Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

2 Samuel 1; 2 Samuel 2; 2 Samuel 3; 2 Samuel 4; 2 Samuel 5; 2 Samuel 6; 2 Samuel 7; 2 Samuel 8; 2 Samuel 9; 2 Samuel 10; 2 Samuel 11; 2 Samuel 12; 2 Samuel 13; 2 Samuel 14; 2 Samuel 15; 2 Samuel 16; 2 Samuel 17; 2 Samuel 18; 2 Samuel 19; 2 Samuel 20; 2 Samuel 21; 2 Samuel 22; 2 Samuel 23; 2 Samuel 24

1 After Saul died, David returned to Ziklag. He had won the battle over the Amalekites. He stayed in Ziklag for two days. 2 On the third day a man arrived from Saul's camp. His clothes were torn. He had dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to show him respect. 3 "Where have you come from?" David asked him. He answered, "I've escaped from Israel's camp." 4 "What happened?" David asked. "Tell me." He said, "Israel's men ran away from the battle. Many of them were killed. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead." 5 David spoke to the young man who brought him the report. He asked him, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?" 6 "I just happened to be there on Mount Gilboa," the young man said. "Saul was there too. He was leaning on his spear. The enemy chariots and chariot drivers had almost caught up with him. 7 Then he turned around and saw me. He called out to me. I said, 'What do you want me to do?' 8 "He asked me, 'Who are you?' " 'An Amalekite,' I answered. 9 "Then he said to me, 'Stand over me and kill me! I'm close to death, but I'm still alive.' 10 "So I stood over him and killed him. I did it because I knew that after he had lost the battle he would be killed anyway. So I took the crown that was on his head. I also took his armband. I've brought them here to you. You are my master." 11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them. All of his men did the same thing. 12 All of them were filled with sadness. They sobbed over the whole nation of Israel. They didn't eat anything until evening. That's because Saul and Jonathan and the LORD's army had been killed with swords. 13 David spoke to the young man who had brought him the report. He asked, "Where are you from?" "I'm the son of an outsider, an Amalekite," he answered. 14 David asked him, "Why weren't you afraid to lift your hand to kill the LORD's anointed king?" 15 Then David called for one of his men. He said, "Go! Strike him down!" So he struck the man down, and the man died. 16 That's because David had said to him, "Anything that happens to you will be your own fault. What your own mouth has spoken is a witness against you. You said, 'I killed the LORD's anointed king.' " 17 David sang a song of sadness about Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 He ordered that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is called The Song of the Bow. It is written down in the Book of Jashar. David sang, 19 "Israel, your glorious leaders lie dead on your hills. Your mighty men have fallen. 20 "Don't announce it in Gath. Don't tell it in the streets of Ashkelon. If you do, the daughters of the Philistines will be glad. The daughters of men who haven't been circumcised will be joyful. 21 "Mountains of Gilboa, may no dew or rain fall on you. May your fields not produce any offerings of grain. The shield of the mighty king lies polluted there. The shield of Saul lies there. It isn't rubbed with oil anymore. 22 The bow of Jonathan didn't turn back. The sword of Saul didn't return without being satisfied. They spilled the blood of their enemies. They killed mighty men. 23 "In life Saul and Jonathan were loved and gracious. In death they were not parted. They were faster than eagles. They were stronger than lions. 24 "Daughters of Israel, sob over Saul. He dressed you in the finest clothes. He decorated your clothes with ornaments of gold. 25 "Your mighty men have fallen in battle. Jonathan lies dead on your hills. 26 My brother Jonathan, I'm filled with sadness because of you. You were very special to me. Your love for me was wonderful. It was more wonderful than the love of women. 27 "Israel's mighty men have fallen. Their weapons of war are broken."
1 After Saul and Jonathan died, David asked the LORD for advice. "Should I go up to one of the towns of Judah?" he asked. The LORD said, "Go up." David asked, "Where should I go?" "To Hebron," the LORD answered. 2 So David went up there with his two wives. Their names were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail from Carmel. Abigail was Nabal's widow. 3 David also took his men and their families with him. They settled down in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron. There they anointed David to be king over the people of Judah. David was told that the men of Jabesh Gilead had buried Saul's body. 5 So he sent messengers to them to speak for him. The messengers said, "You were kind to bury the body of your master Saul. May the LORD bless you for that. 6 And may he now be kind and faithful to you. David will treat you well for being kind to Saul's body. 7 Now then, be strong and brave. Your master Saul is dead. And the people of Judah have anointed David to be king over them." 8 Abner, the son of Ner, was commander of Saul's army. He had brought Saul's son Ish-Bosheth to Mahanaim. 9 There he made him king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel. He also made him king over Ephraim, Benjamin and other areas of Israel. 10 Ish-Bosheth was 40 years old when he became king over Israel. He ruled for two years. But the people of Judah followed David. 11 David was king in Hebron over the people of Judah for seven and a half years. 12 Abner, the son of Ner, left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. The men of Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul, went with him. 13 Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and David's men also went out. All of them met at the pool in Gibeon. One group sat down on one side of the pool. The other group sat on the other side. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, "Let's have some of the young men get up and fight. Let's tell them to fight hand to hand in front of us." "All right. Let them do it," Joab said. 15 So the young men stood up and were counted off. There were 12 on the side of Benjamin and Saul's son Ish-Bosheth. And there were 12 on David's side. 16 Each man grabbed one of his enemies by the head. Each one stuck his dagger into the other man's side. And all of them fell down together and died. So that place in Gibeon was named Helkath Hazzurim. 17 The fighting that day was very heavy. Abner and the men of Israel lost the battle to David's men. 18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there. Their names were Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Asahel was as quick on his feet as a wild antelope. 19 He chased Abner. He didn't turn to the right or the left as he chased him. 20 Abner looked behind him. He asked, "Asahel, is that you?" "It is," he answered. 21 Then Abner said to him, "Turn to the right or the left. Fight one of the young men. Take his weapons away from him." But Asahel wouldn't stop chasing him. 22 Again Abner warned Asahel, "Stop chasing me! If you don't, I'll strike you down. Then how could I look your brother Joab in the face?" 23 But Asahel refused to give up the chase. So Abner drove the dull end of his spear into Asahel's stomach. The spear came out of his back. He fell and died right there on the spot. Every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died. 24 But Joab and Abishai chased Abner. As the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah. It was near Giah on the way to the dry and empty land close to Gibeon. 25 The men of Benjamin gathered in a group around Abner. They took their stand on top of a hill. 26 Abner called out to Joab, "Do you want our swords to keep on killing us off? Don't you know that all of this fighting will end in bitter feelings? How long will it be before you order your men to stop chasing their fellow Israelites?" 27 Joab answered, "It's a good thing you spoke up. If you hadn't, the men would have kept on chasing their fellow Israelites until morning. And that's just as sure as God is alive." 28 So Joab blew a trumpet. All of the men stopped. They didn't chase Israel anymore. They didn't fight anymore either. 29 All that night Abner and his men marched through the Arabah Valley. They went across the Jordan River. They kept on going through the whole Bithron. Finally, they came to Mahanaim. 30 Then Joab returned from chasing Abner. He gathered all of his men together. Besides Asahel, only 19 of David's men were missing. 31 But David's men had killed 360 men from Benjamin who were with Abner. 32 They got Asahel's body and buried it in his father's tomb at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night. They arrived at Hebron at sunrise.
1 The war between Saul's royal house and David's royal house lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger. But the royal house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. 2 Sons were born to David in Hebron. His first son was Amnon. Amnon's mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel. 3 His second son was Kileab. Kileab's mother was Abigail. She was Nabal's widow from Carmel. The third son was Absalom. His mother was Maacah. She was the daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur. 4 The fourth son was Adonijah. His mother was Haggith. The fifth son was Shephatiah. His mother was Abital. 5 The sixth son was Ithream. His mother was David's wife Eglah. Those sons were born to David in Hebron. 6 The fighting continued between David's royal house and Saul's royal house. Abner gained more and more power in the royal house of Saul. 7 While Saul was still alive, he had a concubine named Rizpah. She was the daughter of Aiah. Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, "Why did you have sex with my father's concubine?" 8 Abner burned with anger because of what Ish-Bosheth said. He answered, "Do you think I'm only a dog's head? Am I on Judah's side? To this very day I've been true to the royal house of your father Saul. I've been true to his family and friends. I haven't handed you over to David. But now you claim that I've sinned with this woman! 9 "I will do for David what the LORD promised him with an oath. If I don't, may God punish me greatly. 10 I'll take the kingdom away from Saul's royal house. I'll set up the throne of David's kingdom over Israel and Judah. He will rule from Dan all the way to Beersheba." 11 Ish-Bosheth didn't dare to say another word to Abner. He was much too afraid of him. 12 Then Abner sent messengers to David to speak for him. They said, "Who will rule over this land? Make a covenant with me. Then I'll help you bring all of the people of Israel over to your side." 13 "Good," said David. "I will make a covenant with you. But there's one thing I want you to do. Bring Saul's daughter Michal to me. Don't come to see me unless she's with you." 14 Then David sent messengers to Saul's son Ish-Bosheth. He ordered them to say, "Give me my wife Michal. She was promised to me. I paid for her with the skins I cut off when I circumcised 100 Philistines." 15 So Ish-Bosheth gave the order. He sent men who took Michal away from her husband Paltiel. Paltiel was the son of Laish. 16 But her husband followed her to Bahurim. He was crying all the way. Then Abner said to him, "Go back home!" So he did. 17 Abner talked with the elders of Israel. He said, "For some time you have wanted to make David your king. 18 Now do it! The LORD made a promise to David. He said, 'I will save my people Israel from the powerful hand of the Philistines. I will also save them from all of their enemies. I will save them through my servant David.' " 19 Abner also spoke to the people of Benjamin in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything. He told him what Israel and all of the people of Benjamin wanted to do. 20 Abner had 20 men with him. They came to David at Hebron. So David prepared a big dinner for Abner and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, "Let me go right now. I'll gather together all of the people of Israel for you. After all, you are now my king and master. The people can make a covenant with you. Then you can rule over everyone you want to." So David sent Abner away. And he went in peace. 22 Just then David's men and Joab came back from attacking their enemies. They brought with them the large amount of goods they had taken. But Abner wasn't with David in Hebron anymore. That's because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 Joab and all of the soldiers who were with him arrived. Then he was told that Abner, the son of Ner, had come to see the king. He was told that the king had sent Abner away. He was also told that Abner had gone in peace. 24 So Joab went to the king. He said, "What have you done? Abner came to you. Why did you let him get away? Now he's gone! 25 You know what Abner, the son of Ner, is like. He came to trick you. He wanted to watch your every move. He came to find out everything you are doing." 26 Then Joab left David. He sent messengers to get Abner. They brought Abner back from the well of Sirah. But David didn't know about it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him to one side. He brought him to the entrance of the city gate. Joab acted as if he wanted to speak to him in private. But he really wanted to get even with him. That's because Abner had spilled the blood of Joab's brother Asahel. So Joab stabbed him in the stomach. And Abner died. 28 Later on, David heard about it. He said, "I and the people of my kingdom aren't guilty of spilling the blood of Abner, the son of Ner. We are free of blame forever in the sight of the Lord. 29 "May Joab and his whole family line be held accountable for spilling Abner's blood! May someone in Joab's family always have an open sore or skin disease. May someone in his family always have to use a crutch to walk. May someone in his family be killed with a sword. And may someone in his family never have enough food to eat." 30 Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner. They did it because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon. 31 David spoke to Joab and all of the people who were with him. He said, "Tear your clothes. Put on black clothes. Sob when you walk in front of Abner's body." King David himself walked behind it. 32 Abner's body was buried in Hebron. The king sobbed out loud at Abner's tomb. So did the rest of the people. 33 King David sang a song of sadness over Abner. He said, "Should Abner have died as sinful people do? 34 His hands were not tied. His feet were not chained. He died as if he had been killed by evil people." All of the people sobbed over Abner again. 35 Then all of them came and begged David to eat something. They wanted him to eat while it was still day. But David took an oath. He said, "I won't taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down. If I do, may God punish me greatly!" 36 All of the people heard it and were pleased. In fact, everything the king did pleased them. 37 So on that day all of the people of Judah and Israel understood. They knew that the king didn't have anything to do with the murder of Abner, the son of Ner. 38 The king spoke to his men. He said, "Don't you realize that a great commander has died in Israel today? 39 I'm the anointed king. But today I'm weak. These sons of Zeruiah are too powerful for me. May the LORD pay back the one who killed Abner! May he pay him back for the evil thing he has done!"
1 Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul, heard that Abner had died in Hebron. Then he wasn't so brave anymore. And all of the people of Israel became alarmed. 2 Two men in Ish-Bosheth's army led small companies that attacked their enemies. The names of the men were Baanah and Recab. They were sons of Rimmon from the town of Beeroth. Rimmon was from the tribe of Benjamin. Beeroth is considered to be part of Benjamin. 3 That's because the people who used to live in Beeroth had run away to Gittaim. They have lived there as outsiders to this very day. 4 Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son named Mephibosheth. Both of Mephibosheth's feet were hurt. He was five years old when the news that Saul and Jonathan had died came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and ran. But as she hurried to get away, he fell down. That's how his feet were hurt. 5 Recab and Baanah started out for the house of Ish-Bosheth. They were the sons of Rimmon from Beeroth. They arrived there during the hottest time of the day. Ish-Bosheth was taking his early afternoon nap. 6 Recab and his brother Baanah went into the inside part of the house. They acted as if they were going to get some wheat. Instead, they stabbed Ish-Bosheth in the stomach. Then they slipped away. 7 They had gone into the house while Ish-Bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom. They stabbed him and killed him. Then they cut off his head and took it with them. They traveled all night through the Arabah Valley. 8 They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to King David at Hebron. They said to him, "Here's the head of Ish-Bosheth, the son of Saul. Saul was your enemy. He often tried to kill you. Today the LORD has paid Saul and his family back. He has let you get even with them. You are our king and master." 9 David gave an answer to Recab and his brother Baanah. They were the sons of Rimmon of Beeroth. David said, "The LORD has saved me from all of my troubles. 10 A man once told me, 'Saul is dead.' He thought he was bringing me good news. But I grabbed hold of him. I had him put to death in Ziklag. That's the reward I gave him for his news! And that's just as sure as the LORD is alive. 11 "Now you evil men have killed a man in his own house. He hadn't done anything wrong. You killed him while he was lying on his own bed. You spilled his blood. So shouldn't I spill your blood? Shouldn't I wipe you off the face of the earth?" 12 Then David gave an order to his men. They killed Recab and Baanah. They cut off their hands and feet. They hung their bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they buried the head of Ish-Bosheth in Abner's tomb at Hebron.
1 All of the tribes of Israel came to see David at Hebron. They said, "We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, Saul was our king. But you led the men of Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, 'You will be the shepherd over my people Israel. You will become their ruler.' " 3 All of the elders of Israel came to see King David at Hebron. There the king made a covenant with them in the sight of the Lord. They anointed David as king over Israel. 4 David was 30 years old when he became king. He ruled for 40 years. 5 In Hebron he ruled over Judah for seven and a half years. In Jerusalem he ruled over all of Israel and Judah for 33 years. 6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem. They went to attack the Jebusites who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, "You won't get in here. Even blind people and those who are disabled can keep you from coming in." They thought, "David can't get in here." 7 But David captured the fort of Zion. It became known as the City of David. 8 On that day David said, "Anyone who wins the battle over the Jebusites will have to crawl through the water tunnel to get into the city. That's the only way he can reach those 'disabled and blind' enemies of mine." That's why people say, "Those who are 'blind and disabled' won't enter David's palace." 9 David moved into the fort. He called it the City of David. He built up the area around the fort. He filled in the low places. He started at the bottom and worked his way up. 10 David became more and more powerful. That's because the LORD God who rules over all was with him. 11 Hiram was king of Tyre. He sent messengers to David. He sent cedar logs along with them. He also sent skilled workers. They worked with wood and stone. They built a palace for David. 12 David knew that the LORD had made his position as king secure. He knew that he had made him king over the whole nation of Israel. He knew that the LORD had greatly honored his kingdom. The LORD had done it because the Israelites were his people. 13 After David left Hebron, he got more concubines and wives in Jerusalem. More sons and daughters were born to him there. 14 Here is a list of the children who were born to him in Jerusalem. Their names were Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet. 17 The Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel. So their whole army went to look for him. But David heard about it. He went down to his usual place of safety. 18 The Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 So David asked the LORD for advice. He said, "Should I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?" The LORD answered him, "Go. You can be sure that I will hand the Philistines over to you." 20 So David went to Baal Perazim. There he won the battle over the Philistines. He said, "The LORD has broken through against my enemies when I've attacked them, just as water breaks through a dam." That's why the place was called Baal Perazim. 21 The Philistines left the statues of their gods there. So David and his men carried the statues off. 22 Once more the Philistines came up. They spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 So David asked the LORD for advice. The LORD answered, "Do not go straight up. Instead, circle around behind them. Attack them in front of the balsam trees. 24 Listen for the sound of marching in the tops of the trees. Then move quickly. The sound will mean that I have gone out in front of you. I will strike down the Philistine army." 25 So David did just as the LORD had commanded him. He struck down the Philistines. He struck them down from Gibeon all the way to Gezer.
1 Again David brought together the best soldiers in Israel. The total number was 30,000. 2 He and all of his men started out from Baalah in Judah. They wanted to bring the ark of God up to Jerusalem from there. The ark is named after the Lord. He is the LORD who rules over all. He sits on his throne between the cherubim that are on the ark. 3 The ark of God was placed on a new cart. Then it was brought from Abinadab's house, which was on a hill. Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the cart. They were the sons of Abinadab. 4 The ark of God was on the cart. Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David was celebrating with all his might in the sight of the Lord. So was the whole community of Israel. All of them were singing songs. They were also playing harps, lyres, tambourines, rattles and cymbals. 6 They came to the threshing floor of Nacon. The oxen nearly fell there. So Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God. 7 Then the LORD's anger burned against Uzzah. That's because what Uzzah did showed that he didn't have any respect for the Lord. So God struck him down. He died there beside the ark of God. 8 David was angry because the LORD's burning anger had broken out against Uzzah. That's why the place is still called Perez Uzzah to this very day. 9 David was afraid of the LORD that day. He asked, "How can the ark of the LORD ever be brought to me?" 10 He didn't want to take the ark of the LORD to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom. Obed-Edom was from Gath. 11 The ark of the LORD remained in Obed-Edom's house for three months. And the LORD blessed him and his whole family. 12 King David was told, "The LORD has blessed the family of Obed-Edom. He has also blessed everything that belongs to him. That's because the ark of God is in Obed-Edom's house." So David went down there and brought up the ark. With great joy he brought it up from the house of Obed-Edom. He took it to the City of David. 13 Those who were carrying the ark of the LORD took six steps forward. Then David sacrificed a bull and a fat calf. 14 David was wearing a sacred linen apron. He danced in the sight of the LORD with all his might. 15 He did it while he was bringing up the ark of the Lord. The whole community of Israel helped him bring it up. They shouted. They blew trumpets. 16 The ark of the LORD was brought into the City of David. Saul's daughter Michal was watching from a window. She saw King David leaping and dancing in the sight of the Lord. That made her hate him in her heart. 17 The ark of the LORD was brought into Jerusalem. It was put in its place in the tent David had set up for it. David sacrificed burnt offerings and friendship offerings to the Lord. 18 After he finished sacrificing those offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD who rules over all. 19 He gave to each Israelite man and woman a loaf of bread. He also gave each one a date cake and a raisin cake. Then all of the people went home. 20 David returned home to bless his family. Saul's daughter Michal came out to meet him. She said, "You are the king of Israel. You have really brought honor to yourself today, haven't you? You have taken off your royal robe right in front of the female slaves of your officials. You acted like someone who is very foolish!" 21 David said to Michal, "I did it to honor the Lord. He chose me instead of your father or anyone else in Saul's family. He appointed me ruler over his people Israel. I will celebrate in honor of the Lord. 22 And that's not all. I will bring even less honor to myself. I will bring even more shame on myself. But those female slaves you spoke about will honor me." 23 Saul's daughter Michal didn't have any children as long as she lived.
1 The king settled down in his palace. The LORD had given him peace and rest from all of his enemies who were around him. 2 Then the king spoke to the prophet Nathan. He said, "Here I am, living in a palace that has beautiful cedar walls. But the ark of God remains in a tent." 3 Nathan replied to the king, "Go ahead and do what you want to. The LORD is with you." 4 That night the word of the LORD came to Nathan. The LORD said, 5 "Go and speak to my servant David. Tell him, 'The LORD says, "Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6 I have not lived in a house from the day I brought the people of Israel up out of Egypt until now. I have been moving from place to place. I have been living in a tent. 7 I have moved from place to place with all of the people of Israel. I commanded their rulers to be shepherds over them. I never asked any of those rulers, 'Why haven't you built me a house that has beautiful cedar walls?' " ' 8 "So tell my servant David, 'The LORD who rules over all says, "I took you away from the grasslands. That's where you were taking care of your father's sheep and goats. I made you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you everywhere you have gone. I cut off all of your enemies when you were attacking them. " ' "Now I will make you famous. Your name will be just as respected as the names of the most important people on earth. 10 I will provide a place where my people Israel can live. I will plant them in the land. Then they will have a home of their own. They will not be bothered anymore. Evil people will no longer crush them, as they did at first. 11 That is what your enemies have done ever since I appointed leaders over my people Israel. But I will give you peace and rest from all of them. " ' "I tell you that I myself will set up a royal house for you. 12 Some day your life will come to an end. You will join the members of your family who have already died. Then I will make one of your own sons the next king after you. And I will make his kingdom secure. 13 He is the one who will build a house where I will put my Name. " ' "I will set up the throne of his kingdom. It will last forever. 14 I will be his father. And he will be my son. When he does what is wrong, I will use other men to beat him with rods and whips. 15 I took my love away from Saul. I removed him from being king. You were there when I did it. But I will never take my love away from your son. 16 " ' "Your royal house and your kingdom will last forever in my sight. Your throne will last forever." ' " 17 Nathan reported to David all of the words that the LORD had spoken to him. 18 Then King David went into the holy tent. He sat down in front of the Lord. He said, "LORD and King, who am I? My family isn't important. So why have you brought me this far? 19 I would have thought that you had already done more than enough for me. But now, LORD and King, you have also spoken about what is going to happen to my royal house in days to come. LORD and King, is this your usual way of dealing with people? 20 "What more can I say to you? LORD and King, you know all about me. 21 You have done a wonderful thing. You have made it known to me. You have done it because that's what you said you would do. It's exactly what you wanted to do for me. 22 "LORD and King, how great you are! There isn't anyone like you. There isn't any God but you. We have heard about it with our own ears. 23 "Who is like your people Israel? God, we are the one nation on earth you have saved. You have set us free for yourself. Your name has become famous. You have done great and wonderful things. You have driven out nations and their gods to make room for your people. You saved us when you set us free from Egypt. 24 You made Israel your very own people forever. Lord, you have become our God. 25 "And now, LORD God, keep forever the promise you have made to me and my royal house. Do exactly as you promised. 26 Then your name will be honored forever. People will say, 'The LORD rules over all. He is God over Israel.' My royal house will be made secure in your sight. 27 "LORD who rules over all, you are the God of Israel. Here's what you have shown me. You told me, 'I will build you a royal house.' So I can boldly offer this prayer to you. 28 LORD and King, you are God! Your words can be trusted. You have promised many good things to me. 29 "Now please bless my royal house. Then it will continue forever in your sight. LORD and King, you have spoken. Because you have given my royal house your blessing, it will be blessed forever."
1 While David was king of Israel, he won many battles over the Philistines. He brought them under his control. He took Metheg Ammah away from them. 2 David also won the battle over the people of Moab. He made them lie down on the ground. Then he measured them off with a piece of rope. He put two-thirds of them to death. He let the other third remain alive. So the Moabites were brought under David's rule. They gave him the gifts he required them to bring him. 3 David fought against Hadadezer, the son of Rehob. Hadadezer was king of Zobah. He had gone to take back control of the land along the Euphrates River. 4 David captured 1,000 of Hadadezer's chariots, 7,000 chariot riders and 20,000 soldiers on foot. He cut the legs of all but 100 of the chariot horses. 5 The Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, the king of Zobah. But David struck down 22,000 of them. 6 He stationed some soldiers in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus. The people of Aram were brought under his rule. They gave him the gifts he required them to bring him. The LORD helped David win his battles everywhere he went. 7 David took the gold shields that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer. He brought the shields to Jerusalem. 8 He took a huge amount of bronze from Tebah and Berothai. Those towns belonged to Hadadezer. 9 Tou was king of Hamath. He heard that David had won the battle over the entire army of Hadadezer. 10 So Tou sent his son Joram to King David. Joram greeted David. He praised him because he had won the battle over Hadadezer. Hadadezer had been at war with Tou. So Joram brought with him articles that were made out of silver, gold and bronze. 11 King David set those articles apart for the Lord. He had done the same thing with the silver and gold he had taken from the other nations he had brought under his control. 12 Those nations were Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia and Amalek. He also set apart for the LORD what he had taken from Hadadezer, the son of Rehob. Hadadezer was king of Zobah. 13 David returned after he had struck down 18,000 men of Edom in the Valley of Salt. He became famous for doing it. 14 He stationed some soldiers all through Edom. The whole nation of Edom was brought under his rule. The LORD helped David win his battles everywhere he went. 15 David ruled over the whole nation of Israel. He did what was fair and right for all of his people. 16 Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was commander over the army. Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, kept the records. 17 Zadok, the son of Ahitub, was a priest. Ahimelech, the son of Abiathar, was also a priest. Seraiah was the secretary. 18 Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was commander over the Kerethites and Pelethites. And David's sons were royal advisers.
1 David asked, "Is anyone left from the royal house of Saul? If there is, I want to be kind to him because of Jonathan." 2 Ziba was a servant in Saul's family. David sent for him to come and see him. The king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" "I'm ready to serve you," he replied. 3 The king asked, "Isn't anyone left from the royal house of Saul? God has been very kind to me. I would like to be kind to someone in the same way." Ziba answered the king, "A son of Jonathan is still living. Both of his feet were hurt." 4 "Where is he?" the king asked. Ziba answered, "He's in the town of Lo Debar. He's staying at the house of Makir, the son of Ammiel." 5 So King David had Mephibosheth brought from Makir's house in Lo Debar. 6 Mephibosheth came to David. He was the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul. Mephibosheth bowed down to David to show him respect. David said, "Mephibosheth!" "I'm ready to serve you," he replied. 7 "Don't be afraid," David told him. "You can be sure that I will be kind to you because of your father Jonathan. I'll give back to you all of the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul. And I'll always provide what you need." 8 Mephibosheth bowed down to David. He said, "Who am I? Why should you pay attention to me? I'm nothing but a dead dog." 9 Then the king sent for Saul's servant Ziba. He said to him, "I'm giving your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants must farm the land for him. You must bring in the crops. Then he'll be taken care of. I'll always provide what he needs." Ziba had 15 sons and 20 servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, "I'll do anything you command me to do. You are my king and master." So David provided what Mephibosheth needed. He treated him like one of the king's sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. All of the members of Ziba's family became servants of Mephibosheth. 13 Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem. The king always provided what he needed. Both of his feet were hurt.
1 The king of Ammon died. His son Hanun became the next king after him. 2 David thought, "I'm going to be kind to Hanun. His father Nahash was kind to me." So David sent messengers to Hanun. He wanted them to tell Hanun how sad he was that Hanun's father had died. David's messengers went to the land of Ammon. 3 The Ammonite nobles spoke to their master Hanun. They said, "David has sent messengers to tell you he is sad. They say he wants to honor your father. But the real reason they've come is to look the city over. They want to destroy it." 4 So Hanun grabbed hold of David's men. He shaved off half of each man's beard. He cut their clothes off just below the waist and left them half naked. Then he sent them away. 5 David was told about it. So he sent messengers to his men because they were filled with shame. King David said to them, "Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out again. Then come back here." 6 The Ammonites realized that what they had done had made David very angry with them. So they hired 20,000 Aramean soldiers who were on foot. The soldiers came from Beth Rehob and Zobah. The Ammonites also hired the king of Maacah and 1,000 men. And they hired 12,000 men from Tob. 7 David heard about it. So he sent Joab out with the entire army of Israel's fighting men. 8 The Ammonites marched out. They took up their battle positions at the entrance of their city gate. The Arameans of Zobah and Rehob gathered their troops together in the open country. So did the men of Tob and Maacah. 9 Joab saw that there were lines of soldiers in front of him and behind him. So he chose some of the best troops in Israel. He sent them to march out against the Arameans. 10 He put the rest of the men under the command of his brother Abishai. Joab sent them to march out against the Ammonites. 11 He said, "Suppose the Arameans are too strong for me. Then you must come and help me. But suppose the Ammonites are too strong for you. Then I'll come and help you. 12 "Be strong. Let's be brave as we fight for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what he thinks is best." 13 Then Joab and the troops who were with him marched out to attack the Arameans. They ran away from him. 14 The Ammonites saw that the Arameans were running away. So they ran away from Abishai. They went inside the city. After Joab had fought against the Ammonites, he went back to Jerusalem. 15 The Arameans saw that they had been driven away by Israel. So they brought their troops together. 16 Hadadezer had some Arameans brought from east of the Euphrates River. They went to Helam under the command of Shobach. He was the commander of Hadadezer's army. 17 David was told about it. So he gathered the whole army of Israel together. They went across the Jordan River to Helam. The Arameans lined up their soldiers to go to war against David. They began to fight against him. 18 But then they ran away from Israel. David killed 700 of their chariot riders. He killed 40,000 of their soldiers who were on foot. He also struck down Shobach, the commander of their army. Shobach died there. 19 All of the kings who were under the rule of Hadadezer saw that Israel had won the battle over them. So they made a peace treaty with the Israelites. They were brought under Israel's rule. After that, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore.
1 It was spring. It was the time when kings go off to war. So David sent Joab out with the king's special troops and the whole army of Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites. They went to the city of Rabbah. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 One evening David got up from his bed. He walked around on the roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman taking a bath. She was very beautiful. 3 David sent a messenger to find out who she was. The messenger returned and said, "She is Bathsheba. She's the daughter of Eliam. She's the wife of Uriah. He's a Hittite." 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him. And he had sex with her. Then she went back home. All of that took place after she had already made herself "clean" from her monthly period. 5 Later, Bathsheba found out she was pregnant. She sent a message to David. It said, "I'm pregnant." 6 So David sent a message to Joab. It said, "Send me Uriah, the Hittite." Joab sent him to David. 7 Uriah came to David. David asked him how Joab and the soldiers were doing. He also asked him how the war was going. 8 David said to Uriah, "Go home and enjoy some time with your wife." So Uriah left the palace. Then the king sent him a gift. 9 But Uriah didn't go home. Instead, he slept at the entrance to the palace. He stayed there with all of his master's servants. 10 David was told, "Uriah didn't go home." So he sent for Uriah. He said to him, "You have been away for a long time. Why didn't you go home?" 11 Uriah said to David, "The ark and the army of Israel and Judah are out there in tents. My master Joab and your special troops are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink? How could I go there and make love to my wife? I could never do a thing like that. And that's just as sure as you are alive!" 12 Then David said to him, "Stay here one more day. Tomorrow I'll send you back to the battle." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him. David got him drunk. But Uriah still didn't go home. In the evening he went out and slept on his mat. He stayed there among his master's servants. 14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab. He sent it along with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, "Put Uriah on the front lines. That's where the fighting is the heaviest. Then pull your men back from him. When you do, the Ammonites will strike him down and kill him." 16 So Joab attacked the city. He put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest enemy fighters were. 17 The troops came out of the city. They fought against Joab. Some of the men in David's army were killed. Uriah, the Hittite, also died. 18 Joab sent David a full report of the battle. 19 He told the messenger, "Tell the king everything that happened in the battle. When you are finished, 20 his anger might explode. He might ask you, 'Why did you go so close to the city to fight against it? Didn't you know that the enemy soldiers would shoot arrows down from the wall? 21 Don't you remember how Abimelech, the son of Jerub-Besheth, was killed? A woman dropped a large millstone on him from the wall. That's how he died in Thebez. So why did you go so close to the wall?' If the king asks you that, tell him, 'Your servant Uriah, the Hittite, is also dead.' " 22 The messenger started out for Jerusalem. When he arrived there, he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, "The men who were in the city were more powerful than we were. They came out to fight against us in the open. But we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then those who were armed with bows shot arrows at us from the wall. Some of your special troops were killed. Your servant Uriah, the Hittite, is also dead." 25 David told the messenger, "Tell Joab, 'Don't get upset over what happened. Swords kill one person as well as another. So keep on attacking the city. Destroy it.' Tell that to Joab. It will cheer him up." 26 Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead. She sobbed over him. 27 When her time of sadness was over, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife. And she had a son by him. But the LORD wasn't pleased with what David had done.
1 The LORD sent the prophet Nathan to David. When Nathan came to him, he said, "Two men lived in the same town. One was rich. The other was poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle. 3 But all the poor man had was one little female lamb. He had bought it. He raised it. It grew up with him and his children. It shared his food. It drank from his cup. It even slept in his arms. It was just like a daughter to him. 4 "One day a traveler came to the rich man. The rich man wanted to prepare a meal for him. But he didn't want to kill one of his own sheep or cattle. Instead, he took the little female lamb that belonged to the poor man. Then he cooked it for the traveler who had come to him." 5 David burned with anger against the rich man. He said to Nathan, "The man who did that is worthy of death. And that's just as sure as the LORD is alive. 6 The man must pay back four times as much as that lamb was worth. How could he do such a thing? And he wasn't even sorry he had done it." 7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says, 'I anointed you king over Israel. I saved you from Saul's powerful hand. 8 I gave you everything that belonged to your master Saul. I even put his wives into your arms. I made you king over the people of Israel and Judah. And if all of that had not been enough for you, I would have given you even more. 9 " 'Why did you turn your back on what I told you to do? You did what is evil in my sight. You made sure that Uriah, the Hittite, would be killed in battle. You took his wife to be your own. You let the men of Ammon kill him with their swords. 10 " 'So time after time members of your own royal house will be killed with swords. That's because you turned your back on me. You took the wife of Uriah, the Hittite, to be your own.' 11 "The LORD also says, 'I am going to bring trouble on you. It will come from your own family. I will take your wives away. Your own eyes will see it. I will give your wives to a man who is close to you. He will have sex with them in the middle of the day. 12 You committed your sins in secret. But I will make sure that the sin the man commits with your wives will take place in the middle of the day. Everyone in Israel will see it.' " 13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You aren't going to die. 14 But you have dared to make fun of the Lord. So the son who has been born to you will die." 15 Nathan went home. Then the LORD made the child that had been born to Uriah's wife by David very sick. 16 David begged God to heal the child. David didn't eat anything. He spent his nights lying on the ground. 17 His most trusted servants stood beside him. They wanted him to get up from the ground. But he refused to do it. And he wouldn't eat any food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him the child was dead. They thought, "While the child was still alive, we spoke to David. But he wouldn't listen to us. So how can we tell him the child is dead? He might do something terrible to himself." 19 David saw that his servants were whispering to each other. Then he realized the child was dead. "Has the child died?" he asked. "Yes," they replied. "He's dead." 20 Then David got up from the ground. After he washed himself, he put on lotions. He changed his clothes. He went into the house of the LORD and worshiped him. Then he went to his own house. He asked for some food. They served it to him. And he ate it. 21 His servants asked him, "Why are you acting like this? While the child was still alive, you wouldn't eat anything. You cried a lot. But now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!" 22 He answered, "While the child was still alive, I didn't eat anything. And I cried a lot. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD might show favor to me. He might let the child live.' 23 But now he's dead. So why should I go without eating? Can I bring him back to life again? Someday I'll go to him. But he won't return to me." 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and made love to her. Some time later she had a son. He was given the name Solomon. The LORD loved him. 25 So the LORD sent a message through the prophet Nathan. It said, "Name the boy Jedidiah." 26 During that time, Joab fought against Rabbah. It was the royal city of the Ammonites. It had high walls around it. Joab was about to capture it. 27 He sent messengers to David. He told them to say, "I have fought against Rabbah. I've taken control of its water supply. 28 So bring the rest of the troops together. Surround the city and get ready to attack it. Then capture it. If you don't, I'll capture it myself. Then it will be named after me." 29 So David brought the whole army together and went to Rabbah. He attacked it and captured it. 30 He took the gold crown off the head of the king of Ammon. The crown weighed 75 pounds. It had jewels in it. It was placed on David's head. He took a huge amount of goods from the city. 31 He brought out the people who were there. He made them work with saws and iron picks and axes. He forced them to make bricks. He did that to all of the towns in Ammon. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.
1 Some time later, David's son Amnon fell in love with Tamar. She was the beautiful sister of Absalom. He was another one of David's sons. 2 Amnon's sister Tamar was a virgin. It seemed impossible for him to do what he wanted to do with her. But he wanted her so much it almost made him sick. 3 Amnon had a friend named Jonadab. He was the son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very clever man. 4 He asked Amnon, "You are the king's son, aren't you? So why do you look so worn out every morning? Won't you tell me?" Amnon answered, "I'm in love with Tamar. She's the sister of my brother Absalom." 5 "Go to bed," Jonadab said. "Pretend to be sick. Your father will come to see you. When he does, tell him, 'I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food right here in front of me where I can watch her. Then she can feed it to me.' " 6 So Amnon went to bed. He pretended to be sick. The king came to see him. Amnon said to him, "I would like my sister Tamar to come here. I want to watch her make some special bread. Then she can feed it to me." 7 David sent a message to Tamar at the palace. It said, "Go to your brother Amnon's house. Prepare some food for him." 8 So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon. He was lying in bed. She got some dough and mixed it. She shaped the bread right there in front of him. And she baked it. 9 Then she took the bread out of the pan and served it to him. But he refused to eat it. "Send everyone out of here," Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10 Then he said to Tamar, "Bring the food here into my bedroom. Please feed it to me." So Tamar picked up the bread she had prepared. She brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11 She took it to him so he could eat it. But he grabbed hold of her. He said, "My sister, come and have sex with me." 12 "Don't do this, my brother!" she said to him. "Don't force me to have sex with you. An evil thing like that should never be done in Israel! Don't do it! 13 What about me? How could I ever get rid of my shame? And what about you? You would be as foolish as any evil person in Israel. Please speak to the king. He won't keep me from getting married to you." 14 But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was. So he raped her. 15 Then Amnon was filled with deep hatred for Tamar. In fact, he hated her now more than he had loved her before. He said to her, "Get up! Get out!" 16 "No!" she said to him. "Don't send me away. That would be worse than what you have already done to me." But he refused to listen to her. 17 He sent for his personal servant. He said, "Get this woman out of here. Lock the door behind her." 18 So his servant threw her out. Then he locked the door behind her. Tamar was wearing a beautiful robe. It was the kind of robe the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19 She put ashes on her head. She tore the beautiful robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away. She was sobbing out loud as she went. 20 When her brother Absalom saw her, he spoke to her. He said, "Has Amnon, that brother of yours, forced you to have sex with him? My sister, don't let it upset you. Don't let it bother you. He's your brother." After that, Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house. She was very lonely. 21 King David heard about everything that had happened. So he became very angry. 22 Absalom never said a word of any kind to Amnon. He hated Amnon because he had brought shame on his sister Tamar. 23 Two years later, Absalom invited all of the king's sons to come to Baal Hazor. It was near the border of Ephraim. The workers who clipped the wool off Absalom's sheep were there. 24 Absalom went to the king. He said, "I've had my workers come to clip the wool. Will you and your officials please join me?" 25 "No, my son," the king replied. "All of us shouldn't go. It would be too much trouble for you." Although Absalom begged him, the king still refused to go. But he gave Absalom his blessing. 26 Then Absalom said, "If you won't come, please let my brother Amnon come with us." The king asked him, "Why should he go with you?" 27 But Absalom begged him. So the king sent Amnon with him. He also sent the rest of his sons. 28 Absalom ordered his men, "Listen! When Amnon has had too much wine to drink, I'll say to you, 'Strike Amnon down.' When I do, kill him. Don't be afraid. I've given you an order, haven't I? Be strong and brave." 29 So Absalom's men killed Amnon, just as Absalom had ordered. Then all of the king's sons got on their mules and rode away. 30 While they were on their way, a report came to David. It said, "Absalom has struck down all of your sons. Not one of them is left alive." 31 The king stood up and tore his clothes. Then he lay down on the ground. All of his servants stood near him. They had also torn their clothes. 32 Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimeah, spoke up. He said, "You shouldn't think that all of the princes have been killed. The only one who is dead is Amnon. Absalom had planned to kill him ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 You are my king and master. You shouldn't be concerned about this report. It's not true that all of your sons are dead. The only one who is dead is Amnon." 34 While all of that was taking place, Absalom ran away. The man on guard duty at Jerusalem looked up. He saw many people coming on the road west of him. They were coming down the side of the hill. He went and spoke to the king. He said, "I see men coming down the road from Horonaim. They are coming down the side of the hill." 35 Jonadab said to the king, "See, your sons are coming. It has happened just as I said it would." 36 As he finished speaking, the king's sons came in. They were sobbing out loud. The king and all of his servants were also sobbing very bitterly. 37 When Absalom ran away, he went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud. Talmai was king of Geshur. King David sobbed over his son every day. 38 So Absalom ran away and went to Geshur. He stayed there for three years. 39 After some time the king got over his sorrow because of Amnon's death. Then he longed to go to Absalom.
1 Joab, the son of Zeruiah, knew that the king longed to see Absalom. 2 So Joab sent someone to Tekoa to have a wise woman brought back from there. Joab said to her, "Pretend you are filled with sadness. Put on black clothes. Don't use any makeup. Act like a woman who has spent many days sobbing over someone who has died. 3 Then go to the king. Give him the message I'm about to give you." And Joab told her what to say. 4 The woman from Tekoa went to the king. She bowed down with her face toward the ground. She did it to show him respect. She said, "King David, please help me!" 5 The king asked her, "What's bothering you?" She said, "I'm a widow. My husband is dead. 6 I had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field. No one was there to separate them. One of my sons struck the other one down and killed him. 7 "Now my whole family group has risen up against me. They say, 'Hand over the one who struck his brother down. Then we can put him to death for killing his brother. That will also get rid of the one who will receive the family property.' They want to kill the only living son I have left, just as someone would put out a burning coal. That would leave my husband without any son on the face of the earth to carry on his name." 8 The king said to the woman, "Go home. I'll give an order to make sure you are taken care of." 9 But the woman from Tekoa said to him, "You are my king and master. No matter what you do, I and my family will take the blame for it. You and your royal family won't be guilty of doing anything wrong." 10 The king replied, "If people give you any trouble, bring them to me. They won't bother you again." 11 She said, "Please pray to the LORD your God. Pray that he will keep our nearest male relative from killing my other son. Then my son won't be destroyed." "You can be sure that the LORD lives," the king said. "And you can be just as sure that not one hair of your son's head will fall to the ground." 12 Then the woman said, "King David, please let me say something else to you." "Go ahead," he replied. 13 The woman said, "You are the king. So why have you done something that brings so much harm on God's people? When you do that, you hand down a sentence against yourself. You won't let the son you drove away come back. 14 All of us must die. We are like water that is spilled on the ground. It can't be put back into the jar. But God doesn't take life away. Instead, he finds a way to bring back anyone who was driven away from him. 15 "King David, I've come here to say this to you now. I've done it because people have made me afraid. I thought, 'I'll go and speak to the king. Perhaps he'll do what I'm asking. 16 Perhaps he'll agree to save me from the man who is trying to cut off me and my son from the property God gave us.' 17 "So now I'm saying, 'May what you have told me bring me peace and rest. You are like an angel of God. You know what is good and what is evil. May the LORD your God be with you.' " 18 Then the king said to the woman, "I'm going to ask you a question. I want you to tell me the truth." "Please ask me anything you want to," the woman said. 19 The king asked, "Joab told you to say all of this, didn't he?" The woman answered, "What you have told me is exactly right. And that's just as sure as you are alive. It's true that Joab directed me to do this. He told me everything he wanted me to say. 20 He did it to change the way things now are. You are as wise as an angel of God. You know everything that happens in the land." 21 Later the king said to Joab, "All right. I'll do what you want. Go. Bring the young man Absalom back." 22 Joab bowed down with his face toward the ground. He did it to honor the king. And he asked God to bless the king. He said, "You are my king and master. Today I know that you are pleased with me. You have given me what I asked for." 23 Then Joab went to Geshur. He brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 24 But the king said, "He must go to his own house. I don't want him to come and see me." So Absalom went to his own house. He didn't go to see the king. 25 In the whole land of Israel there wasn't any man as handsome as Absalom was. That's why everyone praised him. From the top of his head to the bottom of his feet he didn't have any flaws. 26 He used to cut his hair when it became too heavy for him. Then he would weigh it. It weighed five pounds in keeping with the standard weights that were used in the palace. 27 Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. The daughter's name was Tamar. She became a beautiful woman. 28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without going to see the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab. He wanted to send him to the king. But Joab refused to come to Absalom. So Absalom sent for him a second time. But Joab still refused to come. 30 Then Absalom said to his servants, "Joab's field is next to mine. He has barley growing there. Go and set it on fire." So Absalom's servants set the field on fire. 31 Joab finally went to Absalom's house. He said to Absalom, "Why did your servants set my field on fire?" 32 Absalom said to Joab, "I sent a message to you. It said, 'Come here. I want to send you to the king. I want you to ask him for me, "Why did you bring me back from Geshur? I would be better off if I were still there!" ' Now then, I want to go and see the king. If I'm guilty of doing anything wrong, let him put me to death." 33 So Joab went to the king and told him that. Then the king sent for Absalom. He came in and bowed down to the king with his face toward the ground. And the king kissed Absalom.
1 Some time later, Absalom got a chariot and horses for himself. He also got 50 men to run in front of him. 2 He would get up early. He would stand by the side of the road that led to the city gate. Sometimes a person would come with a case for the king to decide. Then Absalom would call out to him, "What town are you from?" He would answer, "I'm from one of the tribes of Israel." 3 Absalom would say, "Look, your claims are based on the law. So you have every right to make them. But the king doesn't have anyone here who can listen to your case." 4 Absalom would continue, "I wish I were appointed judge in the land! Then anyone who has a case or a claim could come to me. I would make sure he is treated fairly." 5 Sometimes people would approach Absalom and bow down to him. Then he would reach out his hand. He would take hold of them and kiss them. 6 Absalom did that to all of the people of Israel who came to the king with their cases or claims. That's why the hearts of the people were turned toward him. 7 After Absalom had lived in Jerusalem for four years, he went and spoke to the king. He said, "Let me go to Hebron. I want to keep a promise I made to the Lord. 8 When I was living at Geshur in Aram, I made a promise. I said, 'If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I'll go to Hebron and worship him there.' " 9 The king said to him, "Go in peace." So he went to Hebron. 10 Then Absalom sent messengers secretly to all of the tribes of Israel. They said, "Listen for the sound of trumpets. As soon as you hear them, say, 'Absalom has become king in Hebron.' " 11 Absalom had taken 200 men from Jerusalem with him to Hebron. He had invited them to be his guests. They went without having any idea what was going to happen. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel. Ahithophel was David's adviser. He came to Absalom from Giloh, his hometown. The number of people who followed Absalom kept growing. So he became more and more able to carry out his plans against David. 13 A messenger came and spoke to David. He told him, "The hearts of the people are turned toward Absalom." 14 Then David spoke to all of his officials who were with him in Jerusalem. He said, "Come on! We have to leave right away! If we don't, none of us will escape from Absalom. He'll move quickly to catch up with us. He'll destroy us. His men will kill everyone in the city with their swords." 15 The king's officials answered him, "You are our king and master. We're ready to do anything you want." 16 The king started out. Everyone in his whole family went with him. But he left ten concubines behind to take care of the palace. 17 So the king and all those who were with him left. They stopped at a place that wasn't very far away. 18 All of David's officials marched past him. All of the Kerethites and Pelethites marched along with them. And all of the 600 men who had come with him from Gath marched in front of him. 19 The king spoke to Ittai. He was from Gath. The king said to him, "Why do you want to come along with us? Go back. Stay with King Absalom. You are a stranger. You left your own country. 20 You came to join me only a short time ago. So why should I make you wander around with us now? I don't even know where I'm going. So go on back. Take with you the others who are from your country. And may the LORD be kind and faithful to you." 21 But Ittai replied to the king, "You are my king and master. I want to be where you are. It doesn't matter whether I live or die. And that's just as sure as the LORD and you are alive." 22 David said to Ittai, "Go ahead then. Keep marching with my men." So Ittai, the Gittite, kept marching. All of his men and their families marched with him. 23 All of the people in the countryside sobbed out loud as David and all of his followers passed by. The king went across the Kidron Valley. He and all of the people who were with him moved on toward the desert. 24 Zadok also went with them. Some of the Levites went with him. They were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set the ark down. Abiathar offered sacrifices until all of the people had left the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, "Take the ark of God back into the city. If the LORD is pleased with me, he'll bring me back. He'll let me see the ark again. He'll also let me see Jerusalem again. That's the place where he lives. 26 But suppose he says, 'I am not pleased with you.' Then I accept that. Let him do to me what he thinks is best." 27 The king spoke again to the priest Zadok. He said, "You are a prophet, aren't you? Go back to the city in peace. Take your son Ahimaaz with you. Also take Abiathar and his son Jonathan with you. 28 I'll wait at the place in the desert where we can go across the Jordan River. I'll wait there until you send word to let me know what's happening." 29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem. They stayed there. 30 But David went on up the Mount of Olives. He was sobbing as he went. His head was covered, and he was barefoot. All of the people who were with him covered their heads too. And they were sobbing as they went up. 31 David had been told, "Ahithophel is one of those who are making secret plans with Absalom against you." So David prayed, "Lord, make Ahithophel's advice look foolish." 32 David arrived at the top of the Mount of Olives. That's where people used to worship God. Hushai, the Arkite, was there to meet him. His robe was torn. There was dust on his head. 33 David said to him, "If you go with me, you will be too much trouble for me. 34 So return to the city. Say to Absalom, 'King Absalom, I'll be your servant. In the past, I was your father's servant. But now I'll be your servant.' If you do that, you can help me by making sure Ahithophel's advice fails. 35 The priests Zadok and Abiathar will be there with you. Tell them everything you hear in the king's palace. 36 They have their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan there with them. Send them to tell me everything you hear." 37 So David's friend Hushai went to Jerusalem. He arrived just as Absalom was entering the city.
1 David went just beyond the top of the Mount of Olives. Ziba was waiting there to meet him. He was Mephibosheth's manager. He had several donkeys with saddles on them. They were carrying 200 loaves of bread and 100 raisin cakes. They were also carrying 100 fig cakes and a bottle of wine. The bottle was made out of animal skin. 2 The king asked Ziba, "Why have you brought all of these things?" Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's family to ride on. The bread and fruit are for the people to eat. The wine will make those who get tired in the desert feel like new again." 3 Then the king asked, "Where is your master's grandson Mephibosheth?" Ziba said to him, "He's staying in Jerusalem. He thinks, 'Today the people of Israel will give me back my grandfather Saul's kingdom.' " 4 Then the king said to Ziba, "Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth belongs to you now." "You are my king and master," Ziba said. "I make myself low in front of you. I bow down to you. May you be pleased with me." 5 King David approached Bahurim. As he did, a man came out toward him. The man was from the same family group that Saul was from. His name was Shimei. He was the son of Gera. As he came out of the town, he called down curses on David. 6 He threw stones at David and all of his officials. He did it even though all of the troops and the special guard were there. They were to the right and left of David. 7 As Shimei called down curses, he said, "Get out! Get out, you murderer! You are a worthless and evil man! 8 You spilled the blood of a lot of people in Saul's family. You took over his kingdom. Now the LORD is paying you back. He has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have been destroyed because you are a murderer!" 9 Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, spoke to the king. He said, "King David, why should we let this dead dog call down curses on you? Let me go over there. I'll cut off his head." 10 But the king said, "You and Joab are sons of Zeruiah. What do you and I have in common? Maybe the LORD said to him, 'Call down curses on David.' If he did, who can ask him, 'Why are you doing this?' " 11 Then David spoke to Abishai and all of his officials. He said, "My very own son Absalom is trying to kill me. How much more should this man from Benjamin want to kill me! Leave him alone. Let him call down curses. The LORD has told him to do it. 12 Maybe the LORD will see how much I'm suffering. Maybe he'll reward me with good things in place of the curses that are being called down on me today." 13 So David and his men kept going along the road. At the same time, Shimei was going along the hillside across from him. He was calling down curses as he went. He was throwing stones at David. He was showering him with dirt. 14 The king and all of the people who were with him came to the place they had planned to go to. They were very tired. So David rested there. 15 During that time, Absalom and all of the men of Israel came to Jerusalem. Ahithophel was with him. 16 Then Hushai, the Arkite, went to Absalom. He said to him, "May the king live a long time! May the king live a long time!" Hushai was David's friend. 17 Absalom asked Hushai, "Is this the way you show love to your friend? Why didn't you go with him?" 18 Hushai said to Absalom, "Why should I? You are the one the LORD has chosen. These people and all of the men of Israel have also chosen you. I want to be on your side. I want to stay with you. 19 After all, who else should I serve? Shouldn't I serve the king's son? I will serve you, just as I served your father." 20 Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give us your advice. What should we do?" 21 Ahithophel answered, "Your father left some concubines behind to take care of the palace. Go and have sex with them. Then all of the people of Israel will hear about it. They will hear that you have made yourself smell very bad to your father. Everyone who is with you will become braver." 22 So they set up a tent for Absalom on the roof of the palace. He went in and had sex with his father's concubines. Everyone in Israel saw it. 23 In those days the advice Ahithophel gave was as good as advice from someone who asks God for guidance. That's what David and Absalom thought about all of Ahithophel's advice.
1 One day Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Here's what I suggest. Choose 12,000 men. Start out tonight and go after David. 2 Attack him while he's tired and weak. Fill him with terror. Then all of the people who are with him will run away. Don't strike down anyone except the king. 3 Bring all of the other people back. After the man you want to kill is dead, everyone else will return to you. And none of the people will be harmed." 4 Ahithophel's plan seemed good to Absalom. It also seemed good to all of the elders of Israel. 5 But Absalom said, "Send for Hushai, the Arkite. Then we can find out what he suggests." 6 Hushai came to him. Absalom said, "Ahithophel has given us his advice. Should we do what he says? If we shouldn't, tell us what you would do." 7 Hushai replied to Absalom, "The advice Ahithophel has given you isn't good this time. 8 You know your father and his men. They are fighters. They are as strong as a wild bear whose cubs have been stolen from her. Besides, your father really knows how to fight. He won't spend the night with his troops. 9 In fact, he's probably hiding in a cave or some other place right now. "Suppose he attacks your troops first. When people hear about it, they'll say, 'Many of the troops who followed Absalom have been killed.' 10 Then the hearts of your soldiers will melt away in fear. Even those who are as brave as a lion will be terrified. That's because everyone in Israel knows that your father is a fighter. They know that those who are with him are brave. 11 "So here's what I suggest. Bring together all of the men of Israel from the town of Dan all the way to Beersheba. They are as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. You yourself should lead them into battle. 12 "Then we'll attack David no matter where we find him. As dew completely covers the ground, we'll completely overpower his entire army. We won't leave him or any of his men alive. 13 He might try to get away by going into a city. If he does, all of us will bring ropes to that city. We'll drag the whole city down into the valley. No one will be able to find even a piece of that city." 14 Absalom and all of the men of Israel agreed. They said, "The advice of Hushai, the Arkite, is better than the advice of Ahithophel." The LORD had decided that Ahithophel's good advice would fail. The LORD wanted to bring horrible trouble on Absalom. 15 Hushai spoke to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. He said, "Ahithophel has given advice to Absalom and the elders of Israel. He suggested that they should do one thing. But I suggested something else. 16 "Send a message right away. Tell David, 'Don't spend the night at the place in the desert where people can go across the Jordan River. Make sure you go on across. If you don't, you and all of the people who are with you will be swallowed up.' " 17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel just outside Jerusalem. They knew they would be in danger if anyone saw them entering the city. A female servant was supposed to go and tell them what had happened. Then they were supposed to go and tell King David. 18 But a young man saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz and told Absalom about it. So the two men left quickly. They went to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard. They climbed down into it. 19 The man's wife got a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well. Then she scattered grain on the covering. So no one knew that the men were hiding in the well. 20 Absalom's men came to the house. They asked the woman, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" She answered, "They went across the brook." When the men looked around, they didn't find anyone. So they returned to Jerusalem. 21 After the men had gone, Jonathan and Ahimaaz climbed out of the well. They went to tell King David what they had found out. They said to him, "Go across the river right away. Ahithophel has told Absalom how to come after you and strike you down." 22 So David and all of the people who were with him started out. They went across the Jordan River. By sunrise, everyone had crossed over. 23 Ahithophel saw that his advice wasn't being followed. So he put a saddle on his donkey. He started out for his house in his hometown. When he got there, he put everything in order. He made out his will. Then he killed himself. So he died, and his body was buried in his father's tomb. 24 David went to Mahanaim. Absalom went across the Jordan River with all of the men of Israel. 25 Absalom had made Amasa commander of the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Jether. Jether belonged to the family line of Ishmael. He had gotten married to Abigail. She was the daughter of Nahash and the sister of Zeruiah. Zeruiah was the mother of Joab. 26 Absalom and the people of Israel camped in the land of Gilead. 27 David came to Mahanaim. Shobi, the son of Nahash, met him there. Shobi was from Rabbah in the land of Ammon. Makir, the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, met him there too. So did Barzillai from Rogelim in the land of Gilead. 28 They brought beds, bowls and clay pots. They brought wheat, barley, flour, and grain that had been cooked. They brought beans and lentils. 29 They brought honey, butter, sheep and cheese that was made from cows' milk. They brought all of that food for David and his people to eat. They said, "These people have become hungry. They've become tired and thirsty in the desert."
1 David brought together the men who were with him. He appointed commanders of thousands over some of them. He appointed commanders of hundreds over the others. 2 Then David sent the troops out in three companies. One company was under the command of Joab. Another was under Joab's brother Abishai, the son of Zeruiah. The last was under Ittai, the Gittite. The king told the troops, "You can be sure that I myself will march out with you." 3 But the men said, "You must not march out. If we are forced to run away, our enemies won't care about us. Even if half of us die, they won't care. But you are worth 10,000 of us. So it would be better for you to stay here in the city. Then you can send us help if we need it." 4 The king said, "I'll do what you think is best." So the king stood beside the city gate. The whole army marched out in companies of hundreds and companies of thousands. 5 The king gave an order to Joab, Abishai and Ittai. He commanded them, "Be gentle with the young man Absalom. Do it for me." All of the troops heard the king give the commanders that order about Absalom. 6 David's army marched into the field to fight against Israel. The battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7 There David's men won the battle over Israel's army. A huge number of men were wounded or killed that day. The total number was 20,000. 8 The fighting spread out over the whole countryside. But more men were killed in the forest that day than out in the open. 9 Absalom happened to come across some of David's men. He was riding his mule. The mule went under the thick branches of a large oak tree. Absalom's head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in the air. The mule he was riding kept on going. 10 One of David's men saw what had happened. He told Joab, "I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree." 11 Joab said to the man, "What! You saw him? Why didn't you strike him down right there? Then I would have had to give you four ounces of silver and a soldier's belt." 12 But the man replied, "I wouldn't lift my hand to harm the king's son. I wouldn't do it even for 25 pounds of silver. We heard the king's command to you and Abishai and Ittai. He said, 'Be careful not to hurt the young man Absalom. Do it for me.' 13 Suppose I had put my life in danger by killing him. The king would have found out about it. Nothing is hidden from him. And you wouldn't have stood up for me." 14 Joab said, "I'm not going to waste any more time on you." So he got three javelins. Then he went over and drove them into Absalom's heart. He did it while Absalom was still hanging there alive in the oak tree. 15 Ten of the men who were carrying Joab's armor surrounded Absalom. They struck him down and killed him. 16 Then Joab blew his trumpet. He ordered his troops to stop chasing Israel's army. 17 Joab's men threw Absalom's body into a big pit in the forest. They covered his body with a large pile of rocks. While all of that was going on, all of the Israelites ran back to their homes. 18 Earlier in his life Absalom had set up a pillar in the King's Valley. He had put it up as a monument to himself. He thought, "I don't have a son to carry on the memory of my name." So he named the pillar after himself. It is still called Absalom's Monument to this very day. 19 Ahimaaz said to Joab, "Let me run and take the news to the king. Let me tell him that the LORD has saved him from the power of his enemies." Ahimaaz was the son of Zadok. 20 "I don't want you to take the news to the king today," Joab told him. "You can do it some other time. But you must not do it today, because the king's son is dead." 21 Then Joab said to a man from Cush, "Go. Tell the king what you have seen." The man bowed down in front of Joab. Then he ran off. 22 Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, spoke again to Joab. He said, "I don't care what happens to me. Please let me run behind the man from Cush." But Joab replied, "My son, why do you want to go? You don't have any news that will bring you a reward." 23 He said, "I don't care what happens. I want to run." So Joab said, "Run!" Then Ahimaaz ran across the flatlands of the Jordan River. As he ran, he passed the man from Cush. 24 David was sitting in the area between the inner and outer gates of the city. The man on guard duty went up to the roof over the entrance of the gate by the wall. As he looked out, he saw someone running alone. 25 He called out to the king and reported it. The king said, "If the runner is alone, he must be bringing good news." The man came closer and closer. 26 Then the man on guard duty saw another man running. He called out to the man who was guarding the gate. He said, "Look! There's another man running alone!" The king said, "He must be bringing good news too." 27 The man on guard duty said, "I can see that the first one runs like Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok." "He's a good man," the king said. "He's bringing good news." 28 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, "Everything's all right!" He bowed down in front of the king with his face toward the ground. He said, "You are my king and master. Give praise to the LORD your God! He has handed over to you the men who lifted their hands to kill you." 29 The king asked, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" Ahimaaz answered, "I saw total disorder. I saw it just as Joab was about to send the king's servant and me to you. But I don't know what it was all about." 30 The king said, "Stand over there and wait." So he stepped over to one side and stood there. 31 Then the man from Cush arrived. He said, "You are my king and master. I'm bringing you some good news. The LORD has saved you today from all those who were trying to kill you." 32 The king asked the man from Cush, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" The man replied, "King David, may your enemies be like that young man. May all those who rise up to harm you be like him." 33 The king was very upset. He went up to the room over the entrance of the gate and sobbed. As he went, he said, "My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! I wish I had died instead of you. Absalom! My son, my son!"
1 Someone told Joab, "The king is sobbing over Absalom. He's filled with sadness because his son has died." 2 The army had won a great battle that day. But their joy turned into sadness. That's because someone had told the troops, "The king is filled with sorrow because his son is dead." 3 The men came quietly into the city that day. They were like fighting men who are ashamed because they've run away from a battle. 4 The king covered his face. He sobbed out loud, "My son Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!" 5 Then Joab went into the king's house. He said to him, "Today you have made all of your men feel ashamed. They have just saved your life. They have saved the lives of your sons and daughters. And they have saved the lives of your wives and concubines. 6 "You love those who hate you. You hate those who love you. The commanders and their troops don't mean anything to you. You made that very clear today. I can see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. 7 "Now go out there and cheer up your men. If you don't, you won't have any of them left with you by sunset. That will be worse for you than all of the troubles you have ever had in your whole life. That's what I promise you with an oath in the LORD's name." 8 So the king got up and took his seat in the entrance of the city gate. His men were told, "The king is sitting in the entrance of the gate." Then all of them came and stood in front of him. While all of that was going on, the Israelites had run back to their homes. 9 People from all of the tribes of Israel began to argue with one another. They were saying, "The king saved us from the power of our enemies. He saved us from the power of the Philistines. But now he has left the country because of Absalom. 10 We anointed Absalom to rule over us. But he has died in battle. So why aren't any of you talking about bringing the king back?" 11 King David sent a message to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. It said, "Speak to the elders of Judah. Tell them I said, 'News has reached me where I'm staying. People all over Israel are talking about bringing me back to my palace. Why should you be the last to do something about it? 12 You are my relatives. You are my own flesh and blood. So why should you be the last to bring me back?' 13 "Say to Amasa, 'Aren't you my own flesh and blood? From now on you will be the commander of my army in place of Joab. If that isn't true, may God punish me greatly.' " 14 So the hearts of all of the men of Judah were turned toward David. All of them had the same purpose in mind. They sent a message to the king. It said, "We want you to come back. We want all of your men to come back too." 15 Then the king returned. He went as far as the Jordan River. The men of Judah had come to Gilgal to welcome the king back. They had come to bring him across the Jordan. 16 Shimei, the son of Gera, was among them. Shimei was from Bahurim in the territory of Benjamin. He hurried down to welcome King David back. 17 There were 1,000 people from Benjamin with him. Ziba, the manager of Saul's house, was with him too. And so were Ziba's 15 sons and 20 servants. All of them rushed down to the Jordan River. That's where the king was. 18 They went across at the place where people usually cross it. Then they brought the king's family back over with them. They were ready to do anything he wanted them to do. Shimei, the son of Gera, had also gone across the Jordan. When he did, he fell down flat with his face toward the ground in front of the king. 19 He said to him, "You are my king and master. Please don't hold me guilty. Please forgive me for the wrong things I did on the day you left Jerusalem. Please forget all about them. 20 I know I've sinned. But today I've come down here to welcome you. I'm the first member of Joseph's whole family to do it." 21 Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, said, "Shouldn't Shimei be put to death for what he did? He called down curses on you. And you are the LORD's anointed king." 22 But David replied, "You and Joab are sons of Zeruiah. What do you and I have in common? Abishai, you have now become my enemy! Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Don't I know that today I am king over Israel again?" 23 So the king took an oath and made a promise to Shimei. He said to him, "You aren't going to be put to death." 24 Mephibosheth was Saul's grandson. He had also gone down to welcome the king back. He had not taken care of his feet. He hadn't trimmed his mustache or washed his clothes. He hadn't done any of those things from the day the king left Jerusalem until the day he returned safely. 25 He came from Jerusalem to welcome the king. The king asked him, "Mephibosheth, why didn't you go with me?" 26 He said, "You are my king and master. I'm disabled. So I thought, 'I'll have a saddle put on my donkey. I'll ride on it. Then I can go with the king.' But my servant Ziba turned against me. 27 He has told you lies about me. King David, you are like an angel of God. So do what pleases you. 28 You should have put all of the members of my grandfather's family to death, including me. Instead, you always provided what I needed. So what right do I have to make any more appeals to you?" 29 The king said to him, "You don't have to say anything else. I order you and Ziba to divide up Saul's fields between you." 30 Mephibosheth said to the king, "I'm happy that you have arrived home safely. So just let Ziba have everything." 31 Barzillai had also come down to go across the Jordan River with the king. He wanted to send the king on his way from there. Barzillai was from Rogelim in the land of Gilead. 32 He was a very old man. He was 80 years old. He had given the king everything he needed while the king was staying in Mahanaim. That's because Barzillai was very wealthy. 33 The king said to Barzillai, "Come across the river with me. Stay with me in Jerusalem. I'll take good care of you." 34 But Barzillai said to the king, "I won't live for many more years. So why should I go up to Jerusalem with you? 35 I'm already 80 years old. I can hardly tell the difference between what is good and what isn't. I can hardly taste what I eat and drink. I can't even hear the voices of male and female singers anymore. So why should I add my problems to yours? 36 "I'll go across the Jordan River with you for a little way. Why should you reward me by taking care of me? 37 Let me go back home. Then I can die in my own town. I can be buried there in the tomb of my father and mother. But let Kimham take my place. Let him go across the river with you. Do for him what pleases you." 38 The king said, "Kimham will go across with me. I'll do for him what pleases you. And I'll do for you anything you want me to do." 39 So all of the people went across the Jordan River. Then the king crossed over. The king kissed Barzillai and gave him his blessing. And Barzillai went back home. 40 After the king had gone across the river, he went to Gilgal. Kimham had gone across with him. All of the troops of Judah and half of the troops of Israel had taken the king across. 41 Soon all of the men of Israel were coming to the king. They were saying to him, "Why did the men of Judah take you away from us? They are our relatives. What right did they have to bring you and your family across the Jordan River? What right did they have to bring all of your men over with you?" 42 All of the men of Judah answered the men of Israel. They said, "We did that because the king is our close relative. So why should you be angry about what happened? Have we eaten any of the king's food? Have we taken anything for ourselves?" 43 Then the men of Israel answered the men of Judah. They said, "We have ten of the 12 tribes in the kingdom. So we have a stronger claim on David than you have. Why then are you acting as if you hate us? Weren't we the first ones to talk about bringing back our king?" But the men of Judah answered in an even meaner way than the men of Israel.
1 An evil man who always stirred up trouble happened to be in Gilgal. His name was Sheba, the son of Bicri. Sheba was from the tribe of Benjamin. He blew his trumpet. Then he shouted, "We don't have any share in David's kingdom! Jesse's son is not our king! Men of Israel, every one of you go back home!" 2 So all of the men of Israel deserted David. They followed Sheba, the son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed with their king. They remained with him from the Jordan River all the way to Jerusalem. 3 David returned to his palace in Jerusalem. He had left ten concubines there to take care of the palace. He put them in a house and kept them under guard. He gave them what they needed. But he didn't make love to them. They were kept under guard until the day they died. They lived as if they were widows. 4 The king said to Amasa, "Send for the men of Judah. Tell them to come to me within three days. And be here yourself." 5 So Amasa went to get the men of Judah. But he took longer than the time the king had set for him. 6 David said to Abishai, "Sheba, the son of Bicri, will do more harm to us than Absalom ever did. Take my men and go after him. If you don't, he'll find cities that have high walls around them. He'll go into one of them and escape from us." 7 So Joab's men marched out with the Kerethites and Pelethites. They went out with all of the mighty soldiers. All of them were under Abishai's command. They marched out from Jerusalem and went after Sheba, the son of Bicri. 8 They arrived at the great rock in Gibeon. Amasa went there to welcome them. Joab was wearing his military clothes. Over them at his waist he strapped on a belt that held a dagger. As he stepped forward, the dagger fell out. 9 Joab said to Amasa, "How are you, my friend?" Then Joab reached out his right hand. He took hold of Amasa's beard to kiss him. 10 Amasa didn't pay any attention to the dagger that was in Joab's left hand. Joab stuck it into his stomach. His insides spilled out on the ground. Joab didn't have to stab him again. Amasa was already dead. Then Joab and his brother Abishai went after Sheba, the son of Bicri. 11 One of Joab's men stood beside Amasa's body. He said to the other men, "Are you pleased with Joab? Are you on David's side? Then follow Joab!" 12 Amasa's body lay covered with his blood in the middle of the road. The man saw that all of the troops stopped there. He realized that everyone was stopping to look at Amasa's body. So he dragged it from the road into a field. Then he threw some clothes on top of it. 13 After that happened, all of the men continued on with Joab. They went after Sheba, the son of Bicri. 14 Sheba passed through all of the territory of the tribes of Israel. He arrived at the city of Abel Beth Maacah. He had gone through the entire area of the Berites. They had gathered together and followed him. 15 Joab and all of his troops came to Abel Beth Maacah. They surrounded it because Sheba was there. They built a ramp up to the city. It stood against the outer wall. They pounded the wall with huge logs to bring it down. 16 While that was going on, a wise woman called out from the city. She shouted, "Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here. I want to speak to him." 17 So Joab went toward her. She asked, "Are you Joab?" "I am," he answered. She said, "Listen to what I have to say." "I'm listening," he said. 18 She continued, "Long ago people used to say, 'Get your answer at Abel.' And that would settle the matter. 19 We are the most peaceful and faithful people in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is like a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up what belongs to the LORD?" 20 "I would never do anything like that!" Joab said. "I would never swallow up or destroy what belongs to the LORD! 21 That isn't what I have in mind at all. There's a man named Sheba, the son of Bicri, in your city. He's from the hill country of Ephraim. He's trying to kill King David. Hand that man over to me. Then I'll pull my men back from your city." The woman said to Joab, "We'll throw his head down to you from the wall." 22 Then the woman gave her wise advice to all of the people in the city. They cut off the head of Sheba, the son of Bicri. They threw it down to Joab. So he blew his trumpet. Then his men pulled back from the city. Each of them returned to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem. 23 Joab was commander over Israel's entire army. Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was commander over the Kerethites and Pelethites. 24 Adoniram was in charge of those who were forced to work hard. Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, kept the records. 25 Sheva was the secretary. Zadok and Abiathar were priests. 26 Ira, the Jairite, was David's priest.
1 For three years in a row there wasn't enough food in the land. That was while David was king. So David asked the LORD why he wasn't showing his favor to his people. The LORD said, "It is because Saul and his family committed murder. He put the people of Gibeon to death." 2 The people of Gibeon weren't a part of Israel. Instead, they were some of the Amorites who were still left alive. The people of Israel had promised with an oath to spare them. But Saul had tried to put an end to them. That's because he wanted to make Israel and Judah strong. So now King David sent for the people of Gibeon and spoke to them. 3 He asked them, "What would you like me to do for you? How can I make up for the wrong things that were done to you? I want you to be able to pray that the LORD will once again bless his land." 4 The people of Gibeon answered him. They said, "No amount of silver or gold can make up for what Saul and his family did to us. And we can't put anyone in Israel to death." "What do you want me to do for you?" David asked. 5 They answered the king, "Saul nearly destroyed us. He made plans to wipe us out. We don't have anywhere to live in Israel. 6 So let seven of the males in his family line be given to us. We'll kill them. We'll put their dead bodies out in the open in the sight of the Lord. We'll do it at Gibeah of Saul. Saul was the LORD's chosen king." So King David said, "I'll give seven males to you." 7 The king spared Mephibosheth. He was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of Saul. David had taken an oath in the sight of the Lord. He had promised to be kind to Jonathan and the family line of his father Saul. 8 But the king chose Armoni and another Mephibosheth. They were the two sons of Aiah's daughter Rizpah. Saul was their father. The king also chose the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab. Adriel, the son of Barzillai, was their father. Adriel was from Meholah. 9 King David handed them over to the people of Gibeon. They killed them. They put their dead bodies out in the open on a hill in the sight of the Lord. All seven of them died together. They were put to death during the first days of the harvest. It happened just when people were beginning to harvest the barley. 10 Aiah's daughter Rizpah got some black cloth. She spread it out for herself on a rock. She stayed there from the beginning of the harvest until it rained. The rain poured down from the sky on the dead bodies of the seven males. She didn't let the birds of the air touch them by day. She didn't let the wild animals touch them at night. 11 Someone told David what Rizpah had done. She was Aiah's daughter and Saul's concubine. 12 David got the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. He got them from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. They had taken them in secret from the main street in Beth Shan. That's where the Philistines had hung their bodies up on the city wall. They had done it after they struck Saul down on Mount Gilboa. 13 David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from Jabesh Gilead. The bones of the seven males who had been killed and put out in the open were also gathered up. 14 The bones of Saul and his son Jonathan were buried in the tomb of Saul's father Kish. The tomb was at Zela in the territory of Benjamin. Everything the king commanded was done. After that, God answered prayer and blessed the land. 15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines. He became very tired. 16 Ishbi-Benob belonged to the family line of Rapha. The tip of his bronze spear weighed seven and a half pounds. He was also armed with a new sword. He said he would kill David. 17 But Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, came to save David. He struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David's men took an oath and made a promise. They said to David, "We never want you to go out with us to battle again. You are the lamp of Israel's kingdom. We want that lamp to keep on burning brightly." 18 There was another battle against the Philistines. It took place at Gob. At that time Sibbecai killed Saph. Sibbecai was a Hushathite. Saph was from the family line of Rapha. 19 In another battle against the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan killed Goliath's brother. Elhanan was the son of Jaare-Oregim from Bethlehem. Goliath was from the city of Gath. His spear was as big as a weaver's rod. 20 There was still another battle. It took place at Gath. A huge man lived there. He had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. So the total number of his toes and fingers was 24. He was also from the family of Rapha. 21 He made fun of Israel. So Jonathan killed him. Jonathan was the son of David's brother Shimeah. 22 Those four Philistine men lived in Gath. They were from the family line of Rapha. David and his men killed them.
1 David sang the words of this song to the Lord. He sang them when the LORD saved him from the powerful hand of all of his enemies and of Saul. 2 He said, "The LORD is my rock and my fort. He is the One who saves me. 3 My God is my rock. I go to him for safety. He is like a shield to me. He's the power that saves me. He's my place of safety. I go to him for help. He's my Savior. He saves me from those who want to hurt me. 4 I call out to the Lord. He is worthy of praise. He saves me from my enemies. 5 "The waves of death were all around me. A destroying flood swept over me. 6 The ropes of the grave were tight around me. Death set its trap in front of me. 7 When I was in trouble I called out to the Lord. I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice. My cry for help reached his ears. 8 "The earth trembled and shook. The pillars of the heavens rocked back and forth. They trembled because the LORD was angry. 9 Smoke came out of his nose. Flames of fire came out of his mouth. Burning coals blazed out of it. 10 He opened the heavens and came down. Dark clouds were under his feet. 11 He got on the cherubim and flew. The wings of the wind lifted him up. 12 He covered himself with darkness. The dark rain clouds of the sky were like a tent around him. 13 From the brightness that was all around him flashes of lightning blazed out. 14 The LORD thundered from heaven. The voice of the Most High God was heard. 15 He shot his arrows and scattered our enemies. He sent flashes of lightning and chased the enemies away. 16 The bottom of the sea could be seen. The foundations of the earth were uncovered. It happened when the LORD's anger blazed out. It came like a blast of breath from his nose. 17 "He reached down from heaven. He took hold of me. He lifted me out of deep waters. 18 He saved me from my powerful enemies. He set me free from those who were too strong for me. 19 They stood up to me when I was in trouble. But the LORD helped me. 20 He brought me out into a wide and safe place. He saved me because he was pleased with me. 21 "The LORD has been good to me because I do what is right. He has rewarded me because I lead a pure life. 22 I have lived the way the LORD wanted me to. I haven't done evil by turning away from my God. 23 I keep all of his laws in mind. I haven't turned away from his commands. 24 He knows that I am without blame. He knows I've kept myself from sinning. 25 The LORD has rewarded me for doing what is right. He has rewarded me because I haven't done anything wrong. 26 "Lord, to those who are faithful you show that you are faithful. To those who are without blame you show that you are without blame. 27 To those who are pure you show that you are pure. But to those whose paths are crooked you show that you are clever. 28 You save those who aren't proud. But you watch the proud to bring them down. 29 Lord, you are my lamp. You bring light into my darkness. 30 With your help I can attack a troop of soldiers. With the help of my God I can climb over a wall. 31 "God's way is perfect. The word of the LORD doesn't have any flaws. He is like a shield to all who go to him for safety. 32 Who is God except the Lord? Who is the Rock except our God? 33 God gives me strength for the battle. He makes my way perfect. 34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He helps me stand on the highest places. 35 He trains my hands to fight every battle. My arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36 Lord, you are like a shield that keeps me safe. You help me win the battle. You bend down to make me great. 37 You give me a wide path to walk in so that I don't twist my ankles. 38 "I chased my enemies and crushed them. I didn't turn back until they were destroyed. 39 I crushed them completely so that they couldn't get up. They fell under my feet. 40 Lord, you gave me strength to fight the battle. You made my enemies bow down at my feet. 41 You made them turn their backs and run away. So I destroyed my enemies. 42 They cried out for help. But there was no one to save them. They called out to you. But you didn't answer them. 43 I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth. I pounded them and walked on them like mud in the streets. 44 "You saved me when my own people attacked me. You have kept me as the ruler over nations. People I didn't know serve me now. 45 People from other lands bow down to me in fear. As soon as they hear me, they obey me. 46 All of them give up hope. They come trembling out of their hiding places. 47 "The LORD lives! Give praise to my Rock! Give honor to God, the Rock! He is my Savior! 48 He is the God who pays my enemies back. He brings the nations under my control. 49 He sets me free from my enemies. You have honored me more than them. You have saved me from men who want to hurt me. 50 Lord, I will praise you among the nations. I will sing praises to you. 51 You help me win great battles. You show your faithful love to your anointed king. You show it to me and my family forever."
1 Here are David's last words. He said, "I am David, the son of Jesse. God has given me a message. The Most High God has greatly honored me. The God of Jacob anointed me as king. I am Israel's singer of songs. 2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me. I spoke his word with my tongue. 3 The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me, 'A king must rule over people in a way that is right. He must have respect for me when he rules. 4 Then he will be like the light of morning at sunrise when there aren't any clouds. He will be like the bright sun after rain that makes the grass grow on the earth. 5 "Isn't my royal family right with God? Hasn't he made a covenant with me that will last forever? Every part of it was well prepared and made secure. Won't he save me completely? Won't he give me everything I long for? 6 But evil people are like thorns that are thrown away. You can't pick them up with your hands. 7 Even if you touch them, you must use an iron tool or a spear. Thorns are burned up right where they are." 8 Here are the names of David's mighty men. Josheb-Basshebeth was chief of the Three. He was a Tahkemonite. He used his spear against 800 men. He killed all of them at one time. 9 Next to him was Eleazar. He was one of the three mighty men. He was the son of Dodai, the Ahohite. Eleazar was with David at Pas Dammim. That's where Israel's army made fun of the Philistines who were gathered there for battle. Then the men of Israel pulled back. 10 But Eleazar stayed right where he was. He struck the Philistines down until his hand grew tired. But he still held on to his sword. The LORD helped him win a great battle that day. The troops returned to Eleazar. They came back to him only to take what they wanted from the dead bodies. 11 Next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee. Shammah was a Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at a place where there was a field full of lentils. Israel's troops ran away from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He didn't let the Philistines capture it. He struck them down. The LORD helped him win a great battle. 13 David was at the cave of Adullam. During harvest time, three of the 30 chief men came down to him there. A group of Philistines was camped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in his usual place of safety. Some Philistine troops were stationed at Bethlehem 15 David longed for water. He said, "I wish someone would get me a drink of water from the well that is near the gate of Bethlehem." 16 So the three mighty men fought their way past the Philistine guards. They got some water from the well that was near the gate of Bethlehem. They took the water back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord. 17 "Lord, I would never drink that water!" David said. "It stands for the blood of these men. They put their lives in danger by going to Bethlehem to get it." So David wouldn't drink it. Those were some of the brave things the three mighty men did. 18 Abishai was chief over the Three. He was the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah. He used his spear against 300 men. He killed all of them. So he became as famous as the Three were. 19 In fact, he was even more honored than the Three. He became their commander. But he wasn't included among them 20 Benaiah was a great hero from Kabzeel. He was the son of Jehoiada. Benaiah did many brave things. He struck down two of Moab's best fighting men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day. He killed a lion there. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. The Egyptian was holding a spear. Benaiah went out to fight against him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian's hand. Then he killed him with it 22 Those were some of the brave things Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, did. He too was as famous as the three mighty men were. 23 He was honored more than any of the Thirty. But he wasn't included among the Three. David put him in charge of his own personal guards. 24 Here is a list of David's men who were among the Thirty. Asahel, the brother of Joab Elhanan, the son of Dodo, from Bethlehem 25 Shammah, the Harodite Elika, the Harodite 26 Helez, the Paltite Ira, the son of Ikkesh, from Tekoa 27 Abiezer from Anathoth Mebunnai, the Hushathite 28 Zalmon, the Ahohite Maharai from Netophah 29 Heled, the son of Baanah, from Netophah Ithai, the son of Ribai, from Gibeah in Benjamin 30 Benaiah from Pirathon Hiddai from the valleys of Gaash 31 Abi-Albon, the Arbathite Azmaveth, the Barhumite 32 Eliahba, the Shaalbonite the sons of Jashen Jonathan, 33 the son of Shammah, the Hararite Ahiam, the son of Sharar, the Hararite 34 Eliphelet, the son of Ahasbai, the Maacathite Eliam, the son of Ahithophel, from Giloh 35 Hezro from Carmel Paarai, the Arbite 36 Igal, the son of Nathan, from Zobah the son of Hagr 37 Zelek from Ammon Naharai from Beeroth, who carried the armor of Joab, the son of Zeruiah 38 Ira, the Ithrite Gareb, the Ithrit 39 Uriah, the Hittite The total number of men was 37.
1 The LORD's anger burned against Israel. He stirred up David against them. He said, "Go! Count the men of Israel and Judah." 2 So the king spoke to Joab and the army commanders who were with him. He said, "Go all through the territories of the tribes of Israel. Go from Dan all the way to Beersheba. Count the fighting men. Then I'll know how many there are." 3 Joab replied to the king. He said, "King David, you are my master. May the LORD your God multiply the troops 100 times. And may you live to see it. But why would you want me to count the fighting men?" 4 In spite of what Joab said, the king's word had more authority than the word of Joab and the army commanders did. So they left the king and went out to count the fighting men of Israel. 5 They went across the Jordan River. They camped south of the town in the middle of the Arnon River valley near Aroer. Then they went through Gad and continued on to Jazer. 6 They went to Gilead and the area of Tahtim Hodshi. They continued to Dan Jaan and on around toward Sidon. 7 Then they went toward the fort of Tyre. They went to all of the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba. It was in the Negev Desert of Judah. 8 They finished going through the entire land. Then they came back to Jerusalem. They had been gone for nine months and 20 days. 9 Joab reported to the king how many fighting men he had counted. In Israel there were 800,000 men who were able to handle a sword. In Judah there were 500,000. 10 David felt sorry that he had counted the fighting men. So he said to the Lord, "I committed a great sin when I counted Judah and Israel's men. Lord, I beg you to take away my guilt. I've done a very foolish thing." 11 Before David got up the next morning, a message from the LORD came to the prophet Gad. He was David's seer. The message said, 12 "Go and tell David, 'The LORD says, "I could punish you in three different ways. Choose one of them for me to use against you." ' " 13 So Gad went to David. He said to him, "Take your choice. Do you want three years when there won't be enough food in your land? Or do you want three months when you will run away from your enemies while they chase you? Or do you want three days when there will be a plague in your land? Think it over. Then take your pick. Tell me how to answer the One who sent me." 14 David said to Gad, "I'm suffering terribly. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord. His mercy is great. But don't let me fall into the hands of men." 15 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel. It lasted from that morning until he decided to end it. From Dan all the way to Beersheba 70,000 people died. 16 The angel reached his hand out to destroy Jerusalem. But the LORD was very sad because of the plague. So he spoke to the angel who was making the people suffer. He said, "That is enough! Do not kill any more people." The angel of the LORD was at Araunah's threshing floor. Araunah was from the city of Jebus. 17 David saw the angel who was striking the people down. David said to the Lord, "I'm the one who has sinned. I'm the one who has done what is wrong. These people are like sheep. What have they done? Let your powerful hand punish me and my family." 18 On that day Gad went to David. Gad said to him, "Go up to the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. Build an altar there to honor the Lord." 19 So David went up and did it. He did what the LORD had commanded through Gad. 20 Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him. So he went out to welcome them. He bowed down to the king with his face toward the ground. 21 Araunah said, "King David, you are my master. Why have you come to see me?" "To buy your threshing floor," David answered. "I want to build an altar there to honor the Lord. When I do, the plague on the people will be stopped." 22 Araunah said to David, "Take anything that pleases you. Offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering. Here are threshing sleds. And here are wooden collars from the necks of the oxen. Use all of the wood to burn the offering. 23 King David, I'll give all of it to you." Araunah continued, "And may the LORD your God accept you." 24 But the king replied to Araunah, "No. I want to pay you for it. I won't sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that haven't cost me anything." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen. He paid 20 ounces of silver for them. 25 David built an altar there to honor the Lord. He sacrificed burnt offerings and friendship offerings. Then the LORD answered prayer and blessed the land. The plague on Israel was stopped.
California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice