David’s Last Words

23 Now these are the last words of David.

Thus says David the son of Jesse;
Thus says (A)the man raised up on high,
(B)The anointed of the God of Jacob,
And the sweet psalmist of Israel:

“The(C) Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel said,
(D)The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
‘He who rules over men must be just,
Ruling (E)in the fear of God.
And (F)he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
Like the tender grass springing out of the earth,
By clear shining after rain.’

“Although my house is not so with God,
(G)Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant,
Ordered in all things and secure.
For this is all my salvation and all my desire;
Will He not make it increase?
But the sons of rebellion shall all be as thorns thrust away,
Because they cannot be taken with hands.
But the man who touches them
Must be [a]armed with iron and the shaft of a spear,
And they shall be utterly burned with fire in their place.”

David’s Mighty Men(H)

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: [b]Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, chief among [c]the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time. And after him was (I)Eleazar the son of [d]Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. 10 He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was (J)weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to (K)plunder. 11 And after him was (L)Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. (M)The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.

13 Then (N)three of the thirty chief men went down at harvest time and came to David at (O)the cave of Adullam. And the troop of Philistines encamped in (P)the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in (Q)the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. 17 And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not (R)the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it.

These things were done by the three mighty men.

18 Now (S)Abishai the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of [e]another three. He lifted his spear against three hundred men, killed them, and won a name among these three. 19 Was he not the most honored of three? Therefore he became their captain. However, he did not attain to the first three.

20 Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from (T)Kabzeel, [f]who had done many deeds. (U)He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. 21 And he killed an Egyptian, [g]a spectacular man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and won a name among three mighty men. 23 He was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him (V)over his guard.

24 (W)Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 (X)Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heleb the son of Baanah (the Netophathite), Ittai the son of Ribai from Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai from the brooks of (Y)Gaash, 31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite (of the sons of Jashen), Jonathan, 33 (Z)Shammah the [h]Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of (AA)Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 [i]Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan of (AB)Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite (armorbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah), 38 (AC)Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 and (AD)Uriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.

David’s Census of Israel and Judah(AE)

24 Again (AF)the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, (AG)“Go, [j]number Israel and Judah.”

So the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Now go throughout all the tribes of Israel, (AH)from Dan to Beersheba, and count the people, that (AI)I may know the number of the people.”

And Joab said to the king, “Now may the Lord your God (AJ)add to the people a hundred times more than there are, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king desire this thing?” Nevertheless the king’s word [k]prevailed against Joab and against the captains of the army. Therefore Joab and the captains of the army went out from the presence of the king to count the people of Israel.

And they crossed over the Jordan and camped in (AK)Aroer, on the right side of the town which is in the midst of the ravine of Gad, and toward (AL)Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi; they came to (AM)Dan Jaan and around to (AN)Sidon; and they came to the stronghold of (AO)Tyre and to all the cities of the (AP)Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went out to South Judah as far as Beersheba. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to the king. (AQ)And there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

The Judgment on David’s Sin(AR)

10 And (AS)David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So (AT)David said to the Lord, (AU)“I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have (AV)done very foolishly.”

11 Now when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet (AW)Gad, David’s (AX)seer, saying, 12 “Go and tell David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.” ’ ” 13 So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, “Shall (AY)seven[l] years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”

14 And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, (AZ)for His mercies are great; but (BA)do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

15 So (BB)the Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died. 16 (BC)And when the [m]angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, (BD)the Lord relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of [n]Araunah the Jebusite.

17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Surely (BE)I have sinned, and I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, be against me and against my father’s house.”

The Altar on the Threshing Floor(BF)

18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, (BG)“Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David, according to the word of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded. 20 Now Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming toward him. So Araunah went out and bowed before the king with his face to the ground.

21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

(BH)And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, that (BI)the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”

22 Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. (BJ)Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. 23 All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.”

And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God (BK)accept you.”

24 Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So (BL)David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. (BM)So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and (BN)the plague was withdrawn from Israel.


  1. 2 Samuel 23:7 Lit. filled
  2. 2 Samuel 23:8 Lit. One Who Sits in the Seat (1 Chr. 11:11)
  3. 2 Samuel 23:8 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Vg. the three
  4. 2 Samuel 23:9 Dodai, 1 Chr. 27:4
  5. 2 Samuel 23:18 So with MT, LXX, Vg.; some Heb. mss., Syr. thirty; Tg. the mighty men
  6. 2 Samuel 23:20 Lit. great of acts
  7. 2 Samuel 23:21 Lit. a man of appearance
  8. 2 Samuel 23:33 Or Ararite
  9. 2 Samuel 23:35 Hezro, 1 Chr. 11:37
  10. 2 Samuel 24:1 take a census of
  11. 2 Samuel 24:4 overruled
  12. 2 Samuel 24:13 So with MT, Syr., Tg., Vg.; LXX three (cf. 1 Chr. 21:12)
  13. 2 Samuel 24:16 Or Angel
  14. 2 Samuel 24:16 Ornan, 1 Chr. 21:15

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