2 Samuel 2International Children’s Bible (ICB)
David Is Made King of Judah
2 Later, David prayed to the Lord. David said, “Should I go up to any of the cities of Judah?”
The Lord said to David, “Go.”
David asked, “Where should I go?”
The Lord answered, “To Hebron.”
2 So David went up to Hebron with his two wives. One was Ahinoam from Jezreel. The other was Abigail, the widow of Nabal in Carmel. 3 David also brought his men and their families. They all made their homes in the cities of Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron. They appointed David king over Judah.
They told David that the men of Jabesh Gilead had buried Saul. 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead. They told David’s message to the men in Jabesh: “The Lord bless you. You have shown kindness to your master Saul by burying him. 6 May the Lord now be kind and true to you. I will also be kind to you because you have done this. 7 Now be strong and brave. Saul your master is dead. The people of Judah have appointed me their king.”
War Between Judah and Israel
8 Now Abner son of Ner was the commander of Saul’s army. Abner took Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth to Mahanaim. 9 There Abner made him king of Gilead, Ashuri, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin and all Israel. 10 Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth was 40 years old when he became king over Israel. He ruled two years. But the people of Judah followed David. 11 David was king in Hebron for seven years and six months.
12 Abner son of Ner and the servants of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul left Mahanaim. They went to Gibeon. 13 Joab son of Zeruiah and David’s men also went there. They 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 side.
14 Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have the young men get up and have a contest here.”
Joab said, “Yes, let them have a contest.”
15 Then the young men got up. The two groups counted their men for the contest. Twelve men were chosen from the people of Benjamin for Ish-Bosheth son of Saul. Twelve men were chosen from David’s men. 16 Each man grabbed his enemy’s head. Then he stabbed his enemy’s side with a knife. And the men fell down together. So that place in Gibeon is called The Field of the Sharp Knives. 17 That day the contest became a terrible battle. And David’s men 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. He was as fast as a deer in the field. 19 Asahel chased Abner, going straight toward him. 20 Abner looked back and asked, “Are you Asahel?”
Asahel said, “Yes, I am.”
21 Then Abner said to Asahel, “Turn to your right or left. Catch one of the young men and take his armor.” But Asahel refused to stop chasing him.
22 Abner again said to Asahel, “Stop chasing me! If you don’t stop, I’ll have to kill you! Then I won’t be able to face your brother Joab again!”
23 But Asahel refused to stop chasing Abner. So Abner used the back end of his spear. He stabbed it into Asahel’s stomach, and the spear came out of his back. Asahel died right there. Everyone stopped when they came to the place where Asahel’s body lay.
24 But Joab and Abishai continued chasing Abner. The sun was going down when they arrived at the hill of Ammah. This is near Giah on the way to the empty land near Gibeon. 25 The men of Benjamin came to Abner. They all stood together at the top of the hill.
26 Abner shouted to Joab, “Must the sword kill forever? Surely you must know this will only end in sadness! Tell the people to stop chasing their own brothers!”
27 Then Joab said, “If you had not said anything, the people would have chased their brothers until morning. This is as sure as God is alive.” 28 Then Joab blew a trumpet, and his people stopped chasing the Israelites. They did not try to fight them anymore.
29 Abner and his men marched all night through the Jordan Valley. They crossed the Jordan River. After marching all day, they arrived at Mahanaim.
30 Joab came back after he had stopped chasing Abner. Then Joab gathered the people together. Asahel and 19 of David’s men were missing. 31 But David’s men had killed 360 Benjaminites who had followed Abner. 32 David’s men took Asahel and buried him. They put him in the tomb of his father at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night. The sun came up as they reached Hebron.
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