2 Samuel 3
1 And the fighting between the house of Sha'ul and the house of Dawid was long drawn out. But Dawid grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Sha'ul grew weaker and weaker.
2 And sons were born to Dawid in Hebron. And his first-born was Amnon by Ahino'am the Yizre'elitess;
3 and his second, Kil'ab, by Abigayil the widow of Nabal the Karmelite; and the third, Abshalom son of Ma'akah, the daughter of Talmai, sovereign of Geshur;
4 and the fourth, Adoniyah son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatyah son of Abital;
5 and the sixth, Yithre'am, by Dawid's wife Eglah. These were born to Dawid in Hebron.
6 And it came to be, while there was fighting between the house of Sha`ul and the house of Dawid, that Abner was strengthening himself in the house of Sha`ul.
7 And Sha'ul had a concubine, whose name was Ritspah, daughter of Ayah. And Ishbosheth said to Abner, 'Why have you gone in to my father's concubine?'
8 And Abner was very displeased at the words of Ishbosheth, and said, 'Am I a dog's head that belongs to Yehudah, that I show kindness to the house of Sha'ul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends today, and have not let you fall into the hand of Dawid, that you charge me today with a sin concerning this woman?
9 'Elohim does so to Abner, and more also, if I do not do for Dawid as YHWH has sworn to him:
10 to cause the reign to pass over from the house of Sha'ul, and to raise up the throne of Dawid over Yisra'el and over Yehudah, from Dan to Be'ersheba.'
11 And he was unable to answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
12 And Abner sent messengers on his behalf to Dawid, saying, 'Whose is the land?' saying also, 'Make your covenant with me, and see, my hand is with you to bring all Yisra'el to you.'
13 And Dawid said, 'Good, I make a covenant with you. Only one matter I am asking of you: you do not see my face unless you first bring Mikal, daughter of Sha'ul, when you come to see my face.'
14 Dawid then sent messengers to Ishbosheth son of Sha'ul, saying, 'Give me my wife Mikal, to whom I became engaged for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.'
15 And Ishbosheth sent and took her from her husband, from Palti'el son of Layish.
16 But her husband went with her to Bahurim, going on and weeping behind her. And Abner said to him, 'Go, turn back!' And he turned back.
17 And Abner had a word with the elders of Yisra'el, saying, 'In time past you were seeking for Dawid to be sovereign over you.
18 'And now, do it! For YHWH has spoken of Dawid, saying, 'By the hand of My servant Dawid, I save My people Yisra'el from the hand of the Philistines and the hand of all their enemies.''
19 And Abner also spoke in the hearing of Binyamin. And Abner also went to speak in the hearing of Dawid in Hebron all that seemed good to Yisra'el and all the house of Binyamin.
20 And Abner and twenty men with him came to Dawid at Hebron. And Dawid made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him.
21 And Abner said to Dawid, 'Let me arise and go, and gather all Yisra'el to my master the sovereign, and let them make a covenant with you, and you shall reign over all that your being desires.' And Dawid sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
22 And see, the servants of Dawid and Yo`ab came from a raid and brought much spoil with them. But Abner was not with Dawid in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace.
23 And Yo'ab and all the army that was with him came, and they reported to Yo'ab, saying, 'Abner son of Ner came to the sovereign, and he sent him away, and he has gone in peace.'
24 And Yo'ab went to the sovereign and said, 'What have you done? See, Abner has come to you! Why is it that you sent him away, and he has already gone?
25 'You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you, to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.'
26 Yo'ab then left Dawid, and he sent messengers after Abner, who brought him back from the well of Sirah. But Dawid did not know it.
27 Thus Abner returned to Hebron, and Yo'ab took him aside in the gate to speak with him privately, and there struck him in the stomach, so that he died for the blood of Asah'el his brother.
28 And when Dawid heard it afterwards, he said, 'My reign and I are guiltless before YHWH forever of the blood of Abner son of Ner.
29 'Let it rest on the head of Yo'ab and on all his father's house. And let there never fail to be in the house of Yo'ab one who has a discharge or is a leper, who leans on a staff or falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.'
30 So Yo'ab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had killed their brother Asah'el at Gib'on in the battle.
31 And Dawid said to Yo'ab and to all the people who were with him, 'Tear your garments, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Abner.' And Sovereign Dawid followed the coffin.
32 And they buried Abner in Hebron. And the sovereign lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept.
33 And the sovereign sang a lament over Abner and said, 'Should Abner die as a fool dies?
34 'Your hands were not bound nor your feet put into shackles. As one falls before sons of evil, so you fell.' And all the people wept over him again.
35 And all the people came to cause Dawid to eat food while it was still day, but Dawid swore, saying, 'Elohim do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or whatever else till the sun goes down!'
36 And all the people took note of it, and it was good in their eyes, since whatever the sovereign did was good in the eyes of all the people.
37 And all the people and all Yisra'el knew that day that it had not been the sovereign's intent to kill Abner son of Ner.
38 The sovereign also said to his servants, 'Do you not know that a prince and a great one has fallen in Yisra'el today?
39 'And I am weak today, though anointed sovereign. And these men, the sons of Tseruyah, are too harsh for me. Let YHWH repay the evil-doer according to his evil.'