2 Samuel 2:10
Saul's son Ish-bosheth was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for two years. The house of Judah, however, followed David.
Strength and WeaknessH. E. Stone.2 Samuel 2:1-32
Attempts At Conciliation DefeatedW. G. Blaikie, M. A.2 Samuel 2:5-32
Opposition to the Divine PurposeB. Dale 2 Samuel 2:8-12

2 Samuel 2:8-12. - (MAHANAIM.)
The purpose of God, to make David king over his people, was as yet only in part accomplished; and its fulfilment was opposed by Abner (1 Samuel 14:50; 1 Samuel 17:55; 1 Samuel 20:25; 1 Samuel 26:5) on behalf of "the house of Saul." Having escaped from the battle of Gilboa, he "took Ishbosheth, the son of Saul" (a man of feeble character, and fitted to become a tool in his hands), "and brought him over to Mahanaim, and made him king over Gilead," etc. After five years of great exertions (while David reigned peacefully at Hebron) he drove the Philistines out of the country, openly proclaimed Ishbosheth (now forty years old) "king over all Israel," and "went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon" with the view of subjecting Judah to his sway. His principal motive was the desire of maintaining and increasing his own power. "He was angry that this tribe had set up David for their king" (Josephus). His conduct was "not only a continuation of the hostility of Saul towards David, but also an open act of rebellion against Jehovah" (Keil), whose purpose, as well as the wish of the elders of Israel, he well knew, as he afterwards acknowledged (2 Samuel 3:17, 18). His opposition represents and illustrates that of men to the purposes of God generally, and more especially to his purpose, that Christ shall reign over them and all mankind; of which observe that -

I. IT IS PLAINLY REVEALED. By the testimony of:

1. The Divine Word (1 Samuel 16:1). "To him give all the prophets witness," etc. (Acts 10:43; 1 Peter 1:11).

2. Significant events, in confirmation of the Word; the overthrow of adversaries, the exaltation of "his Chosen," the growth of his power (Acts 2:22-24).

3. The irresistible convictions of reason and conscience, and the confessions which even opponents have been constrained to make. Abner was present when Saul said, "Thou shalt both do great things and shalt also still prevail" (1 Samuel 26:25). His opposition was therefore inexcusable. "While men go on in their sins, apparently without concern, they are often conscious that they are fighting against God" (Scott).

II. IT MAY BE WICKEDLY OPPOSED (in virtue of the freedom which, within certain limits, men possess) because of:

1. The delusions of unbelief. The tempter whispers as of old, "Yea, hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1); they "wilfully forget" what has taken place (2 Peter 3:5); "neither will they be persuaded" of the truth and obligation of the Word of God (Luke 16:31).

2. The plea of present expediency, and the expectation that, if they must submit, there will come a "more convenient season" for doing so. Abner thought "that he might be able, upon better terms, to make his peace with David when the time should come that the Lord was to advance him to be ruler over all Israel" (Chandler).

3. Selfishness, pride, and ambition; the love of pleasure and power, the habit of self-will, the self-confidence engendered by success, "the mind of the flesh," which "is enmity against God. Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost" (Acts 7:51).

III. IT CANNOT BE EFFECTUALLY DEFEATED. "He must reign," in fulfilment of the Divine decree (Psalm 2:7; Psalm 110:1), which:

1. Changes not. "The Strength of Israel will not lie, nor repent" (1 Samuel 15:29).

2. Is effected by infinite wisdom and might, against which the skill and strength of men contend in vain.

3. Comes to pass either with or without their will, in mercy or in judgment, in the salvation of the penitent or the destruction of the persistently rebellious "These mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them bring hither and slay them before me" (Luke 19:27). - D.

And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the Lord.
David's sense of dependence upon God!

1. His passive patience is exquisitely touching, and presents such a contrast to his recent unsettled haste of spirit. We shall find this quiet restfulness characterising his triumphant hours. Not inertness and supineness — active dependence. Not sloth — that marked his faithless hours — but a calm restfulness, betokening living faith. He makes no effort to secure the throne, and yet every hope concerning it he has ever nourished is moving toward fruition. Had his eye rested upon the human side, he was well able to make the forward movement. By nature a man of quick decision and quicker action, his valiant men would urge him to move towards Jerusalem. Instead of any such movement, he stays "to inquire of the Lord" (2 Samuel 2:1).

2. Additional emphasis is given to this view of David's state of heart in the tone of his prayer: "Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?" not selecting the city. Being of the tribe of Judah, it rises to his lips to ask if he may be among his own people. Do we not often ask advice, with deepest emphasis when we see not our way? It is strong faith, genuine humility, which submits our choice to Divine over-ruling.

3. How simple the record I "So David went up thither." How much the record covers! Prompt obedience and unfaltering trust. This is the way to move towards the consummation of Divine purposes — to obey Divine commands unhesitatingly. "I made haste, and delayed not to keep Thy commandments" (Psalm 119:60).

4. The consequences of sin remain long after the sin itself is forgiven. David's sojourn among the Philistines bore fruit after many days — fruit that was bitter to the taste. For David to ally himself with the Philistines could bring only pain and weakness. To-day the believer marries the worldling, the child of God takes into partnership the child of the world. Ziklag experiences are repeated all too surely around us. Prompted to the deed by personal jealousy or fear of losing his position, Abner sets up as king Ishbosheth, Saul's son (ver. 8). To this the western tribes agree; — their fear lest David's compact with Philistia be yet undissolved largely minister. —

(H. E. Stone.)

Abigail, Abishai, Abner, Ahinoam, Asahel, Asherites, Ashurites, Asshurites, Benjamin, Benjaminites, Benjamites, David, Gibeon, Ishbosheth, Jabesh, Jezreel, Jezreelitess, Jizreelitess, Joab, Nabal, Ner, Saul, Zeruiah
Ammah, Arabah, Bethlehem, Carmel, Giah, Gibeon, Gilead, Hebron, Helkath-hazzurim, Jabesh-gilead, Jezreel, Jordan River, Mahanaim
David, Followed, Forty, However, Ishbosheth, Ish-bosheth, Ish-bo'sheth, Judah, Reign, Reigned, Reigning, Ruler, Saul, Saul's
1. David, by God's direction, with his company goes up to Hebron
4. where he is made king of Judah
5. He commends them of Jabesh Gilead for their king of Israel
8. Abner makes Ishbosheth king of Israel
12. A mortal skirmish between twelve of Abner's and twelve of Joab's men.
18. Asahel is slain
25. At Abner's motion, Joab sounds a retreat
32. Asahel's burial

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 2:10

     5716   middle age
     5947   shame
     7233   Israel, northern kingdom

2 Samuel 2:8-11

     5087   David, reign of
     7266   tribes of Israel

2 Samuel 2:8-17

     5607   warfare, examples

The Bright Dawn of a Reign
'And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And He said, Unto Hebron. 2. So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, Nabal's wife, the Carmelite. 3. And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 4. And the men of Judah came, and there
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The King.
We have now to turn and see the sudden change of fortune which lifted the exile to a throne. The heavy cloud which had brooded so long over the doomed king broke in lightning crash on the disastrous field of Gilboa. Where is there a sadder and more solemn story of the fate of a soul which makes shipwreck "of faith and of a good conscience," than that awful page which tells how, godless, wretched, mad with despair and measureless pride, he flung himself on his bloody sword, and died a suicide's death,
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David

This Affection the Martyrs of Christ Contending for the Truth did Overcome...
10. This affection the Martyrs of Christ contending for the truth did overcome: and it is no marvel that they despised that whereof they should, when death was overpast, have no feeling, when they could not by those tortures, which while alive they did feel, be overcome. God was able, no doubt, (even as He permitted not the lion when it had slain the Prophet, to touch his body further, and of a slayer made it to be a keeper): He was able, I say, to have kept the slain bodies of His own from the dogs
St. Augustine—On Care to Be Had for the Dead.

The First Chaldaean Empire and the Hyksos in Egypt
Syria: the part played by it in the ancient world--Babylon and the first Chaldaean empire--The dominion of the Hyksos: Ahmosis. Some countries seem destined from their origin to become the battle-fields of the contending nations which environ them. Into such regions, and to their cost, neighbouring peoples come from century to century to settle their quarrels and bring to an issue the questions of supremacy which disturb their little corner of the world. The nations around are eager for the possession
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 4

How the Meek and the Passionate are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 17.) Differently to be admonished are the meek and the passionate. For sometimes the meek, when they are in authority, suffer from the torpor of sloth, which is a kindred disposition, and as it were placed hard by. And for the most part from the laxity of too great gentleness they soften the force of strictness beyond need. But on the other hand the passionate, in that they are swept on into frenzy of mind by the impulse of anger, break up the calm of quietness, and so throw into
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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