וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי־כֵן וַיִּשְׁאַל דָּוִד בַּיהוָה לֵאמֹר הַאֶעֱלֶה בְּאַחַת עָרֵי יְהוּדָה וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלָיו עֲלֵה וַיֹּאמֶר 2:1 דָּוִד אָנָה אֶעֱלֶה וַיֹּאמֶר חֶבְרֹנָה׃
2Sam. 2:1 And it was after this that David inquired with the Lord saying, “Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” And David said, “To where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.”
וַיַּעַל שָׁם דָּוִד וְגַם שְׁתֵּי נָשָׁיו אֲחִינֹעַם הַיִּזְרְעֵלִית וַאֲבִיגַיִל אֵשֶׁת נָבָל הַכַּרְמְלִי׃ 2:2
2Sam. 2:2 So David went up there, and also with his two wives, Achinoam, the Jezreelitess and Abigail, wife of Nabal, the Carmelite.
The third from the last Hebrew word, אֵשֶׁת, is usually translated as wife or woman, but in this case it might be thought to mean widow, although this is highly unusual. The word that is translated as widow appears 23 times in the Hebrew bible and it’s always אַלְמָנָה. This might possibly have been considered an error, except for the fact that it is repeated in 2Sam. 3:3. Maybe when a widow is remarried the appellation no longer applies?
וַאֲנָשָׁיו אֲשֶׁר־עִמּוֹ הֶעֱלָה דָוִד אִישׁ וּבֵיתוֹ וַיֵּשְׁבוּ בְּעָרֵי חֶבְרוֹן׃ 2:3
2Sam. 2:3 And David brought up his men who were with him, each with his household, and they lived in the towns of Hebron.
וַיָּבֹאוּ אַנְשֵׁי יְהוּדָה וַיִּמְשְׁחוּ־שָׁם אֶת־דָּוִד לְמֶלֶךְ עַל־בֵּית יְהוּדָה וַיַּגִּדוּ לְדָוִד לֵאמֹר אַנְשֵׁי יָבֵישׁ גִּלְעָד 2:4 אֲשֶׁר קָבְרוּ אֶת־שָׁאוּל׃
2Sam. 2:4 And the men of Judah came and they anointed David there to be king over the house of Judah. And they spoke to David saying, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.”
וַיִּשְׁלַח דָּוִד מַלְאָכִים אֶל־אַנְשֵׁי יָבֵישׁ גִּלְעָד וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם בְּרֻכִים אַתֶּם לַיהוָה אֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם הַחֶסֶד 2:5 הַזֶּה עִם־אֲדֹנֵיכֶם עִם־שָׁאוּל וַתִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ׃
2Sam. 2:5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “Blessed are you of the Lord that you have done this kindness with your lord, with Saul, and buried him.”
וְעַתָּה יַעַשׂ־יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת וְגַם אָנֹכִי אֶעֱשֶׂה אִתְּכֶם הַטּוֹבָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם הַדָּבָר 2:6 הַזֶּה׃
2Sam. 2:6 “And now may the Lord show kindness and truth with you, and also I will show this kindness to you because you did this thing.”
וְעַתָּה תֶּחֱזַקְנָה יְדֵיכֶם וִהְיוּ לִבְנֵי־חַיִל כִּי־מֵת אֲדֹנֵיכֶם שָׁאוּל וְגַם־אֹתִי מָשְׁחוּ בֵית־יְהוּדָה לְמֶלֶךְ 2:7 עֲלֵיהֶם׃
2Sam. 2:7 “So now let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for your lord, Saul, is dead, and also the houses of Judah have anointed me to be king over them.”
וְאַבְנֵר בֶּן־נֵר שַׂר־צָבָא אֲשֶׁר לְשָׁאוּל לָקַח אֶת־אִישׁ בֹּשֶׁת בֶּן־שָׁאוּל וַיַּעֲבִרֵהוּ מַחֲנָיִם׃ 2:8
2Sam. 2:8 Now Abner son of Ner, captain of the host that was Saul's, took Ish-bosheth son of Saul and brought him over to Machanaim,
וַיַּמְלִכֵהוּ אֶל־הַגִּלְעָד וְאֶל־הָאֲשׁוּרִי וְאֶל־יִזְרְעֶאל וְעַל־אֶפְרַיִם וְעַל־בִּנְיָמִן וְעַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל כֻּלֹּה׃ 2:9
2Sam. 2:9 and made him king to the Gileadites and to the Ashurites and to Jezreel and over Ephraim and over Benjamin and over Israel, all of it.
בֶּן־אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה אִישׁ־בֹּשֶׁת בֶּן־שָׁאוּל בְּמָלְכוֹ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וּשְׁתַּיִם שָׁנִים מָלָךְ אַךְ בֵּית יְהוּדָה הָיוּ 2:10 אַחֲרֵי דָוִד׃
2Sam. 2:10 Ish-bosheth son of Saul was forty years of age on his becoming king over Israel, and he reigned two years, but the houses of Judah were following David.
There is little to inform us of the chronology of events in the two books of Samuel. It seems indeed strange that a son of Saul would be forty years old at this point. Perhaps Saul had a number of sons before he had Jonathan. Apparently there were other sons, three of them who died in the field on the day that Saul died (see 1Sam. 31:6), but at least one had not been in that battle, Ish-bosheth. Why, we do not know. He must have been old enough to have fought in the battle. Incidentally, the name Ish-Bosheth means man of shame, a vague indication of something unspoken and untold, but who knows what it is?
וַיְהִי מִסְפַּר הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר הָיָה דָוִד מֶלֶךְ בְּחֶבְרוֹן עַל־בֵּית יְהוּדָה שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים׃ 2:11
2Sam. 2:11 And the number of days that David was king in Hebron over the houses of Judah was seven years and six months.
וַיֵּצֵא אַבְנֵר בֶּן־נֵר וְעַבְדֵי אִישׁ־בֹּשֶׁת בֶּן־שָׁאוּל מִמַּחֲנַיִם גִּבְעוֹנָה׃ 2:12
2Sam. 2:12 And Abner son of Ner came out with servants of Ish-bosheth son of Saul from Machanaim to Gibeon,
וְיוֹאָב בֶּן־צְרוּיָה וְעַבְדֵי דָוִד יָצְאוּ וַיִּפְגְּשׁוּם עַל־בְּרֵכַת גִּבְעוֹן יַחְדָּו וַיֵּשְׁבוּ אֵלֶּה עַל־הַבְּרֵכָה מִזֶּה 2:13 וְאֵלֶּה עַל־הַבְּרֵכָה מִזֶּה׃
2Sam. 2:13 and Joab son of Zeruiah and servants of David went out, and they met them by the pool of Gibeon, together, and they sat down, these on this pool side and those on that pool side.
וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְנֵר אֶל־יוֹאָב יָקוּמוּ נָא הַנְּעָרִים וִישַׂחֲקוּ לְפָנֵינוּ וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב יָקֻמוּ׃ 2:14
2Sam. 2:14 And Abner said to Joab, “Please let the young men rise and make sport before us.” And Joab said, “Let them rise.”
וַיָּקֻמוּ וַיַּעַבְרוּ בְמִסְפָּר שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר לְבִנְיָמִן וּלְאִישׁ בֹּשֶׁת בֶּן־שָׁאוּל וּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר מֵעַבְדֵי דָוִד׃ 2:15
2Sam. 2:15 So they rose and went over by number, twelve for Benjamin and for Ish-bosheth son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David.
וַיַּחֲזִקוּ אִישׁ בְּרֹאשׁ רֵעֵהוּ וְחַרְבּוֹ בְּצַד רֵעֵהוּ וַיִּפְּלוּ יַחְדָּו וַיִּקְרָא לַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא חֶלְקַת הַצֻּרִים אֲשֶׁר 2:16 בְּגִבְעוֹן׃
2Sam. 2:16 And they grasped, each one by the head of his fellow, with his sword into the side of his fellow and they fell together, so the name Helkath-hazzurim was given to that place, which is in Gibeon.
While the Hebrew is too succinct to tell who killed whom, it’s obvious from the surrounding context that David’s men slaughtered Ish-bosheth’s men. Incidentally, the name Helkath-hazzurim means literally the field [or territory] of flints, but some bible translators and commentators report the name as the territory of those slain by the sharp swords.
וַתְּהִי הַמִּלְחָמָה קָשָׁה עַד־מְאֹד בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַיִּנָּגֶף אַבְנֵר וְאַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי עַבְדֵי דָוִד׃ 2:17
2Sam. 2:17 And the fighting was extremely fierce on that day and Abner was beaten, with the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
וַיִּהְיוּ־שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה בְּנֵי צְרוּיָה יוֹאָב וַאֲבִישַׁי וַעֲשָׂהאֵל וַעֲשָׂהאֵל קַל בְּרַגְלָיו כְּאַחַד הַצְּבָיִם אֲשֶׁר 2:18 בַּשָּׂדֶה׃
2Sam. 2:18 And there were the three sons of Zeruiah, Joab and Abishai and Asahel, and Asahel was swift on his feet like any of the roes that are in the field.
וַיִּרְדֹּף עֲשָׂהאֵל אַחֲרֵי אַבְנֵר וְלֹא־נָטָה לָלֶכֶת עַל־הַיָּמִין וְעַל־הַשְּׂמֹאול מֵאַחֲרֵי אַבְנֵר׃ 2:19
2Sam. 2:19 And Asahel chased after Abner and did not turn away to the right or to the left pursuing after Abner.
וַיִּפֶן אַבְנֵר אַחֲרָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הַאַתָּה זֶה עֲשָׂהאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי׃ 2:20
2Sam. 2:20 Then Abner looked back and said, “Are you here, Asahel?” And he answered, “I am.”
וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַבְנֵר נְטֵה לְךָ עַל־יְמִינְךָ אוֹ עַל־שְׂמֹאלֶךָ וֶאֱחֹז לְךָ אֶחָד מֵהַנְּעָרִים וְקַח־לְךָ אֶת־חֲלִצָתוֹ 2:21 וְלֹא־אָבָה עֲשָׂהאֵל לָסוּר מֵאַחֲרָיו׃
2Sam. 2:21 And Abner said to him, “Turn yourself to your right or to your left and seize someone from the young men for yourself and take his armor for yourself.” But Asahel was not willing to cut off from following him.
וַיֹּסֶף עוֹד אַבְנֵר לֵאמֹר אֶל־עֲשָׂהאֵל סוּר לְךָ מֵאַחֲרָי לָמָּה אַכֶּכָּה אַרְצָה וְאֵיךְ אֶשָּׂא פָנַי אֶל־יוֹאָב 2:22 אָחִיךָ׃
2Sam. 2:22 But Abner again proceeded to say to Asahel, “Turn yourself aside from following me. How could I strike you to the ground? Then how would I hold up my face to Joab, your brother?”
וַיְמָאֵן לָסוּר וַיַּכֵּהוּ אַבְנֵר בְּאַחֲרֵי הַחֲנִית אֶל־הַחֹמֶשׁ וַתֵּצֵא הַחֲנִית מֵאַחֲרָיו וַיִּפָּל־שָׁם וַיָּמָתֹ 2:23
תַּחַתו) [תַּחְתָּיו] וַיְהִי כָּל־הַבָּא אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר־נָפַל שָׁם עֲשָׂהאֵל וַיָּמֹת וַיַּעֲמֹדוּ׃
2Sam. 2:23 Still he refused to turn aside, so Abner struck him with the back end of the spear to the abdomen that the spear protruded from his back, and he fell there and died in his place. And it was, all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, that they stopped.
The word at the beginning of the bottom line before the left parenthesis is misspelled. The corrected word is in the brackets.
וַיִּרְדְּפוּ יֹואָב וַאֲבִישַׁי אַחֲרֵי אַבְנֵר וְהַשֶּׁמֶשׁ בָּאָה וְהֵמָּה בָּאוּ עַד־גִּבְעַת אַמָּה אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי־גִיחַ 2:24
דֶּרֶךְ מִדְבַּר גִּבְעוֹן׃
2Sam. 2:24 But Joab and Abishai pursued after Abner, and the sun set as they had gone as far as the hill of Ammah, which is before Giach through the wilderness of Gibeon.
וַיִּתְקַבְּצוּ בְנֵי־בִנְיָמִן אַחֲרֵי אַבְנֵר וַיִּהְיוּ לַאֲגֻדָּה אֶחָת וַיַּעַמְדוּ עַל רֹאשׁ־גִּבְעָה אֶחָת׃ 2:25
2Sam. 2:25 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves after Abner and came to be one band, and they stood on top of one hill.
וַיִּקְרָא אַבְנֵר אֶל־יוֹאָב וַיֹּאמֶר הֲלָנֶצַח תֹּאכַל חֶרֶב הֲלוֹא יָדַעְתָּה כִּי־מָרָה תִהְיֶה בָּאַחֲרוֹנָה 2:26
וְעַד־מָתַי לֹא־תֹאמַר לָעָם לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרֵי אֲחֵיהֶם׃
2Sam. 2:26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Shall the sword devour for ever? Do you not know that it shall be bitter in the end? Then how long before you declare to the people to turn back from being after their brethren?”
וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹאָב חַי הָאֱלֹהִים כִּי לוּלֵא דִּבַּרְתָּ כִּי אָז מֵהַבֹּקֶר נַעֲלָה הָעָם אִישׁ מֵאַחֲרֵי אָחִיו׃ 2:27
2Sam. 2:27 And Joab said, “By the living God, surely, had you not spoken, yet then by the morning the people would have gone away, each from being after his brother.”
וַיִּתְקַע יוֹאָב בַּשּׁוֹפָר וַיַּעַמְדוּ כָּל־הָעָם וְלֹא־יִרְדְּפוּ עוֹד אַחֲרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא־יָסְפוּ עוֹד לְהִלָּחֵם׃ 2:28
2Sam. 2:28 Then Joab blew on the horn and all the people stopped and would not pursue anymore after Israel and would not continue anymore to fight.
וְאַבְנֵר וַאֲנָשָׁיו הָלְכוּ בָּעֲרָבָה כֹּל הַלַּיְלָה הַהוּא וַיַּעַבְרוּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיֵּלְכוּ כָּל־הַבִּתְרוֹן וַיָּבֹאוּ מַחֲנָיִם׃ 2:29
2Sam. 2:29 Then Abner and his men marched through the Arabah all that night and crossed the Jordan and walked the entire Bithron and came to Machanaim.
וְיוֹאָב שָׁב מֵאַחֲרֵי אַבְנֵר וַיִּקְבֹּץ אֶת־כָּל־הָעָם וַיִּפָּקְדוּ מֵעַבְדֵי דָוִד תִּשְׁעָה־עָשָׂר אִישׁ וַעֲשָׂה־אֵל׃ 2:30
2Sam. 2:30 So Joab returned from being after Abner. When he gathered all the people, then there were missing from the servants of David nineteen men and Asahel.
וְעַבְדֵי דָוִד הִכּוּ מִבִּנְיָמִן וּבְאַנְשֵׁי אַבְנֵר שְׁלֹשׁ־מֵאוֹת וְשִׁשִּׁים אִישׁ מֵתוּ׃ 2:31
2Sam. 2:31 But the servants of David had smitten; from Benjamin and with the men of Abner three hundred and sixty men had died.
וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת־עֲשָׂהאֵל וַיִּקְבְּרֻהוּ בְּקֶבֶר אָבִיו אֲשֶׁר בֵּית לָחֶם וַיֵּלְכוּ כָל־הַלַּיְלָה יוֹאָב וַאֲנָשָׁיו וַיֵּאֹר לָהֶם 2:32 בְּחֶבְרוֹן׃
2Sam. 2:32 And they took up Asahel and buried him in the burial place of his father, which was Beth-lehem. And Joab went the whole night, and his men, and the day broke for them in Hebron.
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