2 Samuel 3:2
And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;
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(2-5) And unto David.—The list of David’s sons born during his seven and a half years’ reign in Hebron rather interrupts the continuity of the narrative, but is quite in accordance with the habit of the sacred historians to insert at the beginning or at some turning point in each reign statistics about the house or family of the king. (See 1Samuel 14:49-51; 2Samuel 5:13; 1Kings 3:1; 1Kings 14:21; 1Kings 15:2; 1Kings 15:9, &c.)

Amnon.—Written “Aminon” in 2Samuel 13:20. His great crime and miserable end are related in 2 Samuel 13.

Chileab.—Called “Daniel” in 1Chronicles 3:1. None of the attempts to explain these as two forms of the same name have been successful. Either, therefore, “Chileab” is an error of the scribe (all but the first letter being the same as the first three letters of the following word), or, more probably, Chileab had a double name. Nothing further is known of him, and as he does not appear in the subsequent troubles, it is supposed that he died early. These two sons were born of the wives whom David had taken while an outlaw.

Absalom.—His history, rebellion, and death are narrated in 2 Samuel 13-18. His mother was “the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur,” a petty province north-east of Bashan. How David was brought into connection with him, and whether this alliance had any political object or not, we are not told, but the fact that Absalom in his exile naturally sought refuge with his maternal grandmother (2Samuel 13:37) may have had a connection with David’s subsequent campaigns in that region.

Adonijah.—After the death of his three elder brothers, Adonijah considered himself the rightful heir to the throne, and embittered the last days of his father by a rebellion (1 Kings 1). He was at last put to death by Solomon (1Kings 2:25).

Of the other two sons, Shephatiah and Ithream, and of the mothers of the last three, nothing is known, although there is an absurd Jewish tradition that “Eglah” was another name for “Michal.”

2 Samuel 3:2-3. Unto David sons were born of Ahinoam — He had no children, it seems, by this wife during his exile; or if he had, they were daughters. The daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur — A part of Syria, northward from the land of Israel. How David came by this wife it is not easy to say. Perhaps he married her out of policy, that he might have a powerful friend and ally in her father, to assist him against Ish-bosheth’s party in the north, while himself opposed them in the south. But if so, he paid dear for making piety give place to policy, as the history of Absalom, whom he had by her, shows.

3:1-6 The length of this war tried the faith and patience of David, and made his settlement at last the more welcome. The contest between grace and corruption in the hearts of believers, may fitly be compared to this warfare. There is a long war between them, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; but as the work of holiness is carried on, corruption, like the house of Saul, grows weaker and weaker; while grace, like the house of David, grows stronger and stronger.Joab, having stopped the pursuit, passed the night with his army on the field of battle; the next morning he numbered the missing, and buried the dead; they carried the body of Asahel to Bethlehem and buried him there, and then joined David at Hebron. Hebron would be about 14 miles from Bethlehem, or about five hours' march. 2. unto David were sons born in Hebron—The six sons mentioned had all different mothers. No text from Poole on this verse.

And unto David were sons born in Hebron,.... He was married before he came there, had wives in his state of exile, but had no children by them there, at least no sons; if any, only daughters:

and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; who being mentioned first, and her son his firstborn, seems to have been his wife before be took Abigail; he had not much comfort of this firstborn son of his; see 2 Samuel 13:1.

And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;
Verse 2. - Unto David were sons born. This increase of his wives is mentioned as a proof of David's prosperity. For though contrary to the Law (Deuteronomy 17:17), it was yet looked upon as part of the state of a king, and as such had been practised by Gideon (Judges 8:30), who approached more nearly to the royal dignity than any other of the judges. But it is the rule of the Books of Samuel that they generally abstain alike from praise and 'blame, and allow facts to speak for themselves. But never did a history more clearly deserve the title of 'A Vindication of the Justice of God.' Alike in Eli, in Saul, and in David, their sufferings were the result of their sins, and to the polygamy and lust of the last are due both the crimes which stained his character and the distress of the last twenty years of his life. (For Amnon, his first born, see ch. 13.) 2 Samuel 3:2Growth 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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