2 Samuel 1-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)
David Learns of Saul’s Death
1 Now it happened after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, that he stayed two days in Ziklag. 2 On the third day a man came [unexpectedly] from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head [as in mourning]. When he came to David, he bowed to the ground and lay himself face down [in an act of great respect and submission]. 3 Then David asked him, “Where do you come from?” He said, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4 David said to him, “How did it go? Please tell me.” He answered, “The people have fled from the battle. Also, many of the people have fallen and are dead; Saul and Jonathan his son are also dead.” 5 So David said to the young man who informed him, “How do you know Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6 And the young man who told him explained, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and the chariots and horsemen [of the Philistines] were close behind him. 7 When he turned to look behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8 He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9 He said to me, ‘Stand up facing me and kill me, for [terrible] agony has come over me, yet I still live [and I will be taken alive].’ 10 So I stood facing him [a]and killed him, because I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. Then I took the crown which was on his head and the [b]band which was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”
11 Then David grasped his own clothes and tore them [in mourning]; so did all the men who were with him. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and Jonathan his son, and for the Lord’s people and the house of [c]Israel, because they had fallen by the sword [in battle]. 13 David said to the young man who informed him, “Where are you from?” He answered, “I am the son of a foreigner (resident alien, sojourner), an Amalekite.” 14 David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” So he struck the Amalekite and he died. 16 David said to the [fallen] man, “[d]Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’”
David’s Dirge for Saul and Jonathan
17 Then David sang this dirge (funeral song) over Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he told them to teach the sons of Judah, the song of the bow. Behold, it is written in [e]the Book of Jashar:
David Made King over Judah
2 So it happened after this that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” David asked, “Where shall I go?” And He said, “To Hebron.” 2 So David went up there [to Hebron] with his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel [in Judah]. 3 And David brought up his men who were with him, each one with his household; and they lived in the cities of Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
Then they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.” 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, “May you be blessed by the Lord because you showed this graciousness and loyalty to Saul your lord (king), and buried him. 6 Now may the Lord show lovingkindness and truth and faithfulness to you. I too will show this goodness to you, because you have done this thing. 7 So now, let your hands be strong and be valiant; for your lord Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
Ish-bosheth Made King over Israel
8 Now [Saul’s cousin] Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to [j]Mahanaim. 9 He made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, over Benjamin, even over all Israel [except Judah]. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned for two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Now Abner the son of Ner and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 Joab [David’s nephew] the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David also went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon. They sat down, with one group on one side of the pool and the other group on the other side of the pool. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men now stand and [k]have a contest before us.” And Joab said, “Let them stand.” 15 So they stood up and went over by number, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 Each one of them seized his opponent by the head and thrust his sword into his opponents side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim [that is, the Field of Sides], which is in Gibeon. 17 There was a very fierce battle that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.
18 Three sons of Zeruiah [the half sister of David] were there: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as light and swift-footed as one of the [wild] gazelles in the field. 19 Asahel pursued Abner and did not turn to the right or to the left as he followed him. 20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Is that you, Asahel?” He answered, “It is I.” 21 So Abner said to him, “Turn to your right or to your left, and grab one of the young men and take his armor for yourself.” But Asahel was not willing to turn away from pursuing Abner. 22 Abner repeated again, “Turn away from following me. Why should I have to strike you to the ground? How would I [l]be able to face Joab your brother [and look him in the eye]?” 23 But Asahel refused to turn away; so Abner struck him in the abdomen with the [m]butt end of his spear, and the spear came out his back; and he fell there and died on that spot. And it came about that everyone who came to the place where Asahel fell and died, stood still [and reflected].
24 But Joab and Abishai [Asahel’s brothers] pursued Abner. When the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah, which is in front of Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the sons of [the tribe of] Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one troop, and took their stand on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, “Must the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the end? How long [will it be] before you tell the people to stop pursuing their brothers?” 27 Joab said, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, then the people certainly would have stopped pursuing their brothers in the morning.” 28 So Joab blew the trumpet; and all the people halted and no longer pursued Israel, nor did they fight anymore. 29 Then Abner and his men went through the Arabah (desert region) all that night, crossed the Jordan, went through Bithron and walked the whole morning and came to Mahanaim [where Ish-bosheth ruled Israel].
30 Joab returned from pursuing Abner; and when he had gathered all the people together, nineteen of David’s servants were missing, besides Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had struck down many of Benjamin and Abner’s men; so that three hundred and sixty men died. 32 And they picked up [the body of] Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men walked all night and they arrived in Hebron at daybreak.
The House of David Strengthened
3 There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; but David grew steadily stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker [to the point of being powerless].
2 Sons were born to David in Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, by Ahinoam of Jezreel; 3 his second, Chileab, by Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom the son of [his wife] Maacah, daughter of Talmai the king of Geshur; 4 the fourth, Adonijah the son of [his wife] Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah the son of [his wife] Abital; 5 and the sixth, Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah. These [sons] were born to David in Hebron.
Abner Joins David
6 Now while war continued between the houses of Saul and David, Abner was proving himself strong in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had a [n]concubine whose name was Rizpah the daughter of Aiah; and Ish-bosheth said to Abner, [o]“Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?” 8 Then Abner was very angry at the words of Ish-bosheth, and he said, “Am I a dog’s head [a despicable traitor] that belongs to Judah? [p]Today I show loyalty and kindness to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers and his friends, by not having you handed over to David; and yet you charge me today with guilt concerning this woman. 9 May God do so to Abner, and more also, if I do not do for David just as the Lord has sworn to him, 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and establish the throne of David over Israel and Judah from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south].” 11 And Ish-bosheth could not say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.
12 Then Abner sent messengers to David [who was] in his place [at Hebron], saying, “Whose is the land? Make your covenant (treaty) with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you to bring all Israel over to you.” 13 David said, “Good! I will make a covenant (treaty) with you, but I require one thing of you: you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see [q]me.” 14 So David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying, “[r]Give me my wife Michal, to whom I was [s]betrothed for [the price of] a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” 15 So Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband, from Paltiel the son of Laish [to whom Saul had given her]. 16 But her husband went with her, weeping continually behind her as far as Bahurim. Then Abner told him, “Go, return.” And he did so.
17 Abner talked with the elders (tribal leaders) of Israel, saying, “In times past you were seeking for David to be king over you. 18 Now then, do it [and make him king]! For the Lord has spoken of David, saying, ‘By the hand of My servant David I will save My people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and the hand of all their enemies.’” 19 Abner also spoke [t]to [the men of] Benjamin. Then he also went to [u]tell David at Hebron everything that seemed good [v]to Israel and to the entire house of Benjamin.
20 So Abner came to David at Hebron, and [brought] twenty men along with him. And David prepared a feast for Abner and the men with him. 21 Abner said to David, “Let me stand up and go, and gather all Israel to my lord the king, so that they may make a covenant (treaty) with you, and that you may reign over all that your soul desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
22 Then the servants of David came with Joab from a raid and brought a great quantity of spoil with them; but Abner was not with David at Hebron, because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the army that was with him arrived, they told Joab, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he has gone in peace.” 24 Then Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you; why did you send him away, so that he is already gone? 25 You know Abner the son of Ner, that he [only] came to deceive you [with flattering words] and to learn of your going out and coming in, and to find out what you are doing.”
Joab Murders Abner
26 When Joab left David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah; but David knew nothing [about Joab’s action]. 27 So when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside to the middle of the gate to speak to him privately, and there he struck Abner in the abdomen so that he died, [w]to avenge the blood of Asahel, Joab’s brother. 28 Afterward, when David heard of it, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord of the blood of Abner the son of Ner. 29 Let [x]the guilt fall on the head of Joab and on all his father’s house (family); and may there never disappear from the house of Joab one who suffers with a discharge or one who is a leper or one who walks with a crutch [being unfit for war], or one who falls by the sword, or one who lacks food.” 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.
David Mourns Abner
31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people with him, “Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn before Abner.” And King David walked behind the bier. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron; and the king raised his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33 And the king sang a dirge (funeral song) over Abner and said,
“Should Abner [the great warrior] die as a fool dies?
And all the people wept again over him. 35 All the people came to urge David to eat food while it was still day; but David took an oath, saying, “May God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets.” 36 And all the people took notice of it and it [y]pleased them, just as everything that the king did pleased all the people. 37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the will of the king to put Abner the son of Ner to death. 38 Then 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 weak, though anointed king; these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too difficult for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer [Joab] in accordance with his wickedness!”
4 When Saul’s son Ish-bosheth [king of Israel], heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he [z]lost courage, and all Israel was horrified. 2 Saul’s son had two men who were commanders of [raiding] bands [of soldiers]. One was named Baanah and the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite of the sons (tribe) of Benjamin (for Beeroth is also considered part of [the tribe of] Benjamin, 3 and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and have been resident aliens there to this day).
4 Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son whose feet were crippled. He was five years old when the news [of the deaths] of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. And the boy’s nurse picked him up and fled; but it happened that while she was hurrying to flee, he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
5 So the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, left and came to the house of Ish-bosheth in the heat of the day while he was taking his midday rest. 6 They came into the interior of the house as if to get wheat [for the soldiers], and they struck him in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped [unnoticed]. 7 Now when they entered the house he was lying on his bed in his bedroom. They [not only] struck and killed him, [but] they also beheaded him. Then they took his head and traveled all night by way of the Arabah. 8 They brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron, and said to the king, “Look, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; thus the Lord has granted my lord the king vengeance this day on Saul and on his descendants.”
9 David replied to Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every adversity, 10 when a man told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ [aa]thinking that he was bringing good news, I seized and killed him in Ziklag, to reward him for his news. 11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous and just man in his own house on his bed, shall I not require his blood from your hand and remove you from the earth?” 12 So David commanded his young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hung them beside the pool in Hebron. But they took Ish-bosheth’s head and buried it in Hebron in the tomb of Abner [his relative].
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