2 Samuel 4:10
When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:
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(10) Who thought that I would have given him.—The words thought that I would are not in the original, and the literal translation of the margin is better: “which was the reward I gave him.” This shows very plainly David’s view of the motive which prompted the Amalekite to his lie recorded in 2Samuel 1:10.

4:8-12 A person may be glad to obtain his just wishes, and yet really regret the means by which he receives them. He may be sorry for the death of a person by which he is a gainer. These men shed innocent blood, from the basest motives. David justly executed vengeance upon them. He would not be beholden to any to help him by unlawful practices. God had helped him over many a difficulty, and through many a danger, therefore he depended upon him to crown and complete his own work. He speaks of his redemption from all adversity, as a thing done; though he had many storms yet before him, he knew that He who had delivered, would deliver.As though they would have fetched wheat - This is a very obscure passage, and the double repetition in 2 Samuel 4:6-7 of the murder of the king and of the escape of the assassin, is hard to account for. Rechab and Baanah came into the house under the pretence of getting grain, probably for the band which they commanded out of the king's storehouse, and so contrived to get access into the king's chamber; or, they found the wheat-carriers (the persons whose business it was to carry in grain for the king's household) just going into the king's house, and by joining them got into the midst of the house unnoticed. If the latter be the sense, the literal translation of the words would be: "And behold (or, and there) there came into the midst of the house the carriers of wheat, and they (i. e. Rechab and Baanah) smote him, etc." 2Sa 4:10-12. David Causes Them to Be Put to Death. No text from Poole on this verse.

When one told me, saying, behold, Saul is dead,.... No more is related, not that he killed him, or assisted in killing him, only that he was dead; by which it appears, as Abarbinel thinks, that the Amalekite did not slay Saul, and that David did not put him to death on that account, but for what follows:

thinking to have brought good tidings; which would have been very acceptable to David, that he would have rejoiced and exulted at it as he did; but he was mistaken; instead of that,

I took hold of him, and slew him at Ziklag; that is, ordered one of his young men to lay hold on him, and slay him, as he did, 2 Samuel 1:15,

who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings; a handsome present, as the Targum here, a gift, or raised him to some post of honour and profit.

When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:
10. when one told me, &c.] The Amalekite who pretended to have slain Saul (ch. 2 Samuel 1:2 ff.).

slew him … who thought that I would have given him] Or, slew him … to give him a reward, &c. In this case the expression is bitterly ironical. ‘He expected a reward, and I gave it him; but it was the reward of death.’

2 Samuel 4:10But David rewarded them very differently from what they had expected. He replied, "As Jehovah liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, the man who told me, Behold, Saul is dead, and thought he was a messenger of good to me, I seized and slew at Ziklag (vid., 2 Samuel 1:14-15), to give him a reward for his news: how much more when wicked men have murdered a righteous man in his house upon his bed, should I not require his blood at your hand, and destroy you from the earth?" The several parts of this reply are not closely linked together so as to form one period, but answer to the excited manner in which they were spoken. There is first of all the oath, "As truly as Jehovah liveth," and the clause appended, "who redeemed my soul," in which the thought is implied that David did not feel it necessary to get rid of his enemies by the commission of crimes. After this (2 Samuel 4:10) we have an allusion to his treatment of the messenger who announced Saul's death to him, and pretended to have slain him in order that he might obtain a good reward for his tidings. כּי, like ὅτι, simply introduces the address. בּעיניו ... המּגּיד is placed at the head absolutely, and made subordinate to the verb by בו after ואחזה. לתתּי־לו, "namely, to give him." עשׁר is employed to introduce the explanation, like our "namely" (vid., Ewald, 338, b.). בּשׂרה, good news, here "the reward of news." The main point follows in 2 Samuel 4:11, beginning with כּי אף, "how much more" (vid., Ewald, 354, c.), and is introduced in the form of a climax. The words משׁכּבו ... אנשׁים are also written absolutely, and placed at the head: "men have slain," for "how much more in this instance, when wicked men have slain." "Righteous" (zaddik), i.e., not guilty of any wicked deed or crime. The assumption of the regal power, which Abner had forced upon Ishbosheth, was not a capital crime in the existing state of things, and after the death of Saul; and even if it had been, the sons of Rimmon had no right to assassinate him. David's sentence then follows: "And now that this is the fact, that ye have murdered a righteous man, should I not," etc. בּער, to destroy by capital punishment, as in Deuteronomy 13:6, etc. דּם בּקּשׁ ( equals דּם דּרשׁ, Genesis 9:5), to require the blood of a person, i.e., to take blood-revenge.
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