There was then long warre betweene the house of Saul and the house of Dauid: but Dauid waxed stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker.
And vnto Dauid were children borne in Hebron: and his eldest sonne was Amnon of Ahinoam the Izreelite,
And his seconde, was Chileab of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite: and the third, Absalom the sonne of Maacah the daughter of Talmai the King of Geshur,
And the fourth, Adoniiah the sonne of Haggith, and the fifth, Shephatiah the sonne of Abital,
And the sixt, Ithream by Eglah Dauids wife: these were borne to Dauid in Hebron.
Nowe while there was warre betweene the house of Saul and the house of Dauid, Abner made all his power for the house of Saul.
And Saul had a concubine named Rizpah, the daughter of Aiiah;
Ish-bosheth sayde to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in to my fathers concubine?
Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, Am I a dogges head, which against Iudah do shew mercie this day vnto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his neighbours, and haue not deliuered thee into the hande of Dauid, that thou chargest me this day with a fault concerning this woman?
So doe God to Abner, and more also, except, as the Lorde hath sworne to Dauid, euen so I doe to him,
To remoue the kingdome from the house of Saul, that the throne of Dauid may be stablished ouer Israel, and ouer Iudah, euen from Dan to Beer-sheba.
And he durst no more answere to Abner: for he feared him.
Then Abner sent messengers to Dauid on his behalfe, saying, Whose is the lande?
who should also say, Make couenant with me, and beholde, mine hande shalbe with thee, to bring all Israel vnto thee.
Who saide, Well, I will make a couenant with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, that thou see not my face except thou bring Michal Sauls daughter when thou commest to see me.
Then Dauid sent messengers to Ish-bosheth Sauls sonne, saying, Deliuer me my wife Michal, which I marryed for an hundreth foreskinnes of the Philistims.
And Ish-bosheth sent, and tooke her from her husband Phaltiel the sonne of Laish.
And her husband went with her, & came weeping behinde her, vnto Bahurim: then saide Abner vnto him, Go, and returne.
So he returned.
And Abner had communication with the Elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for Dauid in times past, that he might be your King.
Nowe then doe it: for the Lord hath spoken of Dauid, saying, By the hand of my seruant Dauid I will saue my people Israel out of the handes of the Philistims, and out of the handes of all their enemies.
Also Abner spake to Beniamin, and afterward Abner went to speake with Dauid in Hebron, concerning all that Israel was content with, and the whole house of Beniamin.
So Abner came to Dauid to Hebron, hauing twentie men with him, and Dauid made a feast vnto Abner, and to the men that were with him.
Then Abner sayde vnto Dauid, I will rise vp, and goe gather all Israel vnto my lorde the King, that they may make a couenant with thee, and that thou mayest reigne ouer all that thine heart desireth.
Then Dauid let Abner depart, who went in peace.
And beholde, the seruants of Dauid and Ioab came from the campe, and brought a great pray with them (but Abner was not with Dauid in Hebron: for he had sent him away, and he departed in peace)
When Ioab, & all the hoste that was with him were come, men tolde Ioab, saying, Abner the sonne of Ner came to the King, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace.
Then Ioab came to the King, and saide, What hast thou done?
beholde, Abner came vnto thee, why hast thou sent him away, and he is departed?
Thou knowest Abner the sonne of Ner: for he came to deceiue thee, and to knowe thy outgoing and ingoing, and to knowe all that thou doest.
And when Ioab was gone out from Dauid, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him againe from the well of Siriah vnknowing to Dauid.
And when Abner was come againe to Hebron, Ioab tooke him aside in the gate to speake with him peaceably, and smote him vnder the fift ryb, that he dyed, for the blood of Asahel his brother.
And when afterwarde it came to Dauids eare, he saide, I and my kingdome are giltlesse before the Lorde for euer, concerning the blood of Abner the sonne of Ner.
Let the blood fall on the head of Ioab, and on all his fathers house, that the house of Ioab be neuer without some that haue running issues, or leper, or that leaneth on a staffe, or that doeth fall on the sworde, or that lacketh bread.
(So Ioab and Abishai his brother slewe Abner, because he had slaine their brother Asahel at Gibeon in battel)
And Dauid said to Ioab, and to al the people that were with him, Rent your clothes, and put on sackecloth, and mourne before Abner: and King Dauid him selfe followed the beare.
And when they had buryed Abner in Hebron, the King lift vp his voyce, and wept beside the sepulchre of Abner, and all the people wept.
And the King lamented ouer Abner, and sayde, Dyed Abner as a foole dyeth?
Thine handes were not bounde, nor thy feete tyed in fetters of brasse: but as a man falleth before wicked men, so diddest thou fall;
all the people wept againe for him.
Afterwarde all the people came to cause Dauid eate meate while it was yet day, but Dauid sware, saying, So doe God to me and more also, if I taste bread, or ought els till the sunne be downe.
And all the people knewe it, and it pleased them: as whatsoeuer the King did, pleased all the people.
For all the people and all Israel vnderstoode that day, howe that it was not the Kings deede that Abner the sonne of Ner was slaine.
And the King said vnto his seruants, Know ye not, that there is a prince & a great man falle this day in Israel?
And I am this day weake and newly anoynted King: and these men the sonnes of Zeruiah be too harde for me: the Lorde rewarde the doer of euill according to his wickednesse.