1 And it came to pass after this that David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah? and the Lord said to him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? and he said, To Hebron. 2 And David went up thither to Hebron, he and both his wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite, 3 and the men that were with him, every one and his family; and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
4 And the men of Judea come, and anoint David there to reign over the house of Judah; and they reported to David, saying, The men of Jabesh of the country of Gilead have buried Saul. 5 And David sent messengers to the rulers of Jabesh of the country of Gilead, and David said to them, Blessed be ye of the Lord, because ye have wrought this mercy toward your lord, even toward Saul the anointed of the Lord, and ye have buried him and Jonathan his son. 6 And now may the Lord deal in mercy and truth toward you: and I also will requite toward you this good deed, because ye have done this. 7 And now let your hands be made strong, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and moreover the house of Judah have anointed me to be king over them.
8 But Abner, the son of Ner, the commander-in-chief of Saul’s army, took Ish-bosheth son of Saul, and brought him up from the camp to Mahanaim 9 and made him king over the land of Gilead, and over Thasiri, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son was forty years old, when he reigned over Israel; and he reigned two years, but not over the house of Judah, who followed David.
11 And the days which David reigned in Hebron over the house of Judah were seven years and six months.
12 And Abner the son of Ner went forth, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went forth from Hebron, and met them at the fountain of Gibeon, at the same place: and these sat down by the fountain on this side, and those by the fountain on that side. 14 And Abner said to Joab, Let now the young men arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. 15 And there arose and passed over by number twelve of the children of Benjamin, belonging to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And they seized every one the head of his neighbor with his hand, and his sword was thrust into the side of his neighbor, and they fall down together: and the name of that place was called The portion of the treacherous ones, which is in Gibeon. 17 And the battle was very severe on that day; and Abner and the men of Israel were worsted before the servants of David. 18 And there were there the three sons of Zeruiah, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was swift in his feet as a roe in the field.
19 And Asahel followed after Abner, and turned not to go to the right hand or to the left from following Abner. 20 And Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel himself? and he said, I am. 21 And Abner said to him, Turn thou to the right hand or to the left, and lay hold for thyself on one of the young men, and take to thyself his armor: but Asahel would not turn back from following him. 22 And Abner said yet again to Asahel, Stand aloof from me, lest I smite thee to the ground? and how should I lift up my face to Joab? 23 And what does this mean? return to Joab thy brother. But he would not stand aloof; and Abner smites him with the hinder end of the spear on the loins, and the spear went out behind him, and he falls there and dies on the spot: and it came to pass that everyone that came to the place where Asahel fell and died, stood still. 24 And Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner, and the sun went down: and they went as far as the hill of Ammah, which is in the front of Giah, by the desert way of Gibeon.
25 And the children of Benjamin who followed Abner gather themselves together, and they formed themselves into one body, and stood on the top of a hill. 26 And Abner called Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour perpetually? knowest thou not that it will be bitter at last? How long then wilt thou refuse to tell the people to turn from following our brethren? 27 And Joab said, As the Lord lives, if thou hadst not spoken, even from the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother. 28 And Joab sounded the trumpet, and all the people departed, and did not pursue after Israel, and did not fight any longer.
29 And Abner and his men departed at evening, and went all that night, and crossed over Jordan, and went along the whole adjacent country, and they come to the camp. 30 And Joab returned from following Abner, and he assembled all the people, and there were missing of the people of David, nineteen men, and Asahel. 31 And the servants of David smote of the children of Benjamin, of the men of Abner, three hundred and sixty men belonging to him.
32 And they take up Asahel, and bury him in the tomb of his father in Bethlehem. And Joab and the men with him went all the night, and the morning rose upon them in Hebron.