2 Samuel 3

The House of David Strengthened

1Now a  there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; and David grew steadily stronger, but the house of Saul grew weaker continually.

2 b  Sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, by c  Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3and his second, Chileab, by Abigail the
Lit wife
widow of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of e  Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of f  Geshur;
4and the fourth g  Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5and the sixth, Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David at Hebron.

Abner Joins David

6It came about while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David that h  Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul. 7Now Saul had a concubine whose name was i  Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah; and
So some ancient mss and versions; M.T. he
Ish-bosheth said to Abner, “Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?”
8Then Abner was very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said k  Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Judah? Today I show kindness to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hands of David; and yet today you charge me with a guilt concerning the woman. 9 l  May God do so to Abner, and more also, if m  as the  Lord has sworn to David, I do not accomplish this for him, 10 n  to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and to establish the throne of David over Israel and over Judah o  from Dan even to Beersheba.” 11And he could no longer answer Abner a word, because he was afraid of him.

12Then Abner sent messengers to David in his place, saying, “Whose is the land? Make your covenant with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you to bring all Israel over to you.” 13He said, “Good! I will make a covenant with you, but I demand one thing of you,
Lit saying
namely q  you shall not see my face unless you r  first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see
Lit my face
me.”
14So David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying, “Give me my wife Michal, to whom I was betrothed t  for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” 15Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband, from
In 1 Sam 25:44, Palti
Paltiel the son of Laish.
16But her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her as far as v  Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return.” So he returned.

17Now Abner had
Lit a word
consultation with x  the elders of Israel, saying, “In times past you were seeking for David to be king over you.
18Now then, do it! For the  Lord has spoken of David, saying, ‘ y  By the hand of My servant David
So many ancient mss and versions; M.T. he
I will save My people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’”
19Abner also spoke in the hearing of Benjamin; and in addition Abner went to speak in the hearing of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel and to aa  the whole house of Benjamin.

20Then Abner and twenty men with him came to David at Hebron. And David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him. 21Abner said to David, “Let me arise and go and ab  gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that ac  you may be king over all that your soul desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.

22And behold ad  the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought much spoil with them; but Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23When Joab and all the army that was with him arrived, 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.” 24Then Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you; why then have you sent him away and he is already gone? 25You know Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive you and to learn of ae  your going out and coming in and to find out all that you are doing.”

Joab Murders Abner

26When Joab came out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah; but David did not know it. 27So when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the middle of the gate to speak with him privately, and there af  he struck him in the belly so that he died on account of the blood of Asahel his brother. 28Afterward when David heard it, he said, “I and my kingdom are innocent before the  Lord forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner. 29 ag  “May it
Lit whirl
fall on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house; and may there not fail from the house of Joab ai  one who has a discharge, or who is a leper, or who takes hold of a distaff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.”
30So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner aj  because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon.

David Mourns Abner

31Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, ak  Tear your clothes and gird on sackcloth and lament before Abner.” And King David walked behind the bier. 32Thus they buried Abner in Hebron; and the king lifted up his voice and wept at al  the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33 am  The king chanted a lament for Abner and said, Should Abner die as a fool dies?
34Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put in fetters;
As one falls before the
Lit sons of wickedness
wicked, you have fallen.”
And all the people wept again over him.

35Then all the people came ao  to
Lit cause
persuade David to eat bread while it was still day; but David vowed, saying aq  May God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else ar  before the sun goes down.”
36Now all the people took note of it, and it
Lit was good in their eyes
pleased them, just as everything the king did
Lit was good in the eyes of all
pleased all the people.
37So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the will of the king to put Abner the son of Ner to death. 38Then the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39“I am au  weak today, though anointed king; and these men av  the sons of Zeruiah are too difficult for me. aw  May the  Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil.”
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