21And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. 2So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite. 3And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 4And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul.
5¶ And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. 6And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. 7Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.2.7 be ye…: Heb. be ye the sons of valour
8¶ But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;2.8 Saul’s host: Heb. the host which was Saul’s2.8 Ish-bosheth: or, Esh-baal 9And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10Ish-bosheth Saul’s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.2.11 time: Heb. number of days
12¶ And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.2.13 together: Heb. them together 14And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. 15Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.2.16 Helkath-hazzurim: that is, The field of strong men 17And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
18¶ And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe.2.18 of foot: Heb. of his feet2.18 as a wild…: Heb. as one of the roes that is in the field 19And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.2.19 from…: Heb. from after Abner 20Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am. 21And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.2.21 armour: or, spoil 22And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother? 23Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still. 24Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
25¶ And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill. 26Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren? 27And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother.2.27 in the…: Heb. from the morning2.27 gone…: or, gone away 28So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more. 29And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim. 30And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel. 31But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner’s men, so that three hundred and threescore men died.
32¶ And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Beth-lehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.
31Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
2¶ And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;3.3 Chileab: or, Daniel 4And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
6¶ And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul.
7And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father’s concubine? 8Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, Am I a dog’s head, which against Judah do shew kindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to day with a fault concerning this woman? 9So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; 10To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba. 11And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him.
12¶ And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee.
13¶ And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul’s daughter, when thou comest to see my face.3.13 that is: Heb. saying 14And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 15And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish.3.15 Phaltiel: also called, Phalti 16And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.3.16 along…: Heb. going and weeping
17¶ And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you:3.17 in times…: Heb. both yesterday and the third day 18Now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies. 19And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin. 20So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast. 21And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
22¶ And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from pursuing a troop, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace. 23When Joab and all the host that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace. 24Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone? 25Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest. 26And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not. 27And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.3.27 quietly: or, peaceably
28¶ And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner:3.28 blood: Heb. bloods 29Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father’s house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread.3.29 fail: Heb. be cut off 30So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.
31¶ And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier.3.31 bier: Heb. bed 32And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept. 33And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth? 34Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him.3.34 wicked…: Heb. children of iniquity 35And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down. 36And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people.3.36 pleased them: Heb. was good in their eyes 37For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner. 38And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? 39And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.3.39 weak: Heb. tender
41And when Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. 2And Saul’s son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin:4.2 other: Heb. second 3And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.) 4And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.4.4 Mephibosheth: or, Merib-baal 5And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. 6And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night. 8And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
9¶ And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, 10When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:4.10 thinking…: Heb. he was in his own eyes as a bringer, etc4.10 who…: or, which was the reward I gave him for his tidings 11How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? 12And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.