Civil WarCivil War (ca. 1040 B.C.) - After the death of Saul, David was finally ready to become king.  But it was not a smooth transition.  One of Saul's generals, Abner, anointed Saul's son, Ish-bosheth, king over Israel, and a civil war ensued.  David ruled Judah and Ish-bosheth ruled the rest of Israel while the war lasted, which was about two years.


"Now Abner the son of Ner went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon with the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul.  And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, one on the one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool.  Then Abner said to Joab, 'Now let the young men arise and hold a contest before us.'  And Joab said, 'Let them arise.'  So they arose and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.  Each one of them seized 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 (which means Field of Daggers), which is in Gibeon.  That day the battle was very severe, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David." (II Samuel 2:12-17, NASB)