David Counts the Fighting Men(A)

21 Satan(B) rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census(C) of Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count(D) the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are.”

But Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply his troops a hundred times over.(E) My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?”

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel(F) there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah.

But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel.

Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

The Lord said to Gad,(G) David’s seer,(H) 10 “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”

11 So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: 12 three years of famine,(I) three months of being swept away[a] before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword(J) of the Lord(K)—days of plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

13 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy(L) is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

14 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead.(M) 15 And God sent an angel(N) to destroy Jerusalem.(O) But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented(P) concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying(Q) the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah[b] the Jebusite.

16 David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown.(R)

17 David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd,[c] have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep.(S) What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family,(T) but do not let this plague remain on your people.”

David Builds an Altar

18 Then the angel of the Lord ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor(U) of Araunah the Jebusite. 19 So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord.

20 While Araunah was threshing wheat,(V) he turned and saw the angel; his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21 Then David approached, and when Araunah looked and saw him, he left the threshing floor and bowed down before David with his face to the ground.

22 David said to him, “Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me at the full price.”

23 Araunah said to David, “Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this.”

24 But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”

25 So David paid Araunah six hundred shekels[d] of gold for the site. 26 David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire(W) from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

27 Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there. 29 The tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon.(X) 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

22 Then David said, “The house of the Lord God(Y) is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”

Preparations for the Temple

So David gave orders to assemble the foreigners(Z) residing in Israel, and from among them he appointed stonecutters(AA) to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God. He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed.(AB) He also provided more cedar logs(AC) than could be counted, for the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought large numbers of them to David.

David said, “My son Solomon is young(AD) and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor(AE) in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death.

Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build(AF) a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart(AG) to build(AH) a house for the Name(AI) of the Lord my God. But this word of the Lord came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars.(AJ) You are not to build a house for my Name,(AK) because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace(AL) and rest,(AM) and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon,[e](AN) and I will grant Israel peace and quiet(AO) during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name.(AP) He will be my son,(AQ) and I will be his father. And I will establish(AR) the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’(AS)

11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with(AT) you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. 12 May the Lord give you discretion and understanding(AU) when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will have success(AV) if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws(AW) that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous.(AX) Do not be afraid or discouraged.

14 “I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents[f] of gold, a million talents[g] of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them.(AY) 15 You have many workers: stonecutters, masons and carpenters,(AZ) as well as those skilled in every kind of work 16 in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen(BA) beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.”

17 Then David ordered(BB) all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon. 18 He said to them, “Is not the Lord your God with you? And has he not granted you rest(BC) on every side?(BD) For he has given the inhabitants of the land into my hands, and the land is subject to the Lord and to his people. 19 Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.(BE) Begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the Lord.”

Footnotes

  1. 1 Chronicles 21:12 Hebrew; Septuagint and Vulgate (see also 2 Samuel 24:13) of fleeing
  2. 1 Chronicles 21:15 Hebrew Ornan, a variant of Araunah; also in verses 18-28
  3. 1 Chronicles 21:17 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see 2 Samuel 24:17 and note); Masoretic Text does not have the shepherd.
  4. 1 Chronicles 21:25 That is, about 15 pounds or about 6.9 kilograms
  5. 1 Chronicles 22:9 Solomon sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for peace.
  6. 1 Chronicles 22:14 That is, about 3,750 tons or about 3,400 metric tons
  7. 1 Chronicles 22:14 That is, about 37,500 tons or about 34,000 metric tons

David’s Plans for the Temple

28 David summoned(A) all the officials(B) of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the warriors and all the brave fighting men.

King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart(C) to build a house as a place of rest(D) for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool(E) of our God, and I made plans to build it.(F) But God said to me,(G) ‘You are not to build a house for my Name,(H) because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’(I)

“Yet the Lord, the God of Israel, chose me(J) from my whole family(K) to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah(L) as leader, and from the tribe of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel.(M) Of all my sons—and the Lord has given me many(N)—he has chosen my son Solomon(O) to sit on the throne(P) of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build(Q) my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son,(R) and I will be his father. I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws,(S) as is being done at this time.’

“So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel(T) and of the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands(U) of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever.(V)

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion(W) and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart(X) and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him,(Y) he will be found by you; but if you forsake(Z) him, he will reject(AA) you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”

11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans(AB) for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. 12 He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit(AC) had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things.(AD) 13 He gave him instructions for the divisions(AE) of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the Lord, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service. 14 He designated the weight of gold for all the gold articles to be used in various kinds of service, and the weight of silver for all the silver articles to be used in various kinds of service: 15 the weight of gold for the gold lampstands(AF) and their lamps, with the weight for each lampstand and its lamps; and the weight of silver for each silver lampstand and its lamps, according to the use of each lampstand; 16 the weight of gold for each table(AG) for consecrated bread; the weight of silver for the silver tables; 17 the weight of pure gold for the forks, sprinkling bowls(AH) and pitchers; the weight of gold for each gold dish; the weight of silver for each silver dish; 18 and the weight of the refined gold for the altar of incense.(AI) He also gave him the plan for the chariot,(AJ) that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and overshadow(AK) the ark of the covenant of the Lord.

19 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details(AL) of the plan.(AM)

20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous,(AN) and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake(AO) you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.(AP) 21 The divisions of the priests and Levites are ready for all the work on the temple of God, and every willing person skilled(AQ) in any craft will help you in all the work. The officials and all the people will obey your every command.”

Gifts for Building the Temple

29 Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced.(AR) The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold(AS) for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise,[a](AT) stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities.(AU) Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided(AV) for this holy temple: three thousand talents[b] of gold (gold of Ophir)(AW) and seven thousand talents[c] of refined silver,(AX) for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?”

Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials(AY) in charge of the king’s work gave willingly.(AZ) They(BA) gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents[d] and ten thousand darics[e] of gold, ten thousand talents[f] of silver, eighteen thousand talents[g] of bronze and a hundred thousand talents[h] of iron. Anyone who had precious stones(BB) gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite.(BC) The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly(BD) to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

David’s Prayer

10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord,
    the God of our father Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power(BE)
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.(BF)
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all.(BG)
12 Wealth and honor(BH) come from you;
    you are the ruler(BI) of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
    to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
    and praise your glorious name.

14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?(BJ) Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.(BK) 15 We are foreigners and strangers(BL) in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow,(BM) without hope. 16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart(BN) and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.(BO) 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion(BP) to keep your commands, statutes and decrees(BQ) and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”(BR)

20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord your God.” So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.

Solomon Acknowledged as King(BS)

21 The next day they made sacrifices to the Lord and presented burnt offerings to him:(BT) a thousand bulls, a thousand rams and a thousand male lambs, together with their drink offerings, and other sacrifices in abundance for all Israel.(BU) 22 They ate and drank with great joy(BV) in the presence of the Lord that day.

Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the Lord to be ruler and Zadok(BW) to be priest. 23 So Solomon sat(BX) on the throne(BY) of the Lord as king in place of his father David. He prospered and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the officers and warriors, as well as all of King David’s sons,(BZ) pledged their submission to King Solomon.

25 The Lord highly exalted(CA) Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor(CB) such as no king over Israel ever had before.(CC)

The Death of David(CD)

26 David son of Jesse was king(CE) over all Israel.(CF) 27 He ruled over Israel forty years—seven in Hebron(CG) and thirty-three in Jerusalem.(CH) 28 He died(CI) at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor. His son Solomon succeeded him as king.(CJ)

29 As for the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, they are written in the records of Samuel the seer,(CK) the records of Nathan(CL) the prophet and the records of Gad(CM) the seer, 30 together with the details of his reign and power, and the circumstances that surrounded him and Israel and the kingdoms of all the other lands.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Chronicles 29:2 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. 1 Chronicles 29:4 That is, about 110 tons or about 100 metric tons
  3. 1 Chronicles 29:4 That is, about 260 tons or about 235 metric tons
  4. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 190 tons or about 170 metric tons
  5. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 185 pounds or about 84 kilograms
  6. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 380 tons or about 340 metric tons
  7. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 675 tons or about 610 metric tons
  8. 1 Chronicles 29:7 That is, about 3,800 tons or about 3,400 metric tons

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