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had five o-ther sons be-sides Jo-na-than. Two of these were kill-ed in the same bat-tle as their fa-ther and bro-ther. Jo-na-than him-self had one lit-tle son nam-ed Me-phi-bo-sheth. Me-phi-bosheth was five years old when the news came that his fa-ther had been kill-ed. His nurse was frigh-ten-ed, and, in her haste to es-cape with the child in her arms, she fell. Me-phi-bo-sheth was ve-ry much hurt; and, al-though he re

; cov-er-ed and grew up, he was lame for the rest of his life.

Ab-ner, the cap-tain of Saul's ar my, knew that God had said Da-vid should be king af-ter Saul; but he was an ambi-tious man, and thought that, with Da-vid for his mas-ter, he would not bave much pow-er in his own hands. He there-fore took one of Saul's sons, whose name was Ish-bo-sheth, and made hiın king o-ver Is-ra-el at Ma-hanaim. It seems that for two years Ishbo-sheth and Da-vid reign-ed at peace; the one at Ma-ha-naim, the other at He-bron. Da-vid wait-ed the Lord's time for mak-ing him king -vér all Is-ra-el. He would not be-gin to quarrel with Ish-bo-sheth, for he rè-member-ed the pro-mise he had made to Saul near the cave of En-ge-di, that he would not cut off his seed when he came to the throne.

Ish-bo-sheth was a weak man; and at last Ab-ner per-suad-ed him to make war with Da-vid. Ab-ner col. lect-ed the men of Is-ra-el, and went out from Ma-ha-naim to fight with the men of Ju-dah.

Da-vid staid at He-bron, and sent his ne-phew Jo-ab in com-mand of his ser-vants to meet Ab-ner. Jo-ab's two bro-thers, A-bi-sha-i and A-sa-hel, went with Jo-ab.

The two ar-mies met by a pool at Gi-be-on and sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the o-ther on the o-ther side. Af-ter a while, Ab-ner, im-pa-tient for the bat-tle, called to Jo-ab and said, Let the young men a-rise and fight. He wish-ed to see which of the two ar-mies had the brav-est sol-diers. Twelve of Ish-bosheth's ser-vants then a-rose and fought with twelve of Da-vid's ser-vants, and they kill-ed one an-oth-er. Then the ar-mies join-ed in fight. There was a ve-ry sore bat-tle that day; Ab-ner and the men of Is-ra-el were beat-en be-fore the ser-vants of Da-vid, and they fled.

A-sa-hel, Jo-at's bro-ther, could run ve-ry fast. The Bi-ble says, “ He was


as light on foot as a wild roe.” When Ab-ner fled, A-sa-hel fol-low-ed af-ter him. Ab-ner look-ed back, and when he knew that it was A-sa-hel who was run-ning, he twice bade him turn aside, for be did not wish to kill Jo-ab's bro-ther. But A-sa-hel was de-termin-ed to catch Ab-ner, and would not listen to the warn-ing. Then Abner, as he ran on, turn-ed his spear back-wards and thrust A-sa-hel through the bo-dy; and A-sa-hel fell down dead. Jo-ab and A-bi-sha-i with the men of Ju-dah pur-su-ed Ab-ner and his men un-til they came near to them, as the sun went down. Ab-ner was on the top of a hill, and a troop of the men of Ben-ja-min had as-sem-bled a-round him. He stop-ped and called to Jo-ab, and ask-ed him how long he meant to fol-low them. Jo-ab remind-ed Ab-ner that the bat-tle had been be-gun by his wish, and that, if he had not spo-ken in the morning, the peo-ple might have part-ed with-out shed-ding one an-o-ther's blood. Jo-ab blew a trum-pet, and all the peo-ple stood still, and pur-su-ed their breth-ren no more.

He then ga-ther-ed his men to-gether and found that on-ly nine-teen of Da-vid's men had been kill-ed be-sides A-sa-hel, but that Ab-ner had lost three hun-dred and six-ty. The men of Ju-dah took up A-sa-hel's bo-dy, and bu-ried it in the grave of his father at Beth-le-hem; and then with Jo-ab they re-turn-ed to He-bron. Abner and his men walk-ed all night, pass-ed o-ver Jor-dan, and went back to Ma-ha-naim.

He-bron was a strong place in the

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