Random verse for the day:
Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am. (2Sa 2:20)
The chapter in general:
Don't ya just love synchronicity? Yesterday's random verse study could easily have been a prequel to today's study!
In yesterday's study, King Saul went to a woman with a familiar spirit in order to ask her to raise the spirit of Samuel for him. This she does, but King Saul didn't get the help he was hoping for from Samuel. In fact, Samuel tells him that he and his sons would fall to the Philistines the very next day.
Today's study picks up with Samuel's prophecy from the grave having come to pass. King Saul and his son Jonathan have fallen in battle, news which fell on David's ear out of the mouth of the very man who had killed King Saul (2 Samuel 1:8-10), an Amalekite who had escaped the battlefield. In spite of the fact that King Saul had persecuted David and sought to kill him on occasion, David and all the men with him fast and mourn Saul's death, and David composes a lamentation over him. First though, he kills the Amalekite for having killed King Saul.
The chapter we're studying today opens with David, now aware of Saul's death, asking God whether it was His will that David should go to any of the cities of Judah, to which God replies in the affirmative. When David asks which city to go to, God tells him to go to Hebron.
With David and company now in Hebron, the men of Judah come to David and annoint him king over them. Having done so, they inform David that the men of a city named Jabeshgilead had been the ones who buried King Saul. David, in appreciation of the kindness they had shown his one time friend-enemy-friend by burying him, sends messengers to the men of that town with a message of thanks and blessing, and a promise that King David would repay their kindness. The message also informs the men of Jabeshgilead that the house of Judah has annointed David king in an apparent invitation to join themselves to Judah in doing so.
Well, ya can't win 'em all. Abner, the commander of Saul's army, takes Saul's son Ishbosheth to Mahanaim and there annoints him king over the Gileadites, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, basically every tribe of Israel other than the tribe of Judah. Ishbosheth reigns as king over all Israel minus Judah for two years, during which time Judah remained faithful to David, who remained in and reigned from Hebron for the next seven and a half years.
At some point, Abner and the servants of Ishbosheth travel from Mahanaim to Gibeon, and are met there by Joab and the servants of King David. Here and in the case of Ishbosheth's servants, we may assume that the word servants is used to describe soldiers.
Sitting on opposite sides of the pool of Gibeon, Abner and Joab have a very short pow-wow. It went something like this: Abner: "Hey Joab! Why don't we just have the young men with each of us fight it out right here and now?" Joab: "Let's get it on!"
Twelve men from each camp (a dozen from the tribe of Benjamin on Ishbosheth's side, and a dozen from the tribe of Judah on David's side) come together to do battle. Their strategies seem to be a bit lacking. According to the story, each man grabs the hair of his opponent and shoves the blade of his sword through his opponent's side. All twenty four combatants are killed.
Might Ye'shua have been thinking about this very story when he said...
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: (Mat 12:25)
Anyway, following that less than impressive exhibition of skill in combat on the part of both groups of combatants, all hell breaks loose, and there is a bloody battle between the camps of David and Ishbosheth. King David's camp trounces the men of Israel under Ishbosheth, and chases them until sunset. Abner calls to Joab from the top of a hill where the forces of Ishbosheth had fled and reconsolidated, asking him how long he would pursue and continue the battle. He encourages him to leave off the battle and the pursuit, and Joab agrees, replying by telling him that if he hadn't said what he said, they would have continued to the finish. Instead, both camps return to their homes, and the bloodshed ends for the time being.
If you're keeping score, David's forces trounced the combined forces of the kingdom of Israel. David's losses totalled twenty men, while Ishbosheth lost 360 men in battle.
Thus ends the chapter.
Thought for the day:
Three hundred and eighty men, all of whom traced their lineage through the same family, were killed in today's study. For what? Politics.
All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence. (Isa 40:17, Job 15:31)
Some things never change. Until Ye'shua returns, that is! Even so, come, LORD!
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (1Co 15:24-25)
The Century of the Self: PART 1 PART 2 PART 3
Rec this entry - Click here!<--- Or RIGHT click and add to favorites and then use to rec any Xanga entry that the rec button doesn't work for. You'll have to accept a security dialogue box that pops up. It's okay. Lemme know if it works for you like it does for me!
Peace be with and in Father's house. Peace to all reading.