1 Chronicles 12-14 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
David’s Men at Ziklag
12 Some time earlier, David had gone to live in the town of Ziklag to escape from King Saul. While David was there, several brave warriors joined him to help fight his battles.[a]
Warriors from the Benjamin tribe
2 Several of these warriors were from King Saul’s own tribe of Benjamin. They were experts at using a bow and arrows, and they could shoot an arrow or sling a stone with either hand. 3-7 Their leaders were Ahiezer and Joash, the sons of Shemaah from Gibeah. Here is a list of those men from Benjamin: Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth; Ishmaiah from Gibeon, who was the leader of the Thirty Warriors; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah; Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph; Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam from the Korah clan; Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.
Warriors from the Gad tribe
8 Men from the tribe of Gad also joined David at his fortress in the desert and served as his warriors. They were also brave soldiers—fierce as lions and quick as gazelles. They were always prepared to fight with shields and spears. 9-13 There were eleven of them, ranked in the following order: Ezer the leader, then Obadiah, Eliab, Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbannai.
14 All these men were army officers; some were high-ranking officers over a thousand troops, and others were officers over a hundred troops. 15 Earlier, they had crossed the Jordan River when it flooded, and they chased out the people who lived in the valleys on each side of the river.
Warriors from the Benjamin and Judah tribes
16 One time a group of men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah went to the fortress where David was staying. 17 David met them outside and said, “If you are coming as friends to fight on my side, then stay and join us. But if you try to turn me over to my enemies, the God our ancestors worshiped will punish you, because I have done nothing wrong.”
18 Amasai, who later became the leader of the Thirty Warriors, was one of these men who went to David. God’s Spirit took control of him, and he said, “We will join you, David son of Jesse! You and your followers will always be successful, because God fights on your side.”
So David agreed to let them stay, and he even put them in charge of his soldiers who raided enemy villages.
Warriors from the Manasseh tribe
19 Some of the warriors who joined David were from the tribe of Manasseh. They had earlier gone with David when he agreed to fight on the side of the Philistines against King Saul. But as soon as the Philistine rulers realized that David might turn against them and rejoin Saul, they sent David away to the town of Ziklag. 20 That’s when the following men from Manasseh joined him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai. They had all been commanders in Saul’s army 21 and brave soldiers, and so David made them officers in his army. They fought on his side when enemy troops attacked.
22 Day after day, new men came to join David, and soon he had a large, powerful army.
David’s Men at Hebron
23-37 The kingdom of Israel had been taken away from Saul, and it now belonged to David. He was ruling from Hebron, and thousands of well-trained soldiers from each tribe went there to crown David king of all Israel, just as the Lord had promised. These soldiers, who were always prepared for battle, included: 6,800 from Judah, who were armed with shields and spears; 7,100 from Simeon; 4,600 from Levi, including Jehoiada, who was a leader from Aaron’s descendants, and his 3,700 men, as well as Zadok, who was a brave soldier, and 22 of his relatives, who were also officers; 3,000 from Benjamin, because this was Saul’s own tribe and most of the men had remained loyal to him; 20,800 from Ephraim, who were not only brave, but also famous in their clans; 18,000 from West Manasseh, who had been chosen to help make David king; 200 leaders from Issachar, along with troops under their command—these leaders knew the right time to do what needed to be done; 50,000 from Zebulun, who were not only loyal, but also trained to use any weapon; 1,000 officers from Naphtali and 37,000 soldiers armed with shields and spears; 28,600 from Dan; 40,000 from Asher; and 120,000 from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh, who were armed with all kinds of weapons.
38 All of these soldiers voluntarily came to Hebron because they wanted David to become king of Israel. In fact, everyone in Israel wanted the same thing. 39 The soldiers stayed in Hebron three days, eating and drinking what their relatives had prepared for them. 40 Other Israelites from as far away as the territories of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali brought cattle and sheep to slaughter for food. They also brought donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen that were loaded down with flour, dried figs, wine, and olive oil.
Everyone in Israel was very happy.
David Moves the Sacred Chest to Jerusalem
13 Some time later, David talked with his army commanders, 2-3 and then announced to the people of Israel:
While Saul was king, the sacred chest was ignored. But now it’s time to bring the chest to Jerusalem. We will invite everyone in Israel to come here, including the priests and the Levites in the towns surrounded by pastureland. But we will do these things only if you agree, and if the Lord our God wants us to.
4 The people agreed this was the right thing to do.
5 David gathered everyone from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo-Hamath in the north. 6 Then he led them to Baalah in Judah, which was also called Kiriath-Jearim. They went there to get the sacred chest and bring it to Jerusalem, because it belonged to the Lord God, whose throne is above the winged creatures[b] on the lid of the chest.
7 The sacred chest was still at Abinadab’s house,[c] and when David and the crowd arrived there, they brought the chest outside and placed it on a new ox cart. Abinadab’s sons[d] Uzzah and Ahio guided the cart, 8 while David and the crowd danced and sang praises to the Lord with all their might. They played music on small harps and other stringed instruments, and on tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets.
9 But when they came to Chidon’s threshing place, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah reached out and took hold of the chest to stop it from falling. 10 The Lord God was very angry at Uzzah for doing this, and he killed Uzzah right there beside the chest.
11 David then got angry at God for killing Uzzah. So he named that place “Attack on Uzzah,”[e] and it’s been called that ever since.
12 David was afraid what the Lord might do to him, and he asked himself, “Should I really be the one to take care of the sacred chest?” 13 So instead of taking it to Jerusalem, David decided to take it to the home of Obed-Edom, who lived in the town of Gath.
14 The chest stayed there for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-Edom, his family, and everything he owned.
David’s Palace in Jerusalem
14 King Hiram of Tyre sent some officials to David. They brought along carpenters and stone workers, and enough cedar logs to build David a palace. 2 David now knew that the Lord had made him a powerful king of Israel for the good of his people.
3 After David moved to Jerusalem, he married more women and had more sons and daughters. 4-7 His children born there were Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada,[f] and Eliphelet.
David Defeats the Philistines
8 When the Philistines heard that David had become king of Israel, they came to capture him. But David heard about their plan and marched out to meet them in battle. 9 The Philistines had already camped in Rephaim Valley and were raiding the nearby villages.
10 David asked God, “Should I attack the Philistines? Will you help me win?”
The Lord told David, “Yes, attack them! I will give you victory.”
11 David and his army marched to Baal-Perazim, where they attacked and defeated the Philistines. He said, “I defeated my enemies because God broke through them like a mighty flood.” So he named the place “The Lord Broke Through.”[g] 12 Then David ordered his troops to burn the idols that the Philistines had left behind.
13 Some time later, the Philistines came back into the hill country and camped in Rephaim Valley. 14 David asked God what he should do, and God answered, “Don’t attack them from the front. Circle around behind them where the balsam[h] trees are. 15 Wait there until you hear the treetops making the sound of marching troops. That sound will mean I have marched out ahead of you to fight the Philistine army. So you must then attack quickly!”
16 David obeyed God and he defeated the Philistines. He even chased them all the way from Gibeon to the entrance to Gezer.
17 From then on, David became even more famous, and the Lord made all the nations afraid of him.
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