2 Samuel 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
3 There was a long war between the ·people who supported Saul’s family [L the house of Saul] and ·those who supported David’s family [L the house of David]. ·The supporters of David’s family [L David] became stronger and stronger, but the ·supporters of Saul’s family [L house of Saul] became weaker and weaker.
2 Sons were born to David at Hebron. The first was Amnon [13:1–22], whose mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel [1 Sam. 25:43]. 3 The second son was Kileab, whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel [1 Sam. 25:39–42]. The third son was Absalom [13:23—18:33], whose mother was Maacah daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. 4 The fourth son was Adonijah [1 Kin. 1:5–27], whose mother was Haggith. The fifth son was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital. 5 The sixth son was Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, David’s wife. These sons were born to David at Hebron.
Abner Joins David
6 During the war between the ·supporters of Saul’s family [L house of Saul] and the ·supporters of David’s family [L house of David], Abner made himself ·a main leader [strong] ·among the supporters [L in the house] of Saul.
7 Saul once had a ·slave woman [concubine; C a secondary wife of lower status than a primary wife, but higher than a common servant] named Rizpah, who was the daughter of Aiah. Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, “Why ·did you have sexual relations with [L have you gone in to] my father’s ·slave woman [concubine]?”
8 Abner was ·very angry [furious; in a rage] because of what Ish-Bosheth said, and he replied, “I have ·been loyal [shown kindness/faithful love] to [L the house of your father] Saul and his ·family [L brothers] and friends! I didn’t hand you over to David. ·I am not a traitor working for Judah! [L Am I a Judean dog/dog’s head for Judah?] But now you are ·saying I did something wrong with [finding fault with me/charging me with wrong regarding] this woman! 9 May God ·help [deal severely with] me if I don’t ·join David! I will make sure that what the Lord promised does happen [L …accomplish for David everything the Lord has promised him]! 10 I will ·take [transfer] the kingdom from the ·family [L the house] of Saul and ·make David king of [L establish the throne of David over] Israel and Judah, from Dan to Beersheba [C in the far north and south of Israel]!” 11 Ish-Bosheth ·couldn’t [dared not] say anything to Abner, because he was afraid of him.
12 Then Abner sent messengers to ask David [L on his own behalf; or at his place], “·Who is going to rule the land [L Whose land is it]? Make an ·agreement [treaty; covenant] with me, and ·I will help you unite [L my hand will be with you to bring over to you] all Israel.”
13 David answered, “Good! I will make an ·agreement [treaty; covenant] with you, but I ·ask [demand/require of] you one thing. I will not ·meet with you [L allow you to see my face/in my presence] unless you bring Saul’s daughter Michal to me [L when you come; C to strengthen his claim to the throne; 1 Sam. 18:26–29].” 14 Then David sent messengers to Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth, saying, “Give me my wife Michal. She was ·promised [engaged; betrothed] to me, ·and I killed a hundred Philistines to get her [L for one hundred Philistine foreskins].”
15 So Ish-Bosheth sent men to take Michal from her husband Paltiel son of Laish. 16 Michal’s husband went with her, crying as he followed her ·to [as far as] Bahurim. But Abner said to Paltiel, “Go back home.” So he went home.
17 Abner ·sent this message to [consulted/conferred with] the elders of Israel: “[L For some time now] You have been wanting to make David your king. 18 Now do it! The Lord said of David, ‘·Through [L By the hand of] my servant David, I will ·save [rescue; T deliver] my people Israel from the [L hand of the] Philistines and all their enemies.’”
19 Abner also said these things to the people of Benjamin. He then went to Hebron to tell David what the Benjaminites and Israel ·wanted [agreed] to do. 20 Abner came with twenty men to David at Hebron. There David prepared a ·feast [banquet] for them. 21 Abner said to David, “·I will [Let me] go and ·bring all the Israelites [L gather all Israel] to my ·master [lord] and king. Then they will make an ·agreement [treaty; covenant] with you so you will rule over all ·Israel as you wanted [L that your soul desires].” So David let Abner go, and he left in peace.
22 Just then Joab and David’s ·men [L servants] came from a ·battle [raid], bringing ·many valuable things they had taken from the enemy [L much plunder/spoil with them]. David had let Abner leave in peace, so he was not with David at Hebron. 23 When Joab and all his army arrived at Hebron, the army said to Joab, “Abner son of Ner came to King David, and David let him leave in peace.”
24 Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Abner came to you. Why did you let him go? Now he’s gone. 25 You know Abner son of Ner! He came to ·trick [deceive] you! He came to learn about [L your movements/coming and going and] everything you are doing!”
26 After Joab left David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the ·well [cistern] of Sirah. But David did not know this. 27 When Abner arrived at Hebron, Joab took him aside into ·the gateway [an inner chamber]. He acted as though he wanted to talk with Abner in private, but Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and Abner died. ·Abner had killed Joab’s brother Asahel, so Joab killed Abner to pay him back [L …on account of/to revenge the blood/killing of Asahel his brother].
28 Later when David heard the news, he said, “My kingdom and I are innocent before the Lord forever of the ·death [L blood] of Abner son of Ner. 29 ·Joab and his family are responsible for this. [L May it/the guilt fall on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house.] May his family always have someone with [running] sores or ·with a skin disease [T leprosy; C the term covers a variety of skin diseases that would render a person ritually unclean; Lev. 13–14]. May they always have someone who must lean on a crutch. May ·some of his family be killed in war [L someone always fall by the sword]. May they always have someone without food to eat.”
30 (Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon [2:18–32].)
31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people with Joab, “Tear your clothes and put on ·rough cloth [sackcloth; burlap; C a sign of mourning or distress]. ·Cry […lament; mourn] for Abner.” King David himself followed the ·body of Abner [L bier]. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and David and all the people cried at Abner’s grave.
33 King David ·sang [chanted; intoned; or composed] this ·funeral song [lament] for Abner.
“·Did [Should] Abner ·die [have died] like a fool?
Then all the people cried again for Abner. 35 They came to ·encourage [persuade] David to eat while it was still day. But he made a ·promise [vow], saying, “May God ·punish me terribly [deal severely with me] if I ·eat [taste] bread or anything else before the sun sets!”
36 All the people ·saw what happened [took note], and ·they agreed with what the king was doing [it pleased them; L it was good in their eyes], just as they ·agreed [were pleased] with everything ·he [L the king] did. 37 That day all the ·people of Judah [L people; C likely a reference to the people of Judah] and Israel understood that David ·did not order [had no part in] the killing of Abner son of Ner.
38 David said to his ·officers [L servants], “[L Don’t…?] You know that a [L prince and a] great man died today in Israel. 39 Even though I am the ·appointed [anointed] king, I ·feel empty [am weak/powerless]. These sons of Zeruiah are too ·much [strong; difficult] for me. May the Lord ·give them the punishment they should have [L repay the evildoer as his evil deserves].”
2 Samuel 3 New International Version (NIV)
3 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
2 Sons were born to David in Hebron:
His firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
3 his second, Kileab the son of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel;
the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
4 the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
5 and the sixth, Ithream the son of David’s wife Eglah.
These were born to David in Hebron.
Abner Goes Over to David
6 During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”
8 Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So he answered, “Am I a dog’s head—on Judah’s side? This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman! 9 May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath 10 and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.” 11 Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.
12 Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you.”
13 “Good,” said David. “I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.” 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”
15 So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish. 16 Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back.
17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, “For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now do it! For the Lord promised David, ‘By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’”
19 Abner also spoke to the Benjamites in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything that Israel and the whole tribe of Benjamin wanted to do. 20 When Abner, who had twenty men with him, came to David at Hebron, David prepared a feast for him and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, “Let me go at once and assemble all Israel for my lord the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
Joab Murders Abner
22 Just then David’s men and Joab returned from a raid and brought with them a great deal of plunder. But Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived, he was told that Abner son of Ner had come to the king and that the king had sent him away and that he had gone in peace.
24 So Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you. Why did you let him go? Now he is gone! 25 You know Abner son of Ner; he came to deceive you and observe your movements and find out everything you are doing.”
26 Joab then left David and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern at Sirah. But David did not know it. 27 Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into an inner chamber, as if to speak with him privately. And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and he died.
28 Later, when David heard about this, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy[a] or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”
30 (Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.)
31 Then David said to Joab and all the people with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and walk in mourning in front of Abner.” King David himself walked behind the bier. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept also.
33 The king sang this lament for Abner:
“Should Abner have died as the lawless die?
And all the people wept over him again.
35 Then they all came and urged David to eat something while it was still day; but David took an oath, saying, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets!”
36 All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them. 37 So on that day all the people there and all Israel knew that the king had no part in the murder of Abner son of Ner.
38 Then the king said to his men, “Do you not realize that a commander and a great man has fallen in Israel this day? 39 And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!”