The Scriptures (ISR 1998)
1And it came to be afterwards that Dawiḏ inquired of יהוה, saying, “Do I go up to any of the cities of Yehuḏah?” And יהוה said to him, “Go up.” And Dawiḏ said, “Where should I go up?” And He said, “To Ḥeḇron.”
2And Dawiḏ went up there, as well as his two wives, Aḥino‛am the Yizre‛ĕlitess, and Aḇig̅ayil the widow of Naḇal the Karmelite.
3And Dawiḏ brought up the men who were with him, each man with his household, and they dwelt in the cities of Ḥeḇron.
4And the men of Yehuḏah came, and anointed Dawiḏ sovereign over the house of Yehuḏah there. They also reported to Dawiḏ, saying, “The men of Yaḇĕsh Gil‛aḏ are they who buried Sha’ul.”
5Dawiḏ then sent messengers to the men of Yaḇĕsh Gil‛aḏ, and said to them, “You are blessed of יהוה, for you have shown this kindness to your master, to Sha’ul, that you buried him.
6“And now, יהוה show kindness and truth to you, and I am also going to do you good, because you have done this deed.
7“And now, let your hands be strengthened and be brave, for your master Sha’ul is dead, and also the house of Yehuḏah has anointed me sovereign over them.”
8But Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr, commander of the army of Sha’ul, took Ishbosheth the son of Sha’ul, and brought him over to Maḥanayim,
9and set him up to reign over Gil‛aḏ, and over the Ashĕrites, and over Yizre‛ĕl, and over Ephrayim, and over Binyamin, and over all Yisra’ĕl.
10Ishbosheth, son of Sha’ul, was forty years old when he began to reign over Yisra’ĕl, and he reigned two years. Only the house of Yehuḏah followed Dawiḏ.
11And the time that Dawiḏ was sovereign in Ḥeḇron over the house of Yehuḏah was seven years and six months.
12And Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr, and the servants of Ishbosheth son of Sha’ul, went out from Maḥanayim to Giḇ‛on.
13And Yo’aḇ son of Tseruyah, and the servants of Dawiḏ, went out and met them by the pool of Giḇ‛on. And they sat down, one on one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool.
14And Aḇnĕr said to Yo’aḇ, “Let the young men now rise and compete before us.” And Yo’aḇ said, “Let them rise.”
15And they rose and went over by number, twelve from Binyamin, followers of Ishbosheth son of Sha’ul, and twelve from the servants of Dawiḏ.
16And each one grasped his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side, and they fell down together. So that place was called the Field of Sharp Swords, which is in Giḇ‛on.
17And the battle was fierce that day, and Aḇnĕr and the men of Yisra’ĕl were smitten before the servants of Dawiḏ.
18And there were three sons of Tseruyah there, Yo’aḇ and Aḇishai and Asah’ĕl. And Asah’ĕl was light on his feet, as one of the gazelles in the field.
19And Asah’ĕl pursued Aḇnĕr, and in going he did not turn aside to the right or to the left from following Aḇnĕr.
20And Aḇnĕr looked behind him and said, “Are you Asah’ĕl?” And he answered, “I am.”
21And Aḇnĕr said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armour for yourself.” But Asah’ĕl would not turn aside from following him.
22And Aḇnĕr again said to Asah’ĕl, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I smite you to the ground? How then could I face your brother Yo’aḇ?”
23But he refused to turn aside, and Aḇnĕr smote him with the blunt end of the spear in the stomach, so that the spear came out of his back. And he fell down there and died on the spot. And it came to be that as many as came to the place where Asah’ĕl fell down and died, stood still.
24And Yo’aḇ and Aḇishai pursued Aḇnĕr. And the sun was going down and they came to the hill of Ammah, which overlooks Giyaḥ by the way to the Wilderness of Giḇ‛on.
25And the children of Binyamin gathered together behind Aḇnĕr and became a single company, and took their stand on top of a hill.
26And Aḇnĕr called to Yo’aḇ and said, “Should the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it is bitter in the latter end? And when are you going to say to the people to turn back from pursuing their brothers?”
27And Yo’aḇ said, “As Elohim lives, if you had not spoken, then all the people would have given up pursuing their brothers only the next morning.”
28Yo’aḇ then blew a ram’s horn, and all the people halted and pursued Yisra’ĕl no further, nor did they fight any more.
29And Aḇnĕr and his men went on all that night through the desert plain, and passed over the Yardĕn, and went through all Bithron. And they came to Maḥanayim.
30And Yo’aḇ turned back from pursuing Aḇnĕr. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of Dawiḏ’s servants nineteen men and Asah’ĕl.
31But the servants of Dawiḏ had smitten, of Binyamin and Aḇnĕr’s men, three hundred and sixty men who died.
32And they brought Asah’ĕl and buried him in his father’s tomb, which was in Bĕyth Leḥem. And Yo’aḇ and his men went all night, and they came to Ḥeḇron at daybreak.