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CIVIL WAR

During the long war between the house of Saul and the house of David,b David was growing strongerc and the house of Saul was becoming weaker.

Sons were born to David in Hebron:

His firstborn was Amnon,d

by Ahinoame the Jezreelite;

his second was Chileab,

by Abigail,f the widow of Nabal the Carmelite;

the third was Absalom,g

son of Maacah the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur;h

the fourth was Adonijah,i

son of Haggith;

the fifth was Shephatiah,

son of Abital;

the sixth was Ithream,

by David’s wife Eglah.

These were born to David in Hebron.j

During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner kept acquiring more power in the house of Saul.k Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpahl daughter of Aiah, and Ish-bosheth questioned Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”

Abner was very angry about Ish-bosheth’s accusation. “Am I a dog’s headB,m who belongs to Judah?” he asked. “All this time I’ve been loyal to the family of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends and haven’t betrayed you to David, but now you accuse me of wrongdoing with this woman! May God punish Abner and do so severely if I don’t do for David what the Lord swore to him: 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish the throne of David over Israel and Judahn from Dan to Beer-sheba.” 11 Ish-bosheth did not dare respond to Abner because he was afraid of him.

12 Abner sent messengers as his representatives to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make your covenant with me, and you can be certain I am on your side to turn all Israel over to you.”

13 David replied, “Good, I will make a covenant with you. However, there’s one thing I require of you: You will not see my face unless you first bring Saul’s daughter Michalo when you come to see me.”

14 Then David sent messengers to say to Ish-bosheth son of Saul, “Give me back my wife, Michal. I was engaged to her for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”p

15 So Ish-bosheth sent someone to take her away from her husband, Paltiel son of Laish.q 16 Her husband followed her, weeping all the way to Bahurim. Abner said to him, “Go back.” So he went back.

THE ASSASSINATION OF ABNER

17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel: “In the past you wanted David to be king over you. 18 Now take action, because the Lord has spoken concerning David: ‘Through my servant David I will save my people Israel from the power of the Philistines and the power of all Israel’s enemies.’ ”

19 Abner also informed the Benjaminites and went to Hebron to inform David about all that was agreed on by Israel and the whole house of Benjamin.r 20 When Abner and twenty men came to David at Hebron, David held a banquet for him and his men.

21 Abner said to David, “Let me now go and I will gather all Israel to my lord the king. They will make a covenant with you,s and you will reign over all you desire.” So David dismissed Abner, and he went in peace.

22 Just then David’s soldiers and Joab returned from a raid and brought a large amount of plundered goods with them. Abner was not with David in Hebron because David had dismissed him, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and his whole army arrived, Joab was informed, “Abner son of Ner came to see the king, the king dismissed him, and he went in peace.”

24 Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look here, Abner came to you. Why did you dismiss him? Now he’s getting away. 25 You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you and to find out about your military activitiesC and everything you’re doing.” 26 Then Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner. They brought him back from the wellA of Sirah, but David was unaware of it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab pulled him aside to the middle of the city gate, as if to speak to him privately, and there Joab stabbed him in the stomach. So Abner died in revenge for the death of Asahel,B Joab’s brother.a

28 David heard about it later and said: “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May it hang over Joab’s head and his father’s whole family, and may the house of Joab never be without someone who has a discharge or a skin disease,b or a man who can only work a spindle,C or someone who falls by the sword or starves.” 30 Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon.c

31 David then ordered Joab and all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth,d and mourn over Abner.” And King David walked behind the coffin.D

32 When they buried Abner in Hebron, the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept, 33 and the king sang a lament for Abner:e

Should Abner die as a fool dies?

34 Your hands were not bound,

your feet not placed in bronze shackles.

You fell like one who falls victim to criminals.

And all the people wept over him even more.

35 Then they came to urge David to eat food while it was still day, but David took an oath: “May God punish me and do so severely if I taste bread or anything else before sunset!”f 36 All the people took note of this, and it pleased them. In fact, everything the king did pleased them. 37 On that day all the troops and all Israel were convinced that the king had no part in the killing of Abner son of Ner.

38 Then the king said to his soldiers, “You must know that a great leader has fallen in Israel today. 39 As for me, even though I am the anointed king, I have little power today. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too fierce for me.g May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil!”h

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About Christian Standard Bible

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.

The CSB is an original translation: more than 100 scholars from 17 denominations translated directly from the best available Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic source texts into English. Its source texts are the standard used by scholars and seminaries today.

The CSB is trustworthy: the conservative, evangelical scholars of the CSB affirm the authority of Scripture as the inerrant Word of God and seek the highest level of faithfulness to the original and accuracy in their translation. These scholars and LifeWay, the non-profit ministry that stewards the CSB, also champion the Bible against cultural trends that would compromise its truths.

The CSB is clear: it is as literal a translation of the ancient source texts as possible, but, in the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, it uses a more dynamic translation. In all cases, the intent is to convey the original meaning of God’s Word as faithfully and as clearly as possible.

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Copyright 2017 Holman Bible Publishers.

CSB UltraThin Reference Bible Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers.

All Rights Reserved.

The text of the Christian Standard Bible may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic, or audio) up to and inclusive of one-thousand (1,000) verses without the written permission of the publisher, provided that the verses quoted do not account for more than 50 percent of the work in which they are quoted, and provided that a complete book of the Bible is not quoted. Requests for permission are to be directed to and approved in writing by Holman Bible Publishers, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee 37234.

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Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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