2 Samuel 1:1–2:32
1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned afrom striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. 2 And on the third day, behold, ba man came from Saul’s camp, cwith his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, dhe fell to the ground and paid homage. 3 David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4 And David said to him, e“How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” 5 Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6 And the young man who told him said, f“By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and behold, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him. 7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8 And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9 And he said to me, g‘Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ 10 So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. hAnd I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”
11 Then David took hold of his clothes and itore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they mourned and wept jand fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13 And David said to the young man who told him, “Where do you come from?” And he answered, “I am the son of a sojourner, an Amalekite.” 14 David said to him, “How is it you were not kafraid to put out your hand to destroy lthe Lord’s anointed?” 15 Then mDavid called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” And he struck him down so that he died. 16 And David said to him, n“Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed othe Lord’s anointed.’ ”
David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan
17 And David plamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son, 18 and he said it1 should be taught to the people of Judah; behold, it is written in qthe Book of Jashar.2 He said:
19 “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!
rHow the mighty have fallen!
20 sTell it not in Gath,
tpublish it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
ulest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
lest the daughters of vthe uncircumcised exult.
21 w“You mountains of Gilboa,
let there be no dew or rain upon you,
nor fields of offerings!3
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
the shield of Saul, not xanointed with oil.
22 “From the blood of the slain,
from the fat of the mighty,
ythe bow of Jonathan turned not back,
and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
In life and in death they were not divided;
they were zswifter than eagles;
they were astronger than lions.
24 “You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet,
bwho put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
25 c“How the mighty have fallen
in the midst of the battle!
“Jonathan lies slain on your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
very pleasant have you been to me;
dyour love to me was extraordinary,
surpassing the love of women.
27 c“How the mighty have fallen,
and the weapons of war perished!”
2 After this David einquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” And he said, “To fHebron.” 2 So David went up there, and ghis two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 And David brought up hhis men who were with him, everyone with his household, and they lived in the towns of Hebron. 4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David iking over the house of Judah.
When they told David, j“It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,” 5 David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, k“May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him. 6 Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing. 7 Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and ithe house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
Ish-bosheth Made King of Israel
8 But lAbner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to mMahanaim, 9 and he made him king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreel and Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 nAnd the time that David was king in Hebron over ithe house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them at othe pool of Gibeon. And they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 And Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men arise and compete before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.” 15 Then they arose and passed over by number, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And each caught his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side, so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim,1 which is at Gibeon. 17 And the battle was very fierce that day. And Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.
18 And the pthree sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was qas swift of foot as a wild gazelle. 19 And Asahel pursued Abner, and as he went, he turned neither to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Is it you, Asahel?” And he answered, “It is I.” 21 Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and seize one of the young men and take his spoil.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift up my face to your brother Joab?” 23 But he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him rin the stomach with the butt of his spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died where he was. And all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. And as the sun was going down they came to the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the people of Benjamin gathered themselves together behind Abner and became one group and took their stand on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you tell your people to turn from the pursuit of their brothers?” 27 And Joab said, “As God lives, if syou had not spoken, surely the men would not have given up the pursuit of their brothers until the morning.” 28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the men stopped and pursued Israel no more, nor did they fight anymore.
29 And Abner and his men went all that night through tthe Arabah. They crossed the Jordan, and marching the whole morning, they came to uMahanaim. 30 Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing from David’s servants nineteen men besides Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had struck down of Benjamin 360 of Abner’s men. 32 And they took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. And Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.
Septuagint; Hebrew the Bow, which may be the name of the lament’s tune
Or of the upright
Helkath-hazzurim means the field of sword-edges