Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 139

1 Chronicles 11–15, Psalm 28

Bible text(s)

David Becomes King of Israel and Judah

(2 Sam 5.1–10)

1All the people of Israel went to David at Hebron and said to him, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2In the past, even when Saul was still our king, you led the people of Israel in battle, and the LORD your God promised you that you would lead his people and be their ruler.” 3So all the leaders of Israel came to King David at Hebron. He made a sacred alliance with them, they anointed him, and he became king of Israel, just as the LORD had promised through Samuel.

4King David and all the Israelites went and attacked the city of Jerusalem. It was then known as Jebus, and the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land, were still living there. 5The Jebusites told David he would never get inside the city, but David captured their fortress of Zion, and it became known as “David's City”. 6David said, “The first man to kill a Jebusite will be commander of the army!” Joab, whose mother was Zeruiah, led the attack and became commander. 7Because David went to live in the fortress, it came to be called “David's City”. 8He rebuilt the city, starting at the place where land was filled in on the east side of the hill, and Joab restored the rest of the city. 9David grew stronger and stronger, because the LORD Almighty was with him.

David's Famous Soldiers

(2 Sam 23.8–39)

10This is the list of David's famous soldiers. Together with the rest of the people of Israel, they helped him to become king, as the LORD had promised, and they kept his kingdom strong.

11First was Jashobeam of the clan of Hachmon, the leader of “The Three”. He fought with his spear against 300 men and killed them all in one battle. 12Next among the famous “Three” was Eleazar son of Dodo, of the clan of Ahoh. 13He fought on David's side against the Philistines at the battle of Pas Dammim. He was in a barley field when the Israelites started to run away, 14so he and his men made a stand in the middle of the field and fought the Philistines. The LORD gave him a great victory.

15One day three of the thirty leading soldiers went to a rock where David was staying near the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was camping in the Valley of Rephaim. 16At that time David was on a fortified hill, and a group of Philistines had occupied Bethlehem. 17David got homesick and said, “How I wish someone would bring me a drink of water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem!” 18The three famous soldiers forced their way through the Philistine camp, drew some water from the well, and brought it back to David. But he would not drink it; instead he poured it out as an offering to the LORD 19and said, “I could never drink this! It would be like drinking the blood of these men who risked their lives!” So he refused to drink it. These were the brave deeds of the three famous soldiers.

20Joab's brother Abishai was the leader of “The Famous Thirty”. He fought with his spear against 300 men and killed them, and became famous among “The Thirty”. 21He was the most famous of “The Thirty” and became their leader, but he was not as famous as “The Three”.

22Benaiah son of Jehoiada from Kabzeel was a famous soldier; he did many brave deeds, including killing two great Moabite warriors. He once went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 23He also killed an Egyptian, a huge man over two metres tall, who was armed with a gigantic spear. Benaiah attacked him with a club, snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with it. 24Those were the brave deeds of Benaiah, who was one of “The Thirty”. 25He was outstanding among “The Thirty”, but not as famous as “The Three”. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

26-47These are the other outstanding soldiers:

    Asahel, Joab's brother
    Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem
    Shammoth from Harod
    Helez from Pelet
    Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa
    Abiezer from Anathoth
    Sibbecai from Hushah
    Ilai from Ahoh
    Maharai from Netophah
    Heled son of Baanah from Netophah
    Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin
    Benaiah from Pirathon
    Hurai from the valleys near Gaash
    Abiel from Arbah
    Azmaveth from Bahurum
    Eliahba from Shaalbon
    Hashem from Gizon
    Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar
    Ahiam son of Sachar from Harar
    Eliphal son of Ur
    Hepher from Mecherah
    Ahijah from Pelon
    Hezro from Carmel
    Naarai son of Ezbai
    Joel brother of Nathan
    Mibhar son of Hagri
    Zelek from Ammon
    Naharai, Joab's armour-bearer, from Beeroth
    Ira and Gareb from Jattir
    Uriah the Hittite
    Zabad son of Ahlai
    Adina son of Shiza (a leading member of the tribe of Reuben, with his own group of thirty soldiers)
    Hanan son of Maacah
    Joshaphat from Mithan
    Uzzia from Ashterah
    Shamma and Jeiel, sons of Hotham, from Aroer
    Jediael and Joha, sons of Shimri, from Tiz
    Eliel from Mahavah
    Jeribai and Joshaviah, sons of Elnaam
    Ithmah from Moab
    Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel from Zobah.
1 Chronicles 11GNBOpen in Bible reader

David's Early Followers from the Tribe of Benjamin

1David was living in Ziklag, where he had gone to escape from King Saul. There he was joined by many experienced, reliable soldiers, 2members of the tribe of Benjamin, to which Saul belonged. They could shoot arrows and sling stones either right handed or left handed. 3-7They were under the command of Ahiezer and Joash, sons of Shemaah, from Gibeah.

These were the soldiers:

    Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth
    Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth
    Ishmaiah from Gibeon, a famous soldier and one of the leaders of “The Thirty”
    Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johannan, and Jozabad, from Gederah
    Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah, from Hariph
    Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, of the clan of Korah
    Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham, from Gedor.

David's Followers from the Tribe of Gad

8These are the names of the famous, experienced soldiers from the tribe of Gad who joined David's troops when he was at the desert fort. They were experts with shields and spears, as fierce-looking as lions and as quick as mountain deer. 9-13They were ranked in the following order: Ezer, Obadiah, Eliab, Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbannai.

14Some of these men from the tribe of Gad were senior officers in command of a thousand men, and others were junior officers in command of a hundred. 15In the first month of one year, the time when the River Jordan overflowed its banks, they crossed the river, scattering the people who lived in the valleys both east and west of the river.

Followers from Benjamin and Judah

16Once a group of men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah went out to the fort where David was. 17David went to meet them and said, “If you are coming as friends to help me, you are welcome here. Join us! But if you intend to betray me to my enemies, even though I have not tried to hurt you, the God of our ancestors will know it and punish you.”

18God's Spirit took control of one of them, Amasai, who later became the commander of “The Thirty”, and he called out,

“David son of Jesse, we are yours!

Success to you and those who help you!

God is on your side.”

David welcomed them and made them officers in his army.

Followers from Manasseh

19Some soldiers from the tribe of Manasseh went over to David's side when he was marching out with the Philistines to fight King Saul. Actually he did not help the Philistines, for their kings were afraid that he would betray them to his former master Saul, so they sent him back to Ziklag. 20These are the soldiers from Manasseh who went over to David's side when he was returning: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai. In Manasseh they had all commanded units of a thousand men. 21They served David as officers over his troops, because they were all outstanding soldiers. Later they were officers in the Israelite army. 22Almost every day new men joined David's forces, so that his army was soon enormous.

List of David's Forces

23-37When David was at Hebron, many trained soldiers joined his army to help make him king in place of Saul, as the LORD had promised. Their numbers were as follows:

    Judah: 6,800 well-equipped men, armed with shields and spears;
    Simeon: 7,100 well-trained men;
    Levi: 4,600 men;
    Followers of Jehoiada, descendant of Aaron: 3,700 men;
    Relatives of Zadok, an able young fighter: 22 leading men;
    Benjamin (Saul's own tribe): 3,000 men (most of the people of Benjamin had remained loyal to Saul);
    Ephraim: 20,800 men famous in their own clans;
    West Manasseh: 18,000 men chosen to go and make David king;
    Issachar: 200 leaders, together with the men under their command (these leaders knew what Israel should do and the best time to do it);
    Zebulun: 50,000 loyal and reliable men ready to fight, trained to use all kinds of weapons;
    Naphtali: 1,000 leaders, together with 37,000 men armed with shields and spears;
    Dan: 28,600 trained men;
    Asher: 40,000 men ready for battle;
    Tribes east of the Jordan — Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh: 120,000 men trained to use all kinds of weapons.

38All these soldiers, ready for battle, went to Hebron, determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the people of Israel were united in the same purpose. 39They spent three days there with David, feasting on the food and drink which other Israelites had prepared for them. 40From as far away as the northern tribes of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali, people came bringing donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen loaded with food — flour, figs, raisins, wine, and olive oil. They also brought cattle and sheep to kill and eat. All this was an expression of the joy that was felt throughout the whole country.

1 Chronicles 12GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Covenant Box is Moved from Kiriath Jearim

(2 Sam 6.1–11)

1King David consulted with all the officers in command of units of a thousand men and units of a hundred men. 2Then he announced to all the people of Israel, “If you give your approval and if it is the will of the LORD our God, let us send messengers to the rest of our people and to the priests and Levites in their towns, and tell them to assemble here with us. 3Then we will go and fetch God's Covenant Box, which was ignored while Saul was king.” 4The people were pleased with the suggestion and agreed to it.

5So David assembled the people of Israel from all over the country, from the Egyptian border in the south to Hamath Pass in the north, in order to bring the Covenant Box from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem. 6David and the people went to the city of Baalah, that is, to Kiriath Jearim, in the territory of Judah, to fetch the Covenant Box of God, which bears the name of the LORD enthroned above the winged creatures. 7At Abinadab's house they brought out the Covenant Box and put it on a new cart. Uzzah and Ahio guided the cart, 8while David and all the people danced with all their might to honour God. They sang and played musical instruments — harps, drums, cymbals, and trumpets.

9As they came to the threshing place of Chidon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah stretched out his hand and took hold of the Covenant Box. 10At once the LORD became angry with Uzzah and killed him for touching the box. He died there in God's presence, 11and so that place has been called Perez Uzzah ever since. David was furious because the LORD had punished Uzzah in anger.

12Then David was afraid of God and said, “How can I take the Covenant Box with me now?” 13So David did not take it with him to Jerusalem. Instead, he left it at the house of a man named Obed Edom, a native of the city of Gath. 14It stayed there three months, and the LORD blessed Obed Edom's family and everything that belonged to him.

1 Chronicles 13GNBOpen in Bible reader

David's Activities in Jerusalem

(2 Sam 5.11–16)

1King Hiram of Tyre sent a trade mission to David; he provided him with cedar logs and with stonemasons and carpenters to build a palace. 2And so David realized that the LORD had established him as king of Israel and was making his kingdom prosperous for the sake of his people.

3There in Jerusalem, David married more wives and had more sons and daughters. 4The following children were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 7Elishama, Beeliada, and Eliphelet.

Victory over the Philistines

(2 Sam 5.17–25)

8When the Philistines heard that David had now been made king over the whole country of Israel, their army went out to capture him. So David marched out to meet them. 9The Philistines arrived at the Valley of Rephaim and began plundering. 10David asked God, “Shall I attack the Philistines? Will you give me the victory?”

The LORD answered, “Yes, attack! I will give you the victory!”

11So David attacked them at Baal Perazim and defeated them. He said, “God has used me to break through the enemy army like a flood.” So that place is called Baal Perazim. 12When the Philistines fled, they left their idols behind, and David gave orders for them to be burnt.

13Soon the Philistines returned to the valley and started plundering it again. 14Once more David consulted God, who answered, “Don't attack them from here, but go round and get ready to attack them from the other side, near the balsam trees. 15When you hear the sound of marching in the treetops, then attack, because I will be marching ahead of you to defeat the Philistine army.” 16David did what God had commanded, and so he drove the Philistines back from Gibeon all the way to Gezer. 17David's fame spread everywhere, and the LORD made every nation afraid of him.

1 Chronicles 14GNBOpen in Bible reader

Getting Ready to Move the Covenant Box

1For his own use, David built houses in David's City. He also prepared a place for God's Covenant Box and put up a tent for it. 2Then he said, “Only Levites should carry the Covenant Box, because they are the ones the LORD chose to carry it and to serve him for ever.” 3So David summoned all the people of Israel to Jerusalem in order to bring the Covenant Box to the place he had prepared for it. 4Next he sent for the descendants of Aaron and for the Levites. 5From the Levite clan of Kohath came Uriel, in charge of 120 members of his clan; 6from the clan of Merari came Asaiah, in charge of 220; 7from the clan of Gershon, Joel, in charge of 130; 8from the clan of Elizaphan, Shemaiah, in charge of 200; 9from the clan of Hebron, Eliel, in charge of eighty; 10and from the clan of Uzziel, Amminadab, in charge of 112.

11David called in the priests Zadok and Abiathar and the six Levites, Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. 12He said to the Levites, “You are the leaders of the Levite clans. Purify yourselves and your fellow-Levites, so that you can bring the Covenant Box of the LORD God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. 13Because you were not there to carry it the first time, the LORD our God punished us for not worshipping him as we should have done.”

14Then the priests and the Levites purified themselves in order to move the Covenant Box of the LORD God of Israel. 15The Levites carried it on poles on their shoulders, as the LORD had commanded through Moses.

16David commanded the leaders of the Levites to assign various Levites to sing and to play joyful music on harps and cymbals. 17-21From the clans of singers they chose the following men to play the brass cymbals: Heman son of Joel, his relative Asaph son of Berechiah, and Ethan son of Kushaiah, of the clan of Merari. To assist them they chose the following Levites to play the high-pitched harps: Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah.

To play the low-pitched harps they chose the following Levites: Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Azaziah, and the temple guards, Obed Edom and Jeiel.

22Because of his skill in music Chenaniah was chosen to be in charge of the levitical musicians. 23-24Berechiah and Elkanah, along with Obed Edom and Jehiah, were chosen as guards for the Covenant Box. The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer were chosen to blow trumpets in front of the Covenant Box.

Moving the Covenant Box to Jerusalem

(2 Sam 6.12–22)

25So King David, the leaders of Israel, and the military commanders went to the house of Obed Edom to fetch the Covenant Box, and they had a great celebration. 26They sacrificed seven bulls and seven sheep, to make sure that God would help the Levites who were carrying the Covenant Box. 27David was wearing a robe made of the finest linen, and so were the musicians, Chenaniah their leader, and the Levites who carried the Box. David also wore a linen ephod. 28So all the Israelites accompanied the Covenant Box up to Jerusalem with shouts of joy, the sound of trumpets, horns, and cymbals, and the music of harps.

29As the Box was being brought into the city, Michal, Saul's daughter, looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and leaping for joy, and she was disgusted with him.

1 Chronicles 15GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Prayer for Help

1O LORD, my defender, I call to you.

Listen to my cry!

If you do not answer me,

I will be among those who go down to the world of the dead.

2Hear me when I cry to you for help,

when I lift my hands towards your holy Temple.

3Do not condemn me with the wicked,

with those who do evil —

those whose words are friendly,

but who have hatred in their hearts.

4Punish them for what they have done,

for the evil they have committed.

Punish them for all their deeds;

give them what they deserve!

5They take no notice of what the LORD has done

or of what he has made;

so he will punish them

and destroy them for ever.

6Give praise to the LORD;

he has heard my cry for help.

7The LORD protects and defends me;

I trust in him.

He gives me help and makes me glad;

I praise him with joyful songs.

8The LORD protects his people;

he defends and saves his chosen king.

9Save your people, LORD,

and bless those who are yours.

Be their shepherd,

and take care of them for ever.

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