2 Samuel 2:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then Abner said to Joab, "Let's have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us." "All right, let them do it," Joab said.

New Living Translation
Then Abner suggested to Joab, "Let's have a few of our warriors fight hand to hand here in front of us." "All right," Joab agreed.

English Standard Version
And Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men arise and compete before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.”

New American Standard Bible
Then Abner said to Joab, "Now let the young men arise and hold a contest before us." And Joab said, "Let them arise."

King James Bible
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Abner said to Joab, "Let's have the young men get up and compete in front of us."" Let them get up," Joab replied.

International Standard Version
Abner told Joab, "Let's have the young men get up and fight in our presence." Joab replied, "Let them come."

NET Bible
Abner said to Joab, "Let the soldiers get up and fight before us." Joab said, "So be it!"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Abner said to Joab, "Let's have the young men hold a contest." Joab agreed.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise and sport before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

King James 2000 Bible
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

American King James Version
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

American Standard Version
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men, I pray thee, arise and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Abner said to Joab: Let the young men rise, and play before us. And Joab answered: Let them rise.

Darby Bible Translation
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise and make sport before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

English Revised Version
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men, I pray thee, arise and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

World English Bible
Abner said to Joab, "Please let the young men arise and play before us!" Joab said, "Let them arise!"

Young's Literal Translation
And Abner saith unto Joab, 'Let the youths rise, I pray thee, and they play before us;' and Joab saith, 'Let them rise.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:8-17. 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. Abner meant, Let the young men fight before us, when he said, Let them play before us: fools thus make a mock at sin. But he is unworthy the name of a man, that can thus trifle with human blood.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14. - Let the young men now arise. "Now" is not an adverb of time, but is hortative, and therefore rightly translated in the Revised Version, "I pray thee." It is by no means certain that Abner meant that this single combat should decide the war; for similar preludes before a battle are not uncommon among the Arabians, and serve, as this did, to put an end to the mutual unwillingness to begin the onslaught. So, too, games often preceded outbreaks of Scandinavian blood feuds. And this was probably Abner's object. He was the assailant, but now found that his men shrank from mortal combat with their brethren. There is thus no comparison between this combat and that of the Curiatii and Horatii described in Livy, 1. 10:25. Let them play. The word is grim enough, though intended to gloss over the cruel reality. On each side twelve of the most skilful champions were to be selected, who were to fight in stern earnest with one another, while the rest gazed upon the fierce spectacle. The sight of the conflict would whet their appetite for blood, and their reluctance would give place to thirst for revenge. The request was too thoroughly in accordance with Joab's temper for him to refuse, and his immediate answer was, Let them arise.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Abner said to Joab,.... Perceiving he made no motion towards an engagement with him, his orders from David being only to act on the defensive, and avoid as much as possible the effusion of blood:

let the young men now arise, and play before us; with their swords after the manner of gladiators or duellers; that it might appear who were best skilled in the use of the sword, and who were the bravest, stoutest, and most courageous; and this he proposed in a way of bravado, and in order to bring on a battle, or to decide the quarrel between them; and this bloody barbarous exercise Abner calls play, as if it was a diversion and pastime to see men wounding and killing one another:

and Joab said, let them arise; he accepted the challenge, not caring to be hectored and bullied by Abner.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us—Some think that the proposal was only for an exhibition of a little tilting match for diversion. Others suppose that, both parties being reluctant to commence a civil war, Abner proposed to leave the contest to the decision of twelve picked men on either side. This fight by championship instead of terminating the matter, inflamed the fiercest passions of the two rival parties; a general engagement ensued, in which Abner and his forces were defeated and put to flight.

2 Samuel 2:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
Civil War between Abner and Joab
13And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, one on the one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool. 14Then Abner said to Joab, "Now let the young men arise and hold a contest before us." And Joab said, "Let them arise." 15So they arose and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.…
Cross References
2 Samuel 2:15
So they stood up and were counted off--twelve men for Benjamin and Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve for David.

2 Samuel 2:16
Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his dagger into his opponent's side, and they fell down together. So that place in Gibeon was called Helkath Hazzurim.

2 Samuel 2:17
The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David's men.

2 Kings 14:8
Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, with the challenge: "Come, let us face each other in battle."
Treasury of Scripture

And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

play before

2 Samuel 2:17,26,27 And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, …

Proverbs 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding has wisdom.

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water: therefore …

Proverbs 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest you know not what to do in the …

Proverbs 26:18,19 As a mad man who casts firebrands, arrows, and death…

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