2 And it came to pass, after this, that David enquired of Yahweh, saying—Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah? And Yahweh said unto him, Go up. And David said—Whither shall I go up? And he said—Unto Hebron.
2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also,—Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
3 His men also who were with him, did David bring up every man with his household,—and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
4 Then came the men of Judah, and anointed David there to be king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, Men of Jabesh-gilead were they who buried Saul.
5 So David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead,—and said unto them—Blessed be ye of Yahweh, that ye did this lovingkindness unto your lord, unto Saul, and buried him.
6 Now, therefore, Yahweh requite you with lovingkindness and truth,—moreover also I will requite you for this noble deed, in that ye did this thing.
7 Now, therefore, let your hands be made firm and become ye sons of valour, for your lord Saul is dead,—and me moreover have the house of Judah anointed to be king over them.
8 But Abner son of Ner, prince of the host that pertained unto Saul, took Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
9 and made him king for Gilead, and for the Ashurites, and for Jezreel,—and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
10 Forty years old was Ish-bosheth son of Saul when he began to reign over Israel, and two years reigned he,—but the house of Judah followed David.
11 And it came to pass that the number of the days that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 And Abner son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, came out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
13 And Joab son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David went out from Hebron and met by the pool of Gibeon together,—and they sat down, these by the pool on the one side, and those by the pool on the other side.
14 Then said Abner unto Joab, Let the young men arise, I pray thee, and make sport before us. And Joab said—Let them arise.
15 Then there arose and went over by number,—twelve of Benjamin pertaining to Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head with his sword in his fellow’s side, so they fell together,—and that place was called Helkath-hazzadim [“Field of Plotters”], which is in Gideon.
17 So the battle became exceeding obstinate on that day,—and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated before the servants of David.
18 Now there were there three sons of Zeruiah, Joab and Abishai and Asahel,—and Asahel was light of foot as a wild gazelle.
19 And Asahel pursued Abner,—and turned not in going to the right hand or to the left, from pursuing Abner.
20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said—Art thou Asahel? And he said—I am.
21 Then Abner said to him—Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from pursuing him.
22 And Abner said yet again unto Asahel, Turn thee aside from pursuing me,—wherefore should I smite thee to the earth? how then should I lift up my face unto Joab, thy brother?
23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside, wherefore Abner smote him with the hinder end of the spear in the belly, that the spear came out behind him, and he fell there and died on the spot,—and so it was that as many as came up to the place where Asahel fell and died stood still.
24 Then Joab and Abishai pursued Abner,—but the sun had gone in by the time they had come as far as the hill of Ammah, that overlooketh Giah, by way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
25 And when the sons of Benjamin had gathered themselves together after Abner, and become one band,—and had taken their stand on the top of a certain hill,
26 then Abner cried aloud unto Joab and said—To the uttermost must the sword devour? Dost thou not well know that bitter shall it be in the latter end? How long, then, wilt thou not bid the people turn back from pursuing their own brethren?
27 Then said Joab—As God liveth, surely if thou hadst not spoken, then in the morning the people would of themselves have gone up every man from pursuing his brother.
28 So Joab blew with the horn, and all the people stood still, and they neither pursued Israel further,—nor fought any more.
29 And Abner and his men journeyed through the waste plain all that night,—and crossed the Jordan and went through all the Bithron, and entered Mahanaim.
30 And Joab returned from pursuing Abner, and when he had gathered together all the people there, were missing of the servants of David—nineteen men and Asahel;
31 but the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, of the men of Abner,—[so that] three hundred and sixty men had died.
32 And they carried Asahel, and buried him in the grave of his father, which was in Bethlehem,—and Joab and his men journeyed all the night, and had daylight in Hebron.