Now there was longwar between the house of Saul and the house of David: but Davidwaxedstronger and stronger, and the house of Saulwaxedweaker and weaker.2
And unto David were sonsborn in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;3
And his second,Chileab,a of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third,Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmaiking of Geshur;4
And the fourth,Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth,Shephatiah the son of Abital;5
And the sixth,Ithream, by EglahDavid'swife. These were born to David in Hebron.6
And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul.7
And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father'sconcubine?8
Then was Abnerverywroth for the words of Ishbosheth, and said , Am I a dog'shead, which against Judah do shewkindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to day with a fault concerning this woman?9
So doGod to Abner, and more also , except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him;
To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.11
And he could not answerAbner a word again, because he feared him.
And Abnersentmessengers to David on his behalf, saying , Whose is the land?saying also, Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee.
And he said , Well; I will make a league with thee: but onething I require of thee, that is ,b Thou shalt not see my face, except thou firstbringMichalSaul'sdaughter, when thou comest to see my face.14
And Davidsentmessengers to IshboshethSaul'sson,saying , Deliver me my wifeMichal, which I espoused to me for an hundredforeskins of the Philistines.15
And Ishboshethsent , and took her from her husband, even from Phaltielc the son of Laish .
And her husbandwent with her along weepingbehind her to Bahurim. Then saidAbner unto him, Go , return . And he returned .
And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel,saying , Ye sought for David in timesdpast to be king over you:
Now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David,saying , By the hand of my servantDavid I will save my peopleIsrael out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies .
And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abnerwent also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemedgood to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin.20
So Abnercame to David to Hebron, and twentymen with him. And DavidmadeAbner and the men that were with him a feast.21
And Abnersaid unto David, I will arise and go , and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heartdesireth . And DavidsentAbneraway ; and he went in peace.22
And, behold, the servants of David and Joabcame from pursuing a troop, and brought in a greatspoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away , and he was gone in peace.23
When Joab and all the host that was with him were come , they toldJoab,saying , Abner the son of Nercame to the king, and he hath sent him away , and he is gone in peace.24
Then Joabcame to the king, and said , What hast thou done ? behold, Abnercame unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away , and he is quitegone ?
Thou knowestAbner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in , and to know all that thou doest .
And when Joab was come out from David, he sentmessengersafterAbner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but Davidknew it not.
And when Abner was returned to Hebron,Joab took him asideinthegate to speak with him quietly,e and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died , for the blood of Asahel his brother.28
And afterward when Davidheard it, he said , I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORDforever from the bloodf of Abner the son of Ner:29
Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father'shouse; and let there not failg from the house of Joab one that hath an issue , or that is a leper , or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lackethbread.30
So Joab and Abishai his brotherslewAbner, because he had slain their brotherAsahel at Gibeon in the battle.31
And Davidsaid to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mournbeforeAbner. And kingDavid himself followed the bier.h32
And they buriedAbner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the peoplewept .
And the kinglamented over Abner, and said , DiedAbner as a fooldieth?34
Thy hands were not bound , nor thy feetput into fetters: as a man fallethbeforewickedimen, so fellest thou. And all the peopleweptagain over him.
And when all the peoplecame to causeDavid to eatmeat while it was yetday,Davidsware , saying , So doGod to me, and more also , if I tastebread, or ought else, till the sun be down .
And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the kingjdidpleasedall the people.37
For all the people and all Israelunderstood that day that it was not of the king to slayAbner the son of Ner.38
And the kingsaid unto his servants,Know ye not that there is a prince and a great manfallen this day in Israel?39
And I am this dayweak,k though anointedking; and these men the sons of Zeruiah be too hard for me: the LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.