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2 Samuel chapter 2

New International Version

1 In the course of time, David inquired of the LORD. 'Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?' he asked. The LORD said, 'Go up.' David asked, 'Where shall I go?' 'To Hebron,' the LORD answered.
2 So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns.
4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah. When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul, 5 he sent messengers to them to say to them, 'The LORD bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. 6 May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. 7 Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them.'
8 Meanwhile, Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul's army, had taken Ish-Bosheth son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9 He made him king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel, and also over Ephraim, Benjamin and all Israel.
10 Ish-Bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years. The tribe of Judah, however, remained loyal to David. 11 The length of time David was king in Hebron over Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Abner son of Ner, together with the men of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. 13 Joab son of Zeruiah and David's men went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat down on one side of the pool and one group on the other side.
14 Then Abner said to Joab, 'Let's have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us.' 'All right, let them do it,' Joab said.
15 So they stood up and were counted off--twelve men for Benjamin and Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve for David. 16 Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his dagger into his opponent's side, and they fell down together. So that place in Gibeon was called Helkath Hazzurim.
17 The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David's men.
18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Now Asahel was as fleet-footed as a wild gazelle. 19 He chased Abner, turning neither to the right nor to the left as he pursued him.
20 Abner looked behind him and asked, 'Is that you, Asahel?' 'It is,' he answered.
21 Then Abner said to him, 'Turn aside to the right or to the left; take on one of the young men and strip him of his weapons.' But Asahel would not stop chasing him.
22 Again Abner warned Asahel, 'Stop chasing me! Why should I strike you down? How could I look your brother Joab in the face?'
23 But Asahel refused to give up the pursuit; so Abner thrust the butt of his spear into Asahel's stomach, and the spear came out through his back. He fell there and died on the spot. And every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and as the sun was setting, they came to the hill of Ammah, near Giah on the way to the wasteland of Gibeon. 25 Then the men of Benjamin rallied behind Abner. They formed themselves into a group and took their stand on top of a hill.
26 Abner called out to Joab, 'Must the sword devour forever? Don't you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their fellow Israelites?'
27 Joab answered, 'As surely as God lives, if you had not spoken, the men would have continued pursuing them until morning.'
28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the troops came to a halt; they no longer pursued Israel, nor did they fight anymore.
29 All that night Abner and his men marched through the Arabah. They crossed the Jordan, continued through the morning hours and came to Mahanaim.
30 Then Joab stopped pursuing Abner and assembled the whole army. Besides Asahel, nineteen of David's men were found missing. 31 But David's men had killed three hundred and sixty Benjamites who were with Abner. 32 They took Asahel and buried him in his father's tomb at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night and arrived at Hebron by daybreak.
English Standard Version

1 After this David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” And he said, “To Hebron.” 2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 And David brought up his men who were with him, everyone with his household, and they lived in the towns of Hebron. 4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. When they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,”
5 David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “May you be blessed by the LORD, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him. 6 Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing. 7 Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
8 But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim, 9 and he made him king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreel and Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. And they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 And Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men arise and compete before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.” 15 Then they arose and passed over by number, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And each caught his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side, so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is at Gibeon. 17 And the battle was very fierce that day. And Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.
18 And the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as swift of foot as a wild gazelle. 19 And Asahel pursued Abner, and as he went, he turned neither to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Is it you, Asahel?” And he answered, “It is I.” 21 Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and seize one of the young men and take his spoil.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift up my face to your brother Joab?” 23 But he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the butt of his spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died where he was. And all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. And as the sun was going down they came to the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the people of Benjamin gathered themselves together behind Abner and became one group and took their stand on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you tell your people to turn from the pursuit of their brothers?” 27 And Joab said, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely the men would not have given up the pursuit of their brothers until the morning.” 28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the men stopped and pursued Israel no more, nor did they fight anymore.
29 And Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah. They crossed the Jordan, and marching the whole morning, they came to Mahanaim. 30 Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing from David’s servants nineteen men besides Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had struck down of Benjamin 360 of Abner’s men. 32 And they took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. And Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.
King James Version

1 And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. 2 So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite. 3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul. 5 And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said unto them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. 6 And now the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because ye have done this thing. 7 Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.
8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; 9 And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 And Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise. 15 Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkathhazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17 And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
18 And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. 19 And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asahel? And he answered, I am. 21 And Abner said to him, Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armour. But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him. 22 And Abner said again to Asahel, Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother? 23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still. 24 Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
25 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren? 27 And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother. 28 So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more. 29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim. 30 And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people together, there lacked of David's servants nineteen men and Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, and of Abner's men, so that three hundred and threescore men died. 32 And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.
New American Standard Bible

1 Then it came about afterward that David inquired of the LORD, saying, 'Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?' And the LORD said to him, 'Go up.' So David said, 'Where shall I go up?' And He said, 'To Hebron.' 2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 And David brought up his men who were with him, each with his household; and they settled in the cities of Hebron.
4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, 'It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.' 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, 'May you be blessed of the LORD because you have shown this kindness to Saul your lord, and have buried him. 6 And now may the LORD show kindness and truth to you; and I also will show this goodness to you, because you have done this thing. 7 Now then, let your hands be strong and be valiant, since Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.'
8 But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9 And he made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, even over all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he was king for two years. The house of Judah, however, followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Now Abner the son of Ner, went from Mahanaim to Gibeon with the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, Abner’s men on the one side of the pool and Joab’s men on the other side of the pool. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, 'Now have the young men arise and hold a martial skills match in our presence.' And Joab said, 'Have them arise!' 15 So they got up and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David. 16 And each one of them seized his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17 That day the battle was very severe, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by the servants of David.
18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel; and Asahel was as swift-footed as one of the gazelles that is in the field. 19 Asahel pursued Abner and did not turn to the right or to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind himself and said, 'Is that you, Asahel?' And he said, 'It is I!' 21 So Abner said to him, 'Turn aside for your own good to your right or to your left, and take hold of one of the young men for yourself, and take for yourself his equipment.' But Asahel was unwilling to turn aside from following him. 22 Then Abner repeated again to Asahel, 'Turn aside for your own good from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I show my face to your brother Joab?' 23 However, he refused to turn aside; so Abner struck him in the belly with the butt end of the spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died on the spot. And it happened that all who came thereafter to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and when the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah, which is opposite Giah by way of the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one troop, and they stood on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, 'Should the sword devour forever? Do you not realize that it will be bitter in the end? So how long will you refrain from telling the people to turn back from pursuing their kinsmen?' 27 Joab said, 'As God lives, if you had not spoken, then the people of Judah certainly would have withdrawn in the morning, each from pursuing his brother.' 28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the people halted and no longer pursued Israel, nor did they continue to fight anymore. 29 Abner and his men then went through the Arabah all that night; so they crossed the Jordan, walked all morning, and came to Mahanaim.
30 Then Joab returned from pursuing Abner; but he gathered all the people together, and nineteen of David’s servants were missing, besides Asahel. 31 However, the servants of David had struck and killed many of Benjamin and Abner’s men; 360 men were dead. 32 And they carried Asahel away and buried him in his father’s tomb, which was in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men traveled all night until the day dawned at Hebron.
New Living Translation

1 After this, David asked the LORD, 'Should I move back to one of the towns of Judah?' 'Yes,' the LORD replied. Then David asked, 'Which town should I go to?' 'To Hebron,' the LORD answered.
2 David's two wives were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. So David and his wives 3 and his men and their families all moved to Judah, and they settled in the villages near Hebron.
4 Then the men of Judah came to David and anointed him king over the people of Judah. When David heard that the men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul, 5 he sent them this message: 'May the LORD bless you for being so loyal to your master Saul and giving him a decent burial. 6 May the LORD be loyal to you in return and reward you with his unfailing love! And I, too, will reward you for what you have done. 7 Now that Saul is dead, I ask you to be my strong and loyal subjects like the people of Judah, who have anointed me as their new king.'
8 But Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul's army, had already gone to Mahanaim with Saul's son Ishbosheth. 9 There he proclaimed Ishbosheth king over Gilead, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, the land of the Ashurites, and all the rest of Israel.
10 Ishbosheth, Saul's son, was forty years old when he became king, and he ruled from Mahanaim for two years. Meanwhile, the people of Judah remained loyal to David. 11 David made Hebron his capital, and he ruled as king of Judah for seven and a half years.
12 One day Abner led Ishbosheth's troops from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 About the same time, Joab son of Zeruiah led David's troops out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. The two groups sat down there, facing each other from opposite sides of the pool.
14 Then Abner suggested to Joab, 'Let's have a few of our warriors fight hand to hand here in front of us.' 'All right,' Joab agreed. 15 So twelve men were chosen to fight from each side--twelve men of Benjamin representing Ishbosheth son of Saul, and twelve representing David. 16 Each one grabbed his opponent by the hair and thrust his sword into the other's side so that all of them died. So this place at Gibeon has been known ever since as the Field of Swords.
17 A fierce battle followed that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by the forces of David.
18 Joab, Abishai, and Asahel--the three sons of Zeruiah--were among David's forces that day. Asahel could run like a gazelle, 19 and he began chasing Abner. He pursued him relentlessly, not stopping for anything.
20 When Abner looked back and saw him coming, he called out, 'Is that you, Asahel?' 'Yes, it is,' he replied.
21 'Go fight someone else!' Abner warned. 'Take on one of the younger men, and strip him of his weapons.' But Asahel kept right on chasing Abner.
22 Again Abner shouted to him, 'Get away from here! I don't want to kill you. How could I ever face your brother Joab again?'
23 But Asahel refused to turn back, so Abner thrust the butt end of his spear through Asahel's stomach, and the spear came out through his back. He stumbled to the ground and died there. And everyone who came by that spot stopped and stood still when they saw Asahel lying there.
24 When Joab and Abishai found out what had happened, they set out after Abner. The sun was just going down as they arrived at the hill of Ammah near Giah, along the road to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 Abner's troops from the tribe of Benjamin regrouped there at the top of the hill to take a stand.
26 Abner shouted down to Joab, 'Must we always be killing each other? Don't you realize that bitterness is the only result? When will you call off your men from chasing their Israelite brothers?'
27 Then Joab said, 'God only knows what would have happened if you hadn't spoken, for we would have chased you all night if necessary.' 28 So Joab blew the ram's horn, and his men stopped chasing the troops of Israel.
29 All that night Abner and his men retreated through the Jordan Valley. They crossed the Jordan River, traveling all through the morning, and didn't stop until they arrived at Mahanaim.
30 Meanwhile, Joab and his men also returned home. When Joab counted his casualties, he discovered that only 19 men were missing in addition to Asahel. 31 But 360 of Abner's men had been killed, all from the tribe of Benjamin. 32 Joab and his men took Asahel's body to Bethlehem and buried him there in his father's tomb. Then they traveled all night and reached Hebron at daybreak.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Some time later, David inquired of the Lord: "Should I go to one of the towns of Judah? "The Lord answered him, "Go."Then David asked, "Where should I go? ""To Hebron," the Lord replied.
2 So David went there with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 In addition, David brought the men who were with him, each one with his family, and they settled in the towns near Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. They told David, "It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul."
5 David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, "The Lord bless you because you have shown this kindness to Saul your lord when you buried him. 6 Now, may the Lord show kindness and faithfulness to you, and I will also show the same goodness to you because you have done this deed. 7 Therefore, be strong and valiant, for though Saul your lord is dead, the house of Judah has anointed me king over them."
8 Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, took Saul's son Ish-bosheth and moved him to Mahanaim. 9 He made him king over Gilead, Asher, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin--over all Israel. 10 Saul's son Ish-bosheth was forty years old when he became king over Israel; he reigned for two years. The house of Judah, however, followed David. 11 The length of time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Abner son of Ner and soldiers of Ish-bosheth son of Saul marched out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 So Joab son of Zeruiah and David's soldiers marched out and met them by the pool of Gibeon. The two groups took up positions on opposite sides of the pool.
14 Then Abner said to Joab, "Let's have the young men get up and compete in front of us.""Let them get up," Joab replied.
15 So they got up and were counted off--twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth son of Saul, and twelve from David's soldiers. 16 Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his sword into his opponent's side so that they all died together. So this place, which is in Gibeon, is named Field of Blades.
17 The battle that day was extremely fierce, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by David's soldiers. 18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel was a fast runner, like one of the wild gazelles. 19 He chased Abner and did not turn to the right or the left in his pursuit of him.
20 Abner glanced back and said, "Is that you, Asahel? ""Yes it is," Asahel replied.
21 Abner said to him, "Turn to your right or left, seize one of the young soldiers, and take whatever you can get from him." But Asahel would not stop chasing him. 22 Once again, Abner warned Asahel, "Stop chasing me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How could I ever look your brother Joab in the face? "
23 But Asahel refused to turn away, so Abner hit him in the stomach with the butt of his spear. The spear went through his body, and he fell and died right there. As they all came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, they stopped, 24 but Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. By sunset, they had gone as far as the hill of Ammah, which is opposite Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon.
25 The Benjaminites rallied to Abner; they formed a unit and took their stand on top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called out to Joab, "Must the sword devour forever? Don't you realize this will only end in bitterness? How long before you tell the troops to stop pursuing their brothers? "
27 "As God lives," Joab replied, "if you had not spoken up, the troops wouldn't have stopped pursuing their brothers until morning." 28 Then Joab blew the ram's horn, and all the troops stopped; they no longer pursued Israel or continued to fight. 29 So Abner and his men marched through the Arabah all that night. They crossed the Jordan, marched all morning, and arrived at Mahanaim.
30 When Joab had turned back from pursuing Abner, he gathered all the troops. In addition to Asahel, nineteen of David's soldiers were missing, 31 but they had killed 360 of the Benjaminites and Abner's men. 32 Afterward, they carried Asahel to his father's tomb in Bethlehem and buried him. Then Joab and his men marched all night and reached Hebron at dawn.

What does 2 Samuel chapter 2 mean?

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