1There was a long war between those who wanted Saul's son to be their king and those who wanted David to be their king. But more and more people began to want David to be the king, while the number of people who wanted Saul's son to be the king continued to become smaller.
2David's wives gave birth to six sons at Hebron. The oldest was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam, from Jezreel city.
3The next one was Kileab, whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal, from Carmel city. The next one was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, the king of the Geshur region.
4The next one was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith. The next one was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital.
5The youngest one was Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, another one of David's wives. Those sons of David were all born in Hebron.
6While those who wanted Saul's son to rule over them and those who wanted David to rule over them continued to fight against each other, Abner was becoming more influential among those who wanted Saul's son to be the king.
7When Saul was alive, he had as one of his wives a slave woman named Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. But one day Abner had sexual relations with her. So Ishbosheth said to Abner, “Why have you had sexual relations with EUP my father's slave wife?”
8Abner became very angry about what Ishbosheth said to him. He said to Ishbosheth, “◄Do you think that I am a worthless dog MET from Judah?/You are treating me as though I am a worthless dog MET from Judah.► RHQ From the beginning, I have been loyal to Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends. And I have prevented you from being defeated by David's army. So now ◄why are you criticizing me about what I have done with some woman?/you should not be criticizing me about what I have done with some woman.► RHQ
9Yahweh solemnly promised that he would not allow Saul and his descendants to continue to rule. He promised that he would cause David to rule over all the tribes of Israel and Judah, from Dan city far in the north to Beersheba city far in the south. So I hope/desire that God will punish me severely HYP if I do not enable that to happen!”
11Ishbosheth was very afraid of Abner, so he did not say anything in reply to Abner.
12Then Abner sent messengers to David when he was at Hebron, to say to him, “ Either you or I should be RHQ the ruler of this entire nation, but not Isbosheth. However, if you make an agreement with me, I will help you by encouraging all the people of Israel to ◄be want you to be their king/start to support► you.”
13David sent back this reply: “Good! I am willing to make an agreement with you. But before that happens, there is one thing that you must do. When you come to see me, you must bring my wife Michal, Saul's daughter.”
14Then David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, to say to him, “I had to kill 100 men from Philistia and cut off their foreskins to give to Saul to pay for Michal to be my wife. So now give her back to me!”
15So Ishbosheth sent some men to take Michal from her husband Palti. But when they took her, her husband followed them all the way to Bahurim town, crying as he went.
16Then Abner turned and said to him, “Go back home!”, so he did.
17Abner went to the Israeli leaders and talked with them. He said, “For a long time you have wanted David to be your king.
18So now you have an opportunity to do that. Keep in mind that Yahweh promised this: ‘With the help of David, who serves me well, I will rescue my people from the people of Philistia, and from the power MTY of all their other enemies’.”
19Abner also spoke to the people of the tribe of Benjamin. Then he went to Hebron, to tell David what all the people of Israel and the people of the tribe of Benjamin had agreed to do.
20When Abner came with twenty of his soldiers to see David at Hebron, David made a feast for all of them.
21Afterwards, Abner said to David, “Sir/Your majesty, I will now go and encourage all the people of Israel to accept you to be their king, as you have desired.” Then Abner left, peacefully.
22Soon after that, Joab and some of David's other soldiers returned to Hebron after raiding one of their enemies' villages, bringing with them a lot of things that they had captured. But Abner was not there at Hebron, because David had sent him safely home.
23When Joab and the soldiers who were with him arrived, someone told him that Abner had come there and talked with the king, and that the king allowed to go home safely.
24So Joab went to the king and said, “Why have you done that? Listen to me! Abner is your enemy, but when he came to you, you allowed him RHQ to leave!
25Do you not know that he came to you to deceive you and to find out everything that you are doing, and all the places that you go to?”
26After Joab left David, he sent some messengers to get Abner. They found him at Sirah Well, and brought him back to Hebron, but David did not know that they had done that.
27So when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab met him at the city gate, and took him aside as though he wanted to speak with him privately. Then he stabbed Abner in the stomach with his knife/sword. In that way he murdered Abner because Abner had killed MTY Joab's brother Asahel.
28Later, after David heard what had happened, he said, “Yahweh knows that I and the people of my kingdom are not at all ◄responsible for/guilty of► murdering MTY Abner.
29I hope/desire that Joab and all his family will be punished MTY for doing that! I hope/desire that there will always be someone in his family who has sores, or someone who is a leper, or some man who is forced to do women's work, or someone who is killed in a battle, or someone who does not have enough food to eat!”
30That is how Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.
31Then David said to Joab and to all Joab's soldiers, “Tear your clothes and put on coarse cloth to show that you are sad, and mourn for Abner!” And at the funeral, King David walked behind the men who were carrying the coffin.
32They buried Abner's body at Hebron. And at the grave, the king cried loudly, and all the other people also cried.
33David sang this sad song to lament for Abner: It is not right that RHQ Abner died like outlaws die!
34No one tied his hands or put chains on his feet, like they do to criminals. No, he was murdered by wicked men!
35Then many HYP people came to David to tell him to eat some food before sunset, but David refused. He said, “I hope/desire that God will punish me severely HYP if I eat any food before the sun goes down!”
36All the people saw what David did, and they were pleased. Truly, everything that the king did pleased the people.
37So all the people realized that the king had not wanted Abner to be killed.
38The king said to his officials, “◄Do you not realize that a leader and a great man has died today in Israel?/You should realize that a leader and a great man has died today in Israel.► RHQ
39Even though Yahweh appointed me to be the king, today I feel weak. These two sons of Zeruiah, Joab and Abishai, are very violent; I cannot control them. So I hope/desire that Yahweh will punish them severely in return for this wicked thing that they have done!”