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2 Samuel 2:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— But, Abner son of Ner, prince of the host that pertained unto Saul, took Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Abner, son of Ner, head of the host which Saul hath, hath taken Ish-Bosheth, son of Saul, and causeth him to pass over to Mahanaim,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— But Abner the son of Ner, general of Saul's army, took Isboseth the son of Saul, and led him about through the camp,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— But Abner the sonne of Ner, captaine of Sauls hoste, tooke Ishbosheth the sonne of Saul, and brought him ouer to Mahanaim.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— But Abner{gr.Abenner}, the son of Ner, the commander-in-chief of Saul's army, took Ishbosheth{gr.Jebosthe} son of Saul, and brought him up from the camp to Manaem
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— But Avner the son of Ner, captain of Shaul's host, took Ish Bosheth the son of Shaul, and brought him over to Machanayim;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
But Avnr אַבנֵר 74
{0074} Prime
From H0001 and H5216; father of light (that is, enlightening); Abner, an Israelite.
the son 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Nr נֵר, 5369
{5369} Prime
The same as H5216; lamp; Ner, an Israelite.
captain 8269
{8269} Prime
From H8323; a head person (of any rank or class).
of l's שָׁאוּל 7586
{7586} Prime
Passive participle of H7592; asked; Shaul, the name of an Edomite and two Israelites.
host, 6635
{6635} Prime
From H6633; a mass of persons (or figurative things), especially regularly organized for war (an army); by implication a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically hardship, worship).
took 3947
{3947} Prime
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
Κ Be אִישׁ־בֹּשֶׁת 378
{0378} Prime
From H0376 and H1322; man of shame; IshBosheth, a son of King Saul.
the son 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of l שָׁאוּל, 7586
{7586} Prime
Passive participle of H7592; asked; Shaul, the name of an Edomite and two Israelites.
and brought him over 5674
{5674} Prime
A primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation).
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
to Manayim מַחֲנַיִם; 4266
{4266} Prime
Dual of H4264; double camp; Machanajim, a place in Palestine.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Samuel 2:8-17

_ _ 2 Samuel 2:8-17. Abner makes Ish-bosheth king over Israel.

_ _ Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host took Ish-bosheth — Here was the establishment of a rival kingdom, which, however, would probably have had no existence but for Abner.

_ _ Ish-bosheth — or “Esh-baal” (1 Chronicles 8:33; 1 Chronicles 9:39). The Hebrews usually changed names ending with Baal into Bosheth (“shame”) (compare Judges 9:53 with 2 Samuel 11:21). This prince was so called from his imbecility.

_ _ Abner — was first cousin of Saul, commander of the forces, and held in high respect throughout the country. Loyalty to the house of his late master was mixed up with opposition to David and views of personal ambition in his originating this factious movement. He, too, was alive to the importance of securing the eastern tribes; so, taking Ish-bosheth across the Jordan, he proclaimed him king at Mahanaim, a town on the north bank of the Jabbok, hallowed in patriarchal times by the divine presence (Genesis 32:2). There he rallied the tribes around the standard of the unfortunate son of Saul.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Samuel 2:8-17

_ _ Here is, I. A rivalship between two kings — David, whom God made king, and Ishbosheth, whom Abner made king. One would have thought, when Saul was slain, and all his sons that had sense and spirit enough to take the field with him, David would come to the throne without any opposition, since all Israel knew, not only how he had signalized himself, but how manifestly God had designated him to it; but such a spirit of contradiction is there, in the devices of men, to the counsels of God, that such a weak and silly thing as Ishbosheth, who was not thought fit to go with his father to the battle, shall yet be thought fit to succeed him in the government, rather than David shall come peaceably to it. Herein David's kingdom was typical of the Messiah's, against which the heathens rage and the rulers take counsel, Psalms 2:1, Psalms 2:2. 1. Abner was the person who set up Ishbosheth in competition with David, perhaps in his zeal for the lineal succession (since they must have a king like the nations, in this they must be like them, that the crown must descend from father to son), or rather in his affection to his own family and relations (for he was Saul's uncle), and because he had no other way to secure to himself the post of honour he was in, as captain of the host. See how much mischief the pride and ambition of one man may be the occasion of. Ishbosheth would never have set up himself if Abner had not set him up, and made a tool of him to serve his own purposes. 2. Mahanaim, the place where he first made his claim, was on the other side Jordan, where it was thought David had the least interest, and being at a distance from his forces they might have time to strengthen themselves. But having set up his standard there, the unthinking people of all the tribes of Israel (that is, the generality of them) submitted to him (2 Samuel 2:9), and Judah only was entirely for David. This was a further trial of the faith of David in the promise of God, and of his patience, whether he could wait God's time for the performance of that promise. 3. Some difficulty there is about the time of the continuance of this competition. David reigned about seven years over Judah only (2 Samuel 2:11), and yet (2 Samuel 2:10) Ishbosheth reigned over Israel but two years: before those two years, or after, or both, it was in general for the house of Saul (2 Samuel 3:6), and not any particular person of that house, that Abner declared. Or these two years he reigned before the war broke out (2 Samuel 2:12), which continued long, even the remaining five years, 2 Samuel 3:1.

_ _ II. An encounter between their two armies.

_ _ 1. It does not appear that either side brought their whole force into the field, for the slaughter was but small, 2 Samuel 2:30, 2 Samuel 2:31. We may wonder, (1.) That the men of Judah did not appear and act more vigorously for David, to reduce all the nation into obedience to him; but, it is likely, David would not suffer them to act offensively, choosing rather to wait till the thing would do itself or rather till God would do it for him, without the effusion of Israelitish blood; for to him, as a type of Christ, that was very precious, Psalms 72:14. Even those that were his adversaries he looked upon as his subjects, and would treat them accordingly. (2.) That the men of Israel could in a manner stand neuter, and sit down tamely under Ishbosheth, for so many years, especially considering what characters many of the tribes displayed at this time (as we find, 1 Chronicles 12:23, etc.): Wise men, mighty men, men of valour, expert in war, and not of double heart, and yet for seven years together, for aught that appears, most of them seemed indifferent in whose hand the public administration was. Divine Providence serves its own purposes by the stupidity of men at some times and the activity of the same persons at other times; they are unlike themselves, and yet the motions of Providence are uniform.

_ _ 2. In this battle Abner was the aggressor. David sat still to see how the matter would fall, but the house of Saul, and Abner at the head of it, gave the challenge, and they went by the worst. Therefore go not forth hastily to strive, nor be forward to begin quarrels, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, Proverbs 25:8. A fool's lips and hands enter into contention.

_ _ 3. The seat of the war was Gibeon. Abner chose it because it was in the lot of Benjamin, where Saul had the most friends; yet, since he offered battle, Joab, David's general, would not decline it, but there joined issue with him, and met him by the pool of Gibeon, 2 Samuel 2:13. David's cause, being built upon God's promise, feared not the disadvantages of the ground. The pool between them gave both sides time to deliberate.

_ _ 4. The engagement was at first proposed by Abner, and accepted by Joab, to be between twelve and twelve of a side. (1.) It should seem this trial of skill began in sport. Abner made the motion (2 Samuel 2:14): Let the young men arise and play before us, as gladiators. Perhaps Saul had used his men to these barbarous pastimes, like a tyrant indeed, and Abner had learnt of him to make a jest of wounds and death and divert himself with the scenes of blood and horror. He meant, “Let them fight before us,” when he said, “Let them play before us.” Fools thus make a mock at sin. but he is unworthy the name of a man that can be thus prodigal of human blood, that can thus throw about firebrands, arrows, and death, and say, Am not I in sport? Proverbs 26:18, Proverbs 26:19. Joab, having been bred up under David, had so much wisdom as not to make such a proposal, yet had not resolution enough to resist and gainsay it when another made it; for he stood upon a point of honour, and thought it a blemish to his reputation to refuse a challenge, and therefore said, Let them arise; not that he was fond of the sport, or expected that the duels would be decisive, but he would not be hectored by his antagonist. How many precious lives have thus been sacrificed to the caprices of proud men! Twelve of each side were accordingly called out as champions to enter the lists, a double jury of life and death, not of others', but their own; and the champions on Abner's side seem to have been most forward, for they took the field first (2 Samuel 2:15), having perhaps been bred up in a foolish ambition thus to serve the humour of their commander-in-chief. But, (2.) However it began, it ended in blood (2 Samuel 2:16): They thrust every man his sword into his fellow's side (spurred on by honour, not by enmity); so they fell down together, that is, all the twenty-four were slain, such an equal match were they for one another, and so resolute, that neither side would either beg or give quarter; they did as it were by agreement (says Josephus) dispatch one another with mutual wounds. Those that strike at other men's lives often throw away their own and death only conquers and rides in triumph. The wonderful obstinacy of both sides was remembered in the name given to the place: Heldath-hazzurimthe field of rocky men, men that were not only strong in body, but of firm and unshaken constancy, that stirred not at the sight of death. Yet the stout-hearted were spoiled, and slept their sleep, Psalms 76:5. Poor honour for men to purchase at so vast an expense! Those that lose their lives for Christ shall find them.

_ _ 5. The whole army at length engaged, and Abner's forces were routed, 2 Samuel 2:17. The former was a drawn battle, in which all were killed on both sides, and therefore they must put it upon another trial, in which (as it often happens) those that gave the challenge went away with loss. David had God on his side; his side therefore was victorious.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Samuel 2:8

Abner — Tho' ambition and desire of rule, because he knew that Ishbosheth would have only the name of king, whilst he had the power.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

1 Samuel 14:50 And the name of Saul's wife [was] Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the captain of his host [was] Abner, the son of Ner, Saul's uncle.
1 Samuel 17:55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son [is] this youth? And Abner said, [As] thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
1 Samuel 26:14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who [art] thou [that] criest to the king?

Saul's host:
Heb. the host which was Saul's


2 Samuel 3:7-8 And Saul had a concubine, whose name [was] Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and [Ishbosheth] said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine? ... Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, [Am] I a dog's head, which against Judah do shew kindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to day with a fault concerning this woman?
2 Samuel 4:5-6 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. ... And they came thither into the midst of the house, [as though] they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth [rib]: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.
1 Chronicles 8:33 And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
1 Chronicles 9:39 And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
, Esh-baal


2 Samuel 17:26-27 So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead. ... And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
Genesis 32:2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, This [is] God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
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Gn 32:2. 1S 14:50; 17:55; 26:14. 2S 3:7; 4:5; 17:26. 1Ch 8:33; 9:39.

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