The Bible in Its Traditions

2 Samuel 2:12–3:1

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12  And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.

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13  And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out; and they met together by the pool of Gibeon, and sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool.

13  Therefore, Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and the youths of David, went out and met them beside the pool of Gibeon. And when they had convened together, they sat down opposite one another: these on one side of the pool, and those on the other side.

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14  And Abner said to Joab: 'Let the young men, I pray thee, arise and play before us.' And Joab said: 'Let them arise.'

14  And Abenner said to Joab, Let now the young men arise, and play before us. And Joab said, Let them arise.

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15  Then they arose and passed over by number: twelve for Benjamin, and for Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.

15  Therefore, they rose up and crossed over, twelve in number of Benjamin, from the side of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, and twelve of the youths of David.

15  Then there arose and went over by number twelve of the men of Benjamin, who belonged to Ashbashul the son of Saul and twelve of the men of David.

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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 Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.

16  And they seized every one the head of his neighbour with his hand, and his sword was thrust into the side of his neighbour, and they fall down together: and the name of that place was called The portion of the treacherous ones, which is in Gabaon.

16  And each one, taking hold of his peer by the head, fixed a sword into the side of his adversary, and they fell down together. And the name of that place was called: The Field of the Valiant in Gibeon.

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17  And the battle was very sore that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.

17  And a very harsh war rose up on that day. And Abner, with the men of Israel, was put to flight by the youths of David.

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18  And the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel; and Asahel was as light of foot as one of the roes that are in the field.

18  And there were there the three sons of Saruia, Joab, and Abessa, and Asael: and Asael was swift in his feet as a roe in the field.

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19  And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner.

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20  Then Abner looked behind him, and said: 'Is it thou, Asahel?' And he answered: 'It is I.'

20  And Abenner looked behind him, and said, Art thou Asael himself? and he said, I am.

20  And so, Abner looked behind his back, and he said, “Are you not Asahel?” And he responded, “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 him.

21  And Abenner said to him, Turn thou to the right hand or to the left, and lay hold for thyself on one of the young men, and take to thyself his armour: but Asel would not turn back from following him.

21  And Abner said to him, “Go to the right, or to the left, and apprehend one of the youths, and take his spoils for yourself.” But Asahel was not willing to cease from pursuing him closely.

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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?'

22  And Abner spoke again to Ashael, to turn from following him, saying, Turn from following me, lest I smite you and throw you on the ground; how then could I lift up my face and look at Joab your brother.

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23  Howbeit he refused to turn aside; wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him in the groin, 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.

23  But he disdained to heed him, and he was not willing to turn aside. Therefore, turning, Abner struck him with his spear in the groin, and he pierced him through, and he died in the same place. And all those who would pass by the place, in which Asahel had fallen and died, would stand still.

24  But Joab 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.

24  Now while Joab and Abishai were pursuing Abner as he fled, the sun set. And they went as far as the Hill of the Aqueduct, which is opposite the valley on the way of the desert in Gibeon.

25  And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one band, and stood on the top of a hill.

25  And the sons of Benjamin gathered themselves to Abner. And being joined in one battle line, they stood at the summit of a hill.

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26  Then Abner called to Joab, and said: 'Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?'

26  And Abenner called Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour perpetually? knowest thou not that it will be bitter at last? How long then wilt thou refuse to tell the people to turn from following our brethren?

26  And Abner cried out to Joab, and he said: “Will your sword rage unto utter destruction? Are you ignorant that it is perilous to act in desperation? How long will you not tell the people to cease from the pursuit of their brothers?”

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27  And Joab said: 'As God liveth, if thou hadst not spoken, surely then only after the morning the people had gone away, every one from following his brother.'

27  And Joab said: “As the Lord lives, if you had spoken in the morning, the people would have withdrawn from pursuing their brothers.”

27  And Joab said, As the LORD lives, unless you had spoken, surely in the morning I would have let the people give up every one from pursuing his brother.

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28  So Joab blew the horn, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more.

28  And Joab sounded the trumpet, and all the people departed, and did not pursue after Israel, and did not fight any longer.

28  Therefore, Joab sounded the trumpet, and the entire army stood still, and they did not pursue after Israel any more, and they did not engage in conflict.

29  And Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah; and they passed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and came to Mahanaim.

29  And Abenner and his men departed at evening, and went all that night, and crossed over Jordan, and went along the whole adjacent country, and they come to the camp.

29  Then Abner and his men went away, all that night, through the plains. And they crossed the Jordan, and having roamed throughout all of Beth-horon, they arrived in the camp.

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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.

30  But Joab, returning after he had released Abner, gathered together all the people. And of David’s youths, they were missing nineteen men, aside from Asahel.

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31  But the servants of David had smitten of Benjamin, even of Abner's men--three hundred and threescore men died.

31  And the servants of David smote of the children of Benjamin, of the men of Abenner, three hundred and sixty men belonging to him.

31  But of Benjamin and of the men who were with Abner, the servants of David had struck three hundred and sixty, who also died.

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32  And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Beth-lehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.

32  And they took Asahel, and they buried him in the sepulcher of his father at Bethlehem. And Joab, and the men who were with him, walked throughout the night, and they arrived in Hebron at the very break of day.

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3:1  Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; and David waxed stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.

And there was war for a long time between the house of Saul and the house of David; and the house of David grew continually stronger; but the house of Saul grew continually weaker.

Then a long struggle occurred between the house of Saul and the house of David, with David prospering and growing ever stronger, but the house of Saul decreasing daily.