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The New King James Version

2 Samuel 1:1–4:12

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The Report of Saul’s Death

1 Now it came to pass after the adeath of Saul, when David had returned from bthe slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag, on the third day, behold, it happened that ca man came from Saul’s camp dwith his clothes 1torn and dust on his head. So it was, when he came to David, that he efell to the ground and prostrated himself.

And David said to him, “Where have you come from?”

So he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.”

Then David said to him, f“How did the matter go? Please tell me.”

And he answered, “The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and gJonathan his son are dead also.”

So David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?”

Then the young man who told him said, “As I happened by chance to be on hMount Gilboa, there was iSaul, leaning on his spear; and indeed the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ So I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ He said to me again, ‘Please stand over me and kill me, for 2anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.’ 10 So I stood over him and jkilled him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and ktore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they lmourned and wept and mfasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the npeople of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 Then David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?”

And he answered, “I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.”

14 So David said to him, “How owas it you were not pafraid to qput forth your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 Then rDavid called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died. 16 So David said to him, s“Your blood is on your own head, for tyour own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’ ”

The Song of the Bow

17 Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son, 18 uand he told them to teach the children of Judah the Song of the Bow; indeed it is written vin the Book 3of Jasher:

19 “The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places!

wHow the mighty have fallen!

20 xTell it not in Gath,

Proclaim it not in the streets of yAshkelon—

Lest zthe daughters of the Philistines rejoice,

Lest the daughters of athe uncircumcised triumph.

21 “O bmountains of Gilboa,

cLet there be no dew nor rain upon you,

Nor fields of offerings.

For the shield of the mighty is 4cast away there!

The shield of Saul, not danointed with oil.

22 From the blood of the slain,

From the fat of the mighty,

eThe bow of Jonathan did not turn back,

And the sword of Saul did not return empty.

23 “Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives,

And in their fdeath they were not divided;

They were swifter than eagles,

They were gstronger than lions.

24 “O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,

Who clothed you in scarlet, with luxury;

Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

25 “How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!

Jonathan was slain in your high places.

26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;

You have been very pleasant to me;

hYour love to me was wonderful,

Surpassing the love of women.

27 “How ithe mighty have fallen,

And the weapons of war perished!”

David Anointed King of Judah

2 It happened after this that David ainquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?”

And the Lord said to him, “Go up.”

David said, “Where shall I go up?”

And He said, “To bHebron.”

So David went up there, and his ctwo wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. And David brought up dthe men who were with him, every man with his household. So they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.

eThen the men of Judah came, and there they fanointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, g“The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul.” So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, h“You are blessed of the Lord, for you have shown this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him. And now may ithe Lord show kindness and truth to you. I also will repay you this kindness, because you have done this thing. Now therefore, let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

Ishbosheth Made King of Israel

But jAbner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took 1Ishbosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to kMahanaim; and he made him king over lGilead, over the mAshurites, over nJezreel, over Ephraim, over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David. 11 And othe 2time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

Israel and Judah at War

12 Now Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to pGibeon. 13 And qJoab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out and met them by rthe pool of Gibeon. So they sat down, one on one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men now arise and compete before us.”

And Joab said, “Let them arise.”

15 So they arose and went over by number, twelve from Benjamin, followers of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David. 16 And each one grasped his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called 3the Field of Sharp Swords, which is in Gibeon. 17 So there was a very fierce battle that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.

18 Now the sthree sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai and Asahel. And Asahel was tas fleet of foot uas a wild gazelle. 19 So Asahel pursued Abner, and in going he did not turn to the right hand or to the left from following Abner.

20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Are you Asahel?”

He answered, “I am.”

21 And Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 So Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your brother Joab?” 23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him vin the stomach with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back; and he fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood wstill.

24 Joab and Abishai also pursued Abner. And the sun was going down when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is before Giah by the road to the Wilderness of Gibeon. 25 Now the children of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became 4a unit, and took their stand on top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the latter end? How long will it be then until you tell the people to return from pursuing their brethren?”

27 And Joab said, “As God lives, 5unless xyou had spoken, surely then by morning all the people would have given up pursuing their brethren.” 28 So Joab blew a trumpet; and all the people stood still and did not pursue Israel anymore, nor did they fight anymore. 29 Then Abner and his men went on all that night through the plain, crossed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron; and they came to Mahanaim.

30 So Joab returned from pursuing Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had struck down, of Benjamin and Abner’s men, three hundred and sixty men who died. 32 Then they took up Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb, which was in yBethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at daybreak.

3 Now there was a long awar between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

Sons of David

Sons were born bto David in Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon cby Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; his second, 1Chileab, by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; the third, dAbsalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king eof Geshur; the fourth, fAdonijah the son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.

Abner Joins Forces with David

Now it was so, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner was strengthening his hold on the house of Saul.

And Saul had a concubine, whose name was gRizpah, the daughter of Aiah. So Ishbosheth said to Abner, “Why have you hgone in to my father’s concubine?”

Then Abner became very angry at the words of Ishbosheth, and said, “Am I ia dog’s head that belongs to Judah? Today I show loyalty to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and you charge me today with a fault concerning this woman? jMay God do so to Abner, and more also, if I do not do for David kas the Lord has sworn to him—10 to transfer the kingdom from the 2house of Saul, and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, lfrom Dan to …

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To show grief

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agony

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Lit. of the Upright

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Lit. defiled

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Esh-Baal, 1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39

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Lit. number of days

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Heb. Helkath Hazzurim

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one band

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if you had not spoken

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Daniel, 1 Chr. 3:1

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family

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