3 1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: and David waxed stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
David's Sons Born at Hebron
2 And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his first-born was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3 and 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; 4 and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5 and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
Abner Plans a League with David
6 And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong in the house of Saul.
7 Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and [Ish-bosheth] said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine? 8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head that belongeth to Judah? This day do I show kindness unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David; and yet thou chargest me this day with a fault concerning this woman. 9 God do so to Abner, and more also, if, as Jehovah hath sworn to David, I do not even so to him; 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba. 11 And he could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him. 12 And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying [also], Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee. 13 And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee; but one thing I require of thee: that is, thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face. 14 And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 15 And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 And her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return: and he returned. 17 And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, In times past ye sought for David to be king over you: 18 now then do it; for Jehovah hath spoken of 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. 19 And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to the whole house of Benjamin. 20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast. 21 And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thy soul desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
Joab Kills Abner
22 And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from a foray, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the host that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace. 24 Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone? 25 Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest. 26 And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not. 27 And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there in the body, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. 28 And afterward, when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before Jehovah for ever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner: 29 let it fall upon the head of Joab, and upon all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth by the sword, or that lacketh bread. 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. 31 And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David followed the bier. 32 And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept. 33 And the king lamented for Abner, and said, Should Abner die as a fool dieth? 34 Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: As a man falleth before the children of iniquity, so didst thou fall. And all the people wept again over him. 35 And all the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day; but David sware, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or aught else, till the sun be down. 36 And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people. 37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner. 38 And the king said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? 39 And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me: Jehovah reward the evil-doer according to his wickedness.
The Assassination of Ish-bosheth
4 1 And when [Ish-bosheth], Saul's son, heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands became feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. 2 And [Ish-bosheth], Saul's son, [had] two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin (for Beeroth also is reckoned to Benjamin: 3 and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and have been sojourners there until this day). 4 Now Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel; and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. 5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, as he took his rest at noon. 6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him in the body: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7 Now when they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and went by the way of the Arabah all night. 8 And they brought the head of Ish-bosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold, the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, thine enemy, who sought thy life; and Jehovah hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
9 And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As Jehovah liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, 10 when one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his tidings. 11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed, shall I not now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? 12 And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up beside the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron.
David Made King over Israel
5 1 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 2 In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was thou that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and Jehovah said to thee, Thou shalt be shepherd of my people Israel, and thou shalt be prince over Israel. 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a covenant with them in Hebron before Jehovah: and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.
David Captures Zion
6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither; thinking, David cannot come in hither. 7 Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is the city of David. 8 And David said on that day, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites, let him get up to the watercourse, and [smite] the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul. Wherefore they say, There are the blind and the lame; he cannot come into the house. 9 And David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. 10 And David waxed greater and greater; for Jehovah, the God of hosts, was with him.
Hiram's Recognition of David
11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar-trees, and carpenters, and masons; and they built David a house. 12 And David perceived that Jehovah had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.
David's Children Born at Jerusalem
13 And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron; and there were yet sons and daughters born to David. 14 And these are the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem: Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, 15 and Ibhar, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia, 16 and Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet.
David Defeats the Philistines
17 And when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. 19 And David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into my hand? And Jehovah said unto David, Go up; for I will certainly deliver the Philistines into thy hand. 20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David smote them there; and he said, Jehovah hath broken mine enemies before me, like the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal-perazim. 21 And they left their images there; and David and his men took them away. 22 And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. 23 And when David inquired of Jehovah, he said, Thou shalt not go up: make a circuit behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry-trees. 24 And it shall be, when thou hearest the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry-trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself; for then is Jehovah gone out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines. 25 And David did so, as Jehovah commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gezer.
The Cost of Discipleship
25 Now there went with him great multitudes: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doth not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have [wherewith] to complete it? 29 Lest haply, when he hath laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold begin to mock him, 30 saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, as he goeth to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and asketh conditions of peace. 33 So therefore whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
34 Salt therefore is good: but if even the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill: [men] cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.