2 Samuel 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
David Is Anointed King. 1 After this, David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?” The Lord replied to him: Go up. Then David asked, “Where shall I go?” He replied: To Hebron. 2 So David went up there, with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the wife of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David also brought up his men with their families, and they dwelt in the towns of Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came there and anointed David king over the house of Judah.
A report reached David that the people of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul. 5 So David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead and said to them: “May you be blessed by the Lord for having done this kindness to your lord Saul in burying him. 6 And now may the Lord show you kindness and fidelity. For my part, I will show generosity to you for having done this. 7 So take courage and prove yourselves valiant, for though your lord Saul is dead, the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
IV. The Reign of David
Ishbaal King of Israel. 8 Abner, son of Ner, captain of Saul’s army, took Ishbaal,[a] son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim, 9 where he made him king over Gilead, the Asherites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and the rest of Israel. 10 Ishbaal, son of Saul, was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years; but the house of Judah followed David. 11 In all, David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah seven years and six months.
Combat near Gibeon. 12 Now Abner, son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbaal, Saul’s son, set out from Mahanaim for Gibeon. 13 Joab, son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David also set out and encountered them at the pool of Gibeon. And they sat down, one group on one side of the pool and the other on the opposite side. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men rise and perform for us.”[b] Joab replied, “All right.” 15 So they rose and were counted off: twelve of the Benjaminites of Ishbaal, son of Saul, and twelve of David’s servants. 16 Then each one grasped his opponent’s head and thrust his sword into his opponent’s side, and they all fell down together.[c] And so that place was named the Field of the Sides; it is in Gibeon.
Death of Asahel. 17 The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by David’s servants. 18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there—Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel, who was as fleet of foot as a gazelle in the open field, 19 set out after Abner, turning neither right nor left in his pursuit. 20 Abner turned around and said, “Is that you, Asahel?” He replied, “Yes.” 21 Abner said to him, “Turn right or left; seize one of the young men and take what you can strip from him.” But Asahel would not stop pursuing him. 22 Once more Abner said to Asahel: “Stop pursuing me! Why must I strike you to the ground? How could I show my face to your brother Joab?” 23 Still he refused to stop. So Abner struck him in the abdomen with the heel of his spear, and the weapon protruded from his back. He fell there and died on the spot. All who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, halted. 24 But Joab and Abishai continued the pursuit of Abner. The sun had gone down when they came to the hill of Ammah which lies east of the valley toward the wilderness near Geba.
Truce Between Joab and Abner. 25 Here the Benjaminites rallied around Abner, forming a single group, and made a stand on a hilltop. 26 Then Abner called to Joab and said: “Must the sword devour forever? Do you not know that afterward there will be bitterness? How long before you tell the people to stop pursuing their brothers?” 27 Joab replied, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, it would be morning before the people would be stopped from pursuing their brothers.” 28 Joab then sounded the horn, and all the people came to a halt, pursuing Israel no farther and fighting no more. 29 Abner and his men marched all night long through the Arabah, crossed the Jordan, marched all through the morning, and came to Mahanaim. 30 Joab, coming from the pursuit of Abner, assembled all the men. Nineteen other servants of David were missing, besides Asahel. 31 But David’s servants had struck down and killed three hundred and sixty men of Benjamin, followers of Abner. 32 They took up Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb in Bethlehem. Joab and his men made an all-night march, and dawn found them in Hebron.
2 Samuel 2 New International Version (NIV)
David Anointed King Over Judah
2 In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.
The Lord said, “Go up.”
David asked, “Where shall I go?”
“To Hebron,” the Lord answered.
2 So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.
When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul, 5 he sent messengers to them to say to them, “The Lord bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. 6 May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. 7 Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them.”
War Between the Houses of David and Saul
8 Meanwhile, Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-Bosheth son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9 He made him king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel, and also over Ephraim, Benjamin and all Israel.
10 Ish-Bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years. The tribe of Judah, however, remained loyal to David. 11 The length of time David was king in Hebron over Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Abner son of Ner, together with the men of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. 13 Joab son of Zeruiah and David’s men went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat down on one side of the pool and one group on the other side.
14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us.”
“All right, let them do it,” Joab said.
15 So they stood up and were counted off—twelve men for Benjamin and Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve for David. 16 Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his dagger into his opponent’s side, and they fell down together. So that place in Gibeon was called Helkath Hazzurim.[a]
17 The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David’s men.
18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Now Asahel was as fleet-footed as a wild gazelle. 19 He chased Abner, turning neither to the right nor to the left as he pursued him. 20 Abner looked behind him and asked, “Is that you, Asahel?”
“It is,” he answered.
21 Then Abner said to him, “Turn aside to the right or to the left; take on one of the young men and strip him of his weapons.” But Asahel would not stop chasing him.
22 Again Abner warned Asahel, “Stop chasing me! Why should I strike you down? How could I look your brother Joab in the face?”
23 But Asahel refused to give up the pursuit; so Abner thrust the butt of his spear into Asahel’s stomach, and the spear came out through his back. He fell there and died on the spot. And every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and as the sun was setting, they came to the hill of Ammah, near Giah on the way to the wasteland of Gibeon. 25 Then the men of Benjamin rallied behind Abner. They formed themselves into a group and took their stand on top of a hill.
26 Abner called out to Joab, “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their fellow Israelites?”
27 Joab answered, “As surely as God lives, if you had not spoken, the men would have continued pursuing them until morning.”
28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the troops came to a halt; they no longer pursued Israel, nor did they fight anymore.
29 All that night Abner and his men marched through the Arabah. They crossed the Jordan, continued through the morning hours[b] and came to Mahanaim.
30 Then Joab stopped pursuing Abner and assembled the whole army. Besides Asahel, nineteen of David’s men were found missing. 31 But David’s men had killed three hundred and sixty Benjamites who were with Abner. 32 They took Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night and arrived at Hebron by daybreak.