1 Chronicles 19–21; Luke 2:25–52

The Ammonites Disgrace David's Men

19 qNow after this Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. And David said, I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me. So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David's servants came to the land of the Ammonites to Hanun to console him. But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land? So Hanun took David's servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away; and they departed. When David was told concerning the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.

When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent 1,000 talents1 of silver to hire chariots and horsemen rfrom Mesopotamia, from Aram-maacah, and from sZobah. They hired 32,000 chariots and the king of Maacah with his army, who came and encamped before tMedeba. And the Ammonites were mustered from their cities and came to battle. When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men. And the Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the city, and the kings who had come were by themselves in the open country.

Ammonites and Syrians Defeated

10 When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. 11 The rest of his men he put in the charge of uAbishai his brother, and they were arrayed against the Ammonites. 12 And he said, If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13 Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him. 14 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near before the Syrians for battle, and they fled before him. 15 And when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians fled, they likewise fled before uAbishai, Joab's brother, and entered the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

16 But when the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the Euphrates,2 with vShophach the commander of the army of wHadadezer at their head. 17 And when it was told to David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan and came to them and drew up his forces against them. And when David set the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him. 18 And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David killed of the Syrians the men of x7,000 chariots and 40,000 xfoot soldiers, and put to death also vShophach the commander of their army. 19 And when the servants of wHadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Syrians were not willing to save the Ammonites anymore.

The Capture of Rabbah

20 yIn the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. And zJoab struck down Rabbah and overthrew it. aAnd David took the crown of their king from his head. He found that it weighed a talent3 of gold, and in it was a precious stone. And it was placed on David's head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor4 bwith saws and iron picks and axes.5 And thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Philistine Giants Killed

cAnd after this there arose war with the Philistines at Gezer. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued. And there was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of dJair struck down Lahmi dthe brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of eShimea, David's brother, struck him down. These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

David's Census Brings Pestilence

21 fThen gSatan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number. But Joab said, May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord's servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel? But the king's word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were h1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah h470,000 who drew the sword. iBut he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king's command was abhorrent to Joab.

But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel. And David said to God, I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please jtake away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly. And the Lord spoke to Gad, David's kseer, saying, 10 Go and say to David, Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you. 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, Thus says the Lord, Choose what you will: 12 either lthree years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel. Now decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me. 13 Then David said to Gad, I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.

14 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw, and he mrelented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, It is enough; now stay your hand. And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, nclothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 17 And David said to God, Was it not I who gave command to number the people? It is I who have sinned and done great evil. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Lord my God, be against me and against my father's house. But do not let the plague be on your people.

David Builds an Altar

18 Now othe angel of the Lord had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 So David went up at Gad's word, which he had spoken in the name of the Lord. 20 Now Ornan was threshing wheat. He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David and went out from the threshing floor and paid homage to David with his face to the ground. 22 And David said to Ornan, Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the Lordgive it to me at its full pricethat the plague may be averted from the people. 23 Then Ornan said to David, Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all. 24 But King David said to Ornan, No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing. 25 So David paid Ornan p600 shekels6 of gold by weight for the site. 26 And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord7 qanswered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. 27 Then the Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.

28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering rwere at that time in the high place at Gibeon, 30 but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.


25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was wrighteous and xdevout, ywaiting for zthe consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not asee death before he had seen bthe Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when cthe parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and dblessed God and said,

29  Lord, now you are letting your servant1 depart ein peace,

faccording to your word;

30  for gmy eyes have seen your hsalvation

31  ithat you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32  ja light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and kfor glory to lyour people Israel.

33 And mhis father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is appointed nfor the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign othat is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.

36 And there was pa prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.2 She did not depart from the temple, qworshiping with rfasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were swaiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Return to Nazareth

39 And when they had performed everything according to tthe Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of uNazareth. 40 vAnd the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

41 Now whis parents went xto Jerusalem every year at ythe Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, zthey went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast awas ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. wHis parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, bsitting among cthe teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents3 saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, dyour father and I have been searching for you in great distress. 49 And he said to them, Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that eI must be in fmy Father's house?4 50 And gthey did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And hhis mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus iincreased in wisdom and in stature5 and in ifavor with God and man.