1And there was war for a long time between the house of Saul and the house of David; and the house of David grew continually stronger; but the house of Saul grew continually weaker.
2And sons were born to David in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess.
3And his second son was Daluia, the son of Abigail the Carmelitess; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai the king of Geshur.
4And the fourth was Adonijah, the son of Haggith, and the fifth was Shephatiah, the son of Abital.
5And the sixth was Ithream, the son of Eglah the wife of David. These were born to David in Hebron.
6And it came to pass while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner was governing the house of Saul.
7And Saul had a concubine, Rizpah, the daughter of Jol; and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul said to Abner, Why hast thou gone in to my father’s concubine?
8And Abner was very angry with Ish-bosheth for this saying; and Abner said to him, Am I a dog’s head? I have this day wrought kindness with the house of Saul thy father, and with his brethren and friends, and have not gone over to the house of David, and dost thou this day seek a charge against me concerning injury to a woman?
9God do thus and more also to Abner, if as the Lord swore to David, so do I not to him this day;
10to take away the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to raise up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah from Dan to Beersheba.
11And Ish-bosheth could not any longer answer Abner a word, because he feared him.
12And Abner sent messengers to David to Thaelam where he was, immediately, saying, Make thy covenant with me, and, behold, my hand is with thee to bring back to thee all the house of Israel.
13And David said, With a good will I will make with thee a covenant: only I demand one condition of thee, saying, Thou shalt not see my face, unless thou bring Michal the daughter of Saul, when thou comest to see my face.
14And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, saying, Restore me my wife Michal, whom I took for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.
15And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Paltiel the son of Selle.
16And her husband went with her weeping behind her as far as Bahurim. And Abner said to him, Go, return; and he returned.
17And Abner spoke to the elders of Israel, saying, In former days ye sought David to reign over you;
18and now perform it: for the Lord has spoken concerning David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save Israel out of the hand of all their enemies.
19And Abner spoke in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went to speak in the ears of David at Hebron, all that seemed good in the eyes of Israel and in the eyes of the house of Benjamin.
20And Abner came to David to Hebron, and with him twenty men: and David made for Abner and his men with him a banquet of wine.
21And Abner said to David, I will arise now, and go, and gather to my lord the king all Israel; and I will make with him a covenant, and thou shalt reign over all whom thy soul desires. And David sent away Abner, and he departed in peace.
22And, behold, the servants of David and Joab arrived from their expedition, and they brought much spoil with them: and Abner was not with David in Hebron, because he had sent him away, and he had departed in peace.
23And Joab and all his army came, and it was reported to Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner is come to David, and David has let him go, and he has departed in peace.
24And Joab went in to the king, and said, What is this that thou hast done? behold, Abner came to thee; and why hast thou let him go, and he has departed in peace?
25Knowest thou not the mischief of Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all things that thou doest?
26And Joab returned from David, and sent messengers to Abner after him; and they bring him back from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not.
27And he brought back Abner to Hebron, and Joab caused him to turn aside from the gate to speak to him, laying wait for him: and he smote him there in the loins, and he died for the blood of Asahel the brother of Joab.
28And David heard of it afterward, and said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the Lord even forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner.
29Let it fall upon the head of Joab, and upon all the house of his father; and let there not be wanting of the house of Joab one that has an issue, or a leper, or that leans on a staff, or that falls by the sword, or that wants bread.
30For Joab and Abishai his brother laid wait continually for Abner, because he slew Asahel their brother at Gibeon in the battle.
31And David said to Joab and to all the people with him, Rend your garments, and gird yourselves with sackcloth, and lament before Abner. And King David followed the bier.
32And they bury Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at his tomb, and all the people wept for Abner.
33And the king mourned over Abner, and said, Shall Abner die according to the death of Nabal?
34Thy hands were not bound, And thy feet were not put in fetters: One brought thee not near as Nabal; Thou didst fall before children of iniquity.
35And all the people assembled to weep for him. And all the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day: and David swore, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if I eat bread or anything else before the sun goes down.
36And all the people took notice, and all things that the king did before the people were pleasing in their sight.
37So all the people and all Israel perceived in that day, that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.
38And the king said to his servants, Know ye not that a great prince is this day fallen in Israel?
39And that I am this day a mere kinsman of his, and as it were a subject; but these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me: the Lord reward the evildoer according to his wickedness.