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2 Samuel 2:12-3:39

12 Ner’s son Abner and the servants of Saul’s son Ish-bosheth set out from Mahanaim for Gibeon. 13 Zeruiah’s son Joab and some of David’s staff went out to meet them at the pool of Gibeon. One side encamped on one side of the pool while the other encamped on the other side of the pool.

14 Abner told Joab, “Let’s have the young men get up and fight in our presence.”

Joab replied, “Let them come.”

15 So they got up and twelve were counted to represent Benjamin and Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and twelve to represent members of David’s staff. 16 Each man grabbed his opponent by the head, plunged[a] his sword into his opponent’s side, and then they both fell together. That’s why the place at Gibeon was named The Field of Swords.[b] 17 The battle was very violent that day, with Abner and the men of Israel being defeated in the presence of David’s servants.

Abner Kills Joab’s Brother Asahel

18 Zeruiah’s three sons Joab, Abishai, and Asahel were there. As a runner, Asahel was fast, like one of the wild gazelles. 19 So Asahel ran straight[c] after Abner, following him. 20 When Abner looked behind him, he said, “Is that you, Asahel?”

He answered, “I am.”

21 Abner told him, “Go off to your right or left after one of the young men and grab some war spoils.” But Asahel would not stop following him, 22 so Abner told Asahel again, “Stop following me. Why should I strike you down? How could I show my face to your brother Joab?”

23 But Asahel[d] refused to turn away, so Abner struck Asahel in the abdomen with the butt end of his spear, and the spear protruded through his back. He collapsed to the ground and died where he fell. Everyone gathered round the place where Asahel had collapsed and died, and stood still there.

24 Meanwhile, Joab and Abishai continued to chase Abner. At dusk, as they approached the hill of Ammah that is located near Giah on the way to the Gibeon desert, 25 the descendants of Benjamin rallied around Abner, forming a single military force. They took their stand on top of the hill.

26 Then Abner called out to Joab, “Must the battle sword keep on devouring forever? Don’t you realize that the end result is bitterness? How long will it take for you to order your army[e] to stop pursuing their own relatives?”

27 Joab answered, “As God lives, if you hadn’t spoken up, by morning my army would have broken off their pursuit of their own relatives.” 28 So Joab sounded his battle trumpet, his entire army stopped pursuing Israel any longer, and they quit fighting.

29 Abner and his army traveled through the Arabah by night, crossed the Jordan, and arrived at Mahanaim after marching all morning. 30 Joab returned from his pursuit of Abner, and when he had mustered his entire army, nineteen of David’s soldiers[f] were missing besides Asahel. 31 Meanwhile, other[g] soldiers of David had killed 360 of Abner’s men from the tribe of[h] Benjamin. 32 They retrieved Asahel’s body and buried him in his father’s tomb at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night until daybreak and arrived back in Hebron.

Abner Changes Loyalties

After this, a state of protracted war existed between Saul’s dynasty and David’s dynasty, and the dynasty of David continued to grow and become strong while the dynasty of Saul continued to grow weaker. During this time, sons were born to David while he was living in Hebron. His firstborn was Amnon by Ahinoam from Jezreel, his second was Chileab by Abigail, widow of Nabal from Carmel, his third was Absalom by Maacah, daughter of King Talmai from Geshur, his fourth was Adonijah by Haggith, his fifth was Shephatiah by Abital, and his sixth was Ithream by David’s wife Eglah. They were all[i] born to David in Hebron.

While war continued between the dynasties of Saul and David, Abner was growing in influence within the dynasty of Saul. Meanwhile, Saul had a mistress[j] named Rizpah, who was the[k] daughter of Aiah. Ish-bosheth[l] asked Abner, “Why did you have sex with my father’s mistress?”

What Ish-bosheth[m] said made Abner furious, so he replied, “A dog’s head for Judah—is that what I am? Up until today I’ve kept on showing loyalty to your father Saul’s dynasty, to his relatives and friends, and I haven’t turned you over to David, but you’re charging me today with moral guilt regarding this woman! Therefore may God do to me[n]—and more also!—just as the Lord has promised to David, since I’m doing this for him: 10 I will take away the kingdom from the dynasty of Saul by making the throne of David firm over Israel and Judah—from Dan to Beer-sheba!”

11 Ish-bosheth[o] couldn’t say another word in response to Abner, because he was terrified of him. 12 So Abner sent messengers to David at Hebron to ask him, “Who owns this land? Cut a deal[p] with me, and look!—I’ll lend my hand in bringing all of Israel over to you!”

13 David replied, “Sounds good to me! I’ll cut a deal[q] with you under one condition: you’re not to show yourself in my presence unless you bring Saul’s daughter with you when you come to see me.” 14 Then David sent a delegation to Saul’s son Ish-bosheth to say, “Give me my wife Michal, to whom I was engaged with a dowry of 100 Philistine foreskins.”[r]

15 So Ish-bosheth ordered that she be taken away from her husband, Laish’s son Paltiel. 16 Her husband accompanied her, crying as he followed after her all the way to Bahurim, where Abner told him, “Leave! Go back!” So he went back.

David’s Dynasty is Strengthened

17 Later, Abner had a talk with the elders of Israel. He said, “In the past you were looking to see David made king over you. 18 So do it, then! Because the Lord has said this about David:

‘Through my servant David I will save my people Israel
    from the control of the Philistines
        and from all of their enemies.’”

19 Abner also addressed the tribe of Benjamin. Furthermore, with David’s permission,[s] Abner said anything that seemed like it would be good for Israel and for the entire tribe of Benjamin.

20 Afterwards, Abner brought 20 soldiers to David at Hebron, and David threw a party for Abner and the men who were with him. 21 So Abner told David, “Give me permission to go out and rally all of Israel to your majesty the king so they can enter into a formal agreement with you to reign over everything that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner off, and he went away in peace.

Joab Murders Abner

22 Right about then, David’s servants returned from a raid, bringing plenty of war booty with them, but Abner wasn’t in Hebron with David, since David[t] had sent him away and Abner[u] had left in peace. 23 When Joab returned with his entire army, Joab was informed, “Ner’s son Abner visited the king, and he has dismissed him. He has left in peace.”

24 So Joab approached the king and asked him, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you! What’s this? You sent him away? He’s long gone now! 25 You know Ner’s son Abner came to mislead you, to learn your troop movements,[v] and to learn everything you’re doing!”

26 As soon as Joab left David, Joab[w] sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern at Sirah, but David was not aware of this. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab brought him aside within the gateway to talk to him alone and then stabbed him in the abdomen.[x] So he died for shedding[y] the blood of Joab’s[z] brother Asahel.

28 Later on, David found out about it and proclaimed, “Let me and my kingdom remain guiltless forever in the Lord’s presence for the death[aa] of Ner’s son Abner. 29 May judgment[ab] rest on Joab’s head and on his father’s entire household. May Joab’s dynasty never be without one who has a discharge,[ac] who is a leper, who walks with a cane,[ad] who commits suicide,[ae] or who lacks food!” 30 He said this[af] because Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner after he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.

31 David ordered Joab and all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn for Abner.” King David walked behind the funeral procession, 32 and they buried Abner at Hebron. The king wept loudly at Abner’s grave, and all the people wept, too. 33 The king composed this mourning song for Abner:

“Should Abner’s death be like a fool’s?
34 Your hands were not bound,
        nor were your feet in irons.
As one falls before the wicked,
    you have fallen.”

Then all the people cried again because of him. 35 Everyone tried to persuade David to have a meal while there was still daylight, but David took an oath by saying, “May God to do like this to me and more, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets!”

36 Everybody took note of this and was very pleased, just as everything else the king did pleased everyone. 37 As a result, the entire army and all of Israel understood that day that the king had nothing to do with the murder of Ner’s son Abner.

38 The king reminded his staff,[ag] “Don’t you know that a prince and a great man has fallen today in Israel? 39 Today, even though I’m anointed as king, I’m weak. These men, sons of Zeruiah, are too difficult[ah] for me. May the Lord repay the one who acts wickedly in accordance with his wickedness!”


  1. 2 Samuel 2:16 The Heb. lacks plunged
  2. 2 Samuel 2:16 Lit. Helkath-hazzurim
  3. 2 Samuel 2:19 Lit. ran turning neither to the right nor to the left
  4. 2 Samuel 2:23 Lit. he
  5. 2 Samuel 2:26 Lit. people; and so throughout the chapter
  6. 2 Samuel 2:30 Lit. servants
  7. 2 Samuel 2:31 The Heb. lacks other
  8. 2 Samuel 2:31 The Heb. lacks the tribe of
  9. 2 Samuel 3:5 The Heb. lacks all
  10. 2 Samuel 3:7 Or concubine; i.e. a secondary wife; and so throughout the chapter
  11. 2 Samuel 3:7 The Heb. lacks who was the
  12. 2 Samuel 3:7 Lit. And he; cf. vs. 8
  13. 2 Samuel 3:8 Cf. 1Chr 8:33, where he is named Esh-baal; i.e., a man devoted to Baal
  14. 2 Samuel 3:9 Lit. to Abner
  15. 2 Samuel 3:11 Lit. he
  16. 2 Samuel 3:12 Lit. covenant
  17. 2 Samuel 3:13 Lit. covenant
  18. 2 Samuel 3:14 Cf. 1Sam 18:25ff
  19. 2 Samuel 3:19 Lit. in the hearing of David; i.e., with David’s tacit knowledge
  20. 2 Samuel 3:22 Lit. he
  21. 2 Samuel 3:22 Lit. he
  22. 2 Samuel 3:25 Lit. to know your comings and goings
  23. 2 Samuel 3:26 Lit. he
  24. 2 Samuel 3:27 Lit. him there the fifth; i.e., below the fifth rib
  25. 2 Samuel 3:27 The Heb. lacks shedding
  26. 2 Samuel 3:27 Lit. his
  27. 2 Samuel 3:28 Lit. blood
  28. 2 Samuel 3:29 Lit. guilt
  29. 2 Samuel 3:29 I.e. one who is ceremonially unfit to serve God; cf. Lev 13:46
  30. 2 Samuel 3:29 Lit. who needs a staff
  31. 2 Samuel 3:29 Lit. who falls on a sword
  32. 2 Samuel 3:30 The Heb. lacks He did this
  33. 2 Samuel 3:38 Lit. servants
  34. 2 Samuel 3:39 Or violent
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John 13:1-30

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

13 Now before the Passover Festival, Jesus realized that his hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.[a] By supper time, the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him. Because Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his control,[b] that he had come from God, and that he was returning to God, therefore he got up from the table, removed his outer robe, and took a towel and fastened it around his waist. Then he poured some water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel that was tied around his waist.

Then he came to Simon Peter, who asked him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus answered him, “You don’t realize now what I’m doing, but later on you’ll understand.”

Peter told him, “You must never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you cannot be involved with me.”

Simon Peter told him, “Lord, not just my feet, but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus told him, “Whoever has bathed is entirely clean. He doesn’t need to wash himself further, except for his feet. And you men[c] are clean, though not all of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him. That’s why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When Jesus[d] had washed their feet and put on his outer robe, he sat down again and told them, “Do you realize what I’ve done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right[e] because that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you must also wash one another’s feet. 15 I’ve set an example for you, so that you may do as I have done to you. 16 Truly, I tell all of you[f] emphatically, a servant isn’t greater than his master, and a messenger isn’t greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you understand these things, how blessed you are if you put them into practice! 18 I’m not talking about all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But the Scripture must be fulfilled: ‘The one who ate bread with me[g] has turned against me.’[h] 19 I’m telling you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may believe that I AM. 20 Truly, I tell all of you[i] emphatically, the one who receives whomever I send receives me, and the one who receives me receives the one who sent me.”

Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

21 After saying this, Jesus was deeply troubled in spirit and declared solemnly, “Truly, I tell all of you[j] emphatically, one of you is going to betray me!” 22 The disciples began looking at one another, completely mystified about whom he was speaking. 23 One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus kept loving, had been sitting very close to him.

24 So Simon Peter motioned to this man to ask Jesus about whom he was speaking. 25 Leaning forward on Jesus’ chest, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered, “He is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread after I have dipped it in the dish.”[k]

Then he took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.[l] 27 After he had taken the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus told him, “Do quickly what you are going to do!” 28 Now no one at the table knew why Jesus[m] said this to him. 29 Some thought that, since Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him to buy what they needed for the festival or to give something to the destitute. 30 So Judas[n] took the piece of bread, immediately went outside…and it was night.


  1. John 13:1 Or loved them completely
  2. John 13:3 Lit. hands
  3. John 13:10 The Gk. lacks men
  4. John 13:12 Lit. he
  5. John 13:13 Lit. you speak well
  6. John 13:16 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
  7. John 13:18 Other mss. read ate my bread
  8. John 13:18 Lit. has lifted up his heel against me; cf. Ps 41:9
  9. John 13:20 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
  10. John 13:21 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
  11. John 13:26 The Gk. lacks in the dish
  12. John 13:26 Other mss. read Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon
  13. John 13:28 Lit. he
  14. John 13:30 Lit. he
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Psalm 119:1-16

Alef [a]

Living in the Law of God

119 How blessed are those whose life[b] is blameless,
    who walk in the Law of the Lord!
How blessed are those who observe his decrees,
    who seek him with all of their heart,
who practice no evil
    while they walk in his ways.
You have commanded concerning your precepts,
    that they be guarded with diligence.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast,
    so I may keep your statutes.
Then I will not be ashamed,
    since my eyes will be fixed on all of your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
    as I learn your righteous decrees.
I will keep your statutes;
    do not ever abandon me.


The Benefits of the Word

How can a young man keep his behavior pure?
    By guarding it in accordance with your word.
10 I have sought you with all of my heart;
    do not let me drift away from your commands.
11 I have stored what you have said[c] in my heart,
    so I won’t sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, Lord!
    Teach me your statutes.
13 I have spoken with my lips
    about all your decrees that you have announced.[d]
14 I find joy in the path of your decrees,
    as if I owned all kinds of riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts,
    and I will respect your ways.
16 I am delighted with your statutes;
    I will not forget your word.[e]


  1. Psalm 119:1 This Psalm is an acrostic in which all verses in each eight-verse section begin with the letter of the Heb. alphabet indicated.
  2. Psalm 119:1 Lit. way
  3. Psalm 119:11 So MT DSS 4QPsh; LXX Syr read stored your oracles
  4. Psalm 119:13 Lit. decrees of your mouth
  5. Psalm 119:16 So MT; LXX Syr DSS 11QPsa read words
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Proverbs 15:29-30

29 The Lord is far away from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayers of the righteous.

30 Bright eyes[a] encourage the heart;
    good news nourishes the body.[b]


  1. Proverbs 15:30 Or A cheerful look
  2. Proverbs 15:30 Lit. bones
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International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

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