2 Samuel 3:28
And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner:
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(28) I and my kingdom are guiltless.—This was true. Joab’s act was entirely without David’s knowledge, and was not only against his will on moral grounds, but was in danger of proving disastrous to him politically; hence he takes the strongest means of showing his abhorrence of the deed.

2 Samuel 3:28-29. When David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless — Josephus says, he lifted up his hands to God, and, with a loud voice, cried out publicly that God knew he was innocent in this matter; and therefore he trusted God would not let him and his kingdom suffer for it. And on all his father’s house — David’s indignation at the fact transported him much too far in making him wish that all Joab’s family might suffer for it, which was contrary to the law of God. See Deuteronomy 24:16. “Methinks,” says Henry, “a resolute punishment of the murderer himself would better have become David than this passionate imprecation of God’s judgments upon his posterity.” But, perhaps, the words are to be considered as a prediction rather than as an imprecation. Accordingly, Houbigant renders them, but it shall or will rest upon the head of Joab, and on all his father’s house, and there will not fail, &c.

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.The well Sirah - Nowhere else mentioned; according to Josephus, about two and a half miles from Hebron. 24-27. Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done?—Joab's knowledge of Abner's wily character might have led him to doubt the sincerity of that person's proposals and to disapprove the policy of relying on his fidelity. But undoubtedly there were other reasons of a private and personal nature which made Joab displeased and alarmed by the reception given to Abner. The military talents of that general, his popularity with the army, his influence throughout the nation, rendered him a formidable rival. In the event of his overtures being carried out, the important service of bringing over all the other tribes to the king of Judah would establish so strong a claim on the gratitude of David, that his accession would inevitably raise a serious obstacle to the ambition of Joab. To these considerations was added the remembrance of the blood feud that existed between them since the death of his brother Asahel (2Sa 2:23). Determined, therefore, to get Abner out of the way, Joab feigned some reason, probably in the king's name, for recalling him, and, going out to meet him, stabbed him unawares; not within Hebron, for it was a city of refuge, but at a noted well in the neighborhood. David said publicly, before his courtiers and people; and seriously, as in God’s presence; I call the Lord to witness, that this was not done by my instigation or authority, or by any public counsel, but only by Joab’s malice; and therefore I trust that God will not punish me nor my kingdom, but Joab only.

And afterward, when David heard it,.... That Joab had sent to fetch Abner back, and that he had stabbed him in the gate of the city, and he was dead; it was some time after it was done that the news of it was brought to David; this circumstance is observed, the more to clear the king from any concern in this affair:

he said; in a public manner, in open court, before all his princes; he called God to witness, and, as Josephus (i) says, stretching out his right hand to God, he cried aloud:

I and my kingdom are guiltless before the Lord for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner; he was sensible it would be known that Abner had been with him, and that Joab his general had killed him; and therefore it might be suspected that he had an hand in it, and that it was done by his order, with his privy council; and therefore, to purge him and them from it, he made this public declaration, that neither he nor his council knew anything of it; and that it was not done with their knowledge and consent, and by their order, but through the resentment of a single person; and therefore hoped that no man would impute the shedding of this blood unto them, or that God would punish them for it; and he was the rather led to make this public declaration, because he knew that the death of Abner in this way would be resented by the friends of Saul's family, and be an obstruction to the union of the two kingdoms, which it was known Abner was endeavouring to bring about.

(i) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 1. sect. 6.

And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are {k} guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner:

(k) the Lord knows that I did not consent to his death.

28–30. The Curse of Blood-guiltiness

28. I and my kingdom are guiltless] With a strong asseveration David asserts his entire innocence of any complicity in this murder. Neither upon himself personally nor upon “his kingdom,” i.e. the royal house, his descendants and successors, could punishment for shedding this innocent blood justly fall. Cp. 1 Kings 2:31-33. For the doctrine of a divine judgment which was certain to fall upon the murderer and his posterity, “visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children,” see Genesis 4:11; Deuteronomy 21:6-9; Matthew 23:35. Compare the Greek belief in the avenging Furies who dogged the murderer’s steps.

Verse 28. - I and my kingdom are guiltless. By this David means, not his royal house, but the people generally, who too often have to pay the penalty for the sins of their rulers (see 2 Samuel 21:1). Necessarily this is the case, wherever the crime is a state crime; but David protests that Abner's murder was a private crime, for which Joab and Abishai alone ought to suffer. 2 Samuel 3:28When David heard this, he said, "I and my kingdom are innocent before Jehovah for ever of the blood of Abner. Let it turn (חוּל, to twist one's self, to turn or fall, irruit) upon the head of Joab and all his father's house (or so-called family)! Never shall there be wanting (יכּרת אל, let there not be cut off, so that there shall not be, as in Joshua 9:23) in the house of Joab one that hath an issue (vid., Leviticus 15:2), and a leper, and one who leans upon a stick (i.e., a lame person or cripple; פּלך, according to the lxx σκυτάλη, a thick round staff), and who falls by the sword, and who is in want of bread," The meaning is: May God avenge the murder of Abner upon Joab and his family, by punishing them continually with terrible diseases, violent death, and poverty. To make the reason for this fearful curse perfectly clear, the historian observes in 2 Samuel 3:30, that Joab and his brother Abishai had murdered Abner, "because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle" (2 Samuel 2:23). This act of Joab, in which Abishai must have been in some way concerned, was a treacherous act of assassination, which could not even be defended as blood-revenge, since Abner had slain Asahel in battle after repeated warnings, and only for the purpose of saving his own life. The principal motive for Joab's act was the most contemptible jealousy, or the fear lest Abner's reconciliation to David should diminish his own influence with the king, as was the case again at a later period with the murder of Amasa (2 Samuel 20:10).
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