Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 21

David’s last battle

2 Samuel 21:15-17

David’s first battle was his fight against Goliath, an extremely large man who was a champion in Philistia’s army (1 Samuel chapter 17). After that, David became a commander in Israel’s army before he became king. As the king of Israel, David continued to lead his men in some of their battles (for example, 2 Samuel 12:29).

In a series of wars, David’s army gained power over the nations that surrounded Israel, including Philistia (2 Samuel chapter 8). The result of those wars was that Israel had peace from its enemies. However, after some time, Philistia’s army became strong enough to attack Israel again.

David again, therefore, went into battle with his soldiers against Philistia’s army. It was an unwise decision, and David almost died in the battle. That happened when another extremely large man, Ishbi-Benob, attacked David. There were several of these very large men in Philistia’s army. They all came from the same family, and they were champions in that army.

David had often complained about the fierce attitudes of Abishai, Joab’s brother (19:22). However, David was truly grateful for Abishai’s brave and bold actions on that day. In this, David’s last battle, Abishai killed Ishbi-Benob and so saved David’s life.

After that, David’s soldiers would not allow David to join them in battle. They compared David’s life to a candle that is so easy to put out. However, their nation needed David, its king, even as a person needs light in the darkness. So, they did not dare to risk his life in battle (compare 2 Samuel 18:1-4).

Next part: The brave soldiers in Israel's army (2 Samuel 21:18-22)


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