2 Samuel 2

What direction did David receive after this from the Lord, and what is said of his compliance with it? V. 1—3.

By what ceremony was he then declared king of Judah, and what information was then given him?

What respectful and grateful message did he thereupon send to the men of Jabesh-Gilead V. 4—7,

What rival successor to the crown now appeared, by whom and where was he brought forward, and with what success? v. 8—11. N. B. Mahanaim was on the east side of Jordan where it is supposed David had the least interest. But great numbers from all the other tribes, except Judah, soon flocked to Ishbosheth.

How long a time elapsed before hostilities commenced between them? N. B. David and Ishbosheth seem to have commenced their reign about the same time, and to have reigned together as long as David had his kingdom in Hebron, which was seven years and six months. The two first years of this period passed peaceably, but war broke out at the end of that time which continued during the remaining four years and six months, When Ishbosheth was slain, and David began to reign over the rest of Israel.

Relate the circumstances which gave rise to the unhappy contest here recorded, and the issue of it. N. B. As Gibeon was in the tribe of Benjamin, it appears that Abner had marched his army over the Jordan, no doubt with the intention of provoking a quarrel.

Is this a specimen of the slight and trivial causes from which bloody wars have often risen?

What may we suppose to have been David's reasons for not being the first to commence hostilities against his rival? 1 Sam. 24. 16—22.

Were the three young men mentioned v. 18. related to David, and how? 1 Chron. 2. 16.

What is said of Asahel and his fate, and what stopped his pursuers, except Joab and Abishai? v. 18—24. N. B. As Abner slew Asahel in self-defence, he cannot be blamed for the deed any farther than as he was the original cause of the contest.

Where did Abner rally his scattered forces, and what did he say to Joab in begging for a cessation of arms ?

Does he seem to cast the whole blame upon Joab, and to adopt a far more serious style than that which he used at the commencement of the contest?

How did Joab reply, and what was the import of his words? N.B. "Unless thou hadst spoken," undoubtedly refers to Abner's original banter at the pool of Gibeon ; " Unless thou hadst bidden the young men to rise up, and play before us, none of us had struck a stroke, or drawn a sword against our brethren."

What did he then generously do to stop the pursuers, and afford their brethren an opportunity to escape?

Whither did they respectively return, and what was found to be the loss on both sides?

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