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Poole on 2 Samuel 3:31-39: David's Lamentation over Abner

Verse 31:[1]  And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, (Josh. 7:6; 2 Sam. 1:2, 11) Rend your clothes, and (Gen. 37:34) gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner.  And king David himself followed the bier.



[He said to Joab, etc.]  David wanted Joab to be present at the burial rites; 1.  So that he might be brought to repentance by the mourning of the people (Menochius, Martyr).  2.  Lest, if Joab be missed with his own, the attendance on the funeral rites should be small (Menochius).  3.  In order to punish Joab.  4.  So that Abner might be honorably mourned.  But Joab was the greatest in the royal court, and in the army (Martyr).  [5.  Perhaps, so that he might kindle a dislike of Joab among the people, and to such an extent reduce his excessive power.]  Question:  Whether David commands Joab to be hypocrite, and to feign mourning?  For he was rejoicing over this outcome.  Response:  David only commands this, so that Abner might be honorably mourned.  If Joab dissimulates, it is not done by the fault of David (Martyr).


David said to Joab; him he especially obliged to it; partly to bring him to repentance for his sin; partly to expose him to public shame, and to the contempt and hatred of all the people, with whom he had too great an interest, which hereby David designed to diminish.


[Rend your garments]  This was a sign of great mourning (Martyr).


Mourn before Abner, that is, attending upon his corpse, and paying him that respect and honour which was due to his quality.


[The King…was following the bier, ‎הֹלֵ֖ךְ אַחֲרֵ֥י הַמִּטָּֽה׃]  He was going after the bier (Syriac, Arabic, Jonathan, Pagnine, Tigurinus, thus Munster, Junius and Tremellius); after the bed, or couch (Montanus, Septuagint, Piscator), that is, on which Abner was lying; for the article is added (Piscator).  The women were going before the bier (Grotius).  David did this against his own dignity, and the custom of Kings, so that he might demonstrate his sorrow all the more (Martyr); and so that he might farther remove suspicion from himself (Grotius).  The Romans were also carried out on beds (Malvenda).


King David himself followed the bier; which was against the usage of kings, and might seem below David’s dignity; but it was now expedient, to vindicate himself from all suspicion and contrivance or concurrence in this action.

 

Verse 32:[2]  And they buried Abner in Hebron:  and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.


[And he wept]  The tears of the King were not feigned, but true; both because a most opportune occasion for gaining the Kingdom appears to have been lost by his death; and because this murder could appear to have been done either at his command or counsel (Martyr).

 

Verse 33:[3]  And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a (2 Sam. 13:12, 13) fool dieth?


[As fools, ‎הַכְּמ֥וֹת נָבָ֖ל]  Does he die as a fool, etc.? (Pagnine [similarly most interpreters]), as a mean man (Malvenda), Nabal[4] (Septuagint, Syriac).  A fool is worthy of such a death, but not wise Abner.  It is a question of indignation and of negation at the same time (Piscator).  As the wicked die (Jonathan) [such are called fools here and there in Scripture].  Can it be that, as are wont to die fools, or the ignoble, or abject and vile men, so Abner had to die? that is to say, No (Vatablus).  Was it fitting that an active man dies so shamefully? (Malvenda out of Junius).  He did not die, as the impious do, who are killed because of their impiety (Munster).


As a fool:  that is, As a wicked man; for such are oft called fools in Scripture.  Was he cut off by the hands of justice for his crimes?  Nothing less; but by Joab’s malice and treachery.  Or did he die by his own folly, because he had not wisdom or courage to defend himself?  Ah, no. The words may be thus rendered:  Shall or should Abner die like a fool, or a vile contemptible person? that is, unregarded, unpitied, unrevenged; as fools or vile persons die, for whose death none are concerned.  Or, How is Abner dead like a fool! pitying his mischance.  It being honourable for a great man and a soldier to fight, if met with by an enemy, and not (having his arms at liberty) stand still like a fool to be killed, without making any resistance or defence; which, by this treachery of Joab, happened to be his case.

 

Verse 34:[5]  Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters:  as a man falleth before wicked men (Heb. children of iniquity[6]), so fellest thou.  And all the people wept again over him.


[Thy hands were not bound]  Some refer it to the constancy of Abner; that is to say, thou wast not one to offer thy hands to another without choice of matters.  Thou wast unilling to kill Priests at the authority of Saul (Hebrews in Grotius).  Others thus:  Those cowardly in battle are easily taken, and, unless they flee, they are bound, and afterwards are forced to die.  This did not happen to thee (Martyr, thus most interpreters in Malvenda, Sanchez).  Others:  thy hands had not been bound (Junius and Tremellius), that is, if thy kills had attacked thee openly, thou wouldest have made vigorous use of thy hands in defending thyself, and likewise thy feet (Piscator out of Junius).


[Thy feet were not burdened with fetters, ‎לֹא־לִנְחֻשְׁתַּ֣יִם הֻגָּ֔שׁוּ]  They were not (had not been [Junius and Tremellius, Piscator], as in the former member) brought to (given to [Munster], joined together with [Tigurinus]) fetters (Pagnine, Montanus) of copper (Pagnine), that is, they were not bound (Vatablus, Munster).


Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters; thou didst not tamely yield up thyself to Joab, as his prisoner, to be bound hand and foot, at his pleasure.  Joab did not overcome thee generously and honourably in an equal combat, nor durst he attempt thee in that way, as a general or soldier of any worth would have done.


[But just as they are wont to fall before children of iniquity]  Who under pretense of friendship kill them (Lyra).  That is, thou wast killed by deceit (Junius, Pagnine, Malvenda, Vatablus).  With these words Joab was touched upon publicly and to his face (Martyr).


Before wicked men; or, before, that is, in the presence or by the hands of froward, or perverse, or crooked men, by hypocrisy and perfidiousness, whereby the vilest coward may kill the most valiant person.  Thus he reproached Joab to his very face, before all the people; which was a great evidence of his own innocency herein; because otherwise Joab, being so powerful, and proud, and petulant to his sovereign, would never have taken the shame and blame of it wholly to himself, as he did.

 

Verse 35:[7]  And when all the people came (2 Sam. 12:17; Jer. 16:7) to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, (Ruth 1:17) So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, (2 Sam. 1:12) till the sun be down.


[To take food with David]  Banquest, parentalia or funeral, were solemn among the Hebrews (Sanchez, Serarius, Lapide, Martyr).  See Jeremiah 16:5; Ezekiel 24:17, and Josephus’ Jewish War 2:1.  So also among the Athenians, as Jerome testifies on Jeremiah 16, and also Persius[8] in Satires 6, …but the funeral feast the heir, being angry, shall neglect… (Sanchez).  Concerning these things see Pollux,[9] Suidas,[10] Athenæus’ Banquet of the Learned[11] 7, 8, Proclus on Hesiod,[12] Eustathius[13] on the Iliad ψ (Serarius).


To eat meat; to refresh and cheer up his depressed spirits, as they used to do at funerals.  See Jeremiah 16:5; Ezekiel 24:17.


[With the day yet bright (thus Munster, Tigurinus), ‎בְּע֣וֹד הַיּ֑וֹם]  With the day yet in its strength (Syriac); while it was yet day (Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus), that is, before evening (Vatablus).  The people, with the funeral completed, wanted to eat, it now being midday.  If it had been evening, David would not have refused, for he was not violating the fast by eating at evening (Martyr).


[Bread or anything else (thus Munster, Tigurinus), ‎א֥וֹ כָל־מְאֽוּמָה׃]  Or all anything (Montanus, Jonathan).  Or anything, no matter how small it be (Pagnine).


Till the sun be down, that is, till evening; for then fasting days ended of course.

 

Verse 36:[14]  And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them (Heb. was good in their eyes[15]):  as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people.


[And all the people heard, etc., ‎וגו״ הִכִּירוּ]  They knew (Pagnine, Septuagint, Arabic, Vatablus).  Understanding, that the matter was not done by counsel of the King (Vatablus, similarly the Arabic).  It explains itself in the following verse (Vatablus).  With which notices, the people approved whatever the king had done (Syriac).  The people heard, and it was beautiful in the eyes of the people, as all that the king did was good (Jonathan).  As all that the king was doing, and so this also (namely, that with such difficulty he was bearing the death of Abner [Vatablus])…it was pleasing (Pagnine, Vatablus).  And whatever the king was doing, was good, etc. (certain interpreters in Malvenda).  In all, as the king had done, it appeared good in the eyes of the people (Junius and Tremellius).


Took notice of it; observed what the king said and did.  It pleased them; they were satisfied concerning David’s integrity, and the method he used here for his own just vindication.  Whatsoever the king did; either in this matter; or rather, in all things following this action.  The meaning is, by his carriage herein he gained so great an interest in the hearts of his people, that they judged most favourably of, and put the best construction upon, all his words and actions; as, on the contrary, when people have a prejudice against or an ill will towards their prince, they are apt to judge most harshly of all his counsels and doings.

 

Verse 37:[16]  For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.


Not of the king:  Not done by his design or good will.

 

Verse 38:[17]  And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?


[And he also saidFor he had said, etc., namely, the following things, from which the people understood that the king was not privy to the murder (Malvenda out of Junius).  But these things he said to his servants, not to the people.  It was already indicated, whence the people knew that.  Therefore, I translate it, afterwards he was saying (Piscator).


[Know ye not, etc.?]  That is to say, it concerns you to know (Vatablus).  That is to say, Therefore, this pomp of funeral rites was properly bestowed upon such a man (Menochius).  Question:  Why does David laud this illaudable man?  Responses:  1.  In the case of the wicked, holy man are wont to regard, with evil things passed over, only the good; which (although evils are mixed in) are able truly to be lauded.  2.  The things that he commends in Abner, namely, prosperity and strength of body, are not great (Martyr on verse 33).


A great man, both for his illustrious quality, and for his high courage and wise conduct; and especially now for his great usefulness and serviceableness to me in giving me the entire and peaceable possession of all Israel.  But still observe David’s prudence and piety, that he doth not commend him for his virtues and graces, as men of vendible consciences and tongues use to do upon funeral occasions; but only for the kind of worth which was really in him.  Compare 2 Samuel 1:23.

 

Verse 39:[18]  And I am this day weak (Heb. tender[19]), though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah (2 Sam. 19:7) be too hard for me:  (see 2 Sam. 19:13; 1 Kings 2:5, 6, 33, 34; Ps. 28:4; 62:12; 2 Tim. 4:14) the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.


[I am yet delicate, ‎רַךְ]  Soft, or tender (Montanus, Pagnine, Vatablus, Piscator, Malvenda), weak (Junius and Tremellius); I am afraid (Syriac, Arabic) [that is to say, I am soft of heart].  My kingdom is new (Grotius).  I am tender and of little strength (Vatablus).  The Metaphor was taken, either from a boy, delicate and not ready for war (Piscator); or from tender branches, which are easily broken; that is to say, now for the first time I appear to myself to be King, as if today I were first anointed King.  For Abner had turned the heart of the Israelties to David.  Others:  I am easy, or merciful.  This interpretation is approved by the learned.  For ‎רַךְ is thus taken (Vatablus).


Weak, or tender, in the infancy of my kingdom, not well rooted and settled in it.  The metaphor is taken from a young and tender child or plant.


[And anointed king (thus Pagnine, Montanus, Piscator), ‎וּמָשׁ֣וּחַ מֶ֔לֶךְ]  As the anointed king (Junius and Tremellius), that is, the appointed king of all Israel indeed, but not yet having completely acquired the kingdom (Junius, Piscator).  He notes this, that he was not born King.  For those that by inheritance come to the kingdom, or at least whose power has been long established, rule with tighter control (Grotius generally out of Lapide).  Free from fault is he, who knows, but is not able to prevent.  See the things said in Concerning the Law of War and Peace 2:32:2 (Grotius).  Others:  although I am the anointed King over Judah (Vatablus).


[The sons of Zeruiah]  Namely, Joab and Abishai, my nephews of my sister, Zeruiah, 1 Chronicles 2:16 (Sanchez).  By an unusual instance he calls them after the name of their mother.  Perhaps because their father was more obscure (Martyr).


The sons of Zeruiah; Joab and Abishai, the sons of my sister Zeruiah.


[They are hard to me, ‎קָשִׁ֣ים מִמֶּ֑נִּי]  They are hard enough for me (Munster, Tigurinus).  Harder than I (Piscator, Pagnine, similarly Montanus), that is, more powerful (Piscator), than I am able to bear (Menochius).  Better established, that is, more popular with the soldiers, as it appears in 2 Samuel 19 (Piscator).  They are more difficult (severer, harsher) than I; that is, than it is fitting for them to be in my affairs.  I am merciful; I had spared Abner:  but they are harsher; they did not spare (Vatablus).  The sense:  It belongs to the wise to see, not only what one ought to do, but also what one is able.  But I am not now able to punish this, without endangering the kingdom.  Therefore, this injury is to be suffered in silence for a time, and it is to be awaited what suitable occasion God will give.  What is deferred is not forgotten (Malvenda out of Junius).


[Let the Lord recompense]  So that it might be the utterance of one imprecating (Piscator).  Or, He shall repay (Junius and Tremellius, Piscator).  He shall exact punishment from him; or, He shall furnish me with ability, that I might administer his judgment.  See the execution’s beginning in 2 Samuel 19:13; its progress in 1 Kings 2:5, 6; its completion in 1 Kings 2:34 (Piscator and Malvenda out of Junius).  Question:  Whether this excuse of David ought to be approved?  Response 1:  Some answer in the negative, and think that David sinned in this (thus Martyr).  They proffer these reasons:  1.  The Law of God (according to which the King was obliged to rule) commanded that a murderer even be dragged from the altar, Exodus 21:14.  Neither is ἐπιείκεια/clemency promised to men in the law of God (Martyr).  Response:  David, therefore, did not pardon him; but he left him to be punished by Solomon (Willet[20]).  Rejoinder:  This delay was too long (Martyr).  2.  The lenience of Eli in punishing his son brought ruin upon him.  Response:  Eli, without any danger, was able to restrain his sons; which David was not able to do (Willet).  3.  A magistrate ought to be mighty, etc., Exodus 18:21, and ought not to accept the person of any man, Deuteronomy 1:17.  4.  A King of Israel, who sent Ben-hadad away in peace, was punished (Martyr).  Response:  Ben-hadad was a foreign enemy, who was able more safely to be killed than Joab, a domestic friend (Willet).  5.  From this lenience of David others were animated to outrageous acts, like the killers of Ish-bosheth, Amnon, Absalom, etc. (Martyr).  Response 2:  Some answer in the affirmative, and free David from fault (thus Willet, Grotius, Junius, Malvenda).  These are their reasons:  1.  David was not able to punish Joab without tumult and damage to the Republic:  for Joab was popular and very powerful.  Punishments are like powerful medicines, as Plato rightly say, and they are to be applied to hopeless situations (certain interpreters in Martyr).  Among the soldiers Joab had greater pull than David, 2 Samuel 18; 19 (Willet).  Responses:  1.  David was indeed seeing the danger, if he should punish him; but he had the steadfast and eternal promise of God.  2.  David should have at least tried to punish him; but he does nothing, but casts the matter back upon God (Martyr).  This is the second reason:  That precept concerning the punishing of crimes was affirmative; it was not obliging at all times, but when it is opportune.  Therefore, David was obliged to punish, but was able to wait.  Response:  He was able to delay, but not to his death.  3.  God Himself defers punishments.  Therefore, David right defers.  Response:  The reasoning is unequal.  Since God is eternal, if He does not punish today, He will punish tomorrow, or when He pleases.  But man is able to die.  Who then will exact punishment of the impious?  4.  David did this by the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Response:  David did not say this, but proffered another reason (Martyr).


Too hard for me, that is, too powerful.  They have so great a command over all the soldiers, and so great favour with the people, that I cannot punish them without apparent hazard to my person and kingdom; especially now when all the tribes, except Judah, are yet in a state of opposition against me.  But this, although it might give some colour to the delay of their punishment for a season, yet it may seem to have been one of David’s infirmities, that he did not do it within some reasonable time, both because this indulgence proceeded from a distrust of God’s power and faithfulness; as if God could not, or would not, make good his promise of the kingdom to him, without and against Joab and all his confederates; and because it was contrary to God’s law, which severely requires the punishment of wilful murderers, Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:14; Numbers 35:21, which David had no power to dispense with.  And David might and should have remembered how dear Saul paid for this very thing, that he dispensed with God’s command, and spared these whom God commanded him to slay, 1 Samuel 15.  And it seems David’s conscience oft smote him for this; which made him watch for a fit opportunity to remove, and then punish him, and having neglected it till death, he declareth his sorrow for that neglect, by giving Solomon a charge to execute it after his death, 1 Kings 2:5, 6, 34.


[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּאמֶר֩ דָּוִ֙ד אֶל־יוֹאָ֜ב וְאֶל־כָּל־הָעָ֣ם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּ֗וֹ קִרְע֤וּ בִגְדֵיכֶם֙ וְחִגְר֣וּ שַׂקִּ֔ים וְסִפְד֖וּ לִפְנֵ֣י אַבְנֵ֑ר וְהַמֶּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִ֔ד הֹלֵ֖ךְ אַחֲרֵ֥י הַמִּטָּֽה׃

[2] Hebrew:  ‎וַיִּקְבְּר֥וּ אֶת־אַבְנֵ֖ר בְּחֶבְר֑וֹן וַיִשָּׂ֧א הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֶת־קוֹל֗וֹ וַיֵּבְךְּ֙ אֶל־קֶ֣בֶר אַבְנֵ֔ר וַיִּבְכּ֖וּ כָּל־הָעָֽם׃ פ

[3] Hebrew:  ‎וַיְקֹנֵ֥ן הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ אֶל־אַבְנֵ֖ר וַיֹּאמַ֑ר הַכְּמ֥וֹת נָבָ֖ל יָמ֥וּת אַבְנֵֽר׃

[4] See 1 Samuel 25.

[5] Hebrew: יָדֶ֣ךָ לֹֽא־אֲסֻר֗וֹת וְרַגְלֶ֙יךָ֙ לֹא־לִנְחֻשְׁתַּ֣יִם הֻגָּ֔שׁוּ כִּנְפ֛וֹל לִפְנֵ֥י בְנֵֽי־עַוְלָ֖ה נָפָ֑לְתָּ וַיֹּסִ֥פוּ כָל־הָעָ֖ם לִבְכּ֥וֹת עָלָֽיו׃

[6] Hebrew:  ‎בְנֵי־עַוְלָה.

[7] Hebrew: וַיָּבֹ֣א כָל־הָעָ֗ם לְהַבְר֧וֹת אֶת־דָּוִ֛ד לֶ֖חֶם בְּע֣וֹד הַיּ֑וֹם וַיִּשָּׁבַ֙ע דָּוִ֜ד לֵאמֹ֗ר כֹּ֣ה יַעֲשֶׂה־לִּ֤י אֱלֹהִים֙ וְכֹ֣ה יֹסִ֔יף כִּ֣י אִם־לִפְנֵ֧י בֽוֹא־הַשֶּׁ֛מֶשׁ אֶטְעַם־לֶ֖חֶם א֥וֹ כָל־מְאֽוּמָה׃

[8] Aulus Persius Flaccus (34-62) was a Roman satirist.

[9] Julius Pollux (second century AD) was a Greek grammarian and rhetorician.  Only his Onomasticon, a dictionary of Attic phrases and an invaluable source of information concerning classical antiquity, survives.

[10] Suidas was the compiler of the Suda, an encyclopedia containing more than thirty thousand entries concerning the ancient Mediterranean world.  It was probably composed in tenth-century Byzantium.

[11] Athenæus of Naucratis (late first, early second century AD) wrote Deipnosophistæ (or Banquet of the Learned), a dialogue in which the characters discuss a wide range of topics including food.

[12] Hesiod was a Greek poet, living around the turn of the seventh century BC, roughly contemporaneous with Homer.

[13] Eustathius (died 1198) was Archbishop of Thessalonica, remember for his stand against the sacking of Thessalonica by the Normans.  He wrote commentaries on Dionysius Periegetes, Pindar, and Homer.

[14] Hebrew:  ‎וְכָל־הָעָ֣ם הִכִּ֔ירוּ וַיִּיטַ֖ב בְּעֵֽינֵיהֶ֑ם כְּכֹל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֣ה הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ בְּעֵינֵ֥י כָל־הָעָ֖ם טֽוֹב׃

[15] Hebrew:  ‎וַיִּיטַ֖ב בְּעֵֽינֵיהֶ֑ם.

[16] Hebrew:  ‎וַיֵּדְע֧וּ כָל־הָעָ֛ם וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא כִּ֣י לֹ֤א הָיְתָה֙ מֵֽהַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לְהָמִ֖ית אֶת־אַבְנֵ֥ר בֶּן־נֵֽר׃ פ

[17] Hebrew:  ‎וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ אֶל־עֲבָדָ֑יו הֲל֣וֹא תֵדְע֔וּ כִּי־שַׂ֣ר וְגָד֗וֹל נָפַ֛ל הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[18] Hebrew: וְאָנֹכִ֙י הַיּ֥וֹם רַךְ֙ וּמָשׁ֣וּחַ מֶ֔לֶךְ וְהָאֲנָשִׁ֥ים הָאֵ֛לֶּה בְּנֵ֥י צְרוּיָ֖ה קָשִׁ֣ים מִמֶּ֑נִּי יְשַׁלֵּ֧ם יְהוָ֛ה לְעֹשֵׂ֥ה הָרָעָ֖ה כְּרָעָתֽוֹ׃ פ

[19] Hebrew:  ‎רַךְ.

[20] Andrew Willet (1562-1621) was a product of Christ’s College, and he went on to serve the Anglican Church in various ministerial posts.  Willet is remembered for his abilities as a commentator, being learned in language, history, and literature; and for his polemical writings against Roman Catholic doctrine.  He composed commentaries on several books of the Bible, including 1-2 Samuel.

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The word "unilling" is used above. I could not find a definition of this word, is it an ancient word or a typo? Same with "banquest" also used above.


Your diction is expansive, accurate, and exciting! Thanks for the clarification and deep dive on these verses.

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Samson was thirsty and ready to die. The difficulty was totally different from any which the hero had met before. Merely to get thirst assuaged is nothing like so great a matter as to be delivered from a thousand Philistines! but when the thirst was upon him, Samson felt that little present difficulty more weighty than the great past difficulty out of which he had so specially been delivered. It is very usual for God's people, when they have enjoyed a great deliverance, to find…

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John Howie's Scots Worthies: 'The last Sabbath [Richard Cameron] preached was with Donald Cargill in Clydesdale, on Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." That day he said he was sure that the Lord would lift up a standard against antichrist which would go to the gates of Rome, and burn it with fire, and that "blood" should be their sign and "no quarter" their word; and earnestly he wished that it might begin in Scotland. At their parting, they concluded to meet the second Sabbath after this at Craigmead, but he was killed on the Thursday thereafter. The Sabbath following, Cargill preached in the parish of Shotts, upon that text, 2 Samuel 3:38, "Know ye no…

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Walter Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification: 'Fasting is also an ordinance of God to be used for the same purpose and end and is commended to us under the New Testament (Matthew 9:15 and Matthew 17:21; 1 Corinthians 7:5). And we have examples of it (Acts 13:2-3 and Acts 14:23). Under the Old Testament, there were frequent commands for it, and examples, chiefly upon occasion of extraordinary afflictions (1 Samuel 7:6; Nehemiah 9:1; Daniel 9:3; 10:2-3; 2 Samuel 12:16; Psalm 35:13; 2 Samuel 3:31; Joel 2:13); besides the anniversary great day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29,31), when every one was to fast on pain of being cut off.—There is a prophecy of the same for the times of the New Testamen…

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Matthew Henry: 'David laid deeply to heart and in many ways expressed his detestation of this execrable villany.


1. He washed his hands from the guilt of Abner's blood....


2. He entailed the curse for it upon Joab and his family (2 Samuel 3:29)...


3. He called upon all about him, even Joab himself, to lament the death of Abner (2 Samuel 3:31): Rend your clothes and mourn before Abner, that is, before the hearse of Abner, as Abraham is said to mourn before his dead (Genesis 23:2-3), and he gives a reason why they should attend his funeral with sincere and solemn mourning (2 Samuel 3:38), because there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in…


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