2 Samuel - Chapter 2
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1 After this David consulted Yahweh, asking, 'Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?' Yahweh replied, 'Go up!' 'Which one shall I go to?' David asked. 'To Hebron,' was the reply.
2 So David went up, with his two wives Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel.
4 The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David as king of the House of Judah. They told David that the people of Jabesh in Gilead had given Saul burial,
5 so David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh in Gilead. 'May you be blessed by Yahweh,' he said, 'for showing this faithful love to Saul your lord, and for burying him.
6 And now may Yahweh show faithful love and constancy towards you! I too shall treat you well because you have done this.
8 Abner son of Ner, Saul's army commander, had taken Ishbaal son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim.
9 He had made him king of Gilead, of the Asherites, of Jezreel, of Ephraim, of Benjamin and indeed of all Israel.
10 Ishbaal son of Saul was forty years old when he became king of Israel, and he reigned for two years. Only the House of Judah supported David.
11 The length of David's reign over Judah in Hebron was seven years and six months.
15 So they came forward and were numbered off, twelve from Benjamin for Ishbaal son of Saul, and twelve of David's retainers.
17 That day a very fierce battle took place, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten by David's retainers.
19 Asahel chased Abner, not swerving to the right or left from pursuing him.
21 Abner said, 'Turn to your right or your left, catch one of the men and take his spoil!' But Asahel would not break off the pursuit.
22 Again Abner spoke to Asahel, 'Stop following me, unless you want me to strike you to the ground; and then how could I look your brother Joab in the face?'
23 But he refused to be diverted, so Abner struck him in the belly with the butt of his spear so that the shaft came out through his back; and he fell at his feet and died on the spot. On coming to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, everyone halted.
25 The Benjaminites gathered in close formation behind Abner and halted on the top of a hill.
26 Abner called out to Joab, 'Is the sword to go on devouring for ever? Surely you see that this can only end in bitterness? How long will it be before you order those people to stop pursuing their brothers?'
27 Joab replied, 'As Yahweh lives, if you had not spoken, these men would not have given up the pursuit of their brothers until morning.'
32 They took up Asahel and buried him in his father's tomb, which is at Bethlehem. Joab and his men then marched throughout the night, reaching Hebron at daybreak.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 117:1, 2
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