plot of the sharp blades, or the field of heroes, (2 Sam. 2:16).
After the battle of Gilboa, so fatal to Saul and his house,
David, as divinely directed, took up his residence in Hebron,
and was there anointed king over Judah. Among the fugitives from
Gilboa was Ish-bosheth, the only surviving son of Saul, whom
Abner, Saul's uncle, took across the Jordan to Mahanaim, and
there had him proclaimed king. Abner gathered all the forces at
his command and marched to Gibeon, with the object of wresting
Judah from David. Joab had the command of David's army of
trained men, who encamped on the south of the pool, which was on
the east of the hill on which the town of Gibeon was built,
while Abner's army lay on the north of the pool. Abner proposed
that the conflict should be decided by twelve young men engaging
in personal combat on either side. So fiercely did they
encounter each other that "they caught every man his fellow by
the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they
fell down together: wherefore that place was called
Helkath-hazzurim." The combat of the champions was thus
indecisive, and there followed a severe general engagement
between the two armies, ending in the total rout of the
Israelites under Abner. The general result of this battle was
that "David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul
waxed weaker and weaker" (2 Sam. 3:1). (See GIBEON T0001480.)