2 Samuel 3:9
So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD has sworn to David, even so I do to him;
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(9) So do God to Abner.—The anger of Abner culminates in a solemn oath to transfer the kingdom to David, “as the Lord hath sworn to him.” There is no record of a Divine oath to give the kingdom to David, but the prophetic declaration that God’s choice of him was unalterable (1Samuel 15:29) may well have been considered to have the force of an oath. Abner does not propose to do this in order to fulfil the Divine will, for his words show that he had been acting hitherto in conscious opposition to that will, but to revenge himself for the insult now offered him. He had doubtless also become satisfied of his master’s entire unfitness for the throne, and his power over Israel opened before him the prospect of high preferment from David.

2 Samuel 3:9. As the Lord hath sworn to David — These words show clearly that Abner knew very well God had resolved to bestow the kingdom of Israel upon David; and yet he had hitherto opposed it with all his might, from a principle of ambition. That is, he had all this while fought against his own knowledge and conscience, and against God himself. Now, however, (but, alas! it is out of resentment to Ish-bosheth, and from a principle of revenge,) he complies with the divine will, and vows with an oath to do that to David which the Lord had sworn to him. Undoubtedly Abner talked most foolishly in this, as if God needed his help to bring to pass what he had sworn to David, or as if his opposition could prevent it!3:7-21 Many, like Abner, are not above committing base crimes, who are too proud to bear reproof, or even the suspicion of being guilty. While men go on in sin, and apparently without concern, they are often conscious that they are fighting against God. Many mean to serve their own purposes; and will betray those who trust them, when they can get any advantage. Yet the Lord serves his own designs, even by those who are thus actuated by revenge, ambition, or lust; but as they intend not to honour him, in the end they will be thrown aside with contempt. There was real generosity both to Michal and to the memory of Saul, in David's receiving the former, remembering probably how once he owed his life to her affection, and knowing that she was separated from him partly by her father's authority. Let no man set his heart on that which he is not entitled to. If any disagreement has separated husband and wife, as they expect the blessing of God, let them be reconciled, and live together in love.The words against Judah are very obscure. If the text be correct, the words would seem to be Ish-bosheth's, who in his anger had charged Abner with being a vile partisan of Judah: Abner retorts, "Am I((as you say) a dog's head which belongeth to Judah, or on Judah's side! This day I show you kindness, etc., and this day thou chargest me with a fault, etc." 2Sa 3:6-12. Abner Revolts to David.

6-11. Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul—In the East, the wives and concubines of a king are the property of his successor to this extent, that for a private person to aspire to marry one of them would be considered a virtual advance of pretensions to the crown (see 1Ki 2:17). It is not clear whether the accusation against Abner was well or ill founded. But he resented the charge as an indignity, and, impelled by revenge, determined to transfer all the weight of his influence to the opposite party. He evidently set a full value on his services, and seems to have lorded it over his weak nephew in a haughty, overbearing manner.

Whence it appears that this wicked wretch did all this while fight against his own knowledge and conscience, and against God himself. So do God to Abner, and more also,.... He wishes the worst of evils to himself, such as he cared not to name; but left them to be supposed what he meant as utter ruin and destruction of himself, soul and body:

except as the Lord hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; meaning if he did not do that David, which God had sworn should be done, namely, what follows, the translation of the kingdom to him; by which it appears that Abner knew of the promise and oath of God respecting this matter; and therefore acted against his conscience, in setting up Ishbosheth on the throne; which he knew would not prosper, and that he was fighting against God; which shows what a hardened wicked creature he was, and how far ambition, and being thought to be of consequence, will carry a man.

{e} So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him;

(e) We see how the wicked cannot abide being admonished about their faults, but seek their displeasure, who go about to bring them from their wickedness.

9. So do God, &c.] An oath characteristic of the books of Samuel and Kings. See note on 1 Samuel 3:17.

as the Lord hath sworn to David] No express divine oath promising the kingdom to David is recorded: but Samuel’s solemn declaration to Saul (1 Samuel 15:28-29), and his choice and anointing of David by divine command (1 Samuel 16:1-12), were equivalent to it. It seems to have been generally known that David was designated by God to be Saul’s successor (1 Samuel 25:28-31; 2 Samuel 5:2). “Abner is self-convicted by these words. He knew that the Lord had sworn to give the throne to David, and yet he had resisted—consciously resisted—to the best of his power the fulfilment of that high decree. He now reaps his reward in this, that his return to what was really his duty, bears the aspect of treachery, meanness, and dishonour. It now devolved upon him to undo his own work, whereas at the first it was in his power to subside into graceful and honourable acquiescence in a decree which, although distasteful to him, he could not and ought not to resist. Had he done this, his acknowledged abilities might have secured for him no second place among the worthies of David, and his end might have been very different.” Kitto, Bible Illustr. p. 324.Verse 9. - As the Lord hath sworn to David. This not only shows that the prophetic promise of the kingdom to David was generally known (see note on 2 Samuel 1:2), but that Abner regarded it as solemnly ratified. There is no express mention of any such oath, but Abner was a man of strong words, and possibly only meant that Jehovah's purpose was becoming evident by the course of events. Growth 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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