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2 Samuel 2

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 1 [Now that Saul was dead] David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I now go to live in any of the cities of Judah?" And the LORD said to him, "Go up." And David said, "Where shall I go up?" And the LORD said, "Unto Hebron."

 2 So David went up there with his two wives: Ahinoam, the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, Nabal's wife, the Carmelite.

 3 And David brought his men who were with him, every man with his household; and they dwelled in the cities of Hebron.

 4 The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, "That the men of Jabeshgilead were those who buried Saul."

 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabeshgilead, and said to them, "Blessed are you of the LORD, that you have showed this kindness to your lord, even to Saul, and have buried him.

 6 And now the LORD shows kindness and truth to you; and I also will repay you for this kindness because you have done this thing.

 7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant because your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them."

 8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;

 9 And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.

 10 Ishbosheth, Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.

 11 The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

 12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.

 13 Joab, the son of Zeruiah, [was a captain of David's army. He] and the servants of David went out and met together [with Abner and Ishbosheth's servants] by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.

 14 And Abner said to Joab, "Let the young men now arise to fight in pairs as contests." And Joab said, "Let them arise."

 15 Then twelve of Benjamin arose, who belonged to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David arose.

 16 And they each caught his opponent by the head, and thrust his sword into his opponent's side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, [meaning field of knives] which is in Gibeon.

 17 And there was a very brutal battle that day; Abner and the men of Israel were beaten by the servants of David.

 18 Three sons of Zeruiah there were: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel; and Asahel was as fast in running as a wild roe deer.

 19 Asahel pursued after Abner; and in pursuit he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.

 20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said, "Are you Asahel?" And he answered, "I am."

 21 And Abner said to him, '"Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold of one of the young men, and take his armor." But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him.

 22 And Abner said again to Asahel, "Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then would I hold up my face to Joab your brother?"

 23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner thrust at him with the back end of the spear into his stomach under the fifth rib, so that the spear came out his back; and he fell down there and died in the same place. It came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, they stood still.

 24 Joab and Abishai pursued also after Abner, and the sun went down when they arrived at the hill of Ammah that lies before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.

 25 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together around Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill.

 26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, "Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long shall it be then, before you tell the people to return from following their brothers?"

 27 And Joab said, "As God lives, unless you had spoken, surely the people would have continued pursuing their brothers until the morning."

 28 So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stopped, and no longer pursued after Israel, and neither did they fight any more.

 29 Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron, until they came to Mahanaim.

 30 Joab returned from following Abner; and when he had assembled all the people together, missing of David's servants were nineteen men and Asahel.

 31 But the servants of David had struck Benjamin, and Abner's men, so that three hundred sixty of them had died.

 32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulcher of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men traveled all night, and they came to Hebron at the break of day.


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