2Samuel (NAB) 1


David Mourns for Saul and Jonathan

1 1 After the death of Saul, David returned from his defeat of the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag.2 On the third day a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. Going to David, he fell to the ground in homage.3 David asked him, "Where do you come from?" He replied, "I have escaped from the Israelite camp."4 "Tell me what happened," David bade him. He answered that the soldiers had fled the battle and that many of them had fallen and were dead, among them Saul and his son Jonathan.5 Then David said to the youth who was reporting to him, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?"6 The youthful informant replied: "It was by chance that I found myself on Mount Gilboa and saw Saul leaning on his spear, with chariots and horsemen closing in on him.7 He turned around and, seeing me, called me to him. When I said, 'Here I am,'8 he asked me, 'Who are you?' and I replied, 'An Amalekite.'9 Then he said to me, 'Stand up to me, please, and finish me off, for I am in great suffering, yet fully alive.'10 So I stood up to him and dispatched him, for I knew that he could not survive his wound. I removed the crown from his head and the armlet from his arm and brought them here to my lord."
David seized his garments and rent them, and all the men who were with him did likewise.12 They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the soldiers of the LORD of the clans of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.13 Then David said to the young man who had brought him the information, "Where are you from?" He replied, "I am the son of an Amalekite immigrant."14 David said to him, "How is it that you were not afraid to put forth your hand to desecrate the LORD'S anointed?"15 David then called one of the attendants and said to him, "Come, strike him down"; and the youth struck him a mortal blow.16 Meanwhile David said to him, "You are responsible for your own death, for you testified against yourself when you said, 'I dispatched the LORD'S anointed.'"
Then David chanted this elegy for Saul and his son Jonathan,18 which is recorded in the Book of Jashar to be taught to the Judahites. He sang:19 "Alas! the glory of Israel, Saul, slain upon your heights; how can the warriors have fallen!20 "Tell it not in Gath, herald it not in the streets of Ashkelon, Lest the Philistine maidens rejoice, lest the daughters of the strangers exult!21 Mountains of Gilboa, may there be neither dew nor rain upon you, nor upsurgings of the deeps! Upon you lie begrimed the warriors' shields, the shield of Saul, no longer anointed with oil. 22 "From the blood of the slain, from the bodies of the valiant, The bow of Jonathan did not turn back, or the sword of Saul return unstained.23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and cherished, separated neither in life nor in death, swifter than eagles, stronger than lions!24 Women of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and in finery, who decked your attire with ornaments of gold.25 "How can the warriors have fallen-- in the thick of the battle, slain upon your heights!26 "I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother! most dear have you been to me; More precious have I held love for you than love for women.27 "How can the warriors have fallen, the weapons of war have perished!"

David Anointed King of Judah

2 1 After this David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?" The LORD replied to him, "Yes." Then David asked, "Where shall I go?" He replied, "To Hebron."2 So David went up there accompanied by his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel.3 David also brought up his men with their families, and they dwelt in the cities near Hebron.4 Then the men of Judah came there and anointed David king of the Judahites.A report reached David that the men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul.
So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them: "May you be blessed by the LORD for having done this kindness to your lord Saul in burying him.6 And now may the LORD be kind and faithful to you. I, too, will be generous to you for having done this.7 Take courage, therefore, and prove yourselves valiant men, for though your lord Saul is dead, the Judahites have anointed me their king."

Ishbaal King of Israel

8 Abner, son of Ner, Saul's general, took Ishbaal, son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim,9 where he made him king over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and the rest of Israel.10 Ishbaal, son of Saul, was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned for two years. The Judahites alone followed David.11 In all, David spent seven years and six months in Hebron as king of the Judahites.

The Battle of Gibeon

12 Now Abner, son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbaal, Saul's son, left Mahanaim for Gibeon.13 Joab, son of Zeruiah, and David's servants also set out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. And they sat down, one group on one side of the pool and the other on the opposite side.14 Then Abner said to Joab, "Let the young men rise and perform for us." Joab replied, "All right!"15 So they rose and were counted off: twelve of the Benjaminites of Ishbaal, son of Saul, and twelve of David's servants.16 Then each one grasped his opponent's head and thrust his sword into his opponent's side, and all fell down together. And so that place, which is in Gideon, was named the Field of the Sides. 17 After a very fierce battle that day, Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by David's servants.
The three sons of Zeruiah were there-Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel, who was as fleet of foot as a gazelle in the open field,19 set out after Abner, turning neither right nor left in his pursuit.20 Abner turned around and said, "Is that you, Asahel?" He replied, "Yes."21 Abner said to him, "Turn right or left; seize one of the young men and take what you can strip from him." But Asahel would not desist from his pursuit.22 Once more Abner said to Asahel: "Stop pursuing me! Why must I strike you to the ground? How could I face your brother Joab?"23 Still he refused to stop. So Abner struck him in the abdomen with the heel of his javelin, and the weapon protruded from his back. He fell there and died on the spot. And all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, came to a halt.24 Joab and Abishai, however, continued the pursuit of Abner. The sun had gone down when they came to the hill of Ammah which lies east of the valley toward the desert near Geba.
Here the Benjaminites rallied around Abner, forming a single group, and made a stand on the hilltop.26 Then Abner called to Joab and said: "Must the sword destroy to the utmost? Do you not know that afterward there will be bitterness? How much longer will you refrain from ordering the people to stop the pursuit of their brothers?"27 Joab replied, "As God lives, if you had not spoken, the soldiers would not have been withdrawn from the pursuit of their brothers until morning."28 Joab then sounded the horn, and all the soldiers came to a halt, pursuing Israel no farther and fighting no more.29 Abner and his men marched all night long through the Arabah, crossed the Jordan, marched all through the morning, and came to Mahanaim.30 Joab, after interrupting the pursuit of Abner, assembled all the men. Besides Asahel, nineteen other servants of David were missing.31 But David's servants had fatally wounded three hundred and sixty men of Benjamin, followers of Abner.32 They took up Asahel and buried him in his father's tomb in Bethlehem. Joab and his men made an all-night march, and dawn found them in Hebron.

Abner Defects to David

3 1 There followed a long war between the house of Saul and that of David, in which David grew stronger, but the house of Saul weaker.
Sons were born to David in Hebron: his first-born, Amnon, of Ahinoam from Jezreel;3 the second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom, son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur;4 the fourth, Adonijah, son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah, son of Abital;5 and the sixth, Ithream, of David's wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.
During the war between the house of Saul and that of David, Abner was gaining power in the house of Saul.
Now Saul had had a concubine, Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. And Ishbaal, son of Saul, said to Abner, "Why have you been intimate with my father's concubine?"8 Enraged at the words of Ishbaal, Abner said, "Am I a dog's head in Judah? At present I am doing a kindness to the house of your father Saul, to his brothers and his friends, by keeping you out of David's clutches; yet this day you charge me with a crime involving a woman!9 May God do thus and so to Abner if I do not carry out for David what the LORD swore to him-- 10 that is, take away the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish the throne of David over Israel and over Judah from Dan to Beersheba."11 In his fear of Abner, Ishbaal was no longer able to say a word to him.12 Then Abner sent messengers to David in Telam, where he was at the moment, to say, "Make an agreement with me, and I will aid you by bringing all Israel over to you."13 He replied, "Very well, I will make an agreement with you. But one thing I require of you. You must not appear before me unless you bring back Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to present yourself to me."14 At the same time David sent messengers to Ishbaal, son of Saul, to say, "Give me my wife Michal, whom I espoused by paying a hundred Philistine foreskins."15 Ishbaal sent for her and took her away from her husband Paltiel, son of Laish,16 who followed her weeping as far as Bahurim. But Abner said to him, "Go back!" And he turned back.17 Abner then said in discussion with the elders of Israel: "For a long time you have been seeking David as your king.18 Now take action, for the LORD has said of David, 'By my servant David I will save my people Israel from the grasp of the Philistines and from the grasp of all their enemies.'"19 Abner also spoke personally to Benjamin, and then went to make his own report to David in Hebron concerning all that would be agreeable to Israel and to the whole house of Benjamin.20 When Abner, accompanied by twenty men, came to David in Hebron, David prepared a feast for Abner and for the men who were with him.21 Then Abner said to David, "I will now go to assemble all Israel for my lord the king, that they may make an agreement with you; you will then be king over all whom you wish to rule." So David bade Abner farewell, and he went away in peace.

Abner Is Killed by Joab

22 Just then David's servants and Joab were coming in from an expedition, bringing much plunder with them. Abner, having been dismissed by David, was no longer with him in Hebron but had gone his way in peace.23 When Joab and the whole force he had with him arrived, he was informed, "Abner, son of Ner, came to David; he has been sent on his way in peace."24 So Joab went to the king and said: "What have you done? Abner came to you. Why did you let him go peacefully on his way?25 Are you not aware that Abner came to deceive you and to learn the ins and outs of all that you are doing?"26 Joab then left David, and without David's knowledge sent messengers after Abner, who brought him back from the cistern of Sirah.27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside within the city gate as though to speak with him privately. There he stabbed him in the abdomen, and he died in revenge for the killing of Joab's brother Asahel.28 Later David heard of it and said: "Before the LORD; I and my kingdom are forever innocent.29 May the full responsibility for the death of Abner, son of Ner, be laid to Joab and to all his family. May the men of Joab's family never be without one suffering from a discharge, or a leper, or one unmanly, one falling by the sword, or one in need of bread!"30 (Joab and his brother Abishai had lain in wait for Abner because he killed their brother Asahel in battle at Gibeon.)31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, "Rend your garments, gird yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn over Abner." King David himself followed the bier.32 When they had buried Abner in Hebron, the king wept aloud at the grave of Abner, and the people also wept.33 And the king sang this elegy over Abner: "Would Abner have died like a fool?34 Your hands were not bound with chains, nor your feet placed in fetters; As men fall before the wicked, you fell." And all the people continued to weep for him.35 Then they went to console David with food while it was still day. But David swore, "May God do thus and so to me if I eat bread or anything else before sunset."36 All the people noted this with approval, just as they were pleased with everything that the king did.37 So on that day all the people and all Israel came to know that the king had no part in the killing of Abner, son of Ner.38 The king then said to his servants: "You must recognize that a great general has fallen today in Israel.39 Although I am the anointed king, I am weak this day, and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too ruthless for me. May the LORD requite the evildoer in accordance with his evil deed."

Ishbaal Assassinated

4 1 When Ishbaal, son of Saul, heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he ceased to resist and all Israel was alarmed.2 Ishbaal, son of Saul, had two company leaders named Baanah and Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the tribe of Benjamin. (Beeroth, too, was ascribed to Benjamin:3 the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, where they have been resident aliens to this day.4 Jonathan, son of Saul, had a son named Meribbaal with crippled feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled. But in their hasty flight, he fell and became lame.) 5 The sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, came into the house of Ishbaal during the heat of the day, while he was taking his siesta.6 The portress of the house had dozed off while sifting wheat, and was asleep. So Rechab and his brother Baanah slipped past7 and entered the house while Ishbaal was lying asleep in his bedroom. They struck and killed him, and cut off his head. Then, taking the head, they traveled on the Arabah road all night long.8 They brought the head of Ishbaal to David in Hebron and said to the king: "This is the head of Ishbaal, son of your enemy Saul, who sought your life. Thus has the LORD this day avenged my lord the king on Saul and his posterity."
But David replied to Rechab and his brother Baanah, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite: "As the LORD lives, who rescued me from all difficulty,10 in Ziklag I seized and put to death the man who informed me of Saul's death, thinking himself the bearer of good news for which I ought to give him a reward.11 How much more now, when wicked men have slain an innocent man in bed at home, must I hold you responsible for his death and destroy you from the earth!"12 So at a command from David, the young men killed them and cut off their hands and feet, hanging them up near the pool in Hebron. But he took the head of Ishbaal and buried it in Abner's grave in Hebron.

David Anointed King of All Israel

5 1 All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: "Here we are, your bone and your flesh.2 In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.'"3 When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD, and they anointed him king of Israel.4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years:5 seven years and six months in Hebron over Judah, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah.

Jerusalem Made Capital of the United Kingdom

6 Then the king and his men set out for Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the region. David was told, "You cannot enter here: the blind and the lame will drive you away!" which was their way of saying, "David cannot enter here." 7 But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David.8 On that day David said: "All who wish to attack the Jebusites must strike at them through the water shaft. The lame and the blind shall be the personal enemies of David." That is why it is said, "The blind and the lame shall not enter the palace."9 David then dwelt in the stronghold, which was called the City of David; he built up the area from Millo to the palace.
David grew steadily more powerful, for the LORD of hosts was with him.
Hiram, king of Tyre, sent ambassadors to David; he furnished cedar wood, as well as carpenters and masons, who built a palace for David.
And David knew that the LORD had established him as king of Israel and had exalted his rule for the sake of his people Israel.
David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem after he had come from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to him in Jerusalem.14 These are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon,15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia,16 Elishama, Baaliada, and Eliphelet.

Philistine Attack Repulsed

17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king of Israel, they all took the field in search of him. On hearing this, David went down to the refuge. 18 The Philistines came and overran the valley of Rephaim. 19 David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I attack the Philistines-- will you deliver them into my grip?" The LORD replied to David, "Attack, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your grip."20 David then went to Baal-perazim, where he defeated them. He said, "The LORD has scattered my enemies before me like waters that have broken free." That is why the place is called Baal-perazim. 21 They abandoned their gods there, and David and his men carried them away.22 But the Philistines came up again and overran the valley of Rephaim.23 So David inquired of the LORD, who replied: "You must not attack frontally, but circle their rear and meet them before the mastic trees.24 When you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mastic trees, act decisively, for the LORD will have gone forth before you to attack the camp of the Philistines." 25 David obeyed the LORD'S command and routed the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer.

David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

6 1 David again assembled all the picked men of Israel, thirty thousand in number.2 Then David and all the people who were with him set out for Baala of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which bears the name of the LORD of hosts enthroned above the cherubim.3 The ark of God was placed on a new cart and taken away from the house of Abinadab on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, guided the cart,4 with Ahio walking before it,5 while David and all the Israelites made merry before the LORD with all their strength, with singing and with citharas, harps, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.
When they came to the threshing floor of Nodan, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God and steadied it, for the oxen were making it tip.7 But the LORD was angry with Uzzah; God struck him on that spot, and he died there before God.8 David was disturbed because the LORD had vented his anger on Uzzah. (The place has been called Perez-uzzah down to the present day.)9 David feared the LORD that day and said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?"10 So David would not have the ark of the LORD brought to him in the City of David, but diverted it to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.11 The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite for three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and his whole house.
When it was reported to King David that the LORD had blessed the family of Obed-edom and all that belonged to him, David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the City of David amid festivities.13 As soon as the bearers of the ark of the LORD had advanced six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.14 Then David, girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the LORD with abandon,15 as he and all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.16 As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Saul's daughter Michal looked down through the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart.17 The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place within the tent David had pitched for it. Then David offered holocausts and peace offerings before the LORD.18 When he finished making these offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.19 He then distributed among all the people, to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel, a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake. With this, all the people left for their homes.
When David returned to bless his own family, Saul's daughter Michal came out to meet him and said, "How the king of Israel has honored himself today, exposing himself to the view of the slave girls of his followers, as a commoner might do!"21 But David replied to Michal: "I was dancing before the LORD. As the LORD lives, who preferred me to your father and his whole family when he appointed me commander of the LORD'S people, Israel, not only will I make merry before the LORD,22 but I will demean myself even more. I will be lowly in your esteem, but in the esteem of the slave girls you spoke of I will be honored."23 And so Saul's daughter Michal was childless to the day of her death.

God's Covenant with David

7 1 When King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,2 he said to Nathan the prophet, "Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!"3 Nathan answered the king, "Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you."
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:5 "Go, tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in?6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day on which I led the Israelites out of Egypt to the present, but I have been going about in a tent under cloth.7 In all my wanderings everywhere among the Israelites, did I ever utter a word to any one of the judges whom I charged to tend my people Israel, to ask: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?'8 "Now then, speak thus to my servant David, 'The LORD of hosts has this to say: It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.10 I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,11 since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you.12 And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm.13 It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever.14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. And if he does wrong, I will correct him with the rod of men and with human chastisements;15 but I will not withdraw my favor from him as I withdrew it from your predecessor Saul, whom I removed from my presence.16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.'"17 Nathan reported all these words and this entire vision to David.

David's Prayer

18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, "Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house, that you have brought me to this point?19 Yet even this you see as too little, Lord GOD; you have also spoken of the house of your servant for a long time to come: this too you have shown to man, Lord GOD! 20 What more can David say to you? You know your servant, Lord GOD!21 For your servant's sake and as you have had at heart, you have brought about this entire magnificent disclosure to your servant.22 And so-- "Great are you, Lord GOD! There is none like you and there is no God but you, just as we have heard it told.23 What other nation on earth is there like your people Israel, which God has led, redeeming it as his people; so that you have made yourself renowned by doing this magnificent deed, and by doing awe-inspiring things as you cleared nations and their gods out of the way of your people, which you redeemed for yourself from Egypt?24 You have established for yourself your people Israel as yours forever, and you, LORD, have become their God.25 And now, LORD God, confirm for all time the prophecy you have made concerning your servant and his house, and do as you have promised.26 Your name will be forever great, when men say, 'The LORD of hosts is God of Israel,' and the house of your servant David stands firm before you.27 It is you, LORD of hosts, God of Israel, who said in a revelation to your servant, 'I will build a house for you.' Therefore your servant now finds the courage to make this prayer to you.28 And now, Lord GOD, you are God and your words are truth; you have made this generous promise to your servant.29 Do, then, bless the house of your servant that it may be before you forever; for you, Lord GOD, have promised, and by your blessing the house of your servant shall be blessed forever."

David's Wars

8 1 After this David attacked the Philistines and conquered them, wresting... from the Philistines. 2 He also defeated Moab and then measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground. He told off two lengths of line for execution, and a full length to be spared. Thus the Moabites became tributary to David. 3 Next David defeated Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to reestablish his dominion at the Euphrates River.4 David captured from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen and twenty thousand foot soldiers. And he hamstrung all the chariot horses, preserving only enough for a hundred chariots.5 When the Arameans of Damascus came to the aid of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, David slew twenty-two thousand of them.6 David then placed garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Arameans became subjects, tributary to David. The LORD brought David victory in all his undertakings.7 David also took away the golden shields used by Hadadezer's servants and brought them to Jerusalem. (These Shishak, king of Egypt, took away when he came to Jerusalem in the days of Rehoboam, son of Solomon.)8 From Tebah and Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David removed a very large quantity of bronze.
When Toi, king of Hamath, heard that David had defeated all the forces of Hadadezer,10 he sent his son Hadoram to King David to greet him and to congratulate him for his victory over Hadadezer in battle, because Toi had been in many battles with Hadadezer. Hadoram also brought with him articles of silver, gold, and bronze.11 These, too, King David consecrated to the LORD, together with the silver and gold he had taken from every nation he had conquered:12 from Edom and Moab, from the Ammonites, from the Philistines, from the Amalekites, and from the plunder of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.13 On his return, David became famous for having slain eighteen thousand Edomites in the Salt Valley; 14 after which he placed garrisons in Edom. Thus all the Edomites became David's subjects, and the LORD brought David victory in all his undertakings.

David's Officers

15 David reigned over all Israel, judging and administering justice to all his people.16 Joab, son of Zeruiah, was in command of the army. Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, was chancellor.17 Zadok, son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech, son of Abiathar, were priests. Shawsha was scribe.18 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was in command of the Cherethites and Pelethites. And David's sons were priests.

David's Kindness to Mephibosheth

9 1 David asked, "Is there any survivor of Saul's house to whom I may show kindness for the sake of Jonathan?"2 Now there was a servant of the family of Saul named Ziba. He was summoned to David, and the king asked him, "Are you Ziba?" He replied, "Your servant."3 Then the king inquired, "Is there any survivor of Saul's house to whom I may show God's kindness?" Ziba answered the king, "There is still Jonathan's son, whose feet are crippled."4 The king said to him, "Where is he?" and Ziba answered, "He is in the house of Machir, son of Ammiel, in Lodebar."5 So King David sent for him and had him brought from the house of Machir, son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.6 When Meribbaal, son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David, he fell prostrate in homage. David said, "Meribbaal," and he answered, "Your servant."7 "Fear not," David said to him, "I will surely be kind to you for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the lands of your grandfather Saul, and you shall always eat at my table."8 Bowing low, he answered, "What is your servant that you should pay attention to a dead dog like me?"
The king then called Ziba, Saul's attendant, and said to him: "I am giving your lord's son all that belonged to Saul and to all his family.10 You and your sons and servants must till the land for him. You shall bring in the produce, which shall be food for your lord's family to eat. But Meribbaal, your lord's son, shall always eat at my table." Ziba, who had fifteen sons and twenty servants,11 said to the king, "Your servant shall do just as my lord the king has commanded him." And so Meribbaal ate at David's table like one of the king's sons.12 Meribbaal had a young son whose name was Mica; and all the tenants of Ziba's family worked for Meribbaal.13 But Meribbaal lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table. He was lame in both feet.

The Ammonites and Arameans Are Defeated

10 1 Some time later the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king. 2 David thought, "I will be kind to Hanun, son of Nahash, as his father was kind to me." So David sent his servants with condolences to Hanun for the loss of his father. But when David's servants entered the country of the Ammonites,3 the Ammonite princes said to their lord Hanun: "Do you think that David is honoring your father by sending men with condolences? Is it not rather to explore the city, to spy on it, and to overthrow it, that David has sent his messengers to you?"4 Hanun, therefore, seized David's servants and, after shaving off half their beards and cutting away the lower halves of their garments at the buttocks, sent them away.5 When he was told of it, King David sent out word to them, since the men were quite ashamed. "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow," he said, "and then come back."
In view of the offense they had given to David, the Ammonites sent for and hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth-rehob and Zobah, as well as the king of Maacah with one thousand men, and twelve thousand men from Tob. 7 On learning this, David sent out Joab with the entire levy of trained soldiers.8 The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance of their city gate, while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah remained apart in the open country.9 When Joab saw the battle lines drawn up against him, both front and rear, he made a selection from all the picked troops of Israel and arrayed them against the Arameans.10 He placed the rest of the soldiers under the command of his brother Abishai, who arrayed them against the Ammonites.11 Joab said, "If the Arameans are stronger than I, you shall help me. But if the Ammonites are stronger than you, I will come to help you.12 Be brave; let us prove our valor for the sake of our people and the cities of our God; the LORD will do what he judges best."13 When Joab and the soldiers who were with him approached the Arameans for battle, they fled before him.14 The Ammonites, seeing that the Arameans had fled, also fled from Abishai and withdrew into the city. Joab then ceased his attack on the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
Then the Arameans responded to their defeat by Israel with a full mustering of troops;16 Hadadezer sent for and enlisted Arameans from beyond the Euphrates. They came to Helam, with Shobach, general of Hadadezer's army, at their head.17 On receiving this news, David assembled all Israel, crossed the Jordan, and went to Helam. The Arameans drew up in formation against David and fought with him.18 But the Arameans gave way before Israel, and David's men killed seven hundred charioteers and forty thousand of the Aramean foot soldiers. Shobach, general of the army, was struck down and died on the field.19 All of Hadadezer's vassal kings, in view of their defeat by Israel, then made peace with the Israelites and became their subjects. And the Arameans were afraid to give further aid to the Ammonites.

2Samuel (NAB) 1