David Learns of Saul's Death
11 Now after the death of Saul, when David, having come back from the destruction of the Amalekites, had been in Ziklag for two days; 2 On the third day a man came from Saul's tents, with his clothing out of order and earth on his head: and when he came to David, he went down on the earth and gave him honour. 3 And David said to him, Where have you come from? And he said, I have come in flight from the tents of Israel. 4 And David said to him, How did things go? Give me the news. And in answer he said, The people have gone in flight from the fight, and a great number of them are dead; and Saul and his son Jonathan are dead. 5 And David said to the young man who gave him the news, Why are you certain that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead? 6 And the young man said, I came by chance to Mount Gilboa, and I saw Saul supporting himself on his spear; and the war-carriages and horsemen overtook him. 7 And looking back, he saw me and gave a cry to me. And answering him I said, Here am I. 8 And he said to me, Who are you? And I said, I am an Amalekite. 9 Then he said to me, Come here to my side, and put me to death, for the pain of death has me in its grip but my life is still strong in me. 10 So I put my foot on him and gave him his death-blow, because I was certain that he would not go on living after his fall: and I took the crown from his head and the band from his arm, and I have them here for my lord.
11 Then David gave way to bitter grief, and so did all the men who were with him: 12 And till evening they gave themselves to sorrow and weeping, and took no food, weeping for Saul and for Jonathan, his son, and for the people of the Lord and for the men of Israel; because they had come to their end by the sword. 13 And David said to the young man who had given him the news, Where do you come from? And he said, I am the son of a man from a strange land; I am an Amalekite. 14 And David said to him, Had you no fear of stretching out your hand to put to death the one marked with the holy oil? 15 And David sent for one of his young men and said, Go near and put an end to him. And he put him to death. 16 And David said to him, May your blood be on your head; for your mouth has given witness against you, saying, I have put to death the man marked with the holy oil.
David's Lament over Saul and Jonathan
17 Then David made this song of grief for Saul and Jonathan, his son: 18 (It is recorded in the book of Jashar for teaching to the sons of Judah) and he said: 19 The glory, O Israel, is dead on your high places! How have the great ones been made low! 20 Give no news of it in Gath, let it not be said in the streets of Ashkelon; or the daughters of the Philistines will be glad, the daughters of men without circumcision will be uplifted in joy. 21 O mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain on you, you fields of death: for there the arms of the strong have been shamed, the arms of Saul, as if he had not been marked with the holy oil. 22 From the blood of the dead, from the fat of the strong, the bow of Jonathan was not turned back, the sword of Saul did not come back unused. 23 Saul and Jonathan were loved and pleasing; in their lives and in their death they were not parted; they went more quickly than eagles, they were stronger than lions. 24 O daughters of Israel, have sorrow for Saul, by whom you were delicately clothed in robes of red, with ornaments of gold on your dresses. 25 How have the great ones been made low in the fight! Jonathan is dead on your high places. 26 I am full of grief for you, my brother Jonathan: very dear have you been to me: your love for me was a wonder, greater than the love of women. 27 How have the great ones been made low, and the arms of war broken!
David Made King over Judah
21 Now after this, David, questioning the Lord, said, Am I to go up into any of the towns of Judah? And the Lord said to him, Go up. And David said, Where am I to go? And he said, To Hebron. 2 So David went there, taking with him his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail, the wife of Nabal of Carmel. 3 And David took all his men with him, every man with his family: and they were living in the towns round Hebron. 4 And the men of Judah came there, and with the holy oil made David king over the people of Judah. And word came to David that it was the men of Jabesh-gilead who put Saul's body in its last resting-place. 5 And David sent to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, May the Lord give you his blessing, because you have done this kind act to Saul your lord, and have put his body to rest! 6 May the Lord be good and true to you: and I myself will see that your kind act is rewarded, because you have done this thing. 7 Then let your hands be strong, and have no fear: though Saul your lord is dead, the people of Judah have made me their king.
David Fights against the Forces of Saul
8 Now Abner, the son of Ner, captain of Saul's army, had taken Saul's son Ish-bosheth over to Mahanaim, 9 And made him king over Gilead and the Asherites and over Jezreel and Ephraim and Benjamin, that is, over all Israel. 10 (Saul's son Ish-bosheth was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he was ruler for two years.) But Judah was on the side of David. 11 And the time when David was king in Hebron over the people of Judah was seven years and six months. 12 And Abner, the son of Ner, with the servants of Saul's son Ish-bosheth, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out and came face to face with them by the pool of Gibeon; and they took up their position, facing one another on opposite sides of the pool. 14 And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men give a test of their strength before us. And Joab said, Let them do so. 15 So they got up and went over by number: twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And every one got the other by the head, driving his sword into the other's side, so they all went down together: and that place was named the Field of Sides, and it is in Gibeon. 17 And there was hard fighting that day; and Abner and the men of Israel gave way before the servants of David.
18 There were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab and Abishai and Asahel: and Asahel was as quick-footed as a roe of the fields. 19 Asahel went running after Abner, not turning to the right or to the left. 20 Then Abner, looking back, said, Is it you, Asahel? And he said, It is I. 21 And Abner said, Then go to the right or to the left and put your hands on one of the fighting-men and take his arms. But Asahel would not be turned away from going after Abner. 22 Then again Abner said to Asahel, Go to one side, do not keep on coming after me: why will you make me put an end to you? for then I will be shamed before your brother Joab. 23 But still he did not go to one side: so Abner gave him a back blow in the stomach with his spear, so that the spear came out at his back; and he went down on the earth, wounded to death: and all those who came to the place where Asahel went down dead, came to a stop. 24 But Joab and Abishai went after Abner: and the sun went down when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is to the east of the road through the waste land of Geba.
25 And the men of Benjamin came together after Abner in one band, and took their places on the top of a hill. 26 Then crying out to Joab, Abner said, Are fighting and destruction to go on for ever? do you not see that the end will only be bitter? how long will it be before you send the people back and make them give up attacking their countrymen? 27 And Joab said, By the living God, if you had not given the word, the people would have gone on attacking their countrymen till the morning. 28 So Joab had a horn sounded, and all the people came to a stop, and gave up going after Israel and fighting them. 29 And all that night Abner and his men went through the Arabah; they went over Jordan and through all Bithron and came to Mahanaim. 30 And Joab came back from fighting Abner: and when he had got all his men together, it was seen that nineteen of David's men, in addition to Asahel, were not with them. 31 But David's men had put to death three hundred and sixty of the men of Benjamin and of Abner's men 32 And they took Asahel's body and put it in the last resting-place of his father in Beth-lehem. And Joab and his men, travelling all night, came to Hebron at dawn.