When David heard about it, he declared, "I vow by the LORD that I and my people are innocent of this crime against Abner.
Joab and his family are the guilty ones. May his family in every generation be cursed with a man who has open sores or leprosy a or who walks on crutches b or who dies by the sword or who begs for food!"
So Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because Abner had killed their brother Asahel at the battle of Gibeon.
Then David said to Joab and all those who were with him, "Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth. Go into deep mourning for Abner." And King David himself walked behind the procession to the grave.
They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king and all the people wept at his graveside.
Then the king sang this funeral song for Abner: "Should Abner have died as fools die?
Your hands were not bound; your feet were not chained. No, you were murdered -- the victim of a wicked plot." All the people wept again for Abner.
David had refused to eat anything the day of the funeral, and now everyone begged him to eat. But David had made a vow, saying, "May God kill me if I eat anything before sundown."
This pleased the people very much. In fact, everything the king did pleased them!
So everyone in Judah and Israel knew that David was not responsible for Abner's death.
Then King David said to the people, "Do you not realize that a great leader and a great man has fallen today in Israel?
And even though I am the anointed king, these two sons of Zeruiah -- Joab and Abishai -- are too strong for me to control. So may the LORD repay these wicked men for their wicked deeds."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)