17 The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated(A) by David’s men.(B)

18 The three sons of Zeruiah(C) were there: Joab,(D) Abishai(E) and Asahel.(F) Now Asahel was as fleet-footed as a wild gazelle.(G) 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?”(H)

23 But Asahel refused to give up the pursuit; so Abner thrust the butt of his spear into Asahel’s stomach,(I) 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.(J)

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