2 And after this David put the question to Jehovah “Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?” and Jehovah said to him “Go up.” And David said “Where shall I go up to?” and he said “To Hebron.” 2 And David went up there, and also his two wives, Ahinoʽam the Jezreʽelite and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; 3 and David brought up his men who were with him, each one with his household, and they took up their residence in the cities of Hebron; 4 and the men of Judah came and anointed David there as king over the house of Judah.
And they told David “It was the men of Jabesh in Gilead that buried Saul.” 5 And David sent envoys to the men of Jabesh in Gilead, saying to them “Jehovah bless you that you did this act of friendship by your master Saul, and buried him. 6* And now, may Jehovah do friendlily and faithfully by you; and I too will do well by you for your having done this thing. 7 Now keep up a stout heart, and show yourselves stalwart men; for Saul your sovereign is dead. Furthermore, the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.”
8 And Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s general, took Saul’s son Ishbaal and carried him over to Mahanaim 9* and installed him as king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreʽelites, and over Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. 10 Ishbaal the son of Saul was forty years old at his accession to the throne of Israel, and reigned two years, except that the house of Judah was on David’s side. 11 And the days that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah amounted to seven years and six months.
12 And Abner the son of Ner and the soldiers of Ishbaal the son of Saul set out from Mahanaim to Gibeon; 13 and Joab the son of Serujah and David’s soldiers went out and met with them by the reservoir of Gibeon. And they sat down these on one side of the reservoir and those on the other; 14 and Abner said to Joab “Let us have the boys step out and give us an exhibition”; and Joab said “Let us.” 15 And they stepped out and were counted off, twelve for Benjamin and Ishbaal the son of Saul, and twelve of David’s soldiers; 16** and each took hold of the other’s head and planted his sword in the other’s side, and they fell together; and that place was called the Rock Lot in Gibeon. 17 And it was a very hard battle that day; and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten by David’s soldiers. 18 And the three sons of Serujah were there, Joab and Abishai and ʽAsahel; and ʽAsahel was as swift-footed as any gazelle on the range. 19 And ʽAsahel pursued Abner, not turning to the right or to the left from his chase of Abner; and 20 Abner turned back and said “Is that you, ʽAsahel?” and he said “Yes.” 21 And Abner said to him “Turn to your right or your left and get hold of one of the men and take his spoils”; but ʽAsahel would not turn off from chasing him. 22 And Abner said again to ʽAsahel “Turn off from chasing me; what do you want me to strike you down for? how could I show my face to your brother Joab?” 23* But he refused to turn off; and Abner hit him below the waist with the back end of the spear, and the spear came out behind him; and he fell down and died on the spot.
And all who came to the place where ʽAsahel had fallen and died stopped. 24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and as the sun was setting they came to Ammah Hill, that is in front of Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon; 25* and the sons of Benjamin rallied behind Abner and formed a single bunch, and made a stand on the top of a hill. 26 And Abner called out to Joab “Shall swords always be eating? do you not know that it will be bitter afterward? how long before you will tell the men to turn back from chasing their brothers?” 27 And Joab said “By God, if you had not spoken, it would have been in the morning that the men broke off each chasing his brother.” 28 And Joab sounded the horn, and all the men halted and made no further pursuit of the Israelites, and did no more fighting. 29 And Abner and his men made an all-night march in the Rift Valley that night, and crossed the Jordan and went through the whole Bithron and came to Mahanaim. 30 And Joab turned back from chasing Abner and gathered all the men, and there were missing of David’s soldiers nineteen men and ʽAsahel; 31* and David’s soldiers had killed of the Benjamites and of Abner’s men three hundred and sixty men. 32 And they took up ʽAsahel and buried him in his father’s tomb at Bethlehem; and Joab and his men made an all-night march, and the daylight found them at Hebron.