1 And it came to pass after this, that David asked counsel of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Achinoam the Yizreelitess, and Abigayil, Nabals wife, 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 then came the men of Judah, and they anointed there David as king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, The men of Yabeshgilad were those that buried Saul.
5 And David thereupon sent messengers unto the men of Yabeshgilad, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the Lord, that ye have done this kindness unto your Lord, unto Saul, and have buried him.
6 And now may the Lord deal with you in kindness and truth: and as for me also, I will requite you this good deed, because ye have done this thing.
7 And now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant men; for your lord Saul is dead; and also me have the house of Judah anointed as king over them.
8 But Abner, the son of Ner, the captain of the army of Saul, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Machanayim;
9 And made him king over Gilad, and over the Ashurites, and over Yizreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
10 Forty years old was Ishbosheth the son of Saul, when he became king over Israel, and two years he reigned. But the house of Judah followed David.
11 And the number of days that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 And there went out Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, from Machanayim to Gibon.
13 And Joab the son of Zeruyah and the servants of David also went out, and they met together by the pool of Gibon: and they sat down, these on the one side of the pool, and the others on the other side of the pool.
14 And Abner said to Joab, Do let the young men rise up and play before us. And Joab said, They may rise up.
15 Then they rose up and went over by number: twelve for Benjamin, and for Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
16 And they grasped every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellows side; and they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Chelkathhazzurim, which is by Gibon.
17 And the battle was exceedingly fierce on that day; and Abner with the men of Israel was beaten, before the servants of David.
18 And there were at that place three sons of Zeruyah, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as fleet of foot as any roe in the field.
19 And Asahel pursued after Abner; and he turned not in going to the right hand or to the left from following Abner.
20 And Abner turned round and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am.
21 And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay hold for thyself on one of the young men, and take thyself his armor. But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
22 And Abner repeated again to say unto Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? and how should I then lift up my face to Joab thy brother?
23 But he refused to turn aside; and Abner smote him with the hinder end of the spear under the fifth rib, so that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died on the spot: and it came to pass, that all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen down and died remained standing still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giach on the way to the wilderness of Gibon.
25 And the children of Benjamin assembled themselves together behind Abner, and formed one solid body, and posted themselves on the top of a certain hill.
26 And Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall for everlasting the sword devour? knowest thou not that it will be bitter in the end? and how long shall it be, ere thou wilt bid the people to return from pursuing their brethren?
27 And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then already in the morning would the people have gone away every one from pursuing his brother.
28 So Joab blew the cornet, and all the people remained standing still, and pursued no more after Israel, and they continued no more to fight.
29 And Abner and his men walked through the plain all that night, and they passed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Machanayim.
30 And Joab returned from pursuing Abner; and he gathered all the people together; and there were missed of Davids servants nineteen men and Asahel.
31 But the servants of David had smitten many of Benjamin, and of Abners men: three hundred and sixty men died.
32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlechem. And Joab and his men went all that night, and the day broke on them at Hebron.