2 Samuel 3:35
And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down.
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(35) To eat meat.—The fasting of David in his grief had already attracted attention, so that the people came to urge him to take food; but he utterly refused “till the sun be down,” the usual time of ending a fast. David’s conduct had a good effect upon the people, and, indeed, they were generally disposed to look favourably upon whatever the king did.

2 Samuel 3:35. All the people came to cause David to eat — This was agreeable to the usage of the Jews; for when any one died among them, “it was customary with the friends of the family to resort to the house immediately after the funeral, and bring the best provisions they had along with them to support and refresh their friends in affliction, to the utmost of their power. And surely a more humane and benevolent usage never obtained in any country. The presumption was, that people in affliction forgot, or, it may be, neglected, their proper refreshment at a time when they most needed it; and therefore it was the business of friendship, and one of its kindest offices, to supply that care.” David sware, saying, God do so to me, &c. — He absolutely refused to touch a morsel, and confirmed the refusal by an oath, that he would taste nothing till the sun went down. “He was resolved to clear his innocence by all the tests of real sorrow, and to satisfy the people that this was a just occasion of grief, he put them in mind of his dignity to whom he paid it.” See 2 Samuel 3:38, Delaney.

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.To eat meat ... - Fasting was a sign of the deepest mourning 2 Samuel 1:12. The fast lasted until the sun was set. 33, 34. the king lamented over Abner—This brief elegy is an effusion of indignation as much as of sorrow. As Abner had stabbed Asahel in open war [2Sa 2:23], Joab had not the right of the Goel. Besides, he had adopted a lawless and execrable method of obtaining satisfaction (see on [258]1Ki 2:5). The deed was an insult to the authority, as well as most damaging to the prospects of the king. But David's feelings and conduct on hearing of the death, together with the whole character and accompaniments of the funeral solemnity, tended not only to remove all suspicion of guilt from him, but even to turn the tide of popular opinion in his favor, and to pave the way for his reigning over all the tribes more honorably than by the treacherous negotiations of Abner. To eat meat; to refresh and cheer up his depressed spirits, as they used to do at funerals. See Jeremiah 16:5 Ezekiel 24:17.

Till the sun be down, i.e. till evening; for then fasting days ended of course.

And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day,.... The custom was to bury in the daytime, and after the funeral was over to provide and send in food to the relations of the deceased, and come and eat with them; as was also the usage with the Greeks and Romans (w); See Gill on Jeremiah 16:5 and See Gill on Jeremiah 16:7; and kings themselves used to attend those feasts; for the Jews say (x),"when they cause him (the king) to eat, all the people sit upon the ground, and he sits upon the bed;''but in this case David refused to eat with them:

David sware, saying, so do God to me, and more also; may the greatest evils, and such as I care not to mention, befall me; and even more and worse than I can think of and express:

if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down; perhaps the funeral was in the morning, as funerals with the Jews generally now are; for otherwise if it was now towards evening, his abstinence from food till that time would not have seemed so much, nor required much notice, and still less an oath.

(w) Vid. Kirchman. de Funer. Roman, l. 4. c. 5. & 6. (x) Misn. ut supra. (Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 3.) David de Pomis ut supra. (Lexic. fol. 119. 4.)

And when all the people came to cause David to eat {o} meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down.

(o) According to their custom, which was to feast at burials.

35. to cause David to eat meat] Fasting was the usual accompaniment of mourning. To shew his grief and his respect for Abner David refused to eat until sunset, the regular time for terminating a fast. Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 1:12.

meat] Lit. bread. In Biblical English the word denotes food in general, and is never restricted to its modern meaning flesh.

Verse 35. - The people came to cause David to eat meat. The Jewish commentators, Philippson, Cahen, etc., consider that the occasion for this was given by the custom of taking food after a funeral (Jeremiah 16:7; Ezekiel 24:17), which in time degenerated into the giving of a costly banquet (Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 2:01). To this day, at a Jewish funeral in Germany, the bearers are regaled with eggs, broad, and wine. While, then, others were partaking of the food that had been provided, David remained apart, and when urged by the assembled multitude to join them in their meal, he protested that he would continue fasting until sunset. He thus proved that his sorrow was genuine, and the people were convinced of his innocence, and pleased at the honour which he thus did to the fallen soldier. 2 Samuel 3:35But David mourned so bitterly, that when all the people called upon him to take some food during the day, he declared with an oath that he would not taste bread or anything else before the setting of the sun. לחם הברות does not mean, as in 2 Samuel 13:5, to give to eat, on account of the expression "all the people," as it can hardly be imagined that all the people, i.e., all who were present, could have come to bring David food, but it signifies to make him eat, i.e., call upon him to eat; whilst it is left uncertain whether David was to eat with the people (cf. 2 Samuel 12:17), i.e., to take part in the funeral meal that was held after the burial, or whether the people simply urged him to take some food, for the purpose of soothing his own sorrow. אם כּי are to be taken separately: כּי, ὅτι, introducing the oath, and אם being the particle used in an oath: "if," i.e., assuredly not.
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