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 to him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, To Hebron.
2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail, Nabal's 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 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 Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul.
5 And David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shown this kindness to your lord, even to Saul, and have buried him.
6 And now the LORD show kindness and truth to you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing.
7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.
8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;
9 And he 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, 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 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, who 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 fellow's side: so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.
17 And there was a very severe battle that day; and Abner was defeated, 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, 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 on one of the young men, and take to thee his armor. But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
22 And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: Why should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?
23 But he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, 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 Abner: and the sun went down when they had come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
25 And the children of Benjamin assembled themselves 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 for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou wilt bid the people return from following their brethren?
27 And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother.
28 So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued 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 assembled all the people, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men, and Asahel.
31 But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and sixty men died.
32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulcher of his father, which was in Beth-lehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.