Psalm 17

A prayer of David.

Hear me,(A) Lord, my plea is just;
    listen to my cry.(B)
Hear(C) my prayer—
    it does not rise from deceitful lips.(D)
Let my vindication(E) come from you;
    may your eyes see what is right.(F)

Though you probe my heart,(G)
    though you examine me at night and test me,(H)
you will find that I have planned no evil;(I)
    my mouth has not transgressed.(J)
Though people tried to bribe me,
    I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
    through what your lips have commanded.
My steps have held to your paths;(K)
    my feet have not stumbled.(L)

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;(M)
    turn your ear to me(N) and hear my prayer.(O)
Show me the wonders of your great love,(P)
    you who save by your right hand(Q)
    those who take refuge(R) in you from their foes.
Keep me(S) as the apple of your eye;(T)
    hide me(U) in the shadow of your wings(V)
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
    from my mortal enemies who surround me.(W)

10 They close up their callous hearts,(X)
    and their mouths speak with arrogance.(Y)
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,(Z)
    with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion(AA) hungry for prey,(AB)
    like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

13 Rise up,(AC) Lord, confront them, bring them down;(AD)
    with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
14 By your hand save me from such people, Lord,
    from those of this world(AE) whose reward is in this life.(AF)
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
    may their children gorge themselves on it,
    and may there be leftovers(AG) for their little ones.

15 As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
    when I awake,(AH) I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.(AI)

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.”

Read full chapter

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.

My dear children,(A) I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate(B) with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,(C) and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.(D)

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know(E) that we have come to know him(F) if we keep his commands.(G) Whoever says, “I know him,”(H) but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.(I) But if anyone obeys his word,(J) love for God[a] is truly made complete in them.(K) This is how we know(L) we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.(M)

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. 1 John 2:5 Or word, God’s love