Study Guide

2 Samuel Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

David Tested, God Approved

  • Next, David asks God if he should head up to the cities of Judah. God says, "Yeah, boyyyyyyyeeee" (or, uh, words to that effect).
  • God says specifically to go to Hebron—so David packs up the ol' Station Wagon (or chariots and horses, more likely), brings his wives, his men, and all their households, and settles in Hebron, where the people of Judah make him the king of Judah.
  • People tell David that the people of Jabesh-Gilead buried Saul. David praises them, saying the Lord will bless them for doing right by his anointed (even though God didn't particularly like Saul).
  • Problem is, there's about to be a power struggle. Saul's son, Ishbaal, has become the head of the northern kingdom of Israel, along with Abner, Saul's head general. But the text says Ishbaal is only going to reign for two years, whereas David will have around seven as king of Judah.

Near-East-Side Story

  • Abner and Ishbaal take their men and go and meet David's army at the pool of Gibeon. What starts out as a contest between twelve of David's men and twelve of Ishbaal's quickly escalates into full-on war, and David's men stab and kill Ishbaal's quickly. We're talking Sharks vs. Jets-style combat here, people.
  • So, the rumble's on. In the end, Abner and his troops meet defeat at the hands of David's army.

Chase Sequence

  • But towards the end of the battle, one of David's nephews, Asahel, gets caught up in pursuing Abner. Abner keeps telling him to turn back and chase someone else, but Asahel doesn't want to look like a wimp. It comes down to combat, and Abner kills Asahel.
  • Asahel's two brothers, Abishai and Joab (an important character), chase after Abner to try to kill for killing their bro.
  • However, Abner poignantly pleas for an end to this civil war, asking them how long kinsmen can go on killing each other.
  • Joab thinks this is a good point, and calls off the chase. They let Abner and Ishbaal retreat with their army.
  • It turns out that David's troops only suffered twenty casualties, whereas Abner and Ishbaal lost three hundred and sixty men.
  • David's army buries Asahel in Bethlehem, and then marches on to Hebron.

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