So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Neither fought they any more—i.e., in this present campaign. In 2Samuel 3:1, it is said that “there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David.”2 Samuel 2:28-29. So Joab blew a trumpet — Caused a retreat to be sounded. Neither fought they any more — Neither at that time, nor probably at any other, in a pitched battle. And Abner and his men walked all that night — He made the best of his way to Jordan; crossed it, and rested nowhere until he came to Mahanaim, that he might get out of the reach of David’s forces.2 Samuel 2:14), the people would have returned from the pursuit of their brethren (many hours ago, even) this morning;" or, "If thou hadst not spoken (asked for peace, 2 Samuel 2:26), surely the people would have returned, etc., in the morning, i. e. would not have ceased the pursuit until the morning." The latter interpretation is the more accordant with Joab's boastful character.
19-32. Asahel pursued after Abner—To gain the general's armor was deemed the grandest trophy. Asahel, ambitious of securing Abner's, had outstripped all other pursuers, and was fast gaining on the retreating commander. Abner, conscious of possessing more physical power, and unwilling that there should be "blood" between himself and Joab, Asahel's brother, twice urged him to desist. The impetuous young soldier being deaf to the generous remonstrance, the veteran raised the pointed butt of his lance, as the modern Arabs do when pursued, and, with a sudden back thrust, transfixed him on the spot, so that he fell, and lay weltering in his blood. But Joab and Abishai continued the pursuit by another route till sunset. On reaching a rising ground, and receiving a fresh reinforcement of some Benjamites, Abner rallied his scattered troops and earnestly appealed to Joab's better feelings to stop the further effusion of blood, which, if continued, would lead to more serious consequences—a destructive civil war. Joab, while upbraiding his opponent as the sole cause of the fray, felt the force of the appeal and led off his men; while Abner probably dreading a renewal of the attack when Joab should learn his brother's fate, and vow fierce revenge, endeavored, by a forced march, to cross the Jordan that night. On David's side the loss was only nineteen men, besides Asahel. But of Ish-bosheth's party there fell three hundred and sixty. This skirmish is exactly similar to the battles of the Homeric warriors, among whom, in the flight of one, the pursuit by another, and the dialogue held between them, there is vividly represented the style of ancient warfare.
and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more; as soon as they heard the trumpet sound, the meaning of which they understood, they stepped at once, and left off their pursuit:
neither fought they any more; that day, and perhaps no pitched battle afterwards; for none we read of, though the war continued after this a long time, and there might be often skirmishes, which greatly weakened Abner's party. See 2 Samuel 3:1.So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)28. neither fought they any more] For the time being only. It was not the final end of the war, which lasted for a long time afterwards (ch. 2 Samuel 3:1).
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