And it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had remained two days in Ziklag; 2 it came to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance. 3 And David said to him, From where have you come? And he said to him, I have escaped out of the camp of Israel. 4 And David said to him, How went the matter? I pray you, tell me. And he answered, The people have fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also. 5 And David said to the young man that told him, how do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead? 6 And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul was leaning on his spear; and, lo, the chariots and the horsemen followed hard after him. 7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, Here I am. 8 And he said to me, Who are you? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. 9 And he said to me, Stand, I pray you, beside me, and kill me; for anguish has taken hold of me, because my life is yet whole in me. 10 So I stood beside him, and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my sovereign.
11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: 12 and they mourned, and wept, and fasted until evening, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of Yahweh, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword. 13 And David said to the young man that told him, Where are you from? And he answered, I am the son of a sojourner, an Amalekite. 14 And David said to him, Why were you not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy Yahweh’s anointed? 15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he struck him, so that he died. 16 And David said to him, your blood is on your head; for your mouth has testified against you, saying, I have killed Yahweh’s anointed.
17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: 18 and he bid them teach the children of Judah the song of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jashar.
19 Your glory, O Israel, is killed on your high places!
How are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon;
Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 You mountains of Gilboa,
Let there be no dew or rain upon you, neither fields of offerings:
For there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away,
The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty,
The bow of Jonathan turned not back,
And the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives,
And in their death they were not divided:
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions,
24 You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
Who clothed you in scarlet delicately,
Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
25 How are the mighty fallen in the middle of the battle!
Jonathan is killed on your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan:
Very pleasant have you been to me:
Your love to me was wonderful,
Passing the love of women.
27 How are the mighty fallen,
And the weapons of war perished!
And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of Yahweh, saying, Shall I go into any of the cities of Judah? And Yahweh said to him, Go up. And David said, Where shall I go? And he said, to Hebron. 2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 And his men that were with him David brought up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, They were the men of Jabesh-gilead that buried Saul. 5 And David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, Blessed be you of Yahweh, that you have showed this kindness to your sovereign even to Saul, and have buried him. 6 And now may Yahweh show kindness and truth to you: and I also will do good to you, because you have done this. 7 Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your master is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.
8 Now Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
9 and he made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
10 (Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years.) But the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met them 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. 14 And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men, I pray you, arise and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. 15 Then they arose and went over by number: twelve for Benjamin, and for Ish-bosheth the son Of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17 And the battle was very hard that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
18 And the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. 19 And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand or to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him, and asked: Is that you, Asahel? And he said: It is I. 21 And Abner said to him, Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men, and take his armor. But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn aside from following me: why should I strike you to the ground? How then should I hold up my face to Joab your brother? 23 However he refused to turn aside: therefore Abner with the hind part of the spear struck him in the body, so 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.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they had come to the hill of Ammah, that lies before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one band, and stood on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour forever? Know you not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long shall it be then, before you bid the people return from following their brethren? 27 And Joab said, As Elohim lives, if you had not spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone away, nor followed every one his brother. 28 So Joab blew the trumpet; and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither did they fight any more. 29 And Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah; and they passed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and came to Mahanaim.
30 And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had struck Benjamin, and Abner’s men, so that three hundred and sixty men died. 32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.
Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: and David became stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.
2 And to David sons were born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; 3 and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; 4 and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5 and the sixth, Ithream, of 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 in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine? 8 Then Abner was very angry for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Judah? This day I show kindness to the house of Saul your father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me this day with a fault concerning this woman. 9 Elohim do to Abner, and more also, if, as Yahweh has sworn to David, I do not even so to him; 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba. 11 And he could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
12 And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? Saying also, Make your covenant with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with you, to bring about all Israel to you. 13 And he said, Well; I will make a covenant with you: but one thing I require of you, that is, you shall not see my face, except you first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face. 14 And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 15 And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 And her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, Go, return: and he returned.
17 And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, In times past you sought for David to be king over you: 18 Now then do it; for Yahweh has 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. 19 And Abner also spoke 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 to the whole house of Benjamin. 20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David prepared for Abner and the men that were with him a feast. 21 And Abner said to David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel to my leader the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your soul desires. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
22 And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from a raid, and brought in a great plunder with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the army that was with him had come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he has gone in peace. 24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you; why is it that you have sent him away, and he is quite gone? 25 You know Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you do. 26 And when Joab had come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not.
27 And when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the gate to speak with him quietly, and struck him there in the body, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. 28 And afterward, when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before Yahweh forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner: 29 let it fall upon the head of Joab, and on all his father’s house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one who has an issue, or who is a leper, or who leans on a staff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread. 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had killed 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 clothe yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David followed the bier. 32 And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept. 33 And the king lamented for Abner, and said,
Should Abner die as a fool dies?
34 Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put into fetters:
As a man falls before the children of iniquity, so did you fall.
And all the people wept again over him.
35 And all the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day; but David swore, saying, Elohim do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or anything else, till the sun be down. 36 And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; as whatever the king did pleased all the people. 37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to kill Abner the son of Ner. 38 And the king said to his servants, Don’t you know that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? 39 And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me: Yahweh reward the evil-doer according to his wickedness.
And when Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands became feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. 2 And Ish-bosheth, 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 the Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also is reckoned to Benjamin: 3 and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and have been sojourners there until this day.)
4 Now 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 hurried to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, as he took his rest at noon. 6 And they came there into the house, as though they would have brought wheat; and they struck him in the body: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7 Now when they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, they struck him, and killed him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and went by the way of the Arabah all night. 8 And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron, and said to the king, Behold, the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; and Yahweh has avenged my sovereign 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 to them, As Yahweh lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all adversity, 10 when one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and killed him in Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his tidings. 11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous person in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth. 12 And David commanded his young men, and they killed them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up beside the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron.