2 Samuel 3:6-21

Abner joins David's army

6 The war continued between David's men and the men who fought on behalf of Saul's family. Abner was becoming a more powerful leader among Saul's group. 7 Saul had had slave wife called Rizpah. She was Aiah's daughter. One day, Ish-Bosheth asked Abner, ‘Why did you sleep with my father's woman?’

3:7Ish-Bosheth was King Saul's son. He was the king of the northern part of Israel. See 2 Samuel 2:8-11. If Abner had slept with Saul's woman, it would show that he wanted to be king himself.

8 Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth had said to him. Abner said, ‘Do you think that I am a useless dog that belongs to Judah? I have always been faithful to your father Saul and to his family and his friends. I have not deceived you to put you under David's power. But now you say that I am guilty of a sin with this woman. 9 So I promise you this! Now I will help David to get what the Lord has promised to him. I ask God to punish me if I do not help David! 10 The Lord promised that David's family would rule as kings instead of Saul's family. He promised that David would be king over all the people of Israel and Judah, from Dan to Beersheba.’

3:10Dan was at the north border of Israel. Beersheba was in the south, in Judah. So from Dan to Beersheba means ‘everywhere’.

11 Ish-Bosheth was so afraid of Abner that he could not say anything.

12 Then Abner sent men to David with this message: ‘Who should rule this country? If you make an agreement with me, I will help you. I will cause all Israel's people to be faithful to you.’

13 David said, ‘That is good! I will make an agreement with you. But you must do this for me: You must bring Saul's daughter, Michal, with you when you come to visit me. If you do not do that, I will not agree to see you.’

14 Then David sent men to Saul's son, Ish-Bosheth, with this message: ‘Give back to me my wife, Michal. I paid 100 Philistine foreskins to have her as my wife.’

15 So Ish-Bosheth sent his men to take Michal from her husband, Paltiel, son of Laish. 16 But her husband came with her. He wept while he followed her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, ‘Return to your home!’ So he returned home.

17 Then Abner talked to the leaders of Israel. He said, ‘For a long time you have wanted David to be your king. 18 So now is your chance to do something! Remember that the Lord promised, “I will use David's strength to save my people, Israel, from the Philistines and from all their enemies.” ’

19 Abner also went himself to speak to the men of Benjamin's tribe. After that, he went to Hebron. He went to tell David what all Israel's people had agreed to do. All the people of Benjamin's tribe had also agreed the same thing. 20 Abner arrived in Hebron with 20 of his men to visit David. David prepared a feast for Abner and the men who were with him. 21 Then Abner said to David, ‘Please let me go now to bring all the people of Israel together for my lord the king. Then they will make an agreement with you. Then you will rule over the whole land, as you really want to do.’ So David sent Abner away, with a promise that he would be safe.

3:19Saul belonged to Benjamin's tribe. David belonged to Judah's tribe. The people from Benjamin's tribe had always been faithful to Saul's family.