Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. And they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. And Abner said to Joab, ?Let the young men arise and compete before us.? And Joab said, ?Let them arise.? Then they arose and passed over by number, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. And each caught his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent's side, so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim,1 which is at Gibeon. And the battle was very fierce that day. And Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.
And the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as swift of foot as a wild gazelle. And Asahel pursued Abner, and as he went, he turned neither to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. Then Abner looked behind him and said, ?Is it you, Asahel?? And he answered, ?It is I.? Abner said to him, ?Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and seize one of the young men and take his spoil.? But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. And Abner said again to Asahel, ?Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift up my face to your brother Joab?? But he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the butt of his spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died where he was. And all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. And as the sun was going down they came to the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. And the people of Benjamin gathered themselves together behind Abner and became one group and took their stand on the top of a hill. Then Abner called to Joab, ?Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you tell your people to turn from the pursuit of their brothers?? And Joab said, ?As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely the men would not have given up the pursuit of their brothers until the morning.? So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the men stopped and pursued Israel no more, nor did they fight anymore.
And Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah. They crossed the Jordan, and marching the whole morning, they came to Mahanaim. Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing from David's servants nineteen men besides Asahel. But the servants of David had struck down of Benjamin 360 of Abner's men. And they took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. And Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.
And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
While there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul. Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. And Ish-bosheth said to Abner, ?Why have you gone in to my father's concubine?? Then Abner was very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said, ?Am I a dog's head of Judah? To this day I keep showing steadfast love to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not given you into the hand of David. And yet you charge me today with a fault concerning a woman. God do so to Abner and more also, if I do not accomplish for David what the LORD has sworn to him, to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba.? And Ish-bosheth could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf,2 saying, ?To whom does the land belong? Make your covenant with me, and behold, my hand shall be with you to bring over all Israel to you.? And he said, ?Good; I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you; that is, you shall not see my face unless you first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when you come to see my face.? Then David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, saying, ?Give me my wife Michal, for whom I paid the bridal price of a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.? And Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband Paltiel the son of Laish. But her husband went with her, weeping after her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, ?Go, return.? And he returned.
And Abner conferred with the elders of Israel, saying, ?For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you. Now then bring it about, for the LORD has promised David, saying, ?By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from the hand of all their enemies.?? Abner also spoke to Benjamin. And then Abner went to tell David at Hebron all that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin thought good to do.
When Abner came with twenty men to David at Hebron, David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him. And Abner said to David, ?I will arise and go and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires.? So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
Just then the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid, bringing much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David at Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. When Joab and all the army that was with him came, it was told Joab, ?Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has let him go, and he has gone in peace.? Then Joab went to the king and said, ?What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you. Why is it that you have sent him away, so that he is gone? You know that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.?
When Joab came out from David's presence, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah. But David did not know about it. And when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him privately, and there he struck him in the stomach, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. Afterward, when David heard of it, he said, ?I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son of Ner. May it fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father's house, and may the house of Joab never be without one who has a discharge or who is leprous or who holds a spindle or who falls by the sword or who lacks bread!? So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon.
Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, ?Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and mourn before Abner.? And King David followed the bier. They buried Abner at Hebron. And the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. And the king lamented for Abner, saying,
And all the people wept again over him. Then all the people came to persuade David to eat bread while it was yet day. But David swore, saying, ?God do so to me and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!? And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them, as everything that the king did pleased all the people. So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the king's will to put to death Abner the son of Ner. And the king said to his servants, ?Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? And I was gentle today, though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. The LORD repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!?
13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ?Lord, do you wash my feet?? Jesus answered him, ?What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.? Peter said to him, ?You shall never wash my feet.? Jesus answered him, ?If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.? Simon Peter said to him, ?Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!? Jesus said to him, ?The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,1 but is completely clean. And you2 are clean, but not every one of you.? For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, ?Not all of you are clean.?
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ?Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant3 is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled,4 ?He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.? I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.?
After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, ?Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.? The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side,5 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus6 of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, ?Lord, who is it?? Jesus answered, ?It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.? So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ?What you are going to do, do quickly.? Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, ?Buy what we need for the feast,? or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
119 1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.2
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rules3 of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
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