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2 Samuel 2

1 It happened after this that David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah? And Jehovah said to him, Go up. David said, Where shall I go up? And He said, To Hebron.

2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widowed wife of Nabal the Carmelite.

3 And David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So 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 reported to David, saying, The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul.

5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, You are blessed of Jehovah, for you have shown this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him.

6 And now may Jehovah show kindness and truth to you. I also will deal kindly with you, because you have done this thing.

7 Now therefore, let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me as king over them.

8 But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim;

9 and he made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, over Benjamin, and over all Israel.

10 Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he 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 servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.

13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon. So they sat down, one on 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 make sport before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

15 So they arose and went over by number, twelve from Benjamin for Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David.

16 And each one grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called the Field of Swords, which is in Gibeon.

17 And the battle was fierce that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were smitten before the servants of David.

18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai and Asahel. And Asahel was as fleet of foot as a gazelle in the field.

19 And Asahel pursued after Abner, and in going he did not turn to the right hand or to the left from after Abner.

20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, Are you Asahel? He answered, I am.

21 And Abner said to him, Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his spoils for yourself. But Asahel would not turn aside from after him.

22 And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn aside from after me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then shall I lift up my face to your brother Joab?

23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the back end of the spear, so that the spear came out his back; and he fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.

24 Joab and Abishai also pursued after Abner. And the sun was going down when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is before Giah by the way to the wilderness of Gibeon.

25 And the sons of Benjamin gathered together after Abner and became one band, and took their stand on top of a hill.

26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the end? How long will it be then until you tell the people to turn back from after their brethren?

27 And Joab said, As God lives, unless you had spoken, surely then by morning the people would have gone up, every one after his brother.

28 So Joab blew a shofar; and all the people stood still and did not pursue after Israel anymore, nor did they fight anymore.

29 And Abner and his men went on all that night through the plain, crossed over the Jordan, and went through Bithron, and came to Mahanaim.

30 And Joab returned from pursuing after Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel.

31 But the servants of David had struck down, of Benjamin and Abner’s men, three hundred and sixty men who died.

32 And they took up Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at daybreak.

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