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2 Samuel 7-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

God’s Covenant with David

Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 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.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 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. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders[a] of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 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; 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[b] 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;[c] your throne shall be established forever. 17 In accordance with all these words and with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

David’s Prayer

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,[d] 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[e] 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,[f] by driving out[g] before his people nations and their gods?[h] 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 forever.”

David’s Wars

Some time afterward, David attacked the Philistines and subdued them; David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

He 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[i] for those who were to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.

David also struck down King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah, as he went to restore his monument[j] at the river Euphrates. 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. When the Arameans of Damascus came to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand men of the Arameans. 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. David took the gold shields that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. From Betah and from Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David took a great amount of bronze.

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[k] 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.

David’s Officers

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[l] the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

David asked, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 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!” 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.” 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.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. Mephibosheth[m] son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, and fell on his face and did obeisance. David said, “Mephibosheth!”[n] He answered, “I am your servant.” 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.” He did obeisance and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I?”

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[o] 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[p] ate at David’s[q] table, like one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth[r] had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s[s] servants. 13 Mephibosheth[t] lived in Jerusalem, for he always ate at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 7:7 Or any of the tribes
  2. 2 Samuel 7:15 Gk Syr Vg 1 Chr 17.13: Heb shall not depart
  3. 2 Samuel 7:16 Gk Heb Mss: MT before you; Compare 2 Sam 7.26, 29
  4. 2 Samuel 7:19 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. 2 Samuel 7:23 Gk: Heb one
  6. 2 Samuel 7:23 Heb you
  7. 2 Samuel 7:23 Gk 1 Chr 17.21: Heb for your land
  8. 2 Samuel 7:23 Cn: Heb before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, nations and its gods
  9. 2 Samuel 8:2 Heb one full length
  10. 2 Samuel 8:3 Compare 1 Sam 15.12 and 2 Sam 18.18
  11. 2 Samuel 8:13 Gk: Heb returned from striking down eighteen thousand Arameans
  12. 2 Samuel 8:18 Syr Tg Vg 20.23; 1 Chr 18.17: Heb lacks was over
  13. 2 Samuel 9:6 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  14. 2 Samuel 9:6 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  15. 2 Samuel 9:10 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  16. 2 Samuel 9:11 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  17. 2 Samuel 9:11 Gk: Heb my
  18. 2 Samuel 9:12 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  19. 2 Samuel 9:12 Or Merib-baal’s: See 4.4 note
  20. 2 Samuel 9:13 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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