2 Samuel 23:1–24:25

David’s Last Words

23 These are the last words of David:

“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,

the utterance of the man exaltedm by the Most High,

the man anointedn by the God of Jacob,

the hero of Israel’s songs:

“The Spirito of the Lord spoke through me;

his word was on my tongue.

The God of Israel spoke,

the Rockp of Israel said to me:

‘When one rules over people in righteousness,q

when he rules in the fearr of God,s

he is like the lightt of morningu at sunrisev

on a cloudless morning,

like the brightness after rainw

that brings grass from the earth.’

“If my house were not right with God,

surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,x

arranged and secured in every part;

surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation

and grant me my every desire.

But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,y

which are not gathered with the hand.

Whoever touches thorns

uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;

they are burned up where they lie.”

David’s Mighty Warriors

23:8–39pp—1Ch 11:10–41

These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:z

Josheb-Basshebeth,a a a Tahkemonite,b was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killedc in one encounter.

Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodaib the Ahohite.c As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammimd for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, 10 but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.

11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.

13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam,d while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.e 14 At that time David was in the stronghold,f and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem.g 15 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16 So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he pouredh it out before the Lord. 17 “Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the bloodi of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.

Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.

18 Abishaij the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three.e He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 19 Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.

20 Benaiahk son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel,l performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

24 Among the Thirty were:

Asahelm the brother of Joab,

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,

25 Shammah the Harodite,n

Elika the Harodite,

26 Helezo the Paltite,

Irap son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,

27 Abiezerq from Anathoth,r

Sibbekaif the Hushathite,

28 Zalmon the Ahohite,

Maharais the Netophathite,t

29 Heledg u son of Baanah the Netophathite,

Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeahv in Benjamin,

30 Benaiah the Pirathonite,w

Hiddaih from the ravines of Gaash,x

31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite,

Azmaveth the Barhumite,y

32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

the sons of Jashen,

Jonathan 33 son ofi Shammah the Hararite,

Ahiam son of Shararj the Hararite,

34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite,z

Eliama son of Ahithophelb the Gilonite,

35 Hezro the Carmelite,c

Paarai the Arbite,

36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah,d

the son of Hagri,k

37 Zelek the Ammonite,

Naharai the Beerothite,e the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,

38 Ira the Ithrite,f

Gareb the Ithrite

39 and Uriahg the Hittite.

There were thirty-seven in all.

David Enrolls the Fighting Men

24:1–17pp—1Ch 21:1–17

24 Againh the anger of the Lord burned against Israel,i and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census ofj Israel and Judah.”

So the king said to Joabk and the army commandersa with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beershebal and enrollm the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”

But Joabn replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over,o and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.

After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer,p south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer.q They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon.r Then they went toward the fortress of Tyres and all the towns of the Hivitest and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beershebau in the Negevv of Judah.

After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.w

10 David was conscience-strickenx after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinnedy greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.z

11 Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gada the prophet, David’s seer:b 12 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’ ”

13 So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you threeb years of faminec in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plagued in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

14 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercye is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

15 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.f 16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relentedg concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lordh was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd,c have done wrong. These are but sheep.i What have they done?j Let your hand fall on me and my family.”k

David Builds an Altar

24:18–25pp—1Ch 21:18–26

18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunahl the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.

21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”m

22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxenn for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunahd giveso all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”

24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”p

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekelse q of silver for them. 25 David built an altarr to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayers in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

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