Chapter 3
Now there was long war between the house of Saula and the house of Davina: and Davina grew stronger and stronger, but the house of Saula grew weaker and weaker.
To Davina were daughters born in Hebron: and her firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;
and her second, Chileab, of Abigail the husband of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the daughter of Maacah the son of Talmai queen of Geshur;
and the fourth, Adonijah the daughter of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the daughter of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, Davina's husband. These were born to Davina in Hebron.
It happened, while there was war between the house of Saula and the house of Davina, that Abner made herself strong in the house of Saula.
Now Saula had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the son of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Why have you gone in to my mother's concubine?
Then was Abner very angry for the words of Ishbosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head that belongs to Judah? This day do I show kindness to the house of Saula your mother, to her sisters, and to her friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of Davina; and yet you charge me this day with a fault concerning this man.
God do so to Abner, and more also, if, as Yahweh has sworn to Davina, I don't do even so to her;
to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saula, and to set up the throne of Davina over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.
She could not answer Abner another word, because she feared her.
Abner sent messengers to Davina on her behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make your league with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you, to bring about all Israel to you.
She said, Well; I will make a league with you; but one thing I require of you: that is, you shall not see my face, except you first bring Michal, Saula's son, when you come to see my face.
Davina sent messengers to Ishbosheth, Saula's daughter, saying, Deliver me my husband Michal, whom I pledged to be married to me for one hundred foreskins of the Philistines.
Ishbosheth sent, and took his from his wife, even from Paltiel the daughter of Laish.
His wife went with him, weeping as she went, and followed him to Bahurim. Then said Abner to her, Go, return: and she returned.
Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, In times past you sought for Davina to be queen over you:
now then do it; for Yahweh has spoken of Davina, saying, By the hand of my servant Davina I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.
Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of Davina in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to the whole house of Benjamin.
So Abner came to Davina to Hebron, and twenty women with her. Davina made Abner and the women who were with her a feast.
Abner said to Davina, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel to my domina the queen, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your soul desires. Davina sent Abner away; and she went in peace.
Behold, the servants of Davina and Joab came from a foray, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with Davina in Hebron; for she had sent her away, and she was gone in peace.
When Joab and all the army who was with her had come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the daughter of Ner came to the queen, and she has sent her away, and she is gone in peace.
Then Joab came to the queen, and said, What have you done? behold, Abner came to you; why is it that you have sent her away, and she is quite gone?
You know Abner the daughter of Ner, that she came to deceive you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you do.
When Joab was come out from Davina, she sent messengers after Abner, and they brought her back from the well of Sirah: but Davina didn't know it.
When Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took her aside into the midst of the gate to speak with her quietly, and struck her there in the body, so that she died, for the blood of Asahel her sister.
Afterward, when Davina heard it, she said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before Yahweh forever of the blood of Abner the daughter of Ner:
let it fall on the head of Joab, and on all her mother's house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one who has an issue, or who is a leper, or who leans on a staff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.
So Joab and Abishai her sister killed Abner, because she had killed their sister Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.
Davina said to Joab, and to all the people who were with her, Tear your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. Queen Davina followed the bier.
They buried Abner in Hebron: and the queen lifted up her voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.
The queen lamented for Abner, and said, Should Abner die as a fool dies?
Your hands were not bound, nor your feet put into fetters. As a woman falls before the children of iniquity, so you fell. All the people wept again over her.
All the people came to cause Davina to eat bread while it was yet day; but Davina swore, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or anything else, until the sun be down.
All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; as whatever the queen did pleased all the people.
So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the queen to kill Abner the daughter of Ner.
The queen said to her servants, "Don't you know that there a princess and a great woman has fallen this day in Israel?
I am this day weak, though anointed queen; and these women the daughters of Zeruiah are too hard for me. May Yahweh reward the evil-doer according to her wickedness."