2 Samuel 3

1There was war for a long time between Saul’s family and David’s family. David became stronger and stronger. And Saul’s family became weaker and weaker. 2David had these sons that were born at Hebron. The first son was Ammon. Ammon’s mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel. 3The second son was Kileab. Kileab’s mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. The third son was Absalom. Absalom’s mother was Maacah daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. 4The fourth son was Adonijah. Adonijah’s mother was Haggith. The fifth son was Shephatiah. Shephatiah’s mother was Abital. 5The sixth son was Ithream. Ithream’s mother was David’s wife Eglah. David had these ˻six sons˼ born at Hebron. 6Abner became more and more powerful in Saul’s army while the families of Saul and David fought each other. 7Saul had a woman servant named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. Ish Bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you have sexual relations with my father’s servant woman?” 8Abner was very angry because of what Ish Bosheth said. Abner said, “I have been loyal to Saul and his family. I did not give you to David—˻I did not let him defeat you˼. I am not a traitor working for Judah. But now you are saying that I did this bad thing. 9- 10I make this promise—I will now make sure that the things God said will happen. The Lord said he would take the kingdom away from Saul’s family and give it to David. The Lord will make David king of Judah and Israel. He will rule from Dan to Beersheba. And I hope God does bad things to me if I don’t make that happen!” 11Ish Bosheth could not say anything to Abner. Ish Bosheth was too afraid of him. 12Abner sent messengers to David. Abner said, “Who do you think should rule this country? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you become the ruler of all the people of Israel.” 13David answered, “Good! I will make an agreement with you. But I ask you only one thing: I will not meet with you until you bring Saul’s daughter Michal to me.” 14David sent messengers to Saul’s son Ish Bosheth. David said, “Give me my wife Michal. She was promised to me. I killed 100 Philistines to get her.” 15Then Ish Bosheth told the men to go and take Michal from a man named Paltiel son of Laish. 16Michal’s husband ˻Paltiel˼ went with Michal. Paltiel was crying while he followed Michal to Bahurim. But Abner said to Paltiel, “Go back home.” So Paltiel went back home. 17Abner sent this message to the leaders of Israel. He said, “You have been wanting to make David your king. 18Now do it! The Lord was talking about David when he said, 'I will save my people the Israelites from the Philistines and all their other enemies. I will do this through my servant David.’” 19Abner said these things to David in Hebron. And he said these things to the people of the Benjamin family group. The things Abner said sounded good to the Benjamin family group and to all the people of Israel. 20Then Abner came up to David at Hebron. Abner brought 20 men with him. David gave a party for Abner and for all the men who came with him. 21Abner said to David, “My lord and king, let me go bring all the Israelites to you. Then they will make an agreement with you. And you will rule over all Israel, like you wanted.” So David let Abner leave. And Abner left in peace. 22Joab and David’s officers came back from battle. They had many valuable things that they had taken from the enemy. David had just let Abner leave in peace. So Abner was not there in Hebron with David. 23Joab and all his army arrived ˻at Hebron˼. The army said to Joab, “Abner son of Ner came to King David, and David let Abner leave in peace.” 24Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Abner came to you, but you sent him away without hurting him! Why? 25You know Abner son of Ner. He came to trick you. He came to learn all about the things you are doing.” 26Joab left David and sent messengers to Abner at the well of Sirah. The messengers brought Abner back, but David did not know this. 27When Abner arrived at Hebron, Joab took him to one side in the middle of the gateway to talk with him in private. And then Joab stabbed Abner in the stomach, and Abner died. Abner had killed Joab’s brother Asahel. So now Joab killed Abner. 28Later David heard the news. David said, “My kingdom and I are innocent of the death of Abner son of Ner. The Lord knows this. 29Joab and his family are responsible for this, and all his family are to be blamed. I hope many troubles will come to Joab’s family. I hope the people in his family will be sick with leprosy, and crippled, and killed in war, and not have enough food to eat!” 30Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because Abner had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon. 31- 32David said to Joab and to all the people with Joab, “Tear your clothes and put on clothes of sadness. Cry for Abner.” They buried Abner in Hebron. David went to the funeral. King David and all the people cried at Abner’s grave. 33King David sang this sad song at Abner’s funeral: “Did Abner die like some foolish criminal? 34Abner, your hands were not tied. Your feet were not put in chains. No, Abner, evil men killed you!” Then all the people cried again for Abner. 35All day long people came to encourage David to eat food. But David had made a special promise. He said, “May God punish me and give me many troubles if I eat bread or any other food before the sun goes down.” 36All the people saw what happened, and they were pleased with what King David had done. 37All the people of Judah and Israel understood that King David had not killed Abner son of Ner. 38King David said to his officers, “You know that a very important leader died today in Israel. 39And it was on the very same day that I was anointed to be the king. These sons of Zeruiah have caused me a lot of trouble. I hope the Lord gives these men the punishment they deserve.”

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