2 Samuel 8; 2 Samuel 9; 2 Samuel 10; 2 Samuel 11; 2 Samuel 12

1 Some time later King David attacked the Philistines again, defeated them, and ended their control over the land. 2 Then he defeated the Moabites. He made the prisoners lie down on the ground and put two out of every three of them to death. So the Moabites became his subjects and paid taxes to him. 3 Then he defeated the king of the Syrian state of Zobah, Hadadezer son of Rehob, as Hadadezer was on his way to restore his control over the territory by the upper Euphrates River. 4 David captured seventeen hundred of his cavalry and twenty thousand of his foot soldiers. He kept enough horses for a hundred chariots and crippled all the rest. 5 When the Syrians of Damascus sent an army to help King Hadadezer, David attacked it and killed twenty-two thousand men. 6 Then he set up military camps in their territory, and they became his subjects and paid taxes to him. The Lord made David victorious everywhere. 7 David captured the gold shields carried by Hadadezer's officials and took them to Jerusalem. 8 He also took a great quantity of bronze from Betah and Berothai, cities ruled by Hadadezer. 9 King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated all of Hadadezer's army. 10 So he sent his son Joram to greet King David and congratulate him for his victory over Hadadezer, against whom Toi had fought many times. Joram took David presents made of gold, silver, and bronze. 11 King David dedicated them for use in worship, along with the silver and gold he took from the nations he had conquered - 12 Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek - as well as part of the loot he had taken from Hadadezer. 13 David became even more famous when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Edomites in Salt Valley. 14 He set up military camps throughout Edom, and the people there became his subjects. The Lord made David victorious everywhere. 15 David ruled over all of Israel and made sure that his people were always treated fairly and justly. 16 Joab, whose mother was Zeruiah, was the commander of the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records; 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was the court secretary; 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was in charge of David's bodyguards; and David's sons were priests.
1 One day David asked, "Is there anyone left of Saul's family? If there is, I would like to show him kindness for Jonathan's sake." 2 There was a servant of Saul's family named Ziba, and he was told to go to David. "Are you Ziba?" the king asked. "At your service, sir," he answered. 3 The king asked him, "Is there anyone left of Saul's family to whom I can show loyalty and kindness, as I promised God I would?" Ziba answered, "There is still one of Jonathan's sons. He is crippled." 4 "Where is he?" the king asked. "At the home of Machir son of Ammiel in Lodebar," Ziba answered. 5 So King David sent for him. 6 When Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, arrived, he bowed down before David in respect. David said, "Mephibosheth," and he answered, "At your service, sir." 7 "Don't be afraid," David replied. "I will be kind to you for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will give you back all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always be welcome at my table." 8 Mephibosheth bowed again and said, "I am no better than a dead dog, sir! Why should you be so good to me?" 9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said, "I am giving Mephibosheth, your master's grandson, everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You, your sons, and your servants will farm the land for your master Saul's family and bring in the harvest, to provide food for them. But Mephibosheth himself will always be a guest at my table." (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) 11 Ziba answered, "I will do everything Your Majesty commands." So Mephibosheth ate at the king's table, just like one of the king's sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. All the members of Ziba's family became servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem, eating all his meals at the king's table.
1 Some time later King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 King David said, "I must show loyal friendship to Hanun, as his father Nahash did to me." So David sent messengers to express his sympathy. When they arrived in Ammon, 3 the Ammonite leaders said to the king, "Do you think that it is in your father's honor that David has sent these men to express sympathy to you? Of course not! He has sent them here as spies to explore the city, so that he can conquer us!" 4 Hanun seized David's messengers, shaved off one side of their beards, cut off their clothes at the hips, and sent them away. 5 They were too ashamed to return home. When David heard about what had happened, he sent word for them to stay in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again. 6 The Ammonites realized that they had made David their enemy, so they hired twenty thousand Syrian soldiers from Bethrehob and Zobah, twelve thousand men from Tob, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men. 7 David heard of it and sent Joab against them with the whole army. 8 The Ammonites marched out and took up their position at the entrance to Rabbah, their capital city, while the others, both the Syrians and the men from Tob and Maacah, took up their position in the open countryside. 9 Joab saw that the enemy troops would attack him in front and from the rear, so he chose the best of Israel's soldiers and put them in position facing the Syrians. 10 He placed the rest of his troops under the command of his brother Abishai, who put them in position facing the Ammonites. 11 Joab said to him, "If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you. 12 Be strong and courageous! Let's fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord's will be done!" 13 Joab and his men advanced to attack, and the Syrians fled. 14 When the Ammonites saw the Syrians running away, they fled from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab turned back from fighting the Ammonites and went back to Jerusalem. 15 The Syrians realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, and so they called all their troops together. 16 King Hadadezer sent for the Syrians who were on the east side of the Euphrates River, and they came to Helam under the command of Shobach, commander of the army of King Hadadezer of Zobah. 17 When David heard of it, he gathered the Israelite troops, crossed the Jordan River, and marched to Helam, where the Syrians took up their position facing him. The fighting began, 18 and the Israelites drove the Syrian army back. David and his men killed seven hundred Syrian chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry, and they wounded Shobach, the enemy commander, who died on the battlefield. 19 When the kings who were subject to Hadadezer realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, they made peace with them and became their subjects. And the Syrians were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
1 The following spring, at the time of the year when kings usually go to war, David sent out Joab with his officers and the Israelite army; they defeated the Ammonites and besieged the city of Rabbah. But David himself stayed in Jerusalem. 2 One day, late in the afternoon, David got up from his nap and went to the palace roof. As he walked around up there, he saw a woman taking a bath in her house. She was very beautiful. 3 So he sent a messenger to find out who she was, and learned that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. 4 David sent messengers to get her; they brought her to him and he made love to her. (She had just finished her monthly ritual of purification.) Then she went back home. 5 Afterward she discovered that she was pregnant and sent a message to David to tell him. 6 David then sent a message to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him if Joab and the troops were well, and how the fighting was going. 8 Then he said to Uriah, "Go on home and rest a while." Uriah left, and David had a present sent to his home. 9 But Uriah did not go home; instead he slept at the palace gate with the king's guards. 10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he asked him, "You have just returned after a long absence; why didn't you go home?" 11 Uriah answered, "The men of Israel and Judah are away in battle, and the Covenant Box is with them; my commander Joab and his officers are camping out in the open. How could I go home, eat and drink, and sleep with my wife? By all that's sacred, I swear that I could never do such a thing!" 12 So David said, "Then stay here the rest of the day, and tomorrow I'll send you back." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 David invited him to supper and got him drunk. But again that night Uriah did not go home; instead he slept on his blanket in the palace guardroom. 14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. 15 He wrote: "Put Uriah in the front line, where the fighting is heaviest, then retreat and let him be killed." 16 So while Joab was besieging the city, he sent Uriah to a place where he knew the enemy was strong. 17 The enemy troops came out of the city and fought Joab's forces; some of David's officers were killed, and so was Uriah. 18 Then Joab sent a report to David telling him about the battle, 19 and he instructed the messenger, "After you have told the king all about the battle, 20 he may get angry and ask you, "Why did you go so near the city to fight them? Didn't you realize that they would shoot arrows from the walls? 21 Don't you remember how Abimelech son of Gideon was killed? It was at Thebez, where a woman threw a millstone down from the wall and killed him. Why, then, did you go so near the wall?' If the king asks you this, tell him, "Your officer Uriah was also killed.' " 22 So the messenger went to David and told him what Joab had commanded him to say. 23 He said, "Our enemies were stronger than we were and came out of the city to fight us in the open, but we drove them back to the city gate. 24 Then they shot arrows at us from the wall, and some of Your Majesty's officers were killed; your officer Uriah was also killed." 25 David said to the messenger, "Encourage Joab and tell him not to be upset, since you never can tell who will die in battle. Tell him to launch a stronger attack on the city and capture it." 26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband had been killed, she mourned for him. 27 When the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to the palace; she became his wife and bore him a son. But the Lord was not pleased with what David had done.
1 The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan went to him and said, "There were two men who lived in the same town; one was rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had many cattle and sheep, 3 while the poor man had only one lamb, which he had bought. He took care of it, and it grew up in his home with his children. He would feed it some of his own food, let it drink from his cup, and hold it in his lap. The lamb was like a daughter to him. 4 One day a visitor arrived at the rich man's home. The rich man didn't want to kill one of his own animals to fix a meal for him; instead, he took the poor man's lamb and prepared a meal for his guest." 5 David became very angry at the rich man and said, "I swear by the living Lord that the man who did this ought to die! 6 For having done such a cruel thing, he must pay back four times as much as he took." 7 "You are that man," Nathan said to David. "And this is what the Lord God of Israel says: "I made you king of Israel and rescued you from Saul. 8 I gave you his kingdom and his wives; I made you king over Israel and Judah. If this had not been enough, I would have given you twice as much. 9 Why, then, have you disobeyed my commands? Why did you do this evil thing? You had Uriah killed in battle; you let the Ammonites kill him, and then you took his wife! 10 Now, in every generation some of your descendants will die a violent death because you have disobeyed me and have taken Uriah's wife. 11 I swear to you that I will cause someone from your own family to bring trouble on you. You will see it when I take your wives from you and give them to another man; and he will have intercourse with them in broad daylight. 12 You sinned in secret, but I will make this happen in broad daylight for all Israel to see.' " 13 "I have sinned against the Lord," David said. Nathan replied, "The Lord forgives you; you will not die. 14 But because you have shown such contempt for the Lord in doing this, your child will die." 15 Then Nathan went home. The Lord caused the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David to become very sick. 16 David prayed to God that the child would get well. He refused to eat anything, and every night he went into his room and spent the night lying on the floor. 17 His court officials went to him and tried to make him get up, but he refused and would not eat anything with them. 18 A week later the child died, and David's officials were afraid to tell him the news. They said, "While the child was living, David wouldn't answer us when we spoke to him. How can we tell him that his child is dead? He might do himself some harm!" 19 When David noticed them whispering to each other, he realized that the child had died. So he asked them, "Is the child dead?" "Yes, he is," they answered. 20 David got up from the floor, took a bath, combed his hair, and changed his clothes. Then he went and worshiped in the house of the Lord. When he returned to the palace, he asked for food and ate it as soon as it was served. 21 "We don't understand this," his officials said to him. "While the child was alive, you wept for him and would not eat; but as soon as he died, you got up and ate!" 22 "Yes," David answered, "I did fast and weep while he was still alive. I thought that the Lord might be merciful to me and not let the child die. 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Could I bring the child back to life? I will some day go to where he is, but he can never come back to me." 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He had intercourse with her, and she bore a son, whom David named Solomon. The Lord loved the boy 25 and commanded the prophet Nathan to name the boy Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him. 26 Meanwhile Joab continued his campaign against Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon, and was about to capture it. 27 He sent messengers to David to report: "I have attacked Rabbah and have captured its water supply. 28 Now gather the rest of your forces, attack the city and take it yourself. I don't want to get the credit for capturing it." 29 So David gathered his forces, went to Rabbah, attacked it, and conquered it. 30 From the head of the idol of the Ammonite god Molech David took a gold crown which weighed about seventy-five pounds and had a jewel in it. David took the jewel and put it in his own crown. He also took a large amount of loot from the city 31 and put its people to work with saws, iron hoes, and iron axes, and forced them to work at making bricks. He did the same to the people of all the other towns of Ammon. Then he and his men returned to Jerusalem.
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