David Made King over Judah
1Then it came about afterward that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” So David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.”
2So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the Lit wifewidow of Nabal the Carmelite.
3And David brought up his men who were with him, each with his household; and they settled in the cities of Hebron.
4Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
And they told David, saying, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.”
5So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, “May you be blessed of the Lord because you have Lit doneshown this kindness to Saul your lord, and have buried him.
6And now may the Lord Lit doshow kindness and truth to you; and I also will Lit doshow this goodness to you, because you have done this thing.
7Now then, let your hands be strong and be Lit sons of valorvaliant, since Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
Ish-bosheth Made King over Israel
8But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken I.e., man of shame; cf. 1 Chr 8:33, EshbaalIsh-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim.
9And he made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, even over all Israel.
10Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he was king for two years. The house of Judah, however, followed David.
11And the Lit number of daystime that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
Civil War
12Now Abner the son of Ner, went from Mahanaim to Gibeon with the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul.
13And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met Lit them togetherthem by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, Lit these onAbner’s men on the one side of the pool and Lit these onJoab’s men on the other side of the pool.
14Then Abner said to Joab, “Now have the young men arise and hold a martial skills match in our presence.” And Joab said, “Have them arise!”
15So they got up and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David.
16And each one of them seized his Lit fellowopponent by the head and thrust his sword in his Lit fellow’sopponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called I.e., the field of sword-edgesHelkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.
17That day the battle was very severe, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated Lit in front ofby the servants of David.
18Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel; and Asahel was as Lit light in his feetswift-footed as one of the gazelles that is in the field.
19Asahel pursued Abner and did not turn Lit to go toto the right or to the left from following Abner.
20Then Abner looked behind himself and said, “Is that you, Asahel?” And he said, “It is I!”
21So Abner said to him, “Turn aside for your own good to your right or to your left, and take hold of one of the young men for yourself, and take for yourself his equipment.” But Asahel was unwilling to turn aside from following him.
22Then Abner repeated again to Asahel, “Turn aside for your own good from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I Lit lift upshow my face to your brother Joab?”
23However, he refused to turn aside; so Abner struck him in the belly with the butt end of the spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died on the spot. And it happened that all who came thereafter to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
24But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and when the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah, which is opposite Giah by way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
25And the sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one troop, and they stood on the top of a hill.
26Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Should the sword devour forever? Do you not realize that it will be bitter in the end? So how long will you Lit not tell the peoplerefrain from telling the people to turn back from pursuing their kinsmen?”
27Joab said, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, then the people of Judah certainly would have withdrawn in the morning, each from pursuing his brother.”
28So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the people halted and no longer pursued Israel, nor did they continue to fight anymore.
29Abner and his men then went through the Arabah all that night; so they crossed the Jordan, walked all morning, and came to Mahanaim.
30Then Joab returned from pursuing Abner; but he gathered all the people together, and Lit nineteen mennineteen of David’s servants were missing, besides Asahel.
31However, the servants of David had struck and killed many of Benjamin and Abner’s men; 360 men were dead.
32And they carried Asahel away and buried him in his father’s tomb, which was in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men traveled all night until the day Lit dawned for themdawned at Hebron.