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2 Samuel 3; 2 Samuel 4; 2 Samuel 5; Luke 14:25-35

1 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David was long and drawn out, with David growing stronger and the house of Saul becoming weaker. 2 Sons were born to David in Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; 3 his second was Chileab, by Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; the third was Absalom, son of Maacah the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; 4 the fourth was Adonijah, son of Haggith; the fifth was Shephatiah, son of Abital; 5 the sixth was Ithream, by David's wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron. 6 During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner kept acquiring more power in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah, and Ish-bosheth questioned Abner, "Why did you sleep with my father's concubine?" 8 Abner was very angry about Ish-bosheth's accusation. "Am I a dog's head who belongs to Judah?" he asked. "All this time I've been loyal to the house of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends and haven't handed you over to David, but now you accuse me of wrongdoing with this woman! 9 May God punish Abner and do so severely if I don't do for David what the Lord swore to him: 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish the throne of David over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beer-sheba." 11 Ish-bosheth could not answer Abner because he was afraid of him. 12 Abner sent messengers as his representatives to say to David, "Whose land is it? Make your covenant with me, and you can be certain I am on your side to hand all Israel over to you." 13 David replied, "Good, I will make a covenant with you. However, there's one thing I require of you: Do not appear before me unless you bring Saul's daughter Michal here when you come to see me." 14 Then David sent messengers to say to Ish-bosheth son of Saul, "Give me back my wife, Michal. I was engaged to her for the price of 100 Philistine foreskins." 15 So Ish-bosheth sent someone to take her away from her husband, Paltiel son of Laish. 16 Her husband followed her, weeping all the way to Bahurim. Abner said to him, "Go back." So he went back. 17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel: "In the past you wanted David to be king over you. 18 Now take action, because the Lord has spoken concerning David: 'Through My servant David I will save My people Israel from the power of the Philistines and the power of all Israel's enemies.' " 19 Abner also informed the Benjaminites and went to Hebron to inform David about all that was agreed on by Israel and the whole house of Benjamin. 20 When Abner and 20 men came to David at Hebron, David held a banquet for him and his men. 21 Abner said to David, "Let me now go and I will gather all Israel to my lord the king. They will make a covenant with you, and you will rule over all you desire." So David dismissed Abner, and he went in peace. 22 Just then David's soldiers and Joab returned from a raid and brought a large amount of plundered goods with them. Abner was not with David in Hebron because David had dismissed him, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all his army arrived, Joab was informed, "Abner son of Ner came to see the king, the king dismissed him, and he went in peace." 24 Joab went to the king and said, "What have you done? Look here, Abner came to you. Why did you dismiss him? Now he's getting away. 25 You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you and to find out about your activities and everything you're doing." 26 Then Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner. They brought him back from the well of Sirah, but David was unaware of it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab pulled him aside to the middle of the gateway, as if to speak to him privately, and there Joab stabbed him in the stomach. So Abner died in revenge for the death of Asahel, Joab's brother. 28 David heard [about it] later and said: "I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May it hang over Joab's head and his father's whole house, and may the house of Joab never be without someone who has an infection or leprosy or a man who can only work a spindle or someone who falls by the sword or starves." 30 Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon. 31 David then ordered Joab and all the people who were with him, "Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner." And King David walked behind the funeral procession. 32 When they buried Abner in Hebron, the king wept aloud at Abner's tomb. All the people wept, 33 and the king sang a lament for Abner: Should Abner die as a fool dies? 34 Your hands were not bound, your feet not placed in bronze [shackles]. You fell like one who falls victim to criminals. And all the people wept over him even more. 35 Then they came to urge David to eat bread while it was still day, but David took an oath: "May God punish me and do so severely if I taste bread or anything else before sunset!" 36 All the people took note of this, and it pleased them. In fact, everything the king did pleased them. 37 On that day all the troops and all Israel were convinced that the king had no part in the killing of Abner son of Ner. 38 Then the king said to his soldiers, "You must know that a great leader has fallen in Israel today. 39 As for me, even though I am the anointed king, I have little power today. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too fierce for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil!"
1 When Saul's son [Ish-bosheth] heard that Abner had died in Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2 Saul's son had two men who were leaders of raiding parties: one named Baanah and the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite of the Benjaminites. Beeroth is also considered part of Benjamin, 3 and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and still live there as aliens to this very day. 4 Saul's son Jonathan had a son whose feet were crippled. He was five years old when the report about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she was hurrying to flee, he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth. 5 Rechab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out and arrived at Ish-bosheth's house during the heat of the day while the king was taking his midday nap. 6 They entered the interior of the house as if to get wheat and stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. 7 They had entered the house while Ish-bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom and stabbed and killed him. Then they beheaded him, took his head, and traveled by way of the Arabah all night. 8 They brought Ish-bosheth's head to David at Hebron and said to the king, "Here's the head of Ish-bosheth son of Saul, your enemy who intended to take your life. Today the Lord has granted vengeance to my lord the king against Saul and his offspring." 9 But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, "As surely as the Lord lives, [the One] who has redeemed my life from every distress, 10 when the person told me, 'Look, Saul is dead,' he thought he was a bearer of good news, but I seized him and put him to death at Ziklag. That was my reward to him for his news! 11 How much more when wicked men kill a righteous man in his own house on his own bed! So now, should I not require his blood from your hands and wipe you off the earth?" 12 So David gave orders to the young men, and they killed Rechab and Baanah. They cut off their hands and feet and hung [their bodies] by the pool in Hebron, but they took Ish-bosheth's head and buried it in Abner's tomb in Hebron.
1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "Here we are, your own flesh and blood. 2 Even while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led us out [to battle] and brought us back. The Lord also said to you, 'You will shepherd My people Israel and be ruler over Israel.' " 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron. King David made a covenant with them at Hebron in the Lord's presence, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was 30 years old when he began his reign; he reigned 40 years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned 33 years over all Israel and Judah. 6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the land. The Jebusites had said to David: "You will never get in here. Even the blind and lame can repel you," thinking, "David can't get in here." 7 Yet David did capture the stronghold of Zion, the city of David. 8 He said that day, "Whoever attacks the Jebusites must go through the water shaft to reach the lame and the blind who are despised by David." For this reason it is said, "The blind and the lame will never enter the house." 9 David took up residence in the stronghold, which he named the city of David. He built it up all the way around from the supporting terraces inward. 10 David became more and more powerful, and the Lord God of Hosts was with him. 11 King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David; [he also sent] cedar logs, carpenters, and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. 12 Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. 13 After he arrived from Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. 14 These are the names of those born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet. 17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they all went in search of David, but he heard about it and went down to the stronghold. 18 So the Philistines came and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 Then David inquired of the Lord: "Should I go to war against the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?" The Lord replied to David, "Go, for I will certainly hand the Philistines over to you." 20 So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated them there and said, "Like a bursting flood, the Lord has burst out against my enemies before me." Therefore, he named that place the Lord Bursts Out. 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off. 22 The Philistines came up again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 So David inquired of the Lord, and He answered, "Do not make a frontal assault. Circle around behind them and attack them opposite the balsam trees. 24 When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, act decisively, for then the Lord will have marched out ahead of you to attack the camp of the Philistines." 25 So David did exactly as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Geba to Gezer.
25 Now great crowds were traveling with Him. So He turned and said to them: 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, and even his own life-he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 "For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn't first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, 30 saying, 'This man started to build and wasn't able to finish.' 31 "Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one who comes against him with 20,000? 32 If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple. 34 "Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty? 35 It isn't fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out. Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!"
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