David called together all the leaders of Israel - tribal administrators, heads of various governmental operations, military commanders and captains, stewards in charge of the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons - everyone who held responsible positions in the kingdom.
King David stood tall and spoke: "Listen to me, my people: I fully intended to build a permanent structure for the Chest of the Covenant of God, God's footstool. But when I got ready to build it,
God said to me, 'You may not build a house to honor me - you've done too much fighting - killed too many people.'
God chose me out of my family to be king over Israel forever. First he chose Judah as the lead tribe, then he narrowed it down to my family, and finally he picked me from my father's sons, pleased to make me the king over all Israel.
And then from all my sons - and God gave me many! - he chose my son Solomon to sit on the throne of God's rule over Israel.
He went on to say, 'Your son Solomon will build my house and my courts: I have chosen him to be my royal adopted son; and I will be to him a father.
I will guarantee that his kingdom will last if he continues to be as strong-minded in doing what I command and carrying out my decisions as he is doing now.'
"And now, in this public place, all Israel looking on and God listening in, as God's people, obey and study every last one of the commandments of your God so that you can make the most of living in this good land and pass it on intact to your children, insuring a good future.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)