Day 122 – Abner is Killed

Thoughts and Reflection

Today in the readings we see that God’s word is rooted in history. We will follow the story through the line of David. Abner wants to reconcile with David, but violence begets violence. When Joab learns that Abner is near, he kills Abner in revenge for the death of his brother Asahel, though Abner killed him in self-defense.

David publicly mourns the death of Abner, his enemy. Because of his character, David is a good and wise leader. We are called to forgive our enemies. We need wisdom in our relationships with people who have hurt us and others. We can grow in trust and pray that the cycle of violence ends in our hearts so that we can forgive and be reconciled.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

2 Samuel 3

1 So the war dragged on between the House of Saul and the House of David, but David grew steadily stronger and the House of Saulsteadily weaker.

2 The sons born to David at Hebron were: his first-born Amnon, by Ahinoam of Jezreel;

3 his second Chileab, by Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;

4 the fourth Adonijah son of Haggith; the fifth Shephatiah son of Abital;

5 the sixth Ithream, by David’s wife, Eglah. These were born to David at Hebron.

6 This is what took place during the war between the House of Saul and the House of David. Abner took complete control in the House of Saul.

7 Now, there was a concubine of Saul’s called Rizpah daughter of Aiah, and Abner took her. Ishbaal said to Abner, ‘Why have you slept with my father’s concubine?’

8 At these words of Ishbaal, Abner flew into a rage. ‘Am I a dog’s head?’ he shouted. ‘Here am I, full of faithful love towards the House of Saul your father, his brothers and his friends, not leaving you to the hands of David, and now you find fault with me over a woman!

9 May God bring unnameable ills on Abner, and worse ones, too, if I do not bring about what Yahweh has sworn to David:

10 to take the sovereignty from the House of Saul, and establish David’s throne over Israel as well as Judah, from Dan to Beersheba!’

11 Ishbaal dared not say a single word to Abner in reply, as he was afraid of him.

12 Abner sent messengers on his own behalf to say to David, ‘. . . and furthermore, come to an agreement with me and I will give you my support to win all Israel over to you.’

13 ‘Very well,’ David said, ‘I will come to an agreement with you. I impose one condition however; you will not be admitted to my presence unless you bring me Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see me.’

14 David then sent messengers to say to Ishbaal son of Saul, ‘Give me back my wife Michal, whom I acquired for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.’

15 So Ishbaal sent for her to be taken from her husband Paltiel son of Laish.

16 Her husband set off with her and followed her, weeping as he went, as far as Bahurim; but Abner said to him, ‘Go back!’ and he went.

17 Now Abner conferred with the elders of Israel. ‘For a long time now,’ he said, ‘you have wanted David as your king.

18 Now you must take action, since Yahweh has said of David, “By the hand of my servant David I shall deliver my people Israel from the clutches of the Philistines and all their enemies.” ‘

19 Abner also spoke to the men of Benjamin and then went to Hebron to tell David everything that had been agreed by Israel and the House of Benjamin.

20 Abner, accompanied by twenty men, came to David at Hebron, and David held a feast for Abner and the men who were with him.

21 Abner then said to David, ‘I must get up and go. I am going to rally all Israel to my lord the king, so that they will make an alliance with you, and you will reign over all that you desire.’ So David allowed Abner to go, and he went unmolested.

22 David’s retainers were just then coming back with Joab from a raid, bringing a great quantity of booty with them. Abner was no longer with David at Hebron, since David had allowed him to go, and he had gone unmolested.

23 When Joab and the whole company with him had arrived, Joab was told, ‘Abner son of Ner has been to the king, and the king has allowed Abner to go away unmolested.’

24 Joab then went to the king and said, ‘What have you done? Abner comes to you and you let him go away and now he has gone-why?

25 You know Abner son of Ner! He came to trick you, to discover your every move, to find out what you are doing.’

26 Joab left David’s presence and sent messengers after Abner and these, unknown to David, brought him back from the storage-well at Sirah.

27 When Abner reached Hebron, Joab took him aside in the town-gate, as if to have a quiet word with him, and there struck him a mortal blow in the belly to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel.

28 Afterwards, when David heard of this, he said, ‘I and my kingdom are for ever innocent before Yahweh of the blood of Abner son of Ner;

29 may it fall on the head of Joab and on all his family! May the House of Joab never be free of men afflicted with haemorrhage or a virulent skin-disease, whose strength is in the distaff, who fall by the sword, who lack food.’

30 (Joab and his brother Abishai had murdered Abner because he killed their brother Asahel at the battle of Gibeon.)

31 David then said to Joab and the whole company with him, ‘Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner,’ and King David walked behind the bier.

32 They buried Abner at Hebron, and the king wept aloud on his grave, and the people all wept too.

33 The king made this lament over Abner: Should Abner have died as a brute dies?

34 Your hands were not tied, your feet not chained; you fell as a man falls at the hands of criminals. And all the people wept for him louder than ever.

35 The people then all tried to persuade David to have some food while it was still daylight, but David swore this oath, ‘May God bring unnameable ills on me, and worse ills, too, if I taste bread or anything whatever until the sun is down!’

36 All the people took note of this and it pleased them; indeed, everything the king did pleased the people.

37 That day, all the people and all Israel understood that the king had had no part in the murder of Abner son of Ner.

38 The king said to his retainers, ‘Do you not realise that a prince, a great man, has fallen in Israel today?

39 I, though anointed king, am weak at present, and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too strong for me. May Yahweh repay the criminal as his crime deserves!’

1 Chronicles 3

1 These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the first-born Amnon, by Ahinoam of Jezreel; second, Daniel, by Abigail of Carmel;

2 third, Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; fourth, Adonijah son of Haggith;

3 fifth, Shephatiah by Abital, sixth, Ithream by his wife Eglah.

4 Six, therefore, were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for three years and six months. He reigned for thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

5 These are the sons who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, the four of them children of Bath-Shua daughter of Ammiel;

6 Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet,

7 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia,

8 Elishama, Eliada, Eliphelet: nine.

9 All these were sons of David, not counting the sons of the concubines. Tamar was their sister.

10 Sons of Solomon: Rehoboam; Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son,

11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,

12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,

13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son,

14 Amon his son, Josiah his son.

15 Sons of Josiah: Johanan, the first-born, Jehoiakim second, Zedekiah third, Shallum fourth.

16 The sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.

17 Sons of Jeconiah the captive: Shealtiel his son,

18 then Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jechamiah, Hoshama, Nedabiah.

19 Sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei. Sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah; Shelomith was their sister.

20 Sons of Meshullam: Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, Jushab-Hesed: five.

21 Sons of Hananiah: Pelatiah; Jeshaiah his son, Rephaiah his son, Arnan his son, Obadiah his son, Shecaniah his son.

22 Sons of Shecaniah: Shemaiah, Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, Shaphat: six.

23 Sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah, Azrikam: three.

24 Sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, Anani: seven.

1 Chronicles 4

1 Sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, Shobal.

2 Reaiah son of Shobal fathered Jahath, and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad. These are the Zoreathite clans.

3 These are Abi-Etam, Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash, whose sister was called Hazzelelponi.

4 Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, first-born of Ephrathah and father of Bethlehem.

5 Ashhur, father of Tekoa, had two wives: Helah and Naarah.

6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, the Timnites, and the Ahashtarites — these were the sons of Naarah.

7 Sons of Helah: Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan.

8 Koz fathered Anub, Hazzobebah and the clans of Aharhel son of Harum.

9 Jabez was better known than his brothers. His mother gave him the name Jabez, ‘because’, she said, ‘in distress I gave birth to him.’

10 Jabez called on the God of Israel. ‘If you truly bless me,’ he said, ‘you will extend my lands, your hand will be with me, you will keep harm away and my distress will cease.’ God granted him what he had asked.

11 Chelub, Shuhah’s brother, fathered Mehir, who fathered Eshton.

12 Eshton fathered Bethrapha, Paseah and Tehinnah father of Irnahash. These were the men of Recab.

13 Sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah. Sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai;

14 Meonothai fathered Ophrah. Seraiah fathered Joab, father of Geharashim — for they were craftsmen.

15 Sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah and Naam. Sons of Elah: Kenaz.

16 Sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, Asarel.

17 Sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, Jalon. She conceived Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa,

18 whose Judaean wife gave birth to Jered father of Gedor, Heber father of Soco, and Jekuthiel, father of Zanoah. These were the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh whom Mered had married.

19 The sons of Hodiah’s wife, sister of Naham father of Keilah the Garmite and of Eshtemoa the Maacathite . . .

20 Sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-Hanan, Tilon. Sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-Zoheth.

21 Sons of Shelah son of Judah: Er father of Lecah, Laadah father of Mareshah, and the clans of linenworkers at Beth-Ashbea,

22 Jokim, the men of Cozeba, Joash and Saraph where Moab found wives and then returned to Bethlehem. (These are old traditions.)

23 These were potters and lived at Netaim and Gederah; they resided there, working for the king.

24 Sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Saul;

25 Shallum was his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son.

26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son.

27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers did not have many children, and the sum of their clans did not multiply as the sons of Judah did.

28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah and Hazar-Shual,

29 Bilhah, Ezem and Tolad,

30 Bethuel, Hormah and Ziklag,

31 Beth-Marcaboth, Hazar-Susim, Beth-Biri, Shaaraim.

32 These were their towns until the reign of David. Their settlements were: Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen and Ashan, five towns,

33 and all the dependencies surrounding these towns as far as Baalath. That was where they lived and they had an official genealogy.

34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah son of Amaziah,

35 Joel, Jehu son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel,

36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah,

37 Ziza, Ben-Shiphi, Ben-Allon, Ben-Jedaiah, Ben-Shimri, Ben-Shemaiah-

38 these above named were princes in their clans in their ancestral home. Their numbers increased enormously.

39 In search of pasture for their flocks, they spread from the Pass of Gerar to the eastern end of the valley,

40 where they found good, fat pasture; the land was broad, untroubled, peaceful. Hamites had been living there before them.

41 These Simeonites, recorded by name, arrived there in the time of Hezekiah king of Judah; they overran their tents and the dwellings which they found there. They put them under a curse of destruction still in force today and settled in their place, since there was pasturage for their flocks.

42 Five hundred of them, of the Simeonites, went to Mount Seir, their leaders being Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi.

43 They defeated the surviving fugitives of Amalek and still live there today.

Psalm 25

1 [Of David] ADORATION I offer, Yahweh,

2 to you, my God. BUT in my trust in you do not put me to shame, let not my enemies gloat over me.

3 CALLING to you, none shall ever be put to shame, but shame is theirs who groundlessly break faith.

4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.

5 ENCOURAGE me to walk in your truth and teach me since you are the God who saves me. FOR my hope is in you all day long — such is your generosity, Yahweh.

6 GOODNESS and faithful love have been yours for ever, Yahweh, do not forget them.

7 HOLD not my youthful sins against me, but remember me as your faithful love dictates.

8 INTEGRITY and generosity are marks of Yahweh for he brings sinners back to the path.

9 JUDICIOUSLY he guides the humble, instructing the poor in his way.

10 KINDNESS unfailing and constancy mark all Yahweh’s paths, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

11 LET my sin, great though it is, be forgiven, Yahweh, for the sake of your name.

12 MEN who respect Yahweh, what of them? He teaches them the way they must choose.

13 NEIGHBOURS to happiness will they live, and their children inherit the land.

14 ONLY those who fear Yahweh have his secret and his covenant, for their understanding.

15 PERMANENTLY my eyes are on Yahweh, for he will free my feet from the snare.

16 QUICK, turn to me, pity me, alone and wretched as I am!

17 RELIEVE the distress of my heart, bring me out of my constraint.

18 SPARE a glance for my misery and pain, take all my sins away.

19 TAKE note how countless are my enemies, how violent their hatred for me.

20 UNLESS you guard me and rescue me I shall be put to shame, for you are my refuge.

21 VIRTUE and integrity be my protection, for my hope, Yahweh, is in you.

22 Ransom Israel, O God, from all its troubles.

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