2 Samuel 3:19
And Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) Spake in the ears of Benjamin.—Special and careful negotiations with the Benjamites were necessary, because they felt bound to their kinsmen of the house of Saul, and had hitherto enjoyed great advantages from their connection with their sovereign. Abner reported to David at Hebron the result of his negotiations both with Israel generally and with Benjamin in particular.

2 Samuel 3:19-20. Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin — To these he particularly applies himself, because they might be thought most kind to Saul and his house, and most loath to let the kingdom go out of their own tribe; and therefore it was necessary that he should use all his art and power with them, to persuade them to a compliance with his design; and besides, they were a valiant tribe, and bordering upon Judah, and situate between them and the other tribes; and therefore the winning of them would be of mighty concernment to bring in all the rest. Abner also went to speak in the ears of David — To report to him privately the sense of all the people, and particularly how all Benjamin stood affected toward him; who were brought over so effectually that they did not forsake the house of David when all the rest of the tribes did. David made Abner a feast — Not merely as a token of kindness, but to make a league with him, as he had desired, and David had promised, 2 Samuel 3:12-13. For it was an ancient custom to enter into leagues by eating and drinking together: see Genesis 26:30; Genesis 31:44.3:7-21 Many, like Abner, are not above committing base crimes, who are too proud to bear reproof, or even the suspicion of being guilty. While men go on in sin, and apparently without concern, they are often conscious that they are fighting against God. Many mean to serve their own purposes; and will betray those who trust them, when they can get any advantage. Yet the Lord serves his own designs, even by those who are thus actuated by revenge, ambition, or lust; but as they intend not to honour him, in the end they will be thrown aside with contempt. There was real generosity both to Michal and to the memory of Saul, in David's receiving the former, remembering probably how once he owed his life to her affection, and knowing that she was separated from him partly by her father's authority. Let no man set his heart on that which he is not entitled to. If any disagreement has separated husband and wife, as they expect the blessing of God, let them be reconciled, and live together in love.Ye sought for David ... - Compare 1 Samuel 18:5. It was only by Abner's great influence that the elders of Israel had been restrained hitherto from declaring for David, and this accounts for Ish-bosheth's helpless submission to his uncle's dictation. 17-21. Abner had communication with the elders of Israel—He spoke the truth in impressing their minds with the well-known fact of David's divine designation to the kingdom. But he acted a base and hypocritical part in pretending that his present movement was prompted by religious motives, when it sprang entirely from malice and revenge against Ish-bosheth. The particular appeal of the Benjamites was a necessary policy; their tribe enjoyed the honor of giving birth to the royal dynasty of Saul; they would naturally be disinclined to lose that prestige. They were, besides, a determined people, whose contiguity to Judah might render them troublesome and dangerous. The enlistment of their interest, therefore, in the scheme, would smooth the way for the adhesion of the other tribes; and Abner enjoyed the most convenient opportunity of using his great influence in gaining over that tribe while escorting Michal to David with a suitable equipage. The mission enabled him to cover his treacherous designs against his master—to draw the attention of the elders and people to David as uniting in himself the double recommendation of being the nominee of Jehovah, no less than a connection of the royal house of Saul, and, without suspicion of any dishonorable motives, to advocate policy of terminating the civil discord, by bestowing the sovereignty on the husband of Michal. In the same character of public ambassador, he was received and feted by David; and while, ostensibly, the restoration of Michal was the sole object of his visit, he busily employed himself in making private overtures to David for bringing over to his cause those tribes which he had artfully seduced. Abner pursued a course unworthy of an honorable man and though his offer was accepted by David, the guilt and infamy of the transaction were exclusively his. In the ears of Benjamin; to these he particularly and applies himself. because they might be thought most kind to Saul his house, and most loth to let the kingdom go out of their own tribe; and therefore it was necessary that he should use all his art and power with them, to persuade them to a compliance with his design; and besides, they were a Valiant tribe, and bordering upon Judah, and situate between them and the other tribes; and therefore the winning of them would be of mighty concernment to bring in all the rest. And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin,.... Of the inhabitants of the tribe of Benjamin, of which tribe he was, and among whom he had the greatest influence; and with whom it was necessary to take some pains, because of their attachment to the family of Saul, which was of that tribe; and being near to that of Judah, might give David a good deal of trouble, if they were not won over to him:

and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron; having sounded the elders of Israel, and won their thoughts about the change of government, and found them well disposed to David, and had prevailed upon them to consent to make him king, and had gained the tribe of Benjamin on his side, went and reported to David the success he had:

all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin; how agreeable it was to the elders of Israel, and particularly to the tribe of Benjamin, to have David king over them.

And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole {g} house of Benjamin.

(g) Who challenged the kingdom, because of their father Saul.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. And Abner also spake, &c.] And Abner also had spoken, &c. Beside the general communication with the elders of Israel a special and confidential negotiation had been entered into with the tribe of Benjamin, which was the most likely to offer opposition through fear of losing dignity and advantage by the transference of the royal house to the tribe of Judah.

all that seemed good to Israel] Their readiness to acknowledge David as king, as well as conditions and demands which they wished to make, for there was to be a “covenant” between him and the people (2 Samuel 3:21).Verse 19. - In the ears of Benjamin. This tribe alone, probably, was really loyal to the house of Saul, their kinsman. But since the withdrawal of the court to Mahanaim, they got but little good from it, and were left to resist the predatory bands of the Philistines as best they could. So warlike a tribe too would despise Ishbosheth, and long for a braver man to aid them in fighting their enemies. David assented to the proposal on this condition: "Only one thing do I require of thee, namely, Thou shalt not see my face, unless thou first of all bringest me Michal, the daughter of Saul, when thou comest to see my face." הביאך אם־לפני כּי, "except before thy bringing," i.e., unless when thou hast first of all brought or delivered "Michal to me." This condition was imposed by David, not only because Michal had been unjustly taken away from him by Saul, after he had rightfully acquired her for his wife by paying the dowry demanded, and in spite of her love to him (1 Samuel 18:27; 1 Samuel 19:11-12), and given to another man (1 Samuel 25:44), so that he could demand her back again with perfect justice, and Ishbosheth could not refuse to give her up to him, but probably on political grounds also, namely, because the renewal of his marriage to the king's daughter would show to all Israel that he cherished no hatred in his heart towards the fallen king.
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