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16 They brought the Ark of God and placed it inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord. Then he gave to every man and woman in all Israel a loaf of bread, a cake of dates,[a] and a cake of raisins.

David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the Lord—to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.

David’s Song of Praise

On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the Lord:

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
10 Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
11 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
12 Remember the wonders he has performed,
    his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
13 you children of his servant Israel,
    you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.

14 He is the Lord our God.
    His justice is seen throughout the land.
15 Remember his covenant forever—
    the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
16 This is the covenant he made with Abraham
    and the oath he swore to Isaac.
17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
18 “I will give you the land of Canaan
    as your special possession.”

19 He said this when you were few in number,
    a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
20 They wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
21 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.
    He warned kings on their behalf:
22 “Do not touch my chosen people,
    and do not hurt my prophets.”

23 Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
25 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    He is to be feared above all gods.
26 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens!
27 Honor and majesty surround him;
    strength and joy fill his dwelling.

28 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
    recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
    Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
30     Let all the earth tremble before him.
    The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
    Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
    and rejoice and praise you.”

36 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who lives from everlasting to everlasting!

And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

Worship at Jerusalem and Gibeon

37 David arranged for Asaph and his fellow Levites to serve regularly before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, doing whatever needed to be done each day. 38 This group included Obed-edom (son of Jeduthun), Hosah, and sixty-eight other Levites as gatekeepers.

39 Meanwhile, David stationed Zadok the priest and his fellow priests at the Tabernacle of the Lord at the place of worship in Gibeon, where they continued to minister before the Lord. 40 They sacrificed the regular burnt offerings to the Lord each morning and evening on the altar set aside for that purpose, obeying everything written in the Law of the Lord, as he had commanded Israel. 41 David also appointed Heman, Jeduthun, and the others chosen by name to give thanks to the Lord, for “his faithful love endures forever.” 42 They used their trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments to accompany their songs of praise to God.[b] And the sons of Jeduthun were appointed as gatekeepers.

43 Then all the people returned to their homes, and David turned and went home to bless his own family.

The Lord’s Covenant Promise to David

17 When David was settled in his palace, he summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace,[c] but the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant is out there under a tent!”

Nathan replied to David, “Do whatever you have in mind, for God is with you.”

But that same night God said to Nathan,

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: You are not the one to build a house for me to live in. I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. My home has always been a tent, moving from one place to another in a Tabernacle. Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s leaders, the shepherds of my people. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”’

“Now go and say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before your eyes. Now I will make your name as famous as anyone who has ever lived on the earth! And I will provide a homeland for my people Israel, planting them in a secure place where they will never be disturbed. Evil nations won’t oppress them as they’ve done in the past, 10 starting from the time I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. And I will defeat all your enemies.

“‘Furthermore, I declare that the Lord will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings! 11 For when you die and join your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, one of your sons, and I will make his kingdom strong. 12 He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for me. And I will secure his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my favor from him as I took it from the one who ruled before you. 14 I will confirm him as king over my house and my kingdom for all time, and his throne will be secure forever.’”

15 So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the Lord had said in this vision.

David’s Prayer of Thanks

16 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed,

“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And now, O God, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! You speak as though I were someone very great,[d] O Lord God!

18 “What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like. 19 For the sake of your servant, O Lord, and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known.

20 “O Lord, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 21 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations that stood in their way. 22 You chose Israel to be your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.

23 “And now, O Lord, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. May it be a promise that will last forever. 24 And may your name be established and honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.

25 “O my God, I have been bold enough to pray to you because you have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him—a dynasty of kings! 26 For you are God, O Lord. And you have promised these good things to your servant. 27 And now, it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, so that it will continue forever before you. For when you grant a blessing, O Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”

David’s Military Victories

18 After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath and its surrounding towns. David also conquered the land of Moab, and the Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.

David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, as far as Hamath,[e] when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots.

When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. Then he placed several army garrisons[f] in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.

David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem, along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah[g] and Cun. Later Solomon melted the bronze and molded it into the great bronze basin called the Sea, the pillars, and the various bronze articles used at the Temple.

When King Toi[h] of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Joram[i] to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of gold, silver, and bronze.

11 King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord, along with the silver and gold he had taken from the other nations—from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.

12 Abishai son of Zeruiah destroyed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He placed army garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.

14 So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech[j] son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah[k] was the court secretary. 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard.[l] And David’s sons served as the king’s chief assistants.

Footnotes

  1. 16:3 Or a portion of meat. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. 16:42 Or to accompany the sacred music; or to accompany singing to God.
  3. 17:1 Hebrew a house of cedar.
  4. 17:17 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  5. 18:3 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  6. 18:6 As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate (see also 2 Sam 8:6); Hebrew lacks several army garrisons.
  7. 18:8 Hebrew reads Tibhath, a variant spelling of Tebah; compare parallel text at 2 Sam 8:8.
  8. 18:9 As in parallel text at 2 Sam 8:9; Hebrew reads Tou; also in 18:10.
  9. 18:10 As in parallel text at 2 Sam 8:10; Hebrew reads Hadoram, a variant spelling of Joram.
  10. 18:16a As in some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac version, and Latin Vulgate (see also 2 Sam 8:17); most Hebrew manuscripts read Abimelech.
  11. 18:16b As in parallel text at 2 Sam 8:17; Hebrew reads Shavsha.
  12. 18:17 Hebrew of the Kerethites and Pelethites.

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