And it came to pass after this that David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah? And Jehovah said to him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jizreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household; and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, It is the men of Jabesh-Gilead that have buried Saul.
And David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-Gilead, and said to them, Blessed be ye of Jehovah, that ye have shewn this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him!
And now Jehovah shew kindness and faithfulness to you; and I also will requite you this good, because ye have done this thing.
And now let your hands be strong, and be ye valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.
And Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth a the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
and made him king over Gilead, and over the Asshurites, and over Jizreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. However, the house of Judah followed David.
And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out. And they met together by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, these on the one side of the pool, and those on the other side of the pool.
And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise and make sport before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.
And they arose and went over by number, twelve for Benjamin, and for Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and [thrust] his sword in his fellow's side, and they fell down together. And that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, b which is by Gibeon.
And the battle that day was very severe; and Abner and the men of Israel were routed before the servants of David.
And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was swift of foot, as one of the gazelles that are in the field.
And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from behind Abner.
Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he said, I am.
And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside, to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay hold of one of the young men, and take for thyself his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: why should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?
But he refused to turn aside; therefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him in the belly, c 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.
And Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner; and the sun went down when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon.
And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of a hill.
And Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? and how long shall it be ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?
And Joab said, [As] God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother.
And Joab blew the trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither did they fight any more.
And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, d and passed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.
And Joab returned from following Abner, and gathered all the people together; and there lacked of David's servants nineteen men, and Asahel.
And the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, three hundred and sixty men, who had died.
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 they came to Hebron at break of day.