Then it came about afterwards that 1Davidinquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?" And the LORDsaid to him, "Go up." So Davidsaid, "Where shall I go up?" And He said, "2To Hebron."
So Davidwent up there, and 3his twowivesalso, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the awidow of Nabal the Carmelite.
And 4Davidbrought up his menwho were with him, each with his household; and they lived in the cities of Hebron.
Then the men of Judahcame and there5anointedDavidkingover the house of Judah. And they toldDavid, saying, "It was 6 the men of Jabesh-gileadwhoburiedSaul."
5Davidsentmessengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead , and said to them, "7May you be blessed of the LORDbecause you have bshownthiskindness to Saul your lord, and have buried him.
6"Now8may the LORDcshowlovingkindness and truth to you; and I also will dshowthisgoodness to you, because you have donethisthing.
7"Now therefore, let your hands be strong and be evaliant ; for Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me kingover them."
But 9Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul'sarmy, had takenfIsh-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to 10Mahanaim.
He made him kingover11Gilead, over the 12Ashurites, over13Jezreel, overEphraim, and overBenjamin, even overallIsrael.
10Ish-bosheth, Saul'sson, was fortyyearsold when he becamekingoverIsrael, and he was king for twoyears. The house of Judah, however, followedDavid.
1114The gtime that David was king in Hebronover the house of Judah was sevenyears and sixmonths.
Now Abner the son of Ner, went out from Mahanaim to 15Gibeon with the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul.
And 16Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of Davidwent out and meththem by the pool of Gibeon; and they satdown, ione on the oneside of the pool and jthe other on the otherside of the pool.
Then Abnersaid to Joab, "Now let the youngmenarise and k17hold a contestbefore us." And Joabsaid, "Let them arise."
So they arose and wentover by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
16Eachone of them seized his lopponent by the head and thrust his sword in his mopponent'sside; so they felldowntogether. Therefore that place was callednHelkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.
That day the battle was verysevere, and 18Abner and the men of Israel were beatenbefore the servants of David.
Now 19the threesons of Zeruiah were there, Joab and Abishai and Asahel; and Asahel was 20as oswift-footed as one of the gazelleswhich is in the field.
19AsahelpursuedAbner and did not pturn to the right or to the left from followingAbner.
Then Abnerlookedbehind him and said, "Is that you, Asahel?" And he answered, "It is I."
So Abnersaid to him, "qTurn to your rightor to your left, and takehold of one of the youngmen for yourself, and take for yourself his spoil." But Asahel was not willing to turnaside from following him.
22Abnerrepeatedagain to Asahel, "Turnraside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? 21How then could I lift up my face to your brotherJoab?"
However, he refused to turnaside; therefore Abnerstruck him in the belly with the buttend of the spear, so that the spearcame out at his back. And he fellthere and died on the spot. And it came about that all who came to the placewhere22Asahel had fallen and died, stoodstill.
But Joab and AbishaipursuedAbner, and when the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah, which is in front of Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
The sons of Benjamingathered together behindAbner and becameoneband, and they stood on the top of a certainhill.
Then Abnercalled to Joab and said, "Shall the sworddevourforever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the end? Howlong will you srefrain from telling the people to turnback from following their brothers?"
27Joabsaid, "As Godlives, if you had not spoken, surelythen the people would have goneaway in the morning, each from following his brother."
So Joabblew the trumpet; and all the peoplehalted and pursuedIsraelnolonger, 23nor did they continue to fightanymore.
29Abner and his men then went through the Arabahall that night; so they crossed the Jordan, walkedallmorning, and came to 24Mahanaim.
Then Joabreturned from followingAbner; when he had gatheredall the people together, tnineteen of David'sservants besides Asahel were missing.
But the servants of David had struckdown many of Benjamin and Abner'smen, so that threehundred and sixtymendied.
And they took up Asahel and buried him 25in his father'stombwhich was in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his menwentallnight until the day udawned at Hebron.