Daily Tanach Shmuel 2 Chapter 3 Part 2: Avner accepts the monarchy of Dovid and is assassinated

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

1.     Avner galvanizes the Jewish people towards Dovid and makes peace with him:

  • Avner spoke to the elders of the Jewish people telling them, “Yesterday and the day before you had desired to crown Dovid as king over you. Now, this is what you should do as G-d has said to Dovid saying, “With the hands of Dovid My servant I will save the Jewish people from the hands of the Philistines and from the hands of all their enemies.” Avner spoke these words also to the ears of the Benjamite’s, and he also went to speak to the ears of Dovid in Chevron all that is good in the eyes of the Jewish people and in the eyes of the household of Benjamin.
  • Avner meets Dovid: Avner arrived to Dovid in Chevron together with 20 people, and Dovid made a feast for Avner and his men. Avner said to Dovid, “I will get up and go and gather all the Jewish people towards my master the king and they will make a covenant with you and you shall rule over all that you desire.” So, Dovid sent Avner and he went with peace.

2.     Yoav protests the peace with Avner and assassinates him:

  • The servants of Dovid and Yoav had arrived from the army together with a lot of booty that they brought with them. At that time, Avner was no longer together with Dovid in Chevron as he had already sent him, and he went with peace. Yoav and the entire army that was with him arrived, and they told Yoav that Avner the son of Ner had come to the king and he sent him off in peace. Yoav approached the king and said to him, “What have you done? Avner has arrived by you, so why did you send him and let him go his way. I know that Avner the son of Ner had come in order to spy on you and to know your comings and goings and all that you do.”
  • Yoav assassinates Avner: Yoav left the presence of Dovid and he sent messengers to call after Avner and he brought him back from the pit which is found in the area of Sirim. Dovid had no knowledge of these arrangements. So Avner returned to Chevron, and Yoav had him brought into the gate [where the Sanhedrin sat[1]] under the guise that he needed to speak to him about a matter that Dovid forgot to tell him [when in truth he wanted to speak to him about him having killed his brother and bring him to justice[2]]. In that area Yoav killed Avner stabbing him through the abdomen [in the area that he had brought him there to speak with him] and he killed in vengeance of the blood of his brother Asahail.
  • Dovid hears of the assassination and responds: Afterwards, Dovid heard about what had happened and he said, “I and my monarchy are clean in the eyes of G-d from now and forever from being held accountable over the blood of Avner the son of Ner. This sin shall befall on the head of Yoav and upon his father’s home, and may there never cease from the house of Yoav a Zav and Metzora, and one who walks with a cane due to leg injuries, and falls in war to the sword and is always lacking sustenance.” Yoav and his brother Avishaiy had killed Avner over the fact that he had killed their brother Asahail in Givon during the time of war.
  • Avner is buried and mourned: Dovid said to Yoav and to all of the nation that was with him, “tear your clothing and wear sackcloth and eulogize Avner.” And King Dovid followed after the bed of Avner. They buried Avner in Chevron, and the king raised his voice and cried by the grave of Avner and the entire nation cried.
  • Dovid eulogizes Avner: The king eulogized and bemoaned Avner by saying, “Should Avner die like an evil man by the sword? Your hands were not tied, and your feet were not bound with copper chains. You were brought forward and made to fall before a wicked man.” After these words the entire nation continued to cry over him.
  • Dovid is given Seudas Havraha but refuses to eat: The entire nation came to give Dovid food and bread on that day, while it was still day. Dovid then made a swear and said, “So will do to me G-d and so will happen to me if prior to sunset I will eat any bread or taste anything.” The entire nation and all of Israel recognized the truth of his words, and it found favor in their eyes, as everything that the King did was found to be good in the eyes of the nation. The entire nation and all of the Jewish people knew on that day that it was not from the king’s edict to put Avner the son of Ner to death.
  • The king said to his servants, “You should know that a prince and great man fell from amongst Israel today. Now, although that I was anointed as the king, I am too softhearted to take vengeance against the children of Tzeruyah. However, G-d will pay back evil for the evil that he did.”

[1] Rashi 3:27

[2] Rashi 3:27

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