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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Shmuel II - II Samuel - Chapter 3

Shmuel II - II Samuel - Chapter 3

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Chapter 3

1And the war between the house of Saul and the house of David was long; and David kept growing stronger, while the house of Saul were continuously growing weaker.   אוַתְּהִי הַמִּלְחָמָה אֲרֻכָּה בֵּין בֵּית שָׁאוּל וּבֵין בֵּית דָּוִד וַדָוִד הֹלֵךְ וְחָזֵק וּבֵית שָׁאוּל הֹלְכִים וְדַלִּים:
2And sons were born to David in Hebron; and his first-born was Amnon of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess.   בוַיִּוָּלְדוּ (כתיב וַיִָּלְדוּ) לְדָוִד בָּנִים בְּחֶבְרוֹן וַיְהִי בְכוֹרוֹ אַמְנוֹן לַאֲחִינֹעַם הַיִּזְרְעֵאלִית:
3And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai the king of Geshur.   גוּמִשְׁנֵהוּ כִלְאָב לַאֲבִיגַיִל (כתיב לַאֲבִיגִַל) אֵשֶׁת נָבָל הַכַּרְמְלִי וְהַשְּׁלִשִׁי אַבְשָׁלוֹם בֶּן מַעֲכָה בַּת תַּלְמַי מֶלֶךְ גְּשׁוּר:
and his second, Chileab of Abigail: Elsewhere the Scripture calls him: “And his second, Daniel” (I Chron. 3:1). Said Rabbi Isaac: Since the scorners of the generation were saying that Abigail was pregnant from Nabal, his features were changed, so that he resembled his father. And our Rabbis said that he would embarrass (מכלים) Mephibosheth in legal matters.  
4And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith, and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital.   דוְהָרְבִיעִי אֲדֹנִיָּה בֶּן חַגִּית וְהַחֲמִישִׁי שְׁפַטְיָה בֶּן אֲבִיטָל:
5And the sixth, Ithream of Eglah, David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.   הוְהַשִּׁשִּׁי יִתְרְעָם לְעֶגְלָה אֵשֶׁת דָּוִד אֵלֶּה יֻלְּדוּ לְדָוִד בְּחֶבְרוֹן:
of Eglah, David’s wife: This was Michal who was very dear to him (and was affectionately called Eglah, a heifer) and similarly the Scripture states: “If you had not plowed with my heifer” (Jud. 14:18). Now, is it not stated: “And Michal the daughter of Saul did not have a child to the day of her death” (infra 6:22)? Until the day of her death she did not have children after that incident (when she showed contempt for David). Prior to that incident, however, she did have a child.  
6And it was while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner was exerting great effort [to support] the house of Saul.   ווַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹת הַמִּלְחָמָה בֵּין בֵּית שָׁאוּל וּבֵין בֵּית דָּוִד וְאַבְנֵר הָיָה מִתְחַזֵּק בְּבֵית שָׁאוּל:
was exerting great effort: with all his might, upon the House of Saul to support its kingdom.  
7Now Saul had had a concubine whose name was Rizpah the daughter of Aiah; and he said to Abner, "Why did you go in to my father's concubine?"   זוּלְשָׁאוּל פִּלֶגֶשׁ וּשְׁמָהּ רִצְפָּה בַת אַיָּה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל אַבְנֵר מַדּוּעַ בָּאתָה אֶל פִּילֶגֶשׁ אָבִי:
8And Abner became very angry at the words of Ish-bosheth; and he said, "Am I the head of the dogs which belong to Judah? Shall I do kindness today with the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends [as I have done until now] and I have not delivered you into David's hand? And you charge me today with the guilt concerning the woman?   חוַיִּחַר לְאַבְנֵר מְאֹד עַל דִּבְרֵי אִישׁ בּשֶׁת וַיֹּאמֶר הֲרֹאשׁ כֶּלֶב אָנֹכִי אֲשֶׁר לִיהוּדָה הַיּוֹם אֶעֱשֶׂה חֶסֶד עִם בֵּית | שָׁאוּל אָבִיךָ אֶל אֶחָיו וְאֶל מֵרֵעֵהוּ וְלֹא הִמְצִיתִךָ בְּיַד דָּוִד וַתִּפְקֹד עָלַי עֲוֹן הָאִשָּׁה הַיּוֹם:
“Am I the head of the dogs which belong to Judah?”: Am I not even as esteemed as the watchman of David’s dogs? But, according to the punctuation, that the accent is under הראש (separating it from the following word) and כלב אנכי are joined by a hyphen, this is its explanation: Shall I desire to be a head in your house? Is it better for me to be a dog and a plain person in the house of David. And so did Jonathan render.  
Shall I do kindness today: From now on is it proper for me to do kindness with the house of Saul and with all his friends as I have done until now and I have not delivered you into David’s hands?  
9"God do so to Abner and so may He continue to him, for as the Lord has sworn to David, for so shall I do to him.   טכֹּה יַעֲשֶֹה אֱלֹהִים לְאַבְנֵר וְכֹה יֹסִיף לוֹ כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהֹוָה לְדָוִד כִּי כֵן אֶעֱשֶׂה לּוֹ:
10To transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba."   ילְהַעֲבִיר הַמַּמְלָכָה מִבֵּית שָׁאוּל וּלְהָקִים אֶת כִּסֵּא דָוִד עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל יְהוּדָה מִדָּן וְעַד בְּאֵר שָׁבַע:
11And he could not answer Abner another word because of his fear of him.   יאוְלֹא יָכֹל עוֹד לְהָשִׁיב אֶת אַבְנֵר דָּבָר מִיִּרְאָתוֹ אֹתוֹ:
12And Abner sent messengers to David from his place, saying. "To whom the land belongs," saying, "Make your covenant with me, and behold, my hand is with you to bring around all Israel to you."   יבוַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְנֵר מַלְאָכִים | אֶל דָּוִד תַּחְתָּיו (כתיב תַּחְתָּו) לֵאמֹר לְמִי אָרֶץ לֵאמֹר כָּרְתָה בְרִיתְךָ אִתִּי וְהִנֵּה יָדִי עִמָּךְ לְהָסֵב אֵלֶיךָ אֶת כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
from his place, saying: (Heb. תחתיו) from his place saying, I swear by the One who created the earth.  
To whom the land belongs: An expression of an oath: By the One to whom the earth belongs. Another explanation is: under him. He mentioned his name first in the letter, and afterwards he mentioned David’s name. Therefore, he was punished. He wrote: from me, Abner, the general of the army of Israel, to David, King of Israel, peace.  
To whom the land belongs: To the one to whom the kingdom properly belongs, I send, saying, make your covenant, etc.  
13And he said, "Good; I shall make a covenant with you, but one thing I ask of you, namely that you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter when you come to see my face."   יגוַיֹּאמֶר טוֹב אֲנִי אֶכְרֹת אִתְּךָ בְּרִית אַךְ דָּבָר אֶחָד אָנֹכִי שֹׁאֵל מֵאִתְּךָ לֵאמֹר לֹא תִרְאֶה אֶת פָּנַי כִּי | אִם לִפְנֵי הֱבִיאֲךָ אֵת מִיכַל בַּת שָׁאוּל בְּבֹאֲךָ לִרְאוֹת אֶת פָּנָי:
namely that: (lit., saying) you first bring (lit., before your bringing). Your bringing of Michal must precede your seeing of my face.  
14And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, saying, "Give my wife Michal whom I espoused to myself with one hundred foreskins of Philistines."   ידוַיִּשְׁלַח דָּוִד מַלְאָכִים אֶל אִישׁ בּשֶׁת בֶּן שָׁאוּל לֵאמֹר תְּנָה אֶת אִשְׁתִּי אֶת מִיכַל אֲשֶׁר אֵרַשְׂתִּי לִי בְּמֵאָה עָרְלוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים:
15And Ish- bosheth sent and took her from a man, from Paltiel the son of Laish.   טווַיִּשְׁלַח אִישׁ בּשֶׁת וַיִּקָּחֶהָ מֵעִם אִישׁ מֵעִם פַּלְטִיאֵל בֶּן לָיִשׁ (כתיב לָוִשׁ) :
from a man: Jonathan renders: from her husband.  
16And her husband went with her, walking and weeping after her up to Bahurim; and Abner said to him, "Go, return," and he returned.   טזוַיֵּלֶךְ אִתָּהּ אִישָׁהּ הָלוֹךְ וּבָכֹה אַחֲרֶיהָ עַד בַּחֻרִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְנֵר לֵךְ שׁוּב וַיָּשֹׁב:
walking and weeping: for the commandment which was leaving him, for all those years he thrust a sword between himself and her in the bed and did not sin with her.  
17And the word of Abner had been with the elders of Israel, saying, "In times past you were seeking David as king over you.   יזוּדְבַר אַבְנֵר הָיָה עִם זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר גַּם תְּמוֹל גַּם שִׁלְשֹׁם הֱיִיתֶם מְבַקְשִׁים אֶת דָּוִד לְמֶלֶךְ עֲלֵיכֶם:
And the word of Abner had been: previously.  
18"And now, do it, for God said about David, saying, "By the hand of My bondsman David shall I deliver My people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies."   יחוְעַתָּה עֲשֹוּ כִּי יְהֹוָה אָמַר אֶל דָּוִד לֵאמֹר בְּיַד | דָּוִד עַבְדִּי הוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים וּמִיַּד כָּל אֹיְבֵיהֶם:
about David: lit., to David. However, it is not far in meaning from ‘to’ [David].  
19And Abner spoke also in the ears of Benjamin, and Abner also went to speak in David's ears in Hebron all that pleased Israel and the entire house of Benjamin.   יטוַיְדַבֵּר גַּם אַבְנֵר בְּאָזְנֵי בִנְיָמִין וַיֵּלֶךְ גַּם אַבְנֵר לְדַבֵּר בְּאָזְנֵי דָוִד בְּחֶבְרוֹן אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבְעֵינֵי כָּל בֵּית בִּנְיָמִן:
20And Abner came to David to Hebron, and with him were twenty men, and David made a feast for Abner and for the men who were with him.   כוַיָּבֹא אַבְנֵר אֶל דָּוִד חֶבְרוֹן וְאִתּוֹ עֶשְׂרִים אֲנָשִׁים וַיַּעַשׂ דָּוִד לְאַבְנֵר וְלַאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ מִשְׁתֶּה:
21And Abner said to David, "I shall get up and go and gather all Israel to my lord the king, and they will make a covenant with you, and you will reign over all that your soul desires. " And David sent Abner off and he went in peace.   כאוַיֹּאמֶר אַבְנֵר אֶל דָּוִד אָקוּמָה | וְאֵלֵכָה וְאֶקְבְּצָה אֶל אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִכְרְתוּ אִתְּךָ בְּרִית וּמָלַכְתָּ בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר תְּאַוֶּה נַפְשֶׁךָ וַיְּשַׁלַּח דָּוִד אֶת אַבְנֵר וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם:
22And behold David's servants and Joab came from [pursuing] a troop, and they brought much plunder with them. Now Abner was not with David, for he had sent him off and he had gone in peace.   כבוְהִנֵּה עַבְדֵי דָוִד וְיוֹאָב בָּא מֵהַגְּדוּד וְשָׁלָל רָב עִמָּם הֵבִיאוּ וְאַבְנֵר אֵינֶנּוּ עִם דָּוִד בְּחֶבְרוֹן כִּי שִׁלְּחוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם:
from pursuing a troop: (lit., from the troop) They raided a troop to plunder the enemy.  
23And Joab and all the army which were with him came and they told Joab saying, "Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he sent him off and he went in peace."   כגוְיוֹאָב וְכָל הַצָּבָא אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בָּאוּ וַיַּגִּדוּ לְיוֹאָב לֵאמֹר בָּא אַבְנֵר בֶּן נֵר אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם:
24And Joab came to the king and said, "What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you. Why have you sent him off, so that he has gone?   כדוַיָּבֹא יוֹאָב אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר מֶה עָשִֹיתָה הִנֵּה בָא אַבְנֵר אֵלֶיךָ לָמָּה זֶּה שִׁלַּחְתּוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ הָלוֹךְ:
25"You know Abner the son of Ner, that he has come to entice you and to know your going out and your coming in and to know all that you are doing."   כהיָדַעְתָּ אֶת אַבְנֵר בֶּן נֵר כִּי לְפַתֹּתְךָ בָּא וְלָדַעַת אֶת מוֹצָאֲךָ וְאֶת מוֹבָאֶךָ (כתיב מֹבָואֶךָ) וְלָדַעַת אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹשֶֹה:
26And Joab departed from David, and he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of the thorns, and David did not know.   כווַיֵּצֵא יוֹאָב מֵעִם דָּוִד וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָכִים אַחֲרֵי אַבְנֵר וַיָּשִׁבוּ אֹתוֹ מִבּוֹר הַסִּרָה וְדָוִד לֹא יָדָע:
from the well of thorns: The well was situated among thorns. Therefore, this became the name of the place. Our Rabbis, however, stated: A well and a thorn caused Abner to be killed, for he did not support David’s statement concerning the flask of water which he took from near Saul’s head, and also concerning the skirt of Saul’s cloak. He said, Perhaps one of the thorns was caught upon it and tore it, (and perhaps one of the youths forgot the flask in a well and David found it.)  
27And Abner returned to Hebron, and Joab caused him to turn aside unwittingly into the midst of the gate to speak with him and he struck him there [under] the fifth rib, and he died for the blood of Asahel his brother.   כזוַיָּשָׁב אַבְנֵר חֶבְרוֹן וַיַּטֵהוּ יוֹאָב אֶל תּוֹךְ הַשַּׁעַר לְדַּבֵּר אִתּוֹ בַּשֶּׁלִי וַיַּכֵּהוּ שָׁם הַחֹמֶשׁ וַיָּמָת בְּדַם עֲשָׂהאֵל אָחִיו:
into the midst of the gate: before the tribunal, to be judged concerning the killing of Asahel his brother.  
unwittingly: for Abner did not know that he was plotting to assassinate him. Transpose the verse so that it reads: And Joab caused him to turn aside unwittingly into the midst of the gate to speak with him.  
28And David heard afterward, and he said, "I and my kingdom are innocent before the Lord forever, of the blood of Abner the son of Ner.   כחוַיִּשְׁמַע דָּוִד מֵאַחֲרֵי כֵן וַיֹּאמֶר נָקִי אָנֹכִי וּמַמְלַכְתִּי מֵעִם יְהֹוָה עַד עוֹלָם מִדְּמֵי אַבְנֵר בֶּן נֵר:
29"May it rest upon the head of Joab and upon all his father's house, and may there not fail from the house of Joab one who has an issue or one who is smitten with 'zaraath', or one who leans on a staff or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread."   כטיָחֻלוּ עַל רֹאשׁ יוֹאָב וְאֶל כָּל בֵּית אָבִיו וְאַל יִכָּרֵת מִבֵּית יוֹאָב זָב וּמְצֹרָע וּמַחֲזִיק בַּפֶּלֶךְ וְנֹפֵל בַּחֶרֶב וַחֲסַר לָחֶם:
May it rest: May the (punishment for the) blood of Abner rest. It refers to the above verse, in which he said, I and my kingdom are innocent of the blood of Abner. May (punishment for) his blood rest upon the head of Joab. His blood which is mentioned in the above verse.  
or one who leans on a staff: one who leans on his staff because of a foot ailment.  
30Now, Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner because he put Asahel their brother to death in Gibeon in the battle.   לוְיוֹאָב וַאֲבִישַׁי אָחִיו הָרְגוּ לְאַבְנֵר עַל אֲשֶׁר הֵמִית אֶת עֲשָׂהאֵל אֲחִיהֶם בְּגִבְעוֹן בַּמִּלְחָמָה:
slew Abner: (Heb. הרגו לאבנר) like את אבנר (the usual form for the definitive object). Similar to this is: “Rob me (from the Angel of Death), Be a surety for me” (Is. 35:14). עשקה לי instead of עשקה אותי; and so: “please heal her” (Num. 12:13), Heb. רפא נא לה, instead of, רפא אותה; and similarly: “He sent his princes, Benhail, Obadiah, etc. to teach in the cities of Judah” (II Chron. 17:7, Heb. שלח לשריו לבן חיל לעובדי) and its meaning is as though it were written: חיל שלח את שריו את בן.  
31And David said to all the people who were with him, "Rend your clothes and gird yourselves with sackcloth, and wail before Abner." And King David went after the bier.   לאוַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל יוֹאָב וְאֶל כָּל הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ קִרְעוּ בִגְדֵיכֶם וְחִגְרוּ שַׂקִּים וְסִפְדוּ לִפְנֵי אַבְנֵר וְהַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד הֹלֵךְ אַחֲרֵי הַמִּטָּה:
32And they buried Abner in Hebron, and the king raised his voice and wept on Abner's grave, and all the people wept.   לבוַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֶת אַבְנֵר בְּחֶבְרוֹן וַיִשָּׂא הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת קוֹלוֹ וַיֵּבְךְּ אֶל קֶבֶר אַבְנֵר וַיִּבְכּוּ כָּל הָעָם:
33And the king lamented Abner and said, "Should Abner die like a wicked man?"   לגוַיְקֹנֵן הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל אַבְנֵר וַיֹּאמַר הַכְּמוֹת נָבָל יָמוּת אַבְנֵר:
die like a wicked man: as a wicked man dies, by the sword.  
34"Your hands were not bound, and your feet were not put into copper chains. As one who falls before wicked men you have fallen." And all the people continued to weep over him.   לדיָדֶךָ לֹא אֲסֻרוֹת וְרַגְלֶיךָ לֹא לִנְחֻשְׁתַּיִם הֻגָּשׁוּ כִּנְפוֹל לִפְנֵי בְנֵי עַוְלָה נָפָלְתָּ וַיֹּסִפוּ כָל הָעָם לִבְכּוֹת עָלָיו:
Your hands were not bound: So how did a mighty man like you fall before these wicked men?  
35And all the people came to serve David bread while it was still daytime, but David swore saying, "God do so to me, and so continue, if before sunset I taste bread or anything."   להוַיָּבֹא כָל הָעָם לְהַבְרוֹת אֶת דָּוִד לֶחֶם בְּעוֹד הַיּוֹם וַיִּשָּׁבַע דָּוִד לֵאמֹר כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה לִּי אֱלֹהִים וְכֹה יֹסִיף כִּי אִם לִפְנֵי בוֹא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ אֶטְעַם לֶחֶם אוֹ כָל מְאוּמָה:
to serve: (Heb. להברות) an expression of a meal.  
36And all the people recognized, and it was pleasing in their eyes. All which the king did was pleasing in the eyes of all the people.   לווְכָל הָעָם הִכִּירוּ וַיִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵיהֶם כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָֹה הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּעֵינֵי כָל הָעָם טוֹב:
37And all the people and all Israel knew on that day that it was not of the king to put to death Abner the son of Ner.   לזוַיֵּדְעוּ כָל הָעָם וְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כִּי לֹא הָיְתָה מֵהַמֶּלֶךְ לְהָמִית אֶת אַבְנֵר בֶּן נֵר:
38And the king said to his servants, "Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?   לחוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל עֲבָדָיו הֲלוֹא תֵדְעוּ כִּי שַֹר וְגָדוֹל נָפַל הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל:
39"And today I am tender and just anointed king, and these men, the sons of Zeruiah are harder than May the Lord requite the evil-doer according to his evil."   לטוְאָנֹכִי הַיּוֹם רַךְ וּמָשׁוּחַ מֶלֶךְ וְהָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה בְּנֵי צְרוּיָה קָשִׁים מִמֶּנִּי יְשַׁלֵּם יְהֹוָה לְעֹשֵֹה הָרָעָה כְּרָעָתוֹ:
And today I am tender and just anointed king: And I am today a lowly person, yet anointed king.  
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