Civil War Brewing

In 2 Samuel 2, we see David began to deal with the problem of succession to Saul. Abner … commander of Israel’s army now became the effective power behind the throne. He placed Ish-Bosheth apparently Saul’s youngest and least effective son, in authority. Ish-Bosheth’s name means “man of shame.” He was 40 years of age (2 Samuel 2:10) when his father died is an important chronological fact. Since he is not listed as one of the sons of Saul at the beginning of Saul’s reign (1 Samuel 14:49) but is included in the total list of sons (1 Chronicles  8:33). Ish-Bosheth must have been born after Saul became king, indicating at least a 40-year reign for Saul.

Ish-Bosheth had a brief tenure as king, only two years. The fact that David reigned for seven and one-half years at Hebron before he made Jerusalem his capital (2 Samuel 5:5) need not imply that Ish-Bosheth also reigned for seven and one-half years. But this would contradict 2 Samuel 2:10. There may well have been an suspension of normal governing between Saul and Ish-Bosheth, and clearly David reigned for some time over Judah from Hebron after Ish-Bosheth’s death.

From the beginning of David’s reign his real rival in the North was not Ish-Bosheth but his general Abner. As though to clear the air and settle the question of royal succession, Abner and David’s military leader Joab appointed elite troops, 12 men on a side, to engage in hand-to-hand combat at Gibeon. The winners would decide the issue. The nature of the contest is unclear. Perhaps it took the form of a wrestling match which ended up in swordplay. The irregular use of daggers is suggested by naming the place of the contest Helkath Hazzurim  or “field of daggers”.

By | 2018-09-04T08:47:48+00:00 September 4th, 2018|Categories: All, Promises|

About the Author:

Pastor Phil, his wife Carol, and their three children, started in Bixby over 23 years ago when New Beginnings was meeting in a downtown Bixby store front. As a result of God's blessings, New Beginnings has become one of the fastest growing churches in Oklahoma. Pastor Phil graduated from Tulsa East Central High School (1978), and Tulsa University (1982). After serving for 11 years as a Student Pastor, at the age of twenty-nine Phil began to pastor his first church in Edgewater, Colorado. Phil received a Master’s Degree from Denver Theological Seminary (1994) and completed his doctorate in Missions and Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012. Phil and Carol are honored to serve God in a Kingdom minded church, with joy and longevity.

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