2 Samuel 3:37
For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.
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3:22-39 Judgments are prepared for such scorners as Abner; but Joab, in what he did, acted wickedly. David laid Abner's murder deeply to heart, and in many ways expressed his detestation of it. The guilt of blood brings a curse upon families: if men do not avenge it, God will. It is a sad thing to die like a fool, as they do that any way shorten their own days, and those who make no provision for another world. Who would be fond of power, when a man may have the name of it, and must be accountable for it, yet is hampered in the use of it? David ought to have done his duty, and then trusted God with the issue. Carnal policy spared Joab. The Son of David may long delay, but never fails to punish impenitent sinners. He who now reigns upon the throne of David, has a kingdom of a nobler kind. Whatever He doeth, is noticed by all his willing people, and is pleasing to them.To eat meat ... - Fasting was a sign of the deepest mourning 2 Samuel 1:12. The fast lasted until the sun was set. 33, 34. the king lamented over Abner—This brief elegy is an effusion of indignation as much as of sorrow. As Abner had stabbed Asahel in open war [2Sa 2:23], Joab had not the right of the Goel. Besides, he had adopted a lawless and execrable method of obtaining satisfaction (see on [258]1Ki 2:5). The deed was an insult to the authority, as well as most damaging to the prospects of the king. But David's feelings and conduct on hearing of the death, together with the whole character and accompaniments of the funeral solemnity, tended not only to remove all suspicion of guilt from him, but even to turn the tide of popular opinion in his favor, and to pave the way for his reigning over all the tribes more honorably than by the treacherous negotiations of Abner. Not done by his design or good will. For all the people and all Israel understood that day,.... Not the people of Judah only, but of Israel also, to whom the knowledge of these things came; they knew and were satisfied by his conduct and behaviour, by his words and actions:

that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner; it was not by the counsel or advice of the king, as the Targum; it was without his knowledge and consent, was contrary to his mind and will; that he had no manner of concern in it, and that if it had been in his power he would have prevented it.

For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.
37. all the people and all Israel] Not only David’s own subjects in Judah, but the people of the northern kingdom, who must have been specially aggrieved by the murder of their hero, recognised the sincerity of David’s grief, and acquitted him of all complicity in the act. If, as seems probable (2 Samuel 3:26), Joab had abused the king’s authority in order to bring Abner back, it was doubly necessary for David emphatically to repudiate the act, lest he should have been thought to have had some part in instigating it.Verse 37. - All Israel understood. The twenty men who had accompanied Abner would be witnesses of all that David did, and would carry their report of it home, and of the high estimation in which his character was held at Hebron. And this gradually would be told throughout the tribes, and the final verdict of all well-disposed people would be in David's favour. David's mourning for Abner's death. - 2 Samuel 3:31, 2 Samuel 3:32. To give a public proof of his grief at this murder, and his displeasure at the crime in the sight of all the nation, David commanded Joab, and all the people with him (David), i.e., all his courtiers, and the warriors who returned with Joab, to institute a public mourning for the deceased, by tearing their clothes, putting on sackcloth, i.e., coarse hairy mourning and penitential clothes, and by a funeral dirge for Abner; i.e., he commanded them to walk in front of Abner's bier mourning and in funeral costume, and to accompany the deceased to his resting-place, whilst David as king followed the bier.
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