Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

2 Samuel 1; 2 Samuel 2; 2 Samuel 3

1 After Saul died, David returned to Ziklag. He had won the battle over the Amalekites. He stayed in Ziklag for two days. 2 On the third day a man arrived from Saul's camp. His clothes were torn. He had dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to show him respect. 3 "Where have you come from?" David asked him. He answered, "I've escaped from Israel's camp." 4 "What happened?" David asked. "Tell me." He said, "Israel's men ran away from the battle. Many of them were killed. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead." 5 David spoke to the young man who brought him the report. He asked him, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?" 6 "I just happened to be there on Mount Gilboa," the young man said. "Saul was there too. He was leaning on his spear. The enemy chariots and chariot drivers had almost caught up with him. 7 Then he turned around and saw me. He called out to me. I said, 'What do you want me to do?' 8 "He asked me, 'Who are you?' " 'An Amalekite,' I answered. 9 "Then he said to me, 'Stand over me and kill me! I'm close to death, but I'm still alive.' 10 "So I stood over him and killed him. I did it because I knew that after he had lost the battle he would be killed anyway. So I took the crown that was on his head. I also took his armband. I've brought them here to you. You are my master." 11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them. All of his men did the same thing. 12 All of them were filled with sadness. They sobbed over the whole nation of Israel. They didn't eat anything until evening. That's because Saul and Jonathan and the LORD's army had been killed with swords. 13 David spoke to the young man who had brought him the report. He asked, "Where are you from?" "I'm the son of an outsider, an Amalekite," he answered. 14 David asked him, "Why weren't you afraid to lift your hand to kill the LORD's anointed king?" 15 Then David called for one of his men. He said, "Go! Strike him down!" So he struck the man down, and the man died. 16 That's because David had said to him, "Anything that happens to you will be your own fault. What your own mouth has spoken is a witness against you. You said, 'I killed the LORD's anointed king.' " 17 David sang a song of sadness about Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 He ordered that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is called The Song of the Bow. It is written down in the Book of Jashar. David sang, 19 "Israel, your glorious leaders lie dead on your hills. Your mighty men have fallen. 20 "Don't announce it in Gath. Don't tell it in the streets of Ashkelon. If you do, the daughters of the Philistines will be glad. The daughters of men who haven't been circumcised will be joyful. 21 "Mountains of Gilboa, may no dew or rain fall on you. May your fields not produce any offerings of grain. The shield of the mighty king lies polluted there. The shield of Saul lies there. It isn't rubbed with oil anymore. 22 The bow of Jonathan didn't turn back. The sword of Saul didn't return without being satisfied. They spilled the blood of their enemies. They killed mighty men. 23 "In life Saul and Jonathan were loved and gracious. In death they were not parted. They were faster than eagles. They were stronger than lions. 24 "Daughters of Israel, sob over Saul. He dressed you in the finest clothes. He decorated your clothes with ornaments of gold. 25 "Your mighty men have fallen in battle. Jonathan lies dead on your hills. 26 My brother Jonathan, I'm filled with sadness because of you. You were very special to me. Your love for me was wonderful. It was more wonderful than the love of women. 27 "Israel's mighty men have fallen. Their weapons of war are broken."
1 After Saul and Jonathan died, David asked the LORD for advice. "Should I go up to one of the towns of Judah?" he asked. The LORD said, "Go up." David asked, "Where should I go?" "To Hebron," the LORD answered. 2 So David went up there with his two wives. Their names were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail from Carmel. Abigail was Nabal's widow. 3 David also took his men and their families with him. They settled down in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron. There they anointed David to be king over the people of Judah. David was told that the men of Jabesh Gilead had buried Saul's body. 5 So he sent messengers to them to speak for him. The messengers said, "You were kind to bury the body of your master Saul. May the LORD bless you for that. 6 And may he now be kind and faithful to you. David will treat you well for being kind to Saul's body. 7 Now then, be strong and brave. Your master Saul is dead. And the people of Judah have anointed David to be king over them." 8 Abner, the son of Ner, was commander of Saul's army. He had brought Saul's son Ish-Bosheth to Mahanaim. 9 There he made him king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel. He also made him king over Ephraim, Benjamin and other areas of Israel. 10 Ish-Bosheth was 40 years old when he became king over Israel. He ruled for two years. But the people of Judah followed David. 11 David was king in Hebron over the people of Judah for seven and a half years. 12 Abner, the son of Ner, left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. The men of Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul, went with him. 13 Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and David's men also went out. All of them met at the pool in Gibeon. One group sat down on one side of the pool. The other group sat on the other side. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, "Let's have some of the young men get up and fight. Let's tell them to fight hand to hand in front of us." "All right. Let them do it," Joab said. 15 So the young men stood up and were counted off. There were 12 on the side of Benjamin and Saul's son Ish-Bosheth. And there were 12 on David's side. 16 Each man grabbed one of his enemies by the head. Each one stuck his dagger into the other man's side. And all of them fell down together and died. So that place in Gibeon was named Helkath Hazzurim. 17 The fighting that day was very heavy. Abner and the men of Israel lost the battle to David's men. 18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there. Their names were Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Asahel was as quick on his feet as a wild antelope. 19 He chased Abner. He didn't turn to the right or the left as he chased him. 20 Abner looked behind him. He asked, "Asahel, is that you?" "It is," he answered. 21 Then Abner said to him, "Turn to the right or the left. Fight one of the young men. Take his weapons away from him." But Asahel wouldn't stop chasing him. 22 Again Abner warned Asahel, "Stop chasing me! If you don't, I'll strike you down. Then how could I look your brother Joab in the face?" 23 But Asahel refused to give up the chase. So Abner drove the dull end of his spear into Asahel's stomach. The spear came out of his back. He fell and died right there on the spot. Every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died. 24 But Joab and Abishai chased Abner. As the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah. It was near Giah on the way to the dry and empty land close to Gibeon. 25 The men of Benjamin gathered in a group around Abner. They took their stand on top of a hill. 26 Abner called out to Joab, "Do you want our swords to keep on killing us off? Don't you know that all of this fighting will end in bitter feelings? How long will it be before you order your men to stop chasing their fellow Israelites?" 27 Joab answered, "It's a good thing you spoke up. If you hadn't, the men would have kept on chasing their fellow Israelites until morning. And that's just as sure as God is alive." 28 So Joab blew a trumpet. All of the men stopped. They didn't chase Israel anymore. They didn't fight anymore either. 29 All that night Abner and his men marched through the Arabah Valley. They went across the Jordan River. They kept on going through the whole Bithron. Finally, they came to Mahanaim. 30 Then Joab returned from chasing Abner. He gathered all of his men together. Besides Asahel, only 19 of David's men were missing. 31 But David's men had killed 360 men from Benjamin who were with Abner. 32 They got Asahel's body and buried it in his father's tomb at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night. They arrived at Hebron at sunrise.
1 The war between Saul's royal house and David's royal house lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger. But the royal house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. 2 Sons were born to David in Hebron. His first son was Amnon. Amnon's mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel. 3 His second son was Kileab. Kileab's mother was Abigail. She was Nabal's widow from Carmel. The third son was Absalom. His mother was Maacah. She was the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. 4 The fourth son was Adonijah. His mother was Haggith. The fifth son was Shephatiah. His mother was Abital. 5 The sixth son was Ithream. His mother was David's wife Eglah. Those sons were born to David in Hebron. 6 The fighting continued between David's royal house and Saul's royal house. Abner gained more and more power in the royal house of Saul. 7 While Saul was still alive, he had a concubine named Rizpah. She was the daughter of Aiah. Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, "Why did you have sex with my father's concubine?" 8 Abner burned with anger because of what Ish-Bosheth said. He answered, "Do you think I'm only a dog's head? Am I on Judah's side? To this very day I've been true to the royal house of your father Saul. I've been true to his family and friends. I haven't handed you over to David. But now you claim that I've sinned with this woman! 9 "I will do for David what the LORD promised him with an oath. If I don't, may God punish me greatly. 10 I'll take the kingdom away from Saul's royal house. I'll set up the throne of David's kingdom over Israel and Judah. He will rule from Dan all the way to Beersheba." 11 Ish-Bosheth didn't dare to say another word to Abner. He was much too afraid of him. 12 Then Abner sent messengers to David to speak for him. They said, "Who will rule over this land? Make a covenant with me. Then I'll help you bring all of the people of Israel over to your side." 13 "Good," said David. "I will make a covenant with you. But there's one thing I want you to do. Bring Saul's daughter Michal to me. Don't come to see me unless she's with you." 14 Then David sent messengers to Saul's son Ish-Bosheth. He ordered them to say, "Give me my wife Michal. She was promised to me. I paid for her with the skins I cut off when I circumcised 100 Philistines." 15 So Ish-Bosheth gave the order. He sent men who took Michal away from her husband Paltiel. Paltiel was the son of Laish. 16 But her husband followed her to Bahurim. He was crying all the way. Then Abner said to him, "Go back home!" So he did. 17 Abner talked with the elders of Israel. He said, "For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now do it! The LORD made a promise to David. He said, 'I will save my people Israel from the powerful hand of the Philistines. I will also save them from all of their enemies. I will save them through my servant David.' " 19 Abner also spoke to the people of Benjamin in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything. He told him what Israel and all of the people of Benjamin wanted to do. 20 Abner had 20 men with him. They came to David at Hebron. So David prepared a big dinner for Abner and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, "Let me go right now. I'll gather together all of the people of Israel for you. After all, you are now my king and master. The people can make a covenant with you. Then you can rule over everyone you want to." So David sent Abner away. And he went in peace. 22 Just then David's men and Joab came back from attacking their enemies. They brought with them the large amount of goods they had taken. But Abner wasn't with David in Hebron anymore. That's because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 Joab and all of the soldiers who were with him arrived. Then he was told that Abner, the son of Ner, had come to see the king. He was told that the king had sent Abner away. He was also told that Abner had gone in peace. 24 So Joab went to the king. He said, "What have you done? Abner came to you. Why did you let him get away? Now he's gone! 25 You know what Abner, the son of Ner, is like. He came to trick you. He wanted to watch your every move. He came to find out everything you are doing." 26 Then Joab left David. He sent messengers to get Abner. They brought Abner back from the well of Sirah. But David didn't know about it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him to one side. He brought him to the entrance of the city gate. Joab acted as if he wanted to speak to him in private. But he really wanted to get even with him. That's because Abner had spilled the blood of Joab's brother Asahel. So Joab stabbed him in the stomach. And Abner died. 28 Later on, David heard about it. He said, "I and the people of my kingdom aren't guilty of spilling the blood of Abner, the son of Ner. We are free of blame forever in the sight of the Lord. 29 "May Joab and his whole family line be held accountable for spilling Abner's blood! May someone in Joab's family always have an open sore or skin disease. May someone in his family always have to use a crutch to walk. May someone in his family be killed with a sword. And may someone in his family never have enough food to eat." 30 Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner. They did it because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon. 31 David spoke to Joab and all of the people who were with him. He said, "Tear your clothes. Put on black clothes. Sob when you walk in front of Abner's body." King David himself walked behind it. 32 Abner's body was buried in Hebron. The king sobbed out loud at Abner's tomb. So did the rest of the people. 33 King David sang a song of sadness over Abner. He said, "Should Abner have died as sinful people do? 34 His hands were not tied. His feet were not chained. He died as if he had been killed by evil people." All of the people sobbed over Abner again. 35 Then all of them came and begged David to eat something. They wanted him to eat while it was still day. But David took an oath. He said, "I won't taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down. If I do, may God punish me greatly!" 36 All of the people heard it and were pleased. In fact, everything the king did pleased them. 37 So on that day all of the people of Judah and Israel understood. They knew that the king didn't have anything to do with the murder of Abner, the son of Ner. 38 The king spoke to his men. He said, "Don't you realize that a great commander has died in Israel today? 39 I'm the anointed king. But today I'm weak. These sons of Zeruiah are too powerful for me. May the LORD pay back the one who killed Abner! May he pay him back for the evil thing he has done!"
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