David Learns of Saul's Death
1 1 And it cometh to pass, after the death of Saul, that David hath returned from smiting the Amalekite, and David dwelleth in Ziklag two days, 2 and it cometh to pass, on the third day, that lo, a man hath come in out of the camp from Saul, and his garments 'are' rent, and earth on his head; and it cometh to pass, in his coming in unto David, that he falleth to the earth, and doth obeisance. 3 And David saith to him, 'Whence comest thou?' and he saith unto him, 'Out of the camp of Israel I have escaped.' 4 And David saith unto him, 'What hath been the matter? declare, I pray thee, to me.' And he saith, that 'The people hath fled from the battle, and also a multitude hath fallen of the people, and they die; and also Saul and Jonathan his son have died.' 5 And David saith unto the youth who is declaring 'it' to him, 'How hast thou known that Saul and Jonathan his son 'are' dead?' 6 And the youth who is declaring 'it' to him saith, I happened to meet in mount Gilboa, and lo, Saul is leaning on his spear; and lo, the chariots and those possessing horses have followed him; 7 and he turneth behind him, and seeth me, and calleth unto me, and I say, Here 'am' I. 8 And he saith to me, Who 'art' thou? and I say unto him, An Amalekite I 'am'.' 9 'And he saith unto me, Stand, I pray thee, over me, and put me to death, for seized me hath the arrow, for all my soul 'is' still in me. 10 And I stand over him, and put him to death, for I knew that he doth not live after his falling, and I take the crown which 'is' on his head, and the bracelet which 'is' on his arm, and bring them in unto my lord hither.'
11 And David taketh hold on his garments, and rendeth them, and also all the men who 'are' with him, 12 and they mourn, and weep, and fast till the evening, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of Jehovah, and for the house of Israel, because they have fallen by the sword. 13 And David saith unto the youth who is declaring 'it' to him, 'Whence 'art' thou?' and he saith, 'Son of a sojourner, an Amalekite, I 'am'.' 14 And David saith unto him, 'How wast thou not afraid to put forth thy hand to destroy the anointed of Jehovah?' 15 And David calleth to one of the youths, and saith, 'Draw nigh—fall upon him;' and he smiteth him, and he dieth; 16 and David saith unto him, 'Thy blood 'is' on thine own head, for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I—I put to death the anointed of Jehovah.'
David's Lament over Saul and Jonathan
17 And David lamenteth with this lamentation over Saul, and over Jonathan his son; 18 and he saith to teach the sons of Judah 'The Bow;' lo, it is written on the book of the Upright:— 19 'The Roebuck, O Israel, On thy high places 'is' wounded; How have the mighty fallen! 20 Declare 'it' not in Gath, Proclaim not the tidings in the streets of Ashkelon, Lest they rejoice—The daughters of the Philistines, Lest they exult—The daughters of the Uncircumcised! 21 Mountains of Gilboa! No dew nor rain be on you, And fields of heave-offerings! For there hath become loathsome The shield of the mighty, The shield of Saul—without the anointed with oil. 22 From the blood of the wounded, From the fat of the mighty, The bow of Jonathan Hath not turned backward; And the sword of Saul doth not return empty. 23 Saul and Jonathan! They are loved and pleasant in their lives, And in their death they have not been parted. Than eagles they have been lighter, Than lions they have been mightier! 24 Daughters of Israel! for Saul weep ye, Who is clothing you 'in' scarlet with delights. Who is lifting up ornaments of gold on your clothing. 25 How have the mighty fallen In the midst of the battle! Jonathan! on thy high places wounded! 26 I am in distress for thee, my brother Jonathan, Very pleasant wast thou to me; Wonderful was thy love to me, Above the love of women! 27 How have the mighty fallen, Yea, the weapons of war perish!'
David Made King over Judah
2 1 And it cometh to pass afterwards, that David asketh at Jehovah, saying, 'Do I go up into one of the cities of Judah?' and Jehovah saith unto him, 'Go up.' And David saith, 'Whither do I go up?' and He saith, 'To Hebron.' 2 And David goeth up thither, and also his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail wife of Nabal the Carmelite; 3 and his men who 'are' with him hath David brought up—a man and his household—and they dwell in the cities of Hebron. 4 And the men of Judah come, and anoint there David for king over the house of Judah; and they declare to David, saying, 'The men of Jabesh-Gilead 'are' they who buried Saul.' 5 And David sendeth messengers unto the men of Jabesh-Gilead, and saith unto them, 'Blessed 'are' ye of Jehovah, in that ye have done this kindness with your lord, with Saul, that ye bury him. 6 'And, now, Jehovah doth with you kindness and truth, and also, I do with you this good because ye have done this thing; 7 and now, are your hands strong, and be ye for sons of valour, for your lord Saul. 'is' dead, and also—me have the house of Judah anointed for king over them.'
David Fights against the Forces of Saul
8 And Abner, son of Ner, head of the host which Saul hath, hath taken Ish-Bosheth, son of Saul, and causeth him to pass over to Mahanaim, 9 and causeth him to reign over Gilead, and over the Ashurite, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over Israel—all of it. 10 A son of forty years, 'is' Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, in his reigning over Israel, and two years he hath reigned, only the house of Judah have been after David. 11 And the number of the days that David hath been king in Hebron, over the house of Judah, is seven years and six months. 12 And Abner son of Ner goeth out, and servants of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab son of Zeruiah, and servants of David, have gone out, and they meet by the pool of Gibeon together, and sit down, these by the pool on this 'side', and these by the pool on that. 14 And Abner saith unto Joab, 'Let the youths rise, I pray thee, and they play before us;' and Joab saith, 'Let them rise.' 15 And they rise and pass over, in number twelve of Benjamin, even of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And they lay hold, each on the head of his companion, and his sword 'is' in the side of his companion, and they fall together, and 'one' calleth that place Helkath-Hazzurim, which 'is' in Gibeon, 17 and the battle is very hard on that day, and Abner is smitten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
18 And there are there three sons of Zeruiah, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel, and Asahel 'is' light on his feet, as one of the roes which 'are' in the field, 19 And Asahel pursueth after Abner, and hath not turned aside to go to the right or to the left, from after Abner. 20 And Abner looketh behind him, and saith, 'Art thou he—Asahel?' and he saith, 'I 'am'.' 21 And Abner saith to him, 'Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and seize for thee one of the youths, and take to thee his armour;' and Asahel hath not been willing to turn aside from after him. 22 And Abner addeth again, saying unto Asahel, 'Turn thee aside from after me, why do I smite thee to the earth? and how do I lift up my face unto Joab thy brother?' 23 And he refuseth to turn aside, and Abner smiteth him with the hinder part of the spear unto the fifth 'rib', and the spear cometh out from behind him, and he falleth there, and dieth under it; and it cometh to pass, every one who hath come unto the place where Asahel hath fallen and dieth—they stand still. 24 And Joab and Abishai pursue after Abner, and the sun hath gone in, and they have come in unto the height of Ammah, which 'is' on the front of Giah, the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
25 And the sons of Benjamin gather themselves together after Abner, and become one troop, and stand on the top of a certain height, 26 and Abner calleth unto Joab, and saith, 'For ever doth the sword consume? hast thou not known that it is bitterness in the latter end? and till when dost thou not say to the people to turn back from after their brethren?' 27 And Joab saith, 'God liveth! for unless thou hadst spoken, surely then from the morning had the people gone up each from after his brother.' 28 And Joab bloweth with a trumpet, and all the people stand still, and pursue no more after Israel, nor have they added any more to fight. 29 And Abner and his men have gone through the plain all that night, and pass over the Jordan, and go on 'through' all Bithron, and come in to Mahanaim. 30 And Joab hath turned back from after Abner, and gathereth all the people, and there are lacking of the servants of David nineteen men, and Asahel; 31 and the servants of David have smitten of Benjamin, even among the men of Abner, three hundred and sixty men—they died. 32 And they lift up Asahel, and bury him in the burying-place of his father, which 'is' in Beth-Lehem, and they go all the night—Joab and his men—and it is light to them in Hebron.
3 1 And the war is long between the house of Saul and the house of David, and David is going on and 'is' strong, and the house of Saul are going on and 'are' weak.
David's Sons Born at Hebron
2 And there are born to David sons in Hebron, and his first-born is Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, 3 and his second 'is' Chileab, of Abigail wife of Nabal the Carmelite, and the third 'is' Absalom son of Maacah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur, 4 and the fourth 'is' Adonijah son of Haggith, and the fifth 'is' Shephatiah son of Abital, 5 and the sixth 'is' Ithream, of Eglah wife of David; these have been born to David in Hebron.
Abner Plans a League with David
6 And it cometh to pass, in the war being between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner hath been strengthening himself in the house of Saul,
7 and Saul hath a concubine, and her name 'is' Rizpah daughter of Aiah, and 'Ish-Bosheth' saith unto Abner, 'Wherefore hast thou gone in unto the concubine of my father?' 8 And it is displeasing to Abner exceedingly, because of the words of Ish-Bosheth, and he saith, 'The head of a dog 'am' I—that in reference to Judah to-day I do kindness with the house of Saul thy father, unto his brethren, and unto his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David—that thou chargest against me iniquity concerning the woman to-day? 9 thus doth God to Abner, and thus He doth add to him, surely as Jehovah hath sworn to David—surely so I do to him: 10 to cause the kingdom to pass over from the house of Saul, and to raise up the throne of David over Israel, and over Judah, from Dan even unto Beer-Sheba.' 11 And he is not able any more to turn back Abner a word, because of his fearing him. 12 And Abner sendeth messengers unto David for himself, saying, 'Whose 'is' the land?' saying, 'Make thy covenant with me, and lo, my hand 'is' with thee, to bring round unto thee all Israel.' 13 And he saith, 'Good—I make with thee a covenant; only, one thing I am asking of thee, that is, Thou dost not see my face, except thou dost first bring in Michal, daughter of Saul in thy coming into see my face.' 14 And David sendeth messengers unto Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, saying, 'Give up my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself with a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.' 15 And Ish-Bosheth sendeth, and taketh her from a man, from Phaltiel son of Laish, 16 and her husband goeth with her, going on and weeping behind her, unto Bahurim, and Abner saith unto him, 'Go, turn back;' and he turneth back. 17 And the word of Abner was with the elders of Israel, saying, 'Heretofore ye have been seeking David for king over you, 18 and now, do 'it', for Jehovah hath spoken of David saying, By the hand of David my servant—to save My people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.' 19 And Abner speaketh also in the ears of Benjamin, and Abner goeth also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that 'is' good in the eyes of Israel, and in the eyes of all the house of Benjamin, 20 and Abner cometh in unto David, to Hebron, and with him twenty men, and David maketh for Abner, and for the men who 'are' with him, a banquet. 21 And Abner saith unto David, 'I arise, and go, and gather unto my lord the king the whole of Israel, and they make with thee a covenant, and thou hast reigned over all that thy soul desireth;' and David sendeth away Abner, and he goeth in peace.
Joab Kills Abner
22 And lo, the servants of David, and Joab, have come from the troop, and much spoil have brought with them, and Abner is not with David in Hebron, for he hath sent him away, and he goeth in peace; 23 and Joab and all the host that 'is' with him have come, and they declare to Joab, saying, 'Abner son of Ner hath come unto the king, and he sendeth him away, and he goeth in peace.' 24 And Joab cometh unto the king, and saith, 'What hast thou done? lo, Abner hath come unto thee! why 'is' this—thou hast sent him away, and he is really gone? 25 Thou hast known Abner son of Ner, that to deceive thee he came, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou art doing.' 26 And Joab goeth out from David, and sendeth messengers after Abner, and they bring him back from the well of Sirah, and David knew not. 27 And Abner turneth back to Hebron, and Joab turneth him aside unto the midst of the gate to speak with him quietly, and smiteth him there in the fifth 'rib'—and he dieth—for the blood of Asahel his brother. 28 And David heareth afterwards and saith, 'Acquitted 'am' I, and my kingdom, by Jehovah, unto the age, from the blood of Abner son of Ner; 29 it doth stay on the head of Joab, and on all the house of his father, and there is not cut off from the house of Joab one having an issue, and leprous, and laying hold on a staff, and falling by a sword, and lacking bread.' 30 And Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner because that he put to death Asahel their brother, in Gibeon, in battle. 31 And David saith unto Joab, and unto all the people who 'are' with him, 'Rend your garments, and gird on sackcloth, and mourn before Abner;' and king David is going after the bier. 32 And they bury Abner in Hebron, and the king lifteth up his voice, and weepeth at the grave of Abner, and all the people weep; 33 and the king lamenteth for Abner, and saith:—'As the death of a fool doth Abner die? 34 Thy hands not bound, And thy feet to fetters not brought nigh! As one falling before sons of evil—Thou hast fallen!' and all the people add to weep over him. 35 And all the people come to cause David to eat bread while yet day, and David sweareth, saying, 'Thus doth God to me, and thus He doth add, for—before the going in of the sun, I taste no bread or any other thing.' 36 And all the people have discerned 'it', and it is good in their eyes, as all that the king hath done is good in the eyes of all the people; 37 and all the people know, even all Israel, in that day, that it hath not been from the king—to put to death Abner son of Ner. 38 And the king saith unto his servants, 'Do ye not know that a prince and a great one hath fallen this day in Israel? 39 and I to-day 'am' tender, and an anointed king: and these men, sons of Zeruiah, 'are' too hard for me; Jehovah doth recompense to the doer of the evil according to his evil.'
The Assassination of Ish-bosheth
4 1 And the son of Saul heareth that Abner 'is' dead in Hebron, and his hands are feeble, and all Israel have been troubled. 2 And two men, heads of troops, have been 'to' the son of Saul, the name of the one 'is' Baanah, and the name of the second Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the sons of Benjamin, for also Beeroth is reckoned to Benjamin, 3 and the Beerothites flee to Gittaim, and are there sojourners unto this day. 4 And to Jonathan son of Saul 'is' a son—lame; he was a son of five years at the coming in of the rumour of 'the death of' Saul and Jonathan, out of Jezreel, and his nurse lifteth him up, and fleeth, and it cometh to pass in her hasting to flee, that he falleth, and becometh lame, and his name 'is' Mephibosheth. 5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, go, and come in at the heat of the day unto the house of Ish-Bosheth, and he is lying down—the lying down of noon; 6 and thither they have come, unto the midst of the house, taking wheat, and they smite him unto the fifth 'rib', and Rechab and Baanah his brother have escaped; 7 yea, they come in to the house, and he is lying on his bed, in the inner part of his bed-chamber, and they smite him, and put him to death, and turn aside his head, and they take his head, and go the way of the plain all the night, 8 and bring in the head of Ish-Bosheth unto David in Hebron, and say unto the king, 'Lo, the head of Ish-Bosheth, son of Saul, thine enemy, who sought thy life; and Jehovah doth give to my lord the king vengeance this day, of Saul and of his seed.'
9 And David answereth Rechab and Baanah his brother, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and saith to them, 'Jehovah liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, 10 when one is declaring to me, saying, Lo, Saul is dead, and he was as a bearer of tidings in his own eyes, then I take hold on him, and slay him in Ziklag, instead of my giving to him 'for' the tidings. 11 Also—when wicked men have slain the righteous man in his own house, on his bed; and now, do not I require his blood of your hand, and have taken you away from the earth?' 12 And David commandeth the young men, and they slay them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hang 'them' over the pool in Hebron, and the head of Ish-Bosheth they have taken, and bury 'it' in the burying-place of Abner in Hebron.