2 Samuel 3:15
So Ish-bosheth sent and took Michal from her husband Paltiel son of Laish.
A Long WarC. M. Fleury, A. M.2 Samuel 3:1-39
Perpetual WarJ. Irons.2 Samuel 3:1-39
Progress and Termination of the Civil WarW. G. Blaikie, M. A.2 Samuel 3:1-39
A Domestic EpisodeB. Dale 2 Samuel 3:12-16

2 Samuel 3:12-16. - (BAHURIM.)
Michal was the first wife of David (1 Samuel 19:11-17). Of her he had been deprived when he fled from the court of Saul; she was given to Phaltiel (Phalti), the son of Laish, of Gallim (1 Samuel 25:44), by her father, perhaps as a piece of policy, to attach him to his house, and they lived together for many years, apparently in much domestic comfort. We have here -

I. AN INJURED HUSBAND DEMANDING HIS JUST RIGHT. "Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require," etc. (ver. 13). The demand was:

1. Founded upon justice; David having been unjustly and contemptuously treated.

2. Reverential toward the Law, which had been flagrantly violated. It does not appear that Michal was ever legally divorced from David.

3. Incited by affection toward her and the memory of her early love to him.

4. Adapted to test the sincerity and fidelity of Abner, and prepare the way for further negotiations.

5. Consistent with his honour. He could not suffer his wife to live as the wife of another man without shame.

6. Calculated to remind the northern tribes of his former services against the Philistines (vers. 15, 18).

7. And to increase his influence over them by the maintenance of his family alliance with the house of Saul and the public recognition of his power. There was policy as well as principle in the condition imposed.

II. A FEEBLE RULER ENFORCING A HUMILIATING REQUIREMENT. "And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, Saul's son," etc. (ver. 14). "Not to Abner, but to Ishbosheth (for the league between David and Abner was a profound secret), whom David knew must act feebly, as he was at Abner's dictation" ('Speaker's Commentary'), "to demand the restoration of Michal, that her return might take place in duly legal form" (Keil), and that it might be apparent that he "had not taken her by force from her husband." Nothing is said of Ishbosheth's feelings on receiving the message. Like other incapable monarchs, he never exhibited any spirit except on the point of his royal dignity; and, even on this, his wrath was extinguished before the frown of Abner. Under constraint, he sent Abner himself, and took his sister from her husband. And the effect of this concession must have been to discredit him in the eyes of the people and hasten his downfall. Henceforth it was hardly necessary that Abner should disguise his intentions (ver. 17). There is no more pitiful sight than that of a man who holds the royal office without adorning it with royal qualities.

III. A HELPLESS SUBJECT SUBMITTING TO A PAINFUL NECESSITY. (Vers. 15, 16.) The scene is a pathetic one. Michal conducted forth, attended by her husband, "weeping behind her" to Bahurim (2 Samuel 19:17), on the borders of Judah, where he was compelled to part from her, with the contemptuous order, "Go, return." "And he returned" in bitter disappointment, grief, and shame. Yet he had brought his trouble on himself. How fruitful in domestic misery are imprudence, ambition, and sinful expediency! It may be long delayed, but it surely comes. Men reap. as they sow. "Wherefore all Phaltiel's tears move no pity of mine. Caveat raptor, let him beware who violently takes another man's wife, seeing shame and sorrow are the issue of such ungodly marriages" (T. Fuller). "His tears ought to have been tears of repentance for his sin against God and against David" (Wordsworth). Perchance there lay hid in the evil he now suffered the seed of future good. But here his history ends.

IV. A HAUGHTY PRINCESS RESTORED TO HER LEGITIMATE LORD. Nothing is said of their meeting. This silence is ominous; and it is to be feared that the reunion was not one of unmingled satisfaction. Time and circumstances may have changed her feelings toward David (1 Samuel 18:20), separated her more widely from him in spiritual sympathy, and developed in her heart her father's pride. She was now only one of many wives. At a subsequent meeting (2 Samuel 6:20) she was scornful, jealous, and unspiritual. And that which David anticipated with pleasure became an occasion of pain and lasting trouble. - D.

To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul.
The kingdom was to pass from the house of Saul to the house of David, and David was to be king "over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba." The thought is that kingdoms of an earthly kind change hands, and therefore they are to be regarded as belonging to things temporary and mutable, and not to things eternal and unchangeable. What hast thou that thou hast not received? By long use men come to entertain the idea of sole proprietorship, and thus the sense of monopoly increases. Our children are not ours, they are God's; our lives are not our own, they belong to the Creator; we have no, thing, except in the sense of stewardship and in the sense of involving responsibility for the use we make of it. It is well that men can only reign for a certain time; it, would be well if royalty could change its point of origin, so that human vanity might be checked and human ambition might be baffled in many a course. We are not to think of earthly kingdoms alone as meaning political sovereignities; we are to think of personal influence, institutional functions, and all arrangements made to meet the necessity of the present day; all these things must be changed in order to be purified; the direction may be altered in order that attention may be wakened; those who imagine themselves secure for ever must be shaken out of their security, that they may learn that there is no permanence but in God. The Lord reigneth. All men reign under Him, and are subject to His will. They only are happy who use the world as not abusing it, and who hold it with so light a hand that at any moment they can lay it down again.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Someone has pithily said: "There are three kinds of histories. There is that which makes the king the centre of the story. The tale is mainly one of wars and their causes. It speaks glowingly of the king's victories, and explains away his defeats. It has been dubbed, 'The Drum and Trumpet History.' Then there is that which traces the growth of the people — their morals, customs, politics, and religion. This is the 'Bread and Success' history. But, last of all, there is the history like that of the chosen nation, where the guide and ruler is God. This is true history, for it reckons in the mightiest fact and force of all. It is the 'Sane and Sublime History,' and no other is worth the name."

Abigail, Abishai, Abital, Abner, Absalom, Adonijah, Ahinoam, Aiah, Amnon, Asahel, Benjamin, Benjamites, Chileab, Dan, David, Eglah, Gibeon, Haggith, Ishbosheth, Ithream, Jezreel, Jezreelitess, Jizreelitess, Joab, Laish, Maacah, Maachah, Michal, Nabal, Ner, Paltiel, Phaltiel, Rizpah, Saul, Shephatiah, Talmai, Zeruiah
Bahurim, Beersheba, Bethlehem, Carmel, Dan, Geshur, Gibeon, Hebron
Husband, Ishbosheth, Ish-bosheth, Ish-bo'sheth, Laish, La'ish, Orders, Paltiel, Pal'ti-el, Phaltiel, Taketh
1. During the war David becomes stronger
2. Six sons are born to him in Hebron
6. Abner, displeased with Ishbosheth
7. revolts to David
13. David requires as a condition to bring him his wife Michal
17. Abner confers with the Israelites, feasted by David, and dismissed
22. Joab returning from battle, is displeased with the king, and kills Abner
28. David curses Joab
31. and mourns for Abner

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 3:12-21

     5087   David, reign of

The King --Continued.
The years thus well begun are, in the historical books, characterized mainly by three events, namely, the bringing up of the ark to the newly won city of David, Nathan's prophecy of the perpetual dominion of his house, and his victories over the surrounding nations. These three hinges of the narrative are all abundantly illustrated in the psalms. As to the first, we have relics of the joyful ceremonial connected with it in two psalms, the fifteenth and twenty-fourth, which are singularly alike not
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David

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

Of a Private Fast.
That we may rightly perform a private fast, four things are to be observed:--First, The author; Secondly, The time and occasion; Thirdly, The manner; Fourthly, The ends of private fasting. 1. Of the Author. The first that ordained fasting was God himself in paradise; and it was the first law that God made, in commanding Adam to abstain from eating the forbidden fruit. God would not pronounce nor write his law without fasting (Lev. xxiii), and in his law commands all his people to fast. So does our
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

A Believer's Privilege at Death
'For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' Phil 1:1I. Hope is a Christian's anchor, which he casts within the veil. Rejoicing in hope.' Rom 12:12. A Christian's hope is not in this life, but he hash hope in his death.' Prov 14:42. The best of a saint's comfort begins when his life ends; but the wicked have all their heaven here. Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.' Luke 6:64. You may make your acquittance, and write Received in full payment.' Son, remember that
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Morning of Good Friday.
The pale grey light had passed into that of early morning, when the Sanhedrists once more assembled in the Palace of Caiaphas. [5969] A comparison with the terms in which they who had formed the gathering of the previous night are described will convey the impression, that the number of those present was now increased, and that they who now came belonged to the wisest and most influential of the Council. It is not unreasonable to suppose, that some who would not take part in deliberations which were
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Growth in Grace
'But grow in grace.' 2 Pet 3:38. True grace is progressive, of a spreading and growing nature. It is with grace as with light; first, there is the crepusculum, or daybreak; then it shines brighter to the full meridian. A good Christian is like the crocodile. Quamdiu vivet crescit; he has never done growing. The saints are not only compared to stars for their light, but to trees for their growth. Isa 61:1, and Hos 14:4. A good Christian is not like Hezekiah's sun that went backwards, nor Joshua's
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

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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