), or in which he had fallen (Piscator, similarly Castalio).  He was lying dead upon the spot where he had stood, or where he had been pierced (Dutch).  And he fell there in the place in which he died (Pagnine); he died under himself (Septuagint, Montanus).  It is a Hebraic expression, which signifies in his or the same place (Nobilius).  And falling there, he died before him (Strigelius) [that is, before Abner:  Perhaps it could be translated under him, that is, the slayer].  Enemies were not to be pursued too keenly.  Indeed, to those fleeing (as he says), the way is to be safeguarded (Martyr).

In the same place; upon the spot, not being able to go one step further.


Verse 24:[16]  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.

[The sun set]  Thus God Himself willed to impose a limit on this slaughter (Martyr).

[To the hill of the aqueduct]  ‎אַמָּה/ammah signifies this[17] (Vatablus).

[Which is over against the valley]  Hebrew:  ‎גִיחַ/Giah, which to many is a proper name (Malvenda).


Verse 25:[18]  And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill.

[Massed together into one troop, ‎לַאֲגֻדָּה [19]]  Into a ball (Montanus), a band (Jonathan, thus Pagnine), a troop (Arabic, Tigurinus).  Hebrew:  a bundle (Piscator).

[On the summit of a hillock]  Hebrew:  on the crown of a hill,[20] that is, in a form and location suitable for the defense of themselves (Malvenda, similarly Sanchez).

On the top of an hill:  Where, being upon the upper ground, they might better defend themselves.


Verse 26:[21]  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?

[Shall the sword rage unto total slaughter?]  Hebrew:  unto forever shall the sword devour?[22] (Vatablus).  Here the sword is said to devour by the same Metaphor, whereby a mouth is often attributed to it; that is to say, enough rage has been indulged (Martyr).  The saying of Brutus is not far different from this, that civil wars are to be more vigilantly prevented, than irascibility is to be exercised upon those overcome;[23] and that of Cæsar upon the Battle of Pharsalus, Spare the citizens (Grotius).

[Desperation is dangerous]  For the desperate fight more fiercely, lest they fall unavenged (Menochius, see Sanchez and Lapide).  Hebrew:  it will be bitterness in the latter end;[24] that is to say, this matter is going to result in the greatest calamity for both sides (Munster).  ‎כִּֽי־מָרָ֥ה תִהְיֶ֖ה‎, that it, that is, the sword, will be bitter.  For the term ‎מָרָ֥ה/marah, because of the accent, is Benoni[25] from the doubling, and is joined with sword.  So also the Septuagint.  But this would be bitter both because of the regret on account of slaughtered brethren; and because of the loss, which is sustained by those that, stationed in straits, do not fall mutili/maimed (Mariana) [read, inulti/unavenged].  It can happen, that soldiers, driven out of desperation, receive courage, and fight.  Now, Mars is ἀλλοπρόσαλλος/fickle.  Therefore, do not pursue beyond measure, etc.  Thus he tacitly concedes the victory to Joab (Martyr).

It will be bitterness in the latter end; it will produce dreadful effects, and many bloody slaughters, if by a further prosecution thou makest them desperate; which is against all the rules of policy.

[To pursue their brethren]  That is to say, We have the same father, God, and republic (Martyr).

Their brethren, by nation and religion; whom therefore they should not pursue with so fierce a rage, as if they were pursuing the Philistines.


Verse 27:[26]  And Joab said, As God liveth, unless (2 Sam. 2:14; Prov. 17:14) thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning (Heb. from the morning[27]) the people had gone up (or, gone away[28]) every one from following his brother.

[The Lord liveth, etc.,חַ֚י הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים כִּ֥י לוּלֵ֖א דִּבַּ֑רְתָּ כִּ֣י אָ֤ז מֵֽהַבֹּ֙קֶר֙ נַעֲלָ֣ה הָעָ֔ם אִ֖ישׁ מֵאַחֲרֵ֥י אָחִֽיו׃]  There are two interpretations in the work of Rabbi Salomon.  The first is that ‎לוּלֵא/unless is put in the place of לוּ/if; thus the Vulgate, and I confess that it is the simplest sense, and best coheres with what precedes (Dieu).  The Lord liveth, that if thou hadst spoken, that, I say, already from the morning the people had gone up, each from after his brethren (Pagnine); if thou hadst said that, already from the morning the soldiers would have ceased to pursue their brethren (Castalio, similarly Strigelius, Osiander, Menochius).  But לוּלֵא nowhere appears as if, and the composition from לוּ/if and לוֹא/not is incompatible (Dieu).  The other interpretation is, unless thou hadst spoken, or hadst said (namely, let the young men arise, and place, etc., verse 14 [Munster, Vatablus, Mariana, etc.]), that now thence (verbatim:  at that time[29]) from the morning time (or, a while ago now, as Tigurinus has it) it had gone up, etc., that is, the people subject to me would have withdrawn at my command, each with his brother let go (Vatablus, similarly Montanus, Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Munster, Tigurinus, Mariana, Dutch, English, thus Kimchi and Rabbi Levi in Dieu).  I scarcely agree.  1.  Those words were the occasion of the beginning of the battle, yet not the cause of the war.  It is not likely, that, even if those words had been left unsaid, either was going to withdraw on the spot.  2.  The coherence of this verse with the preceding indicates, that Joab has regard to those last words of Abner, in which he had asked for peace (Drusius).  If thou hadst spoken, if thou hast confessed thyself defeated (Menochius).  Unless thou hadst spoken, most certainly I would be no means have withdrawn the people, each from the pursuit of his brother unto the morning (Arabic).  [It understands the morning time coming, or of the next day, not, as the rest do, past, or the morning of the present day.]  As the Lord Himself liveth, unless thou hadst spoken (that is, unless thou hadst provoked by thy previous speech, verse 14 [Junius, Piscator]), understanding, we would have done nothing, etcFor thence from the morning, etc. (Junius and Tremellius, Glassius).  There is an Ellipsis of an entire member in the hypothetical expression, the posterior member of which is wanting in this place.  Thus in Genesis 30:27, if now I have found favor, etc., understanding, let us pay no heed to these things, or remain with me.  For, the rationale follows, I have learned by experience, etc.  And in 2 Samuel 5:8, whoever smiteth the Jebusites, etc., understanding, he shall be captain, etc.  Thus in Jeremiah 46:18, As I live, etc., although as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, etc., understanding, nevertheless, these things are going to happen, namely, concerning which the prophecy is published (Glassius’ “Grammar” 708).  To me לוּלֵא appears to form an abrupt expression, just as in Psalm 27:13 [see the things to be noted there, σὺν θεῷ, Lord willing], unless I had believed, understanding, I would have perished.  So in this place, unless thou hadst spoken, supplying, ye would have perished; which is not quite so harsh, because the oath, God liveth, precedes; in which, after the manner of the Hebrews, that part containing the execration or threat is passed over in silence.  Thus I translate what follows, otherwise (or surely, ‎כִּי commonly signifies this) already from the morning time the people had withdrawn, that it might not pursue the other.  That is, if thou hadst spoken the word of peace, as thou hast now done (Dieu).

Unless thou hadst spoken; unless thou hadst made the motion that they might fight, verse 14.  It was thou, not I, that gave the first occasion of this fight.  Withal, he intimates that Abner was the sole cause of this war; and that if he had not given commission and command, the war had never been undertaken, but all things had been ended by an amicable agreement; which might have been made that very morning, if he had so pleased.


Verse 28:[30]  So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.

Neither fought they any more:  Either, first, at that time; or rather, secondly, in any pitched battle.


Verse 29:[31]  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.

[And with all Beth-horon passed through]  And they passed through the whole (understanding, region [Osiander]) of Bithron (Jonathan, Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine, Montanus), the whole extent (Septuagint), that is, the παρατείνουσαν/ extended plain (Nobilius).  Traversing the whole separated tract (Hebrew:  the whole separation[32] [Piscator]) by Jordan (Junius and Tremellius).  Thus Song of Solomon 2:17 (Junius, Piscator).  There is a double Beth-horon, and both are on the near side of Jordan; 1.  the upper in Ephraim; 2.  the lower in Benjamin, in Manasseh, at any rate, as it is signified in Joshua 16.[33]  Therefore, Abner passed through Beth-horon:  although, with the order inverted, mention of the passing of Jordan is made earlier in the text (Menochius).

Bithron; otherwise called the mountains of Bether, Song of Solomon 2:17, which were beyond Jordan; or some other country now not known by that name, which is the case of hundreds of places.


Verse 30:[34]  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.

[Of David’s young men, etc.]  Hebrew:  of the servants of David nineteen men and Asahel.[35]  And here means and particularly; for he was easily the first among them.  Thus in Joshua 2:1, view that land and Jericho[36] (Glassius’ “Grammar” 589).


Verse 31:[37]  But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner’s men, so that three hundred and threescore men died.

[Of Benjamin, and of the men, etc.]  Hebrew:  in Benjamin, and in, etc.[38]  ב/ in here denotes a part (Piscator), and ו/and, is in the place of, that is (Montanus).


Verse 32:[39]  And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Beth-lehem.  And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.

[And in the very twilight they arrived in Hebron, ‎וַיֵּאֹ֥ר לָהֶ֖ם בְּחֶבְרֽוֹן׃And it (understanding, the day [Syriac], or daybreak [Arabic]) began to dawn, or became light, to them at Hebron (Septuagint, Jonathan, Pagnine, Montanus), when they had arrived at Hebron (Tigurinus).  Moreover, this labor was not small.  For the journey from Gibeon to Beth-lehem is of four hours, and thence unto Hebron, of six hours (Menochius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּֽהְיוּ־שָׁ֗ם שְׁלֹשָׁה֙ בְּנֵ֣י צְרוּיָ֔ה יוֹאָ֥ב וַאֲבִישַׁ֖י וַעֲשָׂהאֵ֑ל וַעֲשָׂהאֵל֙ קַ֣ל בְּרַגְלָ֔יו כְּאַחַ֥ד הַצְּבָיִ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּשָּׂדֶֽה׃

[2] Hebrew:  ‎בְּרַגְלָיו.

[3] Hebrew:  ‎כְּאַחַ֥ד הַצְּבָיִ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר בַּשָּׂדֶֽה׃.

[4] Hebrew:  ‎ויִּרְדֹּ֥ף עֲשָׂהאֵ֖ל אַחֲרֵ֣י אַבְנֵ֑ר וְלֹֽא־נָטָ֣ה לָלֶ֗כֶת עַל־הַיָּמִין֙ וְעַֽל־הַשְּׂמֹ֔אול מֵאַחֲרֵ֖י אַבְנֵֽר׃

[5] Hebrew:  ‎מֵאַחֲרֵ֖י אַבְנֵֽר׃.

[6] Hebrew:  ‎וַיִּ֤פֶן אַבְנֵר֙ אַֽחֲרָ֔יו וַיֹּ֕אמֶר הַאַתָּ֥ה זֶ֖ה עֲשָׂהאֵ֑ל וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אָנֹֽכִי׃

[7] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ אַבְנֵ֗ר נְטֵ֤ה לְךָ֙ עַל־יְמִֽינְךָ֙ א֣וֹ עַל־שְׂמֹאלֶ֔ךָ וֶאֱחֹ֣ז לְךָ֗ אֶחָד֙ מֵֽהַנְּעָרִ֔ים וְקַח־לְךָ֖ אֶת־חֲלִצָת֑וֹ וְלֹֽא־אָבָ֣ה עֲשָׂהאֵ֔ל לָס֖וּר מֵאַחֲרָֽיו׃

[8] Hebrew:  ‎חֲלִצָתוֹ.

[9] Judges 14:19:  “And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil (‎חֲלִיצוֹתָם), and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle.  And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.”

[10] חָלַץ can signify to draw or strip off, or to equip for war.

[11] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֧סֶף ע֣וֹד אַבְנֵ֗ר לֵאמֹר֙ אֶל־עֲשָׂהאֵ֔ל ס֥וּר לְךָ֖ מֵאַֽחֲרָ֑י לָ֤מָּה אַכֶּ֙כָּה֙ אַ֔רְצָה וְאֵיךְ֙ אֶשָּׂ֣א פָנַ֔י אֶל־יוֹאָ֖ב אָחִֽיךָ׃

[12] Hebrew: וַיְמָאֵ֣ן לָס֗וּר וַיַּכֵּ֣הוּ אַבְנֵר֩ בְּאַחֲרֵ֙י הַחֲנִ֜ית אֶל־הַחֹ֗מֶשׁ וַתֵּצֵ֤א הַֽחֲנִית֙ מֵאַחֲרָ֔יו וַיִּפָּל־שָׁ֖ם וַיָּ֣מָת תַּחְתָּ֑ו וַיְהִ֡י כָּל־הַבָּ֣א אֶֽל־הַמָּקוֹם֩ אֲשֶׁר־נָ֙פַל שָׁ֧ם עֲשָׂהאֵ֛ל וַיָּמֹ֖ת וַֽיַּעֲמֹֽדוּ׃

[13] Κενὸς signifies hollow or empty.

[14] Nicholas Fuller (1557-1622) was an Anglican churchman, a learned divine, and a critic of considerable reputation.  He excelled in the languages of the Scripture, and he applied his considerable talents to the resolution of Scripture difficulties.

[15] Miscellanea Sacra.

[16] Hebrew: וַֽיִּרְדְּפ֛וּ יוֹאָ֥ב וַאֲבִישַׁ֖י אַחֲרֵ֣י אַבְנֵ֑ר וְהַשֶּׁ֣מֶשׁ בָּ֔אָה וְהֵ֗מָּה בָּ֚אוּ עַד־גִּבְעַ֣ת אַמָּ֔ה אֲשֶׁר֙ עַל־פְּנֵי־גִ֔יחַ דֶּ֖רֶךְ מִדְבַּ֥ר גִּבְעֽוֹן׃

[17] ‎אַמָּה can signifies arm or forearm, and thus a river-arm, canal, or channel.

[18] Hebrew:  ‎וַיִּֽתְקַבְּצ֤וּ בְנֵֽי־בִנְיָמִן֙ אַחֲרֵ֣י אַבְנֵ֔ר וַיִּהְי֖וּ לַאֲגֻדָּ֣ה אֶחָ֑ת וַיַּ֣עַמְד֔וּ עַ֥ל רֹאשׁ־גִּבְעָ֖ה אֶחָֽת׃

[19] אגד signifies to bind.

[20] Hebrew:  ‎עַ֥ל רֹאשׁ־גִּבְעָ֖ה.

[21] Hebrew: וַיִּקְרָ֙א אַבְנֵ֜ר אֶל־יוֹאָ֗ב וַ֙יֹּאמֶר֙ הֲלָנֶ֙צַח֙ תֹּ֣אכַל חֶ֔רֶב הֲל֣וֹא יָדַ֔עְתָּה כִּֽי־מָרָ֥ה תִהְיֶ֖ה בָּאַחֲרוֹנָ֑ה וְעַד־מָתַי֙ לֹֽא־תֹאמַ֣ר לָעָ֔ם לָשׁ֖וּב מֵאַחֲרֵ֥י אֲחֵיהֶֽם׃

[22] Hebrew:  ‎הֲלָנֶ֙צַח֙ תֹּ֣אכַל חֶ֔רֶב.

[23] Cicero to Brutus 1:2.

[24] Hebrew:  ‎מָרָ֥ה תִהְיֶ֖ה בָּאַחֲרוֹנָ֑ה.

[25] The active participle is sometimes called a Benoni.  בֵּינוֹנִי/Benoni signifies central or middle, standing between the past and future tenses.

[26] Hebrew:  ‎וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יוֹאָ֔ב חַ֚י הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים כִּ֥י לוּלֵ֖א דִּבַּ֑רְתָּ כִּ֣י אָ֤ז מֵֽהַבֹּ֙קֶר֙ נַעֲלָ֣ה הָעָ֔ם אִ֖ישׁ מֵאַחֲרֵ֥י אָחִֽיו׃

[27] Hebrew:  ‎מֵהַבֹּקֶר.

[28] Hebrew:  ‎נַעֲלָה.

[29] Hebrew:  ‎אָז.

[30] Hebrew:  ‎וַיִּתְקַ֤ע יוֹאָב֙ בַּשּׁוֹפָ֔ר וַיַּֽעַמְדוּ֙ כָּל־הָעָ֔ם וְלֹֽא־יִרְדְּפ֥וּ ע֖וֹד אַחֲרֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְלֹֽא־יָסְפ֥וּ ע֖וֹד לְהִלָּחֵֽם׃

[31] Hebrew: וְאַבְנֵ֣ר וַֽאֲנָשָׁ֗יו הָֽלְכוּ֙ בָּֽעֲרָבָ֔ה כֹּ֖ל הַלַּ֣יְלָה הַה֑וּא וַיַּעַבְר֣וּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֗ן וַיֵּֽלְכוּ֙ כָּל־הַבִּתְר֔וֹן וַיָּבֹ֖אוּ מַחֲנָֽיִם׃

[32] בָּתַר/bather signifies to cut in two

[33] See also Joshua 18:13, 14.

[34] Hebrew: וְיוֹאָ֗ב שָׁ֚ב מֵאַחֲרֵ֣י אַבְנֵ֔ר וַיִּקְבֹּ֖ץ אֶת־כָּל־הָעָ֑ם וַיִּפָּ֙קְד֜וּ מֵעַבְדֵ֥י דָוִ֛ד תִּשְׁעָֽה־עָשָׂ֥ר אִ֖ישׁ וַעֲשָׂה־אֵֽל׃

[35] Hebrew:  ‎מֵעַבְדֵ֥י דָוִ֛ד תִּשְׁעָֽה־עָשָׂ֥ר אִ֖ישׁ וַעֲשָׂה־אֵֽל׃.

[36] Joshua 2:1a:  “And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho (‎רְא֥וּ אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וְאֶת־יְרִיח֑וֹ)….”

[37] Hebrew:  ‎וְעַבְדֵ֣י דָוִ֗ד הִכּוּ֙ מִבִּנְיָמִ֔ן וּבְאַנְשֵׁ֖י אַבְנֵ֑ר שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵא֧וֹת וְשִׁשִּׁ֛ים אִ֖ישׁ מֵֽתוּ׃

[38] Hebrew:  ‎מִבִּנְיָמִ֔ן וּבְאַנְשֵׁ֖י אַבְנֵ֑ר.

[39] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׂאוּ֙ אֶת־עֲשָׂהאֵ֔ל וַֽיִּקְבְּרֻ֙הוּ֙ בְּקֶ֣בֶר אָבִ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֖ר בֵּ֣ית לָ֑חֶם וַיֵּלְכ֣וּ כָל־הַלַּ֗יְלָה יוֹאָב֙ וַֽאֲנָשָׁ֔יו וַיֵּאֹ֥ר לָהֶ֖ם בְּחֶבְרֽוֹן׃

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Spurgeon's Morning and Evening: '"Knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end?" 2 Samuel 2:26


If, O my reader! thou art merely a professor, and not a possessor of the faith that is in Christ Jesus, the following lines are a true sketch of thine end.

You are a respectable attendant at a place of worship; you go because others go, not because your heart is right with God. This is your beginning. I will suppose that for the next twenty or thirty years you will be spared to go on as you do now, professing religion by an outward attendance upon the means of grace, but having no heart in the matter. Tread softly,…


Thomas Manton's "Temptation of Christ": 'Do not run into any wilful and known sin, as if you would try how far the patience of God will go, nor abuse his fatherly goodness by going on still in your trespasses. When a man will try the patience of God without any regard of his threatenings, or the instances of his wrath, which are before his eyes, he puts it to the proof whether God will punish him, yea or no. Remember you are no match for him: Isaiah 45:9, "Woe unto him that striveth with his maker! let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth." As Abner said to Asahel: 2 Samuel 2:21-22, "Turn thee aside to thy righ…


Matthew Henry: 'We have here the contest between Abner and Asahel. Asahel, the brother of Joab and cousin-german to David, was one of the principal commanders of David's forces, and was famous for swiftness in running: he was as light of foot as a wild roe (2 Samuel 2:18); this he got the name of by swift pursuing, not swift flying. Yet, we may suppose, he was not comparable to Abner as a skilful experienced soldier; we must therefore observe,

I. How rash he was in aiming to make Abner his prisoner. He pursued after him, and no other, 2 Samul 2:19. Proud of his relation to David and Joab, his own swiftness, and the success of his party, no…


Study 2 Samuel with the Illustrious Matthew Poole! 

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