2 Samuel - Chapter 3
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7 Now, there was a concubine of Saul's called Rizpah daughter of Aiah, and Abner took her. Ishbaal said to Abner, 'Why have you slept with my father's concubine?'
8 At these words of Ishbaal, Abner flew into a rage. 'Am I a dog's head?' he shouted. 'Here am I, full of faithful love towards the House of Saul your father, his brothers and his friends, not leaving you to the hands of David, and now you find fault with me over a woman!
11 Ishbaal dared not say a single word to Abner in reply, as he was afraid of him.
12 Abner sent messengers on his own behalf to say to David, '. . . and furthermore, come to an agreement with me and I will give you my support to win all Israel over to you.'
13 'Very well,' David said, 'I will come to an agreement with you. I impose one condition however; you will not be admitted to my presence unless you bring me Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see me.'
16 Her husband set off with her and followed her, weeping as he went, as far as Bahurim; but Abner said to him, 'Go back!' and he went.
20 Abner, accompanied by twenty men, came to David at Hebron, and David held a feast for Abner and the men who were with him.
21 Abner then said to David, 'I must get up and go. I am going to rally all Israel to my lord the king, so that they will make an alliance with you, and you will reign over all that you desire.' So David allowed Abner to go, and he went unmolested.
22 David's retainers were just then coming back with Joab from a raid, bringing a great quantity of booty with them. Abner was no longer with David at Hebron, since David had allowed him to go, and he had gone unmolested.
23 When Joab and the whole company with him had arrived, Joab was told, 'Abner son of Ner has been to the king, and the king has allowed Abner to go away unmolested.'
24 Joab then went to the king and said, 'What have you done? Abner comes to you and you let him go away and now he has gone-why?
25 You know Abner son of Ner! He came to trick you, to discover your every move, to find out what you are doing.'
26 Joab left David's presence and sent messengers after Abner and these, unknown to David, brought him back from the storage-well at Sirah.
27 When Abner reached Hebron, Joab took him aside in the town-gate, as if to have a quiet word with him, and there struck him a mortal blow in the belly to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel.
29 may it fall on the head of Joab and on all his family! May the House of Joab never be free of men afflicted with haemorrhage or a virulent skin-disease, whose strength is in the distaff, who fall by the sword, who lack food.'
30 (Joab and his brother Abishai had murdered Abner because he killed their brother Asahel at the battle of Gibeon.)
32 They buried Abner at Hebron, and the king wept aloud on his grave, and the people all wept too.
33 The king made this lament over Abner: Should Abner have died as a brute dies?
34 Your hands were not tied, your feet not chained; you fell as a man falls at the hands of criminals. And all the people wept for him louder than ever.
35 The people then all tried to persuade David to have some food while it was still daylight, but David swore this oath, 'May God bring unnameable ills on me, and worse ills, too, if I taste bread or anything whatever until the sun is down!'
39 I, though anointed king, am weak at present, and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too strong for me. May Yahweh repay the criminal as his crime deserves!'
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Reading 2, First Corinthians 11:23-26
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