When David heard the news, he said, "The Lord knows that my subjects and I are completely innocent of the murder of Abner.
May the punishment for it fall on Joab and all his family! In every generation may there be some man in his family who has gonorrhea or a dreaded skin disease or is fit only to do a woman's work or is killed in battle or doesn't have enough to eat!"
So Joab and his brother Abishai took revenge on Abner for killing their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.
Then David ordered Joab and his men to tear their clothes, wear sackcloth, and mourn for Abner. And at the funeral King David himself walked behind the coffin.
Abner was buried at Hebron, and the king wept aloud at the grave, and so did all the people.
David sang this lament for Abner: "Why did Abner have to die like a fool?
His hands were not tied, And his feet were not bound; He died like someone killed by criminals!" And the people wept for him again.
All day long the people tried to get David to eat something, but he made a solemn promise, "May God strike me dead if I eat anything before the day is over!"
They took note of this and were pleased. Indeed, everything the king did pleased the people.
All of David's people and all the people in Israel understood that the king had no part in the murder of Abner.
The king said to his officials, "Don't you realize that this day a great leader in Israel has died?
Even though I am the king chosen by God, I feel weak today. These sons of Zeruiah are too violent for me. May the Lord punish these criminals as they deserve!"