2 Samuel 3:39
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!"

New Living Translation
And even though I am the anointed king, these two sons of Zeruiah--Joab and Abishai--are too strong for me to control. So may the LORD repay these evil men for their evil deeds."

English Standard Version
And I was gentle today, though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. The LORD repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!”

New American Standard Bible
"I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too difficult for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil."

King James Bible
And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As for me, even though I am the anointed king, I have little power today. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too fierce for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil!"

International Standard Version
Today, even though I'm anointed as king, I'm weak. These men, sons of Zeruiah, are too difficult for me. May the LORD repay the one who acts wickedly in accordance with his wickedness!"

NET Bible
Today I am weak, even though I am anointed as king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too much for me to bear! May the LORD punish appropriately the one who has done this evil thing!"

New Heart English Bible
I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me. May the LORD reward the evildoer according to his wickedness."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Today I'm weak, though I'm the anointed king. These men, Zeruiah's sons, are too cruel for me. May the LORD repay this evildoer as his evil deeds deserve."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And I am this day weak, and just anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me; the LORD reward the evildoer according to his wickedness.'

New American Standard 1977
“And I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too difficult for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I am this day a tender anointed king, and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me; the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

King James 2000 Bible
And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

American King James Version
And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

American Standard Version
And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me: Jehovah reward the evil-doer according to his wickedness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I as yet am tender, though anointed king. And these men the sons of Sarvia are too hard for me: the Lord reward him that doth evil according to his wickedness.

Darby Bible Translation
And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too hard for me: Jehovah reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness!

English Revised Version
And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD reward the wicked doer according to his wickedness.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me. The LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

World English Bible
I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me. May Yahweh reward the evildoer according to his wickedness."

Young's Literal Translation
and I to-day am tender, and an anointed king: and these men, sons of Zeruiah, are too hard for me; Jehovah doth recompense to the doer of the evil according to his evil.'
Study Bible
David Mourns for Abner
38Then the king said to his servants, "Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39"I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too difficult for me. May the LORD repay the evildoer according to his evil."
Cross References
2 Samuel 3:38
Then the king said to his servants, "Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?

2 Samuel 16:10
But the king said, "What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah? If he curses, and if the LORD has told him, 'Curse David,' then who shall say, 'Why have you done so?'"

2 Samuel 19:5
Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, "Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines,

2 Samuel 19:22
David then said, "What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be an adversary to me? Should any man be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?"

1 Kings 2:32
"The LORD will return his blood on his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah.

1 Chronicles 29:1
Then King David said to the entire assembly, "My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and inexperienced and the work is great; for the temple is not for man, but for the LORD God.

2 Chronicles 13:7
and worthless men gathered about him, scoundrels, who proved too strong for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, when he was young and timid and could not hold his own against them.

Jeremiah 38:5
So King Zedekiah said, "Behold, he is in your hands; for the king can do nothing against you."

Daniel 6:16
Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions' den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, "Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you."
Treasury of Scripture

And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.

I am

Exodus 21:12 He that smites a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

2 Chronicles 19:6,7 And said to the judges, Take heed what you do: for you judge not …

Psalm 75:10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of …

Psalm 101:8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off …

Proverbs 20:8 A king that sits in the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes.

Proverbs 25:5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be …

weak [heb] tender

1 Chronicles 22:5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house …

Isaiah 7:4 And say to him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted …

Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that …

the sons

1 Chronicles 2:15,16 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh…

too hard

2 Samuel 19:6,7,13 In that you love your enemies, and hate your friends. For you have …

the Lord

1 Kings 2:5,6,33,34 Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and …

Psalm 7:16 His mischief shall return on his own head, and his violent dealing …

Psalm 28:4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness …

Psalm 62:12 Also to you, O Lord, belongs mercy: for you render to every man according …

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according …

(39) I am this day weak.--David's high appreciation of the importance and value of Abner shows that Joab's jealousy was not without ground, and there is a tone of deep sadness in his words, "these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me." He knew their ungoverned passions, their bold lawlessness, and at the same time their great power and popularity with the army, and he dared not punish them. He leaves their judgment to God.

Verse 39. - I am this clay weak...the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me. David would gladly have had Abner as a counterpoise to Joab's too-great power. As it was, though an anointed king, he had but one tribe loyal to him; the rest were the subjects of a rival; and the Philistines were oppressing all alike. Had Abner's enterprise been carried out, all the tribes would have been united under his sway. He could thus have made head against the Philistines, and Abner, in command of the Benjamites and other tribes, would have curbed the fierce self-will of Joab. As it was, the sons of Zeruiah might be reprimanded, and could not treat David as Abner had treated Ishbosheth; but they were indispensable. David had a strange set of men around him in those outlaws (1 Samuel 22:2); and Joab, brave, skilful, and unscrupulous, was a man after their own heart. They had just returned with great booty from a foray under his command; and it was a brave and manly thing in David to reprove him so openly, and dismiss him from his command. Had he attempted more, and Joab had stood upon the defence, there were plenty of "men of Belial" (1 Samuel 30:22) to side with him, and David might have met with the fate threatened him at Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:6). As it was, he proved himself to be king, and Joab, in spite of everything, remained a most faithful officer, and the right hand man in his kingdom, and one even trusted with perilous and disgraceful secrets (2 Samuel 11:14).



And I am this day weak, though anointed king,.... Which seems to be given as a reason, or for an excuse why he did not inflict just punishment upon the murderer, according to the law of God, because he was "weak"; not in body or mind, but with respect to the kingdom, that was like a tender branch, or in its infant state; and great care and caution were to be used that it was not overturned: he was a king by unction, not by birth; a son of the late king was yet up against him, and was possessed of the far greater part of the kingdom; he was indeed anointed by Samuel to be king over all Israel; but as yet he was not put into the possession of the kingdom he was anointed to; he was anointed and made king over Judah, and invested with the office of king there, and settled in it; and yet his power was not very great there, for as follows:

and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, be too hard for me; his sister's sons, Joab and Abishai, they were a check upon him; he could not do what he would, their influence was so great, both in the court and in the camp; the one was general of the army, and the other a considerable officer in it, and both variant men, and very respectable among the people, for their achievements in war, and the success they had; so that they were very much out of the reach of David to bring them to justice, without shaking his kingdom; and therefore in point of prudence he thought it best to connive at this fact until he was more established in the kingdom. Whatever may be said for this conduct, it is certain he was too dilatory, and which did not sit easy upon his mind, and therefore gave it in charge to Solomon before his death not to suffer Joab to go to his grave in peace, 1 Kings 2:5. Some take these words, "weak" and "hard", in a different sense, that David was weak or "tender" (x), as it may be rendered, tenderhearted, of a merciful disposition, and therefore spared Abner when he was in his hands, though he had done him so much harm, who was the Lord's anointed; but these men, his sister's sons, were of cruel tempers, more unmerciful than he, and therefore slew him; but the first sense seems best:

the Lord shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness; which may be considered either as an imprecation of evil on Joab, or a prediction, that sooner or later righteous judgment would be rendered to him by the Lord; with whom he leaves it to take vengeance on him, satisfying himself with this for the present, that though it was not in his power to do it, the Lord would in his own time and way: but after all that can be said in favour of David, he seems to have been too much in fear of men, and too distrustful of the power and promise of God to establish him in his kingdom, and was too negligent of public justice; which had it been exercised, might have prevented other sins, as the murder of Ishbosheth, to which the authors of it might be encouraged by this lenity.

(x) "tener", Pagninus, Montanus. 3:22-39 Judgments are prepared for such scorners as Abner; but Joab, in what he did, acted wickedly. David laid Abner's murder deeply to heart, and in many ways expressed his detestation of it. The guilt of blood brings a curse upon families: if men do not avenge it, God will. It is a sad thing to die like a fool, as they do that any way shorten their own days, and those who make no provision for another world. Who would be fond of power, when a man may have the name of it, and must be accountable for it, yet is hampered in the use of it? David ought to have done his duty, and then trusted God with the issue. Carnal policy spared Joab. The Son of David may long delay, but never fails to punish impenitent sinners. He who now reigns upon the throne of David, has a kingdom of a nobler kind. Whatever He doeth, is noticed by all his willing people, and is pleasing to them.
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