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3 And the war between Saul’s house and David’s was a prolonged one; and David grew stronger and stronger, and Saul’s house weaker and weaker. 2 And sons were born to David in Hebron; and his eldest was Ammon, by Ahinoʽam the Jezreʽelite, 3 and his second Kileab by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, and the third Absalom the son of Maʽacah the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur, 4 and the fourth Adonijah the son of Haggith, and the fifth Shephatiah the son of Abital, 5 and the sixth Jithreʽam by David’s widow ʽEglah; these were born to David in Hebron. 6 And while the war between Saul’s house and David’s was going on Abner was doing his best by Saul’s. 7 And Saul had had a concubine named Rispah the daughter of Aijah; and Ishbaal the son of Saul said to Abner “How comes it that you have gone in to my father’s concubine?” 8 ** and Abner was very angry at Ishbaal’s words, and said “Am I a dog’s head? Today I am doing favors to the house of your father Saul, down to his brothers and his personal friends, and have not handed you over to David; and you are calling me to account today for this fault about the woman. 9 God do so to Abner, and more, but I will do for David as Jehovah has said to him, 10 to carry the royal power away from Saul’s house and to set up David’s throne over Israel and over Judah from Dan to Beer-Shebaʽ.” 11 And he was not able to give Abner any further answer, because he was afraid of him. 12 * And Abner sent messengers to David saying “Make terms with me, and you shall have my hand with you to turn over all Israel to you.” 13 And he said “Very well; I will make terms with you; I only make one demand on you—you shall not see my face unless when you come to see my face you bring Saul’s daughter Mical.” 14 And David sent envoys to Ishbaal the son of Saul with the message “Give me my wife Mical whom I betrothed for a hundred Philistine foreskins”; 15 and Ishbaal sent and took her from her husband, from Paltiel the son of Layish. 16 And her husband went with her, weeping as he went along behind her, as far as Bahurim; then Abner said to him “Now go back,” and he went back. 17 And Abner had been holding communication with the elders of Israel, telling them “You were already wanting to have David for king over you a while ago: 18 now act on it; for Jehovah has said to David ‘By the hands of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hands of the Philistines and of all their enemies.’” 19 And Abner also passed the word to Benjamin, and Abner also went to bring word to David at Hebron of all that had been agreed to by Israel and by all the house of Benjamin. 20 And Abner came to David at Hebron with twenty men, and David gave a banquet to Abner and the men who were with him; 21 and Abner said to David “I am going to bring all Israel together to your majesty to exchange pledges with you, and you shall be king with absolute power”; and David dismissed Abner, and he went away on friendly terms. 22 And in came David’s soldiers and Joab from a raid, bringing a great deal of plunder with them; but Abner was not in Hebron with David, because David had dismissed him and he had gone away on friendly terms. 23 And when Joab and all the forces that were with him came in, they told Joab “Abner has been to the king, and he has dismissed him and he has gone away on friendly terms.” 24 And Joab went to the king and said “What have you been doing? here Abner came to you, why did you dismiss him and let him go off? 25 you know Abner the son of Ner, and that he came to inveigle you and to find out your goings out and your comings in, and to find out everything that you are doing.” 26 And Joab went out from David’s presence and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah without David’s knowledge. 27 So Abner came back to Hebron, and Joab took him aside into the recess of the gate to speak with him quietly, and there with a thrust below the waist he stabbed him to death for the blood of his brother ʽAsahel. 28 And David heard of it afterward, and said “I and my kingdom will be innocent of the blood of Abner the son of Ner before Jehovah forever; 29 may it light on the head of Joab and on all his kin, and may Joab’s family never be without men infected with discharges and leprosy, and men that take to the spindle, and men that fall by the sword, and men that lack bread,” 30 Joab and his brother Abishai having killed Abner because he was the death of their brother ʽAsahel in battle at Gibeon. 31 And David said to Joab and to all the people that were with him “Tear your garments and tie sackcloths around your waists, and wail before Abner”; and King David walked behind the bier. 32 And they buried Abner in Hebron; and the king raised his voice and wept at Abner’s grave, and all the people wept. 33 And the king sang a dirge for Abner, “Was Abner to die as a rascal dies? 34 Your hands were not bound, nor your feet brought to the shackles: as one falls before ruffians you fell”; and all the people wept again over him. 35 And all the people came to get David to take bread while it was yet day; and David said “God do so to me, and more, if before the sun sets I taste bread or anything at all.” 36 * And all the people understood, and it pleased them: like everything that the king did, it pleased all the people. 37 And all the people, and all Israel, knew that day that it was not a plan of the king’s to kill Abner the son of Ner. 38 And the king said to his servants “Do you not know that one of the chieftains and great men of Israel has fallen today? 39 And I today am David, and anointed king, but these men, the sons of Serujah, are too much for me: Jehovah repay the criminal appropriately to his crime.”
^ 3:8 Or let you get into David’s hands
^ 3:8 Var. a woman
^ 3:12 Before saying there are three or four words which read differently in different copies, and do not make good Hebrew sense in the best copies. They may have been originally a phrase of respect, a statement of place, or an assertion “The country is in my power to give.”
^ 3:36 Var. it pleased them: everything that the king did pleased