And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Samuel 2:18-19. Three sons of Zeruiah — She was David’s sister, and therefore these were his nephews. Asahel was light of foot as a wild roe — He was a gallant man, and one of David’s twelve captains, remarkably valiant, but more remarkably swift. Asahel pursued after Abner — Being desirous of the glory, either of taking or killing the greatest man in Israel.
Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel; Joab was the general of the array, Abishai was he who went into Saul's host at night, and took away his spear and cruse of water at his head, 1 Samuel 26:6; and it is for the sake of the third, Asahel, that the account is given, the story of his death being about to be told.
And Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe: swiftness of foot, as well as courage, for which this man was famous, 1 Chronicles 11:26; was a very great qualification for a warrior (e). So Achilles, in Homer (f), is often said to be swift of foot, and others of his heroes are commended for their swiftness. Harold son of King Canutus, was from his swiftness (g) called Harefoot; as here this man for the same reason is compared to a wild roe, which is a very swift creature, or to one of the roes that were in the field as in the original text. See Sol 2:7; one sort of which, called "kemas", is said to run as swift as a tempest (h).And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. three sons of Zeruiah] The standing designation of David’s nephews, to shew their relationship to him (1 Chronicles 2:16).
as a wild roe] The wild roe or gazelle, which still abounds in Palestine, is celebrated for its swiftness, grace, beauty, and gentleness. Cp. 1 Chronicles 12:8; Proverbs 6:5. See Tristram’s Nat. Hist. of the Bible, p. 127.2 Samuel 2:12, 2 Samuel 2:13. When Abner had brought all Israel under the dominion of Ishbosheth, he also sought to make Judah subject to him, and went with this intention from Mahanaim to Gibeon, the present Jib, in the western portion of the tribe of Benjamin, two good hours to the north of Jerusalem (see at Joshua 9:3), taking with him the servants, i.e., the fighting men, of Ishbosheth. There Joab, a son of Zeruiah, David's sister (1 Chronicles 2:16), advanced to meet him with the servants, i.e., the warriors of David; and the two armies met at the pool of Gibeon, i.e., probably one of the large reservoirs that are still to be found there (see Rob. Pal. ii. pp. 135-6; Tobler, Topogr. v. Jerusalem, ii. pp. 515-6), the one encamping upon the one side of the pool and the other upon the other.
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