Afterward, when David heard of it, he said, "I and my kingdom are for ever guiltless before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son of Ner.
May it fall upon the head of Jo'ab, and upon all his father's house; and may the house of Jo'ab never be without one who has a discharge, or who is leprous, or who holds a spindle, or who is slain by the sword, or who lacks bread!"
So Jo'ab and Abi'shai his brother slew Abner, because he had killed their brother As'ahel in the battle at Gibeon.
Then David said to Jo'ab and to all the people who were with him, "Rend your clothes, and gird on sackcloth, and mourn before Abner." And King David followed the bier.
They buried Abner at Hebron; and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.
And the king lamented for Abner, saying, "Should Abner die as a fool dies?
Your hands were not bound, your feet were not fettered; as one falls before the wicked you have fallen." And all the people wept again over him.
Then all the people came to persuade David to eat bread while it was yet day; but David swore, saying, "God do so to me and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!"
And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; as everything that the king did pleased all the people.
So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the king's will to slay Abner the son of Ner.
And the king said to his servants, "Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?
And I am this day weak, though anointed king; these men the sons of Zeru'iah are too hard for me. The LORD requite the evildoer according to his wickedness!"
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)