2Now sons were born to David in Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;
3and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom, the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
4and the fourth, Adonijah, the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah, the son of Abital;
5and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
6During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul.
7Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah; and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you go into my father’s concubine?”
8Then Abner became very angry because of the words of Ish-bosheth, and he said, “Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Judah? Today I show loyalty to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers and to his friends, and have not given you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me this day with a fault concerning this woman!
9May God do so to Abner, and more also—for as Yahweh has promised to David, so I will do for him,
10to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and to establish the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beer-sheba.”
11And Ish-bosheth could not answer Abner another word, because he was afraid of him.
13And he said, “Good, I will cut a covenant with you. But there is one thing I require of you, which is, you will not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face.”
15So Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband, from Paltiel the son of Laish.
16But her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go! Return!” And he returned.
17Now Abner conferred with the elders of Israel,a saying, “Even yesterday, even before, you were seeking for David to be king over you.
18Now then do it. For Yahweh has spoken concerning David, saying, ‘By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines and out of the hand of all their enemies.’”
19And Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin. Then Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that was good in the eyes of Israel and in the eyes of the whole house of Benjamin.
20So Abner came to David to Hebron, and 20 men were with him. David made a banquet for Abner and the men who were with him.
21And Abner said to David, “I will now arise and go, and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, and they will cut a covenant with you and you will reign over all that your soul desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
22Just then the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought in a large amount of plundered goods with them. But Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace.
23When Joab and all the army who was with him had come, it was told to Joab, saying, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, but he has sent him away, and he has gone in peace.”
24Then Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you. Why is it that you have sent him away and he is gone, yes, gone?
25You know Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive you and to know your going out and your coming in and to know all that you are doing.”
26When Joab came out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern at Sirah, but David did not know it.
27And when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the inner part of the gate to speak with him privately, and struck him there in the abdomen, and he died on account of the blood of Asahel his brother.
28And afterward when David heard it, he said, “I and my kingdom are guiltless before Yahweh forever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner.
29May it fall on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house! Let the house of Joab never be without one who has a bodily discharge, or who is a leper, or who holds a spindle, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.”
30So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.
32They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept.
33The king lamented for Abner and said, “Should Abner have died as a godless fool dies?
34Your hands were not bound, and your feet were not put into fetters. As a man falls before sons of iniquity, so you fell.” And all the people continued to weep over him.
35Then all the people came to persuade David to eat bread while it was still day, but David swore, saying, “God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down.”
36And all the people took notice of it and it was good in their eyes, just as all the king did was good in the eyes of all the people.
37So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the will of the king to kill Abner the son of Ner.
38And the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a leader and a great man has fallen this day in Israel?
39And today I am weak, though anointed king, and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too hard for me. May Yahweh repay the evildoer according to his wickedness.”