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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. 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.”

Then David summoned all Israel to Jerusalem to bring the Ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it. This is the number of the descendants of Aaron (the priests) and the Levites who were called together:

From the clan of Kohath, 120, with Uriel as their leader.

From the clan of Merari, 220, with Asaiah as their leader.

From the clan of Gershon,[a] 130, with Joel as their leader.

From the descendants of Elizaphan, 200, with Shemaiah as their leader.

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,[b] 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.[c] 21 Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah were chosen to play the lyres.[d] 22 Kenaniah, the head Levite, was chosen as the choir leader because of his skill.

23 Berekiah and Elkanah were chosen to guard[e] 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[f] 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.[g] 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.

16 They brought the Ark of God and placed it inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord. Then he gave to every man and woman in all Israel a loaf of bread, a cake of dates,[h] and a cake of raisins.

David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the Lord—to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.

David’s Song of Praise

On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the Lord:

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
10 Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
11 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
12 Remember the wonders he has performed,
    his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
13 you children of his servant Israel,
    you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.

14 He is the Lord our God.
    His justice is seen throughout the land.
15 Remember his covenant forever—
    the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
16 This is the covenant he made with Abraham
    and the oath he swore to Isaac.
17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
18 “I will give you the land of Canaan
    as your special possession.”

19 He said this when you were few in number,
    a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
20 They wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
21 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.
    He warned kings on their behalf:
22 “Do not touch my chosen people,
    and do not hurt my prophets.”

23 Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
25 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    He is to be feared above all gods.
26 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens!
27 Honor and majesty surround him;
    strength and joy fill his dwelling.

28 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
    recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
    Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
30     Let all the earth tremble before him.
    The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
    Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
    and rejoice and praise you.”

36 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who lives from everlasting to everlasting!

And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. 15:7 Hebrew Gershom, a variant spelling of Gershon.
  2. 15:18 As in several Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version (see also parallel lists in 15:20; 16:5); Masoretic Text reads Zechariah ben Jaaziel.
  3. 15:20 Hebrew adds according to Alamoth, which is probably a musical term. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  4. 15:21 Hebrew adds according to the Sheminith, which is probably a musical term. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  5. 15:23 Hebrew chosen as gatekeepers for; also in 15:24.
  6. 15:25 Hebrew the commanders of thousands.
  7. 15:27 Hebrew a linen ephod.
  8. 16:3 Or a portion of meat. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

God’s Anger at Sin

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.[a] 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

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Footnotes

  1. 1:18 Or who, by their wickedness, prevent the truth from being known.

Psalm 10

O Lord, why do you stand so far away?
    Why do you hide when I am in trouble?
The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor.
    Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.
For they brag about their evil desires;
    they praise the greedy and curse the Lord.

The wicked are too proud to seek God.
    They seem to think that God is dead.
Yet they succeed in everything they do.
    They do not see your punishment awaiting them.
    They sneer at all their enemies.
They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us!
    We will be free of trouble forever!”

Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats.[a]
    Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.
They lurk in ambush in the villages,
    waiting to murder innocent people.
    They are always searching for helpless victims.
Like lions crouched in hiding,
    they wait to pounce on the helpless.
Like hunters they capture the helpless
    and drag them away in nets.
10 Their helpless victims are crushed;
    they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.
11 The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us!
    He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!”

12 Arise, O Lord!
    Punish the wicked, O God!
    Do not ignore the helpless!
13 Why do the wicked get away with despising God?
    They think, “God will never call us to account.”
14 But you see the trouble and grief they cause.
    You take note of it and punish them.
The helpless put their trust in you.
    You defend the orphans.

15 Break the arms of these wicked, evil people!
    Go after them until the last one is destroyed.

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Footnotes

  1. 10:7 Greek version reads cursing and bitterness. Compare Rom 3:14.

Many seek favors from a ruler;
    everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!

The relatives of the poor despise them;
    how much more will their friends avoid them!
Though the poor plead with them,
    their friends are gone.

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