Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 3
For a long time, Abner had led Israel’s soldiers in battles against the men who supported David. In those battles, Abner was fighting in support of Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son, whom Abner had appointed as king of most of Israel. However, after a serious argument with Ish-Bosheth, Abner promised to support David instead of Ish-Bosheth (3:6-10).
The leader of the men who fought for David was Joab. At this time, David ruled only over Judah, a region in the south of Israel. Immediately south of Judah was the desert. Large groups of robbers lived in that desert, and they often attacked the towns in Judah. Many of those robbers belonged to the people called Amalekites. So, an important part of the work for Joab and his men was to defend Judah from those robbers. They often carried out attacks against the robbers in the desert, as 1 Samuel 27:8-12 describes.
On his return from one of these battles, Joab heard that David had met with Abner. Abner had explained to David his (Abner’s) plan to appoint David as the king of all Israel. David received Abner in a friendly manner. So, David was now at peace with Abner and the soldiers whom Abner led.
However, David had not discussed this peace agreement with Joab. Joab was very angry. He declared that David could not trust Abner. Abner was plotting against David, Joab said. However, Joab did not explain the real reason for his anger. It was because Abner had killed Asahel, Joab’s brother, in the battle at Gibeon (2:18-23).
Next part: Joab kills Abner (2 Samuel 3:26-27)
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