1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of Dawid; but Dawid waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
2 And unto Dawid were sons born in Hebron; and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Yizreelitess;
3 And his second, Chileab, of Avigail the wife of Naval the Carmelite; and the third, Avshalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
4 And the fourth, Adoniyah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shefatyah the son of Abital;
5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah Dawid’s wife. These were born to Dawid in Hebron.
6 And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of Dawid, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul.
7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Ayah; and Ishbosheth said to Abner, “Why have you gone in unto my father’s concubine?”
8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, “Am I a dog’s head, which against Judah (Yehudah) do shew kindness this day unto the house of Saul your father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of Dawid, that you chargest me today with a fault concerning this woman?
9 So do God (Elohim) to Abner, and more also, except, as יהוה hath sworn to Dawid, even so I do to him;
10 To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of Dawid over Yisrael and over Judah (Yehudah), from Dan even to Beer-Sheva.”
11 And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him.
12 And Abner sent messengers to Dawid on his behalf, saying, “Whose is the land?” Saying also, “Make your league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with you, to bring about all Yisrael unto you.”
13 And he said, “Well, I will make a league with you; but one thing I require of you, that is, you shalt not see my face, except you first bring Michal Saul’s daughter, when you comest to see my face.”
14 And Dawid sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul’s son, saying, “Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.”
15 And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish.
16 And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, “Go, return!” And he returned.
17 And Abner had communication with the elders of Yisrael, saying, “You sought for Dawid in times past to be king over you.
18 Now then do it, for יהוה hath spoken of Dawid, saying, ‘By the hand of My servant Dawid I will save My people Yisrael out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.’”
19 And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin (Binyamin); and Abner went also to speak in the ears of Dawid in Hebron all that seemed good to Yisrael, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin (Binyamin).
20 So Abner came to Dawid to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And Dawid made Abner and the men that were with him a feast.
21 And Abner said unto Dawid, “I will arise and go, and will gather all Yisrael unto my lord (adoni) the king, that they may make a league with you, and that you mayest reign over all that your heart desireth.” And Dawid sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
22 And, behold, the servants of Dawid and Yoav came from pursuing a troop, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with Dawid in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace.
23 When Yoav and all the army that was with him were come, they told Yoav, saying, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace.”
24 Then Yoav came to the king, and said, “What have you done? Behold, Abner came unto you; why is it that you have sent him away, and he is quite gone?
25 You knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you doest.”
26 And when Yoav was come out from Dawid, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah; but Dawid knew it not.
27 And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Yoav took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.
28 And afterward when Dawid heard it, he said, “I and my kingdom are guiltless before יהוה forever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner.
29 Let it rest on the head of Yoav, and on all his father’s house; and let there not fail from the house of Yoav one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread.”
30 So Yoav and Avishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Giveon in the battle.
31 And Dawid said to Yoav, and to all the people that were with him, “Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner.” And king Dawid himself followed the bier.
32 And they buried Abner in 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 over Abner, and said: “Died Abner as a fool dieth?
34 Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest you.” And all the people wept again over him.
35 And when all the people came to cause Dawid to eat meat while it was yet day, Dawid sware, saying, “So do God (Elohim) to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or anything else, till the sun be down!”
36 And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did please all the people.
37 For all the people and all Yisrael understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.
38 And the king said unto his servants, “Know you not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Yisrael?
39 And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Tseruyah be too hard for me. יהוה shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.”