Now there was long war between the house of Sha'ul and the house of David: and David grew stronger and stronger, but the house of Sha'ul grew weaker and weaker.
To David were sons born in Hevron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Achino'am the Yizre`elite;
and his second, Chileab, of Avigayil the wife of Naval the Karmelite; and the third, Avshalom the son of Ma`akhah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
and the fourth, Adoniyahu the son of Haggit; and the fifth, Shefatyah the son of Avital;
and the sixth, Yitre`am, of `Eglah, David's wife. These were born to David in Hevron.
It happened, while there was war between the house of Sha'ul and the house of David, that Aviner made himself strong in the house of Sha'ul.
Now Sha'ul had a concubine, whose name was Ritzpah, the daughter of Ayah: and [Ish-Boshet] said to Aviner, Why have you gone in to my father's concubine?
Then was Aviner very angry for the words of Ish-Boshet, and said, Am I a dog's head that belongs to Yehudah? This day do I show kindness to the house of Sha'ul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me this day with a fault concerning this woman.
God do so to Aviner, and more also, if, as the LORD has sworn to David, I don't do even so to him;
to transfer the kingdom from the house of Sha'ul, and to set up the throne of David over Yisra'el and over Yehudah, from Dan even to Be'er-Sheva.
He could not answer Aviner another word, because he feared him.
Aviner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying [also], Make your league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with you, to bring about all Yisra'el to you.
He said, Well; I will make a league with you; but one thing I require of you: that is, you shall not see my face, except you first bring Mikhal, Sha'ul's daughter, when you come to see my face.
David sent messengers to Ish-Boshet, Sha'ul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Mikhal, whom I pledged to be married to me for one hundred foreskins of the Pelishtim.
Ish-Boshet sent, and took her from her husband, even from Palti'el the son of Layish.
Her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her to Bachurim. Then said Aviner to him, Go, return: and he returned.
Aviner had communication with the Zakenim of Yisra'el, saying, In times past you sought for David to be king over you:
now then do it; for the LORD has spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Yisra'el out of the hand of the Pelishtim, and out of the hand of all their enemies.
Aviner also spoke in the ears of Binyamin: and Aviner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hevron all that seemed good to Yisra'el, and to the whole house of Binyamin.
So Aviner came to David to Hevron, and twenty men with him. David made Aviner and the men who were with him a feast.
Aviner said to David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Yisra'el to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your soul desires. David sent Aviner away; and he went in shalom.
Behold, the servants of David and Yo'av came from a foray, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Aviner was not with David in Hevron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in shalom.
When Yo'av and all the host who was with him had come, they told Yo'av, saying, Aviner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he is gone in shalom.
Then Yo'av came to the king, and said, What have you done? behold, Aviner came to you; why is it that you have sent him away, and he is quite gone?
You know Aviner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you do.
When Yo'av was come out from David, he sent messengers after Aviner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah: but David didn't know it.
When Aviner was returned to Hevron, Yo'av took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him quietly, and struck him there in the body, so that he died, for the blood of `Asa'el his brother.
Afterward, when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD forever of the blood of Aviner the son of Ner:
let it fall on the head of Yo'av, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Yo'av one who has an issue, or who is a leper, or who leans on a staff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.
So Yo'av and Avishai his brother killed Aviner, because he had killed their brother `Asa'el at Giv`on in the battle.
David said to Yo'av, and to all the people who were with him, Tear your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Aviner. King David followed the bier.
They buried Aviner in Hevron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Aviner; and all the people wept.
The king lamented for Aviner, and said, Should Aviner die as a fool dies?
Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put into fetters: As a man falls before the children of iniquity, so did you fall. All the people wept again over him.
All the people came to cause 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, until the sun be down.
All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; as whatever the king did pleased all the people.
So all the people and all Yisra'el understood that day that it was not of the king to kill Aviner the son of Ner.
The king said to his servants, "Don't you know that there a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Yisra'el?
I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Tzeru'yah are too hard for me. May the LORD reward the evil-doer according to his wickedness."