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2 Samuel 2:12-3:39; John 13:1-30; Psalms 119:1-16; Proverbs 15:29-30 (Common English Bible)

2 Samuel 2:12-3:39

Conflict between Judah and Israel

12 Abner, Ner’s son, along with the soldiers of Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, left Mahanaim to go to Gibeon. 13 Joab, Zeruiah’s son, and David’s soldiers also came out and confronted them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat on one side of the pool; the other sat on the opposite side of the pool. 14 Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have the young men fight in a contest[a] before us.”

“All right,” Joab said, “let’s do it.” 15 So the men came forward and were counted as they passed by: twelve for Benjamin and Ishbosheth, Saul’s son; and twelve of David’s soldiers. 16 Each man grabbed his opponent by the head and stuck[b] his sword into his opponent’s side so that they both fell dead together. That’s why that place is called The Field of Daggers,[c] which is located in Gibeon. 17 A fierce battle took place that day, and Abner and the Israelite troops were defeated by David’s soldiers.

18 Now Zeruiah’s three sons were present at the battle: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel was as fast as a gazelle in an open field. 19 Asahel went after Abner, staying completely focused in his pursuit of Abner.

20 Abner looked behind him and said, “Is that you, Asahel?”

“Yes, it’s me,” Asahel answered.

21 “Break off your pursuit!” Abner told him. “Fight one of the young warriors and take his gear for yourself!” But Asahel wouldn’t stop chasing him.

22 So Abner repeated himself to Asahel: “Stop chasing me. Why should I kill you? How could I look your brother Joab in the face?” 23 But Asahel wouldn’t turn back, so Abner hit him in the stomach with the back end of his spear. But the spear went through Asahel’s back. He fell down and died right there.

Everyone who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died just stood there, 24 but Joab and Abishai went after Abner. The sun was setting when they came to the hill of Ammah, which faces Giah on the road to the Gibeon wilderness. 25 The Benjaminites rallied behind Abner, forming a single unit. Then they took their positions on the top of a hill. 26 Abner yelled down to Joab, “Must the sword keep killing forever? Don’t you realize that this will end bitterly? How long before you order the troops to stop chasing their brothers?”

27 “As surely as God lives,” Joab replied, “if you hadn’t just said that, the soldiers would have continued after their brothers until morning.” 28 Joab blew the trumpet,[d] and all the soldiers stopped. They didn’t pursue Israel anymore, nor did they continue to fight.

29 Abner and his men then marched all night through the wilderness, crossing the Jordan River and marching all morning[e] until they got to Mahanaim. 30 Joab, meanwhile, returned from pursuing Abner and assembled the troops. Nineteen of David’s soldiers were counted missing in addition to Asahel. 31 But David’s soldiers had defeated the Benjaminites, killing three hundred sixty of Abner’s soldiers. 32 They took Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night. When daylight came, they were in Hebron.

The war between Saul’s house and David’s house was long and drawn out. David kept getting stronger, while Saul’s house kept getting weaker.

David’s family

David’s sons were born in Hebron. His oldest son was Amnon, by Ahinoam from Jezreel; the second was Chileab, by Abigail, Nabal’s widow from Carmel; the third was Absalom, by Maacah,[f] who was the daughter of Geshur’s King Talmai; the fourth was Adonijah, by Haggith; the fifth was Shephatiah, by Abital; and the sixth was Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah. These are David’s sons that were born in Hebron.

Joab kills Abner

Throughout the war between Saul’s house and David’s house, Abner was gaining power in Saul’s house. Now Saul had a secondary wife named Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter. Ishbosheth[g] said to Abner, “Why have you had sex with my father’s secondary wife?”

Abner got very angry over what Ishbosheth had said.

“Am I some sort of dog’s head?”[h] Abner asked. “I’ve been nothing but loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his brothers and his friends. I haven’t handed you over to David, but today you accuse me of doing something wrong with this woman. May God deal harshly with me, Abner, and worse still if I don’t do for David exactly what the Lord swore to him— 10 removing the kingdom from Saul’s house and securing David’s throne over Israel and over Judah, from Dan all the way to Beer-sheba!”

11 Ishbosheth couldn’t say a single word in reply to Abner because he was afraid of him.

12 Abner sent messengers to represent him to David and to say, “Who will own the land?[i] Make a covenant with me, then I’ll help bring all Israel over to your side.”

13 “Good!” David replied. “I will make a covenant with you, but on one condition: don’t show yourself in my presence unless you bring Saul’s daughter Michal when you come to see me.”

14 Then David sent messengers to Saul’s son Ishbosheth. “Give me my wife Michal,” he demanded. “I became engaged to her at the cost of one hundred Philistine foreskins.”

15 Ishbosheth then sent for Michal and took her from her husband Paltiel, Laish’s son. 16 Her husband went with her all the way to Bahurim, crying as he followed her.

“Go home!” Abner told him. So he went home.

17 Abner then sent word to Israel’s elders. “You’ve wanted David to be your king for some time now,” he said. 18 “It’s time to act because the Lord has said about David: I will rescue my people Israel from the power of the Philistines and all their enemies through my servant David.”

19 Abner also spoke directly to the Benjaminites. He then went to inform David in person at Hebron regarding everything that all Israel and the house of Benjamin were willing to do.

20 When Abner, along with twenty others, reached David at Hebron, David threw a celebration for Abner and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, “Please let me get going so I can assemble all Israel for my master the king. Then they can make a covenant with you, and you will rule over everything your heart[j] desires.” At that, David sent Abner off in peace.

22 Right then, David’s soldiers and Joab returned from a raid, bringing a great deal of loot with them. Abner was no longer with David in Hebron because David had sent him off in peace. 23 When Joab and all the troops with him returned, Joab was told that Abner, Ner’s son, had come to the king and that David had sent him off in peace.

24 Joab went to the king and asked, “What have you done? Abner came to you here! Why did you send him off? Now he’s gotten away! 25 Don’t you know the evil ways of Abner, Ner’s son?[k] He came to trick you, to find out where you come and go, and to learn everything you do!”

26 Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner. They brought him back from the well at Sirah, but David didn’t know anything of this. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside next to[l] the gate to speak with him in private. But instead Joab stabbed Abner in the stomach, and he died for shedding the blood of Asahel, Joab’s brother.

28 When David heard about this later, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the shedding of the blood of Abner, Ner’s son. 29 May it fall upon the head of Joab and his entire family tree! May Joab’s family never be without someone with a discharge or a skin disease,[m] someone who uses a crutch,[n] someone who dies by the sword, or someone who is hungry!”

30 So that is how Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner, because he killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.

31 Then David ordered Joab and all the troops who were with him, “Tear your clothes and put on funeral clothes! Mourn for Abner!” King David himself walked behind the body. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron. The king wept loudly at Abner’s grave. All the troops cried too. 33 Then the king sang this funeral song[o] for Abner:

“Should Abner have died like a fool dies?
34 Your hands weren’t bound,
    your feet weren’t chained,
    but you have fallen
    like someone falls before the wicked.”
Then the troops cried over Abner again.

35 Then all the soldiers came to urge David to eat something while it was still day, but David swore, “May God deal harshly with me and worse still if I eat bread or anything else before the sun goes down.” 36 All the troops took notice of this and were pleased by it. Indeed, everything that the king did pleased them. 37 So on that day all the troops and all Israel knew that it wasn’t the king’s idea to kill Abner, Ner’s son.

38 The king told his soldiers, “Don’t you know that a prince and a great man in Israel has fallen today? 39 And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak. These men, Zeruiah’s sons, are too strong for me.[p] May the Lord repay the one who does evil according to the evil they did!”


  1. 2 Samuel 2:14 Or come forward and play or compete
  2. 2 Samuel 2:16 Heb lacks stuck.
  3. 2 Samuel 2:16 Heb Helkath-hazzurim
  4. 2 Samuel 2:28 Heb shofar
  5. 2 Samuel 2:29 Heb uncertain
  6. 2 Samuel 3:3 Or son of; also twice in 3:4
  7. 2 Samuel 3:7 Or he, supplied from 3:8; see note at 2:8 on Ishbosheth.
  8. 2 Samuel 3:8 LXX; MT adds that belongs to Judah.
  9. 2 Samuel 3:12 Heb uncertain; LXX lacks Who will own the land?
  10. 2 Samuel 3:21 Or soul
  11. 2 Samuel 3:25 LXX; MT You know Abner, Ner’s son.
  12. 2 Samuel 3:27 LXX; MT to the middle of
  13. 2 Samuel 3:29 Traditionally leprosy, a term used for several different skin diseases
  14. 2 Samuel 3:29 Or who holds a spindle
  15. 2 Samuel 3:33 Or lament
  16. 2 Samuel 3:39 Or more ruthless than me; DSS (4QSama) lacks this clause.
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John 13:1-30

Foot washing

13 Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully.

Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”

“No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”

Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”

10 Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 He knew who would betray him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”

12 After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. 14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. 16 I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them. 17 Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. 18 I’m not speaking about all of you. I know those whom I’ve chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture, The one who eats my bread has turned against me.[a]

19 “I’m telling you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I Am. 20 I assure you that whoever receives someone I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

Announcement of the betrayal

21 After he said these things, Jesus was deeply disturbed and testified, “I assure you, one of you will betray me.”

22 His disciples looked at each other, confused about which of them he was talking about. 23 One of the disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was at Jesus’ side. 24 Simon Peter nodded at him to get him to ask Jesus who he was talking about. 25 Leaning back toward Jesus, this disciple asked, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered, “It’s the one to whom I will give this piece of bread once I have dipped into the bowl.” Then he dipped the piece of bread and gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son. 27 After Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 No one sitting at the table understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Some thought that, since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus told him, “Go, buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So when Judas took the bread, he left immediately. And it was night.


  1. John 13:18 Ps 41:9
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Psalm 119:1-16

Psalm 119[a]

א alef

119 Those whose way is blameless—
    who walk in the Lord’s Instruction—are truly happy!
Those who guard God’s laws are truly happy!
    They seek God with all their hearts.
They don’t even do anything wrong!
    They walk in God’s ways.
God, you have ordered that your decrees
    should be kept most carefully.
How I wish my ways were strong
    when it comes to keeping your statutes!
Then I wouldn’t be ashamed
    when I examine all your commandments.
I will give thanks to you with a heart that does right
    as I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes.
    Please don’t leave me all alone!

ב bet

How can young people keep their paths pure?
    By guarding them according to what you’ve said.[b]
10 I have sought you with all my heart.
    Don’t let me stray from any of your commandments!
11 I keep your word close, in my heart,
    so that I won’t sin against you.
12 You, Lord, are to be blessed!
    Teach me your statutes.
13 I will declare out loud
    all the rules you have spoken.
14 I rejoice in the content of your laws
    as if I were rejoicing over great wealth.
15 I will think about your precepts
    and examine all your paths.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
    I will not forget what you have said.


  1. Psalm 119:1 Ps 119 is an alphabetic acrostic poem (cf Pss 9–10, 111) in Heb, with each line of Heb within the marked sections beginning with the same letter of the alphabet.
  2. Psalm 119:9 LXX
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Proverbs 15:29-30

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but he listens to the prayers of the righteous.
30 Bright eyes give joy to the heart;
    good news strengthens the bones.

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Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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