1King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD kept him safe from all his enemies. 2Then the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Here I am living in a house built of cedar, but God's Covenant Box is kept in a tent!”
3Nathan answered, “Do whatever you have in mind, because the LORD is with you.” 4But that night the LORD said to Nathan, 5“Go and tell my servant David that I say to him, ‘You are not the one to build a temple for me to live in. 6From the time I rescued the people of Israel from Egypt until now, I have never lived in a temple; I have travelled round living in a tent. 7In all my travelling with the people of Israel I never asked any of the leaders that I appointed why they had not built me a temple made of cedar.’
8“So tell my servant David that I, the LORD Almighty, say to him, ‘I took you from looking after sheep in the fields and made you the ruler of my people Israel. 9I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced. I will make you as famous as the greatest leaders in the world. 12When you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will make one of your sons king and will keep his kingdom strong. 13He will be the one to build a temple for me, and I will make sure that his dynasty continues for ever. 14I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him as a father punishes his son. 15But I will not withdraw my support from him as I did from Saul, whom I removed so that you could be king. 16You will always have descendants, and I will make your kingdom last for ever. Your dynasty will never end.’ ”
17Nathan told David everything that God had revealed to him.
18Then King David went into the Tent of the LORD's presence, sat down and prayed, “I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, Sovereign LORD, nor is my family. 19Yet now you are doing even more, Sovereign LORD; you have made promises about my descendants in the years to come. And you let a man see this, Sovereign LORD! 20What more can I say to you! You know me, your servant. 21It was your will and purpose to do this; you have done all these great things in order to teach me. 22How great you are, Sovereign LORD! There is none like you; we have always known that you alone are God. 23There is no other nation on earth like Israel, whom you rescued from slavery to make them your own people. The great and wonderful things you did for them have spread your fame throughout the world. You drove out other nations and their gods as your people advanced, the people whom you set free from Egypt to be your own. 24You have made Israel your own people for ever, and you, LORD, have become their God.
25“And now, LORD God, fulfil for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would. 26Your fame will be great, and people will for ever say, ‘The LORD Almighty is God over Israel.’ And you will preserve my dynasty for all time. 27Almighty LORD, God of Israel! I have the courage to pray this prayer to you, because you have revealed all this to me, your servant, and have told me that you will make my descendants kings.
28“And now, Sovereign LORD, you are God; you always keep your promises, and you have made this wonderful promise to me. 29I ask you to bless my descendants so that they will continue to enjoy your favour. You, Sovereign LORD, have promised this, and your blessing will rest on my descendants for ever.”
1Some time later King David attacked the Philistines again, defeated them, and ended their control over the land.
2Then he defeated the Moabites. He made the prisoners lie down on the ground and put two out of every three of them to death. So the Moabites became his subjects and paid taxes to him.
3Then he defeated the king of the Syrian state of Zobah, Hadadezer son of Rehob, as Hadadezer was on his way to restore his control over the territory by the upper Euphrates. 4David captured 1,700 of his horsemen and 20,000 of his foot soldiers. He kept enough horses for a hundred chariots and crippled all the rest.
5When the Syrians of Damascus sent an army to help King Hadadezer, David attacked it and killed 22,000 men. 6Then he set up military camps in their territory, and they became his subjects and paid taxes to him. The LORD made David victorious everywhere. 7David captured the gold shields carried by Hadadezer's officials and took them to Jerusalem. 8He also took a great quantity of bronze from Betah and Berothai, cities ruled by Hadadezer.
9King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated all of Hadadezer's army. 10So he sent his son Joram to greet King David and congratulate him on his victory over Hadadezer, against whom Toi had fought many times. Joram took David presents made of gold, silver, and bronze. 11King David dedicated them for use in worship, along with the silver and gold he took from the nations he had conquered — 12Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek — as well as part of the loot he had taken from Hadadezer.
13David became even more famous when he returned from killing 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 14He set up military camps throughout Edom, and the people there became his subjects. The LORD made David victorious everywhere.
15David ruled over all Israel and made sure that his people were always treated fairly and justly. 16Joab, whose mother was Zeruiah, was the commander of the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records; 17Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was the court secretary; 18Benaiah son of Jehoiada was in charge of David's bodyguard and David's sons were priests.
David and Mephibosheth
1One day David asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul's family? If there is, I would like to show him kindness for Jonathan's sake.”
2There was a servant of Saul's family named Ziba, and he was told to go to David. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked.
“At your service, sir,” he answered.
3The king asked him, “Is there anyone left of Saul's family to whom I can show loyalty and kindness, as I promised God I would?”
Ziba answered, “There is still one of Jonathan's sons. He is crippled.”
4“Where is he?” the king asked.
“At the home of Machir son of Ammiel in Lodebar,” Ziba answered. 5So King David sent for him.
6When Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, arrived, he bowed down before David in respect. David said, “Mephibosheth,” and he answered, “At your service, sir.”
7“Don't be afraid,” David replied. “I will be kind to you for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will give you back all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always be welcome at my table.”
8Mephibosheth bowed again and said, “I am no better than a dead dog, sir! Why should you be so good to me?”
9Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said, “I am giving Mephibosheth, your master's grandson, everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10You, your sons, and your servants will farm the land for your master Saul's family and bring in the harvest, to provide food for them. But Mephibosheth himself will always be a guest at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
11Ziba answered, “I will do everything Your Majesty commands.”
So Mephibosheth ate at the king's table, just like one of the king's sons. 12Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. All the members of Ziba's family became servants of Mephibosheth. 13So Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem, eating all his meals at the king's table.
1Some time later King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2King David said, “I must show loyal friendship to Hanun, as his father Nahash did to me.” So David sent messengers to express his sympathy.
When they arrived in Ammon, 3the Ammonite leaders said to the king, “Do you think that it is in your father's honour that David has sent these men to express sympathy to you? Of course not! He has sent them here as spies to explore the city, so that he can conquer us!”
4Hanun seized David's messengers, shaved off one side of their beards, cut off their clothes at the hips, and sent them away. 5They were too ashamed to return home. When David heard about what had happened, he sent word that they should stay in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again.
6The Ammonites realized that they had made David their enemy, so they hired 20,000 Syrian soldiers from Bethrehob and Zobah, 12,000 men from Tob, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men. 7David heard of it and sent Joab against them with the whole army. 8The Ammonites marched out and took up their position at the entrance to Rabbah, their capital city, while the others, both the Syrians and the men from Tob and Maacah, took up their position in the open countryside.
9Joab saw that the enemy troops would attack him in front and from the rear, so he chose the best of Israel's soldiers and put them in position facing the Syrians. 10He placed the rest of his troops under the command of his brother Abishai, who put them in position facing the Ammonites. 11Joab said to him, “If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you. 12Be strong and courageous! Let's fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD's will be done!”
13Joab and his men advanced to attack, and the Syrians fled. 14When the Ammonites saw the Syrians running away, they fled from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab turned back from fighting the Ammonites and went back to Jerusalem.
15The Syrians realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, so they called all their troops together. 16King Hadadezer sent for the Syrians who were on the east side of the River Euphrates, and they came to Helam under the command of Shobach, commander of the army of King Hadadezer of Zobah. 17When David heard of it, he gathered the Israelite troops, crossed the River Jordan, and marched to Helam, where the Syrians took up their position facing him. The fighting began, 18and the Israelites drove the Syrian army back. David and his men killed 700 Syrian chariot drivers and 40,000 horsemen, and they wounded Shobach, the enemy commander, who died on the battlefield. 19When the kings who were subject to Hadadezer realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, they made peace with them and became their subjects. And the Syrians were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
David and Bathsheba
1The following spring, at the time of the year when kings usually go to war, David sent out Joab with his officers and the Israelite army; they defeated the Ammonites and besieged the city of Rabbah. But David himself stayed in Jerusalem.
2One day, late in the afternoon, David got up from his nap and went to the palace roof. As he walked about up there, he saw a woman having a bath. She was very beautiful. 3So he sent a messenger to find out who she was, and learnt that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. 4David sent messengers to fetch her; they brought her to him and he made love to her. (She had just finished her monthly ritual of purification.) Then she went back home. 5Afterwards she discovered that she was pregnant and sent a message to David to tell him.
6David then sent a message to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. 7When Uriah arrived, David asked him if Joab and the troops were well, and how the fighting was going. 8Then he said to Uriah, “Go home and rest a while.” Uriah left, and David sent a present to his home. 9But Uriah did not go home; instead he slept at the palace gate with the king's guards. 10When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he asked him, “You have just returned after a long absence; why didn't you go home?”
11Uriah answered, “The men of Israel and Judah are away at the war, and the Covenant Box is with them; my commander Joab and his officers are camping out in the open. How could I go home, eat and drink, and sleep with my wife? By all that's sacred, I swear that I could never do such a thing!”
12So David said, “Then stay here the rest of the day, and tomorrow I'll send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13David invited him to supper and made him drunk. But again that night Uriah did not go home; instead he slept on his blanket in the palace guardroom.
14The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. 15He wrote: “Put Uriah in the front line, where the fighting is heaviest, then retreat and let him be killed.” 16So while Joab was besieging the city, he sent Uriah to a place where he knew the enemy was strong. 17The enemy troops came out of the city and fought Joab's forces; some of David's officers were killed, and so was Uriah.
18Then Joab sent a report to David telling him about the battle, 19and he instructed the messenger, “After you have told the king all about the battle, 20he may get angry and ask you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight them? Didn't you realize that they would shoot arrows from the walls? 21Don't you remember how Abimelech son of Gideon was killed? It was at Thebez, where a woman threw a millstone down from the wall and killed him. Why, then, did you go so near the wall?’ If the king asks you this, tell him, ‘Your officer Uriah was also killed.’ ”
22So the messenger went to David and told him what Joab had commanded him to say. 23He said, “Our enemies were stronger than we were and came out of the city to fight us in the open, but we drove them back to the city gate. 24Then they shot arrows at us from the wall, and some of Your Majesty's officers were killed; your officer Uriah was also killed.”
25David said to the messenger, “Encourage Joab and tell him not to be upset, since you never can tell who will die in battle. Tell him to launch a stronger attack on the city and capture it.”
26When Bathsheba heard that her husband had been killed, she mourned for him. 27When the time of mourning was over, David sent for her to come to the palace; she became his wife and bore him a son. But the LORD was not pleased with what David had done.