2 Samuel 4-7 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Ishbosheth Is Killed
4 Ishbosheth[a] felt like giving up after he heard that Abner had died in Hebron. Everyone in Israel was terrified.
2 Ishbosheth had put the two brothers Baanah and Rechab in charge of the soldiers who raided enemy villages. Rimmon was their father, and they were from the town of Beeroth, which belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. 3 The people who used to live in Beeroth had run away to Gittaim, and they still live[b] there.
4 Saul’s son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth,[c] who had not been able to walk since he was five years old. It happened when someone from Jezreel told his nurse that Saul and Jonathan had died.[d] She hurried off with the boy in her arms, but he fell and injured his legs.
5 One day about noon, Rechab and Baanah went to Ishbosheth’s house. It was a hot day, and he was resting 6-7 in his bedroom. The two brothers went into the house, pretending to get some flour. But once they were inside, they stabbed Ishbosheth in the stomach and killed him. Then they cut off his head and took it with them.
Rechab and Baanah walked through the Jordan River valley all night long. 8 Finally they turned west and went to Hebron. They went in to see David and told him, “Your Majesty, here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul who tried to kill you! The Lord has let you get even with Saul and his family.”
9 David answered:
I swear that only the Lord rescues me when I’m in trouble! 10 When a man came to Ziklag and told me that Saul was dead, he thought he deserved a reward for bringing good news. But I grabbed him and killed him.
11 You evil men have done something much worse than he did. You’ve killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed. I’ll make you pay for that. I’ll wipe you from the face of the earth!
12 Then David said to his troops, “Kill these two brothers! Cut off their hands and feet and hang their bodies by the pool in Hebron. But bury Ishbosheth’s head in Abner’s tomb near Hebron.” And they did.
David Becomes King of Israel
5 Israel’s leaders met with David at Hebron and said, “We are your relatives. 2 Even when Saul was king, you led our nation in battle. And the Lord promised that someday you would rule Israel and take care of us like a shepherd.”
3 During the meeting, David made an agreement with the leaders and asked the Lord to be their witness. Then the leaders poured olive oil on David’s head to show that he was now the king of Israel.
4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he ruled for forty years. 5 He lived in Hebron for the first seven and a half years and ruled only Judah. Then he moved to Jerusalem, where he ruled both Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
How David Captured Jerusalem
6 The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem, and David led his army there to attack them. The Jebusites did not think he could get in, so they told him, “You can’t get in here! We could run you off, even if we couldn’t see or walk!”
7-9 David told his troops, “You will have to go up through the water tunnel to get those Jebusites. I hate people like them who can’t walk or see.”[e]
That’s why there is still a rule that says, “Only people who can walk and see are allowed in the temple.”[f]
David captured the fortress on Mount Zion, then he moved there and named it David’s City. He had the city rebuilt, starting with the landfill to the east. 10 David became a great and strong ruler, because the Lord All-Powerful was on his side.
11 King Hiram of Tyre sent some officials to David. Carpenters and stone workers came with them, and they brought cedar logs so they could build David a palace.
12 David knew that the Lord had made him king of Israel and that he had made him a powerful ruler for the good of his people.
David’s Sons Born in Jerusalem
13 After David left Hebron and moved to Jerusalem, he married many women[g] from Jerusalem,[h] and he had a lot of children. 14 His sons who were born there were Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada,[i] and Eliphelet.
David Fights the Philistines
17 The Philistines heard that David was now king of Israel, and they came into the hill country to try and capture him. But David found out and went into his fortress.[j] 18 So the Philistines camped in Rephaim Valley.[k]
19 David asked the Lord, “Should I attack the Philistines? Will you let me win?”
The Lord told David, “Attack! I will let you win.”
20 David attacked the Philistines and defeated them. Then he said, “I watched the Lord break through my enemies like a mighty flood.” So he named the place “The Lord Broke Through. “[l] 21 David and his troops also carried away the idols that the Philistines had left behind.
22 Some time later, the Philistines came back into the hill country and camped in Rephaim Valley. 23 David asked the Lord what he should do, and the Lord answered:
Don’t attack them from the front. Circle around behind and attack from among the balsam[m] trees. 24 Wait until you hear a sound like troops marching through the tops of the trees. Then attack quickly! That sound will mean I have marched out ahead of you to fight the Philistine army.
25 David obeyed the Lord and defeated the Philistines. He even chased them all the way from Geba to the entrance to Gezer.
David Brings the Sacred Chest Back to Jerusalem
6 David brought together thirty thousand of Israel’s best soldiers and 2 led them to Baalah in Judah, which was also called Kiriath-Jearim. They were going there[n] to get the sacred chest and bring it back to Jerusalem. The throne of the Lord All-Powerful is above the winged creatures[o] on top of this chest, and he is worshiped there.[p]
3 They put the sacred chest on a new ox cart and started bringing it down the hill from Abinadab’s house. Abinadab’s sons Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the ox cart, 4 with Ahio[q] walking in front of it. 5 Some of the people of Israel were playing music on small harps and other stringed instruments, and on tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. David and the others were happy, and they danced for the Lord with all their might.
6 But when they came to Nacon’s threshing-floor, the oxen stumbled, so Uzzah reached out and took hold of the sacred chest. 7 The Lord God was very angry at Uzzah for doing this, and he killed Uzzah right there beside the chest.
8 David got angry at God for killing Uzzah. He named that place “Bursting Out Against Uzzah,”[r] and that’s what it’s still called.
9 David was afraid of the Lord and thought, “Should I really take the sacred chest to my city?” 10 He decided not to take it there. Instead, he turned off the road and took it to the home of Obed Edom, who was from Gath.[s]
11-12 The chest stayed there for three months, and the Lord greatly blessed Obed Edom, his family, and everything he owned. Then someone told King David, “The Lord has done this because the sacred chest is in Obed Edom’s house.”
Right away, David went to Obed Edom’s house to get the chest and bring it to David’s City. Everyone was celebrating. 13 The people carrying the chest walked six steps, then David sacrificed an ox and a choice cow. 14 He was dancing for the Lord with all his might, but he wore only a linen cloth.[t] 15 He and everyone else were celebrating by shouting and blowing horns while the chest was being carried along.
16 Saul’s daughter Michal looked out her window and watched the chest being brought into David’s City. But when she saw David jumping and dancing for the Lord, she was disgusted.
17 They put the chest inside a tent that David had set up for it. David worshiped the Lord by sacrificing animals and burning them on an altar,[u] 18 then he blessed the people in the name of the Lord All-Powerful. 19 He gave all the men and women in the crowd a small loaf of bread, some meat, and a handful of raisins, and everyone went home.
Michal Talks to David
20 David went home so he could ask the Lord to bless his family. But Saul’s daughter Michal went out and started yelling at him. “You were really great today!” she said. “You acted like a dirty old man, dancing around half-naked in front of your servants' slave-girls.”
21 David told her, “The Lord didn’t choose your father or anyone else in your family to be the leader of his people. The Lord chose me, and I was celebrating in honor of him. 22 I’ll show you just how great I can be! I’ll even be disgusting to myself. But those slave-girls you talked about will still honor me!”
23 Michal never had any children.
The Lord’s Message to David
7 King David moved into his new palace, and the Lord let his kingdom be at peace. 2 Then one day, as David was talking with Nathan the prophet, David said, “Look around! I live in a palace made of cedar, but the sacred chest has to stay in a tent.”
3 Nathan replied, “The Lord is with you, so do what you want!”
4 That night, the Lord told Nathan 5 to go to David and give him this message:
David, you are my servant, so listen to what I say. Why should you build a temple for me? 6 I didn’t live in a temple when I brought my people out of Egypt, and I don’t live in one now. A tent has always been my home wherever I have gone with them. 7 I chose leaders and told them to be like shepherds for my people Israel. But did I ever say anything to even one of them about building a cedar temple for me?
8 David, this is what I, the Lord All-Powerful, say to you. I brought you in from the fields where you took care of sheep, and I made you the leader of my people. 9 Wherever you went, I helped you and destroyed your enemies right in front of your eyes. I have made you one of the most famous people in the world.
10 I have given my people Israel a land of their own where they can live in peace, and they won’t have to tremble with fear any more. Evil nations won’t bother them, as they did 11 when I let judges rule my people. And I have kept your enemies from attacking you.
Now I promise that you and your descendants will be kings. 12 I’ll choose one of your sons to be king when you reach the end of your life and are buried in the tomb of your ancestors. I’ll make him a strong ruler, 13 and no one will be able to take his kingdom away from him. He will be the one to build a temple for me. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son.
When he does wrong, I’ll see that he is corrected, just as children are corrected by their parents. 15 But I will never put an end to my agreement with him, as I put an end to my agreement with Saul, who was king before you. 16 I will make sure that one of your descendants will always be king.
17 Nathan told David exactly what he had heard in the vision.
David Gives Thanks to the Lord
18 David went into the tent he had set up for the sacred chest. Then he sat there and prayed:
Lord All-Powerful, my family and I don’t deserve what you have already done for us, 19 and yet you have promised to do even more. Is this the way you usually treat people?[v] 20 I am your servant, and you know my thoughts, so there is nothing more that I need to say. 21 You have done this wonderful thing, and you have let me know about it, because you wanted to keep your promise.
22 Lord All-Powerful, you are greater than all others. No one is like you, and you alone are God. Everything we have heard about you is true. 23 And there is no other nation on earth like Israel, the nation you rescued from slavery in Egypt to be your own. You became famous by using great and wonderful miracles to force other nations and their gods out of your land, so your people could live here.[w] 24 You have chosen Israel to be your people forever, and you have become their God.
25 And now, Lord God, please do what you have promised me and my descendants. 26 Then you will be famous forever, and everyone will say, “The Lord God All-Powerful rules Israel, and David’s descendants are his chosen kings.” 27 After all, you really are Israel’s God, the Lord All-Powerful. You’ve told me that you will let my descendants be kings. That’s why I have the courage to pray to you like this, even though I am only your servant.
28 Lord All-Powerful, you are God. You have promised me some very good things, and you can be trusted to do what you promise. 29 Please bless my descendants and let them always be your chosen kings. You have already promised, and I’m sure that you will bless my family forever.
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