2 Samuel 2:26
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Abner called out to Joab, "Must the sword devour forever? Don't you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their fellow Israelites?"

New Living Translation
Abner shouted down to Joab, "Must we always be killing each other? Don't you realize that bitterness is the only result? When will you call off your men from chasing their Israelite brothers?"

English Standard Version
Then Abner called to Joab, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you tell your people to turn from the pursuit of their brothers?”

New American Standard Bible
Then Abner called to Joab and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the end? How long will you refrain from telling the people to turn back from following their brothers?"

King James Bible
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?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Abner called out to Joab: "Must the sword devour forever? Don't you realize this will only end in bitterness? How long before you tell the troops to stop pursuing their brothers?""

International Standard Version
Then Abner called out to Joab, "Must the battle sword keep on devouring forever? Don't you realize that the end result is bitterness? How long will it take for you to order your army to stop pursuing their own relatives?"

NET Bible
Then Abner called out to Joab, "Must the sword devour forever? Don't you realize that this will turn bitter in the end? When will you tell the people to turn aside from pursuing their brothers?"

New Heart English Bible
Then Abner called to Joab, and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long shall it be then, before you ask the people to return from following their brothers?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then Abner called to Joab, "Should this slaughter go on forever? Don't you know this will end in bitterness? How long will it be before you will call off your troops from chasing their relatives?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
Then Abner called to Joab, and said: 'Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?'

New American Standard 1977
Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the end? How long will you refrain from telling the people to turn back from following their brothers?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Abner called to Joab and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? Dost thou not know that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long shall it be then before thou bid the people to return from following their brethren?

King James 2000 Bible
Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour forever? 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?

American King James Version
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, ere you bid the people return from following their brothers?

American Standard Version
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?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Abner cried out to Joab, and said: Shall thy sword rage unto utter destruction? knowest thou not that it is dangerous to drive people to despair? how long dost thou defer to bid the people cease from pursuing after their brethren?

Darby Bible Translation
And Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? and how long shall it be ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?

English Revised Version
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?

Webster's Bible Translation
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 wilt bid the people return from following their brethren?

World English Bible
Then Abner called to Joab, and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Don't you know that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long shall it be then, before you ask the people to return from following their brothers?"

Young's Literal Translation
and Abner calleth unto Joab, and saith, 'For ever doth the sword consume? hast thou not known that it is bitterness in the latter end? and till when dost thou not say to the people to turn back from after their brethren?'
Study Bible
Civil War between Abner and Joab
25The sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one band, and they stood on the top of a certain hill. 26Then Abner called to Joab and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the end? How long will you refrain from telling the people to turn back from following their brothers?" 27Joab said, "As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely then the people would have gone away in the morning, each from following his brother."…
Cross References
2 Samuel 2:25
The sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one band, and they stood on the top of a certain hill.

2 Samuel 2:27
Joab said, "As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely then the people would have gone away in the morning, each from following his brother."
Treasury of Scripture

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, ere you bid the people return from following their brothers?

Shall

2 Samuel 2:14 And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before …

Acts 7:26 And the next day he showed himself to them as they strove, and would …

sword

2 Samuel 11:25 Then David said to the messenger, Thus shall you say to Joab, Let …

Isaiah 1:20 But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword: …

Jeremiah 2:30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: …

Jeremiah 12:12 The spoilers are come on all high places through the wilderness…

Jeremiah 46:10,14 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, …

Hosea 11:6 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, …

it will be

2 Samuel 2:16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his …

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

how long

Job 18:2 How long will it be ere you make an end of words? mark, and afterwards …

Job 19:2 How long will you vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?

Psalm 4:2 O you sons of men, how long will you turn my glory into shame? how …

Jeremiah 4:21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

(26) Abner called to Joab.--It may be that Abner was already considering the expediency of transferring his allegiance to the house of David, or, at least, had had enough experience of Ish-bosheth to see that it would be impossible to unite the tribes under his sway. At all events, his sense of the disastrous effects of civil war was doubtless quickened by his own defeat and present danger.

Verse 26. - Knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end! The Vulgate renders this, "Art thou not aware that desperation is dangerous?" This is a very obvious truth, but probably Abner had in his mind something more statesmanlike. The struggle was for the empire over all Israel, and whoever won would be king over both sides. But every man slain meant a blood feud, which would continue even after the kingdom was united; and Abner probably felt that his own slaughter of Asahel that day would render his position in David's realm difficult and dangerous. Among the Arab tribes quarrels are very common, but bloodshed rare, because of the blood feud which follows. Moderation was thus necessary on both sides, while cruelty and the immoderate use of victory would sow the seeds of future trouble. Then Abner called to Joab,.... For having now a troop of men with him, he could stop with the greater safety; and being on an hill, and perhaps Joab on one opposite to him, could call to him, so as to be heard:

and said, shall the sword devour for ever? slay men, and devour their blood. See Jeremiah 46:10. That he was not thoughtful of, nor concerned about, when he set the young men to fighting before the battle, and called it play to wound and shed the blood of each other; but now the battle going against him, he complains of the devouring sword; and though it had been employed but a few hours, it seemed long to him, a sort of an eternity:

knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? since it might issue in the death of himself, or of Joab, or of both, as it had in Asahel, or, however, in the death of a multitude of others; and which at last would cause bitter reflection in the prosecutors of the war:

how long shall it be then ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren? he pleads relation, that the men of Israel and the men of Judah were brethren; so they were by nation and religion, and therefore should not pursue one another to destruction; but who was the aggressor? It was Abner, that brought his forces against Judah; the men of David acted only on the defensive. 2:25-32 Abner appeals to Joab concerning the miserable consequences of a civil war. Those who make light of such unnatural contests, will find that they are bitterness to all concerned. How easy it is for men to use reason, when it makes for them, who would not use it, if it made against them! See how the issue of things alter men's minds! The same thing which looked pleasant in the morning, at night looked dismal. Those who are most forward to enter into contention, will repent before they have done with it, and had better leave it off before it be meddled with, as Solomon advises. This is true of every sin, oh that men would consider it in time, that it will be bitterness in the latter end! Asahel's funeral is here mentioned. Distinctions are made between the dust of some and that of others; but in the resurrection no difference will be made, but between the godly and ungodly, which will remain for ever.
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OT History: 2 Samuel 2:26 Then Abner called to Joab and said (2Sa iiSam 2 Sam ii sam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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