¶ After this David asked the LORD saying: shall I go up into any of the cities of Iuda? And the LORD said: go. And David answered whither shall I go? He answered, unto Hebron. And so David went thither with his two wives also, Ahinoam the Iezrahelite and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite. And the men that were with him, did David carry up also, every man with his house. And they dwelt in the towns of Hebron. And the men of Iuda came and there anointed David king over the house of Iuda. When it was told David, how the men of Iabes in Gilead had buried Saul, he sent messengers unto them and said unto them: blessed are ye unto the LORD, that ye have shewed such kindness unto your lord Saul, and have buried him. Wherefore the LORD shew you mercy and truth again. And I will do you good also, because ye have done this thing. And now let your hands stir them and play ye the men, though your master Saul be dead. And finally understand that the house of Iuda have anointed me king over them.
¶ But Abner the son of Ner that was captain of Saul's host, took Isboseth the son of Saul and brought him to Mahanaim and made him king over Gilead and over the Assurites, and over Iezrahel: and over Ephraim and Benjamin and over all Israel. And Isboseth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Iuda only followed David. And the time which David reigned in Hebron over the house of Iuda was seven years and six months. And Abner the son of Ner and the servants of Isboseth the son of Saul went out of Mahanaim, to Gabaon. And Ioab the son of Zaruiah and the servants of David went out and met them by the Pool of Gabaon. And they sat down, the one part on the one side the pool and the other on the other side. And Abner said to Ioab: let the young men arise and play before us. And Ioab answered: be it. Then there arose and went over: twelve of Benjamin by number which pertained to Isboseth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. And they caught each his fellow that came against him, by the head and thrust his sword in his side, and so fell down all at once. Wherefore the place was called Helath Zurim which is in Gabaon. And there began an exceeding cruel battle that same day. But Abner and the men of Israel were put to the worse of the servants of David.
¶ And there was three sons of Zaruiah there: Ioab, Abisai and Asahel: which Asahel was as swift of foot as a wild roe, and followed after Abner and turned neither to the right hand nor to the left from Abner. Then Abner looked behind him and said: art thou Asahel? And he said yea. Then said Abner: turn thee either to the right hand or to the left and catch one of the young men and take thee his spoil. But Asahel would not depart from him. And Abner said again to Asahel: turn from me, for I were loth to smite thee to the ground. For then how should I hold up my face before Ioab thy brother? howbeit he would in no wise depart. Then Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the short ribs, that the spear came out behind him: that he fell down in the same place and died there. And as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still. But Ioab and Abisai followed Abner till the son went down. And when they were come to the hill Amah that lieth before Giah in the way that goeth thorow the wilderness of Gabaon,
¶ the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner on a plump and stood still on the top of an hill. Then Abner called to Ioab and said: shall the sword devour without end? knowest thou not that bitterness is wont to come in the latter end? how long shall it be, yer thou bid the people return from following their brethren? And Ioab answered: as truly as God liveth, if thou hadst so said, then even in the morning had the people departed, each from following his brother. And therewith Ioab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still and pursued after Israel no more nor fought no more. And Abner and his men walked all that night by the wild fields, and went over Iordan, and passed thorow all Bethhoron and came to Mahanaim. And Ioab returned from after Abner and gathered all the people together. And there lacked of David's servants nineteen persons and Asahel. But the servants of David had slain of Benjamin and of Abner's men, three hundredth and three score men. And they took up Asahel and buried him in the sepulchre of his father in Bethlehem. And Ioab and his men went all night, and came in the dawning to Hebron.