The Last Words of David
23 Now these are the last words of David:
The oracle of David, the son of Jesse,
the oracle of lthe man who was raised on high,
jthe anointed of the God of Jacob,
the sweet psalmist of Israel:1
2 m“The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;
his word is on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel has spoken;
nthe Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
ruling oin the fear of God,
4 he pdawns on them like the morning light,
like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
like rain2 that makes grass to sprout from the earth.
5 “For does not my house stand so with God?
qFor he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
ordered in all things and secure.
For will he not cause to prosper
all my help and my desire?
6 But worthless men3 are all like thorns that are thrown away,
for they cannot be taken with the hand;
7 but the man who touches them
arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear,
and they are utterly consumed with fire.”4
David's Mighty Men
9 And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of tDodo, son of uAhohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. 10 He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain.
11 And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the vHararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi,7 where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory.
13 And three of the thirty chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the wcave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped xin the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then yin the stronghold, and zthe garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 15 And David said longingly, “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” 16 Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the Lord 17 and said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink athe blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.
18 Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty.8 And he wielded his spear against three hundred men9 and killed them and won a name beside the three. 19 He was the most renowned of the thirty10 and became their commander, but he did not attain to bthe three.
20 And cBenaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man11 of dKabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels12 of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21 And he struck down an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. 23 He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.
24 eAsahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 fShammah of Harod, Elika of Harod, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh gof Tekoa, 27 Abiezer hof Anathoth, Mebunnai ithe Hushathite, 28 Zalmon jthe Ahohite, Maharai kof Netophah, 29 Heleb the son of Baanah kof Netophah, Ittai the son of Ribai of lGibeah of the people of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah mof Pirathon, Hiddai of the brooks of nGaash, 31 Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth of oBahurim, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 pShammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai qof Maacah, rEliam the son of sAhithophel the Gilonite, 35 Hezro13 tof Carmel, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan uof Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai vof Beeroth, the armor-bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38 wIra the xIthrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 yUriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.
24 zaAgain the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, b“Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2 So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army,14 who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, cfrom Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” 3 But Joab said to the king, d“May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” 4 But the king's word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel. 5 They crossed the Jordan and began from eAroer,15 and from the city that is in the middle of the fvalley, toward Gad and on to gJazer. 6 Then they came to Gilead, and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites;16 and they came to Dan, and from Dan17 they went around to hSidon, 7 and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the iHivites and iCanaanites; and they went out to the Negeb of Judah at Beersheba. 8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men jwho drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000.
The Lord's Judgment of David's Sin
10 But kDavid's heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, l“I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done mvery foolishly.” 11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to nthe prophet Gad, David's oseer, saying, 12 “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer18 you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall pthree19 years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, qfor his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”
15 rSo the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from sDan to Beersheba 70,000 men. 16 And when tthe angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem uto destroy it, vthe Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel uwho was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And tthe angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of wAraunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father's house.”
David Builds an Altar
18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of xAraunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up at Gad's word, as the Lord commanded. 20 And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. 21 And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague ymay be averted from the people.” 22 Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the zthreshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God aaccept you.” 24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels20 of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. bSo the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.
eGrace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 fWe always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of gyour faith in Christ Jesus and of gthe love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of hthe hope ilaid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in jthe word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed kin the whole world it is lbearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you mheard it and understood nthe grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from oEpaphras our beloved pfellow servant.2 He is pa faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf 8 and has made known to us your qlove in the Spirit.
9 And so, rfrom the day we heard, swe have not ceased to pray for you, asking that tyou may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all uspiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as vto walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, wfully pleasing to him: xbearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 ybeing strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for zall endurance and patience awith joy; 12 bgiving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in cthe inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He dhas delivered us from ethe domain of darkness and transferred us to fthe kingdom of ghis beloved Son, 14 hin whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Preeminence of Christ
15 iHe is the image of jthe invisible God, kthe firstborn of all creation. 16 For by6 him all things were created, lin heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether mthrones or ndominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created othrough him and for him. 17 And phe is before all things, and in him all things qhold together. 18 And rhe is the head of the body, the church. He is sthe beginning, tthe firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For uin him all the vfullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and wthrough him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, xmaking peace yby the blood of his cross.
21 zAnd you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, adoing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled bin his body of flesh by his death, cin order to present you holy and blameless and dabove reproach before him, 23 eif indeed you continue in the faith, fstable and steadfast, not shifting from gthe hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed hin all creation7 under heaven, iand of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Paul's Ministry to the Church
24 Now jI rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh kI am filling up lwhat is lacking in Christ's afflictions mfor the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 nof which I became a minister according to othe stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 pthe mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 qTo them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are rthe riches of the glory of pthis mystery, which is Christ in you, sthe hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that twe may present everyone umature in Christ. 29 For this vI toil, wstruggling xwith all his energy that he powerfully works within me.