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NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES (1984 EDITION) See 2013 revision
2 And 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.”+ 2 Accordingly 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. 3 And 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]. 4 Then 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.” 5 Hence 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.+ 6 And 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.+ 7 And 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.” 8 As 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,+ 9 and 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. 10 Forty 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. 11 And 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.+ 12 In 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.+ 13 As 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. 14 Finally 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.” 15 So 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. 16 And 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.+ 17 And 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. 18 Now 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. 19 And 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. 20 At length Ab′ner looked behind him and said: “Is this you, As′a·hel?” to which he said: “It is I.” 21 Then 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. 22 So 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?” 23 But 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.+ 24 And 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.+ 25 And 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. 26 And 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?”+ 27 At 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.” 28 Jo′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. 29 As 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.+ 30 As 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. 31 And 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.+ 32 And 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.+
^ Or, “loyal love.”
^ Or, “truth.”
^ “Bring him out of the camp,” LXX.
^ “Geshurites,” SyVg; T, “Asherites.”
^ “Went out from Hebron,” LXX.
^ “Following me lest I strike,” LXX.
^ Or, “the hinder part,” possibly striking with a backward movement of the spear.
^ “The [true] God.” See App 1F.