2 Samuel 3:5
And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 3:5. By Eglah, David’s wife — This is added, either because she was of obscure parentage, and was known by no other title but her relation to David: or, because this was his first and most proper wife, best known by her other name of Michal, who, though she had no child by David after she scoffed at him for dancing before the ark, 2 Samuel 6:23, yet might have one before that time. And she might be named the last, because she was given away from David, and married to another man. Six sons in seven years. Some have had as numerous an offspring, and with much more honour and comfort, by one wife. And we know not that any of the six were famous: but three were very infamous. 3:1-6 The length of this war tried the faith and patience of David, and made his settlement at last the more welcome. The contest between grace and corruption in the hearts of believers, may fitly be compared to this warfare. There is a long war between them, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; but as the work of holiness is carried on, corruption, like the house of Saul, grows weaker and weaker; while grace, like the house of David, grows stronger and stronger.Adonijah - The same who, when David was dying, aspired to the crown, and was put to death by Solomon.

Shephatiah - "God is judge." This is the same name as Jehoshaphat, only with the two elements composing it placed in inverted order. Nothing more is known of him or of his brother Ithream.

5. Eglah David's wife—This addition has led many to think that Eglah was another name for Michal, the first and proper wife, who, though she had no family after her insolent ridicule of David (2Sa 6:23), might have had a child before. David’s wife: this is added, either because she was of obscure parentage, and was known by no other title but her relation to David; or to distinguish her from some other person of that name, who possibly might be of no good fame; or because this was his first and most proper wife, best known by her other name of Michal, who, though she had no child by David after she scoffed at him for dancing before the ark, 2 Samuel 6:23, yet might have one before that time. And she might be named the last of these here, because she was given away from David, and married to another man, when David took the other wives; and therefore though she had been first, yet now she was become the last of them. Or this title, being put in the last place, may belong to all the rest of the women above mentioned, by a figure called zeugma, to distinguish them from his concubines, 2 Samuel 5:13 1 Chronicles 3:9. And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife,.... Who also is not spoken of in any other place; only, in a like chronological account as the former, it is remarked that the mother of this only is called David's wife; the reason of which is supposed to be, either because she was a person of no note, and had nothing else to distinguish her; but the same may be said of the two foregoing; or because she was his beloved wife, his heifer, as her name signifies; hence the Jews (y) take her to be Michal his first wife, whom he greatly loved, and who, though she had no children after her contempt of David for playing before the ark, unto the day of her death, yet might have before: but it should be observed, that as yet she was not returned to David in Hebron; and when she was returned, did not seem to continue there long enough to have a son there; and besides, being his first wife, would not be reckoned last; but still more foreign is another notion of the Jews (z), that she was Saul's widow, who though she might not be married to another might be married to a king, as David was; and this they suppose receives some confirmation from 2 Samuel 12:8; but after all it may be this phrase "David's wife", as some have observed, by a figure the rhetoricians call "zeugma", or "hypozeugma", is to be joined to everyone of the women before mentioned, 2 Samuel 3:2, who were his wives, and so called to distinguish them from his concubines, by whom he had sons also. Polygamy, or plurality of wives, which David gave into, is no favourable part of his character.

(y) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 21. 1. Hieron. Trad. Heb. in 2 Reg. fol. 77. F. (z) In Kimchi & Ben Gersom in loc.

And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in {c} Hebron.

(c) Within seven years and six months.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. Eglah David’s wife] A Jewish tradition as old as the time of Jerome (Quaest. Hebr. in libros Regum) makes Eglah (= heifer, cp. Jdg 14:18) another name for Michal, who is supposed to be particularly distinguished both here and in 1 Chronicles 3:3 as David’s wife, because she was his first and best-loved. If so, her position last in the list may be accounted for because she was separated from David for a time, and only returned to him towards the close of his residence in Hebron (2 Samuel 3:13), so that Ithream was the youngest of his sons born there.

Polygamy was tolerated by the Mosaic legislation as an existing custom, but discouraged as contrary to the original institution and true ideal of marriage (Deuteronomy 21:15-17; Deuteronomy 17:17; Genesis 2:24, of which perhaps Genesis 31:50 is a corrupt reminiscence). David’s family history is a standing monument of the pernicious effects of this practice, which are perpetuated to this day in Oriental countries, where “contentions, envyings, jealousies and quarrels among the wives, as well as between the different sets of children” still prevail. See Van Lennep’s Bible Lands, II. p. 559.Joab also assembled his men for a retreat. Nineteen of his soldiers were missing besides Asahel, all of whom had fallen in the battle. But they had slain as many as three hundred and sixty of Benjamin and of Abner's men. This striking disproportion in the numbers may be accounted for from the fact that in Joab's army there were none but brave and well-tried men, who had gathered round David a long time before; whereas in Abner's army there were only the remnants of the Israelites who had been beaten upon Gilboa, and who had been still further weakened and depressed by their attempts to recover the land which was occupied by the Philistines.
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