David’s Power and Family Grows; Abner Defects to David and is Killed by Joab

II Samuel 3


1 | House of David is strengthened and grows while the civil war continues
2-5 | David’s wives and sons
6-11 | Abner leaves Ish-bosheth
12-16 | Abner makes a covenant with David; David asks Ish-bosheth to send his wife Michal
17-19 | Abner urges the elders of Israel to make David king over all Israel
20-21 | Abner meets with David
22-25 | Joab inquires about Abner’s visit
26-30 | Joab kills Abner in revenge of Asahel
31-39 | David mourns Abner’s death, indicating his disapproval of the murder to the Israelites


David’s reign is strengthened during this time of civil war that lasts for seven and a half years while Ish-bosheth was still alive.  Abner, Ish-bosheth’s army commander, decided to seek out a covenant with David and to make him king of all Israel.

Joab heard of Abner’s visit after returning from a raid.  He then inquired of David as to the nature of his visit, believing that Abner was simply looking to take advantage of David.  Then Joab plotted to kill Abner because of the death of his brother Asahel at the hands of Abner in a time of war.  David mourns the death of Abner indicating that he did not sanction the death of Abner to the rest of the Israelite people.

Revenge is a very dangerous thing and it should be reserved for God, who is the only truly impartial judge of all mankind.  Here are some verses that speak to this idea.

Leviticus 19:16-18 NASB ‘You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD. 17 ‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 ‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.

Psalms 135:13-14 NASB Your name, O LORD, is everlasting, Your remembrance, O LORD, throughout all generations. 14 For the LORD will judge His people And will have compassion on His servants.

Ezekiel 25:12-17 NASB ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Because Edom has acted against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has incurred grievous guilt, and avenged themselves upon them,” 13 therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom and cut off man and beast from it. And I will lay it waste; from Teman even to Dedan they will fall by the sword. 14 “I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel. Therefore, they will act in Edom according to My anger and according to My wrath; thus they will know My vengeance,” declares the Lord GOD. 15 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Because the Philistines have acted in revenge and have taken vengeance with scorn of soul to destroy with everlasting enmity,” 16 therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will stretch out My hand against the Philistines, even cut off the Cherethites and destroy the remnant of the seacoast. 17 “I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes; and they will know that I am the LORD when I lay My vengeance on them.”‘”

2 Thessalonians 1:6-7 NASB For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,

Matthew 5:38-41 NASB “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ 39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.

Luke 6:27-36 NASB “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Romans 12:16-21 NASB Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1 Peter 3:8-12 NASB To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For, “THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. 11 “HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. 12 “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”

Vengeance and taking revenge never accomplishes anything but sin and harm or destruction.  Give room for God to exact His revenge and you will do well in the day when you need to give account for your life.

Lord God, King of the Universe, Defender of the oppressed, broken hearted and persecuted. We pray that those who would seek to execute judgment in wrath would be drawn to You and that Your Spirit would convict them of Your true nature and enable them to display Your love to those who might have mistreated them in someway.  May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

2 Samuel 3 - David's Power and Family Grows; Abner Defects to David and is Killed by Joab
2 Samuel 3 - David's Power and Family Grows; Abner Defects to David and is Killed by Joab
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