Yahweh said to him, “Go up!”
David said, “Where should I go up?”
He said, “To Hebron.”
2So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
3David brought up his men who were with him, each man with his household, and they lived in the cities of Hebron.
4The 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 those who buried Saul.”
5So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead and said to them, “Blessed are you of Yahweh, that you have shown this kindness to your lord, even to Saul, and have buried him.
6Now may Yahweh show covenant faithfulness and truth to you. And I also will do good to you for this kindness, because you have done this thing.
7Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for your lord Saul is dead, and also the House of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
8But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over the Jordan to Mahanaim,
9and made him king over Gilead and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin and over all Israel.
10Ish-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.
11And the length of time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12Now Abner the son of Ner and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
13And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them 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.
15Then they arose and went over by number: 12 for Benjamin and for Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and 12 of the servants of David.
16And each one of them seized his opponent by the head, and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath Hazzurim; it is in Gibeon.
17And the battle was very severe that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated before the servants of David.
18Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab and Abishai and Asahel, and Asahel was as light of foot as one of the wild gazelles in the open field.
19And Asahel pursued after Abner, and as he went he did not turn to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.
20Then Abner looked behind him, and said, “Is that you, Asahel?”
And he answered, “It is I.”
21Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left and seize one of the young men for yourself and take his armor!” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
22And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I hold up my face to your brother Joab?”
23But he refused to turn aside. So Abner struck him in the belly with the back end of the spear so that the spear came out through his back. And he fell down there and died right there. And it came to pass that as many as came to the place where Asahel had fallen down and died, stood still.
24But Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner. And as the sun was going down they came to the hill of Ammah that lies before Giah on the road to the wilderness of Gibeon.
25And the sons of Benjamin gathered themselves together behind Abner and became one band, and they stood on the top of a hill.
26Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Must the sword devour forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitterness? How long will it be then, before you tell the people to turn back from pursuing their brothers?”
27Joab said, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely the men would not have given up the pursuit of their brothers until the morning.”
28So Joab blew the shofar and all the people stood still and no longer pursued after Israel, nor did they fight any more.
29And Abner and his men went through the Arabah all that night, and they crossed over the Jordan River and walked all morning and came to Mahanaim.
30And Joab returned from following Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing from David’s servants, 19 men and Asahel.
31But the servants of David had struck down of Benjamin, even of Abner’s men, 360 men who died.
32And they took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men went all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.