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37 David chose Asaph and the Levites in his clan to be in charge of the daily worship at the place where the sacred chest was kept. 38 Obed-Edom and sixty-eight of his relatives were their assistants, and Hosah and Obed-Edom the son of Jeduthun were the guards.
39 David also chose Zadok the priest and his relatives who were priests to serve at the Lord’s sacred tent at Gibeon. 40 They were to offer sacrifices on the altar every morning and evening, just as the Lord had commanded in the Law he gave Israel. 41 Heman and Jeduthun were their assistants, as well as the other men who had been chosen to praise the Lord for his never-ending love. 42 Heman and Jeduthun were also responsible for blowing the trumpets, and for playing the cymbals and other instruments during worship at the tent. The Levites in Jeduthun’s clan were the guards at Gibeon.
43 After that, everyone went home, and David went home to his family.
17 Soon after David moved into his new palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Look around! I live in a palace made of cedar, but the sacred chest is kept in a tent.”
2 Nathan replied, “The Lord is with you—do what you want.”
3 That night, the Lord told Nathan 4 to go to David and tell him:
David, you are my servant, so listen carefully: You are not the one to build a temple for me. 5 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. 6 I chose special 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?
7 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. 8 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.
9 I have given my people Israel a land of their own where they can live in peace. They will no longer have to tremble with fear—evil nations won’t bother them, as they did 10 when I let judges rule my people, and I will keep your enemies from attacking you.
Now I promise that like you, your descendants will be kings. 11 I’ll choose one of your sons to be king when you reach the end of your life and are buried beside your ancestors. I’ll make him a strong ruler, 12 and no one will be able to take his kingdom away from him. He will be the one to build a temple for me. 13 I will be like a father to him, and he will be like a son to me. 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. 14 I will make sure that your son and his descendants will rule my people and my kingdom forever.
15 Nathan told David exactly what the Lord had said.
16 David went into the tent he had set up for the sacred chest. He sat there and prayed:
Lord God, my family and I don’t deserve what you have already done for us, 17 and yet you have promised to do even more for my descendants. You are treating me as if I am a very important person.[a] 18 I am your servant, and you know my thoughts. What else can I say, except that you have honored me? 19 It was your choice to do these wonderful things for me and to make these promises.
20 No other god is like you, Lord—you alone are God. Everything we have heard about you is true. 21 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 that your people could live here. 22 You have chosen Israel to be your people forever, and you have become their God.
23 Lord God, please do what you promised me and my descendants. 24 Then you will be famous forever, and everyone will say, “The Lord All-Powerful rules Israel and is their God.”
My kingdom will be strong, 25 because you are my God, and you have promised that my descendants will be kings. That’s why I have the courage to pray to you like this, even though I am only your servant.
26 You are the Lord God, and you have made this good promise to me. 27 Now please bless my descendants forever, and let them always be your chosen kings. You have already blessed my family, and I know you will bless us forever.
18 Later, David attacked and defeated the Philistines. He captured their town of Gath and the nearby villages.
2 David also defeated the Moabites, and so they had to accept him as their ruler and pay taxes to him.
3 While King Hadadezer of Zobah was trying to gain control of the territory near the Euphrates River, David met him in battle at Hamath and defeated him. 4 David captured one thousand chariots, seven thousand chariot drivers, and twenty thousand soldiers. And he crippled all but one hundred of the horses.
5 When troops from the Syrian kingdom of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, David killed twenty-two thousand of them. 6 Then David stationed some of his troops in Damascus, and the people there had to accept David as their ruler and pay taxes to him.
Everywhere David went, the Lord helped him win battles.
7 Hadadezer’s officers had carried gold shields, but David took these shields and brought them back to Jerusalem. 8 He also took a lot of bronze from the cities of Tibhath and Cun, which had belonged to Hadadezer. Later, Solomon used this bronze to make the large bowl called the Sea, and to make the pillars and other furnishings for the temple.
9-10 King Tou of Hamath and King Hadadezer had been enemies. So when Tou heard that David had defeated Hadadezer’s whole army, he sent his son Hadoram to congratulate David on his victory. Hadoram also brought him gifts made of gold, silver, and bronze. 11 David gave these gifts to the Lord, just as he had done with the silver and gold he had captured from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.
12 Abishai the son of Zeruiah defeated the Edomite army in Salt Valley and killed eighteen thousand of their troops. 13 Then he stationed troops in Edom, and the people there had to accept David as their ruler.
Everywhere David went, the Lord gave him victory in war.
14 David ruled all Israel with fairness and justice.
15 Joab the son of Zeruiah was the commander in chief of the army.
Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud kept the government records.
16 Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were the priests.
Shavsha was the secretary.
17 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was the commander of David’s bodyguard.[b]
David’s sons were his highest-ranking officials.
2 Some of you accuse others of doing wrong. But there is no excuse for what you do. When you judge others, you condemn yourselves, because you are guilty of doing the very same things. 2 We know that God is right to judge everyone who behaves in this way. 3 Do you really think God won’t punish you, when you behave exactly like the people you accuse? 4 You surely don’t think much of God’s wonderful goodness or of his patience and willingness to put up with you. Don’t you know that the reason God is good to you is because he wants you to turn to him?
5 But you are stubborn and refuse to turn to God. So you are making things even worse for yourselves on that day when he will show how angry he is and will judge the world with fairness. 6 God will reward each of us for what we have done. 7 He will give eternal life to everyone who has patiently done what is good in the hope of receiving glory, honor, and life that lasts forever. 8 But he will show how angry and furious he can be with every selfish person who rejects the truth and wants to do evil. 9 All who are wicked will be punished with trouble and suffering. It doesn’t matter if they are Jews or Gentiles. 10 But all who do right will be rewarded with glory, honor, and peace, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 11 God doesn’t have any favorites!
12 Those people who don’t know about God’s Law will still be punished for what they do wrong. And the Law will be used to judge everyone who knows what it says. 13 God accepts those who obey his Law, but not those who simply hear it.
14 Some people naturally obey the Law’s commands, even though they don’t have the Law. 15 This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned, 16 when God appoints Jesus Christ to judge everyone’s secret thoughts, just as my message says.
17 Some of you call yourselves Jews. You trust in the Law and take pride in God. 18 By reading the Scriptures you learn how God wants you to behave, and you discover what is right. 19 You are sure that you are a guide for the blind and a light for all who are in the dark. 20 And since there is knowledge and truth in God’s Law, you think you can instruct fools and teach young people.
21 But how can you teach others when you refuse to learn? You preach that it is wrong to steal. But do you steal? 22 You say people should be faithful in marriage. But are you faithful? You hate idols, yet you rob their temples. 23 You take pride in the Law, but you disobey the Law and bring shame to God. 24 It is just as the Scriptures tell us, “You have made foreigners say insulting things about God.”
16 Our Lord, you will always rule,
but nations will vanish
from the earth.
17 You listen to the longings
of those who suffer.
You offer them hope,
and you pay attention
to their cries for help.
18 You defend orphans
and everyone else in need,
so that no one on earth
can terrify others again.
8 Do yourself a favor
by having good sense—
you will be glad you did.
9 Dishonest witnesses and liars
will be destroyed.