2 Samuel 3:30
So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.
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(30) Slew . . . had slain.—The words are different in Hebrew, the former denoting violence. Translate the latter had put to death. By this strong disapproval of Joab’s act, David shows that it was done without his knowledge or consent. He still remains at fault, however, for continuing Joab in his high and responsible position; but this seems to have been the result of inability to inflict proper punishment upon so powerful a subject, an inability which David on his death-bed sought to remedy by his charge to Solomon. (See 2Samuel 3:39; 1Kings 2:5.)

2 Samuel 3:30. So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner — For though Joab only committed the murder, yet Abishai was chargeable with the guilt of it, because it was done with his consent, counsel, and approbation. And he probably was near at hand when the bloody deed was perpetrated, ready to assist Joab if there should be need. Because he had slain their brother Asahel in battle — Which he did for his own necessary defence, and therefore it was no justification of this treacherous murder.

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 curse of David proves that Joab was not justified as blood-revenger or Goel 2 Samuel 3:27 in taking away Abner's life.

That leaneth on a staff - Rather, a crutch. The phrase denotes one lame or infirm. For similar instances of hereditary disease and poverty as a punishment of great sin, see 1 Samuel 2:31-33, 1 Samuel 2:36; 2 Kings 5:27; John 9:2.

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. Joab and Abishai; for though Joab only committed the murder, yet Abishai was guilty of it, because it was done with his consent, and counsel, and help, and approbation; for by these and such-like actions men are involved in the guilt of other men’s sins, at least in God’s judgment. Abner slew Asahel in the fury of battle, and for his own necessary defence; and therefore it was no justification of this unnecessary and treacherous murder in a time of peace.

So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner,.... For though it was only Joab that gave him the thrust of which he died, Abishai was in the secret, and was consenting and advising to his death, and so an accessory to it; and might be present, ready to assist in it, if occasion required; and so Josephus (k) expressly says, that Abishai his brother was with him when he drew his sword, and smote him:

because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle: which was no just reason at all; his blood was shed in war, this in peace, in cold blood, and under the guise of friendship; that was shed with reluctance, and after fair warning, and in defence of himself; but this wilfully in Joab, unawares to Abner, and in great deceit and hypocrisy; see 1 Kings 2:5.

(k) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 1. sect. 6.)

So Joab and {l} Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.

(l) Abishai is said to slay him with Joab, because he consented to the murder.

30. slew … slain] Murdered Abner, because he had slain, &c. The words in the Heb. are different, and the first denotes the violent character of the act. The Sept. however gives another reading, “Now Joab and Abishai were lying in wait for Abner, because &c.”

Verse 30. - Joab and Abishai his brother. Nothing is said of Abishai having taken part in the murder, but the words suggest that it was a premeditated act, and that Abishai was privy to it. 2 Samuel 3:30When 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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