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2 Samuel 3 - NIV

1 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.


Sons were born to David in Hebron:
His firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;

3 his second, Kileab the son of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel;
the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;

4 the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;

5 and the sixth, Ithream the son of David’s wife Eglah.
These were born to David in Hebron.

Abner Goes Over to David

6 During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul.

7 Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”

8 Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So he answered, “Am I a dog’s head—on Judah’s side? This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman!

9 May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath

10 and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.”

11 Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.

12 Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you.”

13 “Good,” said David. “I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.”

14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”

15 So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish.

16 Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back.

17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, “For some time you have wanted to make David your king.

18 Now do it! For the Lord promised David, ‘By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’”

19 Abner also spoke to the Benjamites in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything that Israel and the whole tribe of Benjamin wanted to do.

20 When Abner, who had twenty men with him, came to David at Hebron, David prepared a feast for him and his men.

21 Then Abner said to David, “Let me go at once and assemble all Israel for my lord the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.

Joab Murders Abner

22 Just then David’s men and Joab returned from a raid and brought with them a great deal of plunder. But Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace.

23 When Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived, he was told that Abner son of Ner had come to the king and that the king had sent him away and that he had gone in peace.

24 So Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you. Why did you let him go? Now he is gone!

25 You know Abner son of Ner; he came to deceive you and observe your movements and find out everything you are doing.”

26 Joab then left David and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern at Sirah. But David did not know it.

27 Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into an inner chamber, as if to speak with him privately. And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and he died.

28 Later, when David heard about this, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner.

29 May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy[a] or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”

30 (Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.)

31 Then David said to Joab and all the people with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and walk in mourning in front of Abner.” King David himself walked behind the bier.

32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept also.

33 The king sang this lament for Abner:

“Should Abner have died as the lawless die?

34 Your hands were not bound,
your feet were not fettered.
You fell as one falls before the wicked.”

And all the people wept over him again.

35 Then they all came and urged David to eat something while it was still day; but David took an oath, saying, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets!”

36 All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them.

37 So on that day all the people there and all Israel knew that the king had no part in the murder of Abner son of Ner.

38 Then the king said to his men, “Do you not realize that a commander and a great man has fallen in Israel this day?

39 And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!”


a. 2 Samuel 3:29 The Hebrew for leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

Sermons on 2 Samuel 3 More sermons: 2 Samuel 3

Christian Cheong avatar
Living Without God
Shared by: Christian Cheong on Aug, 2016
Summary: Abner was driven by his own will, his own gains, and his own ambition. Such godless pursuits lead him to a life of vanity and fruitless end.
Daniel Habben avatar
Agents of Grace: Joab
Shared by: Daniel Habben on Nov, 2015
Summary: Joab was a sinner/saint just like we are. We learn to deal with such people in patience. We also learn that we are not to base our plans on our own sinful cunning, but on trust in the Lord.
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:31-10:12
Denomination: Lutheran
Views: 588
Ian Humphrey avatar
The Death of Abner
Shared by: Ian Humphrey on Nov, 2015
Summary: The Death of Abner
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:1-39
Denomination: Holiness
Views: 627
Ian Humphrey avatar
The Death of Abner
Shared by: Ian Humphrey on Nov, 2015
Summary: The Death of Abner
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:17-39
Denomination: Holiness
Views: 233
Ian Humphrey avatar
Dying Like A Fool
Shared by: Ian Humphrey on Nov, 2015
Summary: Dying Like A Fool
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:17-39
Denomination: Holiness
Views: 696
Ian Humphrey avatar
Died Abner as a fool dieth?
Shared by: Ian Humphrey on Nov, 2015
Summary: Died Abner as a fool dieth?
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:20-39
Denomination: Holiness
Views: 420
Jim Kilson avatar
Funeral - Christian Man Who Died After A Prolonged Illness
Shared by: Jim Kilson on Nov, 2014
Summary: Funeral - Christian man who died after a prolonged illness. Can be adapted for most situations.
Series: Funerals
David Rigg avatar
The Weakend Heart
Shared by: David Rigg on Aug, 2014
Summary: Have you ever faced a time when you felt powerless to handle a situation? Perhaps this sermon will help.
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:17-39
Views: 1,150
David Rigg avatar
David's Mistakes And Abner's Treachery
Shared by: David Rigg on Aug, 2014
Summary: This sermon deals with the problems in multiple marriages. waiting on God, and who the Holy Lands really belong to.
David Rigg avatar
David Was A Horrible Father
Shared by: David Rigg on Jun, 2014
Summary: This Fathers Day sermon shows us the many failures of David as a father.
W Pat Cunningham avatar
Price of Pride--the Example of Joab
Shared by: W Pat Cunningham on Jul, 2012
Summary: The career of Joab helps us understand how to temper pride with humility, and what happens when we don't.
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:39-40
Denomination: Catholic
Views: 1,898
Gregory Mc Donald Sr. avatar
Shared by: Gregory Mc Donald Sr. on Dec, 2008
Summary: This morning I want to look at the life of Samuel because his life is a good example of what ministry is all about. And I’m taking about ministry that takes place in the life of ordinary, everyday people... people just like you and me.
based on 2 ratings
Denomination: Church Of God
Views: 1,503
Jeff Strite avatar
The Weakened Heart - A Man After God's Own Heart
Shared by: Jeff Strite on Apr, 2005
Summary: One of the most overlooked texts in all of Scripture... but also one of the most reassuring. What can we gain from David’s observation that he was "weak?"
based on 66 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:17-39
Views: 7,541
Mike Hullah avatar
The Third Anointing
Shared by: Mike Hullah on Oct, 2003
Summary: The anointing speaks simply of the Presence of God in our lives in a tangible way. Our experience of God tends to be progressive and so is what is called the anointing. We desire a fresh touch of God, a greater dimension of God. This sermon looks at three
based on 68 ratings
Views: 8,643
Mike Hullah avatar
The Importance of The Place within A Place
Shared by: Mike Hullah on Mar, 2003
Summary: This sermon looks at the importance of not only being established in a local church but of spending time in communion with God.
Series: Leadership
based on 58 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 3:1-2
Views: 1,769
Davon Huss avatar
Michal- The Critic
Shared by: Davon Huss on Feb, 2002
Summary: A sermon on 2 Samuel 6- Adapted from Ian Biss and Jeff Walling
based on 34 ratings
Views: 2,097
Rickey Shive avatar
Shared by: Rickey Shive on Feb, 2002
Summary: Rizpah, though insignificant in status, proved to be the focus of two defining events in the life of God’s people. It is from her story I hope we can learn some valuable lessons!
based on 133 ratings
Views: 16,594