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heartily sympathising in any measure which that tribe i the very first place in the estimation of the people. We originated. But the prime agent in this schism was Abner, hear much of physical characteristics and personal accomthe commander of the army, who had drawn off the rem plishments, but never, or very rarely, of mental distincnant of the defeated army to the other side the Jordan, and tions. Among physical endowments swiftness seems to there, at Mahanaim, proclaimed Ishbosheth king. Abner have held no mean place in the esteem of the Hebrews. In was a bold and able, but unprincipled man; and doubtless the last chapter, we see Saul and Jonathan described as expected to govern in the name of his feeble nephew; and 'swifter than eagles:' and now Asahel is light of foot as he did so.

a wild roe.' In like manner we find Homer thus distin14. Let the young men now arise and play before us.' guishing the hero of the Iliad, whose name continually For two years no hostile acts between the two kingdoms recurs in the form of — Achilles, swiftest of the swift.' took place. But war was at length provoked by Abner, 21. Lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take kis who crossed the Jordan with the intention of subduing the armour.'-From this we see that it was the custom with the tribe of Judah to the authority of Ishbosheth. David sent Hebrews, as among other ancient nations, for the victor in Joab to meet him, and the opposing forces met near the a combat to strip the slain enemy of his armour, as the pool of Gibeon. But the men on each side felt that they reward and honourable trophy of his conquest. In Homer were all Israelites, and were reluctant to fight against each we have continual examples of this. The heroes no sooner other. The two generals, therefore, thought of a device kill an enemy than they jump from their chariots to seeure which has often been employed in the East and elsewhere, his armour; and they are so eager in this matter, that it to excite tribes or nations to battle, when relationship or almost looks, sometimes, as if the armour of the respective other causes made them reluctant or wanting in zeal. (See combatants was the sole object of the conflict. Sometimes the notes on 1 Sam. xvii.) Twelve men on each side were there is a fight over the dead body- from the anxiety of matched to fight against each other between the two the friends of the deceased to prevent his armour from armies; and so well were they matched that they no sooner | being taken, and from the eagerness of the victor and his came within reach of one another than each man seized friends to secure such honourable prey. This practice was his opponent by the head, and sheathed his sword in his well calculated to confuse a battle; and seems therefore to L'ody, so that they were all killed on the spot. This kindled have been restricted to the chiefs, the mass of the soldiers the opposing forces, and a desperate and most sanguinary not being allowed to strip the dead until the next day, or battle followed.

at least not until after the battle. Thus also in 1 Sam. 16. They caught every one his fellow by the head.' xxxi, we see that the Philistines did not come to strip the Doubtless by the hair of the head-that is, either of the slain till the following day. If Saul had been killed in scalp or the beard. On account of the convenient hold single combat, his armour would doubtless have been imwhich the hair of the head or beard affords to an enemy in mediately seized by the victor. Nevertheless, under every battle, it has been the custom in most nations for soldiers | modification, the practice was attended with much inconto dispense with it. Among those nations who wear the venience, as we discover in the Iliad (vi. 70) from what hair of the head, and do not shave it off like the Mobam Nestor says in his anxiety to prevent its bad consemedans, it is usually cropped close, as among our own sol quences: diers; and even among some of the nations that cherish the

• Friends, heroes, Grecians, ministers of Mars! beard, the soldiers have been persuaded or obliged to submit to the loss of it. Among both the Russians and Persians

Stay none behind, desirous of the spoil,

But slay we now; that done, ye may at ease the beard is highly venerated; but in both nations the

Traverse the plains, and strip them where they fell.' soldiers have been obliged to part with that important ornament. On the comparatively recent introduction of Some curious questions as to the right to such spoil must European tactics into the Persian army, a great stand was sometimes have arisen. We find an instance of this among at first made for the retention of the beard ; and it was only the Arabian conquerors of Syria. In the single combats through the occurrence of an accident to a bearded soldier, between the Greeks and Arabians, which preluded the that the late prince royal, Abbas Meerza, was convinced of great and decisive battle of Yermouk, Serjabil was near the unmilitary character of such an appendage, and reluc being killed by a Christian officer, when Derar came to his tantly issued an order for his soldiers to be shaven. This assistance, and stabbed the latter to the heart. Then it is, however, no modern discovery. Plutarch relates in his became a question between Serjabil and Derar which had Apophthegms that, when all things were prepared for a the right to the dead man's armour. Derar claimed it as battle, the officers of Alexander asked him whether he had having killed him; Serjabil, as having wearied him in the any further commands? He said, 'nothing; unless that combat. The difference was referred to the general, who the Macedonians shave their beards.' And when Parmenio hesitated to decide, and sent to submit the matter to the expressed some surprise at this order, he added: 'Have you Khalif (Omar), concealing the names of the parties, and not observed that in fight, there is no better hold than the the armour being meanwhile kept by Serjabil; but it was beard ?'

taken from him and given to Derar, when Omar sent back 18. • Light of foot as a wild roe.'- In the early history his determination, to the effect that the spoil of an enemy of all nations, as we have already had occasion to observe, was always due to the person by whom he was killed. physical endowments, such as strength and swiftness, hold | See Ockley's Conquest of Syria, p. 237.

CHAPTER III.

of Saul and the house of David: but David

waxed stronger and stronger, and the house 1 During the war David still waxeth stronger. 2 Six

of Saul waxed weaker and weaker. sons were born to him in Hebron. 6 Abner, dis

2 And unto David were sons born in pleased with Ish-bosheth, 12 revolteth to David. 13 David requireth a condition to bring him his wife

Hebron : and his firstborn was Amnon, of

Hebron Michal. 17 Abner, having communed with the Israel. | Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; ites, is feasted by David, and dismissed. 22 Joab, 3 And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the returning from battle, is displeased with the king, and killeth Abner.

wife of Nabal the Carmelite ; and the third, 28 David curseth Joab, 31 and

Absalont the son of Maacah, the daughter of Mourrieth for Abner.

Talmai king of Geshur ; Now there was long war between the house 4 And the fourth, Adonijah the son of

Haggith ; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of servant David I will save my people Israel out Abital;

of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the 5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's hand of all their enemies. wife. These were born to David in Hebron. 19 And Abner also spake in the ears of

6 1 And it came to pass, while there was Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in war between the house of Saul and the house the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed of David, that Abner made himself strong for good to Israel, and that seemed good to the the house of Saul.

whole house of Benjamin. 7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name 20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, was 'Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah : and Ish- / and twenty men with him. And David made bosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou Abner and the men that were with him a gone in unto my father's concubine ?

feast. 8 Then was Abner very wroth for the 21 And Abner said unto David, I will arise . words of Ish-bosheth, and said, Am I a dog's | and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord

head, which against Judah do shew kindness the king, that they may make a league with this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that his brethren, and to his friends, and have not thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner delivered thee into the hand of David, that away; and he went in peace. thou chargest me to day with a fault concern 22 S And, behold, the servants of David ing this woman?

and Joab came from pursuing a troop, and 9 So do God to Abner, and more also, ex brought in a great spoil with them : but Abner cept, as the Lord hath sworn to David, even was not with David in Hebron ; for he had sent so I do to him ;

him away, and he was gone in peace. 10 To translate the kingdom from the house 23 When Joab and all the host that was of Saul, and to set up the throne of David with him were come, they told Joab, saying, over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and to Beer-sheba.

he hath sent him away, and he is gone in 11 And he could not answer Abner a word | peace. again, because he feared him.

24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, 12 ! And Abner sent messengers to David | What hast thou done ? behold, Abner came on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land ? unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him saying also, Make thy league with me, and, away, and he is quite gone ? behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring 1 25 Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, about all Israel unto thee.

that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy 13 | And he said, Well; I will make a going out and thy coming in, and to know all league with thee : but one thing I require of that thou doest. thee, 'that is, Thou shalt not see my face, ex 26 And when Joab was come out from cept thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, David, he sent messengers after Abner, which when thou comest to see my face.

brought him again from the well of Sirah: but 14 And David sent messengers to Ish- | David knew it not. bosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife 27 And when Abner was returned to HeMichal, which I espoused to me 'for an hun- | bron, Joab 'took him aside in the gate to speak dred foreskins of the Philistines.

with him &quietly, and smote him there under 15 And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of her husband, even from 'Phaltiel the son of 'Asahel his brother. Laish.

28 T. And afterward when David heard it, 16 And her husband went with her along he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless beweeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said fore the LORD for ever from the ''blood of Abner unto him, Go, return. And he re Abner the son of Ner : turned.

29 Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on 17 | And Abner had communication with all his father's house; and let there not "fail the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, David 'in times past to be king over you: or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff,

18 Now then do it: for the Lord hath or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketha spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my / bread. Chap. 21. 10. 2 Heb, saying. 3 1 Sam. 18. 23, 27. 4 1 Sam. 25. 44, Phali.

Heb. going and weeping.

6 Heb. buch yesterday and the third day.

Chap. 2. 23.

10 Heb. Sloods.

71 Kings 2. 5.

8 Or, peacoal!y. 11 Heb. be cut off.

self follow they buried voice, ar

30 So Joab and Abishai his brother slew | David to eat meat while it was yet day, David Abner, because he had slain their brother sware, saying, So do God to me, and more 12 Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.

also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the 31 | And David said to Joab, and to all sun be down. the people that were with him, Rend your | 36 And all the people took notice of it, and clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and it 'Spleased them : as whatsoever the king didi mourn before Abner. And king David him- pleased all the people.. self followed the abier.

37 For all the people and all Israel under32 And they buried Abner in Hebron : and stood that day that it was not of the king to the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the slay Abner the son of Ner. grave of Abner; and all the people wept. 38 And the king said unto his servants,

33 And the king lamented over Abner, and Know ye not that there is a prince and a great i said, Died Abner as a fool dieth ?

man fallen this day in Israel ? 34 Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet 39 And I am this day weak, though put into fetters: as a man falleth before anointed king; and these men the sons of Twicked men, so fellest thou. And all the Zeruiah be too hard for me : the LORD shall people wept again over him.

reward the doer of evil according to his wicked35 And when all the people came to cause 19 Chap. 2. 23. 13 Heb. bed. Heb. children of iniquity.

ness.

13 Ileb. was good in their eyes.

10 Heb. tender.

Verse 6-8. ' Abner made himself strong for the house of | As this claim was doubtless supported by Abner, it was Saul,' etc.--The good and prosperous government of David granted ; and having obtained an order to demand her in his small kingdom, together with the knowledge that he from her present husband, that personage himself underhad been divinely appointed to reign over all Israel, ap- took to escort her to David. From this transaction it pears insensibly to have inclined the other tribes towards would seem that the war had latterly been allowed to die him, by which, more even than by war, his cause gathered away, although without any concession or treaty having that strength which that of Ishbosheth lost. Abner was fully been made on either side. That he was escorting Michal to sensible that without himself the kingdom of his nephew David, proved to Abner a favourable opportunity, on his would fall to pieces, or rather pass quietly into the hands way, of explaining his present sentiments to the elders of of David. He rated his services at their full value; and the tribes through which he passed: especially to those of although we do not ourselves see cause to suspect, as some Benjamin, which was naturally the most attached to the bave done, that he contemplated taking the crown himself, house of Saul, while his own influence in it was the it is certain that he was not disposed to consider himself re greatest. He dwelt strongly on the public benefits which sponsible to the king for his conduct, or to allow any of might be expected from the government of one who had his proceedings to be questioned by him. Now Ishbosheth been expressly nominated by Jehovah to the kingdom; had heard that Abner carried on a criminal intercourse and such a representation, coming from such a quarter, with one of Saul's concubines, named Rizpah ; and as, coupled with the favourable dispositions towards David according to the usages of the East, the concubines of a which had grown up during his reign in Hebron, was deceased sovereign became the property of the successor in attended with such effect, that Abner was authorized to 50 strong and peculiar a sense, that such an act as that im make overtures to him in behalf of the tribes which had puted to Abner might be interpreted into a design upon the hitherto adhered to the house of Saul. crown, or at least was an insulting encroachment upon the 24. Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou peculiar rights of royalty, even the timid Ishbosheth was done?'--Through the energy of his character, bis abilities, roused to question Åbner on the subject. It is not very and experience in the affairs of peace and war, his influclear whether the charge was true or false; but it is clear ence and popularity with the army which was under his that this overbearing personage was astonished and dis command, and his unquestioned devotion to the interests gusted that the king should dare to question any part of of David, Joab had great authority with the king. His his conduct.

standing, indeed, in the kingdom of Judah, had inuch 9-21. Except, as the Lord hath sworn to David, even so resemblance to that of Abner in the other kingdom: nor I do to him.' ---From this it would seem that Abner was were their characters unlike. In the points of difference conscious that he had been acting against a higher duty in the advantage was on the side of Abner; for his experience setting up Ishbosheth as king; but this cannot justify the in military and public affairs was larger, from which, togegrounds on which he now declared his intention to act ther with his near relationship to Saul and his son, and the against him. What he said was no vain threat, although high station he bad occupied under them, his influence he was probably willing afterwards that the son of Saul with the people was far greater than that which Joab or should take it for an unmeaning outbreak of passion. He any other man in Israel could pretend to; and hence his sent messengers to David to enter into a treaty with him, greater power at this time of rendering essential services to under which he would engage to use his great influence in | the king of Judah. Abner and Joab also served very difbringing all Israel to acknowledge him as king; and after |ferent masters; and thus it happened that while Abner was, this he found a pretext for going himself unsuspectedly in the public eye, the greatest man in the kingdom of to Hebron to complete the agreement and arrange the Israel, Joab was, in that of Judah, only the greatest man steps to be taken. David had sent to Ishbosheth to next to David. Upon the whole, Abner was the only man desire him to restore to him his wife Michal, whom Saul in the country of whom Joab had cause to be afraid, and had given to another. He had a perfect right to make by whom it was likely that his own influence would be this demand if so inclined ; and we may suppose that superseded in case the two kingdoms were united through he was particularly induced to reclaim her at this junc- | his instrumentality. It was probably more from such conture in consideration of the satisfaction the measure was siderations than any other that his displeasure at the interlikely to give to those attached to the family of Saul. / course between David and Abner arose.

30. Because he had slain their brother Asahel at mournings for the dead, some kind of mortifying habit has Gibeon in the battle.'—This was what Abner himself not been adopted. We do not know that sackcloth is now feared, when he killed Asahel(ch. ii. 22). We have already stated the considerations which probably led Joab to dread the influence of such a man as Abner with the king. But it is also probable that he doubted the sincerity of Abner's intentions, and entertained the fears he expressed, that his true object was to get such information respecting his condition and resources as he might afterwards employ to his disadvantage. These considerations may have sharpened the weapon of the avenger ; but there is no reason to question that a leading motive to his conduct is that which the Scripture here distinctly assigns-vengeance for a brother's blood. This will be the more clearly seen if the reader turns to the note on blood-revenge, in Num. XXXV. It Fould therefore seem, that, with the Hebrews, as among the Arabians, the claim of revenge for blood extended to persons killed in war, when the slayer was known. Burckhardt observes that the Arabs always desire to know by whom a man has been killed in a battle between different tribes, that it may be determined against whom the avenger has his claim for blood : and he thinks, with great probability, that their anxiety on this subject has influenced their mode of warfare, since this fact is better ascertained in single combats and skirmishes than in the confusion of a general action. In Antar we continually observe that the next relative of a man killed in a fair fight acts and talks as one bound to avenge his death on the slayer. To obviate the bad effects of this practice, it is sometimes customary for the sheikhs of both parties, with the consent of the majority of their people, in concluding a peace, to agree that the claims for the blood shed in the war shall on both sides be remitted. But to such terms of peace the Arabs, whose friends have been slain, are generally very

SACKCLOTH. unwilling to assent; and it often happens that, rather than do so, they leave their own tribe for a time, and settle with much used for this purpose in the East; but ornaments are another, in order to reserve their right of seeking revenge. relinquished, the usual dress is neglected, or it is laid aside, It must therefore, we think, be conceded that the existence | and one coarse or old assumed in its place. of a blood-feud between Abner and Joab must have exte

'Bier.'— The original word is 700 mittah, which nuated, if it did not justify, the act of Joab in the eyes of generally denotes a bed or couch of any kind, on which a Israel. The extent to which the law of Moses had inter

man lies in sleep. Whether therefore the sense is, that the fered with this custom only provided for the safety of the term includes, from the analogy of use, a bier as something man-slayer while in a city of refuge. Hebron was a city distinct from a bed, or that Abner was carried to his sepul. of refuge, and if Joab had slain Abner within that city, the chre on a proper bed, is not easy to determine. Our woodlay would have allowed David to treat him as a murderer. cut below represents an Egyptian bier, which, it will be This Joab knew; and hence his meeting Abner at the gate, seen, looks very much like a bed. The forms of the biers and drawing him aside before he entered the city. These which appear in the funeral processions of this people are details we judge necessary, to show that those who most very diversified, many of them exhibiting most elaborate suffered from the death of Abner, and abhorred the manner and expensive decorations. Our cut is a fair average spein which it was inflicted, knew that his offence was not cimen. It seems, then, that the Egyptians conveyed the punishable by the king or by the law; and hence that it remains of persons of distinction on bed-like biers, and such was not merely the rank and influence of Joab which pre- | may have been the usage among the Jews. We cannot vented David from calling him to account for this barbarous determine whether they were the same beds that were used deed. Perhaps he could not have punished Joab in any case; for sleeping on, or were specially prepared for the occasion. but it is important to know that in the present case, the law, | If the former, it would prove that the Hebrews had movecustom and public opinion did not require or permit him to able beds; and we have allowed that they might have some do so.

such, although we have supposed that in general they did, 31. Gird you with sackcloth.'-Sacks are usually made as the modern Orientals usually do, sleep on the ground, of hair in the East; whence we may understand that where or on the immoveable divans or sofas of their rooms. (See sackcloth is mentioned hair-cloth is intended. Hence the the note to Deut. iii. 11.) Upon the whole, we may conidea is different from that which we, whose sacks are not clude that persons of high distinction were carried to their of the same material, would affix to the term. That this sepulchres in rich beds, but the common people on biers, is correct, seems to be confirmed by the fact, that the use such as are still used in the East, and which are little other of hair-cloth, as a penitential dress, was retained by the than hand-barrows. Thus, Herod was, according to Joseearly Oriental monks, hermits, and pilgrims, and was phus, carried to his sepulchre on a bed (or rather bedstead, adopted by the Roman church, which still retains it for the or bedstead-like bier) of gold, enriched with precious stones, same purposes. Hair-cloth was, moreover, called • sack upon which the body lay on a purple bed, and was covered cloth' by the early Greek and Latin fathers, and this seems with a purple counterpane or pall. The corpse had a conclusive. Perhaps, in a general sense, the word means crown on the head, and sceptre in the right hand. This any kind of very coarse cloth: but, undoubtedly, more bier was surrounded by Herod's sons and kinsmen, after particularly cloth of hair than any other. Our wood-cut whom came his guards and foreign troops accoutred as if represents one of the hair.cloth penitential dresses worn by for war, who were followed by five hundred domestic the early devotees, designed after the old church prints of servants and freedmen, with sweet spices in their hands. Italy. There are some remarks on this practice of assum The bier was preceded by the bulk of Herod's army, in ing a mortifying dress as an expression of grief or repent proper order, under their officers. This perhaps suggests ance in the note to Exod. xxxiii. 4. The principle is so a good idea of Abner's funeral procession. obvions that there are few nations among which, in ! But these customs were not peculiar to the East, though

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BIER.-ANCIENT EGYPTIAN.-From a Bas-relief at Thebes.

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probably derived from thence. The great men of Rome he fled to the altar for refuge, Exod. xxi. 14) would bave were, after the same manner, carried to the funeral pile on been delivered up (bound, hand and foot, it is assumed) to beds of state. Some of these beds were of gold, or gilded, the avenger of blood, who would then possess a legal right with ivory feet, or were wholly of ivory, the body being to slay him. Now Joab not only had no title to claim the covered with a rich pall. These bed-biers were carried right of the Goel, as Asahel was killed under justifying by the nearest relatives or the freedmen of the deceased ; , circumstances (2 Sam. ii. 19); but, while pretending to but, according to Tacitus, the principal magistrates of exercise the avenger's right, he took a lawless and private Rome carried the funeral bed of emperors and dictators. mode of satisfaction, and committed a murder. Hence David And not only was there the bed on which the deceased lay, charged him, in allusion to this conduct, with shedding but many others were carried in the procession, adorned the blood of war in peace' (1 Kings ii. 5); and hence he with garlands and crowns of flowers, and containing the expresses himself in this lament, as if indignant that the images of the ancestors of the deceased. As many as six noble Abner, instead of being surrendered with the formathousand of these beds are said to have been carried at the lities of the law to meet an authorized penalty, was treacherfuneral of the dictator Sylla, and six hundred at that of ously stabbed like a worthless fellow by the hands of an M. Marcellus, the nephew of Augustus. As we are only assassin.-Dr. J. Nicholson, in Kitto's Cyclopadia, Art. illustrating that part of the subject which relates to biers, ABNER. we need not here state other particulars coucerning the 35. Till the sun be down.'--The Oriental fasts do not Roman funerals. Yet we may add that the procession consist of abstinence from particular articles; but of absostopped at the place of the Rostra, where a funeral oration lute abstinence during the day, while at night any usual was delivered in honour of the deceased, which may be food is eaten. The Mohammedan fast of Ramazan, for intaken, in some degree, as analogous to the king's lamenta stance, is observed by such fasting by day and eating at tion over Abner.

night; while the Christians keep the fast of Lent by daily 33. Died Abner as a fool dielh ?'—This short but em abstinence from some particular sorts of food, as flesh-meat, phatic lament over Abuer may be rendered, with stricter etc., to which they are accustomed. The foriner was adherence to the form of the original, as follows:-

doubtless the Jewish mode of fasting. *Should Abner die as a villain dies ?

39. “I am this day weak, though anointed king.'-Like Thy hands—not bound,

other eastern sovereigns David must have been deeply Thy feet-not brought into fetters:

impressed with the evils attending the inveterate custom of As one falls before the sons of wickedness, fellest

blood-revenge-under which Abner had, at least ostensibly,

been slain-and with the extent to which it interfered with thou!'

good government. Nor was he insensible to the insult As to the syntactical structure of these lines, it is important offered to himself, in the present and other instances by to observe that the second and third lines are two proposi * the sons of Zeruiah,'--Joab and Abishai, and the high tions of state belonging to the last, which describe the con hand with which they wrought their own will. As it was dition in which he was when he was slain. This kind of of the highest importance to him that he should be clear of proposition is marked by the subject being placed first, and any suspicion of having had any part in the death of Abner, by the verb generally becoming a participle. On the right he publicly, before Jehovah,' declared himself guiltless of knowledge of this structure the beauty and sense of many the blood which had been shed, and invoked the full burden passages altogether depend; and the common ignorance of of that blood on Joab and on his house. He ordered a public it is to be ascribed to the circumstance, that the study of act of solemn mourning, in which he himself took a pre Hebrew so very seldom reaches beyond the vocabulary into minent part; and at the funeral he followed the body, as the deeper-seated peculiarities of its construction. (See | chief mourner to the grave, where he stood weeping, and Ewald's Hebr. Gram. 556.) As to the sense of the where he lamented in elegiac verse, over the prince and words, J. D. Michaelis (in his Uebersetzung des Alten great man, who had that day fallen in Israel. This con

Tesl.) saw that the point of this indignant, more than sor duct tended still further to satisfy and conciliate the tribes rowful, lament, lies in the mode in which Abner was slain. | attached to the house of Saul; and by them the murder of Joab professed to kill him for the blood of Asahel bis Abner was never imputed to him. Indeed, the event must brother' (2 Sam. iii, 27). But if a man claimed his bro- ' at the time have seemed to himself and others, anything ther's blood at the hand of his murderer, the latter (even if I but advantageous for his cause. But we, who have his

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