Soon after that, David’s men, led by Joab, came back from a field assignment. Abner was no longer in Hebron with David, having just been dismissed with David’s blessing. As Joab and his raiding party arrived, they were told that Abner the son of Ner had been there with David and had been sent off with David’s blessing.
Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived. Then he was told that Abner, the son of Ner, had come to see the king. He was told that the king had sent Abner away. He was also told that Abner had gone in peace.
And Joab, and the hosts that were with him, came afterward; therefore it was told to Joab of tellers, (saying,) Abner, the son of Ner, came to the king, and the king let go him, and he went forth in peace. (And so Joab, and the men who were with him, came shortly thereafter; and people said to Joab, Abner, the son of Ner, came to the king, and the king let him go away, with a guarantee of safety.)
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