1After this, Dauid asked counsel of the Lord, saying, Shall I go vp into any of the cities of Iudah? And the Lord sayd vnto him, Goe vp. And Dauid sayd Whither shall I goe? Hee then answered, Vnto Hebron.
2So Dauid went vp thither, and his two wiues also, Ahinoam the Izreelite, and Abigail Nabals wife the Carmelite.
3And Dauid brought vp the men that were with him, euery man with his houshold, and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
4Then the men of Iudah came, and there they anoynted Dauid King ouer the house of Iudah. And they tolde Dauid, saying, that the men of Iabesh Gilead buried Saul.
5And Dauid sent messengers vnto the men of Iabesh Gilead, and said vnto them, Blessed are ye of the Lord, that yee haue shewed such kindenes vnto your lord Saul, that you haue buried him.
6Therefore now the Lord shewe mercie and trueth vnto you: and I will recompence you this benefite, because ye haue done this thing.
7Therefore nowe let your handes be strong, and be you valiant: albeit your master Saul bee dead, yet neuerthelesse the house of Iudah hath anoynted me King ouer them.
8But Abner the sonne of Ner that was captaine of Sauls hoste, tooke Ish-bosheth the sonne of Saul, and brought him to Mahanaim,
9And made him King ouer Gilead, and ouer the Ashurites, and ouer Izreel, and ouer Ephraim, and ouer Beniamin, and ouer al Israel.
10Ish-bosheth Sauls sonne was fourtie yeere olde when he began to reigne ouer Israel, and reigned two yeere: but the house of Iudah followed Dauid.
11(And the time which Dauid reigned in Hebron ouer the house of Iudah, was seuen yeere and sixe moneths)
12And Abner the sonne of Ner, and the seruantes of Ish-bosheth the sonne of Saul went out of Mahanaim to Gibeon.
13And Ioab the sonne of Zeruiah, and the seruants of Dauid went out and met one another by the poole of Gibeon: and they sate downe, the one on the one side of the poole, and the other on the otherside of the poole.
14Then Abner saide to Ioab, Let the yong men nowe arise, and play before vs. And Ioab said, Let them arise.
15Then there arose and went ouer twelue of Beniamin by number, which perteined to Ish-bosheth the sonne of Saul, and twelue of the seruants of Dauid.
16And euery one caught his fellowe by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellowes side, so they fell downe together: wherefore ye place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.
17And the battel was exceeding sore that same day: for Abner and the men of Israel fell before the seruants of Dauid.
18And there were three sonnes of Zeruiah there, Ioab, and Abishai, and Asahel. And Asahel was as light on foote as a wilde roe.
19And Asahel followed after Abner, and in going he turned neither to the right hand nor to the left from Abner.
20Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, Yea.
21Then Abner said, Turne thee either to the right hande, or to the left, and take one of the yong men, and take thee his weapons: and Asahel would not depart from him.
22And Abner saide to Asahel, Depart from me: wherefore shoulde I smite thee to the grounde? howe then shoulde I be able to holde vp my face to Ioab thy brother?
23And when he woulde not depart, Abner with the hinder ende of the speare smote him vnder the fift ryb, that the speare came out behind him: and he fell downe there, and dyed in his place. And as many as came to the place where Asahel fell downe and dyed, stoode still.
24Ioab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sunne went downe, when they were come to the hill Ammah, that lieth before Giah, by the way of the wildernesse of Gibeon.
25And the children of Beniamin gathered them selues together after Abner, and were on an heape and stoode on the top of an hill.
26Then Abner called to Ioab, and said, Shall the sworde deuoure for euer? knowest thou not, that it will be bitternesse in the latter ende? howe long then shall it be, or thou bid the people returne from following their brethren?
27And Ioab sayde, As God liueth, if thou haddest not spoken, surely euen in the morning the people had departed euery one backe from his brother.
28So Ioab blew a trumpet, and all the people stoode still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.
29And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plaine, and went ouer Iorden, and past through all Bithron till they came to Mahanaim.
30Ioab also returned backe from Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of Dauids seruants nineteene men and Asahel.
31But the seruants of Dauid had smitten of Beniamin, and of Abners men, so that three hundreth and threescore men dyed.
32And they tooke vp Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem: and Ioab and his men went all night, and when they came to Hebron, the day arose.