1 Chronicles 13-15 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
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[a] on the lid of the chest.
7 The sacred chest was still at Abinadab’s house,[b] and when David and the crowd arrived there, they brought the chest outside and placed it on a new ox cart. Abinadab’s sons[c] 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,”[d] 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,[e] 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.”[f] 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[g] 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.
David Gets Ready To Bring the Sacred Chest to Jerusalem
15 David had several buildings built in Jerusalem, and he had a tent set up where the sacred chest would be kept. 2 He said, “Only Levites will be allowed to carry the chest, because the Lord has chosen them to do that work and to serve him forever.”
3 Next, David invited everyone to come to Jerusalem and watch the sacred chest being carried to the place he had set up for it. 4 He also sent for Aaron’s descendants and for the Levites. The Levites that came were: 5 Uriel, the leader of the Kohath clan, and one hundred twenty of his relatives; 6 Asaiah, the leader of the Merari clan, and two hundred twenty of his relatives; 7 Joel, the leader of the Gershon clan, and one hundred thirty of his relatives; 8 Shemaiah, the leader of the Elizaphan clan, and two hundred of his relatives; 9 Eliel, the leader of the Hebron clan, and eighty of his relatives; and 10 Amminadab, the leader of the Uzziel clan, with one hundred twelve of his relatives.
11 David called together these six Levites and the two priests, Zadok and Abiathar. 12 He said to them, “You are the leaders of the clans in the Levi tribe. You and your relatives must first go through the ceremony to make yourselves clean and acceptable to the Lord. Then you may carry the sacred chest that belongs to the Lord God of Israel and bring it to the place I have prepared for it. 13 The first time we tried to bring the chest to Jerusalem, we didn’t ask the Lord what he wanted us to do. He was angry at us, because you Levites weren’t there to carry the chest.”
14 The priests and the Levites made themselves clean. They were now ready to carry the sacred chest 15 on poles that rested on their shoulders, just as the Lord had told Moses to do.
16 David then told the leaders to choose some Levites to sing and play music on small harps, other stringed instruments, and cymbals. 17-21 The men chosen to play the cymbals were Heman the son of Joel, his relative Asaph the son of Berechiah, and Ethan the son of Kushaiah from the Merari clan. Some of their assistants played the smaller harps: they were Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah. Others played the larger harps: they were Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Azaziah, and two of the temple guards, Obed-Edom and Jeiel.
22 Chenaniah was chosen to be the music director, because he was a skilled musician.
23-24 Four Levites were then appointed to guard the sacred chest. They were Berechiah, Elkanah, Obed-Edom, and Jehiah.
Finally, David chose priests to walk in front of the sacred chest and blow trumpets. They were Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer.
The Sacred Chest Is Brought to Jerusalem
25 David, the leaders of Israel, and the army commanders were very happy as they went to Obed-Edom’s house to get the sacred chest. 26 God gave the Levites the strength they needed to carry the chest, and so they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.
27 David, the Levites, Chenaniah the music director, and all the musicians were wearing linen robes, and David was also wearing a linen cloth.[h] 28 While the sacred chest was being carried into Jerusalem, everyone was celebrating by shouting and playing music on horns, trumpets, cymbals, harps, and other stringed instruments.
29 Saul’s daughter Michal[i] looked out her window and watched the chest being brought into David’s City. But when she saw David jumping and dancing in honor of the Lord, she was disgusted.
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