Abner Joins David
3 There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.
2 vAnd sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of wAhinoam of Jezreel; 3 and his second, Chileab, of wAbigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah xthe daughter of Talmai king of yGeshur; 4 and the fourth, zAdonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5 and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
6 While there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had a concubine whose name was aRizpah, the daughter of Aiah. And Ish-bosheth said to Abner, b“Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?” 8 Then Abner was very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said, “Am I ca dog’s head of Judah? To this day I keep showing steadfast love to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not given you into the hand of David. And yet you charge me today with a fault concerning a woman. 9 dGod do so to Abner and more also, if I do not accomplish for David ewhat the Lord has sworn to him, 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, ffrom Dan to Beersheba.” 11 And Ish-bosheth could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
12 And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf,1 saying, “To whom does the land belong? Make your covenant with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you to bring over all Israel to you.” 13 And he said, “Good; I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you; that is, gyou shall not see my face unless you first bring hMichal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face.” 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying, “Give me my wife Michal, ifor whom I paid the bridal price of a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” 15 And Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 But her husband went with her, weeping after her all the way to jBahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return.” And he returned.
17 And Abner conferred with the elders of Israel, saying, “For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you. 18 Now then bring it about, kfor the Lord has promised David, saying, ‘By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from the hand of all their enemies.’” 19 Abner also spoke to lBenjamin. And then Abner went to tell David at Hebron all that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin thought good to do.
20 When Abner came with twenty men to David at Hebron, David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him. 21 And Abner said to David, “I will arise and go and mwill gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may nreign over all that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
22 Just then the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid, bringing much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David at Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the army that was with him came, it was told Joab, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has let him go, and he has gone in peace.” 24 Then Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you. Why is it that you have sent him away, so that he is gone? 25 You know that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you and to know oyour going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.”
Joab Murders Abner
26 When Joab came out from David’s presence, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah. But David did not know about it. 27 And when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him privately, pand there he struck him qin the stomach, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. 28 Afterward, when David heard of it, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the Lord for the blood of Abner the son of Ner. 29 rMay it fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father’s house, and may the house of Joab never be without sone who has a discharge or who is tleprous or who holds a spindle or who falls by the sword or who lacks bread!” 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because uhe had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon.
David Mourns Abner
31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, v“Tear your clothes and wput on sackcloth and mourn before Abner.” And King David followed the bier. 32 They buried Abner at Hebron. And the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33 And the king xlamented for Abner, saying,
y“Should Abner die zas a fool dies?
34 Your hands were not bound;
your feet were not fettered;
as one falls before the wicked
you have fallen.”
And all the people wept again over him. 35 Then all the people came ato persuade David to eat bread while it was yet day. But David swore, saying, b“God do so to me and more also, if I taste bread or anything else ctill the sun goes down!” 36 And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them, as everything that the king did pleased all the people. 37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the king’s will to put to death Abner the son of Ner. 38 And the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39 And I was gentle today, though anointed king. dThese men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. eThe Lord repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!”
4 When Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner had died at Hebron, fhis courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2 Now Saul’s son had two men who were captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon a man of Benjamin from Beeroth (gfor Beeroth also is counted part of Benjamin; 3 hthe Beerothites fled ito Gittaim and have been sojourners there to this day).
4 jJonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan kcame from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
5 Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. 6 And they came into the midst of the house as if to get wheat, and they stabbed him lin the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.1 7 When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and put him to death and beheaded him. They took his head and went by the way of mthe Arabah all night, 8 and brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, nwho sought your life. The Lord has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” 9 But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, o“As the Lord lives, pwho has redeemed my life out of every adversity, 10 qwhen one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, rI seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. 11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now srequire his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?” 12 And David commanded his young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hanged them beside the pool at Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it tin the tomb of Abner at Hebron.
David Anointed King of Israel
5 Then all the tribes of Israel ucame to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, vwe are your bone and flesh. 2 In times past, when Saul was king over us, wit was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, x‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince1 over Israel.’” 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, yand King David made a covenant with them at Hebron zbefore the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and ahe reigned forty years. 5 aAt Hebron he reigned over Judah bseven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.2
6 cAnd the king and his men went to Jerusalem dagainst the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.” 7 Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, ethat is, the city of David. 8 And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ who are hated by David’s soul.” Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” 9 And David lived in the stronghold and called it ethe city of David. And David built the city all around from the fMillo inward. 10 And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
11 gAnd hHiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house. 12 And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
13 And David took more iconcubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David. 14 jAnd these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
David Defeats the Philistines
17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went down kto the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in lthe Valley of Rephaim. 19 And David minquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” 20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” nTherefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim.3 21 And the Philistines left their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.
22 And the Philistines came up yet again oand spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 pAnd when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 24 And qwhen you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, rfor then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba sto Gezer.
The Ark Brought to Jerusalem
6 tDavid again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from uBaale-judah vto bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts wwho sits enthroned on the cherubim. 3 And they carried the ark of God xon a new cart and brought it yout of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio,1 the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, 4 with the ark of God,2 and Ahio went before the ark.
Uzzah and the Ark
5 And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with zsongs3 and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 6 And when they came to the threshing floor of aNacon, Uzzah bput out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and cGod struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. 8 And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah4 to this day. 9 And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” 10 So David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord into the city of David. But David took it aside dto the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11 And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, eand the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
12 And it was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” fSo David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom gto the city of David with rejoicing. 13 And when hthose who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, ihe sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. 14 And David jdanced before the Lord with all his might. And David was kwearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
David and Michal
16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. 17 And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it lin its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. mAnd David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, nhe blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts 19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat,5 and a cake of raisins to each one. oThen all the people departed, each to his house.
20 And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, puncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the qvulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, rwho chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince6 over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your7 eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
The Lord’s Covenant with David
7 sNow when the king lived in his house and the Lord thad given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 2 the king said to uNathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell vin a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells win a tent.” 3 And Nathan said to the king, x“Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”
4 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: yWould you build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not lived in a house zsince the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about ain a tent for my dwelling. 7 In all places where bI have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with cany of the judges1 of Israel, whom I commanded dto shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, eI took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince2 over my people Israel. 9 fAnd I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel gand will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place hand be disturbed no more. iAnd violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 jfrom the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And kI will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that lthe Lord will make you a house. 12 mWhen your days are fulfilled and nyou lie down with your fathers, oI will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 pHe shall build a house for my name, and qI will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 rI will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, sI will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 sbut my steadfast love will not depart from him, tas I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 uAnd your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me.3 uYour throne shall be established forever.’” 17 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
David’s Prayer of Gratitude
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, v“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. wYou have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! 20 And what more can David say to you? xFor you know your servant, O Lord God! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. 22 yTherefore you are great, O Lord God. zFor there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 aAnd who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name band doing for them4 great and awesome things by driving out before your people,5 whom cyou redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? 24 dAnd you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever. And you, O Lord, became their God. 25 And now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken. 26 And your name will be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27 For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord God, you are God, and eyour words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 29 Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, fand with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”