1 And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Where shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabalâ€™s widow the Carmelite.
3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, The men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul.
5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said unto them, Blessed be you of the LORD, that you have shown this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him.
6 And now the LORD show kindness and truth unto you: and I also will repay you this kindness, because you have done this thing.
7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be you valiant: for 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 Saulâ€™s army, took Ish-bosheth 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 Ish-bosheth Saulâ€™s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.
11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together 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, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.
15 Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellowâ€™s side; so they fell down together: therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.
17 And there was a very fierce battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
18 And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe.
19 And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going 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 you aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay you hold on one of the young men, and take you his armor. But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
22 And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn you aside from following me: why should I strike you to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab your brother?
23 However he refused to turn aside: therefore Abner with the blunt end of the spear struck him under the fifth rib, so that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.
24 Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to 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 after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of a hill.
26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour forever? know you not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, before you bid the people return from following their brethren?
27 And Joab said, As God lives, unless you had spoken, surely then in the morning the people would have gone up every one from following his brother.
28 So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.
29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.
30 And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of Davidâ€™s servants nineteen men and Asahel.
31 But the servants of David had struck down Benjamin, and Abnerâ€™s men, so that three hundred and threescore men 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 went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.