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A house for the Lord

    17:1     Now when David was living in his house, he said to Nathan the prophet, See, I am living in a house of cedar-wood, but the ark of the Lord's agreement is under the curtains of a tent. 2 And Nathan said to David, Do whatever is in your heart, for God is with you.
    17:3 But that same night, the word of God came to Nathan, saying, 4 Go and say to David my servant, The Lord says, You are not to make me a house for my living-place : 5 For from the day when I took Israel up, till this day, I have had no house, but have gone from tent to tent, and from living-place to living-place. 6 In all the places where I have gone with all Israel, did I ever say to any of the judges of Israel, whom I made the keepers of my people, Why have you not made for me a house of cedar ? 7 So now, say to my servant David, The Lord of armies says, I took you from the fields, from keeping sheep, so that you might be a ruler over my people Israel ; 8 And I have been with you wherever you went, cutting off before you all those who were against you ; and I will make your name like the name of the greatest ones of the earth. 9 And I will make a resting-place for my people Israel, planting them there, so that they may be in the place which is theirs and never again be moved ; and never again will they be made waste by evil men, as they were at first, 10 From the time when I put judges over my people Israel ; and I will overcome all those who are against you ; and I will make you great and the head of a line of kings. 11 And when the time comes for you to go to your fathers, I will put in your place your seed after you, one of your sons, and I will make his kingdom strong. 12 He will be the builder of my house, and I will make the seat of his authority certain for ever. 13 I will be to him a father and he will be to me a son ; and I will not take my mercy away from him as I took it from him who was before you ; 14 But I will make his place in my house and in my kingdom certain for ever ; and the seat of his authority will never be overturned. 15 So Nathan gave David an account of all these words and this vision.
    17:16 Then David the king went in and took his seat before the Lord, and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have been my guide till now? 17 And this was only a small thing to you, O God ; but your words have even been about the far-off future of your servant's family, looking on me as on one of high position, O Lord God. 18 What more may David say to you ? for you have knowledge of your servant. 19 O Lord, because of your servant, and from your heart, you have done all these great things and let them be seen. 20 O Lord, there is no one like you, and no other God but you, as is clear from everything which has come to our ears. 21 And what other nation in the earth, like your people Israel, did a god go out to take for himself, to be his people, making his name great and to be feared, driving out the nations from before your people whom you made free and took out of Egypt ? 22 For your people Israel you made yours for ever ; and you, Lord, became their God. 23 And now, Lord, let your words about your servant and about his family be made certain for ever, and do as you have said. 24 So let your words be made certain and your name be made great, when men say, The Lord of armies is the God of Israel ; and when the family of David your servant is made strong before you. 25 For you, O my God, have let your servant see that you will make him head of a line of kings ; and so it has come into your servant's heart to make his prayer to you. 26 And now, O Lord, you are God, and you have said you will give this good thing to your servant : 27 And now you have been pleased to give your blessing to the family of your servant, so that it may go on for ever before you ; you, O Lord, have given your blessing, and a blessing will be on it for ever.

David's victories

    18:1     And it came about after this that David made an attack on the Philistines and overcame them, and took Gath with its daughter-towns out of the hands of the Philistines.
    18:2 And he overcame Moab, and the Moabites became his servants and gave him offerings.
    18:3 Then David overcame Hadadezer, king of Zobah, near Hamath, when he was going to make his power seen by the river Euphrates. 18:4 And David took from him a thousand war-carriages and seven thousand horsemen and twenty thousand footmen : and he had the leg-muscles of all the horses cut, keeping only enough of them for a hundred war-carriages. 5 And when the Aramaeans of Damascus came to the help of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, David put to the sword twenty-two thousand Aramaeans. 6 Then David put armed forces in Damascus, and the Aramaeans became his servants and gave him offerings. And the Lord made David overcome wherever he went. 7 And the gold body-covers of the servants of Hadadezer, David took to Jerusalem. 8 And from Tibhath and from Cun, towns of Hadadezer, David took a great store of brass, of which Solomon made the great brass water-vessel and the brass pillars and vessels.
    18:9 Now when Tou, king of Hamath, had news that David had overcome all the army of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, 10 He sent his son Hadoram to King David, to give him words of peace and blessing, because he had overcome Hadadezer in the fight, for Hadadezer had been at war with Tou ; and he gave him all sorts of vessels of gold and silver and brass. 11 These King David made holy to the Lord, together with the silver and gold he had taken from all nations ; from Edom and Moab and from the children of Ammon and from the Philistines and from Amalek.
    18:12 And when he came back from putting to the sword eighteen thousand of the Edomites in the Valley of Salt, 13 David put armed forces in all the towns of Edom ; and all the Edomites became servants to David. The Lord made David overcome wherever he went.
    18:14 So David was king over all Israel, judging and giving right decisions for all his people. 15 And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the army ; and Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, was keeper of the records. 16 And Zadok, the son of Ahitub ; and Ahimelech, the son of Abiathar, were priests ; and Shavsha was the scribe ; 17 And Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites ; and the sons of David were chief of those whose places were at the king's side.

Syrians fled

    19:1     Now it came about after this that death came to Nahash, the king of the children of Ammon, and his son became king in his place. 2 And David said, I will be a friend to Hanun, the son of Nahash, because his father was a friend to me. So David sent men to him, to give him words of comfort on account of his father. And the servants of David came to Hanun, to the land of the children of Ammon, offering him comfort. 3 But the chiefs of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Does it seem to you that David is honouring your father, by sending comforters to you ? is it not clear that these men have only come to go through the land and to make secret observation of it so that they may overcome it? 4 So Hanun took David's servants, and cutting off their hair and the skirts of their robes up to the middle, sent them away. 5 Then certain men went and gave David word of what had been done to them. And he sent out with the purpose of meeting them ; for the men were greatly shamed. And the king said, Keep where you are at Jericho till your hair is long again, and then come back.
    19:6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves hated by David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver as payment for war-carriages and horsemen from Mesopotamia and Aram-maacah and Zobah. 7 So with this money they got thirty-two thousand war-carriages, and the help of the king of Maacah and his people, who came and took up their position in front of Medeba. And the children of Ammon came together from their towns for the fight. 8 And David, hearing of it, sent Joab with all the army of fighting-men. 9 So the children of Ammon came out and put their forces in position on the way into the town ; and the kings who had come were stationed by themselves in the field.
    19:10 Now when Joab saw that their forces were in position against him in front and at his back, he took all the best men of Israel, and put them in line against the Aramaeans ; 11 And the rest of the people he put in position against the children of Ammon with Abishai, his brother, at their head. 12 And he said, If the Aramaeans are stronger and get the better of me, then come to my help ; and if the children of Ammon get the better of you, I will come to your help. 13 Take heart, and let us be strong for our people and for the towns of our God ; and may the Lord do what seems good to him. 14 So Joab and the people who were with him went forward into the fight against the Aramaeans, and they went in flight before him. 15 And when the children of Ammon saw the flight of the Aramaeans, they themselves went in flight from Abishai, his brother, and came into the town. Then Joab came back to Jerusalem.
    19:16 And when the Aramaeans saw that Israel had overcome them, they sent men to get the Aramaeans who were on the other side of the River, with Shophach, the captain of Hadadezer's army, at their head. 17 And word of this was given to David ; and he got all Israel together and went over Jordan and came to Helam and put his forces in position against them. And when David's forces were in position against the Aramaeans, the fight was started. 18 And the Aramaeans went in flight before Israel ; and David put to the sword the men of seven thousand Aramaean war-carriages and forty thousand footmen, and put to death Shophach, the captain of the army. 19 And when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were overcome by Israel, they made peace with David and became his servants: and the Aramaeans would give no more help to the children of Ammon.

Spring is the time for battle

    20:1     Now in the spring, at the time when kings go out to war, Joab went out at the head of the armed forces and made waste all the land of the Ammonites and put his men in position before Rabbah, shutting it in. But David was still at Jerusalem. And Joab took Rabbah and made it waste. 2 And David took the crown of Milcom from off his head ; its weight was a talent of gold and it had stones of great price in it ; and it was put on David's head, and he took a great store of goods from the town. 3 And he took the people out of the town and put them to work with wood-cutting instruments, and iron grain-crushers, and axes. And this he did to all the towns of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the people went back to Jerusalem.
    20:4 Now after this there was war with the Philistines at Gezer ; then Sibbecai the Hushathite put to death Sippai, one of the offspring of the Rephaim ; and they were overcome. 5 And again there was war with the Philistines ; and Elhanan, the son of Jair, put to death Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the stem of whose spear was like a cloth-worker's rod. 6 And again there was war at Gath, where there was a very tall man, who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six fingers on his hands and six toes on his feet ; he was one of the offspring of the Rephaim. 7 And when he put shame on Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shimea, David's brother, put him to death. 8 These were of the offspring of the Rephaim in Gath ; they came to their death by the hands of David and his servants.

Israel numbered

    21:1     Now Satan, designing evil against Israel, put into David's mind the impulse to take the number of Israel. 2 And David said to Joab and the captains of the people, Now let all Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan, be numbered ; and give me word so that I may be certain of their number. 3 And Joab said, May the Lord make his people a hundred times more in number than they are ; but, my lord king, are they not all my lord's servants ? why would my lord have this done ? why will he become a cause of sin to Israel ? 4 But the king's word was stronger than Joab's. So Joab went out and went through all Israel and came to Jerusalem. 5 And Joab gave David the number of all the people ; all the men of Israel, able to take up arms, were one million, one hundred thousand men ; and those of Judah were four hundred and seventy thousand men, able to take up arms. 6 But Levi and Benjamin were not numbered among them, for Joab was disgusted with the king's order.
    21:7 And God was not pleased with this thing ; so he sent punishment on Israel. 8 Then David said to God, Great has been my sin in doing this ; but now, be pleased to take away the sin of your servant, for I have done very foolishly. 9 Then the word of the Lord came to Gad, David's seer, saying, 10 Go and say to David, The Lord says, Three things are offered to you : say which of them you will have, so that I may do it to you. 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, The Lord says, Take whichever you will : 12 Three years when there will not be enough food; or three months of war, when you will go in flight before your haters, being in great danger of the sword ; or three days of the sword of the Lord, disease in the land, and the angel of the Lord taking destruction through all the land of Israel. Now give thought to the answer I am to take back to him who sent me. 13 And David said to Gad, This is a hard decision for me to make : let me come into the hands of the Lord, for great are his mercies : let me not come into the hands of men.
    21:14 So the Lord sent disease on Israel, causing the death of seventy thousand men. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem for its destruction : and when he was about to do so, the Lord saw, and had regret for the evil, and said to the angel of destruction, It is enough ; do no more. Now the angel of the Lord was by the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 And David, lifting up his eyes, saw the angel of the Lord there between earth and heaven, with an uncovered sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the responsible men, clothed in haircloth, went down on their faces. 17 And David said to God, Was it not I who gave the order for the people to be numbered ? It is I who have done the sin and the great wrong ; but these are only sheep ; what have they done ? let your hand, O Lord God, be lifted up against me and against my family, but not against your people to send disease on them.
    21:18 Then the angel of the Lord gave orders to Gad to say to David that he was to go and put up an altar to the Lord on the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 And David went up, as Gad had said in the name of the Lord. 20 And Ornan, turning back, saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him went to a secret place. Now Ornan was crushing his grain. 21 And when David came, Ornan, looking, saw him, and came out from the grain-floor and went down on his face to the earth before him. 22 Then David said to Ornan, Give me the place where this grain-floor is, so that I may put up an altar here to the Lord : let me have it for its full price ; so that this disease may be stopped among the people. 23 And Ornan said to David, Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems right to him. See, I give you the oxen for burned offerings and the grain-cleaning instruments for fire-wood, and the grain for the meal offering; I give it all. 24 And King David said to Ornan, No; I will certainly give you the full price for it, because I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or give a burned offering without payment. 25 So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place. 26 And David put up an altar there to the Lord, offering burned offerings and peace-offerings with prayers to the Lord ; and he gave him an answer from heaven, sending fire on the altar of burned offering. 27 Then the Lord gave orders to the angel, and he put back his sword into its cover.
    21:28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had given him an answer on the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he made an offering there. 29 For the House of the Lord, which Moses had made in the waste land, and the altar of burned offerings, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David was not able to go before it to get directions from the Lord, so great was his fear of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

David's charge to Solomon

    22:1     Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar for Israel's burned offerings.
    22:2 And David gave orders to get together all the men from strange lands who were in the land of Israel ; and he put stone-cutters to work, cutting stones for building the house of God. 3 And he got together a great store of iron, for the nails for the doors and for the joins ; and brass, more in weight than might be measured ; 4 And cedar-trees without number, for the Zidonians and the men of Tyre came with a great amount of cedar-trees for David. 5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and untested, and the house which is to be put up for the Lord is to be very great, a thing of wonder and glory through all countries ; so I will make ready what is needed for it. So David got ready a great store of material before his death.
    22:6 Then he sent for his son Solomon, and gave him orders for the building of a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. 7 And David said to Solomon, My son, it was my desire to put up a house for the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came to me saying, You have taken lives without number and made great wars ; I will not let you be the builder of a house for my name, because of the lives you have taken on the earth before my eyes. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of rest ; and I will give him rest from wars on every side. His name will be Solomon, and in his time I will give Israel peace and quiet ; 10 He will be the builder of a house for my name ; he will be to me a son, and I will be to him a father ; and I will make the seat of his rule over Israel certain for ever. 11 Now, my son, may the Lord be with you ; and may you do well, and put up the house of the Lord your God, as he has said of you. 12 Only may the Lord give you wisdom, and knowledge of his orders for Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 And all will go well for you, if you take care to keep the laws and the rules which the Lord gave to Moses for Israel : be strong and take heart ; have no fear and do not be troubled. 14 Now see, poor though I am, I have got ready for the house of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold and a million talents of silver ; and a weight of brass and iron greater than may be measured ; and wood and stone have I made ready, and you may put more to it. 15 And you have a great number of workmen, cutters and workers of stone and wood, and experts in every sort of work, 16 In gold and silver and brass and iron more than may be numbered. Up ! then, and to work ; and may the Lord be with you.
    22:17 Then David gave orders to all the chiefs of Israel to give their help to Solomon his son, saying, Is not the Lord your God with you ? and has he not given you rest on every side ? for the Lord has given the people of the land into my hands, and the land is overcome before the Lord and before his people. 19 Now give your heart and soul to the worship of the Lord your God ; and get to work on the building of the holy place of the Lord God, so that you may put the ark of the Lord's agreement and the holy vessels of God in the house which is to be made for the name of the Lord.

David made Solomon king

    23:1     Now David was old and full of days ; and he made his son Solomon king over Israel.
    23:2 And he got together all the chiefs of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. 3 And the Levites, all those of thirty years old and over, were numbered ; and the number of them, by heads, man by man, was thirty-eight thousand. 4 Of these, twenty-four thousand were to be overseers of the work of the house of the Lord, and six thousand were judges and men of authority ; 5 Four thousand were door-keepers; and four thousand gave praise to the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, for giving praise. 6 And David put them into divisions under the names of the sons of Levi : Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
    23:7 Of the Gershonites: Ladan and Shimei. 8 The sons of Ladan : Jehiel the chief, and Zetham and Joel, three. 9 The sons of Shimei : Shelomoth and Haziel and Haran, three; these were the heads of the families of Ladan. 10 And the sons of Shimei : Jahath, Zizah and Jeush and Beriah; these four were the sons of Shimei. 11 Jahath was the chief and Zizah the second ; but Jeush and Beriah had only a small number of sons, so they were grouped together as one family.
    23:12 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four. 13 The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses ; and Aaron was made separate and holy, he and his sons for ever, for the care of the most holy things and the burning of offerings before the Lord, to do his work and give blessings in his name for ever. 14 And the sons of Moses, the man of God, were put into the list of the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses : Gershom and Eliezer. 16 The sons of Gershom : Shebuel the first. 17 And the sons of Eliezer : Rehabiah the first ; and Eliezer had no other sons, but Rehabiah had a great number. 18 The sons of Izhar : Shelomith the first. 19 The sons of Hebron : Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. 20 The sons of Uzziel : Micah the first, and Isshiah the second.
    23:21 The sons of Merari : Mahli and Mushi ; the sons of Mahli : Eleazar and Kish. 22 And at his death Eleazar had no sons, but only daughters, and their relations, the sons of Kish, took them as wives. 23 The sons of Mushi : Mahli and Eder and Jeremoth, three.
    23:24 These were the sons of Levi, grouped by families, the heads of the families of those who were numbered by name, by heads, all those of twenty years old and over who did the work of the house of the Lord. 25 For David said, The Lord, the God of Israel, has given his people rest, and he has made his resting-place in Jerusalem for ever ; 26 And from now, there will be no need for the House of the Lord, and the vessels used in it, to be moved about by the Levites. 27 So among the last acts of David was the numbering of the sons of Levi, from twenty years old and over. 28 Their place was by the side of the sons of Aaron in all the work of the house of the Lord, in the open spaces and in the rooms, in the making clean of all the holy things, in doing all the work of the house of the Lord, 29 The holy bread was in their care, and the crushed grain for the meal offering, of unleavened cakes or meal cooked over the fire or in water; they had control of all sorts of weights and measures ; 30 They had to take their places every morning to give praise and make melody to the Lord, and in the same way at evening ; 31 At every offering of burned offerings to the Lord, on Sabbaths, and at the new moons, and on the regular feasts, in the number ordered by the law, at all times before the Lord ; 32 And they had the care of the Tent of meeting and the holy place, under the direction of the sons of Aaron their brothers, for the work of the house of the Lord.

Duties of the Levites

    24:1     Now the divisions into which the sons of Aaron were grouped were these : the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 2 But Nadab and Abihu came to their end before their father, and had no children ; so Eleazar and Ithamar did the work of priests. 3 And David, with Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, made distribution of them into their positions for their work. 4 And there were more chiefs among the sons of Eleazar than among the sons of Ithamar ; and this is how they were grouped : of the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen, all heads of families ; and of the sons of Ithamar, heads of families, there were eight. 5 So they were put into groups, by the Lord's decision, one with another ; for there were rulers of the holy place and rulers of the house of God among the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar. 6 And Shemaiah, the son of Nethanel the scribe, who was a Levite, put down their names in writing, the king being present with the rulers, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech, the son of Abiathar, and the heads of families of the priests and the Levites ; one family being taken for Eleazar and then one for Ithamar, and so on.
    24:7 Now the first name to come out was that of Jehoiarib ; the second Jedaiah, 8 The third Harim, the fourth Seorim, 9 The fifth Malchijah, the sixth Mijamin, 10 The seventh Hakkoz, the eighth Abijah, 11 The ninth Jeshua, the tenth Shecaniah, 12 The eleventh Eliashib, the twelfth Jakim, 13 The thirteenth Huppah, the fourteenth Jeshebeab, 14 The fifteenth Bilgah, the sixteenth Immer, 15 The seventeenth Hezir, the eighteenth Happizzez, 16 The nineteenth Pethahiah, the twentieth Jehezkel, 17 The twenty-first Jachin, the twenty-second Gamul, 18 The twenty-third Delaiah, the twenty-fourth Maaziah. 19 So they were put into their different groups, to take their places in the house of the Lord, in agreement with the rules made by Aaron their father, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had given him orders.
    24:20 And of the rest of the sons of Levi : of the sons of Amram, Shubael ; of the sons of Shubael, Jehdeiah. 21 Of Rehabiah ; of the sons of Rehabiah, Isshiah the chief. 22 Of the Izharites, Shelomoth ; of the sons of Shelomoth, Jahath. 23 And the sons of Hebron : Jeriah the chief, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, Jekameam the fourth. 24 The sons of Uzziel, Micah ; of the sons of Micah, Shamir. 25 The brother of Micah, Isshiah ; of the sons of Isshiah, Zechariah. 26 The sons of Merari : Mahli and Mushi ; the sons of Jaaziah. 27 The sons of Merari : of Jaaziah, Shoham and Zaccur and Ibri. 28 Of Mahli : Eleazar, who had no sons. 29 Of Kish : the sons of Kish, Jerahmeel. 30 And the sons of Mushi : Mahli and Eder and Jerimoth. These were the sons of the Levites by their families. 31 Selection was made of these in the same way as of their brothers the sons of Aaron, David the king being present, with Zadok, and Ahimelech, and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites ; the families of the chief in the same way as those of his younger brother.

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