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David Mourns for Saul and Jonathan

After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag.(A) On the third day, a man came from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did obeisance.(B) David said to him, “Where have you come from?” He said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” David said to him, “How did things go? Tell me!” He answered, “The army fled from the battle, but also many of the army fell and died, and Saul and his son Jonathan also died.” Then David asked the young man who was reporting to him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan died?” The young man reporting to him said, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen drew close to him.(C) When he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. I answered, ‘Here, sir.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’(D) He said to me, ‘Come, stand over me and kill me, for convulsions have seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ 10 So I stood over him and killed him, for I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”(E)

11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and all the men who were with him did the same.(F) 12 They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for his son Jonathan and for the army of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had been struck down[a] by the sword.(G) 13 David said to the young man who had reported to him, “Where do you come from?” He answered, “I am the son of a resident alien, an Amalekite.”(H) 14 David said to him, “Were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”(I) 15 Then David called one of the young men and said, “Come here and strike him down.” So he struck him down, and he died.(J) 16 David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’ ”(K)

17 David intoned this lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan.(L) 18 (He ordered that The Song of the Bow[b] be taught to the people of Judah; it is written in the Book of Jashar.) He said,(M)

19 “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places!
    How the mighty have fallen!(N)
20 Tell it not in Gath;
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice;
    the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult.(O)

21 You mountains of Gilboa,
    let there be no dew or rain upon you
    nor bounteous fields![c]
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
    the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more.(P)

22 From the blood of the slain,
    from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
    nor the sword of Saul return empty.(Q)

23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
    In life and in death they were not divided;
they were swifter than eagles;
    they were stronger than lions.(R)

24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
    who clothed you with crimson, in luxury,
    who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

25 How the mighty have fallen
    in the midst of the battle!

Jonathan lies slain upon your high places.(S)
26     I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
greatly beloved were you to me;
    your love to me was wonderful,
    passing the love of women.(T)

27 How the mighty have fallen,
    and the weapons of war perished!”(U)

David Anointed King of Judah

After this David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” The Lord said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” He said, “To Hebron.”(V) So David went up there, along with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.(W) David brought up the men who were with him, every one with his household, and they settled in the towns of Hebron.(X) Then the people of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

When they told David, “It was the people of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,”(Y) David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him!(Z) Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you! And I, too, will reward you because you have done this thing. Therefore let your hands be strong and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

Ishbaal King of Israel

But Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ishbaal[d] son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. He made him king over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and all Israel.(AA) 10 Ishbaal,[e] Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.(AB)

The Battle of Gibeon

12 Abner son of Ner and the servants of Ishbaal[f] son of Saul went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.(AC) 13 Joab son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat on one side of the pool, while the other sat on the other side of the pool.(AD) 14 Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men come forward and have a contest before us.” Joab said, “Let them come forward.” 15 So they came forward and were counted as they passed by, twelve for Benjamin and Ishbaal[g] son of Saul and twelve of the servants of David. 16 Each grasped his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side, so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim,[h] which is at Gibeon. 17 The battle was very fierce that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten by the servants of David.(AE)

18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as swift of foot as a wild gazelle.(AF) 19 Asahel pursued Abner, turning neither to the right nor to the left as he followed him. 20 Then Abner looked back and said, “Is it you, Asahel?” He answered, “Yes, it is.” 21 Abner said to him, “Turn to your right or to your left, and seize one of the young men, and take his spoil.” But Asahel would not turn away from following him. 22 Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn away from following me; why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I show my face to your brother Joab?”(AG) 23 But he refused to turn away. So Abner struck him in the stomach with the butt of his spear, so that the spear came out at his back. He fell there and died where he lay. And all those who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died stood still.(AH)

24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. As the sun was going down they came to the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon.(AI) 25 The Benjaminites rallied around Abner and formed a single band; they took their stand on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, “Is the sword to keep devouring forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you order your people to turn from the pursuit of their kinsmen?” 27 Joab said, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, the people would have continued to pursue their kinsmen, not stopping until morning.”(AJ) 28 Joab sounded the trumpet, and all the people stopped; they no longer pursued Israel or engaged in battle any further.

29 Abner and his men traveled all that night through the Arabah; they crossed the Jordan, and, marching the whole forenoon,[i] they came to Mahanaim.(AK) 30 Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner, and when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of David’s servants nineteen men besides Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had killed of Benjamin three hundred sixty of Abner’s men. 32 They took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.

Abner Defects to David

There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.

Sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel;(AL) his second was Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third was Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur;(AM) the fourth was Adonijah son of Haggith; the fifth was Shephatiah son of Abital;(AN) and the sixth was Ithream, of David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.

While there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul. Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ishbaal[j] said to Abner, “Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?”(AO) The words of Ishbaal[k] made Abner very angry; he said, “Am I a dog’s head for Judah? Today I keep showing loyalty to the house of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends and have not given you into the hand of David, yet you charge me now with a crime concerning this woman.(AP) So may God do to Abner and so may he add to it! For just what the Lord has sworn to David, that will I accomplish for him:(AQ) 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beer-sheba.”(AR) 11 And Ishbaal[l] could not answer Abner another word because he feared him.

12 Abner sent messengers to David where he was,[m] saying, “To whom does the land belong? Make your covenant with me, and I will give you my support to bring all Israel over to you.” 13 He said, “Good; I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you: you shall never appear in my presence unless you bring Saul’s daughter Michal when you come to see me.”(AS) 14 Then David sent messengers to Saul’s son Ishbaal,[n] saying, “Give me my wife Michal, to whom I became engaged at the price of one hundred foreskins of the Philistines.”(AT) 15 Ishbaal[o] sent and took her from her husband Paltiel the son of Laish.(AU) 16 But her husband went with her, weeping as he walked behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back.(AV)

17 Abner sent word to the elders of Israel, saying, “For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you. 18 Now then bring it about, for the Lord has promised David: Through my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from all their enemies.”(AW) 19 Abner also spoke directly to the Benjaminites; then Abner went to tell David at Hebron all that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin were ready to do.(AX)

20 When Abner came with twenty men to David at Hebron, David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him. 21 Abner said to David, “Let me go and rally all Israel to my lord the king, in order that they may make a covenant with you and that you may reign over all that your heart desires.” So David dismissed Abner, and he went away in peace.(AY)

Abner Is Killed by Joab

22 Just then the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid, bringing much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David at Hebron, for David[p] had dismissed him, and he had gone away in peace.(AZ) 23 When Joab and all the army that was with him came, it was told to Joab, “Abner son of Ner came to the king, and he has dismissed him, and he has gone away in peace.” 24 Then Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Abner came to you; why did you dismiss him, so that he got away? 25 You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you and to learn your comings and goings and to learn all that you are doing.”(BA)

26 When Joab came out from David’s presence, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah, but David did not know about it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gateway to speak with him privately, and there he stabbed him in the stomach. So he died on account of the blood of Asahel, Joab’s[q] brother.(BB) 28 Afterward, when David heard of it, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the Lord for the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May the bloodguilt fall on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house, and may the house of Joab never be without one who has a discharge, or who has a defiling skin disease, or who holds a spindle, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks food!”(BC) 30 So Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.(BD)

31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner.” And King David followed the bier.(BE) 32 They buried Abner at Hebron. The king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33 The king lamented for Abner, saying,

“Should Abner die as a fool dies?(BF)
34 Your hands were not bound;
    your feet were not fettered;
as one falls before the wicked
    you have fallen.”

And all the people wept over him again. 35 Then all the people came to persuade David to eat something while it was still day, but David swore, saying, “So may God do to me and more, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down!”(BG) 36 All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them, just as everything the king did pleased all the people. 37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that the king had no part in the killing of Abner son of Ner. 38 And the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39 Today I am powerless, even though anointed king; these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too violent for me. The Lord pay back the one who does wickedly in accordance with his wickedness!”(BH)

Ishbaal Assassinated

When Saul’s son Ishbaal[r] heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed.(BI) Saul’s son had two captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other was Rechab. They were sons of Rimmon, a Benjaminite from Beeroth, for Beeroth is considered to belong to Benjamin.(BJ) (Now the people of Beeroth had fled to Gittaim and are there as resident aliens to this day.)(BK)

Saul’s son Jonathan had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, and in her haste to flee it happened that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.(BL)

Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ishbaal[s] while he was taking his noonday rest.(BM) They came inside the house as though to take wheat,[t] and they struck him in the stomach; then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped.(BN) Now they had come into the house while he was lying on his couch in his bedchamber; they attacked him, killed him, and beheaded him. Then they took his head and traveled by way of the Arabah all night long. They brought the head of Ishbaal[u] to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ishbaal[v] son of Saul, your enemy who sought your life; the Lord has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.”(BO)

David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity,(BP) 10 when the one who told me, ‘See, Saul is dead,’ thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag—this was the reward I gave him for his news.(BQ) 11 How much more, then, when wicked men have killed a righteous man on his bed in his own house! And now shall I not require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?”(BR) 12 So David commanded the young men, and they killed them; they cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies beside the pool at Hebron. But the head of Ishbaal[w] they took and buried in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.(BS)

David Anointed King of All Israel

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Look, we are your bone and flesh.(BT) For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The Lord said to you, ‘It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.’ ”(BU) So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.(BV) David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.(BW) At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.(BX)

Jerusalem Made Capital of the United Kingdom

The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here; even the blind and the lame will turn you back,” thinking, “David cannot come in here.”(BY) Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, which is now the city of David. David had said on that day, “Whoever would strike down the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind, those whom David hates.”[x] Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.”(BZ) David occupied the stronghold and named it the city of David. David built the city all around from the Millo inward.(CA) 10 And David became greater and greater, for the Lord of hosts[y] was with him.(CB)

11 King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar trees and carpenters and masons who built David a house.(CC) 12 David then perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

13 In Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, David took more concubines and wives, and more sons and daughters were born to David.(CD) 14 These are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon,(CE) 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

Philistine Attack Repulsed

17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold.(CF) 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the valley of Rephaim.(CG) 19 David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” The Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.”(CH) 20 So David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. He said, “The Lord has burst forth against my enemies before me like a bursting flood.” Therefore that place is called Baal-perazim.[z](CI) 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.(CJ)

22 Once again the Philistines came up and were spread out in the valley of Rephaim.(CK) 23 When David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear and come upon them opposite the balsam trees.(CL) 24 When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then be on the alert, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.”(CM) 25 David did just as the Lord had commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer.(CN)

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim.(CO) They carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio,[aa] the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart(CP) with the ark of God,[ab] and Ahio[ac] went in front of the ark.(CQ) David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the Lord with all their might, with songs[ad] and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.(CR)

When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen lurched.(CS) The anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him there,[ae] and he died there beside the ark of God.(CT) David was angry because the Lord had burst forth with an outburst upon Uzzah, so that place is called Perez-uzzah[af] to this day. David was afraid of the Lord that day; he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come into my care?” 10 So David was unwilling to take the ark of the Lord into his care in the city of David; instead, David took it to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.(CU) 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.(CV)

12 It was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing,(CW) 13 and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatted calf. 14 David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod.(CX) 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.(CY)

16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.(CZ)

17 They brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord.(DA) 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts(DB) 19 and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat,[ag] and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.

20 David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!”(DC) 21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me in place of your father and all his household, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—I will dance before the Lord.(DD) 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be humbled in my own eyes, but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

God’s Covenant with David

Now when the king was settled in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him,(DE) the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.”(DF) Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.”(DG)

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders[ah] of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’(DH) Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel,(DI) and I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.(DJ) 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place and be disturbed no more, and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly,(DK) 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel, and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.(DL) 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.(DM) 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.(DN) 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings.(DO) 15 But I will not take[ai] my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.(DP) 16 Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me;[aj] your throne shall be established forever.”(DQ) 17 In accordance with all these words and with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

David’s Prayer

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?(DR) 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God; you have spoken also of your servant’s house into the distant future. May this be instruction for the people,[ak] O Lord God! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God!(DS) 21 Because of your promise and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness so that your servant may know it. 22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God, for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.(DT) 23 Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another[al] nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people and to make a name for himself, doing[am] great and awesome things, driving out[an] nations and their gods before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt?(DU) 24 And you established your people Israel for yourself to be your people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.(DV) 25 And now, O Lord God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it forever; do as you have promised. 26 Thus your name will be magnified forever in the saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you.(DW) 27 For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house’; therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you.(DX) 28 And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant;(DY) 29 now, therefore, may it please you to bless the house of your servant so that it may continue forever before you, for you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”(DZ)

David’s Wars

Some time afterward, David attacked the Philistines and subdued them; David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

He also defeated the Moabites and, making them lie down on the ground, measured them off with a cord; he measured two lengths of cord for those who were to be put to death and one length[ao] for those who were to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.(EA)

David also struck down the king of Zobah, Hadadezer son of Rehob, as he went to restore his monument at the River Euphrates.(EB) David took from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen and twenty thousand foot soldiers. David hamstrung all the chariot horses but left enough for a hundred chariots.(EC) When the Arameans of Damascus came to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand men of the Arameans.(ED) Then David put garrisons among the Arameans of Damascus, and the Arameans became servants to David and brought tribute. The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.(EE) David took the gold shields that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem.(EF) From Betah and from Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David took a great amount of bronze.

When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, 10 Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to greet him and to congratulate him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him. Now Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi. Joram brought with him articles of silver, gold, and bronze;(EG) 11 these also King David dedicated to the Lord, together with the silver and gold that he dedicated from all the nations he subdued,(EH) 12 from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of the king of Zobah, Hadadezer son of Rehob.

13 David won a name for himself. When he returned, he killed eighteen thousand Edomites[ap] in the Valley of Salt.(EI) 14 He put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.(EJ)

David’s Officers

15 So David reigned over all Israel, and David administered justice and equity to all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder;(EK) 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary;(EL) 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over[aq] the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.(EM)

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

David asked, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”(EN) Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and he was summoned to David. The king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “At your service!”(EO) The king said, “Is there anyone remaining of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” Ziba said to the king, “There remains a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.”(EP) The king said to him, “Where is he?” Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.”(EQ) Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David and fell on his face and did obeisance. David said, “Mephibosheth!” He answered, “I am your servant.”(ER) David said to him, “Do not be afraid, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan; I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you yourself shall eat at my table always.”(ES) He did obeisance and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I?”(ET)

Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson.(EU) 10 You and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, so that your master’s grandson may have food to eat, but your master’s grandson Mephibosheth shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.(EV) 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your servant will do.” Mephibosheth ate at David’s[ar] table, like one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants.(EW) 13 Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he always ate at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.(EX)

The Ammonites and Arameans Are Defeated

10 Some time afterward, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him.(EY) David said, “I will deal loyally with Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father dealt loyally with me.” So David sent envoys to console him concerning his father. When David’s envoys came into the land of the Ammonites, the princes of the Ammonites said to their lord Hanun, “Do you really think that David is honoring your father just because he has sent messengers with condolences to you? Has not David sent his envoys to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?” So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half the beard of each, cut off their garments in the middle at their waists, and sent them away.(EZ) When David was told, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”

When the Ammonites saw that they had become odious to David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, twenty thousand foot soldiers, as well as the king of Maacah, one thousand men, and the men of Tob, twelve thousand men.(FA) When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the warriors. The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the gate, but the Arameans of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the open country.(FB)

When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the picked men of Israel and arrayed them against the Arameans; 10 the rest of the troops he put in the charge of his brother Abishai, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11 He said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be strong, and let us be courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”(FC) 13 So Joab and the people who were with him moved forward into battle against the Arameans, and they fled before him.(FD) 14 When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans fled, they likewise fled before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.

15 But when the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16 Hadadezer sent and brought out the Arameans who were beyond the River, and they came to Helam, with Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head.(FE) 17 When it was told David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan and came to Helam. The Arameans arrayed themselves against David and fought with him. 18 The Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed of the Arameans seven hundred chariot teams and forty thousand horsemen and wounded Shobach the commander of their army, so that he died there.(FF) 19 When all the kings who were servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became subject to them. So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.(FG)


  1. 1.12 Q ms Gk: Heb had fallen
  2. 1.18 Heb that The Bow
  3. 1.21 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. 2.8 Gk: Heb Ish-bosheth
  5. 2.10 Gk: Heb Ish-bosheth
  6. 2.12 Gk: Heb Ish-bosheth
  7. 2.15 Gk: Heb Ish-bosheth
  8. 2.16 That is, field of sword edges
  9. 2.29 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. 3.7 Heb And he
  11. 3.8 Gk: Heb Ish-bosheth
  12. 3.11 Heb And he
  13. 3.12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  14. 3.14 Heb Ish-bosheth
  15. 3.15 Heb Ish-bosheth
  16. 3.22 Heb he
  17. 3.27 Heb his
  18. 4.1 Heb lacks Ishbaal
  19. 4.5 Heb Ish-bosheth
  20. 4.6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  21. 4.8 Heb Ish-bosheth
  22. 4.8 Heb Ish-bosheth
  23. 4.12 Heb Ish-bosheth
  24. 5.8 Q ms Syr Tg: MT those who hate David
  25. 5.10 Q ms Gk: MT the Lord God of hosts
  26. 5.20 That is, lord of bursting forth
  27. 6.3 Or and his brother
  28. 6.4 Compare Gk: Heb which was on the hill with the ark of God
  29. 6.4 Or and his brother
  30. 6.5 Q ms Gk: MT fir trees
  31. 6.7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  32. 6.8 That is, bursting out against Uzzah
  33. 6.19 Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  34. 7.7 Or any of the tribes
  35. 7.15 Gk Syr Vg: Heb shall not depart
  36. 7.16 Gk Heb mss: MT before you
  37. 7.19 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  38. 7.23 Gk: Heb one
  39. 7.23 Gk: Heb adds for you
  40. 7.23 Gk: Heb for your land
  41. 8.2 Heb one full length
  42. 8.13 Gk Syr Heb mss: MT Arameans
  43. 8.18 Syr Tg Vg: Heb lacks was over
  44. 9.11 Gk: Heb my