Website too slow? Load as basic HTML.

2 Samuel 3

New International Reader’s Version

1 The war between Saul’s royal house and David’s royal house lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger. But the royal house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. 2 Sons were born to David in Hebron. His first son was Amnon. Amnon’s mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel. 3 His second son was Kileab. Kileab’s mother was Abigail. She was Nabal’s widow from Carmel. The third son was Absalom. His mother was Maakah. She was the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. 4 The fourth son was Adonijah. His mother was Haggith. The fifth son was Shephatiah. His mother was Abital. 5 The sixth son was Ithream. His mother was David’s wife Eglah. Those sons were born to David in Hebron. 6 The fighting continued between David’s royal house and Saul’s royal house. Abner gained more and more power in the royal house of Saul. 7 While Saul was still alive, he had a concubine named Rizpah. She was the daughter of Aiah. Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, ‘Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?’ 8 Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So Abner answered, ‘Do you think I’m only a dog’s head? Am I on Judah’s side? To this day I’ve been faithful to the royal house of your father Saul. I’ve been faithful to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. But now you claim that I’ve sinned with this woman! 9 I will do for David what the LORD promised him. If I don’t, may God punish me greatly. 10 I’ll take the kingdom away from Saul’s royal house. I’ll set up the throne of David’s kingdom over Israel and Judah. He will rule from Dan all the way to Beersheba.’ 11 Ish-Bosheth didn’t dare to say another word to Abner. He was much too afraid of him. 12 Then Abner sent messengers to David to speak for him. They said, ‘Who will rule over this land? Make a covenant with me. Then I’ll help you bring all the Israelites over to your side.’ 13 ‘Good’, said David. ‘I will make a covenant with you. But there’s one thing I want you to do. Bring Saul’s daughter Michal to me. Don’t come to see me unless she’s with you.’ 14 Then David sent messengers to Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth. He ordered them to say, ‘Give me my wife Michal. She was promised to me. I paid for her the price that was demanded. I paid for her with the skins of 100 circumcised Philistines.’ 15 So Ish-Bosheth gave the order. He sent men who took Michal away from her husband Paltiel. Paltiel was the son of Laish. 16 But her husband followed her to Bahurim. He was crying all the way. Then Abner said to him, ‘Go back home!’ So he did. 17 Abner talked with the elders of Israel. He said, ‘For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now do it! The LORD made a promise to David. He said, “I will rescue my people Israel from the power of the Philistines. I will also rescue them from all their enemies. I will rescue them through my servant David.” ’ 19 Abner also spoke to the people of Benjamin in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything. He told him what Israel and all the people of Benjamin wanted to do. 20 Abner had 20 men with him. They came to David at Hebron. So David prepared a feast for Abner and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, ‘Let me go right now. I’ll gather together all the Israelites for you. After all, you are now my king and master. The people can make a covenant with you. Then you can rule over everyone you want to.’ So David sent Abner away. And he went in peace. 22 Just then David’s men and Joab came back from attacking their enemies. They brought with them the large amount of goods they had taken. But Abner wasn’t with David in Hebron anymore. That’s because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived. Then he was told that Abner, the son of Ner, had come to see the king. He was told that the king had sent Abner away. He was also told that Abner had gone in peace. 24 So Joab went to the king. He said, ‘What have you done? Abner came to you. Why did you let him get away? Now he’s gone! 25 You know what Abner, the son of Ner, is like. He came to trick you. He wanted to watch your every move. He came to find out everything you are doing.’ 26 Then Joab left David. He sent messengers to get Abner. They brought Abner back from the well of Sirah. But David didn’t know about it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him to one side. He brought him into an inside room. Joab acted as if he wanted to speak to him in private. But he really wanted to get even with him. That’s because Abner had spilled the blood of Joab’s brother Asahel. So Joab stabbed Abner in the stomach, and he died. 28 Later on, David heard about it. He said, ‘I and the people of my kingdom aren’t guilty of spilling the blood of Abner, the son of Ner. We are free of blame for ever in the sight of the LORD. 29 May Joab and his whole family line be held accountable for spilling Abner’s blood! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has an open sore or skin disease. May his family never be without someone who has to use a crutch to walk. May his family never be without someone who gets killed by a sword. And may his family never be without someone who doesn’t have enough to eat.’ 30 Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner. They did it because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon. 31 David spoke to Joab and all the people with him. He said, ‘Tear your clothes. Put on the rough clothing people wear when they’re sad. Mourn when you walk in front of Abner’s body.’ King David himself walked behind it. 32 Abner’s body was buried in Hebron. The king wept out loud at Abner’s tomb. So did the rest of the people. 33 King David sang a song of sadness over Abner. He said, ‘Should Abner have died as sinful people do? 34 His hands were not tied. His feet were not chained. He died as if he had been killed by evil people.’ All the people mourned over Abner again. 35 Then all of them came and begged David to eat something. They wanted him to eat while it was still day. But David made a promise. He said, ‘I won’t taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down. If I do, may God punish me greatly!’ 36 All the people heard his promise and were pleased. In fact, everything the king did pleased them. 37 So on that day all the people there and all the Israelites understood. They knew that the king didn’t have anything to do with the murder of Abner, the son of Ner. 38 The king spoke to his men. He said, ‘Don’t you realise that a great commander has died in Israel today? 39 I’m the anointed king. But today I’m weak. These sons of Zeruiah are too powerful for me. May the LORD pay back the one who killed Abner! May he pay him back for the evil thing he has done!’

2 Samuel 3

English Standard Version

1 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 And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; (1Sa 25:42; 1Ch 3:1) 3 and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; (1Sa 27:8; 2Sa 3:2; 2Sa 13:37; 2Sa 14:32; 2Sa 15:8) 4 and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; (1Ki 1:5) 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 Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. And Ish-bosheth said to Abner, “Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?” (2Sa 16:21; 2Sa 21:8) 8 Then Abner was very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said, “Am I a 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. (1Sa 17:43) 9 God do so to Abner and more also, if I do not accomplish for David what the Lord has sworn to him, (Ru 1:17; 1Sa 15:28; 1Sa 16:1; 1Sa 16:12; 1Sa 28:17; 2Sa 3:35; 1Ch 12:23) 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba.” (Jud 20:1; 1Sa 3:20; 2Sa 17:11; 2Sa 24:2; 2Sa 24:15; 1Ki 4:25) 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, you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face.” (Ge 43:3; 1Sa 14:49) 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying, “Give me my wife Michal, for whom I paid the bridal price of a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” (1Sa 18:25; 1Sa 18:27) 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 Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return.” And he returned. (2Sa 16:5; 2Sa 17:18; 2Sa 19:16; 1Ki 2:8) 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, for 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.’” (2Sa 3:9) 19 Abner also spoke to Benjamin. And then Abner went to tell David at Hebron all that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin thought good to do. (1Ch 12:29) 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 will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace. (2Sa 3:12; 1Ki 11:37) 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 your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.” (1Sa 29:6) 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, and there he struck him in the stomach, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. (2Sa 2:23; 2Sa 20:9; 1Ki 2:5; 1Ki 2:32) 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 May it fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father’s house, and may the house of Joab never be without one who has a discharge or who is leprous or who holds a spindle or who falls by the sword or who lacks bread!” (Le 14:2; Le 15:2; 2Sa 1:16) 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon. (2Sa 2:23) 31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and mourn before Abner.” And King David followed the bier. (Ge 37:34; Jos 7:6; 1Ki 20:31) 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 lamented for Abner, saying, “Should Abner die as a fool dies? (2Sa 1:17; 2Sa 13:12; 2Ch 35:25; Ec 2:16) 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 to persuade David to eat bread while it was yet day. But David swore, saying, “God do so to me and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!” (Ru 1:17; 2Sa 1:12; 2Sa 12:17) 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. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. The Lord repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!” (2Sa 16:10; 2Sa 19:22; Ps 28:4; 2Ti 4:14)