and stronger, but the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
2And unto David were sons born in Hebron; and his first-born was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; 4and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
6And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner showed himself strong in the house of Saul. 7Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah; and [Ish-bosheth] said to Abner: 'Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father's concubine?' 8Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said: 'Am I a dog's head that belongeth to Judah? This day do I show kindness unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, and yet thou chargest me this day with a fault concerning this woman. 9God do so to Abner, and more also, if, as the Lord hath sworn to David, I do not even so to him; 10to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba.' 11And he could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
12And Abner sent messengers to David straightway, saying: 'Whose is the land?' saying also: 'Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring over all Israel unto thee.' 13And he said: 'Well; I will make a league with thee; but one thing I require of thee, that is, thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face.' 14And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth Saul's son, saying: 'Deliver me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.' 15And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Paltiel the son of Laish. 16And her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him: 'Go, return'; and he returned.
17And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying: 'In times past ye sought for David to be king over you; 18now then do it; for the Lord hath spoken of David, saying: By the hand of My servant David I will save My people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.' 19And Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin; and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to the whole house of Benjamin. 20So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast. 21And Abner said unto David: 'I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thy soul desireth.' And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
22And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from a foray, and brought in a great spoil with them; but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away,