1:1¤ Now it came to pass, after Saul was dead, that David returned from the slaughter of the Amalecites, and abode two days in Siceleg.
1:2And on the third day, there appeared a man who came out of Saul's camp, with his garments rent, and dust strewed on his head: and when he came to David, he fell upon his face, and adored.
1:3And David said to him: From whence comest thou? And he said to him: I am fled out of the camp of Israel.
1:4And David said unto him: What is the matter that is come to pass? tell me: He said: The people are fled from the battle, and many of the people are fallen and dead: moreover Saul and Jonathan his son are slain.
1:5And David said to the young man that told him: How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son, are dead?
1:6And the young man that told him, said: I came by chance upon mount Gelboe, and Saul leaned upon his spear: and the chariots and horsemen drew nigh unto him,
1:7And looking behind him, and seeing me, he called me. And I answered, Here am I.
1:8And he said to me: Who art thou? And I said to him: I am an Amalecite.
1:9And he said to me: Stand over me, and kill me: for anguish is come upon me, and as yet my whole life is in me.
1:10So standing over him, I killed him: for I knew that he could not live after the fall: and I took the diadem that was on his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither to thee, my lord.
1:11Then David took hold of his garments and rent them, and likewise all the men that were with him.
1:12And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until evening for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel, because they were fallen by the sword.
1:13And David said to the young man that told him: Whence art thou? He answered: I am the son of a stranger of Amalec.
1:14David said to him: Why didst thou not fear to put out thy hand to kill the Lord's anointed?
1:15And David calling one of his servants, said: Go near and fall upon him. And he struck him so that he died.
1:16And David said to him: Thy blood be upon thy own head: for thy own mouth hath spoken against thee, saying: I have slain the Lord's anointed.
1:17And David made this kind of lamentation over Saul, and over Jonathan his son.
1:18(Also he commanded that they should teach the children of Juda the use of the bow, as it is written in the book of the just.) And he said: Consider, O Israel, for them that are dead, wounded on thy high places.
1:19The illustrious of Israel are slain upon thy mountains: how are the valiant fallen?
1:20Tell it not in Geth, publish it not in the streets of Ascalon: lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
1:21Ye mountains of Gelboe, let neither dew, nor rain come upon you, neither be they fields of firstfruits: for there was cast away the shield of the valiant, the shield of Saul as though he had not been anointed with oil.
1:22From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the valiant, the arrow of Jonathan never turned back, and the sword of Saul did not return empty.
1:23Saul and Jonathan, lovely, and comely in their life, even in death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.
1:24Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you with scarlet in delights, who gave ornaments of gold for your attire.
1:25How are the valiant fallen in battle? Jonathan slain in the high places?
1:26I grieve for thee, my brother Jonathan: exceeding beautiful, and amiable to me above the love of women. As the mother loveth her only son, so did I love thee.
1:27How are the valiant fallen, and the weapons of war perished?
2:1¤ And after these things David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I go up into one of the cities of Juda? And the Lord said to him: Go up. And David said: Whither shall I go up? And he answered him: Into Hebron.
2:2So David went up, and his two wives Achinoam the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal of Carmel:
2:3And the men also that were with him, David brought up every man with his household: and they abode in the towns of Hebron.
2:4And the men of Juda came, and anointed David there, to be king over the house of Juda. And it was told David that the men of Jabes Galaad had buried Saul.
2:5David therefore sent messengers to the men of Jabes Galaad, and said to them: Blessed be you to the Lord, who have shewn this mercy to your master Saul, and have buried him.
2:6And now the Lord surely will render you mercy and truth, and I also will requite you for this good turn, because you have done this thing.
2:7Let your hands be strengthened, and be ye men of valour: for although your master Saul be dead, yet the house of Juda hath anointed me to be their king.
2:8But Abner the son of Ner, general of Saul's army, took Isboseth the son of Saul, and led him about through the camp,
2:9And made him king over Galaad, and over Gessuri, and over Jezrahel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel.
2:10Isboseth the son of Saul was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years; and only the house of Juda followed David.
2:11And the number of the days that David abode, reigning in Hebron over the house of Juda, was seven years and six months.
2:12And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Isboseth the son of Saul, went out from the camp to Gabaon.
2:13And Joab the son of Sarvia, and the servants of David went out, and met them by the pool of Gabaon. And when they were come together, they sat down over against one another: the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side.
2:14And Abner said to Joab: Let the young men rise, and play before us. And Joab answered: Let them rise.
2:15Then there arose and went over twelve in number of Benjamin, of the part of Isboseth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
2:16And every one catching his fellow by the head, thrust his sword into the side of his adversary, and they fell down together: and the name of the place was called: The field of the valiant, in Gabaon.
2:17And there was a very fierce battle that day: and Abner was put to flight, with the men of Israel, by the servants of David.
2:18And there were the three sons of Sarvia there, Joab, and Abisai, and Asael: now Asael was a most swift runner, like one of the roes that abide in the woods.
2:19And Asael pursued after Abner, and turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.
2:20And Abner looked behind him, and said: Art thou Asael? And he answered: I am.
2:21And Abner said to him: Go to the right hand or to the left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take thee his spoils. But Asael would not leave off following him close.
2:22And again Abner said to Asael: Go off, and do not follow me, lest I be obliged to stab thee to the ground, and I shall not be able to hold up my face to Joab thy brother.
2:23But he refused to hearken to him, and would not turn aside: wherefore Abner struck him with his spear with a back stroke in the groin, and thrust him through, and he died upon the spot: and all that came to the place where Asael fell down and died stood still.
2:24Now while Joab and Abisai pursued after Abner, the sun went down: and they came as far as the hill of the aqueduct, that lieth over against the valley by the way of the wilderness in Gabaon.
2:25And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together to Abner: and being joined in one body, they stood on the top of a hill.
2:26And Abner cried out to Joab, and said: Shall thy sword rage unto utter destruction? knowest thou not that it is dangerous to drive people to despair? how long dost thou defer to bid the people cease from pursuing after their brethren?
2:27And Joab said: As the Lord liveth, if thou hadst spoke sooner, even in the morning the people should have retired from pursuing after their brethren.
2:28Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and all the army stood still, and did not pursue after Israel any farther, nor fight any more.
2:29And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plains: and they passed the Jordan, and having gone through all Beth-horon, came to the camp.
2:30And Joab returning, after he had left Abner, assembled all the people: and there were wanting of David's servants nineteen men, beside Asael.
2:31But the servants of David had killed of Benjamin, and of the men that were with Abner, three hundred and sixty, who all died.
2:32And they took Asael, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father in Bethlehem and Joab, and the men that were with him, marched all the night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.
3:2And sons were born to David in Hebron: and his firstborn was Ammon of Achinoam the Jezrahelitess:
3:3And his second Cheleab of Abigail the wife of Nabal of Carmel: and the third Absalom the son of Maacha the daughter of Tholmai king of Gessur:
3:4And the fourth Adonias, the son of Haggith: and the fifth Saphathia the son of Abital:
3:5And the sixth Jethraam of Egla the wife of David: these were born to David In Hebron.
3:6Now while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner the son of Ner ruled the house of Saul.
3:7And Saul had a concubine named Respha, the daughter of Aia. And Isboseth said to Abner:
3:8Why didst thou go in to my father's concubine? And he was exceedingly angry for the words of Isboseth, and said: Am I a dog's head against Juda this day, who have shewn mercy to the house of Saul thy father, and to his brethren and friends, and have not delivered thee into the hands of David, and hast thou sought this day against me to charge me with a matter concerning a woman?
3:9So do God to Abner, and more also, unless as the Lord hath sworn to David, so I do to him,
3:10That the kingdom be translated from the house of Saul, and the throne of David be set up over Israel, and over Juda from Dan to Bersabee.
3:11And he could not answer him a word, because he feared him.
3:12Abner therefore sent messengers to David for himself, saying: Whose is the land? and that they should say: Make a league with me, and my hand shall be with thee: and I will bring all Israel to thee.
3:13And he said: Very well: I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, saying: Thou shalt not see my face before thou bring Michol the daughter of Saul: and so thou shalt come, and see me.
3:14And David sent messengers to Isboseth the son of Saul, saying: Restore my wife Michol, whom I espoused to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.
3:15And Isboseth sent, and took her from her husband Phaltiel, the son of Lais.
3:16And her husband followed her, weeping as far as Bahurim: and Abner said to him: Go and return. And he returned.
3:17Abner also spoke to the ancients of Israel, saying: Both yesterday and the day before you sought for David that he might reign over you.
3:18Now then do it: because the Lord hath spoken to David, saying: By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hands of the Philistines, and of all their enemies.
3:19And Abner spoke also to Benjamin. And he went to speak to David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to all Benjamin.
3:20And he came to David in Hebron with twenty men: and David made a feast for Abner, and his men that came with him.
3:21And Abner said to David: I will rise, that I may gather all Israel unto thee my lord the king, and may enter into a league with thee, and that thou mayst reign over all as thy soul desireth. Now when David had brought Abner on his way, and he was gone in peace,
3:22Immediately, David's servants and Joab came, after having slain the robbers, with an exceeding great booty. And Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had now sent him away, and he was gone in peace.
3:23And Joab and all the army that was with him, came afterwards: and it was told Joab, that Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace.
3:24And Joab went in to the king, and said: What hast thou done? Behold Abner came to thee: Why didst thou send him away, and he is gone and departed?
3:25Knowest thou not Abner the son of Ner, that to this end he came to thee, that he might deceive thee, and to know thy going out, and thy coming in, and to know all thou dost?
3:26Then Joab going out from David, sent messengers after Abner, and brought him back from the cistern of Sira, David knowing nothing of it.
3:27And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside to the middle of the gate, to speak to him treacherously: and he stabbed him there in the groin, and he died, in revenge of the blood of Asael his brother.
3:28And when David heard of it, after the thing was now done, he said: I, and my kingdom are innocent before the Lord for ever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner:
3:29And may it come upon the head of Joab, and upon all his father's house: and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue of seed, or that is a leper, or that holdeth the distaff, or that falleth by the sword, or that wanteth bread.
3:30So Joab and Abisai his brother slew Abner, because he had killed their brother Asael at Gabaon in the battle.
3:31And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him: Rend your garments, and gird yourselves with sackcloths, and mourn before the funeral of Abner. And king David himself followed the bier.
3:32And when they had buried Abner in Hebron, king David lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner: and all the people also wept.
3:33And the king mourning and lamenting over Abner, said: Not as cowards are wont to die, hath Abner died.
3:34Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet laden with fetters: but as men fall before the children of iniquity, so didst thou fall. And all the people repeating it wept over him.
3:35And when all the people came to take meat with David, while it was yet broad day, David swore, saying: So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread or any thing else before sunset.
3:36And all the people heard, and they were pleased, and all that the king did seemed good in the sight of all the people.
3:37And all the people, and all Israel understood that day that it was not the king's doing, that Abner the son of Ner was slain.
3:38The king also said to his servants: Do you not know that a prince and a great man is slain this day in Israel?
3:39But I as yet am tender, though anointed king. And these men the sons of Sarvia are too hard for me: the Lord reward him that doth evil according to his wickedness.
4:1¤ And Isboseth the son of Saul heard that Abner was slain in Hebron: and his hands were weakened, and all Israel was troubled.
4:2Now the son of Saul had two men captains of his bands, the name of the one was Baana, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Remmon a Berothite of the children of Benjamin: for Beroth also was reckoned in Benjamin.
4:3And the Berothites fled into Gethaim, and were sojourners there until that time.
4:4And Jonathan the son of Saul had a son that was lame of his feet: for he was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan from Jezrahel. And his nurse took him up and fled: and as she made haste to flee, he fell and became lame: and his name was Miphiboseth.
4:5And the sons of Remmon the Berothite, Rechab and Baana coming, went into the house of Isboseth in the heat of the day: and he was sleeping upon his bed at noon. And the doorkeeper of the house, who was cleansing wheat, was fallen asleep.
4:6And they entered into the house secretly taking ears of corn, and Rechab and Baana his brother stabbed him in the groin, and fled away.
4:7For when they came into the house, he was sleeping upon his bed in a parlour, and they struck him and killed him and taking away his head they went off by the way of the wilderness, walking all night.
4:8And they brought the head of Isboseth to David to Hebron: and they said to the king: Behold the head of Isboseth the son of Saul thy enemy who sought thy life: and the Lord hath revenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
4:9But David answered Rechab, and Baana his brother, the sons of Remmon the Berothite, and said to them: As the Lord liveth, who hath delivered my soul out of all distress,
4:10The man that told me, and said: Saul is dead, who thought he brought good tidings, I apprehended, and slew him in Siceleg, who should have been rewarded for his news.
4:11How much more now when wicked men have slain an innocent man in his own house, upon his bed, shall I not require his blood at your hand, and take you away from the earth?
4:12And David commanded his servants and they slew them: and cutting off their hands and feet, hanged them up over the pool in Hebron: but the head of Isboseth they took and buried in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.