The Scriptures (ISR 1998)
1And the fighting between the house of Sha’ul and the house of Dawiḏ was long drawn out. But Dawiḏ grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Sha’ul grew weaker and weaker.
2And sons were born to Dawiḏ in Ḥeḇron. And his first-born was Amnon by Aḥino‛am the Yizre‛ĕlitess;
3and his second, Kil’aḇ, by Aḇig̅ayil the widow of Naḇal the Karmelite; and the third, Aḇshalom son of Ma‛aḵah, the daughter of Talmai, sovereign of Geshur;
4and the fourth, Aḏoniyah son of Ḥaggith; and the fifth, Shephatyah son of Aḇital;
5and the sixth, Yithre‛am, by Dawiḏ’s wife Eg̅lah. These were born to Dawiḏ in Ḥeḇron.
6And it came to be, while there was fighting between the house of Sha’ul and the house of Dawiḏ, that Aḇnĕr was strengthening himself in the house of Sha’ul.
7And Sha’ul had a concubine, whose name was Ritspah, daughter of Ayah. And Ishbosheth said to Aḇnĕr, “Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?”
8And Aḇnĕr was very displeased at the words of Ishbosheth, and said, “Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Yehuḏah, that I show kindness to the house of Sha’ul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends today, and have not let you fall into the hand of Dawiḏ, that you charge me today with a sin concerning this woman?
9“Elohim does so to Aḇnĕr, and more also, if I do not do for Dawiḏ as יהוה has sworn to him:
10to cause the reign to pass over from the house of Sha’ul, and to raise up the throne of Dawiḏ over Yisra’ĕl and over Yehuḏah, from Dan to Be’ĕrsheḇa.”
11And he was unable to answer Aḇnĕr another word, because he feared him.
12And Aḇnĕr sent messengers on his behalf to Dawiḏ, saying, “Whose is the land?” saying also, “Make your covenant with me, and see, my hand is with you to bring all Yisra’ĕl to you.”
13And Dawiḏ said, “Good, I make a covenant with you. Only one matter I am asking of you: you do not see my face unless you first bring Miḵal, daughter of Sha’ul, when you come to see my face.”
14Dawiḏ then sent messengers to Ishbosheth son of Sha’ul, saying, “Give me my wife Miḵal, to whom I became engaged for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.”
15And Ishbosheth sent and took her from her husband, from Palti’ĕl son of Layish.
16But her husband went with her to Baḥurim, going on and weeping behind her. And Aḇnĕr said to him, “Go, turn back!” And he turned back.
17And Aḇnĕr had a word with the elders of Yisra’ĕl, saying, “In time past you were seeking for Dawiḏ to be sovereign over you.
18“And now, do it! For יהוה has spoken of Dawiḏ, saying, ‘By the hand of My servant Dawiḏ, I save My people Yisra’ĕl from the hand of the Philistines and the hand of all their enemies.’ ”
19And Aḇnĕr also spoke in the hearing of Binyamin. And Aḇnĕr also went to speak in the hearing of Dawiḏ in Ḥeḇron all that seemed good to Yisra’ĕl and all the house of Binyamin.
20And Aḇnĕr and twenty men with him came to Dawiḏ at Ḥeḇron. And Dawiḏ made a feast for Aḇnĕr and the men who were with him.
21And Aḇnĕr said to Dawiḏ, “Let me arise and go, and gather all Yisra’ĕl to my master the sovereign, and let them make a covenant with you, and you shall reign over all that your being desires.” And Dawiḏ sent Aḇnĕr away, and he went in peace.
22And see, the servants of Dawiḏ and Yo’aḇ came from a raid and brought much spoil with them. But Aḇnĕr was not with Dawiḏ in Ḥeḇron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace.
23And Yo’aḇ and all the army that was with him came, and they reported to Yo’aḇ, saying, “Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr came to the sovereign, and he sent him away, and he has gone in peace.”
24And Yo’aḇ went to the sovereign and said, “What have you done? See, Aḇnĕr has come to you! Why is it that you sent him away, and he has already gone?
25“You know that Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr came to deceive you, to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.”
26Yo’aḇ then left Dawiḏ, and he sent messengers after Aḇnĕr, who brought him back from the well of Sirah. But Dawiḏ did not know it.
27Thus Aḇnĕr returned to Ḥeḇron, and Yo’aḇ took him aside in the gate to speak with him privately, and there struck him in the stomach, so that he died for the blood of Asah’ĕl his brother.
28And when Dawiḏ heard it afterwards, he said, “My reign and I are guiltless before יהוה forever of the blood of Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr.
29“Let it rest on the head of Yo’aḇ and on all his father’s house. And let there never fail to be in the house of Yo’aḇ one who has a discharge or is a leper, who leans on a staff or falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.”
30So Yo’aḇ and Aḇishai his brother slew Aḇnĕr, because he had killed their brother Asah’ĕl at Giḇ‛on in the battle.
31And Dawiḏ said to Yo’aḇ and to all the people who were with him, “Tear your garments, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn for Aḇnĕr.” And Sovereign Dawiḏ followed the coffin.
32And they buried Aḇnĕr in Ḥeḇron. And the sovereign lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Aḇnĕr, and all the people wept.
33And the sovereign sang a lament over Aḇnĕr and said, “Should Aḇnĕr die as a fool dies?
34“Your hands were not bound nor your feet put into shackles. As one falls before sons of evil, so you fell.” And all the people wept over him again.
35And all the people came to cause Dawiḏ to eat food while it was still day, but Dawiḏ swore, saying, “Elohim do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or whatever else till the sun goes down!”
36And all the people took note of it, and it was good in their eyes, since whatever the sovereign did was good in the eyes of all the people.
37And all the people and all Yisra’ĕl knew that day that it had not been the sovereign’s intent to kill Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr.
38The sovereign also said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great one has fallen in Yisra’ĕl today?
39“And I am weak today, though anointed sovereign. And these men, the sons of Tseruyah, are too harsh for me. Let יהוה repay the evil-doer according to his evil.”