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2 Samuel 22; 2 Samuel 23; 2 Samuel 24

1 David sang this song to the Lord when the Lord saved him from Saul and all his other enemies. 2 He said: "The Lord is my rock, my protection, my Savior. 3 My God is my rock. I can run to him for safety. He is my shield and my saving strength, my defender and my place of safety. The Lord saves me from those who want to harm me. 4 I will call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I will be saved from my enemies. 5 "The waves of death came around me; the deadly rivers overwhelmed me. 6 The ropes of death wrapped around me. The traps of death were before me. 7 In my trouble I called to the Lord; I cried out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my call for help reached his ears. 8 "The earth trembled and shook. The foundations of heaven began to shake. They trembled because the Lord was angry. 9 Smoke came out of his nose, and burning fire came out of his mouth. Burning coals went before him. 10 He tore open the sky and came down with dark clouds under his feet. 11 He rode a creature with wings and flew. He raced on the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness his shelter, surrounded by fog and clouds. 13 Out of the brightness of his presence came flashes of lightning. 14 The Lord thundered from heaven; the Most High raised his voice. 15 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies. His bolts of lightning confused them with fear. 16 The Lord spoke strongly. The wind blew from his nose. Then the valleys of the sea appeared, and the foundations of the earth were seen. 17 "The Lord reached down from above and took me; he pulled me from the deep water. 18 He saved me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me, because they were too strong for me. 19 They attacked me at my time of trouble, but the Lord supported me. 20 He took me to a safe place. Because he delights in me, he saved me. 21 "The Lord spared me because I did what was right. Because I have not done evil, he has rewarded me. 22 I have followed the ways of the Lord; I have not done evil by turning from my God. 23 I remember all his laws and have not broken his rules. 24 I am innocent before him; I have kept myself from doing evil. 25 The Lord rewarded me because I did what was right, because I did what the Lord said was right. 26 "Lord, you are loyal to those who are loyal, and you are good to those who are good. 27 You are pure to those who are pure, but you are against those who are evil. 28 You save the humble, but you bring down those who are proud. 29 Lord, you give light to my lamp. The Lord brightens the darkness around me. 30 With your help I can attack an army. With God's help I can jump over a wall. 31 "The ways of God are without fault; the Lord's words are pure. He is a shield to those who trust him. 32 Who is God? Only the Lord. Who is the Rock? Only our God. 33 God is my protection. He makes my way free from fault. 34 He makes me like a deer that does not stumble; he helps me stand on the steep mountains. 35 He trains my hands for battle so my arms can bend a bronze bow. 36 You protect me with your saving shield. You have stooped to make me great. 37 You give me a better way to live, so I live as you want me to. 38 I chased my enemies and destroyed them. I did not quit till they were destroyed. 39 I destroyed and crushed them so they couldn't rise up again. They fell beneath my feet. 40 You gave me strength in battle. You made my enemies bow before me. 41 You made my enemies turn back, and I destroyed those who hated me. 42 They called for help, but no one came to save them. They called to the Lord, but he did not answer them. 43 I beat my enemies into pieces, like dust on the ground. I poured them out and walked on them like mud in the streets. 44 "You saved me when my people attacked me. You kept me as the leader of nations. People I never knew serve me. 45 Foreigners obey me. As soon as they hear me, they obey me. 46 They all become afraid and tremble in their hiding places. 47 "The Lord lives! Praise God, the Rock, who saves me! 48 God gives me victory over my enemies and brings people under my rule. 49 He frees me from my enemies. "You set me over those who hate me. You saved me from cruel men. 50 So I will praise you, Lord, among the nations. I will sing praises to your name. 51 The Lord gives great victories to his king. He is loyal to his appointed king, to David and his descendants forever."
1 These are the last words of David. This is the message of David son of Jesse. The man made great by the Most High God speaks. He is the appointed king of the God of Jacob; he is the sweet singer of Israel: 2 "The Lord's Spirit spoke through me, and his word was on my tongue. 3 The God of Israel spoke; the Rock of Israel said to me: 'Whoever rules fairly over people, who rules with respect for God, 4 is like the morning light at dawn, like a morning without clouds. He is like sunshine after a rain that makes the grass sprout from the ground. 5 "This is how God has cared for my family. God made a lasting agreement with me, right and sure in every way. He will accomplish my salvation and satisfy all my desires. 6 "But all evil people will be thrown away like thorns that cannot be held in a hand. 7 No one can touch them except with a tool of iron or wood. They will be thrown in the fire and burned where they lie." 8 These are the names of David's warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth, the Tahkemonite, was head of the Three. He killed eight hundred men at one time. 9 Next was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. Eleazar was one of the three soldiers who were with David when they challenged the Philistines. The Philistines were gathered for battle, and the Israelites drew back. 10 But Eleazar stayed where he was and fought the Philistines until he was so tired his hand stuck to his sword. The Lord gave a great victory for the Israelites that day. The troops came back after Eleazar had won the battle, but only to take weapons and armor from the enemy. 11 Next there was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines came together to fight in a vegetable field. Israel's troops ran away from the Philistines, 12 but Shammah stood in the middle of the field and fought for it and killed the Philistines. And the Lord gave a great victory. 13 Once, three of the Thirty, David's chief soldiers, came down to him at the cave of Adullam during harvest. The Philistine army had camped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and some of the Philistines were in Bethlehem 15 David had a strong desire for some water. He said, "Oh, I wish someone would get me water from the well near the city gate of Bethlehem!" 16 So the three warriors broke through the Philistine army and took water from the well near the city gate of Bethlehem. Then they brought it to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out before the Lord, 17 saying, "May the Lord keep me from drinking this water! It would be like drinking the blood of the men who risked their lives!" So David refused to drink it. These were the brave things that the three warriors did. 18 Abishai, brother of Joab son of Zeruiah, was captain of the Three. Abishai fought three hundred soldiers with his spear and killed them. He became as famous as the Three 19 and was more honored than the Three. He became their commander even though he was not one of them 20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a brave fighter from Kabzeel who did mighty things. He killed two of the best warriors from Moab. He also went down into a pit and killed a lion on a snowy day. 21 Benaiah killed a large Egyptian who had a spear in his hand. Benaiah had a club, but he grabbed the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear 22 These were the things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did. He was as famous as the Three. 23 He received more honor than the Thirty, but he did not become a member of the Three. David made him leader of his bodyguards. 24 The following men were among the Thirty: Asahel brother of Joab; Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem; 25 Shammah the Harodite; Elika the Harodite; 26 Helez the Paltite; Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa; 27 Abiezer the Anathothite; Mebunnai the Hushathite; 28 Zalmon the Ahohite; Maharai the Netophathite; 29 Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite; Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin; 30 Benaiah the Pirathonite; Hiddai from the ravines of Gaash; 31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite; Azmaveth the Barhumite; 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite; the sons of Jashen; Jonathan 33 son of Shammah the Hararite; Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite; 34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite; Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite; 35 Hezro the Carmelite; Paarai the Arbite; 36 Igal son of Nathan of Zobah; the son of Hagri 37 Zelek the Ammonite; Naharai the Beerothite, who carried the armor of Joab son of Zeruiah; 38 Ira the Ithrite; Gareb the Ithrite 39 and Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.
1 The Lord was angry with Israel again, and he caused David to turn against the Israelites. He said, "Go, count the people of Israel and Judah." 2 So King David said to Joab, the commander of the army, "Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people. Then I will know how many there are." 3 But Joab said to the king, "May the Lord your God give you a hundred times more people, and may my master the king live to see this happen. Why do you want to do this?" 4 But the king commanded Joab and the commanders of the army, so they left the king to count the Israelites. 5 After crossing the Jordan River, they camped near Aroer on the south side of the city in the ravine. They went through Gad and on to Jazer. 6 Then they went to Gilead and the land of Tahtim Hodshi and to Dan Jaan and around to Sidon. 7 They went to the strong, walled city of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went to southern Judah, to Beersheba. 8 After nine months and twenty days, they had gone through all the land. Then they came back to Jerusalem. 9 Joab gave the list of the people to the king. There were eight hundred thousand men in Israel who could use the sword and five hundred thousand men in Judah. 10 David felt ashamed after he had counted the people. He said to the Lord, "I have sinned greatly by what I have done. Lord, I beg you to forgive me, your servant, because I have been very foolish." 11 When David got up in the morning, the Lord spoke his word to Gad, who was a prophet and David's seer. 12 The Lord told Gad, "Go and tell David, 'This is what the Lord says: I offer you three choices. Choose one of them and I will do it to you.'" 13 So Gad went to David and said to him, "Should three years of hunger come to you and your land? Or should your enemies chase you for three months? Or should there be three days of disease in your land? Think about it. Then decide which of these things I should tell the Lord who sent me." 14 David said to Gad, "I am in great trouble. Let the Lord punish us, because the Lord is very merciful. Don't let my punishment come from human beings!" 15 So the Lord sent a terrible disease on Israel. It began in the morning and continued until the chosen time to stop. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand people died. 16 When the angel raised his arm toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord felt very sorry about the terrible things that had happened. He said to the angel who was destroying the people, "That is enough! Put down your arm!" The angel of the Lord was then by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 When David saw the angel that killed the people, he said to the Lord, "I am the one who sinned and did wrong. These people only followed me like sheep. They did nothing wrong. Please punish me and my family." 18 That day Gad came to David and said, "Go and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." 19 So David did what Gad told him to do, just as the Lord commanded. 20 Araunah looked and saw the king and his servants coming to him. So he went out and bowed facedown on the ground before the king. 21 He said, "Why has my master the king come to me?" David answered, "To buy the threshing floor from you so I can build an altar to the Lord. Then the terrible disease will stop." 22 Araunah said to David, "My master and king, you may take anything you want for a sacrifice. Here are some oxen for the whole burnt offering and the threshing boards and the yokes for the wood. 23 My king, I give everything to you." Araunah also said to the king, "May the Lord your God be pleased with you." 24 But the king answered Araunah, "No, I will pay you for the land. I won't offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for one and one-fourth pounds of silver. 25 He built an altar to the Lord there and offered whole burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer for the country, and the disease in Israel stopped.
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