1 And it came to pass after this that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Where shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
2 So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, who had been the wife of Nabal of Carmel.
3 And David brought up his men that were with him, each one with his household, and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, The men of Jabeshgilead buried Saul.
5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead and said unto them, Blessed shall ye be of the LORD that ye have showed this mercy unto your lord, even unto Saul and have buried him.
6 And now the LORD show mercy and truth unto you; and I also will requite you this kindness because ye have done this thing.
7 Therefore, now let your hands be strengthened and be ye valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.
8 But Abner, the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim
9 and made him king over Gilead and over the Ashurites and over Jezreel and over Ephraim and over Benjamin and over all Israel.
10 Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel and reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David.
11 And the number of days that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 And Abner, the son of Ner, and the slaves of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
13 And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and the slaves of David went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon, and when they met, the one group was on the one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool.
14 And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise and sport before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.
15 Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, who pertained to Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, and twelve of the slaves of David.
16 And each one caught his fellow by the head and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together; therefore, that place was called Helkathhazzurim, {Heb. the inheritance of the strong}, which is in Gibeon.
17 And there was a very severe battle that day where Abner and the men of Israel were overcome before the slaves of David.
18 And the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab and Abishai and Asahel, and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe.
19 And Asahel pursued after Abner, and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.
20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, Yes.
21 Then Abner said to him, Turn aside to thy right hand or to thy left and lay hold on one of the young men and take his spoil. But Asahel would not turn aside from following after him.
22 And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn aside from following me; why should I smite thee to the ground? How then should I hold up my face to Joab, thy brother?
23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside; therefore, Abner with the butt end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib that the spear came out behind him, and he fell down there and died in the same place. And it came to pass that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner, and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah that lies before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
25 And the sons of Benjamin gathered themselves together in one troop with Abner and stood on the top of a hill.
26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? Dost thou not know that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long shall it be then before thou bid the people to return from following their brethren?
27 And Joab replied, As God lives, if thou had not spoken, surely from this morning the people would have left off from following their brothers.
28 So Joab blew the shofar, and all the people stood still and no longer pursued after Israel, neither did they fight any more.
29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passing the Jordan, they went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.
30 Joab also returned from following Abner, and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David’s slaves nineteen men and Asahel.
31 But the slaves of David had smitten of Benjamin and of Abner’s men, so that three hundred and sixty men died.
32 And they took up Asahel and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at the break of day.