Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 3

The funeral of Abner

2 Samuel 3:31-32

David was a good and holy man, and he wanted to establish Israel as a nation with a truly good government. In such a nation, judgements would always be right, and wicked people have no authority (Psalm 101).

Such a nation will exist in the future, when God establishes the rule of his king, called the Messiah or Christ (Isaiah 11:1-9). However, the nation that David ruled would not be perfect. God did not give David the power to stop all the activities of evil people in his nation. Nor did God give him power to remove them completely from his government. David would therefore have to rule a nation with many problems.

At Abner’s funeral, David realised that fact, and it affected him deeply. The person responsible for Abner’s death was Joab, the most important man in David’s government and the leader of his army. Joab had shown that he did not care about the law. His behaviour was as bad as any criminal. However, Joab was already too powerful for David to do anything against him. Joab was already doing whatever he wanted to do; David could not stop him.

However, David could show that he truly regretted Abner’s death. David himself gave great honour to Abner in the funeral procession; he even insisted that Joab must do the same thing. David declared clearly that he considered Abner a great and honourable man.

In that way, King David showed that he himself did not approve of any evil act. On this occasion, David could not punish Joab, the guilty man. However, David showed clearly that he himself was completely against such wicked acts.

Next part: David's sad song about Abner (2 Samuel 3:33-34)


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