David Made King over Judah
2 Then it came about afterward that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” So David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.” 2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the [a]widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 And David brought up his men who were with him, each with his household; and they settled in the cities of Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
And they told David, saying, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.” 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, “May you be blessed of the Lord because you have [b]shown this kindness to Saul your lord, and have buried him. 6 And now may the Lord [c]show kindness and truth to you; and I also will [d]show this goodness to you, because you have done this thing. 7 Now then, let your hands be strong and be [e]valiant, since Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
Ish-bosheth Made King over Israel
8 But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken [f]Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9 And he made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, even over all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he was king for two years. The house of Judah, however, followed David. 11 And the [g]time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Now Abner the son of Ner, went from Mahanaim to Gibeon with the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met [h]them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, [i]Abner’s men on the one side of the pool and [j]Joab’s men on the other side of the pool. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Now have the young men arise and hold a martial skills match in our presence.” And Joab said, “Have them arise!” 15 So they got up and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David. 16 And each one of them seized his [k]opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his [l]opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called [m]Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17 That day the battle was very severe, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated [n]by the servants of David.
18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel; and Asahel was as [o]swift-footed as one of the gazelles that is in the field. 19 Asahel pursued Abner and did not turn [p]to the right or to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind himself and said, “Is that you, Asahel?” And he said, “It is I!” 21 So Abner said to him, “Turn aside for your own good to your right or to your left, and take hold of one of the young men for yourself, and take for yourself his equipment.” But Asahel was unwilling to turn aside from following him. 22 Then Abner repeated again to Asahel, “Turn aside for your own good from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I [q]show my face to your brother Joab?” 23 However, he refused to turn aside; so Abner struck him in the belly with the butt end of the spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died on the spot. And it happened that all who came thereafter to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and when the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah, which is opposite Giah by way of the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one troop, and they stood on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Should the sword devour forever? Do you not realize that it will be bitter in the end? So how long will you [r]refrain from telling the people to turn back from pursuing their kinsmen?” 27 Joab said, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, then the people of Judah certainly would have withdrawn in the morning, each from pursuing his brother.” 28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the people halted and no longer pursued Israel, nor did they continue to fight anymore. 29 Abner and his men then went through the Arabah all that night; so they crossed the Jordan, walked all morning, and came to Mahanaim.
30 Then Joab returned from pursuing Abner; but he gathered all the people together, and [s]nineteen of David’s servants were missing, besides Asahel. 31 However, the servants of David had struck and killed many of Benjamin and Abner’s men; 360 men were dead. 32 And they carried Asahel away and buried him in his father’s tomb, which was in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men traveled all night until the day [t]dawned at Hebron.
- 2 Samuel 2:2 Lit wife
- 2 Samuel 2:5 Lit done
- 2 Samuel 2:6 Lit do
- 2 Samuel 2:6 Lit do
- 2 Samuel 2:7 Lit sons of valor
- 2 Samuel 2:8 I.e., man of shame; cf. 1 Chr 8:33, Eshbaal
- 2 Samuel 2:11 Lit number of days
- 2 Samuel 2:13 Lit them together
- 2 Samuel 2:13 Lit these on
- 2 Samuel 2:13 Lit these on
- 2 Samuel 2:16 Lit fellow
- 2 Samuel 2:16 Lit fellow’s
- 2 Samuel 2:16 I.e., the field of sword-edges
- 2 Samuel 2:17 Lit in front of
- 2 Samuel 2:18 Lit light in his feet
- 2 Samuel 2:19 Lit to go to
- 2 Samuel 2:22 Lit lift up
- 2 Samuel 2:26 Lit not tell the people
- 2 Samuel 2:30 Lit nineteen men
- 2 Samuel 2:32 Lit dawned for them