2 Samuel 3:11
And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him.
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2 Samuel 3:11. He could not answer Abner a word — Being thunderstruck with so unexpected a declaration. If he had had the spirit of a man, especially of a prince, he might have answered him, that his merits were the aggravation of his crimes; that he would not be served by so ill a man, and that he doubted not but he should do well enough without him. But he was conscious to himself of his own weakness, and therefore said not a word, lest he should make a bad matter worse.3:7-21 Many, like Abner, are not above committing base crimes, who are too proud to bear reproof, or even the suspicion of being guilty. While men go on in sin, and apparently without concern, they are often conscious that they are fighting against God. Many mean to serve their own purposes; and will betray those who trust them, when they can get any advantage. Yet the Lord serves his own designs, even by those who are thus actuated by revenge, ambition, or lust; but as they intend not to honour him, in the end they will be thrown aside with contempt. There was real generosity both to Michal and to the memory of Saul, in David's receiving the former, remembering probably how once he owed his life to her affection, and knowing that she was separated from him partly by her father's authority. Let no man set his heart on that which he is not entitled to. If any disagreement has separated husband and wife, as they expect the blessing of God, let them be reconciled, and live together in love.The words against Judah are very obscure. If the text be correct, the words would seem to be Ish-bosheth's, who in his anger had charged Abner with being a vile partisan of Judah: Abner retorts, "Am I((as you say) a dog's head which belongeth to Judah, or on Judah's side! This day I show you kindness, etc., and this day thou chargest me with a fault, etc." 2Sa 3:6-12. Abner Revolts to David.

6-11. Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul—In the East, the wives and concubines of a king are the property of his successor to this extent, that for a private person to aspire to marry one of them would be considered a virtual advance of pretensions to the crown (see 1Ki 2:17). It is not clear whether the accusation against Abner was well or ill founded. But he resented the charge as an indignity, and, impelled by revenge, determined to transfer all the weight of his influence to the opposite party. He evidently set a full value on his services, and seems to have lorded it over his weak nephew in a haughty, overbearing manner.

He could not answer Abner, because he durst not provoke Abner further, lest he should really execute what he supposed as yet he only threatened. Because he feared him, as having a greater interest in, and power with, both the army and the rest of the people, than himself had. And he could not answer Abner a word again,.... That is, he would not, he durst not; otherwise, if it was fact he charged him with, he could have insisted on the truth of it, and aggravated the crime and scandal of it; and observed it to him, that the kindness he had shown him was no excuse for it; but such things, though he would, he durst not say:

because he feared him; he had the army at his command, and could dethrone him when he pleased; and it has been the fate of greater men than Ishbosheth to be awed by their generals, and even David himself; see 2 Samuel 3:39.

And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him.
Verse 11. - He could not answer Abner. Though the reply was one of open treason, and was spoken with violence, yet Ishbosheth did not venture to bring the matter to an issue. Perhaps he looked round upon his officers to see if any would take his side, and, when all were silent, he was too feeble to dare to order the arrest and trial of his too powerful captain. Growth of the House of David. - Proof of the advance of the house of David is furnished by the multiplication of his family at Hebron. The account of the sons who were born to David at Hebron does not break the thread, as Clericus, Thenius, and others suppose, but is very appropriately introduced here, as a practical proof of the strengthening of the house of David, in harmony with the custom of beginning the history of the reign of every king with certain notices concerning his family (vid., 2 Samuel 5:13.; 1 Kings 3:1; 1 Kings 14:21; 1 Kings 15:2, 1 Kings 15:9, etc.). We have a similar list of the sons of David in 1 Chronicles 3:1-4. The first two sons were born to him from the two wives whom he had brought with him to Hebron (1 Samuel 25:42-43). The Chethibh וילדו is probably only a copyist's error for ויּוּלדוּ, which is the reading in many Codices. From Ahinoam - the first-born, Amnon (called Aminon in 2 Samuel 13:20); from Abigail - the second, Chileab. The latter is also called Daniel in 1 Chronicles 3:1, and therefore had probably two names. The lamed before Ahinoam and the following names serves as a periphrasis for the genitive, like the German von, in consequence of the word son being omitted (vid., Ewald, 292, a.). The other four were by wives whom he had married in Hebron: Absalom by Maachah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur, a small kingdom in the north-east of Bashan (see at Deuteronomy 3:14); Adonijah by Haggith; Shephatiah by Abital; and Ithream by Eglah. The origin of the last three wives is unknown. The clause appended to Eglah's name, viz., "David's wife," merely serves as a fitting conclusion to the whole list (Bertheau on 1 Chronicles 3:3), and is not added to show that Eglah was David's principal wife, which would necessitate the conclusion drawn by the Rabbins, that Michal was the wife intended.
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