1And it came about afterward that David proceeded to inquire of Jehovah, saying: “Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?” At this Jehovah said to him: “Go up.” And David went on to say: “Where shall I go up?” Then he said: “To He′bron.”2Accordingly David went up there and also his two wives, A‧hin′o‧am the Jez′re‧el‧i‧tess and Ab′i‧gail the wife of Na′bal the Car′mel‧ite.3And the men that were with him David brought up, each with his household; and they took up dwelling in the cities of He′bron [territory].4Then the men of Judah came and anointed David there as king over the house of Judah.
And they came telling David, saying: “The men of Ja′besh‐gil′e‧ad were the ones that buried Saul.”5Hence David sent messengers to the men of Ja′besh‐gil′e‧ad and said to them: “Blessed may YOU be of Jehovah, because YOU exercised this loving‐kindness toward YOUR lord, toward Saul, in that YOU buried him.6And now may Jehovah exercise toward YOU loving‐kindness and trustworthiness, and I too shall exercise to YOU this goodness because YOU have done this thing.7And now let YOUR hands strengthen themselves and prove yourselves valiant men, because YOUR lord Saul is dead, and it is even I whom the house of Judah have anointed as king over them.”
8As for Ab′ner the son of Ner the chief of the army that had belonged to Saul, he took Ish‐bo′sheth, Saul’s son, and proceeded to bring him across to Ma‧ha‧na′im,9and to make him king over Gil′e‧ad and the Ash′ur‧ites and Jez′re‧el and over E′phra‧im and Benjamin and over Israel, all of it.10Forty years old Ish‐bo′sheth, Saul’s son, was when he became king over Israel, and for two years he ruled as king. Only the house of Judah proved themselves followers of David.11And the number of the days that David proved to be king in He′bron over the house of Judah came to be seven years and six months.
12In time Ab′ner the son of Ner and the servants of Ish‐bo′sheth, Saul’s son, went out from Ma‧ha‧na′im to Gib′e‧on.13As for Jo′ab the son of Ze‧ru′iah and the servants of David, they went out and later met together by the pool of Gib′e‧on; and they kept sitting, these on this side of the pool and those on that side of the pool.14Finally Ab′ner said to Jo′ab: “Let the young men rise up, please, and let them put on a combat before us.” To this Jo′ab said: “Let them rise up.”15So they rose up and went across by number, twelve belonging to Benjamin and Ish‐bo′sheth, Saul’s son, and twelve from the servants of David.16And they began grabbing hold of one another by the head, with the sword of each one in the side of the other, so that they fell down together. And that place came to be called Hel′kath‐haz‧zu′rim, which is in Gib′e‧on.
17And the fighting came to be extremely hard on that day, and Ab′ner and the men of Israel were finally defeated before the servants of David.18Now the three sons of Ze‧ru′iah happened to be there, Jo′ab and A‧bish′ai and As′a‧hel; and As′a‧hel was swift on his feet, like one of the gazelles that are in the open field.19And As′a‧hel went chasing after Ab′ner, and he did not incline to go to the right or to the left from following Ab′ner.20At length Ab′ner looked behind him and said: “Is this you, As′a‧hel?” to which he said: “It is I.”21Then Ab′ner said to him: “Veer to your right or to your left and seize one of the young men as yours and take what you strip off him as yours.” And As′a‧hel did not want to turn aside from following him.22So Ab′ner said to As′a‧hel yet again: “Turn your course aside from following me. Why should I strike you down to the earth? How, then, could I raise my face to Jo′ab your brother?”23But he kept refusing to turn aside; and Ab′ner got to strike him in the abdomen with the butt end of the spear, so that the spear came out from his back; and he fell there and died where he was. And it came about that all those who came to the place where As′a‧hel fell and then died would stand still.
24And Jo′ab and A‧bish′ai went chasing after Ab′ner. As the sun was setting they themselves came to the hill of Am′mah, which is in front of Gi′ah on the way to the wilderness of Gib′e‧on.25And the sons of Benjamin went collecting together behind Ab′ner, and they came to be one company and kept standing upon the top of one hill.26And Ab′ner began to call to Jo′ab and say: “Is the sword going to eat endlessly? Do you not really know that bitterness is what will develop at last? How long, then, will it be before you say to the people to turn back from following their brothers?”27At that Jo′ab said: “As the [true] God is living, if you had not spoken, then only by the morning would the people have been withdrawn, each one from following his brother.”28Jo′ab now blew the horn, and all the people came to a halt and did not continue chasing after Israel anymore, and they did not renew the fighting anymore.
29As for Ab′ner and his men, they marched through the Ar′a‧bah all that night and went crossing the Jordan and marching through the entire gully and finally came to Ma‧ha‧na′im.30As for Jo′ab, he turned back from following Ab′ner and began to collect all the people together. And there were missing from the servants of David nineteen men and As′a‧hel.31And the servants of David, for their part, had struck down those of Benjamin and of the men of Ab′ner—there were three hundred and sixty men that died.32And they proceeded to carry As′a‧hel and bury him in the burial place of his father, which is at Beth′le‧hem. Then Jo′ab and his men went marching on all night long, and it became daylight for them at He′bron.