Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 3

David establishes friendly relations with Abner

2 Samuel 3:20-21

Abner, the chief commander of Israel’s army, had made a plan to appoint David as king of all Israel. That plan seemed to be working well. The most important people in Israel had agreed to it. Even the people from the tribe (family group) of Benjamin, to which Saul’s family belonged, had agreed.

Next, it was necessary for David to approve the plan. Abner brought with him 20 men, probably leaders of the people or of the army. It seems likely that these men hoped to be important officials in David’s new government.

Abner’s plan was to gather all Israel’s people together for a great ceremony. It was the special duty of an army leader to gather the people together; for example, it was necessary for him to gather the men for war. So, clearly, Abner expected to continue to be in charge of the army. However, the main purpose of this ceremony was to appoint David as king. The people who gathered all supported David. Therefore, if very many people came, David would be a powerful king. That fact would encourage Israel’s people greatly – and it would cause Israel’s enemies to be afraid.

For a long time, those enemies had attacked and taken advantage of Israel. However, with a powerful king, Israel could fight back and defeat them. In that way, Abner was also preparing for war (3:18).

So Abner made careful preparations. However, to succeed in these plans, he would also have to deal with Joab, who was very angry with him. Joab was the commander of the men in Judah, who were already fighting on David’s behalf. Abner had killed Asahel, Joab’s brother, in the battle at Gibeon (2:18-23).

Next part: Joab's anger against Abner (2 Samuel 3:22-25)


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