God’s Covenant with David

17 (A)And it came about, when David lived in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, “Look, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under tent curtains.” Then Nathan said to David, “Do whatever is in your heart, for God is with you.”

But it happened that same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell David My servant, ‘This is what the Lord says: “(B)You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in; for I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up Israel to this day, (C)but I have [a]gone from tent to tent and from one dwelling place to another. In all places where I have walked with all Israel, have I spoken a word (D)with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’ Now, therefore, this is what you shall say to My servant David: ‘This is what the Lord of armies says: “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have eliminated all your enemies from you; and I will make for you a name like the name of the great ones who are on the earth. And I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them there, so that they may live in their own place and not tremble with anxiety again; and the [b]wicked will not make them waste away anymore as they did previously, 10 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies.

Moreover, I tell you that the Lord will build a house for you. 11 When your days are fulfilled that you must [c]go to be with your fathers, then I will set up one of your [d]descendants after you, who will be from your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build for Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 (E)I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My favor away from him, (F)as I took it from him who was before you. 14 But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne will be established forever.”’” 15 According to all these words and according to all of this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

David’s Prayer in Response

16 Then King David came in and sat before the Lord, and said, “(G)Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house that You have brought me this far? 17 This was a small thing in Your eyes, God; but You have spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have viewed me according to the standard of a person of high degree, Lord God. 18 What more can David still say to You concerning the honor bestowed on Your servant? For You know Your servant. 19 Lord, (H)for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have accomplished all this greatness, to make known all these great things. 20 Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to everything that we have heard with our ears. 21 And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for You a name by great and awesome things, by driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed from Egypt? 22 (I)For You have made Your people Israel Your own people forever, and You, Lord, became their God.

23 “Now, Lord, let the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do just as You have spoken. 24 Let Your name be established and be great forever, saying, ‘The Lord of armies is the God of Israel, a God to Israel; and the house of Your servant David is established before You.’ 25 For You, my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build him a house; therefore Your servant has found courage to pray before You. 26 Now, Lord, You are God, and have [e]promised this good thing to Your servant. 27 And now You have decided to bless the house of Your servant, that it may [f]continue forever before You; for You, Lord, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”

David’s Kingdom Strengthened

18 Now after this (J)it came about that David [g]defeated the Philistines and subdued them and took Gath and its towns from the hand of the Philistines. And he defeated Moab, and the Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute.

David also defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah as far as Hamath, as he went to establish his [h]rule to the river Euphrates. David took from him a thousand chariots and seven thousand horsemen and twenty thousand foot soldiers, and David hamstrung almost all the chariot horses, but left enough of them for a hundred chariots.

When the Arameans of [i]Damascus came to help Hadadezer king (K)of Zobah, David [j]killed twenty-two thousand men of the Arameans. Then David put garrisons among the Arameans of [k]Damascus; and the Arameans became servants to David, bringing tribute. And the Lord helped David wherever he went. And David took the shields of gold which were [l]carried by the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. Also from [m]Tibhath and Cun, cities of Hadadezer, David took a very large amount of bronze, with which (L)Solomon made the bronze [n]Sea and the pillars and the bronze utensils.

Now when [o]Tou king of Hamath heard that David had [p]defeated all the army of Hadadezer king of Zobah, 10 he sent [q]Hadoram his son to King David to [r]greet him and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and had [s]defeated him; for Hadadezer had been at war with Tou. And Hadoram brought all kinds of articles of gold and silver and bronze. 11 King David also dedicated these to the Lord, with the silver and the gold which he had carried away from all the nations: from Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the Philistines, and from Amalek.

12 Moreover, Abishai the son of Zeruiah [t]defeated eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 Then he put garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became servants to David. And the Lord helped David wherever he went.

14 So David reigned over all Israel; and he [u]administered justice and righteousness for all his people. 15 (M)Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was secretary; 16 and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Abimelech the son of Abiathar were priests, and Shavsha was secretary; 17 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and the sons of David were chiefs at the king’s side.

David’s Messengers Abused

19 (N)Now it came about after this, that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon died, and his son became king in his place. Then David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the sons of Ammon to Hanun to console him. But the commanders among the sons of Ammon said to Hanun, “[v]Do you think that David is honoring your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Have his servants not come to you to search, to demolish, and to spy out the land?” So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved them, and cut off their robes in the middle as far as their buttocks, and sent them away. Then certain people went and told David about the men. And he sent messengers to meet them, because the men were very humiliated. And the king said, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow back, then return.”

When the sons of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, Hanun and the sons of Ammon sent [w]a thousand talents of silver to hire for themselves chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, Aram-maacah, and (O)Zobah. So they hired for themselves thirty-two thousand chariots, and the king of Maacah and his people, who came and camped opposite (P)Medeba. And the sons of Ammon gathered together from their cities and came to the battle. When David heard about it, he sent Joab and all the army, the mighty men. The sons of Ammon came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance of the city; and the kings who had come were by themselves in the field.

Ammon and Aram Defeated

10 Now when Joab saw that the [x]battle was set against him at the front and at the rear, he selected warriors from all the choice men in Israel and lined them up against the Arameans. 11 But the remainder of the people he placed [y]under the command of [z]Abshai his brother; and they lined up against the sons of Ammon. 12 He said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the sons of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13 Be strong, and let’s show ourselves courageous for the benefit of our people and the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what is good in His sight.” 14 So Joab and the people who were with him advanced to battle against the Arameans, and they fled from him. 15 When the sons of Ammon saw that the Arameans had fled, they also fled from his brother Abshai and entered the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

16 When the Arameans saw that they had been [aa]defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and brought out the Arameans who were beyond the Euphrates River, with Shophach the commander of the army of Hadadezer [ab]leading them. 17 When it was reported to David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan, and came upon them and drew up in formation against them. And when David drew up in battle formation against the Arameans, they fought against him. 18 And the Arameans fled from Israel, and David killed of the Arameans seven thousand charioteers and forty thousand foot soldiers; and he put Shophach the commander of the army to death. 19 So when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been [ac]defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and served him. So the Arameans were not willing to help the sons of Ammon anymore.

War with Philistine Giants

20 (Q)Then it happened [ad]in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that Joab led out the army and ravaged the land of the sons of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. And (R)Joab struck Rabbah and overthrew it. (S)David took the crown of [ae]their king from his head, and he found it to weigh a [af]talent of gold, and there was a precious stone in it; and it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoils of the city, a very great amount. He brought out the people who were in it, (T)and [ag]put them to work at saws, iron picks, and axes. And David did the same to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

(U)Now it came about after this, that war [ah]broke out at [ai]Gezer with the Philistines; then Sibbecai the Hushathite [aj]killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the [ak]giants, and they were subdued. And there was war with the Philistines again, and Elhanan the son of (V)Jair [al]killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the (W)shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. Again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot; and he also was descended from the giants. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, [am]killed him. These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

Census Brings Plague

21 (X)Then Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count Israel. So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “(Y)Go, count Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me word so that I may know their number.” But Joab said, “(Z)May the Lord add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! My lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout Israel, and came to Jerusalem. Then Joab gave the number of the census of the people to David. (AA)Israel was 1,100,000 men in all who drew the sword; and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword. (AB)But he did not [an]count Levi and Benjamin among them, because the king’s [ao]command was abhorrent to Joab.

Now [ap]God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel. David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, [aq]by doing this thing. (AC)But now, please overlook Your servant’s guilt, for I have behaved very foolishly.”

The Lord spoke to (AD)Gad, David’s (AE)seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I extend to you three choices; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take for yourself 12 (AF)three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord: a plague in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout the territory of Israel.’ Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall bring back to Him who sent me.” 13 David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, (AG)for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into human hands.”

14 (AH)So the Lord [ar]sent a plague on Israel; seventy thousand men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw and (AI)was sorry about the catastrophe, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of [as]Ornan the Jebusite. 16 Then David raised his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, (AJ)covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 And David said to God, “Is it not I who [at]commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and acted very wickedly, (AK)but these sheep, what have they done? Lord, my God, just let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, and not against Your people as a plague.”

David’s Altar

18 (AL)Then the angel of the Lord [au]commanded Gad to say to David, that David was to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 So David went up at the word of Gad, which he spoke in the name of the Lord. 20 Now Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. And Ornan was threshing wheat. 21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out from the threshing floor and prostrated himself to David with his face to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the [av]site of this threshing floor, so that I may build on it an altar to the Lord; you shall give it to me for the full price, so that the plague may be brought to a halt from the people.” 23 But Ornan said to David, “Take it for yourself, and may my lord the king do what is good in his sight. See, I am giving the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing sledges for wood and the wheat for the grain offering; I am giving it all.” 24 Nevertheless, King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will certainly buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer a burnt offering [aw]which costs me nothing.” 25 So (AM)David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the [ax]site. 26 Then David built an altar there to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the Lord, and (AN)He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. 27 The Lord commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath.

28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there. 29 (AO)For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were on the high place at Gibeon at that time. 30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the Lord.

David Prepares for Temple Building

22 Then David said, “(AP)This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”

So David [ay]gave orders to gather (AQ)the strangers who were in the land of Israel, and (AR)he set stonecutters to cut out stones to build the house of God. And David (AS)prepared large quantities of iron [az]to make the nails for the doors of the gates and for the clamps, and more (AT)bronze than could be weighed; and timbers of cedar beyond number, for (AU)the Sidonians and Tyrians brought large quantities of cedar timber to David. David said, “My son (AV)Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous, and glorious throughout the lands. Therefore I now will make preparations for it.” So David made ample preparations before his death.

Solomon Commanded to Build the Temple

Then (AW)he called for his son Solomon, and commanded him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. David said to Solomon, “(AX)My son, [ba]I had intended to build a house for the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘(AY)You have shed much blood and have [bb]waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me. Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest, and (AZ)I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for (BA)his name will be [bc]Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 (BB)He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 11 Now, my son, (BC)the Lord be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the Lord your God just as He has spoken concerning you. 12 (BD)Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and put you in charge of Israel, so that you may (BE)keep the Law of the Lord your God. 13 (BF)Then you will prosper, if you are careful to [bd]follow the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. (BG)Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed. 14 Now behold, [be]with great pains I have prepared for the house of the Lord (BH)a hundred thousand [bf]talents of gold and a million talents of silver, and (BI)bronze and iron beyond measure, for [bg]they are in great quantity; I have also prepared timber and stone, and you may add to that. 15 Moreover there are many workmen with you, stonecutters, masons of stone, and carpenters; and all of them are skillful in every kind of work. 16 Of the gold, silver, bronze, and iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may (BJ)the Lord be with you.”

17 (BK)David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon, saying, 18 “Is the Lord your God not with you? And (BL)has He not given you rest on every side? For He has handed over to me the inhabitants of the land, and the land is subdued before the Lord and before His people. 19 Now (BM)set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; then arise, and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, (BN)so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy vessels of God into the house that is to be built (BO)for the name of the Lord.”

Solomon Reigns

23 (BP)Now when David [bh]reached old age, (BQ)he made his son Solomon king over Israel. And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel with the priests and the Levites.

Offices of the Levites

(BR)Now the Levites were counted from thirty years old and upward, and (BS)their number by [bi]head count of men was thirty-eight thousand. Of these, twenty-four thousand were (BT)to oversee the work of the house of the Lord; and six thousand were (BU)officers and judges, and four thousand were gatekeepers, and (BV)four thousand were praising the Lord with the instruments which [bj]David made for giving praise. David divided them into divisions (BW)according to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.


Of the Gershonites there were [bk]Ladan and Shimei. The sons of Ladan were Jehiel the first, and Zetham and Joel, three. The sons of Shimei were Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the heads of the fathers’ households of Ladan. 10 The sons of Shimei were Jahath, [bl]Zina, Jeush, and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei. 11 Jahath was the first and Zizah the second; but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons, so they became a father’s household, one group for duty.


12 The sons of Kohath were four in number: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13 (BX)The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. And (BY)Aaron was set apart to sanctify him as most holy, he and his sons forever, (BZ)to burn incense before the Lord, to serve Him and bless in His name forever. 14 But as for (CA)Moses, the man of God, his sons were named among the tribe of Levi. 15 The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer.


  1. 1 Chronicles 17:5 Lit been
  2. 1 Chronicles 17:9 Lit sons of injustice
  3. 1 Chronicles 17:11 I.e., die
  4. 1 Chronicles 17:11 Lit seed
  5. 1 Chronicles 17:26 Lit said
  6. 1 Chronicles 17:27 Lit be
  7. 1 Chronicles 18:1 Lit struck, and so in vv 1-3
  8. 1 Chronicles 18:3 Lit hand
  9. 1 Chronicles 18:5 Heb Darmeseq
  10. 1 Chronicles 18:5 Lit struck
  11. 1 Chronicles 18:6 Heb Darmeseq
  12. 1 Chronicles 18:7 Lit on
  13. 1 Chronicles 18:8 In 2 Sam 8:8, Betah
  14. 1 Chronicles 18:8 I.e., large basin
  15. 1 Chronicles 18:9 In 2 Sam 8:9, Toi
  16. 1 Chronicles 18:9 Lit struck
  17. 1 Chronicles 18:10 In 2 Sam 8:10, Joram
  18. 1 Chronicles 18:10 Lit ask him of his welfare
  19. 1 Chronicles 18:10 Lit struck
  20. 1 Chronicles 18:12 Lit struck
  21. 1 Chronicles 18:14 Lit was doing
  22. 1 Chronicles 19:3 Lit Is David honoring your father in your eyes
  23. 1 Chronicles 19:6 About 38 tons or 34 metric tons
  24. 1 Chronicles 19:10 Lit face of the battle
  25. 1 Chronicles 19:11 Lit in the hand of
  26. 1 Chronicles 19:11 In 2 Sam 10:10, Abishai
  27. 1 Chronicles 19:16 Lit struck before
  28. 1 Chronicles 19:16 Lit before
  29. 1 Chronicles 19:19 Lit struck before
  30. 1 Chronicles 20:1 Lit at the return of the year
  31. 1 Chronicles 20:2 Another reading is Malcam from, a variant of the Ammonite god Milcom
  32. 1 Chronicles 20:2 About 75 lb. or 34 kg
  33. 1 Chronicles 20:3 So 2 Sam 12:31; MT sawed them apart with
  34. 1 Chronicles 20:4 Lit stood up
  35. 1 Chronicles 20:4 In 2 Sam 21:18, Gob
  36. 1 Chronicles 20:4 Lit struck
  37. 1 Chronicles 20:4 Heb Raphah, and so in vv 6, 8
  38. 1 Chronicles 20:5 Lit struck
  39. 1 Chronicles 20:7 Lit struck
  40. 1 Chronicles 21:6 Lit muster
  41. 1 Chronicles 21:6 Lit word
  42. 1 Chronicles 21:7 Lit it was evil in the sight of God
  43. 1 Chronicles 21:8 that I did
  44. 1 Chronicles 21:14 Lit gave
  45. 1 Chronicles 21:15 In 2 Sam 24:16, Araunah
  46. 1 Chronicles 21:17 Lit said
  47. 1 Chronicles 21:18 Lit said to
  48. 1 Chronicles 21:22 Lit place
  49. 1 Chronicles 21:24 Lit gratuitously
  50. 1 Chronicles 21:25 Lit place
  51. 1 Chronicles 22:2 Lit said to
  52. 1 Chronicles 22:3 Lit for
  53. 1 Chronicles 22:7 Lit as for me, it was with my heart
  54. 1 Chronicles 22:8 Lit made
  55. 1 Chronicles 22:9 I.e., peaceful
  56. 1 Chronicles 22:13 Lit do the
  57. 1 Chronicles 22:14 Lit in my affliction
  58. 1 Chronicles 22:14 A talent was about 75 lb. or 34 kg
  59. 1 Chronicles 22:14 Lit it is
  60. 1 Chronicles 23:1 Lit became old and sated with days
  61. 1 Chronicles 23:3 Lit their heads
  62. 1 Chronicles 23:5 Lit I made
  63. 1 Chronicles 23:7 In Ex 6:17, Libni
  64. 1 Chronicles 23:10 In v 11, Zizah

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