3 1 And the war was long between the house of Saul and the house of David; but David became continually stronger, and the house of Saul became continually weaker.
David's Sons Born at Hebron
2 And to David were sons born in Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jizreelitess; 3 and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maachah, 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 for the house of Saul.
7 And Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. And [Ishbosheth] said to Abner, Why hast thou gone in to my father's concubine? 8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head, I who against Judah do shew kindness this day to the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou reproachest me this day with the fault of this woman? 9 So do God to Abner, and more also, if, as Jehovah has sworn to David, I do not so to him; 10 to translate 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 a word again, because he feared him. 12 And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying [also], Make thy covenant with me, and behold, my hand shall be with thee, to turn all Israel to thee. 13 And he said, Well, I will make a covenant with thee; only I require one thing 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 Ishbosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, whom I espoused to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 15 And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from [her] husband, from Phaltiel the son of Laish. 16 And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner to him, Go, return. And he returned. 17 Now Abner had communicated with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David aforetime to be king over you; 18 and now do [it], for Jehovah has spoken of David, saying, By my servant David will I save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies. 19 And Abner also spoke 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 that seemed good 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 repast. 21 And Abner said to David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thy heart desires. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
Joab Kills Abner
22 And behold, the servants of David and Joab came from an expedition, and brought in a great spoil with them; but Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 And Joab and all the host that was with him came; and they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has 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 to thee; why is it [that] thou hast sent him away, and he is gone? 25 Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, 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, who brought him again from the well of Sirah; but David did not know it. 27 And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him secretly, and smote him there in the belly, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. 28 And afterwards David heard [it], and he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before Jehovah for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner: 29 let it fall on the head of Joab, and on all his father's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that has an issue, or that is a leper, or that leans on a staff, or that falls by the sword, or that lacks bread! 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had slain 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 garments, and gird yourselves 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 over 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 wicked men, Fellest thou! 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 swore, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread or aught else till the sun be down! 36 And all the people remarked it, and it pleased them; as whatever the king did pleased all the people. 37 And all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to put Abner the son of Ner to death. 38 And the king said to 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 doer of evil according to his wickedness!
The Assassination of Ish-bosheth
4 1 And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were enfeebled, and all Israel was troubled. 2 And Saul's son had two men, 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 was reckoned to Benjamin. 3 And the Beerothites had fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day. 4 And Jonathan Saul's son had a son that was lame of [his] feet. He was five years old when the news came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jizreel; 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 in about the heat of the day into the house of Ishbosheth, who was taking his noonday rest. 6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, [as though] they would fetch wheat; and they smote him in the belly; and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7 They came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him; and they took his head, and went by the way of the plain all night. 8 And they brought the head of Ishbosheth to David in Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, thine enemy who sought thy life; and Jehovah has given to my lord the king to be avenged this day of Saul and of his seed.
9 Then David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, [As] Jehovah liveth, who has redeemed my soul out of all distress, 10 when one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead! and he was in his own sight a messenger of good, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag—to whom forsooth I should give a reward for his good tidings: 11 how much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? and should I not now demand 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 over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.
David Made King over Israel
5 1 Then came all the tribes of Israel to David to Hebron, and spoke, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 2 Even aforetime, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel; and Jehovah said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be prince over Israel. 3 And 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; he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-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; and they spoke to David, saying, Thou shalt not come in hither, but the blind and the lame will drive thee back; as much as to say, David will not come in hither. 7 But David took the stronghold of Zion, which is the city of David. 8 And David said on that day, Whoever smites the Jebusites and gets up to the watercourse, and the lame and the blind hated of David's soul ...! Therefore they say, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. 9 So David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from the Millo and inward. 10 And David became continually greater; and Jehovah the God of hosts was with him.
Hiram's Recognition of David
11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, 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 because of his people Israel.
David's Children Born at Jerusalem
13 And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he had come from Hebron; and there were yet sons and daughters born to David. 14 And these are the names of those that were born to 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 the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, and all the Philistines went up to seek David; and David heard [of it], and went down to the stronghold. 18 And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. 19 And David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? wilt thou give them into my hand? And Jehovah said to David, Go up; for I will certainly give the Philistines into thy hand. 20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David smote them there; and he said, Jehovah has broken in upon mine enemies before me, as the breaking forth 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 David inquired of Jehovah; and he said, Thou shalt not go up; turn round behind them and come upon them opposite the mulberry-trees. 24 And it shall be, when thou hearest a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry-trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself; for then will Jehovah have gone forth before thee, to smite the army of the Philistines. 25 And David did so, as Jehovah had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou comest to Gezer.
The Cost of Discipleship
25 And great crowds went with him; and, turning round, he said to them, 26 If any man come to me, and shall not hate his own father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple; 27 and whoever does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desirous of building a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, if he have what [is needed] to complete it; 29 in order that, having laid the foundation of it, and not being able to finish it, all who see it do not begin to mock at him, 30 saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish? 31 Or what king, going on his way to engage in war with another king, does not, sitting down first, take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 and if not, while he is yet far off, having sent an embassy, he asks for terms of peace. 33 Thus then every one of you who forsakes not all that is his own cannot be my disciple.
34 Salt [then] [is] good, but if the salt also has become savourless, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is proper neither for land nor for dung; it is cast out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.