David Submits and Prays

17 After the king had made himself at home, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Look at this: Here I am comfortable in a luxurious palace of cedar and the Chest of the Covenant of God sits under a tent.”

Nathan told David, “Whatever is on your heart, go and do it; God is with you.”

3-6 But that night, the word of God came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell my servant David, This is God’s word on the matter: You will not build me a ‘house’ to live in. Why, I haven’t lived in a ‘house’ from the time I brought up the children of Israel from Egypt till now; I’ve gone from one tent and makeshift shelter to another. In all my travels with all Israel, did I ever say to any of the leaders I commanded to shepherd Israel, ‘Why haven’t you built me a house of cedar?’

7-10 “So here is what you are to tell my servant David: The God-of-the-Angel-Armies has this word for you: I took you from the pasture, tagging after sheep, and made you prince over my people Israel. I was with you everywhere you went and mowed your enemies down before you; and now I’m about to make you famous, ranked with the great names on earth. I’m going to set aside a place for my people Israel and plant them there so they’ll have their own home and not be knocked around anymore; nor will evil nations afflict them as they always have, even during the days I set judges over my people Israel. And finally, I’m going to conquer all your enemies.

10-14 “And now I’m telling you this: God himself will build you a house! When your life is complete and you’re buried with your ancestors, then I’ll raise up your child to succeed you, a child from your own body, and I’ll firmly establish his rule. He will build a house to honor me, and I will guarantee his kingdom’s rule forever. I’ll be a father to him, and he’ll be a son to me. I will never remove my gracious love from him as I did from the one who preceded you. I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will always be there, rock solid.”

15 Nathan gave David a complete and accurate report of everything he heard and saw in the vision.

16-27 King David went in, took his place before God, and prayed:

Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family, that you have brought me to this place in life? But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming, for you’ve also spoken of my family far into the future, given me a glimpse into tomorrow and looked on me, Master God, as a Somebody. What’s left for David to say to this—to your honoring your servant, even though you know me, just as I am? O God, out of the goodness of your heart, you’ve taken your servant to do this great thing and put your great work on display. There’s none like you, God, no God but you, nothing to compare with what we’ve heard with our own ears. And who is like your people, like Israel, a nation unique on earth, whom God set out to redeem as his own people (and became most famous for it), performing great and fearsome acts, throwing out nations and their gods left and right as you saved your people from Egypt? You established for yourself a people—your very own Israel!—your people forever. And you, God, became their God.

So now, great God, this word that you have spoken to me and my family, guarantee it forever! Do exactly what you’ve promised! Then your reputation will be confirmed and flourish always as people exclaim, “The God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God over Israel, is Israel’s God!” And the house of your servant David will remain rock solid under your watchful presence. You, my God, have told me plainly, “I will build you a house.” That’s how I was able to find the courage to pray this prayer to you. God, being the God you are, you have spoken all these wonderful words to me. As if that weren’t enough, you’ve blessed my family so that it will continue in your presence always. Because you have blessed it, God, it’s really blessed—blessed for good!

David Fights

18 In the days that followed, David struck hard at the Philistines, bringing them to their knees, captured Gath, and took control of the surrounding countryside.

He also fought and defeated Moab. The Moabites came under David’s rule and paid regular tribute.

3-4 On his way to restore his sovereignty at the Euphrates River, David defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah (over toward Hamath). David captured a thousand chariots, seven thousand cavalry, and twenty thousand infantry from him. He hamstrung all the chariot horses, but saved back a hundred.

5-6 When the Arameans from Damascus came to the aid of Hadadezer king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand of them. David set up a puppet government in Aram-Damascus. The Arameans became subjects of David and were forced to bring tribute. God gave victory to David wherever he marched.

7-8 David plundered the gold shields that belonged to the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. He also looted Tebah and Cun, cities of Hadadezer, of a huge quantity of bronze that Solomon later used to make the Great Bronze Sea, the Pillars, and bronze equipment in The Temple.

9-11 Tou king of Hamath heard that David had struck down the entire army of Hadadezer king of Zobah. He sent his son Hadoram to King David to greet and congratulate him for fighting and defeating Hadadezer. Tou and Hadadezer were old enemies. Hadoram brought David various things made of silver, gold, and bronze. King David consecrated these things along with the silver and gold that he had plundered from other nations: Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek.

12-13 Abishai son of Zeruiah fought and defeated the Edomites in the Valley of Salt—eighteen thousand of them. He set up a puppet government in Edom and the Edomites became subjects under David.

God gave David victory wherever he marched.

* * *

14-17 Thus David ruled over all of Israel. He ruled well, fair and evenhanded in all his duties and relationships.

Joab son of Zeruiah was head of the army;

Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of public records;

Zadok son of Ahitub and Abimelech son of Abiathar were priests;

Shavsha was secretary;

Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the special forces, the Kerethites and Pelethites;

And David’s sons held high positions, close to the king.

* * *

19 1-2 Some time after this Nahash king of the Ammonites died and his son succeeded him as king. David said, “I’d like to show some kindness to Hanun son of Nahash—treat him as well and as kindly as his father treated me.” So David sent condolences about his father’s death.

2-3 But when David’s servants arrived in Ammonite country and came to Hanun to bring condolences, the Ammonite leaders warned Hanun, “Do you for a minute suppose that David is honoring your father by sending you comforters? Don’t you know that he’s sent these men to scout out the city and size it up so that he can capture it?”

So Hanun seized David’s men, shaved them clean, cut off their robes halfway up their buttocks, and sent them packing.

When this was all reported to David, he sent someone to meet them, for they were seriously humiliated. The king told them, “Stay in Jericho until your beards grow out; only then come back.”

6-7 When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned, they stank to high heaven, they hired, at a cost of a thousand talents of silver (thirty-seven and a half tons!), chariots and horsemen from the Arameans of Naharaim, Maacah, and Zobah—thirty-two thousand chariots and drivers; plus the king of Maacah with his troops who came and set up camp at Medeba; the Ammonites, too, were mobilized from their cities and got ready for battle.

When David heard this, he dispatched Joab with his strongest fighters in full force.

9-13 The Ammonites marched out and spread out in battle formation at the city gate; the kings who had come as allies took up a position in the open fields. When Joab saw that he had two fronts to fight, before and behind, he took his pick of the best of Israel and deployed them to confront the Arameans. The rest of the army he put under the command of Abishai, his brother, and deployed them to deal with the Ammonites. Then he said, “If the Arameans are too much for me, you help me; and if the Ammonites prove too much for you, I’ll come and help you. Courage! We’ll fight might and main for our people and for the cities of our God. And God will do whatever he sees needs doing!”

14-15 But when Joab and his soldiers moved in to fight the Arameans, they ran off in full retreat. Then the Ammonites, seeing the Arameans run for dear life, took to their heels and ran from Abishai into the city.

So Joab withdrew from the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.

16 When the Arameans saw how badly they’d been beaten by Israel, they picked up the pieces and regrouped; they sent for the Arameans who were across the river; Shophach, commander of Hadadezer’s army, led them.

17-19 When all this was reported to David, he mustered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, advanced, and prepared to fight. The Arameans went into battle formation, ready for David, and the fight was on. But the Arameans again scattered before Israel. David killed seven thousand chariot drivers and forty thousand infantry. He also killed Shophach, the army commander. When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with David and served him. The Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites ever again.

* * *

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