2 Samuel 23

David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David zsought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death. So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but aof the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. And David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless bthe heritage of the Lord? The Gibeonites said to him, It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel. And he said, What do you say that I shall do for you? They said to the king, The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel, let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them before the Lord at cGibeah of Saul, dthe chosen of the Lord. And the king said, I will give them.

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of ethe oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. The king took the two sons of fRizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab1 the daughter of Saul, whom gshe bore to hAdriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the Lord, and the seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, iat the beginning of barley harvest.

10 jThen Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell upon them from the heavens. And she did not allow the birds of the air to come upon them by day, or the beasts of the field by night. 11 When David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead, kwho had stolen them from the public square of lBeth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa. 13 And he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14 And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in mZela, in the tomb of Kish his father. And they did all that the king commanded. And after that nGod responded to the plea for the land.

War with the Philistines

15 There was war again between the Philistines and Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines. And David grew weary. 16 And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants oof the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels2 of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David's men swore to him, pYou shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench qthe lamp of Israel.

18 rAfter this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then sSibbecai tthe Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants uof the giants. 19 And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and vElhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, wthe shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.3 20 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 xfrom the giants. 21 And when yhe taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David's brother, struck him down. 22 These four were descended xfrom the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

David's Song of Deliverance

22 And David spoke zto the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. aHe said,

bThe Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

cmy1 God, my rock, din whom I take refuge,

emy shield, and fthe horn of my salvation,

gmy stronghold and hmy refuge,

my savior; you save me from violence.

I call upon the Lord, who is iworthy to be praised,

and I am saved from my enemies.

jFor the waves of death encompassed me,

the torrents of destruction assailed me;2

kthe cords of Sheol entangled me;

the snares of death confronted me.

lIn my distress I called upon the Lord;

to my God I called.

From his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry mcame to his ears.

Then nthe earth reeled and rocked;

othe foundations of the heavens trembled

and quaked, because he was angry.

Smoke went up from his nostrils,3

and devouring fire from his mouth;

pglowing coals flamed forth from him.

10  qHe bowed the heavens and rcame down;

sthick darkness was under his feet.

11  He rode on a cherub and flew;

he was seen on tthe wings of the wind.

12  He made sdarkness around him uhis canopy,

thick clouds, a gathering of water.

13  Out of the brightness before him

vcoals of fire flamed forth.

14  wThe Lord thundered from heaven,

and the Most High uttered his voice.

15  And he sent out xarrows and scattered them;

lightning, and routed them.

16  Then the channels of the sea were seen;

the foundations of the world were laid bare,

at the rebuke of the Lord,

at the yblast of the breath of his nostrils.

17  zHe sent from on high, he took me;

he drew me out of many waters.

18  He rescued me from my strong enemy,

from those who hated me,

for they were too mighty for me.

19  They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

but the Lord was my support.

20  aHe brought me out into a broad place;

he rescued me, because bhe delighted in me.

21  The Lord cdealt with me according to my righteousness;

according to the dcleanness of my hands he rewarded me.

22  eFor I have kept the ways of the Lord

and have not wickedly departed from my God.

23  fFor all his rules were before me,

and from his statutes I did not turn aside.

24  I was gblameless before him,

and I kept myself from guilt.

25  dAnd the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,

according to my cleanness in his sight.

26  hWith the merciful you show yourself merciful;

with the gblameless man you show yourself blameless;

27  with the purified you deal purely,

and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.

28  iYou save a humble people,

jbut your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.

29  kFor you are my lamp, O Lord,

and my God lightens my darkness.

30  For by you I can run against a troop,

and by my God I can leap over a wall.

31  This Godlhis way is perfect;

the mword of the Lord proves true;

he is na shield for all those who take refuge in him.

32  For who is God, but the Lord?

oAnd who is a rock, except our God?

33  This God is my pstrong refuge

and has made my4 way blameless.5

34  qHe made my feet like the feet of a deer

and set me secure ron the heights.

35  sHe trains my hands for war,

so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

36  You have given me the shield of your salvation,

and your gentleness made me great.

37  tYou gave a wide place for my steps under me,

and my feet6 did not slip;

38  I pursued my enemies and destroyed them,

and did not turn back until they were consumed.

39  I consumed them; I thrust them through, so that they did not rise;

they fell uunder my feet.

40  For you equipped me with strength for the battle;

you made vthose who rise against me sink under me.

41  You wmade my enemies turn their backs to me,7

those who hated me, and I destroyed them.

42  They looked, but there was none to save;

they cried to the Lord, but xhe did not answer them.

43  I beat them fine yas the dust of the earth;

I crushed them and stamped them down zlike the mire of the streets.

44  You delivered me from strife with my people;8

you kept me as the head of athe nations;

bpeople whom I had not known served me.

45  Foreigners came cringing to me;

as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me.

46  Foreigners lost heart

and came trembling9 cout of their fortresses.

47  The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,

and exalted be dmy God, ethe rock of my salvation,

48  the God who gave me vengeance

and fbrought down peoples under me,

49  who brought me out from my enemies;

you exalted me above vthose who rose against me;

you delivered me from gmen of violence.

50  hFor this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,

and sing praises to your name.

51  iGreat salvation he brings10 to his king,

and shows steadfast love to jhis anointed,

to David and his offspring kforever.

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

mThe Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;

his word is on my tongue.

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,

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.

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?

But worthless men3 are all like thorns that are thrown away,

for they cannot be taken with the hand;

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

rThese are the names of the mighty men whom David had: sJosheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three.5 He wielded his spear6 against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.

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.

David's Census

24 zaAgain the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, bGo, number Israel and Judah. So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army,1 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. But Joab said to the king, dMay 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? 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. They crossed the Jordan and began from eAroer,2 and from the city that is in the middle of the fvalley, toward Gad and on to gJazer. Then they came to Gilead, and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites;3 and they came to Dan, and from Dan4 they went around to hSidon, 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. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 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, lI 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 offer5 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 pthree6 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 shekels7 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.

1 Kings Illustration

1 Kings

David in His Old Age

Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. Therefore his servants said to him, Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms,1 that my lord the king may be warm. So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the aShunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.

Adonijah Sets Himself Up as King

Now bAdonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king. cAnd he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, Why have you done thus and so? He was also a very handsome man, dand he was born next after Absalom. He conferred with eJoab the son of Zeruiah and with fAbiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. But fZadok the priest and gBenaiah the son of Jehoiada and hNathan the prophet and iShimei and Rei and jDavid's mighty men were not with Adonijah.

Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent's Stone, which is beside kEn-rogel, and he invited all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the royal officials of Judah, 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the mighty men or lSolomon his brother.

Nathan and Bathsheba Before David

11 Then Nathan said to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, Have you not heard that bAdonijah the son of Haggith has become king and David our lord does not know it? 12 Now therefore come, let me give you advice, that you may save your own life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go in at once to King David, and say to him, Did you not, my lord the king, swear to your servant, saying, mSolomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? Why then is Adonijah king? 14 Then while you are still speaking with the king, I also will come in after you and confirm2 your words.

15 So Bathsheba went to the king in his chamber (now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was attending to the king). 16 Bathsheba bowed and paid homage to the king, and the king said, What do you desire? 17 She said to him, My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying, mSolomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne. 18 And now, behold, Adonijah is king, although you, my lord the king, do not know it. 19 nHe has sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king, fAbiathar the priest, and Joab the commander of the army, but lSolomon your servant he has not invited. 20 And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king osleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted offenders.

22 While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 And they told the king, Here is Nathan the prophet. And when he came in before the king, he bowed before the king, with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, My lord the king, have you said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? 25 For he has gone down this day and nhas sacrificed oxen, fattened cattle, and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king's sons, the commanders3 of the army, and Abiathar the priest. And behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and saying, pLong live King Adonijah! 26 qBut me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he has not invited. 27 Has this thing been brought about by my lord the king and you have not told your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?

Solomon Anointed King

28 Then King David answered, Call Bathsheba to me. So she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king swore, saying, rAs the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, 30 sas I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place, even so will I do this day. 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground and paid homage to the king and said, tMay my lord King David live forever!

32 King David said, Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. So they came before the king. 33 And the king said to them, Take with you uthe servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to vGihon. 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there wanoint him king over Israel. xThen blow the trumpet and say, yLong live King Solomon! 35 You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place. And I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say so. 37 zAs the Lord has been with my lord the king, even so may he be with Solomon, aand make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David.

38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, band the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule and brought him to Gihon. 39 There Zadok the priest took the horn of coil from the tent and danointed Solomon. xThen they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, yLong live King Solomon! 40 And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.

41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, What does this uproar in the city mean? 42 While he was still speaking, behold, eJonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. And Adonijah said, Come in, ffor you are a worthy man and bring good news. 43 Jonathan answered Adonijah, No, for our lord King David has made Solomon king, 44 and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the bCherethites and the Pelethites. And they had him ride on the king's mule. 45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at vGihon, and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. 46 gSolomon sits on the royal throne. 47 Moreover, the king's servants came to congratulate our lord King David, saying, hMay your God make the name of Solomon more famous than yours, and make his throne greater than your throne. And the king ibowed himself on the bed. 48 And the king also said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, jwho has granted someone4 to sit on my throne this day, my own eyes seeing it.

49 Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose, and each went his own way. 50 And Adonijah feared Solomon. So he arose and went kand took hold of lthe horns of the altar. 51 Then it was told Solomon, Behold, Adonijah fears King Solomon, for behold, he has laid hold of the horns of the altar, saying, Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not put his servant to death with the sword. 52 And Solomon said, If he will show himself a worthy man, mnot one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die. 53 So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, Go to your house.