B C¹ 2:1-4:12. The Kingdom. Divided. C² 5:1-24:25. The Kingdom. United.
C¹ A 2:1-11. Followers. Accessions. B 2:12-32. Conflicts. Military. A 3:1-39. Followers. Defections. B 4:1-12. Conflicts. Personal.
A c 1-3. David goes to Hebron. d e 4-. David anointed over house of Judah. f -4-7. Those who followed David. d e 8-10-. Ish-bosheth anointed over Israel. f -10. Those who followed David. c 11. David reigns in Hebron.
2 Samuel 2)
1: And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the Lord (probably by Urim and Thummim, in the breastplate of Abiathar the High Priest, who was with David [1 Sam.22:20]), saying, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” And David said, “To which place shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.”
2: So David went up to that place, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite.
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.
4: And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah (aged 30 years. See 1 Sam. 16:13).
And they told David, saying, “That the men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul.”
5: And David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, “Blessed be you all of the Lord, that you all have showed this kindness to your lord, even to Saul, and have buried him.
8: But Abner (= father of light) the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth (= man of shame: i.e. the idol "Baal". In 1 Chron. 8:33 = Esh-baal) the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
9: And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
960 to 958 B.C.
10: Ish-bosheth 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.
11: And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
B g 12-14. Abner and Joab. Colloquy. h 15-17. Conflict ensues. i 18-25. Pursuit. Asahel's death. g 26,27. Abner and Joab. Colloquy. h 28. Conflict ended. i 29-32. Return. Asahel's burial.
12: And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
13: And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon (Abner's city, in Benjamin [1 Chron. 8:29,30; 9:35,36]): and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.
14: And Abner said to Joab, “Let the common soldiers now arise, and make sport before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.”
15: Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
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 Helkath-hazzurim (= field of rock), which is in Gibeon.
17: And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
18: And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as one of the gazelles which are in the field.
19: And Asahel (= made by God) pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.
20: Then Abner looked behind him, and said, “Are you Asahel?” And he answered, I am.
21: And Abner said to him, “Turn you aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay you hold on one of the young men, and take you his armor.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.
22: And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn you aside from following me: why should I smite you to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab your brother?”
23: However 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 (i.e. with horror at the sight).
24: Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lies before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
25: And the sons of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill.
26: Then Abner called to Joab, and said, “Shall the sword devour for ever? know you not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, before you bid the people return from following their brethren?”
27: And Joab said, “As God lives, unless you have spoken the words which caused the provocation, surely then in the morning the People had gone up every one from following his brother.”
28: So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the People stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.
29: And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron (= the ravine), and they came to Mahanaim (= two camps).
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.
31: But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died.
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.