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2 Samuel 3

1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: and David waxed stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.

2 And to David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;

3 and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;

4 and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;

5 and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David's wife. 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 in the house of Saul.

7 Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth son of Saul said to Abner, Why have you gone in to my father's concubine?

8 Then was Abner very angry for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head that belongs to Judah? This day I show kindness to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me this day with a fault concerning this woman.

9 God do so to Abner, and more also, if, as Yahweh has sworn to David, I do not even do so to him;

10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba.

11 And he could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.

12 And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? Saying [also], Make your league with me, and, look, my hand will be with you, to bring about all Israel to you.

13 And he said, Good; I will make a league with you; but one thing I require of you: that is, you will not see my face, except you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see my face.

14 And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.

15 And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Paltiel the son of Laish.

16 And her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, Go, return: and he returned.

17 And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, In times past you{+} sought for David to be king over you{+}:

18 now then do it; for Yahweh has spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my slave David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.

19 And Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to the whole house of Benjamin.

20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men who were with him a feast.

21 And Abner said to David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your soul desires. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.

22 And, look, the slaves of David and Joab came from a foray, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner wasn't 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 had come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he has gone in peace.

24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, What have you done? Look, Abner came to you; why is it that you have sent him away, and he is quite gone?

25 You know Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you do.

26 And when Joab came out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah: but David didn't know it.

27 And when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him quietly, and struck him there in the body, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.

28 And afterward, when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are innocent before Yahweh forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner:

29 let it fall on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one who has a discharge, or who is a leper, or who leans on a staff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.

30 So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.

31 And David said to Joab, and to all the people who were with him, Rend your{+} clothes, and gird you{+} with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And King David followed the bier.

32 And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.

33 And the king lamented for Abner, and said, Should Abner die as a fool dies?

34 Your hands were not bound, and your feet were not put into fetters: As a man falls before the sons of iniquity, so did you fall. And all the people wept again over him.

35 And all the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day; but David swore, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or anything else, until the sun is down.

36 And all the people took note of it, and it pleased them; as whatever the king did pleased all the people.

37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it wasn't of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.

38 And the king said to his slaves, Don't you{+} know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?

39 And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me: Yahweh reward the evildoer according to his wickedness.

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