1 There was a long war between Sauls party and that of David, but David grew stronger while Sauls party grew weaker.
:B:2 Sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn, Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel
6 While war was going on between the party of Saul and that of David, Abner was strengthening his position in Sauls family. 7 Now Saul had a concubine named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, on whose account Ishbaal chided Abner, Why have you slept with my fathers con cubine? 8 Abner was very angry because of Ishbaals remark and ex claimed, Am I a dogs head? Up to now I have been loyal to the family of Saul your father, to his brothers and friends, and have not delivered you into the hands of David, and you come accusing me because of this woman. 9 May God deal with me severely if I do not do for David what Yahweh swore to him 10 to transfer the kingdom from the family of Saul to that of David and make him king of Israel and Judah to rule over all the land from Dan to Beersheba. 11 Ishbaal could no longer say a word to Abner for he feared him.
12 Abner then sent messengers to David at Hebron saying, To whom does the land belong? Enter into an agreement with me and I shall help you obtain all Israel. 13 David replied, I will make an agreement with you, but on one condition: you may appear before me when you bring me Sauls daughter, Michal.
:B:14 Then David sent messengers to Ishbaal, Sauls son, to tell him, Give me my wife Michal whom I married for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins. 15 Ishbaal sent for her and took her away from her husband Paltiel, son of Laish, 16 who followed her weeping all the way to Bahurim. There Ab ner said to him, Go back! and he turned back.
17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and told them, You have long wanted to have David as your king. 18 Well, make it come true
Joab murders Abner
20 When Abner came to David at Hebron, David prepared a feast for him and the twenty men who were with him. 21 Then Abner said to Da vid, I will now go and assemble all Israel for my master the king, that they may enter into an agreement with you, and that you may reign over all those you want to rule.
22 Just then, Davids men and Joab arrived from a raid taking along with them a great deal of booty. Abner was no longer with David at Hebron for he had departed quietly after David had dismissed him. 23 When Joab arrived with his troops he was told, Abner, son of Ner, came to see the king
26 Joab left David and sent messengers to go after Abner and they had him brought back from the cistern of Sirah. But David did not know of that. 27 When Abner arrived at Hebron, Joab took him aside within the city gate as though to speak with him, privately. There he stabbed him in the belly and he died. Joab did so in revenge for the murder of his brother, Asahel.
28 Later on, David heard about this. Then he said, Yahweh will not punish me and my kingdom for the blood of Abner, son of Ner. 29 May justice for his blood fall on Joab and on all his fathers family, and may there be forever among them some member who has discharge, or is sick with leprosy, or who is only fit to hold a spindle, or who falls by the sword or hungers!
30 Joab and his brother Abishai slew Abner because he had killed their broth er Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.
31 David then told Joab and those who were with him, Tear off your clothes, put on sackcloth and mourn before Abner. King David himself followed the corpse. 32 They buried Abner at Hebron
33 The king began the mourning song for Abner with these words, Should Abner die as a fool dies? 34 Your hands were not bound, your feet were not fettered
35 Then the people tried to persuade David to take some food while it was still day, but David swore, May God do so to me and more if I touch food before sundown! 36 The people heeded this and it pleased them