Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lies before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The hill of Ammah.—No identification of either Ammah or Giah has yet been made, but as it was “by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon,” it may be conjectured that it was not far from that town, and hence that the pursuit was not long.
19-32. Asahel pursued after Abner—To gain the general's armor was deemed the grandest trophy. Asahel, ambitious of securing Abner's, had outstripped all other pursuers, and was fast gaining on the retreating commander. Abner, conscious of possessing more physical power, and unwilling that there should be "blood" between himself and Joab, Asahel's brother, twice urged him to desist. The impetuous young soldier being deaf to the generous remonstrance, the veteran raised the pointed butt of his lance, as the modern Arabs do when pursued, and, with a sudden back thrust, transfixed him on the spot, so that he fell, and lay weltering in his blood. But Joab and Abishai continued the pursuit by another route till sunset. On reaching a rising ground, and receiving a fresh reinforcement of some Benjamites, Abner rallied his scattered troops and earnestly appealed to Joab's better feelings to stop the further effusion of blood, which, if continued, would lead to more serious consequences—a destructive civil war. Joab, while upbraiding his opponent as the sole cause of the fray, felt the force of the appeal and led off his men; while Abner probably dreading a renewal of the attack when Joab should learn his brother's fate, and vow fierce revenge, endeavored, by a forced march, to cross the Jordan that night. On David's side the loss was only nineteen men, besides Asahel. But of Ish-bosheth's party there fell three hundred and sixty. This skirmish is exactly similar to the battles of the Homeric warriors, among whom, in the flight of one, the pursuit by another, and the dialogue held between them, there is vividly represented the style of ancient warfare.
and the sun went down when they came to the hill of Ammah; a hill by the side of which was a pool of water, as Kimchi thinks, and from thence so called:
that lieth before Giah; a place near Gibeon, but nowhere after mentioned:
by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon; very likely not far from the city from which it had its name.Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. Joab also, &c.] And Joab and Abishai continued the pursuit, in contrast to those who halted at the scene of Asahel’s death.
the hill of Ammah … Giah] Nothing is known of these places, but the minuteness of topographical detail is an indication that the history was written by one who was familiar with the circumstances.
the wilderness of Gibeon] The untilled tract of pasture-lands, lying east of the city.Verse 24. - Josh also and Abishai pursued after Abner; really, but Joab and Abishai pursued, and so the Revised Version. The sight of their slaughtered brother made them only the more determined in the pursuit, and doubtless, at their command, the soldiers would leave Asahel and follow their commanders. Of the "hill of Ammah" and Giah we know nothing; but it is evident that no halt was made until sunset. 2 Samuel 2:18-23) on account of the important results which followed. Of the three sons of Zeruiah, viz., Joab, Abishai, and Asahel, Asahel was peculiarly light of foot, like one of the gazelles; and he pursued Abner most eagerly, without turning aside to the right or to the left.
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