2 Samuel 22; 2 Samuel 23; 2 Samuel 24

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.
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