1 Chronicles 12-15New Living Translation (NLT)
Warriors Join David’s Army
12 The following men joined David at Ziklag while he was hiding from Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who fought beside David in battle. 2 All of them were expert archers, and they could shoot arrows or sling stones with their left hand as well as their right. They were all relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin. 3 Their leader was Ahiezer son of Shemaah from Gibeah; his brother Joash was second-in-command. These were the other warriors:
Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth;
8 Some brave and experienced warriors from the tribe of Gad also defected to David while he was at the stronghold in the wilderness. They were expert with both shield and spear, as fierce as lions and as swift as deer on the mountains.
9 Ezer was their leader.
14 These warriors from Gad were army commanders. The weakest among them could take on a hundred regular troops, and the strongest could take on a thousand! 15 These were the men who crossed the Jordan River during its seasonal flooding at the beginning of the year and drove out all the people living in the lowlands on both the east and west banks.
16 Others from Benjamin and Judah came to David at the stronghold. 17 David went out to meet them and said, “If you have come in peace to help me, we are friends. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when I am innocent, then may the God of our ancestors see it and punish you.”
18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, the leader of the Thirty, and he said,
“We are yours, David!
So David let them join him, and he made them officers over his troops.
19 Some men from Manasseh defected from the Israelite army and joined David when he set out with the Philistines to fight against Saul. But as it turned out, the Philistine rulers refused to let David and his men go with them. After much discussion, they sent them back, for they said, “It will cost us our heads if David switches loyalties to Saul and turns against us.”
20 Here is a list of the men from Manasseh who defected to David as he was returning to Ziklag: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai. Each commanded 1,000 troops from the tribe of Manasseh. 21 They helped David chase down bands of raiders, for they were all brave and able warriors who became commanders in his army. 22 Day after day more men joined David until he had a great army, like the army of God.
23 These are the numbers of armed warriors who joined David at Hebron. They were all eager to see David become king instead of Saul, just as the Lord had promised.
24 From the tribe of Judah, there were 6,800 warriors armed with shields and spears.
25 From the tribe of Simeon, there were 7,100 brave warriors.
26 From the tribe of Levi, there were 4,600 warriors. 27 This included Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, who had 3,700 under his command. 28 This also included Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 members of his family who were all officers.
29 From the tribe of Benjamin, Saul’s relatives, there were 3,000 warriors. Most of the men from Benjamin had remained loyal to Saul until this time.
30 From the tribe of Ephraim, there were 20,800 brave warriors, each highly respected in his own clan.
31 From the half-tribe of Manasseh west of the Jordan, 18,000 men were designated by name to help David become king.
32 From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.
33 From the tribe of Zebulun, there were 50,000 skilled warriors. They were fully armed and prepared for battle and completely loyal to David.
34 From the tribe of Naphtali, there were 1,000 officers and 37,000 warriors armed with shields and spears.
35 From the tribe of Dan, there were 28,600 warriors, all prepared for battle.
36 From the tribe of Asher, there were 40,000 trained warriors, all prepared for battle.
37 From the east side of the Jordan River—where the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh lived—there were 120,000 troops armed with every kind of weapon.
38 All these men came in battle array to Hebron with the single purpose of making David the king over all Israel. In fact, everyone in Israel agreed that David should be their king. 39 They feasted and drank with David for three days, for preparations had been made by their relatives for their arrival. 40 And people from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali brought food on donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen. Vast supplies of flour, fig cakes, clusters of raisins, wine, olive oil, cattle, sheep, and goats were brought to the celebration. There was great joy throughout the land of Israel.
David Attempts to Move the Ark
13 David consulted with all his officials, including the generals and captains of his army.[b] 2 Then he addressed the entire assembly of Israel as follows: “If you approve and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send messages to all the Israelites throughout the land, including the priests and Levites in their towns and pasturelands. Let us invite them to come and join us. 3 It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it during the reign of Saul.”
4 The whole assembly agreed to this, for the people could see it was the right thing to do. 5 So David summoned all Israel, from the Shihor Brook of Egypt in the south all the way to the town of Lebo-hamath in the north, to join in bringing the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. 6 Then David and all Israel went to Baalah of Judah (also called Kiriath-jearim) to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name[c] of the Lord who is enthroned between the cherubim. 7 They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from Abinadab’s house. Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the cart. 8 David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets.
9 But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon,[d] the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the Ark. 10 Then the Lord’s anger was aroused against Uzzah, and he struck him dead because he had laid his hand on the Ark. So Uzzah died there in the presence of God.
11 David was angry because the Lord’s anger had burst out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “to burst out against Uzzah”), as it is still called today.
12 David was now afraid of God, and he asked, “How can I ever bring the Ark of God back into my care?” 13 So David did not move the Ark into the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-edom of Gath. 14 The Ark of God remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom and everything he owned.
David’s Palace and Family
14 Then King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar timber, and stonemasons and carpenters to build him a palace. 2 And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had greatly blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
3 Then David married more wives in Jerusalem, and they had more sons and daughters. 4 These are the names of David’s sons who were born in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5 Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 7 Elishama, Eliada,[e] and Eliphelet.
David Conquers the Philistines
8 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he marched out to meet them. 9 The Philistines arrived and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. 10 So David asked God, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”
The Lord replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will hand them over to you.”
11 So David and his troops went up to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “God did it!” David exclaimed. “He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So they named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). 12 The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, so David gave orders to burn them.
13 But after a while the Philistines returned and raided the valley again. 14 And once again David asked God what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” God replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar[f] trees. 15 When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, go out and attack! That will be the signal that God is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” 16 So David did what God commanded, and they struck down the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
17 So David’s fame spread everywhere, and the Lord caused all the nations to fear David.
Preparing to Move the Ark
15 David now built several buildings for himself in the City of David. He also prepared a place for the Ark of God and set up a special tent for it. 2 Then he commanded, “No one except the Levites may carry the Ark of God. The Lord has chosen them to carry the Ark of the Lord and to serve him forever.”
3 Then David summoned all Israel to Jerusalem to bring the Ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it. 4 This is the number of the descendants of Aaron (the priests) and the Levites who were called together:
5 From the clan of Kohath, 120, with Uriel as their leader.
6 From the clan of Merari, 220, with Asaiah as their leader.
7 From the clan of Gershon,[g] 130, with Joel as their leader.
8 From the descendants of Elizaphan, 200, with Shemaiah as their leader.
9 From the descendants of Hebron, 80, with Eliel as their leader.
10 From the descendants of Uzziel, 112, with Amminadab as their leader.
11 Then David summoned the priests, Zadok and Abiathar, and these Levite leaders: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. 12 He said to them, “You are the leaders of the Levite families. You must purify yourselves and all your fellow Levites, so you can bring the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. 13 Because you Levites did not carry the Ark the first time, the anger of the Lord our God burst out against us. We failed to ask God how to move it properly.” 14 So the priests and the Levites purified themselves in order to bring the Ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to Jerusalem. 15 Then the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders with its carrying poles, just as the Lord had instructed Moses.
16 David also ordered the Levite leaders to appoint a choir of Levites who were singers and musicians to sing joyful songs to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman son of Joel along with his fellow Levites: Asaph son of Berekiah, and Ethan son of Kushaiah from the clan of Merari. 18 The following men were chosen as their assistants: Zechariah, Jaaziel,[h] Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, and the gatekeepers—Obed-edom and Jeiel.
19 The musicians Heman, Asaph, and Ethan were chosen to sound the bronze cymbals. 20 Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah were chosen to play the harps.[i] 21 Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah were chosen to play the lyres.[j] 22 Kenaniah, the head Levite, was chosen as the choir leader because of his skill.
23 Berekiah and Elkanah were chosen to guard[k] the Ark. 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer—all of whom were priests—were chosen to blow the trumpets as they marched in front of the Ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah were chosen to guard the Ark.
Moving the Ark to Jerusalem
25 Then David and the elders of Israel and the generals of the army[l] went to the house of Obed-edom to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant up to Jerusalem with a great celebration. 26 And because God was clearly helping the Levites as they carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.
27 David was dressed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who carried the Ark, and also the singers, and Kenaniah the choir leader. David was also wearing a priestly garment.[m] 28 So all Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant with shouts of joy, the blowing of rams’ horns and trumpets, the crashing of cymbals, and loud playing on harps and lyres.
29 But as the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with joy, she was filled with contempt for him.
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