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2 Samuel 3

1 Now there was long warfare between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

2 And sons were born to David in Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;

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

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

5 and the sixth, Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.

6 Now it was so, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul.

7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. And Ishbosheth said to Abner, Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?

8 Then Abner became very angry at the words of Ishbosheth, and said, Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Judah? Today 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 you charge me today with a fault concerning this woman?

9 May God do so to Abner, and more also, if I do not do for David as Jehovah has sworn 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 to Beer-sheba.

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

12 And Abner sent messengers on his behalf to David, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make your covenant with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you to bring around all Israel to you.

13 And David said, Good, I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I am asking of you: you shall not see my face unless 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, Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.

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

16 And her husband went along with her to Bahurim, weeping behind her. And Abner said to him, Go, return. And he returned.

17 And the words of Abner had come to the elders of Israel, saying, In time past you were desiring David as king over you.

18 Now then, do it! For Jehovah has spoken of David, saying, By the hand of My servant 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 also went to speak in the ears of David at Hebron all that was good in the eyes of Israel and in the eyes of the house of Benjamin.

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

21 And Abner said to David, I will arise and go, and 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 behold the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought much spoils with them. And Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace.

23 And when Joab and all the troops that were with him had come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner has come to the king, and he sent him away, and he has gone in peace.

24 Then Joab came to the king and said, What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you; why is it that you sent him away, and he has left to go?

25 You realize that Abner the son of Ner has come to deceive you, to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.

26 And when Joab had left David, he sent messengers after Abner, who brought him back from the well of Sirah. But David did not know it.

27 And when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him privately, and there stabbed him in the stomach, so that he died for the blood of Asahel his brother.

28 And afterward, when David heard it, he said, My kingdom and I are guiltless before Jehovah forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner.

29 May it whirl about on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house; and let there never fail to be in the house of Joab one who has a discharge or is a leper, who leans on a staff or falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.

30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed 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, Tear your clothes, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner. And King David walked behind the coffin.

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 over Abner and said: Should Abner die the death of a fool?

34 Your hands were not bound nor your feet put into fetters; as a man falls before wicked men, so you have fallen. Then all the people wept over him again.

35 And when all the people came to give David food to eat while it was still day, David swore, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down!

36 And all the people took note of it, and it was good in their eyes, even as whatever the king had done was good in the eyes of all the people.

37 For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been from the king, to kill Abner the son of Ner.

38 And the king said to his servants, Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?

39 And I am weak today, though anointed king; and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too severe for me. Jehovah shall repay the evildoer according to his evil.

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