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2 Samuel 5-9 Common English Bible (CEB)

David becomes king of Israel and Judah

All the Israelite tribes came to David at Hebron and said, “Listen: We are your very own flesh and bone. In the past, when Saul ruled over us, you were the one who led Israel out to war and back. What’s more, the Lord told you, You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will be Israel’s leader.

So all the Israelite elders came to the king at Hebron. King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.

David was 30 years old when he became king, and he ruled for forty years. He ruled over Judah for seven and a half years in Hebron. He ruled thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is captured

The king and his troops marched on Jerusalem against the Jebusites, who inhabited the territory. The Jebusites said to David, “You’ll never get us in here! Even the blind and the lame will beat you back!” “David will never enter here,” they said to each other.[a] But David did capture the fortress of Zion—which became David’s City. “On that day,” David said, “whoever attacks the Jebusites should strike the windpipe because David hates the lame and the blind.”[b] That is why people say, “The blind and the lame will not enter the temple.”[c] David occupied the fortress, so it was renamed David’s City. David built a city around it from the earthen terraces[d] inward.[e] 10 David grew increasingly powerful, and the Lord of heavenly forces was with him.

11 Tyre’s King Hiram sent messengers to David with cedar logs, bricklayers, and carpenters to build David a palace. 12 Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingship was held in great honor for the sake of his people Israel. 13 After he left Hebron, David married more secondary wives in Jerusalem and fathered more sons and daughters. 14 The names of his children in Jerusalem were as follows: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

David defeats the Philistines

17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they all marched up to find him, but David heard of it and went down to the fortress. 18 The Philistines arrived and spread out over the Rephaim Valley. 19 David asked the Lord, “Should I attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”

“Attack them,” the Lord replied, “because I will definitely hand the Philistines over to you.”

20 So David arrived at Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. He said, “The Lord has burst out against my enemies, the way water bursts out!” That is why that place is called Baal-perazim.[f] 21 The Philistines left their divine images behind, and David and his men carried them off.

22 Once again the Philistines came up and spread out across the Rephaim Valley. 23 When David asked the Lord, God replied, “Don’t attack them directly. Circle around behind them and come at them from in front of the balsam trees. 24 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the trees, then attack, for God has attacked in front of you to defeat the Philistine army.” 25 David followed God’s orders exactly, and they defeated the Philistine army from Gibeon all the way to Gezer.

God’s chest is brought to Jerusalem

Once again David assembled the select warriors of Israel, thirty thousand strong. David and all the troops who were with him set out for Baalah, which is Kiriath-jearim of Judah,[g] to bring God’s chest up from there—the chest that is called by the name[h] of the Lord of heavenly forces, who sits enthroned on the winged creatures. They loaded God’s chest on a new cart and carried it from Abinadab’s house, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were driving the new cart. [i] Uzzah was beside God’s chest while Ahio was walking in front of it. Meanwhile, David and the entire house of Israel celebrated in the Lord’s presence with all their strength, with songs,[j] zithers, harps, tambourines, rattles, and cymbals.

When they approached Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out to God’s chest and grabbed it because the oxen had stumbled.[k] The Lord became angry at Uzzah, and God struck him there because of his mistake,[l] and he died there next to God’s chest. Then David got angry because the Lord’s anger lashed out against Uzzah, and so that place is called Perez-uzzah today.[m]

David was frightened by the Lord that day. “How will I ever bring the Lord’s chest to me?” he asked. 10 So David didn’t take the chest away with him to David’s City. Instead, he had it put in the house of Obed-edom, who was from Gath. 11 The Lord’s chest stayed with Obed-edom’s household in Gath for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom’s household and all that he had.

12 King David was told, “The Lord has blessed Obed-edom’s family and everything he has because of God’s chest being there.”[n] So David went and brought God’s chest up from Obed-edom’s house to David’s City with celebration. 13 Whenever those bearing the chest advanced six steps, David sacrificed an ox and a fatling calf. 14 David, dressed in a linen priestly vest,[o] danced with all his strength before the Lord. 15 This is how David and the entire house of Israel brought up the Lord’s chest with shouts and trumpet blasts.

16 As the Lord’s chest entered David’s City, Saul’s daughter Michal was watching from a window. She saw King David jumping and dancing before the Lord, and she lost all respect for him.[p]

17 The Lord’s chest was brought in and put in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it. Then David offered entirely burned offerings in the Lord’s presence in addition to well-being sacrifices. 18 When David finished offering the entirely burned offerings and the well-being sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of heavenly forces. 19 He distributed food among all the people of Israel—to the whole crowd, male and female—each receiving a loaf of bread, a date cake, and a raisin cake. Then all the people went back to their homes.

20 David went home to bless his household, but Saul’s daughter Michal came out to meet him. “How did Israel’s king honor himself today?” she said. “By exposing himself in plain view of the female servants of his subjects like any indecent person would!”

21 David replied to Michal, “I was celebrating before the Lord, who chose me over your father and his entire family, and who appointed me leader over the Lord’s people, over Israel—and I will celebrate before the Lord again! 22 I may humiliate myself even more, and I may be humbled in my own eyes, but I will be honored by the female servants you are talking about!”

23 Michal, Saul’s daughter, had no children to the day she died.

God’s promise to David

When the king was settled in his palace,[q] and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Look! I’m living in a cedar palace, but God’s chest is housed in a tent!”[r]

Nathan said to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you are thinking, because the Lord is with you.”

But that very night the Lord’s word came to Nathan: Go to my servant David and tell him: This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build the temple for me to live in. In fact, I haven’t lived in a temple from the day I brought Israel out of Egypt until now. Instead, I have been traveling around in a tent and in a dwelling. Throughout my traveling around with the Israelites, did I ever ask any of Israel’s tribal leaders I appointed to shepherd my people: Why haven’t you built me a cedar temple?

So then, say this to my servant David: This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says: I took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be leader over my people Israel. I’ve been with you wherever you’ve gone, and I’ve eliminated all your enemies before you. Now I will make your name great—like the name of the greatest people on earth. 10 I’m going to provide a place for my people Israel, and plant them so that they may live there and no longer be disturbed. Cruel people will no longer trouble them, as they had been earlier, 11 when I appointed leaders over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies.

And the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make a dynasty for you. 12 When the time comes for you to die and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your descendant—one of your very own children—to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a temple for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me. Whenever he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod, with blows from human beings. 15 But I will never take my faithful love away from him like I took it away from Saul, whom I set aside in favor of you. 16 Your dynasty and your kingdom will be secured forever before me.[s] Your throne will be established forever.

17 Nathan reported all of these words and this entire vision to David.

David’s prayer

18 Then King David went and sat in the Lord’s presence. He asked:

Who am I, Lord God, and of what significance is my family that you have brought me this far? 19 But even this was too small in your eyes, Lord God! Now you have also spoken about your servant’s dynasty in the future and the generation to come,[t] Lord God!

20 What more can David say to you? You know your servant, Lord God. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your own will, you have done this great thing so that your servant would know it.

22 That is why you are so great, Lord God! No one can compare to you, no god except you, just as we have always heard with our own ears.

23 And who can compare to your people Israel? They are the one nation on earth that God redeemed as his own people, establishing his name by doing great and awesome things for them,[u] by driving out nations and their gods before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt.[v] 24 You established your people Israel as your own people forever, and you, Lord, became their God.

25 Now, Lord God, confirm forever the promise you have made about your servant and his dynasty. Do just as you have promised 26 so that your name will be great forever when people say, “The Lord of heavenly forces is Israel’s God!” May your servant David’s household be established before you, 27 because you, Lord of heavenly forces, Israel’s God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a dynasty for him. That is why your servant has found the courage to pray this prayer to you.

28 Lord God, you are truly God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 29 So now willingly bless your servant’s dynasty so that it might continue forever before you, because you, Lord God, have promised. Let your servant’s dynasty be blessed forever by your blessing.

David’s wars

Some time later, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them. David captured Metheg-ammah from Philistine control.

David also defeated the Moabites and made them lie on the ground, measuring them with a rope. He measured two rope lengths for those who were to be killed and one rope length for those who were to be spared. The Moabites became David’s subjects and brought him tribute.

Next David defeated Zobah’s King Hadadezer, Rehob’s son, as Hadadezer was on his way to put[w] his monument along the Euphrates River.[x] David captured one thousand chariots, seven hundred charioteers,[y] and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He cut the hamstrings of all but one hundred of the chariot horses. When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Zobah’s King Hadadezer, David killed twenty-two thousand of them. David set up forts among the Arameans of Damascus. And the Arameans became David’s subjects and brought him tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went. David took the gold shields carried by Hadadezer’s servants and brought them to Jerusalem. King David also took a large amount of bronze from Tebah[z] and Berothai, towns that belonged to Hadadezer.

When Hamath’s King Toi heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer, 10 he sent his son Joram to King David to wish him well and congratulate him on his battle and defeat of Hadadezer, because Toi was an enemy of Hadadezer. Joram brought silver, gold, and bronze objects with him. 11 King David dedicated these to the Lord, along with the silver and gold he had dedicated from all the nations that he had subdued: 12 Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek, including the plunder of Zobah’s King Hadadezer, Rehob’s son.

13 So David made a name for himself.[aa] When he returned, he killed eighteen thousand Edomites[ab] in the Salt Valley. 14 He set up forts in Edom,[ac] and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

David’s administration

15 David ruled over all Israel and maintained justice and righteousness for all his people. 16 Zeruiah’s son Joab was in command of the army; Ahilud’s son Jehoshaphat was recorder; 17 Ahitub’s son Zadok and Ahimelech’s son[ad] Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18 Jehoiada’s son Benaiah was in command of[ae] the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.

David and Mephibosheth

David asked, “Is there anyone from Saul’s family still alive that I could show faithful love for Jonathan’s sake?” There was a servant from Saul’s household named Ziba, and he was summoned before David.

“Are you Ziba?” the king asked him.

“At your service!” he answered.

The king asked, “Is there anyone left from Saul’s family that I could show God’s kindness to?”

“Yes,” Ziba said to the king, “one of Jonathan’s sons, whose feet are crippled.”

“Where is he?” the king asked.

“He is at the house of Ammiel’s son Machir at Lo-debar,” Ziba told the king.

So King David had him brought from the house of Ammiel’s son Machir at Lo-debar. Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson, came to David, and he fell to the ground, bowing low out of respect.

“Mephibosheth?” David said.

“Yes,” he replied. “I am at your service!”

“Don’t be afraid,” David told him, “because I will certainly show you faithful love for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the fields of your grandfather Saul, and you will eat at my table always.”

Mephibosheth bowed low out of respect and said, “Who am I, your servant, that you should care about a dead dog like me?”

Then David summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything belonging to Saul and his family. 10 You will work the land for him—you, your sons, and your servants—and you will bring food into your master’s house for them to eat.[af] But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will always be at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my master the king commands.”

So Mephibosheth ate at David’s[ag] table, like one of the king’s own sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. All who lived in Ziba’s household became Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table. He was crippled in both feet.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 5:6 Or they thought; Heb lacks to each other.
  2. 2 Samuel 5:8 Or take the water shaft against the lame and the blind who hate David; Heb uncertain
  3. 2 Samuel 5:8 Or palace
  4. 2 Samuel 5:9 Heb Millo
  5. 2 Samuel 5:9 DSS (4QSama); MT lacks city.
  6. 2 Samuel 5:20 Baal-perazim means the lord (Heb baal) of breaking out; see note at 2 Sam 6:8.
  7. 2 Samuel 6:2 DSS (4QSama), 1 Chron 13:6; MT from Baale-judah
  8. 2 Samuel 6:2 MT repeats name, but 1 Chron 13:6 omits one of these and LXX reads the first as there.
  9. 2 Samuel 6:4 LXX, DSS (4QSama), 1 Chron 13:7; MT repeats they carried it from the house of Abinadab on the hill; Uzzah has dropped out and must be restored.
  10. 2 Samuel 6:5 LXX, DSS (4QSama), 1 Chron 13:8; MT with all sorts of pine instruments
  11. 2 Samuel 6:6 Heb uncertain
  12. 2 Samuel 6:7 Heb uncertain; LXX lacks this phrase; cf Targ, Syr, 1 Chron 13:10 because he had placed his hand on the chest.
  13. 2 Samuel 6:8 Perez-uzzah means Uzzah-outbreak; cf 2 Sam 5:20.
  14. 2 Samuel 6:12 Heb lacks being there.
  15. 2 Samuel 6:14 Heb ephod
  16. 2 Samuel 6:16 Or despised him for it
  17. 2 Samuel 7:1 Or house; the same Heb word (beth) appears with different nuances (house, temple, palace, dynasty, family) in 7:2, 5, 6, 7, 11, 13, 16, 18, 19, 25-26, 27, 29.
  18. 2 Samuel 7:2 Or among curtains
  19. 2 Samuel 7:16 LXX (cf 7:26, 29); MT you
  20. 2 Samuel 7:19 Correction; Heb uncertain this is the law of humankind
  21. 2 Samuel 7:23 Or you (plural)
  22. 2 Samuel 7:23 LXX, 1 Chron 17:21; MT for your land before your people whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, the nations and their gods
  23. 2 Samuel 8:3 Or to restore
  24. 2 Samuel 8:3 DSS(4QSama), 1 Chron 18:3
  25. 2 Samuel 8:4 LXX, DSS(4QSama), 1 Chron 18:4; MT seventeen hundred chariots
  26. 2 Samuel 8:8 Some LXX manuscripts and 1 Chron 18:8; MT Betah
  27. 2 Samuel 8:13 Or built a monument
  28. 2 Samuel 8:13 LXX; MT he returned from killing eighteen thousand Arameans
  29. 2 Samuel 8:14 Cf 1 Chron 18:13; MT repeats in all Edom he set up forts.
  30. 2 Samuel 8:17 MT Abiathar’s son Ahimelech; cf 1 Sam 22:20; 23:6; 30:7; 2 Sam 20:25
  31. 2 Samuel 8:18 Syr, Tg, Vulg, 1 Chron 18:17; MT lacks in command of.
  32. 2 Samuel 9:10 LXXL; MT You will bring food for your master’s son and he will eat it.
  33. 2 Samuel 9:11 LXX; MT my
Common English Bible (CEB)

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