New International Reader's Version

2 Samuel 2:1-32

David Is Anointed to Be King Over Judah

1After Saul and Jonathan died, David asked the Lord for advice. “Should I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.

The Lord said, “Go up.”

David asked, “Where should I go?”

“To Hebron,” the Lord answered.

2So David went up there with his two wives. Their names were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail from Carmel. Abigail was Nabal’s widow. 3David also took his men and their families with him. They made their homes in Hebron and its towns. 4Then the men of Judah came to Hebron. There they anointed David to be king over the people of Judah.

David was told that the men from Jabesh Gilead had buried Saul’s body. 5So he sent messengers to them to speak for him. The messengers said, “You were kind to bury the body of your master Saul. May the Lord bless you for that. 6And may he now be kind and faithful to you. David will treat you well for being kind to Saul’s body. 7Now then, be strong and brave. Your master Saul is dead. And the people of Judah have anointed David to be king over them.”

The Armies of David and Saul Fight Each Other

8Abner, the son of Ner, was commander of Saul’s army. Abner had brought Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth to Mahanaim. 9There Abner made Ish-Bosheth king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel. He also made him king over Ephraim, Benjamin and other areas of Israel.

10Ish-Bosheth was 40 years old when he became king over Israel. He ruled for two years. But the people of Judah remained faithful to David. 11David was king in Hebron over the people of Judah for seven and a half years.

12Abner, the son of Ner, left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. The men of Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul, went with him. 13Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and David’s men also went out. All of them met at the pool in Gibeon. One group sat down on one side of the pool. The other group sat on the other side.

14Then Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have some of the young men get up and fight. Let’s tell them to fight hand to hand in front of us.”

“All right. Let them do it,” Joab said.

15So the young men stood up and were counted off. There were 12 on the side of Benjamin and Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth. And there were 12 on David’s side. 16Each man grabbed one of his enemies by the head. Each one stuck his dagger into the other man’s side. And all of them fell down together and died. So that place in Gibeon was named Helkath Hazzurim.

17The fighting that day was very heavy. Abner and the Israelites lost the battle to David’s men.

18The three sons of Zeruiah were there. Their names were Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Asahel was as quick on his feet as a wild antelope. 19He chased Abner. He didn’t turn to the right or the left as he chased him. 20Abner looked behind him. He asked, “Asahel, is that you?”

“It is,” he answered.

21Then Abner said to him, “Turn to the right or the left. Fight one of the young men. Take his weapons away from him.” But Asahel wouldn’t stop chasing him.

22Again Abner warned Asahel, “Stop chasing me! If you don’t, I’ll strike you down. Then how could I look your brother Joab in the face?”

23But Asahel refused to give up the chase. So Abner drove the dull end of his spear into Asahel’s stomach. The spear came out through his back. He fell and died right there on the spot. Every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died.

24But Joab and Abishai chased Abner. As the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah. It was near Giah on the way to the dry and empty land close to Gibeon. 25The men of Benjamin gathered in a group around Abner. They took their stand on top of a hill.

26Abner called out to Joab, “Do you want our swords to keep on killing us off? Don’t you know that all this fighting will end in bitter feelings? How long will it be before you order your men to stop chasing their fellow Israelites?”

27Joab answered, “It’s a good thing you spoke up. If you hadn’t, the men would have kept on chasing them until morning. And that’s just as sure as God is alive.”

28So Joab blew a trumpet. All the troops stopped. They didn’t chase Israel anymore. They didn’t fight anymore either.

29All that night Abner and his men marched through the Arabah Valley. They went across the Jordan River. All morning long they kept on going. Finally, they came to Mahanaim.

30Then Joab stopped chasing Abner. He gathered together the whole army. Besides Asahel, only 19 of David’s men were missing. 31But David’s men had killed 360 men from Benjamin who were with Abner. 32They got Asahel’s body and buried it in his father’s tomb at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night. They arrived at Hebron at sunrise.

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2. Samuelsbog 2:1-32

David bliver konge over Juda

1David spurgte nu Herren: „Skal jeg rejse tilbage til Judas land?”

Herren svarede: „Ja!”

„Hvilken by skal jeg slå mig ned i?”

„Hebron,” svarede Herren.

2Så tog David sine koner, Ahinoam fra Jizre’el, og Abigajil, Nabals enke fra Karmel, 3samt sine trofaste mænd med deres familier, og de bosatte sig i Hebron og omegn. 4Derefter kom Judas ledere til David og salvede ham til konge over Juda.

Da David fik at vide, at indbyggerne i Jabesh i Gilead havde begravet Saul, 5sendte han dem følgende budskab: „Må Herren velsigne jer, fordi I har været trofaste overfor jeres konge ved at give ham en anstændig begravelse. 6Må Herren i sin trofasthed belønne jer for jeres storsind. Men også jeg vil gøre godt imod jer, fordi I gjorde dette. 7Selvom Saul nu er død, må I ikke lade hænderne synke eller tabe modet. Judas stamme har allerede udråbt mig til konge.”

Ishboshet bliver konge over Nordriget

8Men Abner, Sauls hærfører, bragte Sauls søn, Ishboshet, til Mahanajim og udråbte ham til konge over Nordriget. 9Han kom til at regere over Gilead, Asher, Jizre’el, Efraim og Benjamins stamme, ja, hele Israel2,9 Ordet Israel blev efterhånden en fællesbetegnelse for alle stammerne i den nordlige del af landet, mens Juda blev fællesbetegnelsen for Judas og Simeons stammer, der boede mod syd. Benjamins stamme boede i grænseområdet, men regnes normalt med til Nordriget. bortset fra Judas område.

10-11Ishboshet var 40 år gammel, da han blev konge, og han regerede ud fra Mahanajim i to år. David regerede over Judas land i syv et halvt år fra Hebron.

Krigen mellem David og Ishboshet

12En dag tog Abner nogle af Ishboshets mænd med sig fra Mahanajim og kom til Gibeon. 13Davids hærfører, Joab, Zerujas søn, gik dem i møde med nogle af Davids mænd. De to hære slog lejr på hver sin side af Gibeondammen. 14Da foreslog Abner, at de unge krigere skulle åbne slaget med tvekamp. Joab gik med på idéen, 15hvorefter man udpegede 12 mænd fra Benjamins stamme til at kæmpe for Ishboshet og 12 fra Judas stamme til at kæmpe for David. 16Opgaven gik ud på at gribe modstanderen i håret og støde sværdet i siden på ham. På den måde blev samtlige 24 mænd dræbt. Siden har man kaldt dette sted ved Gibeon for „Sværdkampens mark”.

17Derefter gik de to hære løs på hinanden med det resultat, at Abner samme dag måtte erkende sit nederlag til Joab og Davids mænd og tage flugten. 18Joabs brødre, Abishaj og Asael, deltog også i slaget. Da Asael var hurtigløber, 19satte han efter Abner uden at lade sig distrahere af noget som helst undervejs.

20Da Abner så sig tilbage, var Asael ved at hale ind på ham. „Er det dig, Asael?” råbte Abner.

„Ja, det er!” svarede Asael.

21„Find et andet offer!” råbte Abner advarende. „Der er nok af unge krigere, du kan afvæbne!” Men Asael ville have fat i Abner.

22Da råbte Abner: „Hold op med at forfølge mig! Hvis jeg slår dig ihjel, vil jeg aldrig kunne se din bror Joab i øjnene igen!”

23Asael lod sig imidlertid ikke ryste af. Pludselig standsede Abner, jog sit spyd bagud og ramte sin forfølger i maven med en sådan kraft, at spydspidsen kom ud på den anden side. Da styrtede Asael omkuld og døde, og alle, som kom til stedet, hvor han lå, standsede op for at kigge på ham.

24Nu satte både Joab og Abishaj efter Abner, og ved solnedgang nåede de frem til Amma-højen øst for Gia ved vejen til Gibeons ørken. 25På toppen af højen samlede alle krigerne fra Benjamins stamme sig bag Abner, 26og Abner råbte ned til Joab: „Skal vi blive ved med at dræbe hinanden? Hvor længe skal det vare, før du befaler dine mænd at holde op med at jagte deres landsmænd?”

27Joab råbte tilbage: „Jeg sværger ved den levende Gud, at hvis du ikke havde sagt noget, ville vi have jagtet jer til i morgen tidlig!” 28Så afblæste han forfølgelsen, og mændene standsede kampen.

29Samme nat begav Abner og hans mænd sig på hjemvejen. De gik op gennem Jordandalen, krydsede floden og nåede næste morgen frem til Mahanajim. 30Også Joab og hans mænd vendte hjem. Da Joab opgjorde tabene, fandt han ud af, at ud over Asael manglede der kun 19 mand, 31hvorimod Abner havde mistet 360 mand, alle af Benjamins stamme. 32Joab og hans mænd bar Asaels lig til Betlehem og begravede ham ved hans fars side. Derefter gik de hele natten og nåede frem til Hebron ved daggry.