1Some time later King David attacked the Philistines again and defeated them. He took out of their control the city of Gath and its surrounding villages. 2He also defeated the Moabites, who became his subjects and paid taxes to him.
3Next, David attacked King Hadadezer of the Syrian state of Zobah, near the territory of Hamath, because Hadadezer was trying to gain control of the territory by the upper Euphrates. 4David captured a thousand of his chariots, 7,000 horsemen, and 20,000 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 Tibhath and Kun, cities ruled by Hadadezer. (Solomon later used this bronze to make the tank, the columns, and the bronze utensils for the Temple.)
9King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated Hadadezer's entire army. 10So he sent his son Joram to greet King David and congratulate him for his victory over Hadadezer, against whom Toi had fought many times. Joram brought 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 conquered — Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.
12Abishai, whose mother was Zeruiah, defeated the Edomites in the Valley of Salt and killed 18,000 of them. 13He set up military camps throughout Edom, and the people there became King David's subjects. The LORD made David victorious everywhere.
14David ruled over all Israel and made sure that his people were always treated fairly and justly. 15Abishai's brother Joab was commander of the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was in charge of the records; 16Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was court secretary; 17Benaiah son of Jehoiada was in charge of David's bodyguard; and King David's sons held high positions in his service.
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 and called on King Hanun, 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 land, so that he can conquer it!”
4Hanun seized David's messengers, shaved off their beards, cut off their clothes at the hips, and sent them away. 5They were too ashamed to return home. When David heard what had happened, he sent word for them to stay in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again.
6King Hanun and the Ammonites realized that they had made David their enemy, so they paid 34 tonnes of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from Upper Mesopotamia and from the Syrian states of Maacah and Zobah. 7The 32,000 chariots they hired and the army of the king of Maacah came and camped near Medeba. The Ammonites too came out from all their cities and got ready to fight.
8When David heard what was happening, he sent out Joab and the whole army. 9The Ammonites marched out and took up their position at the entrance to Rabbah, their capital city, and the kings who had come to help took up their position in the open countryside.
10Joab 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. 11He placed the rest of his troops under the command of his brother Abishai, who put them in position facing the Ammonites. 12Joab 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. 13Be 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.”
14Joab and his men advanced to attack, and the Syrians fled. 15When the Ammonites saw the Syrians running away, they fled from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab went back to Jerusalem.
16The Syrians realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, so they brought troops from the Syrian states on the east side of the River Euphrates and placed them 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 Jordan, and put them in position facing the Syrians. The fighting began, 18and the Israelites drove the Syrian army back. David and his men killed 7,000 Syrian chariot drivers and 40,000 foot soldiers. They also killed the Syrian commander, Shobach. 19When the kings who were subject to Hadadezer realized that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became his subjects. The Syrians were never again willing to help the Ammonites.
1The following spring, at the time of the year when kings usually go to war, Joab led out the army and invaded the land of Ammon; King David, however, stayed in Jerusalem. They besieged the city of Rabbah, attacked it, and destroyed it. 2The Ammonite idol Molech had a gold crown which weighed about 34 kilogrammes. In it there was a jewel, which David took and put in his own crown. He also took a large amount of loot from the city. 3He took the people of the city and put them to work with saws, iron hoes, and axes. He did the same to the people of all the other towns of Ammon. Then he and his men returned to Jerusalem.
4Later on, war broke out again with the Philistines at Gezer. This was when Sibbecai from Hushah killed a giant named Sippai, and the Philistines were defeated.
5There was another battle with the Philistines, and Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath from Gath, whose spear had a shaft as thick as the bar on a weaver's loom.
6Another battle took place at Gath, where there was a giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He was a descendant of the ancient giants. 7He defied the Israelites, and Jonathan, the son of David's brother Shammah, killed him.
8These three, who were killed by David and his men, were descendants of the giants at Gath.
1Satan wanted to bring trouble on the people of Israel, so he made David decide to take a census. 2David gave orders to Joab and the other officers, “Go through Israel, from one end of the country to the other, and count the people. I want to know how many there are.”
3Joab answered, “May the LORD make the people of Israel a hundred times more numerous than they are now! Your Majesty, they are all your servants. Why do you want to do this and make the whole nation guilty?” 4But the king made Joab obey the order. Joab went out, travelled through the whole country of Israel, and then returned to Jerusalem. 5He reported to King David the total number of men capable of military service: 1,100,000 in Israel, and 470,000 in Judah. 6Because Joab disapproved of the king's command, he did not take any census of the tribes of Levi and Benjamin.
7God was displeased with what had been done, so he punished Israel. 8David said to God, “I have committed a terrible sin in doing this! Please forgive me. I have acted foolishly.”
9Then the LORD said to Gad, David's prophet, 10“Go and tell David that I am giving him three choices. I will do whichever he chooses.”
11Gad went to David, told him what the LORD had said, and asked, “Which is it to be? 12Three years of famine? Or three months of running away from the armies of your enemies? Or three days during which the LORD attacks you with his sword and sends an epidemic on your land, using his angel to bring death throughout Israel? What answer shall I give the LORD?”
13David replied to Gad, “I am in a desperate situation! But I don't want to be punished by people. Let the LORD himself be the one to punish me, because he is merciful.”
14So the LORD sent an epidemic on the people of Israel, and 70,000 of them died. 15Then he sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem, but he changed his mind and said to the angel, “Stop! That's enough!” The angel was standing by the threshing place of Araunah, a Jebusite.
16David saw the angel standing in mid air, holding his sword in his hand, ready to destroy Jerusalem. Then David and the leaders of the people — all of whom were wearing sackcloth — bowed low, with their faces touching the ground. 17David prayed, “O God, I am the one who did wrong. I am the one who ordered the census. What have these poor people done? LORD, my God, punish me and my family, and spare your people.”
18The angel of the LORD told Gad to command David to go and build an altar to the LORD at Araunah's threshing place. 19David obeyed the LORD's command and went, as Gad had told him to. 20There at the threshing place Araunah and his four sons were threshing wheat, and when they saw the angel, the sons ran and hid. 21As soon as Araunah saw King David approaching, he left the threshing place and bowed low, with his face touching the ground. 22David said to him, “Sell me your threshing place, so that I can build an altar to the LORD, to stop the epidemic. I'll give you the full price.”
23“Take it, Your Majesty,” Araunah said, “and do whatever you wish. Here are these oxen to burn as an offering on the altar, and here are the threshing boards to use as fuel, and wheat to give as an offering. I give it all to you.”
24But the king answered, “No, I will pay you the full price. I will not give as an offering to the LORD something that belongs to you, something that costs me nothing.” 25And he paid Araunah 600 gold coins for the threshing place. 26He built an altar to the LORD there and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He prayed, and the LORD answered him by sending fire from heaven to burn the sacrifices on the altar.
27The LORD told the angel to put his sword away, and the angel obeyed. 28David saw by this that the LORD had answered his prayer, so he offered sacrifices on the altar at Araunah's threshing place. 29The Tent of the LORD's presence which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar on which sacrifices were burnt were still at the place of worship at Gibeon at this time; 30but David was not able to go there to worship God, because he was afraid of the sword of the LORD's angel.
1So David said, “This is where the Temple of the LORD God will be. Here is the altar where the people of Israel are to offer burnt offerings.”