II Samuel 3
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1  The war between the House of Shaul and the House of David was long-drawn-out; but David kept growing stronger, while the House of Shaul grew weaker.

א  וַתְּהִי הַמִּלְחָמָה אֲרֻכָּה בֵּין בֵּית שָׁאוּל וּבֵין בֵּית דָּוִד וְדָוִד הֹלֵךְ וְחָזֵק וּבֵית שָׁאוּל הֹלְכִים וְדַלִּים׃

2  Sons were born to David in Chevron: His first-born was Amnon, by Ahinoam of Yizrael;

ב  וילדו [וַיִּוָּלְדוּ] לְדָוִד בָּנִים בְּחֶבְרוֹן וַיְהִי בְכוֹרוֹ אַמְנוֹן לַאֲחִינֹעַם הַיִּזְרְעֵאלִת׃

3  his second was Chileab, by Avigail wife of Naval the Carmelite; the third was Avshalom son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur;

ג  וּמִשְׁנֵהוּ כִלְאָב לאביגל [לַאֲ‍בִיגַיִל] אֵשֶׁת נָבָל הַכַּרְמְלִי וְהַשְּׁלִשִׁי אַבְשָׁלוֹם בֶּן־מַעֲכָה בַּת־תַּלְמַי מֶלֶךְ גְּשׁוּר׃

4  the fourth was Adoniyahu son of Haggith; the fifth was Shephatiah son of Abital;

ד  וְהָרְבִיעִי אֲדֹנִיָּה בֶן־חַגִּית וְהַחֲמִישִׁי שְׁפַטְיָה בֶן־אֲבִיטָל׃

5  and the sixth was Ithream, by David‘s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Chevron.

ה  וְהַשִּׁשִּׁי יִתְרְעָם לְעֶגְלָה אֵשֶׁת דָּוִד אֵלֶּה יֻלְּדוּ לְדָוִד בְּחֶבְרוֹן׃

6  During the war between the House of Shaul and the House of David, Avner supported the House of Shaul.

ו  וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹת הַמִּלְחָמָה בֵּין בֵּית שָׁאוּל וּבֵין בֵּית דָּוִד וְאַבְנֵר הָיָה מִתְחַזֵּק בְּבֵית שָׁאוּל׃

7  Now Shaul had a concubine named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah; and [Ish-boshet] said to Avner, “Why have you lain with my father’s concubine?”

ז  וּלְשָׁאוּל פִּלֶגֶשׁ וּשְׁמָהּ רִצְפָּה בַת־אַיָּה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־אַבְנֵר מַדּוּעַ בָּאתָה אֶל־פִּילֶגֶשׁ אָבִי׃

8  Avner was very upset by what Ish-boshet said, and he replied, “Am I a dog’s head from Yehuda? Here I have been loyally serving the House of your father Shaul and his kinsfolk and friends, and I have not betrayed you into the hands of David; yet this day you reproach me over a woman!

ח  וַיִּחַר לְאַבְנֵר מְאֹד עַל־דִּבְרֵי אִישׁ־בֹּשֶׁת וַיֹּאמֶר הֲרֹאשׁ כֶּלֶב אָנֹכִי אֲשֶׁר לִיהוּדָה הַיּוֹם אֶעֱשֶׂה־חֶסֶד עִם־בֵּית שָׁאוּל אָבִיךָ אֶל־אֶחָיו וְאֶל־מֵרֵעֵהוּ וְלֹא הִמְצִיתִךָ בְּיַד־דָּוִד וַתִּפְקֹד עָלַי עֲוׂן הָאִשָּׁה הַיּוֹם׃

9  May Hashem do thus and more to Avner if I do not do for David as Hashem swore to him—

ט  כֹּה־יַעֲשֶׂה אֱלֹהִים לְאַבְנֵר וְכֹה יֹסִיף לוֹ כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהֹוָה לְדָוִד כִּי־כֵן אֶעֱשֶׂה־לּוֹ׃

10  to transfer the kingship from the House of Shaul, and to establish the throne of David over Yisrael and Yehuda from Dan to Be’er Sheva.”

l’-ha-a-VEER ha-mam-la-KHAH mi-BAYT sha-UL ul-ha-KEEM et ki-SAY da-VID al yis-ra-AYL v’-al y’-hu-DAH mi-DAN v’-ad b’-AYR SHA-va

י  לְהַעֲבִיר הַמַּמְלָכָה מִבֵּית שָׁאוּל וּלְהָקִים אֶת־כִּסֵּא דָוִד עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל־יְהוּדָה מִדָּן וְעַד־בְּאֵר שָׁבַע׃

 3:10   From Dan to Be’er Sheva

Because the city of Dan was in the north and Be’er Sheva was in the south, the expression “from Dan to Be’er Sheva” is used to symbolize the expansiveness of the Promised Land. It is this critical unity of the entire nation throughout the land that will allow for a strong and vibrant Kingdom of Israel. Indeed, the reigns of David and Shlomo over the united Kingdom of Israel are considered the best of times for the Jewish monarchy. With the division of the kingdom, however, things begin to deteriorate, with both military defeats and regression to idolatry, until ultimately both the kingdom of Yisrael and the kingdom of Yehuda are destroyed and their inhabitants exiled. This highlights how essential unity is for the people and the Land of Israel.1 comment

11  [Ish-boshet] could say nothing more in reply to Avner, because he was afraid of him.

יא  וְלֹא־יָכֹל עוֹד לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־אַבְנֵר דָּבָר מִיִּרְאָתוֹ אֹתוֹ׃

12  Avner immediately sent messengers to David, saying, “To whom shall the land belong?” and to say [further], “Make a pact with me, and I will help you and bring all Yisrael over to your side.”

יב  וַיִּשְׁלַח אַבְנֵר מַלְאָכִים אֶל־דָּוִד תחתו [תַּחְתָּיו] לֵאמֹר לְמִי־אָרֶץ לֵאמֹר כָּרְתָה בְרִיתְךָ אִתִּי וְהִנֵּה יָדִי עִמָּךְ לְהָסֵב אֵלֶיךָ אֶת־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

13  He replied, “Good; I will make a pact with you. But I make one demand upon you: Do not appear before me unless you bring Michal daughter of Shaul when you come before me.”

יג  וַיֹּאמֶר טוֹב אֲנִי אֶכְרֹת אִתְּךָ בְּרִית אַךְ דָּבָר אֶחָד אָנֹכִי שֹׁאֵל מֵאִתְּךָ לֵאמֹר לֹא־תִרְאֶה אֶת־פָּנַי כִּי אִם־לִפְנֵי הֱבִיאֲךָ אֵת מִיכַל בַּת־שָׁאוּל בְּבֹאֲךָ לִרְאוֹת אֶת־פָּנָי׃

14  David also sent messengers to Ish-boshet son of Shaul, to say, “Give me my wife Michal, for whom I paid the bride-price of one hundred Philistine foreskins.”

יד  וַיִּשְׁלַח דָּוִד מַלְאָכִים אֶל־אִישׁ־בֹּשֶׁת בֶּן־שָׁאוּל לֵאמֹר תְּנָה אֶת־אִשְׁתִּי אֶת־מִיכַל אֲשֶׁר אֵרַשְׂתִּי לִי בְּמֵאָה עָרְלוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃

15  So Ish-boshet sent and had her taken away from [her] husband, Paltiel son of Laish.

טו  וַיִּשְׁלַח אִישׁ בֹּשֶׁת וַיִּקָּחֶהָ מֵעִם אִישׁ מֵעִם פַּלְטִיאֵל בֶּן־לוש [לָיִשׁ׃]

16  Her husband walked with her as far as Bahurim, weeping as he followed her; then Avner ordered him to turn back, and he went back.

טז  וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתָּהּ אִישָׁהּ הָלוֹךְ וּבָכֹה אַחֲרֶיהָ עַד־בַּחֻרִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַבְנֵר לֵךְ שׁוּב וַיָּשֹׁב׃

17  Avner had conferred with the elders of Yisrael, saying, “You have wanted David to be king over you all along.

יז  וּדְבַר־אַבְנֵר הָיָה עִם־זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר גַּם־תְּמוֹל גַּם־שִׁלְשֹׁם הֱיִיתֶם מְבַקְשִׁים אֶת־דָּוִד לְמֶלֶךְ עֲלֵיכֶם׃

18  Now act! For Hashem has said concerning David: I will deliver My people Yisrael from the hands of the Philistines and all its other enemies through My servant David.”

יח  וְעַתָּה עֲשׂוּ כִּי יְהֹוָה אָמַר אֶל־דָּוִד לֵאמֹר בְּיַד דָּוִד עַבְדִּי הוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת־עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים וּמִיַּד כָּל־אֹיְבֵיהֶם׃

19  Avner also talked with the Benjaminites; then Avner went and informed David in Chevron of all the wishes of Yisrael and of the whole House of Binyamin.

יט  וַיְדַבֵּר גַּם־אַבְנֵר בְּאָזְנֵי בִנְיָמִין וַיֵּלֶךְ גַּם־אַבְנֵר לְדַבֵּר בְּאָזְנֵי דָוִד בְּחֶבְרוֹן אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבְעֵינֵי כָּל־בֵּית בִּנְיָמִן׃

20  When Avner came to David in Chevron, accompanied by twenty men, David made a feast for Avner and the men with him.

כ  וַיָּבֹא אַבְנֵר אֶל־דָּוִד חֶבְרוֹן וְאִתּוֹ עֶשְׂרִים אֲנָשִׁים וַיַּעַשׂ דָּוִד לְאַבְנֵר וְלַאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ מִשְׁתֶּה׃

21  Avner said to David, “Now I will go and rally all Yisrael to Your Majesty. They will make a pact with you, and you can reign over all that your heart desires.” And David dismissed Avner, who went away unharmed.

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְנֵר אֶל־דָּוִד אָקוּמָה וְאֵלֵכָה וְאֶקְבְּצָה אֶל־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִכְרְתוּ אִתְּךָ בְּרִית וּמָלַכְתָּ בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־תְּאַוֶּה נַפְשֶׁךָ וַיְּשַׁלַּח דָּוִד אֶת־אַבְנֵר וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם׃

22  Just then David‘s soldiers and Yoav returned from a raid, bringing much plunder with them; Avner was no longer with David in Chevron, for he had been dismissed and had gone away unharmed.

כב  וְהִנֵּה עַבְדֵי דָוִד וְיוֹאָב בָּא מֵהַגְּדוּד וְשָׁלָל רָב עִמָּם הֵבִיאוּ וְאַבְנֵר אֵינֶנּוּ עִם־דָּוִד בְּחֶבְרוֹן כִּי שִׁלְּחוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם׃

23  When Yoav and the whole force with him arrived, Yoav was told that Avner son of Ner had come to the king, had been dismissed by him, and had gone away unharmed.

כג  וְיוֹאָב וְכָל־הַצָּבָא אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ בָּאוּ וַיַּגִּדוּ לְיוֹאָב לֵאמֹר בָּא־אַבְנֵר בֶּן־נֵר אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיְשַׁלְּחֵהוּ וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּשָׁלוֹם׃

24  Yoav went to the king and said, “What have you done? Here Avner came to you; why did you let him go? Now he has gotten away!

כד  וַיָּבֹא יוֹאָב אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר מֶה עָשִׂיתָה הִנֵּה־בָא אַבְנֵר אֵלֶיךָ לָמָּה־זֶּה שִׁלַּחְתּוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ הָלוֹךְ׃

25  Don’t you know that Avner son of Ner came only to deceive you, to learn your comings and goings and to find out all that you are planning?”

כה  יָדַעְתָּ אֶת־אַבְנֵר בֶּן־נֵר כִּי לְפַתֹּתְךָ בָּא וְלָדַעַת אֶת־מוֹצָאֲךָ וְאֶת־מבואך [מוֹבָאֶךָ] וְלָדַעַת אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹשֶׂה׃

26  Yoav left David and sent messengers after Avner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah; but David knew nothing about it.

כו  וַיֵּצֵא יוֹאָב מֵעִם דָּוִד וַיִּשְׁלַח מַלְאָכִים אַחֲרֵי אַבְנֵר וַיָּשִׁבוּ אֹתוֹ מִבּוֹר הַסִּרָה וְדָוִד לֹא יָדָע׃

27  When Avner returned to Chevron, Yoav took him aside within the gate to talk to him privately; there he struck him in the belly. Thus [Avner] died for shedding the blood of Asael, Yoav‘s brother.

כז  וַיָּשָׁב אַבְנֵר חֶבְרוֹן וַיַּטֵּהוּ יוֹאָב אֶל־תּוֹךְ הַשַּׁעַר לְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ בַּשֶּׁלִי וַיַּכֵּהוּ שָׁם הַחֹמֶשׁ וַיָּמָת בְּדַם עֲשָׂה־אֵל אָחִיו׃

28  Afterward, when David heard of it, he said, “Both I and my kingdom are forever innocent before God of shedding the blood of Avner son of Ner.

כח  וַיִּשְׁמַע דָּוִד מֵאַחֲרֵי כֵן וַיֹּאמֶר נָקִי אָנֹכִי וּמַמְלַכְתִּי מֵעִם יְהֹוָה עַד־עוֹלָם מִדְּמֵי אַבְנֵר בֶּן־נֵר׃

29  May [the guilt] fall upon the head of Yoav and all his father’s house. May the house of Yoav never be without someone suffering from a discharge or an eruption, or a male who handles the spindle, or one slain by the sword, or one lacking bread.”—

כט  יָחֻלוּ עַל־רֹאשׁ יוֹאָב וְאֶל כָּל־בֵּית אָבִיו וְאַל־יִכָּרֵת מִבֵּית יוֹאָב זָב וּמְצֹרָע וּמַחֲזִיק בַּפֶּלֶךְ וְנֹפֵל בַּחֶרֶב וַחֲסַר־לָחֶם׃

30  Now Yoav and his brother Avishai had killed Avner because he had killed their brother Asael during the battle at Givon.—

ל  וְיוֹאָב וַאֲבִישַׁי אָחִיו הָרְגוּ לְאַבְנֵר עַל אֲשֶׁר הֵמִית אֶת־עֲשָׂהאֵל אֲחִיהֶם בְּגִבְעוֹן בַּמִּלְחָמָה׃

31  David then ordered Yoav and all the troops with him to rend their clothes, gird on sackcloth, and make lament before Avner; and King David himself walked behind the bier.

לא  וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־יוֹאָב וְאֶל־כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּוֹ קִרְעוּ בִגְדֵיכֶם וְחִגְרוּ שַׂקִּים וְסִפְדוּ לִפְנֵי אַבְנֵר וְהַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד הֹלֵךְ אַחֲרֵי הַמִּטָּה׃

32  And so they buried Avner at Chevron; the king wept aloud by Avner‘s grave, and all the troops wept.

לב  וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֶת־אַבְנֵר בְּחֶבְרוֹן וַיִשָּׂא הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־קוֹלוֹ וַיֵּבְךְּ אֶל־קֶבֶר אַבְנֵר וַיִּבְכּוּ כָּל־הָעָם׃

33  And the king intoned this dirge over Avner, “Should Avner have died the death of a churl?

לג  וַיְקֹנֵן הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־אַבְנֵר וַיֹּאמַר הַכְּמוֹת נָבָל יָמוּת אַבְנֵר׃

34  Your hands were not bound, Your feet were not put in fetters; But you fell as one falls Before treacherous men!” And all the troops continued to weep over him.

לד  יָדֶךָ לֹא־אֲסֻרוֹת וְרַגְלֶיךָ לֹא־לִנְחֻשְׁתַּיִם הֻגָּשׁוּ כִּנְפוֹל לִפְנֵי בְנֵי־עַוְלָה נָפָלְתָּ וַיֹּסִפוּ כָל־הָעָם לִבְכּוֹת עָלָיו׃

35  All the troops came to urge David to eat something while it was still day; but David swore, “May Hashem do thus to me and more if I eat bread or anything else before sundown.”

לה  וַיָּבֹא כָל־הָעָם לְהַבְרוֹת אֶת־דָּוִד לֶחֶם בְּעוֹד הַיּוֹם וַיִּשָּׁבַע דָּוִד לֵאמֹר כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה־לִּי אֱלֹהִים וְכֹה יֹסִיף כִּי אִם־לִפְנֵי בוֹא־הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ אֶטְעַם־לֶחֶם אוֹ כָל־מְאוּמָה׃

36  All the troops took note of it and approved, just as all the troops approved everything else the king did.

לו  וְכָל־הָעָם הִכִּירוּ וַיִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵיהֶם כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּעֵינֵי כָל־הָעָם טוֹב׃

37  That day all the troops and all Yisrael knew that it was not by the king’s will that Avner son of Ner was killed.

לז  וַיֵּדְעוּ כָל־הָעָם וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כִּי לֹא הָיְתָה מֵהַמֶּלֶךְ לְהָמִית אֶת־אַבְנֵר בֶּן־נֵר׃

38  And the king said to his soldiers, “You well know that a prince, a great man in Yisrael, has fallen this day.

לח  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־עֲבָדָיו הֲלוֹא תֵדְעוּ כִּי־שַׂר וְגָדוֹל נָפַל הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל׃

39  And today I am weak, even though anointed king; those men, the sons of Tzeruya, are too savage for me. May Hashem requite the wicked for their wickedness!”

לט  וְאָנֹכִי הַיּוֹם רַךְ וּמָשׁוּחַ מֶלֶךְ וְהָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה בְּנֵי צְרוּיָה קָשִׁים מִמֶּנִּי יְשַׁלֵּם יְהֹוָה לְעֹשֵׂה הָרָעָה כְּרָעָתוֹ׃

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II Samuel 2
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II Samuel 3

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