0 Am I a dog's head? The revolt and death of Abner (2 Sam 3)

Episode 118: Am I a dog's head? The revolt and death of Abner

2 Samuel 3

David impregnates six women

3 1 During the war between David and Saul's son, Ishbosheth, David became stronger and Ishosheth became weaker.

2 David had six sons in Hebron.

His firstborn son was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam.

3 His second son, Chileab, of Abigail.

The third, Absalom the son of Maacah.

4 The fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith.

The fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital.

5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah.

Abner revolts against Ishbosheth

7 Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah.

During the war, Ishbosheth said to his captain, Abner,

Why did you have sex with my father's concubine?

8 Abner answered, saying:

Am I a dog's head?

I've been loyal to you and protected you from David. Why do you accuse me of this?

9-10 But now I'm going to help David steal your kingdom.

He will become king over both Judah and Israel.

12 Then Abner sent a message to David, saying, "I will help you become king of Israel."

David steals Michal from her husband

14 David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, saying,

Bring me my wife Michal, who I bought for a hundred Philistine foreskins.

15-16 So Ishbosheth took Michal from her husband, Phaltiel, who went along weeping behind her.

Joab kills Abner

20 David and Abner met to discuss their plans to steal Israel from Ishbosheth.

24 When David's captain, Joab, heard about the agreement between David and Abner, he was angry. He didn't trust Abner and thought he was trying to deceive David.

26 So Joab sent messengers to Abner asking him to return to Hebron.

27 When Abner came to Hebron, Joab took him aside to speak to him quietly. Then Joab smote him under the fifth rib.

28 David proclaimed himself guiltless and condemned Joab, saying:

Let the blame rest on the head of Joab, and on his whole family, and on all of his descendants forever.

29 May all of his descendants have discharges from their penises, be lepers, lean on a staff, commit suicide, or starve to death.

30 (The reason Joab wanted to kill Abner was that Abner smote his brother Asahel under the fifth rib, when he refused to turn to the right or the left.)

31-32 David said to Joab and all of the people with him,

Rend your clothes and put on sackcloth.

Then they buried Abner and everyone wept.

35 All the people brought David meat to eat. But David said,

I swear to God that I won't eat until the sun goes down.

36 This pleased the people, as everything that David did pleased all of the people.

A few more words about this episode

Saul's son, Ishbosheth (3:1)
Ishbotheth was Saul's only surviving son and became the king of Israel when Saul died.
David had six sons in Hebron. (3:2)
According to 2 Sam 5:5, David reigned for 7 years and six months in Hebron.
The Bible doesn't say whether he had any daughters in Hebron.

Up to now, we've known about three of David's wives: Michal, who Saul sold to David for 200 Philistine foreskins, but who was later given by Saul to another man; Abigail, who became David's wife after God killed her husband, Nabal; and Ahinoam, who David just somehow acquires when he took Abigail.

Saul's wife was also named Ahinoam - which makes some scholars think that David may have not only married Saul's daughter, Michal, but his wife as well. (Cf. 2 Sam 12:8)

But now, David collects four more wives: Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah.

Who were the sons of David born in Hebron

Ishbosheth took Michal from her husband, Phaltiel. (3:15)
After David fled from Judah to live with the Philistines, Saul gave her to Phaltiel. (1 Sam 25:44, Episode 114)

Michal was Saul's daughter and Ishbosheth's sister.

This re-marriage of David and Michal would have been an abomination to God (Deuteronomy 24:4).

Lean on a staff (3:29)
A man who "leans on a staff" is an effeminate male - according to the note in the Harper-Collins Study Bible.
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