1It was after this that David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “Should I go up into one of the cities of Judah?” And Yahweh said to him, “Go up!” And David said, “Where should I go up?” And 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.
3And David brought up his men who were with him, each man with his household, and they lived in the cities of Hebron.
4And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the House of Judah. And they told David, saying, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.”
5So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “Blessed are you of Yahweh, in that you have shown covenant faithfulness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him.
6Now may Yahweh show covenant faithfulness and truth to you. And I also will do good to you, because you have done this thing.
7So now 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 at the pool of Gibeon, and they sat down, these by the pool on this side, and those by the pool on the other side.
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 fierce 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 swift of foot as one of the gazelles in the 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 turned around and said, “Is that you, Asahel?” And he answered, “It is I.”
21And Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left and seize one of the young men and take his spoil for yourself!” But Asahel would not turn aside from going after him.
22And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from going after me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift 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 behind him. And he fell down there and died where he was. 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?”
27Then Joab 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 and no longer continued the battle.
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 going after Abner. And when he had gathered all the people, there were missing from David’s servants 19 men and Asahel.
31But the servants of David had struck down of Benjamin, 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.