Ishbosheth offends Abner, the commander of his armies. Soon enough, Abner defects and joins David’s cause. David sees this development as a prime opportunity for bringing the tribes of Benjamin and Judah under a common cause. Such a unification would secure his position as king of all of Israel. However, Joab fears the deserter warrior is planning to stage a rebellion, or plainly take his position as head of David’s armies. He therefore convenes a meeting with Abner and kills him. In his anger, David curses Joab and takes extreme measures to prove that he wants peace and desires to keep the tribes united.
David invests enormous efforts in trying to bring peace and unity to his people. Following Saul’s death,his supporters gather on the eastern bank of the Jordan River and proclaim Ishbosheth king. At the same time, the people of Hebron proclaim David king and bless him in the name of God. Though David extends his hand in peace, his opponents decide to wage war against him. The army of Saul’s household, led by Abner, fights against David’s faction, led by Joab, in several battles. The outcome of these clashes is not clear. As long as the people of the old, failing regime are not willing to lower their weapons, the conflict will not come to an end. Violence only leads to unnecessary bloodshed.
“And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah” (2 Samuel 2:4)
“And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which is in Gibeon” (2 Samuel 2:14-16)
Blessings are multiplied when shared; by sharing, we truly change ourselves and the world for the better.