Study Notes

2Samuel 3:1-5:25

3:1 War Between Houses

Last week, we saw that after Saul's death, David had been crowned king over Judea. However, Abner - the commander of Saul's army - had made Saul's son Yish-BO-sheth had been made king over the rest of Israel. At the instigation of the commanders, not the kings, war broke out between the two kingdoms.

As we begin tonight's study, we see that David is growing stronger, while Saul's son Yish-BO-sheth is becoming weaker.

3:2-5 David's Sons

2Sam. 3:2-5 Sons were born to David at Kheb-RONE: his first-born was Am-NOHN, by Akh-ee-NO-am the Jezreelitess; and his second, Kil-AWB, by Abigail the widow of Naw-BAWL the Carmelite; and the third, Ab-shaw-LOME the son of Mah-ak-AW, the daughter of Tal-MAH-ee, king of Ghesh-OOR; and the fourth, Ad-o-nee-YAW the son of Khag-GHEETH; and the fifth, Shef-at-YAW the son of Ab-ee-TAL; and the sixth, Yith-reh-AWM, by David's wife Eg-LAW. These were born to David at Kheb-RONE.

Although David was righteous in many areas of his life, women was not one of them. The Scriptures clearly proclaimed,

Deut. 17:14-17 "When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,' you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, {one} from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman. Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.' Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away..."

David is now married to Akh-ee-NO-am, Abigail, Mah-ak-AW, Khag-GHEETH, Ab-ee-TAL, Eg-LAW. He was also married to Me-KAWL, bringing the total to seven, and this is only the beginning!

As we have talked about so many times before, God's ideal for marriage is one man, one wife. As a result, David's family will be terribly messed up with sin.

3:6-11 Abner Trades Allegiances

Abner was well-respected among the people of Israel, with more experience, wisdom, and strength than Saul's son Yish-BO-sheth who was sitting on the throne. But he had supported Yish-BO-sheth, even being the one that made him king (2Sam. 2:8-9), when he could have easily taken the position himself.

Now Yish-BO-sheth accuses him of having sexual relations with one of his father's concubines, Rits-PAW, the daughter of Ah-YAW. The Scripture does not say that Abner actually did this, so Abner was angry. After all, he had not betrayed Yish-BO-sheth to David, and had actually supported his kingdom. Now, he says that he will trade his allegiance to David. As far as Abner is concerned, David will be king over all Israel, from Dan to Be-AYR SHEH-bah.

3:12-16 David Calls For Michal

Abner sends a message to David saying, "Whose is the land?" Abner was very powerful, and the Israelites' loyalty was to him. But he says that if David makes a covenant with him, then he will direct their loyalties to David.

David agreed with one condition: Saul had given his daughter Me-KAWL to David in marriage. Then, when David ran from Saul's murderous intentions, Saul gave Me-KAWL to another man to marry. David is telling Abner to bring Me-KAWL back.

Now, I don't know what David's motivation was here. We do know that Me-KAWL loved David (1Sam. 18:20). But the Scriptures never say what David's feelings towards her were. So as to whether David was asking for her to come back was because of love, I do not know. There could have also been a very strong political motivation to do this. Me-KAWL was King Saul's daughter. If he were married to her again, he would again be the king's son-in-law, giving him legal right to Saul's throne. As to whether or not this entered David's mind, I do not know.

At any rate, Abner agreed to this proposal. David sent a message to Yish-BO-sheth demanding his wife (Yish-BO-sheth's sister) back, and Ish-BO-sheth acquiesced. Me-KAWL was taken from her second husband, Pal-tee-ALE the son of Loosh, and sent back to David.

Pal-tee-ALE followed, weeping as he went. Abner finally told him to get lost at Bakh-oo-REEM.

3:17-21 Abner Campaigns For David

Abner used his popularity and political clout to get the elders of Israel to back David as king. He reminded them too that the Lord had spoken through Samuel the prophet that David would save Israel from the Philistines and all their enemies.

After gathering their support, Abner met with David at Kheb-RONE. The deal was struck, and Abner left - a friend of David.

3:22-25 Joab Learns Of Abner's Visit

Yo-AWB returned from a raid, and heard that Abner had come to see David. He also heard that David had let him go in peace.

This must have seemed to Yo-AWB to be a terrible injustice. After all, it was Abner who had killed his brother As-aw-ALE (2Sam. 2:23). He confronted David with it, trying to convince him that Abner had come under false pretenses - that he was actually spying for Yish-BO-sheth.

3:26-27 Joab Kills Abner

Not finding David to be a partner in his anger and bitterness, Yo-AWB decided to deal with it on his own. He had a message sent to Abner, calling him back from where he was, at the well of See-RAW, about 2 1/2 miles away.

The city of Kheb-RONE had two gates, and between them was a roofed area (2Sam. 18:24) with a room over it (2Sam 18:33).

It was dark and out of sight of the people, giving Yo-AWB the opportunity he desired to kill Abner.

3:28-39 David's Grief Over Abner's Death

Yo-AWB and Ab-ee-SHAH-ee, the sons of Tser-oo-YAW, took revenge for the death of their brother Aw-aw-ALE in the battle at Ghib-OHN. This proved to be both a personal and public relations nightmare for David. Publicly, it looked like he had ordered the death of Abner. Unfortunately, he was too weak to have Yo-AWB killed, so he pronounced a curse upon his household.

All he could do to demonstrate his innocence in the matter was to show his feelings of sadness for the dead of Abner. He commanded everyone - even Yo-AWB - to lament over the death of Abner.

4:1-7 Rechab and Baanah Kill Ish-bosheth

Yish-BO-sheth heard that Abner had been killed, which put him in an even weaker place. Two of his commanders, Bah-an-AW and Ray-KAWB (sons of Rim-MONE) posed as delivery men, and snuck up in Yish-BO-sheth as he was taking a noon nap. They killed him and brought his head to David.

4:8-12 Rechab And Baanah Are Killed

David did not believe in killing his Jewish enemies. He figured that was for God to do. He had said regarding Saul,

1Sam. 26:9-11 "...who can stretch out his hand against the LORD'S anointed and be without guilt?" David also said, "As the LORD lives, surely the LORD will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD'S anointed..."

David didn't need or want this kind of help. Not against Saul, not against Yish-BO-sheth. He has Bah-an-AW and Ray-KAWB killed for their treason against their king.

5:1-5 David Is Made King

David is finally made king over all of Israel. How many years earlier - at least eight - he had been anointed by the Lord (1Sam.16:13 )! What seemed like an impossibility had finally come to pass!

Godly men have their years in the wilderness. That's how they become godly men! Joseph had his time in prison. Moses had his years in Midian. David had his years in Engedi. But they were all exalted after they endured.

Today, if you are in a wilderness experience, remember,

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

You have not been abandoned into the wilderness. It is simply your training ground.

5:6-9 David Captures The Stronghold Of Zion

David led his men to Jerusalem, which was in the territory of the tribe of Judah. In Judges we read,

Judg. 1:8 Then the sons of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire.

However, they could not drive out the Jebusites.

Josh. 15:63 Now as for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not drive them out; so the Jebusites live with the sons of Judah at Jerusalem until this day.

The men of Judah could not defeat the Jebusites, for they were protected in the stronghold of Zion. This was a mighty fortress that seemed impenetrable. It was so protective that the Jebusites told David, "Even our blind and lame could protect us here!"

But David told his men to enter the stronghold through the water tunnel. Thus, he captured the stronghold of Zion in Jerusalem and lived in it.

There are strongholds in our lives that need to be conquered. 2Corinthians says,

2Cor. 10:3-5 (KJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

There are strongholds in our flesh, in our thoughts, that need to be conquered. But they are not conquered in the flesh, in brute strength. If David had attacked the stronghold in strength, they would never have broken through. It was too strong. Maybe you've got a stronghold in your life that is that way. An addiction to alcohol or tobacco. A habit of sin that you just can't seem to break, that you don't have the willpower to tear down. Do like David did. The secret way to conquer this stronghold is not in brute strength, but in the water tunnel!

In the Scriptures, water typologically represents the Word of God. As Paul wrote,

Eph. 5:26 the washing of water with the word

The secret entrance into your stronghold is the Word of God. Stop trying to defeat the problem head-on. Instead, get into the water tunnel of the Word of God. Instead of sitting there saying, "I won't drink. I won't drink. I won't drink," get into the Scriptures!

Rom. 8:5-6 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace

Col. 3:1-5 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

It is when you stop banging on the doors of the stronghold, and begin to enter through the water tunnel that you will find victory.

5:10-12 For The Sake Of Israel

Khee-RAWM, the king of Tyre, sent supplies and craftsmen to make a house for David.

David came to the realization that he had become king because the Lord wanted to bless the people of Israel. This is the most important lesson that any leader can learn: he is not exalted for himself, but to bless the people he leads.

Anytime that we get full of ourselves, "Well, God has lifted me up because I'm so talented, so charismatic, so able, so handsome..." then we are useless for service in the kingdom. But if we remember what Paul said to the Corinthians,

1Cor. 1:26-29 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.

If all who are in positions of authority and leadership remember this, then we will do well!

5:13-16 Concubines And Sons

2Sam. 5:14-16 Now these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Sham-MOO-ah, Sho-BAWB, Nathan, Solomon, Yib-KHAR, El-ee-SHOO-ah, NEH-feg, Yaw-FEE-ah, El-ee-shaw-MAW, El-yaw-DAW and El-ee-FEH-let.

Again, David is outside of God's command in this area of his life.

5:17-21 David Fights The Philistines

Hearing that David was now the king of Israel, the Philistines decided to attack. David prayed and asked the Lord if he should fight them. The Lord said yes and David was victorious. He named the place BAH-al Per-aw-TSEEM, which means, "where Baal was broken through."

David and his men carried off their idols, but it was not for worship. 1Chronicles tells us,

1Chr. 14:12 And they abandoned their gods there; so David gave the order and they were burned with fire.

They destroyed the Philistines' idols.

5:22-25 David Asks Again

The Philistines came again to attack. Same place, same plan of action, right? Wrong!

David prayed again. He inquired of the Lord to see what they should do.

This is something that has really convicted me this week. Too often, I have sought the Lord in a new thing. "Lord, how should we respond to this difficulty?" Or, "What would you have us do regarding this ministry?" And the Lord has always been faithful to direct us in the right way.

However, the next time the same situation rolls around, I think, "I've got this covered. God told me what to do before." And that's the big mistake we frequently make. Just because God told you to attack from the front last time doesn't mean that the same applies for this time. Maybe this time He wants you to circle around and attack from the rear.

This is why the Lord has taught us to seek Him daily. The Israelites had to gather manna to eat each day. It didn't keep overnight. We are taught to pray,

Matt. 6:11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.

Jesus told us,

Luke 9:23 ..."If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Seeking the Lord is not something we do once to get the answer in a given situation. It is about inquiring daily for today's needs and situations.

Fortunately, David knew to inquire of the Lord every time. He was victorious - striking down the Philistines from GHEH-bah as far as GHEH-zer.

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