New Revised Standard Version
[2 Samuel 1]
David learns of the death of Saul and Jonathan
1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the
Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. 2 On the third day, a man came
from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. When he came to
David, he fell to the ground and did obeisance. 3 David said to him, "Where
have you come from?" He said to him, "I have escaped from the camp of Israel."
4 David said to him, "How did things go? Tell me!" He answered, "The army fled
from the battle, but also many of the army fell and died; and Saul and his son
Jonathan also died." 5 Then David asked the young man who was reporting to
him, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan died?" 6 The young man
reporting to him said, "I happened to be on Mount Gilboa; and there was Saul
leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen drew close to him. 7
When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, 'Here
sir.' 8 And he said to me, 'Who are you?' I answered him, 'I am an Amalekite.'
9 He said to me, 'Come, stand over me and kill me; for convulsions have seized
me, and yet my life still lingers.' 10 So I stood over him, and killed him,
for I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. I took the crown that
was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them
here to my lord."
11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them; and all the men who were
with him did the same. 12 They mourned and wept, and fasted until evening for
Saul and for his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the house
of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13 David said to the young
man who had reported to him, "Where do you come from?" He answered, "I am the
son of a resident alien, an Amalekite." 14 David said to him, "Were you not
afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?" 15 Then David called
one of the young men and said, "Come here and strike him down." So he struck
him down and he died. 16 David said to him, "Your blood be on your head; for
your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the LORD's
David's elegy over Saul and Jonathan
17 David intoned this lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 (He
ordered that The Song of the Bow be taught to the people of Judah; it is
written in the Book of Jashar.) He said:
19 Your glory, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath,
proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon;
or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice,
the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult.
21 You mountains of Gilboa,
let there be no dew or rain upon you,
nor bounteous fields!
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more.
22 From the blood of the slain,
from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
nor the sword of Saul return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
In life and in death they were not divided;
they were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.
24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you with crimson, in luxury,
who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
25 How the mighty have fallen
in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan lies slain upon your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
greatly beloved were you to me;
your love to me was wonderful,
passing the love of women.
27 How the mighty have fallen,
and the weapons of war perished!
[2 Samuel 2]
David becomes king of Judah
1 After this David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up into any of the cities
of Judah?" The LORD said to him, "Go up." David said, "To which shall I go
up?" He said, "To Hebron." 2 So David went up there, along with his two wives,
Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David brought
up the men who were with him, every one with his household; and they settled
in the towns of Hebron. 4 Then the people of Judah came, and there they
anointed David king over the house of Judah.
When they told David, "It was the people of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul," 5
David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, "May
you be blessed by the LORD, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord,
and buried him! 6 Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to
you! And I too will reward you because you have done this thing. 7 Therefore
let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and the
house of Judah has anointed me king over them."
8 But Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, had taken Ishbaal son of
Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9 He made him king over Gilead, the
Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ishbaal, Saul's
son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned
two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 The time that David was
king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
War between Israel and Judah
12 Abner son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbaal son of Saul, went out from
Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 Joab son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went
out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat on one side of the pool,
while the other sat on the other side of the pool. 14 Abner said to Joab, "Let
the young men come forward and have a contest before us." Joab said, "Let them
come forward." 15 So they came forward and were counted as they passed by,
twelve for Benjamin and Ishbaal son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of
David. 16 Each grasped his opponent by the head, and thrust his sword in his
opponent's side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called
Helkath-hazzurim, which is at Gibeon. 17 The battle was very fierce that day;
and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten by the servants of David.
18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel
was as swift of foot as a wild gazelle. 19 Asahel pursued Abner, turning
neither to the right nor to the left as he followed him. 20 Then Abner looked
back and said, "Is it you, Asahel?" He answered, "Yes, it is." 21 Abner said
to him, "Turn to your right or to your left, and seize one of the young men,
and take his spoil." But Asahel would not turn away from following him. 22
Abner said again to Asahel, "Turn away from following me; why should I strike
you to the ground? How then could I show my face to your brother Joab?" 23 But
he refused to turn away. So Abner struck him in the stomach with the butt of
his spear, so that the spear came out at his back. He fell there, and died
where he lay. And all those who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and
died, stood still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. As the sun was going down they came to
the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on the way to the wilderness of
Gibeon. 25 The Benjaminites rallied around Abner and formed a single band;
they took their stand on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, "Is
the sword to keep devouring forever? Do you not know that the end will be
bitter? How long will it be before you order your people to turn from the
pursuit of their kinsmen?" 27 Joab said, "As God lives, if you had not spoken,
the people would have continued to pursue their kinsmen, not stopping until
morning." 28 Joab sounded the trumpet and all the people stopped; they no
longer pursued Israel or engaged in battle any further.
29 Abner and his men traveled all that night through the Arabah; they crossed
the Jordan, and, marching the whole forenoon, they came to Mahanaim. 30 Joab
returned from the pursuit of Abner; and when he had gathered all the people
together, there were missing of David's servants nineteen men besides Asahel.
31 But the servants of David had killed of Benjamin three hundred sixty of
Abner's men. 32 They took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father,
which was at Bethlehem. Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke
upon them at Hebron.
[2 Samuel 3]
1 There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; David
grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.
2 Sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of
Jezreel; 3 his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the
third, Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; 4 the fourth,
Adonijah son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah son of Abital; 5 and the sixth,
Ithream, of David's wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.
6 While there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner
was making himself strong in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had a concubine
whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ishbaal said to Abner, "Why have
you gone in to my father's concubine?" 8 The words of Ishbaal made Abner very
angry; he said, "Am I a dog's head for Judah? Today I keep showing loyalty to
the house of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have
not given you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me now with a crime
concerning this woman. 9 So may God do to Abner and so may he add to it! For
just what the LORD has sworn to David, that will I accomplish for him, 10 to
transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and set up the throne of David
over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beer-sheba." 11 And Ishbaal could not
answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
12 Abner sent messengers to David at Hebron, saying, "To whom does the land
belong? Make your covenant with me, and I will give you my support to bring
all Israel over to you." 13 He said, "Good; I will make a covenant with you.
But one thing I require of you: you shall never appear in my presence unless
you bring Saul's daughter Michal when you come to see me." 14 Then David sent
messengers to Saul's son Ishbaal, saying, "Give me my wife Michal, to whom I
became engaged at the price of one hundred foreskins of the Philistines." 15
Ishbaal sent and took her from her husband Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 But
her husband went with her, weeping as he walked behind her all the way to
Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, "Go back home!" So he went back.
17 Abner sent word to the elders of Israel, saying, "For some time past you
have been seeking David as king over you. 18 Now then bring it about; for the
LORD has promised David: Through my servant David I will save my people Israel
from the hand of the Philistines, and from all their enemies." 19 Abner also
spoke directly to the Benjaminites; then Abner went to tell David at Hebron
all that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin were ready to do.
20 When Abner came with twenty men to David at Hebron, David made a feast for
Abner and the men who were with him. 21 Abner said to David, "Let me go and
rally all Israel to my lord the king, in order that they may make a covenant
with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires." So David
dismissed Abner, and he went away in peace.
22 Just then the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid, bringing
much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David at Hebron, for David had
dismissed him, and he had gone away in peace. 23 When Joab and all the army
that was with him came, it was told Joab, "Abner son of Ner came to the king,
and he has dismissed him, and he has gone away in peace." 24 Then Joab went to
the king and said, "What have you done? Abner came to you; why did you dismiss
him, so that he got away? 25 You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive
you, and to learn your comings and goings and to learn all that you are
26 When Joab came out from David's presence, he sent messengers after Abner,
and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah; but David did not know
about it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gateway
to speak with him privately, and there he stabbed him in the stomach. So he
died for shedding the blood of Asahel, Joab's brother. 28 Afterward, when
David heard of it, he said, "I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the
LORD for the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May the guilt fall on the head of
Joab, and on all his father's house; and may the house of Joab never be
without one who has a discharge, or who is leprous, or who holds a spindle, or
who falls by the sword, or who lacks food!" 30 So Joab and his brother Abishai
murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at
31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, "Tear your
clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner." And King David followed
the bier. 32 They buried Abner at Hebron. The king lifted up his voice and
wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33 The king lamented for
"Should Abner die as a fool dies?
34 Your hands were not bound,
your feet were not fettered;
as one falls before the wicked
you have fallen."
And all the people wept over him again. 35 Then all the people came to
persuade David to eat something while it was still day; but David swore,
saying, "So may God do to me, and more, if I taste bread or anything else
before the sun goes down!" 36 All the people took notice of it, and it pleased
them; just as everything the king did pleased all the people. 37 So all the
people and all Israel understood that day that the king had no part in the
killing of Abner son of Ner. 38 And the king said to his servants, "Do you not
know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39 Today I
am powerless, even though anointed king; these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are
too violent for me. The LORD pay back the one who does wickedly in accordance
with his wickedness!"
[2 Samuel 4]
The assassination of Ishbaal
1 When Saul's son Ishbaal heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage
failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2 Saul's son had two captains of raiding
bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab. They
were sons of Rimmon a Benjaminite from Beeroth – for Beeroth is considered to
belong to Benjamin. 3 (Now the people of Beeroth had fled to Gittaim and are
there as resident aliens to this day).
4 Saul's son Jonathan had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five
years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse
picked him up and fled; and, in her haste to flee, it happened that he fell
and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.
5 Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about
the heat of the day they came to the house of Ishbaal, while he was taking his
noonday rest. 6 They came inside the house as though to take wheat, and they
struck him in the stomach; then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. 7 Now
they had come into the house while he was lying on his couch in his
bedchamber; they attacked him, killed him, and beheaded him. Then they took
his head and traveled by way of the Arabah all night long. 8 They brought the
head of Ishbaal to David at Hebron and said to the king, "Here is the head of
Ishbaal, son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; the LORD has avenged
my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring."
9 David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the
Beerothite, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every
adversity, 10 when the one who told me, 'See, Saul is dead,' thought he was
bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag – this was the
reward I gave him for his news. 11 How much more then, when wicked men have
killed a righteous man on his bed in his own house! And now shall I not
require his blood at your hand, and destroy you from the earth?" 12 So David
commanded the young men, and they killed them; they cut off their hands and
feet, and hung their bodies beside the pool at Hebron. But the head of Ishbaal
they took and buried in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.
[2 Samuel 5]
David becomes king of Israel and conquers Jerusalem
1 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, "Look, we
are your bone and flesh. 2 For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was
you who led out Israel and brought it in. The LORD said to you: It is you who
shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel." 3
So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a
covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king
over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he
reigned forty years. 5 At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six
months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three
6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the
inhabitants of the land, who said to David, "You will not come in here, even
the blind and the lame will turn you back" – thinking, "David cannot come in
here." 7 Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, which is now the city
of David. 8 David had said on that day, "Whoever would strike down the
Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind,
those whom David hates." Therefore it is said, "The blind and the lame shall
not come into the house." 9 David occupied the stronghold, and named it the
city of David. David built the city all around from the Millo inward. 10 And
David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with
11 King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar trees, and
carpenters and masons who built David a house. 12 David then perceived that
the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his
kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
13 In Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, David took more concubines and
wives; and more sons and daughters were born to David. 14 These are the names
of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon,
15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
War with the Philistines
17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel,
all the Philistines went up in search of David; but David heard about it and
went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in
the valley of Rephaim. 19 David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up against
the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?" The LORD said to David, "Go
up; for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand." 20 So David
came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. He said, "The LORD has
burst forth against my enemies before me, like a bursting flood." Therefore
that place is called Baal-perazim. 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols
there, and David and his men carried them away.
22 Once again the Philistines came up, and were spread out in the valley of
Rephaim. 23 When David inquired of the LORD, he said, "You shall not go up; go
around to their rear, and come upon them opposite the balsam trees. 24 When
you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then be on the
alert; for then the LORD has gone out before you to strike down the army of
the Philistines." 25 David did just as the LORD had commanded him; and he
struck down the Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer.
[2 Samuel 6]
David brings the ark to Jerusalem
1 David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2David
and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up
from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts
who is enthroned on the cherubim. 3 They carried the ark of God on a new cart,
and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and
Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart 4 with the ark of God;
and Ahio went in front of the ark. 5 David and all the house of Israel were
dancing before the LORD with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps
and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.
6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out his hand
to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen shook it. 7 The anger of
the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him there because he
reached out his hand to the ark; and he died there beside the ark of God. 8
David was angry because the LORD had burst forth with an outburst upon Uzzah;
so that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day. 9 David was afraid of the
LORD that day; he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come into my care?" 10 So
David was unwilling to take the ark of the LORD into his care in the city of
David; instead David took it to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11 The ark
of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months; and
the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.
12 It was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom
and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and
brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David
with rejoicing; 13 and when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six
paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 David danced before the LORD with
all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the
house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the
sound of the trumpet.
16 As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul
looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the
LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
17 They brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place, inside the
tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and
offerings of well-being before the LORD. 18 When David had finished offering
the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in
the name of the LORD of hosts, 19 and distributed food among all the people,
the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a
portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their
20 David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came
out to meet David, and said, "How the king of Israel honored himself today,
uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants' maids, as any vulgar
fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!" 21 David said to Michal, "It was
before the LORD, who chose me in place of your father and all his household,
to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD, that I have
danced before the LORD. 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this,
and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken,
by them I shall be held in honor." 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no
child to the day of her death.
[2 Samuel 7]
A dynasty for David
1 Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest
from all his enemies around him, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, "See
now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent." 3
Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is
4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan: 5 Go and tell my
servant David: Thus says the LORD: Are you the one to build me a house to live
in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of
Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a
tabernacle. 7 Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did
I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded
to shepherd my people Israel, saying, "Why have you not built me a house of
cedar?" 8 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the
LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be
prince over my people Israel; 9 and I have been with you wherever you went,
and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a
great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will
appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may
live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict
them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my
people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the
LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. 12 When your days
are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your
offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish
his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the
throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a
son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as
mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. 15 But I will not take my
steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before
you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your
throne shall be established forever. 17 In accordance with all these words and
with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and said, "Who am I, O
Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet
this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD; you have spoken also of your
servant's house for a great while to come. May this be instruction for the
people, O Lord GOD! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your
servant, O Lord GOD! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own
heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it.
22 Therefore you are great, O LORD God; for there is no one like you, and
there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our
ears. 23 Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another nation on
earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself,
doing great and awesome things for them, by driving out before his people
nations and their gods? 24 And you established your people Israel for yourself
to be your people forever; and you, O LORD, became their God. 25 And now, O
LORD God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and
concerning his house, confirm it forever; do as you have promised. 26 Thus
your name will be magnified forever in the saying, 'The LORD of hosts is God
over Israel'; and the house of your servant David will be established before
you. 27 For you, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation
to your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house'; therefore your servant
has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord GOD, you are
God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your
servant; 29 now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your
servant, so that it may continue forever before you; for you, O Lord GOD, have
spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed
[2 Samuel 8]
1 Some time afterward, David attacked the Philistines and subdued them; David
took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines.
2He also defeated the Moabites and, making them lie down on the ground,
measured them off with a cord; he measured two lengths of cord for those who
were to be put to death, and one length for those who were to be spared. And
the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.
3 David also struck down King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah, as he went to
restore his monument at the river Euphrates. 4 David took from him one
thousand seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. David
hamstrung all the chariot horses, but left enough for a hundred chariots. 5
When the Arameans of Damascus came to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, David
killed twenty-two thousand men of the Arameans. 6 Then David put garrisons
among the Arameans of Damascus; and the Arameans became servants to David and
brought tribute. The LORD gave victory to David wherever he went. 7 David took
the gold shields that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer, and brought
them to Jerusalem. 8 From Betah and from Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King
David took a great amount of bronze.
9 When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of
Hadadezer, 10 Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to greet him and to
congratulate him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him. Now
Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi. Joram brought with him articles of
silver, gold, and bronze; 11 these also King David dedicated to the LORD,
together with the silver and gold that he dedicated from all the nations he
subdued, 12 from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from
the spoil of King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah.
13 David won a name for himself. When he returned, he killed eighteen thousand
Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 14 He put garrisons in Edom; throughout all
Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David's servants. And the
LORD gave victory to David wherever he went.
15 So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and equity
to all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son
of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar
were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the
Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David's sons were priests.
[2 Samuel 9]
1 David asked, "Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may
show kindness for Jonathan's sake?" 2 Now there was a servant of the house of
Saul whose name was Ziba, and he was summoned to David. The king said to him,
"Are you Ziba?" And he said, "At your service!" 3 The king said, "Is there
anyone remaining of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?"
Ziba said to the king, "There remains a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his
feet." 4 The king said to him, "Where is he?" Ziba said to the king, "He is in
the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar." 5 Then King David sent and
brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 6
Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, and fell on his face
and did obeisance. David said, "Mephibosheth!" He answered, "I am your
servant." 7 David said to him, "Do not be afraid, for I will show you kindness
for the sake of your father Jonathan; I will restore to you all the land of
your grandfather Saul, and you yourself shall eat at my table always." 8 He
did obeisance and said, "What is your servant, that you should look upon a
dead dog such as I?"
9 Then the king summoned Saul's servant Ziba, and said to him, "All that
belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson.
10 You and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him, and shall
bring in the produce, so that your master's grandson may have food to eat; but
your master's grandson Mephibosheth shall always eat at my table." Now Ziba
had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king,
"According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your servant
will do." Mephibosheth ate at David's table, like one of the king's sons. 12
Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba's
house became Mephibosheth's servants. 13 Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for
he always ate at the king's table. Now he was lame in both his feet.
[2 Samuel 10]
David defeats the Ammonites and Arameans
1 Some time afterward, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun
succeeded him. 2 David said, "I will deal loyally with Hanun son of Nahash,
just as his father dealt loyally with me." So David sent envoys to console him
concerning his father. When David's envoys came into the land of the
Ammonites, 3 the princes of the Ammonites said to their lord Hanun, "Do you
really think that David is honoring your father just because he has sent
messengers with condolences to you? Has not David sent his envoys to you to
search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?" 4 So Hanun seized
David's envoys, shaved off half the beard of each, cut off their garments in
the middle at their hips, and sent them away. 5 When David was told, he sent
to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, "Remain at
Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return."
6 When the Ammonites saw that they had become odious to David, the Ammonites
sent and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, twenty
thousand foot soldiers, as well as the king of Maacah, one thousand men, and
the men of Tob, twelve thousand men. 7 When David heard of it, he sent Joab
and all the army with the warriors. 8 The Ammonites came out and drew up in
battle array at the entrance of the gate; but the Arameans of Zobah and of
Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the open country.
9 When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the
rear, he chose some of the picked men of Israel, and arrayed them against the
Arameans; 10 the rest of his men he put in the charge of his brother Abishai,
and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11 He said, "If the Arameans are
too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong
for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be strong, and let us be courageous
for the sake of our people, and for the cities of our God; and may the LORD do
what seems good to him." 13 So Joab and the people who were with him moved
forward into battle against the Arameans; and they fled before him. 14 When
the Ammonites saw that the Arameans fled, they likewise fled before Abishai,
and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the Ammonites,
and came to Jerusalem.
15 But when the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they
gathered themselves together. 16 Hadadezer sent and brought out the Arameans
who were beyond the Euphrates; and they came to Helam, with Shobach the
commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17 When it was told David,
he gathered all Israel together, and crossed the Jordan, and came to Helam.
The Arameans arrayed themselves against David and fought with him. 18 The
Arameans fled before Israel; and David killed of the Arameans seven hundred
chariot teams, and forty thousand horsemen, and wounded Shobach the commander
of their army, so that he died there. 19 When all the kings who were servants
of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with
Israel, and became subject to them. So the Arameans were afraid to help the
Ammonites any more.
[2 Samuel 11]
David and Bathsheba
1 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent
Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites,
and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was
walking about on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a
woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent someone to inquire
about the woman. It was reported, "This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the
wife of Uriah the Hittite." 4 So David sent messengers to get her, and she
came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her
period.) Then she returned to her house. 5 The woman conceived; and she sent
and told David, "I am pregnant."
6 So David sent word to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah
to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared,
and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house,
and wash your feet." Uriah went out of the king's house, and there followed
him a present from the king. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king's
house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10
When they told David, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to
Uriah, "You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your
house?" 11 Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah remain in
booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open
field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my
wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing." 12
Then David said to Uriah, "Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send
you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, 13 David
invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk; and in the
evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he
did not go down to his house.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of
Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest
fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die."
16 As Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he
knew there were valiant warriors. 17 The men of the city came out and fought
with Joab; and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the
Hittite was killed as well. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news
about the fighting; 19 and he instructed the messenger, "When you have
finished telling the king all the news about the fighting, 20 then, if the
king's anger rises, and if he says to you, 'Why did you go so near the city to
fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who killed
Abimelech son of Jerubbaal? Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him
from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?'
then you shall say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead too.'"
22 So the messenger went, and came and told David all that Joab had sent him
to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, "The men gained an advantage over us,
and came out against us in the field; but we drove them back to the entrance
of the gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall; some of
the king's servants are dead; and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead
also." 25 David said to the messenger, "Thus you shall say to Joab, 'Do not
let this matter trouble you, for the sword devours now one and now another;
press your attack on the city, and overthrow it.' And encourage him."
26 When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made
lamentation for him. 27 When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her
to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.
But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD, [2 Samuel 12]
and the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, "There
were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man
had very many flocks and herds; 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little
ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and
with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup,
and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a
traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or
herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor
man's lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him." 5 Then
David's anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, "As the
LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; 6 he shall restore the
lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."
7 Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of
Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of
Saul; 8 I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your
bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too
little, I would have added as much more. 9 Why have you despised the word of
the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the
Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have
killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall
never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the
wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11 Thus says the LORD: I will raise
up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives
before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your
wives in the sight of this very sun. 12 For you did it secretly; but I will do
this thing before all Israel, and before the sun." 13 David said to Nathan, "I
have sinned against the LORD." Nathan said to David, "Now the LORD has put
away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you
have utterly scorned the LORD, the child that is born to you shall die." 15
Then Nathan went to his house.
The LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it became very
ill. 16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child; David fasted, and went
in and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his house stood beside
him, urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor did he eat food
with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David
were afraid to tell him that the child was dead; for they said, "While the
child was still alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us; how then
can we tell him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm." 19 But when
David saw that his servants were whispering together, he perceived that the
child was dead; and David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" They
said, "He is dead."
20 Then David rose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his
clothes. He went into the house of the LORD, and worshiped; he then went to
his own house; and when he asked, they set food before him and he ate. 21 Then
his servants said to him, "What is this thing that you have done? You fasted
and wept for the child while it was alive; but when the child died, you rose
and ate food." 22 He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and
wept; for I said, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me, and the child
may live.' 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back
again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."
24 Then David consoled his wife Bathsheba, and went to her, and lay with her;
and she bore a son, and he named him Solomon. The LORD loved him, 25 and sent
a message by the prophet Nathan; so he named him Jedidiah, because of the
The conclusion of the Ammonite war
26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites, and took the royal city.
27 Joab sent messengers to David, and said, "I have fought against Rabbah;
moreover, I have taken the water city. 28 Now, then, gather the rest of the
people together, and encamp against the city, and take it; or I myself will
take the city, and it will be called by my name." 29 So David gathered all the
people together and went to Rabbah, and fought against it and took it. 30 He
took the crown of Milcom from his head; the weight of it was a talent of gold,
and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David's head. He also
brought forth the spoil of the city, a very great amount. 31 He brought out
the people who were in it, and set them to work with saws and iron picks and
iron axes, or sent them to the brickworks. Thus he did to all the cities of
the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
[2 Samuel 13]
The rape of Tamar and the murder of Amnon
1 Some time passed. David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister whose name was
Tamar; and David's son Amnon fell in love with her. 2 Amnon was so tormented
that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin and
it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend
whose name was Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimeah; and Jonadab was a
very crafty man. 4 He said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so haggard
morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Amnon said to him, "I love
Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister." 5 Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your
bed, and pretend to be ill; and when your father comes to see you, say to him,
'Let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat, and prepare the food
in my sight, so that I may see it and eat it from her hand.'" 6 So Amnon lay
down, and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said
to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my
sight, so that I may eat from her hand."
7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go to your brother Amnon's house,
and prepare food for him." 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, where
he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and
baked the cakes. 9 Then she took the pan and set them out before him, but he
refused to eat. Amnon said, "Send out everyone from me." So everyone went out
from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the chamber, so
that I may eat from your hand." So Tamar took the cakes she had made, and
brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11 But when she brought
them near him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, "Come, lie with
me, my sister." 12 She answered him, "No, my brother, do not force me; for
such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do anything so vile! 13 As for me,
where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the
scoundrels in Israel. Now therefore, I beg you, speak to the king; for he will
not withhold me from you." 14 But he would not listen to her; and being
stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her.
15 Then Amnon was seized with a very great loathing for her; indeed, his
loathing was even greater than the lust he had felt for her. Amnon said to
her, "Get out!" 16 But she said to him, "No, my brother; for this wrong in
sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me." But he would
not listen to her. 17 He called the young man who served him and said, "Put
this woman out of my presence, and bolt the door after her." 18 (Now she was
wearing a long robe with sleeves; for this is how the virgin daughters of the
king were clothed in earlier times.) So his servant put her out, and bolted
the door after her. 19 But Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore the long robe
that she was wearing; she put her hand on her head, and went away, crying
aloud as she went.
20 Her brother Absalom said to her, "Has Amnon your brother been with you? Be
quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart." So
Tamar remained, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom's house. 21 When King
David heard of all these things, he became very angry, but he would not punish
his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn. 22 But Absalom
spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had
raped his sister Tamar.
23 After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near
Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons. 24 Absalom came to the king,
and said, "Your servant has sheepshearers; will the king and his servants
please go with your servant?" 25 But the king said to Absalom, "No, my son,
let us not all go, or else we will be burdensome to you." He pressed him, but
he would not go but gave him his blessing. 26 Then Absalom said, "If not,
please let my brother Amnon go with us." The king said to him, "Why should he
go with you?" 27 But Absalom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king's
sons go with him. Absalom made a feast like a king's feast. 28 Then Absalom
commanded his servants, "Watch when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when
I say to you, 'Strike Amnon,' then kill him. Do not be afraid; have I not
myself commanded you? Be courageous and valiant." 29 So the servants of
Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons rose,
and each mounted his mule and fled.
30 While they were on the way, the report came to David that Absalom had
killed all the king's sons, and not one of them was left. 31 The king rose,
tore his garments, and lay on the ground; and all his servants who were
standing by tore their garments. 32 But Jonadab, the son of David's brother
Shimeah, said, "Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young
men the king's sons; Amnon alone is dead. This has been determined by Absalom
from the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, do not let my
lord the king take it to heart, as if all the king's sons were dead; for Amnon
alone is dead."
34 But Absalom fled. When the young man who kept watch looked up, he saw many
people coming from the Horonaim road by the side of the mountain. 35 Jonadab
said to the king, "See, the king's sons have come; as your servant said, so it
has come about." 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, the king's sons
arrived, and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants
also wept very bitterly.
37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. David
mourned for his son day after day. 38 Absalom, having fled to Geshur, stayed
there three years. 39 And the heart of the king went out, yearning for
Absalom; for he was now consoled over the death of Amnon.
[2 Samuel 14]
1 Now Joab son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's mind was on Absalom. 2
Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman. He said to her,
"Pretend to be a mourner; put on mourning garments, do not anoint yourself
with oil, but behave like a woman who has been mourning many days for the
dead. 3 Go to the king and speak to him as follows." And Joab put the words
into her mouth.
4 When the woman of Tekoa came to the king, she fell on her face to the ground
and did obeisance, and said, "Help, O king!" 5 The king asked her, "What is
your trouble?" She answered, "Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead. 6 Your
servant had two sons, and they fought with one another in the field; there was
no one to part them, and one struck the other and killed him. 7 Now the whole
family has risen against your servant. They say, 'Give up the man who struck
his brother, so that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he
murdered, even if we destroy the heir as well.' Thus they would quench my one
remaining ember, and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face
of the earth."
8 Then the king said to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will give orders
concerning you." 9 The woman of Tekoa said to the king, "On me be the guilt,
my lord the king, and on my father's house; let the king and his throne be
guiltless." 10 The king said, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to
me, and he shall never touch you again." 11 Then she said, "Please, may the
king keep the LORD your God in mind, so that the avenger of blood may kill no
more, and my son not be destroyed." He said, "As the LORD lives, not one hair
of your son shall fall to the ground."
12 Then the woman said, "Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the
king." He said, "Speak." 13 The woman said, "Why then have you planned such a
thing against the people of God? For in giving this decision the king convicts
himself, inasmuch as the king does not bring his banished one home again. 14
We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be
gathered up. But God will not take away a life; he will devise plans so as not
to keep an outcast banished forever from his presence. 15 Now I have come to
say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid; your
servant thought, 'I will speak to the king; it may be that the king will
perform the request of his servant. 16 For the king will hear, and deliver his
servant from the hand of the man who would cut both me and my son off from the
heritage of God.' 17 Your servant thought, 'The word of my lord the king will
set me at rest'; for my lord the king is like the angel of God, discerning
good and evil. The LORD your God be with you!"
18 Then the king answered the woman, "Do not withhold from me anything I ask
you." The woman said, "Let my lord the king speak." 19 The king said, "Is the
hand of Joab with you in all this?" The woman answered and said, "As surely as
you live, my lord the king, one cannot turn right or left from anything that
my lord the king has said. For it was your servant Joab who commanded me; it
was he who put all these words into the mouth of your servant. 20 In order to
change the course of affairs your servant Joab did this. But my lord has
wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God to know all things that are on the
21 Then the king said to Joab, "Very well, I grant this; go, bring back the
young man Absalom." 22 Joab prostrated himself with his face to the ground and
did obeisance, and blessed the king; and Joab said, "Today your servant knows
that I have found favor in your sight, my lord the king, in that the king has
granted the request of his servant." 23 So Joab set off, went to Geshur, and
brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 The king said, "Let him go to his own house;
he is not to come into my presence." So Absalom went to his own house, and did
not come into the king's presence.
25 Now in all Israel there was no one to be praised so much for his beauty as
Absalom; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no
blemish in him. 26 When he cut the hair of his head (for at the end of every
year he used to cut it; when it was heavy on him, he cut it), he weighed the
hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the king's weight. 27 There were born
to Absalom three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a
28 So Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, without coming into the
king's presence. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to send him to the king; but
Joab would not come to him. He sent a second time, but Joab would not come. 30
Then he said to his servants, "Look, Joab's field is next to mine, and he has
barley there; go and set it on fire." So Absalom's servants set the field on
fire. 31 Then Joab rose and went to Absalom at his house, and said to him,
"Why have your servants set my field on fire?" 32 Absalom answered Joab,
"Look, I sent word to you: Come here, that I may send you to the king with the
question, 'Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there
still.' Now let me go into the king's presence; if there is guilt in me, let
him kill me!" 33 Then Joab went to the king and told him; and he summoned
Absalom. So he came to the king and prostrated himself with his face to the
ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.
[2 Samuel 15]
1 After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run
ahead of him. 2 Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the road into the
gate; and when anyone brought a suit before the king for judgment, Absalom
would call out and say, "From what city are you?" When the person said, "Your
servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel," 3 Absalom would say, "See,
your claims are good and right; but there is no one deputed by the king to
hear you." 4 Absalom said moreover, "If only I were judge in the land! Then
all who had a suit or cause might come to me, and I would give them justice."
5 Whenever people came near to do obeisance to him, he would put out his hand
and take hold of them, and kiss them. 6 Thus Absalom did to every Israelite
who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole the hearts of the people
7 At the end of four years Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go to
Hebron and pay the vow that I have made to the LORD. 8 For your servant made a
vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram: If the LORD will indeed bring me back to
Jerusalem, then I will worship the LORD in Hebron." 9 The king said to him,
"Go in peace." So he got up, and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent secret
messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear
the sound of the trumpet, then shout: Absalom has become king at Hebron!" 11
Two hundred men from Jerusalem went with Absalom; they were invited guests,
and they went in their innocence, knowing nothing of the matter. 12 While
Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite,
David's counselor, from his city Giloh. The conspiracy grew in strength, and
the people with Absalom kept increasing.
David flees Jerusalem
13 A messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the Israelites have gone
after Absalom." 14 Then David said to all his officials who were with him at
Jerusalem, "Get up! Let us flee, or there will be no escape for us from
Absalom. Hurry, or he will soon overtake us, and bring disaster down upon us,
and attack the city with the edge of the sword." 15 The king's officials said
to the king, "Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king
decides." 16 So the king left, followed by all his household, except ten
concubines whom he left behind to look after the house. 17 The king left,
followed by all the people; and they stopped at the last house. 18 All his
officials passed by him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and
all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath, passed on before
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why are you also coming with us?
Go back, and stay with the king; for you are a foreigner, and also an exile
from your home. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander
about with us, while I go wherever I can? Go back, and take your kinsfolk with
you; and may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you." 21 But
Ittai answered the king, "As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives,
wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also
your servant will be." 22 David said to Ittai, "Go then, march on." So Ittai
the Gittite marched on, with all his men and all the little ones who were with
him. 23 The whole country wept aloud as all the people passed by; the king
crossed the Wadi Kidron, and all the people moved on toward the wilderness.
24 Abiathar came up, and Zadok also, with all the Levites, carrying the ark of
the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, until the people had all
passed out of the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God
back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me
back and let me see both it and the place where it stays. 26 But if he says,
'I take no pleasure in you,' here I am, let him do to me what seems good to
him." 27 The king also said to the priest Zadok, "Look, go back to the city in
peace, you and Abiathar, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan
son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word
comes from you to inform me." 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God
back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.
30 But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went,
with his head covered and walking barefoot; and all the people who were with
him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went. 31 David was told
that Ahithophel was among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, "O
LORD, I pray you, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness."
32 When David came to the summit, where God was worshiped, Hushai the Archite
came to meet him with his coat torn and earth on his head. 33 David said to
him, "If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return
to the city and say to Absalom, 'I will be your servant, O king; as I have
been your father's servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,' then
you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 The priests Zadok and
Abiathar will be with you there. So whatever you hear from the king's house,
tell it to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. 36 Their two sons are with them
there, Zadok's son Ahimaaz and Abiathar's son Jonathan; and by them you shall
report to me everything you hear." 37 So Hushai, David's friend, came into the
city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.
[2 Samuel 16]
1 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of
Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, carrying two hundred
loaves of bread, one hundred bunches of raisins, one hundred of summer fruits,
and one skin of wine. 2The king said to Ziba, "Why have you brought these?"
Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride, the bread
and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine is for those to drink
who faint in the wilderness." 3 The king said, "And where is your master's
son?" Ziba said to the king, "He remains in Jerusalem; for he said, 'Today the
house of Israel will give me back my grandfather's kingdom.'" 4 Then the king
said to Ziba, "All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours." Ziba said, "I
do obeisance; let me find favor in your sight, my lord the king."
5 When King David came to Bahurim, a man of the family of the house of Saul
came out whose name was Shimei son of Gera; he came out cursing. 6 He threw
stones at David and at all the servants of King David; now all the people and
all the warriors were on his right and on his left. 7 Shimei shouted while he
cursed, "Out! Out! Murderer! Scoundrel! 8 The LORD has avenged on all of you
the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD
has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, disaster has
overtaken you; for you are a man of blood."
9 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog
curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head." 10 But the king
said, "What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing
because the LORD has said to him, 'Curse David,' who then shall say, 'Why have
you done so?'" 11 David said to Abishai and to all his servants, "My own son
seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Let him alone, and let
him curse; for the LORD has bidden him. 12 It may be that the LORD will look
on my distress, and the LORD will repay me with good for this cursing of me
today." 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on
the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, throwing stones and flinging
dust at him. 14 The king and all the people who were with him arrived weary at
the Jordan; and there he refreshed himself.
15 Now Absalom and all the Israelites came to Jerusalem; Ahithophel was with
him. 16 When Hushai the Archite, David's friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said
to Absalom, "Long live the king! Long live the king!" 17 Absalom said to
Hushai, "Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your
friend?" 18 Hushai said to Absalom, "No; but the one whom the LORD and this
people and all the Israelites have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will
remain. 19 Moreover, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? Just as I
have served your father, so I will serve you."
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give us your counsel; what shall we do?"
21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, the ones he
has left to look after the house; and all Israel will hear that you have made
yourself odious to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be
strengthened." 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom upon the roof; and
Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 Now
in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the
oracle of God; so all the counsel of Ahithophel was esteemed, both by David
and by Absalom.
[2 Samuel 17]
1 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose twelve thousand men, and
I will set out and pursue David tonight. 2 I will come upon him while he is
weary and discouraged, and throw him into a panic; and all the people who are
with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, 3 and I will bring all
the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life
of only one man, and all the people will be at peace." 4 The advice pleased
Absalom and all the elders of Israel.
5 Then Absalom said, "Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear too what
he has to say." 6 When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, "This is
what Ahithophel has said; shall we do as he advises? If not, you tell us." 7
Then Hushai said to Absalom, "This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given
is not good." 8 Hushai continued, "You know that your father and his men are
warriors, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the
field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with
the troops. 9 Even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits, or in some
other place. And when some of our troops fall at the first attack, whoever
hears it will say, 'There has been a slaughter among the troops who follow
Absalom.' 10 Then even the valiant warrior, whose heart is like the heart of a
lion, will utterly melt with fear; for all Israel knows that your father is a
warrior, and that those who are with him are valiant warriors. 11 But my
counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, like
the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So
we shall come upon him in whatever place he may be found, and we shall light
on him as the dew falls on the ground; and he will not survive, nor will any
of those with him. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring
ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a
pebble is to be found there." 14 Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The
counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel." For
the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the
LORD might bring ruin on Absalom.
15 Then Hushai said to the priests Zadok and Abiathar, "Thus and so did
Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and so I have
counseled. 16 Therefore send quickly and tell David, 'Do not lodge tonight at
the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over; otherwise the king
and all the people who are with him will be swallowed up.'" 17 Jonathan and
Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel; a servant-girl used to go and tell them, and
they would go and tell King David; for they could not risk being seen entering
the city. 18 But a boy saw them, and told Absalom; so both of them went away
quickly, and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his
courtyard; and they went down into it. 19 The man's wife took a covering,
stretched it over the well's mouth, and spread out grain on it; and nothing
was known of it. 20 When Absalom's servants came to the woman at the house,
they said, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" The woman said to them, "They
have crossed over the brook of water." And when they had searched and could
not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told
King David. They said to David, "Go and cross the water quickly; for thus and
so has Ahithophel counseled against you." 22 So David and all the people who
were with him set out and crossed the Jordan; by daybreak not one was left who
had not crossed the Jordan.
23 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his
donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order, and
hanged himself; he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim, while Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the
men of Israel. 25 Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army in the place of
Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married
Abigal daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab's mother. 26 The Israelites
and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.
27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the
Ammonites, and Machir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite
from Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley,
meal, parched grain, beans and lentils, 29 honey and curds, sheep, and cheese
from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat; for they said, "The
troops are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness."
[2 Samuel 18]
The defeat and death of Absalom
1 Then David mustered the men who were with him, and set over them commanders
of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2 And David divided the army into
three groups: one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command
of Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and one third under the command of
Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the men, "I myself will also go out with
you." 3 But the men said, "You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not
care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are
worth ten thousand of us; therefore it is better that you send us help from
the city." 4 The king said to them, "Whatever seems best to you I will do." So
the king stood at the side of the gate, while all the army marched out by
hundreds and by thousands. 5 The king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai,
saying, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom." And all the
people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders concerning
6 So the army went out into the field against Israel; and the battle was
fought in the forest of Ephraim. 7 The men of Israel were defeated there by
the servants of David, and the slaughter there was great on that day, twenty
thousand men. 8 The battle spread over the face of all the country; and the
forest claimed more victims that day than the sword.
9 Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his
mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. His head
caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth,
while the mule that was under him went on. 10 A man saw it, and told Joab, "I
saw Absalom hanging in an oak." 11 Joab said to the man who told him, "What,
you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have
been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt." 12 But the man said to
Joab, "Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I
would not raise my hand against the king's son; for in our hearing the king
commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying: For my sake protect the young man
Absalom! 13 On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life
(and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have
stood aloof." 14 Joab said, "I will not waste time like this with you." He
took three spears in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom,
while he was still alive in the oak. 15 And ten young men, Joab's
armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him, and killed him.
16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops came back from pursuing
Israel, for Joab restrained the troops. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a
great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of stones.
Meanwhile all the Israelites fled to their homes. 18 Now Absalom in his
lifetime had taken and set up for himself a pillar that is in the King's
Valley, for he said, "I have no son to keep my name in remembrance"; he called
the pillar by his own name. It is called Absalom's Monument to this day.
19 Then Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, "Let me run, and carry tidings to the king
that the LORD has delivered him from the power of his enemies." 20 Joab said
to him, "You are not to carry tidings today; you may carry tidings another
day, but today you shall not do so, because the king's son is dead." 21 Then
Joab said to a Cushite, "Go, tell the king what you have seen." The Cushite
bowed before Joab, and ran. 22 Then Ahimaaz son of Zadok said again to Joab,
"Come what may, let me also run after the Cushite." And Joab said, "Why will
you run, my son, seeing that you have no reward for the tidings?" 23 "Come
what may," he said, "I will run." So he said to him, "Run." Then Ahimaaz ran
by the way of the Plain, and outran the Cushite.
24 Now David was sitting between the two gates. The sentinel went up to the
roof of the gate by the wall, and when he looked up, he saw a man running
alone. 25 The sentinel shouted and told the king. The king said, "If he is
alone, there are tidings in his mouth." He kept coming, and drew near. 26 Then
the sentinel saw another man running; and the sentinel called to the
gatekeeper and said, "See, another man running alone!" The king said, "He also
is bringing tidings." 27 The sentinel said, "I think the running of the first
one is like the running of Ahimaaz son of Zadok." The king said, "He is a good
man, and comes with good tidings."
28 Then Ahimaaz cried out to the king, "All is well!" He prostrated himself
before the king with his face to the ground, and said, "Blessed be the LORD
your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord
the king." 29 The king said, "Is it well with the young man Absalom?" Ahimaaz
answered, "When Joab sent your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I do not
know what it was." 30 The king said, "Turn aside, and stand here." So he
turned aside, and stood still.
31 Then the Cushite came; and the Cushite said, "Good tidings for my lord the
king! For the LORD has vindicated you this day, delivering you from the power
of all who rose up against you." 32 The king said to the Cushite, "Is it well
with the young man Absalom?" The Cushite answered, "May the enemies of my lord
the king, and all who rise up to do you harm, be like that young man."
33 The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and
wept; and as he went, he said, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!
Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!"
[2 Samuel 19]
1 It was told Joab, "The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom." 2 So the
victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops; for the troops
heard that day, "The king is grieving for his son." 3 The troops stole into
the city that day as soldiers steal in who are ashamed when they flee in
battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, "O
my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!" 5 Then Joab came into the house to
the king, and said, "Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your
officers who have saved your life today, and the lives of your sons and your
daughters, and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 for love of
those who hate you and for hatred of those who love you. You have made it
clear today that commanders and officers are nothing to you; for I perceive
that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be
pleased. 7 So go out at once and speak kindly to your servants; for I swear by
the LORD, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night; and this
will be worse for you than any disaster that has come upon you from your youth
until now." 8 Then the king got up and took his seat in the gate. The troops
were all told, "See, the king is sitting in the gate"; and all the troops came
before the king.
Meanwhile, all the Israelites had fled to their homes. 9 All the people were
disputing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "The king delivered us
from the hand of our enemies, and saved us from the hand of the Philistines;
and now he has fled out of the land because of Absalom. 10 But Absalom, whom
we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing
about bringing the king back?"
David returns to Jerusalem
11 King David sent this message to the priests Zadok and Abiathar, "Say to the
elders of Judah, 'Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his
house? The talk of all Israel has come to the king. 12 You are my kin, you are
my bone and my flesh; why then should you be the last to bring back the king?'
13 And say to Amasa, 'Are you not my bone and my flesh? So may God do to me,
and more, if you are not the commander of my army from now on, in place of
Joab.'" 14 Amasa swayed the hearts of all the people of Judah as one, and they
sent word to the king, "Return, both you and all your servants." 15 So the
king came back to the Jordan; and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to
bring him over the Jordan.
16 Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite, from Bahurim, hurried to come down
with the people of Judah to meet King David; 17 with him were a thousand
people from Benjamin. And Ziba, the servant of the house of Saul, with his
fifteen sons and his twenty servants, rushed down to the Jordan ahead of the
king, 18 while the crossing was taking place, to bring over the king's
household, and to do his pleasure.
Shimei son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the
Jordan, 19 and said to the king, "May my lord not hold me guilty or remember
how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem; may the
king not bear it in mind. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned;
therefore, see, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to
come down to meet my lord the king." 21 Abishai son of Zeruiah answered,
"Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD's
anointed?" 22 But David said, "What have I to do with you, you sons of
Zeruiah, that you should today become an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put
to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over
Israel?" 23 The king said to Shimei, "You shall not die." And the king gave
him his oath.
24 Mephibosheth grandson of Saul came down to meet the king; he had not taken
care of his feet, or trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes, from the day
the king left until the day he came back in safety. 25 When he came from
Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, "Why did you not go with me,
Mephibosheth?" 26 He answered, "My lord, O king, my servant deceived me; for
your servant said to him, 'Saddle a donkey for me, so that I may ride on it
and go with the king.' For your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your
servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do
therefore what seems good to you. 28 For all my father's house were doomed to
death before my lord the king; but you set your servant among those who eat at
your table. What further right have I, then, to appeal to the king?" 29 The
king said to him, "Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and
Ziba shall divide the land." 30 Mephibosheth said to the king, "Let him take
it all, since my lord the king has arrived home safely."
31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; he went on with the
king to the Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very
aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed
at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33 The king said to Barzillai,
"Come over with me, and I will provide for you in Jerusalem at my side." 34
But Barzillai said to the king, "How many years have I still to live, that I
should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 Today I am eighty years old; can I
discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats
or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing
women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36
Your servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should
the king recompense me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant return,
so that I may die in my own town, near the graves of my father and my mother.
But here is your servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and
do for him whatever seems good to you." 38 The king answered, "Chimham shall
go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you; and all
that you desire of me I will do for you." 39 Then all the people crossed over
the Jordan, and the king crossed over; the king kissed Barzillai and blessed
him, and he returned to his own home. 40 The king went on to Gilgal, and
Chimham went on with him; all the people of Judah, and also half the people of
Israel, brought the king on his way.
41 Then all the people of Israel came to the king, and said to him, "Why have
our kindred the people of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king and his
household over the Jordan, and all David's men with him?" 42 All the people of
Judah answered the people of Israel, "Because the king is near of kin to us.
Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king's
expense? Or has he given us any gift?" 43 But the people of Israel answered
the people of Judah, "We have ten shares in the king, and in David also we
have more than you. Why then did you despise us? Were we not the first to
speak of bringing back our king?" But the words of the people of Judah were
fiercer than the words of the people of Israel.
[2 Samuel 20]
1 Now a scoundrel named Sheba son of Bichri, a Benjaminite, happened to be
there. He sounded the trumpet and cried out,
"We have no portion in David,
no share in the son of Jesse!
Everyone to your tents, O Israel!"
2 So all the people of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba son of
Bichri; but the people of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the
Jordan to Jerusalem.
3 David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten concubines
whom he had left to look after the house, and put them in a house under guard,
and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until
the day of their death, living as if in widowhood.
4 Then the king said to Amasa, "Call the men of Judah together to me within
three days, and be here yourself." 5 So Amasa went to summon Judah; but he
delayed beyond the set time that had been appointed him. 6 David said to
Abishai, "Now Sheba son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom; take your
lord's servants and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities for himself,
and escape from us." 7 Joab's men went out after him, along with the
Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the warriors; they went out from
Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bichri. 8 When they were at the large stone
that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was wearing a soldier's
garment and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened at his
waist; as he went forward it fell out. 9 Joab said to Amasa, "Is it well with
you, my brother?" And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss
him. 10 But Amasa did not notice the sword in Joab's hand; Joab struck him in
the belly so that his entrails poured out on the ground, and he died. He did
not strike a second blow.
Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bichri. 11 And one of
Joab's men took his stand by Amasa, and said, "Whoever favors Joab, and
whoever is for David, let him follow Joab." 12 Amasa lay wallowing in his
blood on the highway, and the man saw that all the people were stopping. Since
he saw that all who came by him were stopping, he carried Amasa from the
highway into a field, and threw a garment over him. 13 Once he was removed
from the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue Sheba son of
14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth-maacah; and
all the Bichrites assembled, and followed him inside. 15 Joab's forces came
and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah; they threw up a siege ramp against
the city, and it stood against the rampart. Joab's forces were battering the
wall to break it down. 16 Then a wise woman called from the city, "Listen!
Listen! Tell Joab, 'Come here, I want to speak to you.'" 17 He came near her;
and the woman said, "Are you Joab?" He answered, "I am." Then she said to him,
"Listen to the words of your servant." He answered, "I am listening." 18 Then
she said, "They used to say in the old days, 'Let them inquire at Abel'; and
so they would settle a matter. 19 I am one of those who are peaceable and
faithful in Israel; you seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel; why
will you swallow up the heritage of the LORD?" 20 Joab answered, "Far be it
from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not the
case! But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba son of Bichri,
has lifted up his hand against King David; give him up alone, and I will
withdraw from the city." The woman said to Joab, "His head shall be thrown
over the wall to you." 22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise
plan. And they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri, and threw it out to
Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, and all went
to their homes, while Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.
23 Now Joab was in command of all the army of Israel; Benaiah son of Jehoiada
was in command of the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 Adoram was in charge
of the forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25 Sheva was
secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite was also
[2 Samuel 21]
An appendix to the miscellaneous stories and poems; the execution of Saul's
1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after
year; and David inquired of the LORD. The LORD said, "There is bloodguilt on
Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death." 2 So the king
called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not of the
people of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; although the people of
Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had tried to wipe them out in his zeal
for the people of Israel and Judah.) 3 David said to the Gibeonites, "What
shall I do for you? How shall I make expiation, that you may bless the
heritage of the LORD?" 4 The Gibeonites said to him, "It is not a matter of
silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put
anyone to death in Israel." He said, "What do you say that I should do for
you?" 5 They said to the king, "The man who consumed us and planned to destroy
us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel – 6 let
seven of his sons be handed over to us, and we will impale them before the
LORD at Gibeon on the mountain of the LORD." The king said, "I will hand them
7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of
the oath of the LORD that was between them, between David and Jonathan son of
Saul. 8 The king took the two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah, whom she bore
to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab daughter of Saul,
whom she bore to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite; 9 he gave them into
the hands of the Gibeonites, and they impaled them on the mountain before the
LORD. The seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first
days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest.
10 Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it on a rock
for herself, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell on them from the
heavens; she did not allow the birds of the air to come on the bodies by day,
or the wild animals by night. 11 When David was told what Rizpah daughter of
Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 David went and took the bones of
Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the people of Jabesh-gilead, who
had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had
hung them up, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa. 13 He brought
up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they
gathered the bones of those who had been impaled. 14 They buried the bones of
Saul and of his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of
his father Kish; they did all that the king commanded. After that, God heeded
supplications for the land.
Stories from the Philistine wars
15 The Philistines went to war again with Israel, and David went down together
with his servants. They fought against the Philistines, and David grew weary.
16 Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed
three hundred shekels of bronze, and who was fitted out with new weapons, said
he would kill David. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and
attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David's men swore to him, "You
shall not go out with us to battle any longer, so that you do not quench the
lamp of Israel."
18 After this a battle took place with the Philistines, at Gob; then Sibbecai
the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants. 19
Then there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan son of
Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose
spear was like a weaver's beam. 20 There was again war at Gath, where there
was a man of great size, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on
each foot, twenty-four in number; he too was descended from the giants. 21
When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of David's brother Shimei, killed him. 22
These four were descended from the giants in Gath; they fell by the hands of
David and his servants.
[2 Samuel 22]
A psalm of praise
1 David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD
delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
3 my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold and my refuge,
my savior; you save me from violence.
4 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
5 For the waves of death encompassed me,
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
6 the cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.
7 In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I called.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry came to his ears.
8 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations of the heavens trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
9 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
10 He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
11 He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he was seen upon the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness around him a canopy,
thick clouds, a gathering of water.
13 Out of the brightness before him
coals of fire flamed forth.
14 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the Most High uttered his voice.
15 He sent out arrows, and scattered them
– lightning, and routed them.
16 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
the foundations of the world were laid bare
at the rebuke of the LORD,
at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
17 He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of mighty waters.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
19 They came upon me in the day of my calamity,
but the LORD was my stay.
20 He brought me out into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all his ordinances were before me,
and from his statutes I did not turn aside.
24 I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from guilt.
25 Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness in his sight.
26 With the loyal you show yourself loyal;
with the blameless you show yourself blameless;
27 with the pure you show yourself pure,
and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.
28 You deliver a humble people,
but your eyes are upon the haughty to bring them down.
29 Indeed, you are my lamp, O LORD,
the LORD lightens my darkness.
30 By you I can crush a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
31 This God – his way is perfect;
the promise of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?
33 The God who has girded me with strength
has opened wide my path.
34 He made my feet like the feet of deer,
and set me secure on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your help has made me great.
37 You have made me stride freely,
and my feet do not slip;
38 I pursued my enemies and destroyed them,
and did not turn back until they were consumed.
39 I consumed them; I struck them down, so that they did not rise;
they fell under my feet.
40 For you girded me with strength for the battle;
you made my assailants sink under me.
41 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
those who hated me, and I destroyed them.
42 They looked, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
43 I beat them fine like the dust of the earth,
I crushed them and stamped them down like the mire of the streets.
44 You delivered me from strife with the peoples;
you kept me as the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
45 Foreigners came cringing to me;
as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me.
46 Foreigners lost heart,
and came trembling out of their strongholds.
47 The LORD lives! Blessed be my rock,
and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,
48 the God who gave me vengeance
and brought down peoples under me,
49 who brought me out from my enemies;
you exalted me above my adversaries,
you delivered me from the violent.
50 For this I will extol you, O LORD, among the nations,
and sing praises to your name.
51 He is a tower of salvation for his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.
[2 Samuel 23]
The last words of David
1 Now these are the last words of David:
The oracle of David, son of Jesse,
the oracle of the man whom God exalted,
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
the favorite of the Strong One of Israel:
2 The spirit of the LORD speaks through me,
his word is upon my tongue.
3 The God of Israel has spoken,
the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
ruling in the fear of God,
4 is like the light of morning,
like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.
5 Is not my house like this with God?
For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
ordered in all things and secure.
Will he not cause to prosper
all my help and my desire?
6 But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away;
for they cannot be picked up with the hand;
7 to touch them one uses an iron bar
or the shaft of a spear.
And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.
8 These are the names of the warriors whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a
Tahchemonite; he was chief of the Three; he wielded his spear against eight
hundred whom he killed at one time.
9 Next to him among the three warriors was Eleazar son of Dodo son of Ahohi.
He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for
battle. The Israelites withdrew, 10 but he stood his ground. He struck down
the Philistines until his arm grew weary, though his hand clung to the sword.
The LORD brought about a great victory that day. Then the people came back to
him – but only to strip the dead.
11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee, the Hararite. The Philistines gathered
together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils; and the
army fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the middle of the
plot, defended it, and killed the Philistines; and the LORD brought about a
13 Towards the beginning of harvest three of the thirty chiefs went down to
join David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in
the valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison
of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 15 David said longingly, "O that
someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the
gate!" 16 Then the three warriors broke through the camp of the Philistines,
drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and brought it to
David. But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the LORD, 17 for he
said, "The LORD forbid that I should do this. Can I drink the blood of the men
who went at the risk of their lives?" Therefore he would not drink it. The
three warriors did these things.
18 Now Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was chief of the Thirty.
With his spear he fought against three hundred men and killed them, and won a
name beside the Three. 19 He was the most renowned of the Thirty, and became
their commander; but he did not attain to the Three.
20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant warrior from Kabzeel, a doer of great
deeds; he struck down two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed
a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21 And he killed an Egyptian, a
handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but Benaiah went against
him with a staff, snatched the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and killed
him with his own spear. 22 Such were the things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did,
and won a name beside the three warriors. 23 He was renowned among the Thirty,
but he did not attain to the Three. And David put him in charge of his
24 Among the Thirty were Asahel brother of Joab; Elhanan son of Dodo of
Bethlehem; 25 Shammah of Harod; Elika of Harod; 26 Helez the Paltite; Ira son
of Ikkesh of Tekoa; 27 Abiezer of Anathoth; Mebunnai the Hushathite; 28 Zalmon
the Ahohite; Maharai of Netophah; 29 Heleb son of Baanah of Netophah; Ittai
son of Ribai of Gibeah of the Benjaminites; 30 Benaiah of Pirathon; Hiddai of
the torrents of Gaash; 31 Abi-albon the Arbathite; Azmaveth of Bahurim; 32
Eliahba of Shaalbon; the sons of Jashen: Jonathan 33 son of Shammah the
Hararite; Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite; 34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai of
Maacah; Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite; 35 Hezro of Carmel; Paarai the
Arbite; 36 Igal son of Nathan of Zobah; Bani the Gadite; 37 Zelek the
Ammonite; Naharai of Beeroth, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah; 38 Ira
the Ithrite; Gareb the Ithrite; 39 Uriah the Hittite – thirty-seven in all.
[2 Samuel 24]
1 Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David
against them, saying, "Go, count the people of Israel and Judah." 2 So the
king said to Joab and the commanders of the army, who were with him, "Go
through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beer-sheba, and take a census of
the people, so that I may know how many there are." 3 But Joab said to the
king, "May the LORD your God increase the number of the people a hundredfold,
while the eyes of my lord the king can still see it! But why does my lord the
king want to do this?" 4 But the king's word prevailed against Joab and the
commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from
the presence of the king to take a census of the people of Israel. 5 They
crossed the Jordan, and began from Aroer and from the city that is in the
middle of the valley, toward Gad and on to Jazer. 6 Then they came to Gilead,
and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites; and they came to Dan, and from Dan
they went around to Sidon, 7 and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the
cities of the Hivites and Canaanites; and they went out to the Negeb of Judah
at Beer-sheba. 8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came back to
Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 Joab reported to the
king the number of those who had been recorded: in Israel there were eight
hundred thousand soldiers able to draw the sword, and those of Judah were five
10 But afterward, David was stricken to the heart because he had numbered the
people. David said to the LORD, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done.
But now, O LORD, I pray you, take away the guilt of your servant; for I have
done very foolishly." 11 When David rose in the morning, the word of the LORD
came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, 12 "Go and say to David: Thus
says the LORD: Three things I offer you; choose one of them, and I will do it
to you." 13 So Gad came to David and told him; he asked him, "Shall three
years of famine come to you on your land? Or will you flee three months before
your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in
your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to the one who
sent me." 14 Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress; let us fall into
the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into human
15 So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from that morning until the
appointed time; and seventy thousand of the people died, from Dan to
Beer-sheba. 16 But when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to
destroy it, the LORD relented concerning the evil, and said to the angel who
was bringing destruction among the people, "It is enough; now stay your hand."
The angel of the LORD was then by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the angel who was destroying the people, he said to the
LORD, "I alone have sinned, and I alone have done wickedly; but these sheep,
what have they done? Let your hand, I pray, be against me and against my
18 That day Gad came to David and said to him, "Go up and erect an altar to
the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." 19 Following Gad's
instructions, David went up, as the LORD had commanded. 20 When Araunah looked
down, he saw the king and his servants coming toward him; and Araunah went out
and prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Araunah
said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?" David said, "To buy the
threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to the LORD, so that the
plague may be averted from the people." 22 Then Araunah said to David, "Let my
lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him; here are the oxen for
the burnt offering, and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for
the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king." And Araunah said to
the king, "May the LORD your God respond favorably to you."
24 But the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will buy them from you for a
price; I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me
nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels
of silver. 25 David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt
offerings and offerings of well-being. So the LORD answered his supplication
for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.