2 Samuel 3:36
And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatever the king did pleased all the people.
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2 Samuel 3:36-37. All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them — They were satisfied concerning David’s integrity, and the sincerity of his sorrow at the death of Abner, and pleased with the honour he had done that great man. Whatsoever the king did pleased the people — By this conduct he so ingratiated himself with them that they were disposed to put a kind construction upon all his actions, as wise and well becoming him. For all Israel understood that it was not of the king to slay Abner — That he neither ordered it, nor consented to it, nor in any way approved of it; but was heartily grieved for his death.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. Took notice of it; observed what the king said and did. It pleased them; they were satisfied concerning David’s integrity, and the method he used here for his own just vindication.

Whatsoever the king did; either in this matter; or rather, in all things following this action. The meaning is, by his carriage herein he gained so great an interest in the hearts of his people, that they judged most favourably of, and put the best construction upon, all his words and actions; as, on the contrary, when people have a prejudice against or an ill will towards their prince, they are apt to judge most harshly of all his counsels and doings. And all the people took notice of it,.... Not only of his oath, that he would not eat food till evening, but of his whole conduct at the funeral of Abner; the sorrow he expressed for his death, and the oration he made on account of it, in which he pretty severely reflected on his murderer:

and it pleased them; that he showed such a concern for his death, and that it was a clear case he had no hand in it:

as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people; what he did at this time, burying Abhor with so much pomp and ceremony; and indeed he had so much the hearts of the people, and such a share in their affections, and they had such an high opinion of him, that all that he did in public and private affairs they reckoned well done; they were highly approved of by them, such an interest had he in them.

And all the people took notice of it, and it {p} pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people.

(p) It is expedient sometimes not only to conceive inward sorrow, but also that it may appear to others, so that they may be satisfied.

Verse 36. - Whatsoever the king did pleased all the people. This is a tribute to the king's conduct generally. The people would have been grieved and astonished if David had been guilty of this mean murder; but his indignant disavowal of it was in accordance with his usual justice and uprightness, and so it confirmed their high opinion of him. Thus while the more distant tribes condemned David, those who had the best opportunity for forming a judgment gave their verdict in his favour. When 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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