1And it came to pass after this that David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah? And Jehovah said to him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
2So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jizreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
3And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household; and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
4And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, It is the men of Jabesh-Gilead that have buried Saul.
5And David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-Gilead, and said to them, Blessed be ye of Jehovah, that ye have shewn this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him!
6And now Jehovah shew kindness and faithfulness to you; and I also will requite you this good, because ye have done this thing.
7And now let your hands be strong, and be ye valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.
8And Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
9and made him king over Gilead, and over the Asshurites, and over Jizreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
10Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. However, the house of Judah followed David.
11And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
13And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out. And they met together by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, these on the one side of the pool, and those on the other side of the pool.
14And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise and make sport before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.
15And they arose and went over by number, twelve for Benjamin, and for Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
16And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side, and they fell down together. And that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is by Gibeon.
17And the battle that day was very severe; and Abner and the men of Israel were routed before the servants of David.
18And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was swift of foot, as one of the gazelles that are in the field.
19And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from behind Abner.
20Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he said, I am.
21And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside, to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay hold of one of the young men, and take for thyself his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
22And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: why should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?
23But he refused to turn aside; therefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him in the belly, so that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place. And it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.
24And Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner; and the sun went down when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon.
25And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of a hill.
26And Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? and how long shall it be ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?
27And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother.
28And Joab blew the trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither did they fight any more.
29And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.
30And Joab returned from following Abner, and gathered all the people together; and there lacked of David's servants nineteen men, and Asahel.
31And the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, three hundred and sixty men, who had died.
32And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.