2 Samuel 2 Expanded Bible (EXB)
David Is Made King of Judah
2 Later, David ·prayed to [consulted; inquired of] the Lord, saying, “Should I ·go up [move back; return] to any of the ·cities [or towns] of Judah?”
The Lord said to David, “·Go [Move back; Return].”
David asked, “·Where [To which town] should I go?”
The Lord answered, “To Hebron [C in the heartland of Judah, David’s tribe].”
2 So David went up to Hebron with his two wives: Ahinoam from Jezreel [1 Sam. 25:43] and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel [1 Sam. 25:39–42]. 3 David also brought his men and their ·families [households], and they all ·made their homes in the cities of [settled in the villages near] Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron and ·appointed [anointed] David king over [the people/house of] Judah.
They told David that the men of Jabesh Gilead had buried Saul [1 Sam. 31:11–13]. 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead and said to them, “The Lord bless you. You have shown ·loyalty [kindness; faithful love] to your master Saul by burying him. 6 May the Lord now ·be loyal [show kindness/faithful love] and ·true [faithfulness] to you. I will also ·treat you well [show this goodness to you; reward you] because you have done this. 7 Now ·be [L let your hands be] strong and ·brave [valiant]. Saul your ·master [lord] is dead, and the ·people [L house] of Judah have appointed me their king.”
War Between Judah and Israel
8 Abner son of Ner was the commander of Saul’s army [1 Sam. 14:50–51; 17:55–57; 26:14–15]. Abner took Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth [C “man of shame”] to Mahanaim 9 and ·made [proclaimed] him king of Gilead, Ashuri, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and all Israel. 10 Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he ·ruled [reigned] two years. But the ·people [L house] of Judah followed David. 11 David was king in Hebron for seven years and six months.
12 Abner son of Ner and the ·servants [soldiers; men] of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. 13 Joab son of Zeruiah [C David’s general] and David’s men also went there and met Abner and Ish-Bosheth’s men at the pool of Gibeon. Abner’s group sat on one side of the pool; Joab’s group sat on the other.
14 Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men ·have a contest [perform; sport; L play] ·here [before us].”
Joab said, “Yes, let them ·have a contest [L come forward].”
15 Then the men got up and were counted—twelve from the people of Benjamin for Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve from David’s men. 16 Each man grabbed the one opposite him by the ·head [hair] and stabbed him in the side with a ·knife [dagger; sword]. So the men fell down together. For that reason, that place in Gibeon is called the Field of ·Knives [Daggers; Swords; or Sides]. 17 That day there was a ·terrible [fierce] battle, and David’s ·men [L servants] defeated Abner and the Israelites.
Abner Kills Asahel
18 Zeruiah’s three sons, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel, were there. Now Asahel was ·a fast runner, as fast as a deer [L as fleet-footed as a gazelle] in the field. 19 Asahel chased Abner, ·going straight toward him [L turning neither to the right or left]. 20 Abner looked back and asked, “Is that you, Asahel?”
Asahel said, “Yes, it is.”
21 Then Abner said to Asahel, “·Turn to your right or left [Go elsewhere] and catch one of the young men and ·take his armor [strip him of his weapons; L take his spoil].” But Asahel refused to ·stop [L turn away from] chasing him.
22 Abner again said to Asahel, “·Stop chasing me [L Turn another way]! ·If you don’t stop, I’ll have to kill you! [L Why should I strike you down?] Then ·I won’t be able to [L how could I…?] face your brother Joab again!”
23 But Asahel refused to ·stop chasing Abner [L turn aside/back]. So using the ·back [butt] end of his spear, Abner ·stabbed [struck] Asahel in the stomach, and the spear came out of his back. Asahel [L fell/stumbled and] died right there, and everyone ·stopped [stood still] when they came to the place where Asahel’s body lay.
24 But Joab and Abishai ·continued chasing [took up the pursuit of] Abner. As the sun was going down, they arrived at the hill of Ammah, ·near [in front of] Giah on the way to the ·desert [wilderness] near Gibeon. 25 The men of Benjamin [C part of Abner’s troops] came to Abner, and ·all stood together [regrouped; reunited] at the top of the hill.
26 Abner shouted to Joab, “Must the sword ·kill [L devour] forever? Surely you must know this will only end in ·sadness [bitterness]! ·Tell [L How long before you tell…?] the people to stop chasing their own brothers!”
27 Then Joab said, “As surely as God lives, if you had not said anything, the people would have chased their brothers until morning.” 28 Then Joab blew a ·trumpet [ram’s horn], and his people stopped chasing ·the Israelites [L Israel]. They did not fight them anymore.
29 Abner and his men marched all night through the ·Jordan Valley [Arabah]. They crossed the Jordan River, and after marching all ·day [morning], arrived at Mahanaim.
30 After he had stopped chasing Abner, Joab came back and gathered the people together. Asahel and nineteen of David’s ·men [soldiers; L servants] were missing. 31 But David’s ·men [L servants] had ·killed [L struck] three hundred sixty Benjaminites who had followed Abner. 32 David’s men took Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night. ·The sun came up as [At daybreak] they reached Hebron.