Then Abner said to Joab, "Let's have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us." "All right, let them do it," Joab said.
So they stood up and were counted off--twelve men for Benjamin and Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve for David.
Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his dagger1 into his opponent's side, and they fell down together. So that place in Gibeon was called Helkath Hazzurim.a17
The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated2 by David's men.318
The three sons of Zeruiah4 were there: Joab,5 Abishai6 and Asahel.7 Now Asahel was as fleet-footed as a wild gazelle.819
He chased Abner, turning neither to the right nor to the left as he pursued him.
Abner looked behind him and asked, "Is that you, Asahel?" "It is," he answered.
Then Abner said to him, "Turn aside to the right or to the left; take on one of the young men and strip him of his weapons." But Asahel would not stop chasing him.
Again Abner warned Asahel, "Stop chasing me! Why should I strike you down? How could I look your brother Joab in the face?"923
But Asahel refused to give up the pursuit; so Abner thrust the butt of his spear into Asahel's stomach,10 and the spear came out through his back. He fell there and died on the spot. And every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died.1124
But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and as the sun was setting, they came to the hill of Ammah, near Giah on the way to the wasteland of Gibeon.