Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 3

David’s family in Hebron

2 Samuel 3:1-5

David wanted peace in Israel, not war. However, Israel had two kings at that time. David ruled only the southern part of Israel, and Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son, ruled the rest of Israel. In those circumstances, peace seemed impossible.

However, David himself seemed to relax during the years that he ruled in Hebron. For the first time, he was able to spend some time with his wives and to have children. He also added several more wives to his family. In the customs of that time, that fact was evidence that he was now a wealthy man (compare 1 Samuel 18:23). However, in this matter David was not obeying God’s law (Deuteronomy 17:17).

We have said something about David’s earlier wives in our study of 2 Samuel 2:2-3. However, it is now Maacah, the mother of Absalom, who gains our attention. She was a royal wife, the daughter of the king of Geshur. Often, kings arranged such marriages as part of a peace agreement between their nations. Geshur was probably part of one of the nations that appear in the list of the original inhabitants of Canaan (Deuteronomy 7:1-6). It was against God’s law for Israel’s people to marry anyone from those nations. In addition, Israel’s people should not have made peace agreements with them.

Geshur’s people had a special reason to want a peace agreement with David. Their land was inside Israel’s borders, although they had their own government. God gave that land to Israel’s people, but Israel’s people had been unable to remove them from there (Joshua 13:13).

Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah, three of David’s sons who were born in Hebron, later caused much trouble for him. We will read about their wrong and evil acts in later chapters. Such complex families often do have many problems. There is much practical wisdom in Paul’s advice that a church leader should have only one wife (1 Timothy 3:2).

Next part: Abner and Rizpah (2 Samuel 3:6-7)


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