2 Samuel

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians.
Covering the events from the death of Saul (about 1077-BCE)
to David's purchase of land for the Temple site (somewhere around 1045-BCE).

Chapter 1

1 After Saul had died and after David had returned from his battle with the Amalechites, David spent a couple of days in ZikLag. 2 Then on the third day, a man came to him from the camp of the army of Saul. His clothes were all torn and his face was covered with dirt. And when he reached David, he fell to the ground and bowed low before him. 3 Then David asked him: 'Where have you come from?'

And he said: 'I've struggled to make it here from the camp of IsraEl.'

4 Then David asked: 'What message are you bringing? Tell me!'

And he said: 'Our army has fled the field of battle… many have been injured and many more have been killed! Why, Saul and his son JoNathan have both been killed!'

5 Then David asked: 'How do you know that both Saul and JoNathan are dead?'

6 And the young man said: 'I happened to be on Mount GilBoa when I saw Saul leaning on his spear. The chariots and cavalry started coming toward him, so I went over to his side. 7 And when he looked back and saw me, he called to me and I said, Look, here I am. 8 And he asked, Who are you? And I said, I'm an Amalechite. 9 And he said to me, Stand over me and kill me, because an awful darkness is coming over me! 10 So I stood over him and put him to death, because I knew that he couldn't survive his wound. Then I took the [turban] from his head and the armlet from his biceps, and I've brought them here to you, my lord.'

11 Well, David started grabbing his clothes and ripping them, and all of his men started ripping their clothes, 12 beating on their chests, and crying. Then they fasted for the rest of that day over Saul, his son JoNathan, the people of Judah, and the people of IsraEl who were cut down with broadswords.

13 Well later, David asked the man who brought him the message: 'Where are you from?'

And he replied: 'I'm the son of an Amalechite man who is living in your land.'

14 Then David asked him: 'So, why weren't you afraid to lift your hand and kill the anointed of Jehovah?' 15 And thereafter, David called one of his servants and said: 'Come here and kill him!' So he struck the man and he died. 16 For David told him: 'Your blood is on your own head, because your own mouth spoke against you when you said, I have killed the anointed of Jehovah.'

17 Well after that, David went into mourning over Saul and his son JoNathan. 18 And to teach the sons of Judah, he sang this song:

'It's written in the scroll of the righteous:
19 'Erect a stele, O IsraEl,
For those who have died in your hills,
And for all the mighty who've fallen.

20 'Don't allow them to announce it in Gath,
Or announce it as good news in AshKelon's streets,
So the daughters of Philistia won't be joyful…
So the daughters of uncircumcised do not rejoice.

21 'May dew not fall on GilBoa,
And may no more rain fall upon you,
There in the fields of the first fruits;
For the shields of the mighty have been treated with contempt.

'Saul's shield was not anointed with oil,
22 Nor with the blood of the slain,
Or with the fat of the mighty;
But JoNathan's bow did not return void,
Nor did the broadsword of Saul return bare.

23 'Saul and JoNathan (those who were loved)…
These beautiful men were not parted.
They were handsome in life…
And now they're together in death.

'They were swifter than eagles,
And they conquered more than great lions.

24 'So IsraEl's daughters; weep now for Saul,
For he dressed you in scarlet and jewels…
He dressed you in clothes, and in gold, and in gems.
25 But now, these mighty have fallen in war.

'O JoNathan;
You were killed in the mountains.
26 And I ache for you, O my brother;
For to me, you were a beautiful man.

'Your wonderous affection for me,
Was greater than the love of a woman.
27 But now, the mighty have fallen,
And their weapons of war are destroyed.'

Chapter 2

1 Then after that, David asked this of Jehovah: 'Should I now return to one of the cities of Judah?'

And the Lord replied: 'Go!'

Then, when David asked where he should go, the Lord told him: 'To HebRon.' 2 So David thereafter moved to HebRon with his women (AhiNoam the JezreElite and AbiGail the woman of NaBal the Carmelite) and his men. 3 There, each man [obtained] his own house and they all started living in and around HebRon.

4 And after that, the men of Judah came and anointed David to be the ruler over the house of Judah.

Well later, when David received the report that the men of JabIsh GileAd had put Saul's [body] in a tomb, 5 he sent a message to the leaders of JabIsh of GileAd that said: 'May you be blest by Jehovah for showing such mercy to your lord Saul the anointed of God by building a tomb for him and his son JoNathan, 6 and may Jehovah grant you mercy and truth. From now on, I will treat you in the same [kind] way that you've treated [Saul and JoNathan]. 7 So, prepare yourselves for this and make yourselves strong; because, now that your lord Saul has died, I've been anointed to rule over the house of Judah and to become your king!'

8 However AbNer (the son of Ner), Saul's commander-in-chief, took Saul's son IshBosheth from his camp to ManaEm 9 and set him up as the ruler over GileAd, ThasiRi, JezreEl, Ephraim, BenJamin, and all the rest of IsraEl.

10 Well when IshBosheth was appointed the king over IsraEl, he was forty-years old, and he ruled from there for the next two years. However, the house of Judah followed David as their ruler, 11 and he ruled from HebRon for the next seven years and six months.

12 Then AbNer (the son of Ner) and the servants of IshBosheth came from ManaEm to GibeOn, 13 and JoAb (the son of ZeruJah) and David's servants came from HebRon to meet with them at the spring of GibeOn. So they all sat down together at the spring, with each group sitting on opposite sides of the spring. 14 And AbNer said to JoAb: 'Have your servants get up and play in front of us.' So JoAb said to them: '[Okay men], get up!' 15 Then twelve of IshBosheth's servants (BenJaminites) stood up as twelve of David's men stood up, 16 and they all grabbed each other by the head and jabbed each other in the side with their swords… and they all fell together. So from then on, that place was known in GibeOn as 'The Place of the Plotters.' 17 As the result, a battle started that day, which was hard fought; and AbNer and the men of IsraEl lost to the servants of David.

18 Now, ZeruJah had three sons who were there; JoAb, AbiShai, and AshaEl… and AshaEl was very light on his feet… like a deer in the field. 19 Well, he chased AbNer without slowing or swerving. 20 And when AbNer looked back and saw him, he shouted: 'Is that really AshaEl?'

And he replied: 'It's me!'

21 Then AbNer shouted: 'You should really turn aside and put on one of your servant's armor.'

However, AshaEl didn't want to slow down, because he was hot on the heels of AbNer. 22 Then AbNer said to AshaEl, 'Turn back or I'll have to kill you! And if I do that, how could I ever show my face to JoAb again? 23 What are you doing? Go back to your brother JoAb!'

However, AshaEl wasn't willing to stop. So AbNer threw his spear and hit him in the stomach, running him completely through, and he fell and died there under [AbNer].

Well, everyone went to the place where he fell and just stood there looking [at the body]. 24 Then JoAb and AbiShai chased AbNer until the sun set, getting as far as the hill of AmManin in front of Gai on the road between GibeOn and the desert. 25 Meanwhile, the sons of BenJamin had assembled and were coming to help AbNer (they'd reached to the top of one of the hills). 26 So AbNer called to JoAb and said: 'Do you really think that you can beat me with your broadsword… don't you know that this will lead to your own bitter end? Tell your people to stop chasing their brother!'

27 Then JoAb said: 'As Jehovah lives, it's good that you said this; for our people would have been chasing each other all night long!'

28 So JoAb blew his trumpet, and all his people withdrew and stopped chasing after IsraEl, and the battle ended.

29 Well, AbNer and his men left at sunset and traveled throughout the night, crossing the Jordan and returning all the way to their camp, 30 since JoAb had stopped chasing AbNer.

Thereafter, [JoAb] gathered all his men to find out how many of David's servants had been lost, and he found that they had only lost nineteen, plus AshaEl. 31 However, David's men had killed three hundred and sixty of the sons of BenJamin under AbNer. 32 Then he picked up AshaEl's [body] and put it in the tomb in BethLehem where his father was buried. And JoAb and his men also traveled all night long, reaching HebRon at dawn.

Chapter 3

1 Well, the war between the house of David and the house of Saul lasted a long time and the house of David kept getting stronger while the house of Saul kept getting weaker.

2 In the meantime, David had sons born to him in HebRon. His first-born was AmNon through AhiNoam the JezreElite; 3 the second was DaluJah through AbiGail the Carmelite; the third was AbSalom through MaAcha the daughter of Tholmi, the king of Gesir; 4 the fourth was Ornia through PhegGith; the fifth was SabaTia through AbiTal; 5 and the sixth was JetheraAm through AiGla. These were all David's women and all of his sons who were born in HebRon.

6 Well, during the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, AbNer became [more powerful] in IsraEl.

7 Now, Saul used to have a concubine named ResPha (the daughter of Jal). Then Saul's son IshBosheth went to AbNer and asked him this: 'Why are you [sleeping] with my father's concubine?'

8 Well, this made AbNer furious with IshBosheth, and AbNer said: 'How dare you to speak to me like a dog after the mercy I've shown to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends! Since I never went over to the side of the house of David, why are you coming to me and complaining that I've been unjust over some woman today? 9 Now, as Jehovah swore in an oath to David; may God curse AbNer and add to it if I don't do this: 10 I will now remove the kingship from the house of Saul and raise the throne of David to be over all of IsraEl and Judah from Dan to BeerSheba!'

11 Well, IshBosheth didn't say anything more, because he was so frightened.

12 Then AbNer sent messengers to David right away (who was in ThaiLam at the time), with the message: 'Make a treaty with me, because I'm on your side now, and I'm going to give the whole house of IsraEl to you.'

13 And David replied: 'Yes, I will make a treaty with you! However, there is one thing that I want to ask of you… I don't want to see your face unless you bring Saul's daughter Michal with you when you come to me.'

14 Meanwhile, David also sent messengers to Saul's son IshBosheth, telling him: 'Give back my woman Michal, for whom I paid with the foreskins of a hundred Philistines!'

15 As the result, IshBosheth sent and had her taken from her man PhaltiEl (the son of SelLe), 16 who then followed her all the way to BarAkim. But after AbNer warned him to go back, he turned around and went home.

17 Thereafter, AbNer spoke to the elders of IsraEl and said this: 'Since you've been looking for David to rule over you a long time, 18 you should do something now. For Jehovah has said concerning him, I will deliver IsraEl from the hands of the Philistines and all their other enemies at the hands of David!'

19 Then AbNer also went and spoke to the people of the tribe of BenJamin (before he went to speak to David at HebRon), and everyone in the house of BenJamin and the rest of IsraEl was pleased with this idea. 20 It was then that AbNer went with twenty of his men to see David in HebRon… and David prepared a banquet for them. 21 So AbNer said this to David: 'I will go and gather all IsraEl to my lord the king, and I will conclude a treaty with you for you to rule over whomever you may wish.' Then David sent AbNer away in peace.

22 However, shortly thereafter, JoAb returned to David with his army after a battle, carrying many spoils of war.

Well, AbNer was no longer there with David in HebRon, since he'd been sent away in peace. 23 But when JoAb and his men heard that AbNer (the son of Ner) had come to David and that he'd been sent away in peace, 24 JoAb came to the king and asked, 'What have you done? Look! AbNer actually came here and you sent him away in peace? 25 Don't you know that AbNer just came here to deceive you? He just came to find out your plans!'

26 So, after JoAb left David, he sent messengers to AbNer (who was at the well of SeiRam), asking him to return… but David didn't know anything about this. 27 And when AbNer returned to HebRon, JoAb called to him as he arrived at the city gate, saying that he wanted to speak to him.

Well, it was a trap; for he stabbed him in the stomach and killed him (he did this to [avenge] the blood of his brother AshaEl).

28 Then when David heard about [what AbNer had done], he said: 'My kingdom and I are innocent before Jehovah through the ages over the blood of AbNer, the son of Ner. 29 But may the guilt of this rest upon JoAb and the house of his father. May the house of JoAb always suffer from gonorrhea and leprosy; may they walk on crutches; may they starve and be cut down in battle. 30 For it was JoAb and his brother AbiShai [who did this to] AbNer, because he had killed their brother AshaEl at the battle of GibeOn.'

31 Then David told JoAb and all of his men to rip their clothes, wrap themselves in sackcloth, and to mourn for AbNer!

And after that, David walked behind AbNer's casket in his funeral procession. 32 For they buried him in a tomb in HebRon, where David screamed and cried, as did all the people. 33 The king mourned over AbNer, saying these words:
'Should AbNer have died like NaBal?
34 For his hands and feet were not tied,
Nor like NaBal, was he led away…
He was cut down by an unrighteous man.'

So, all the people gathered to weep for him, 35 and David invited them all to eat loaves of bread in a funeral meal that day. Then David swore an oath, saying, 'May God curse me and add more to it if I eat anything before the sun sets today.' 36 As the result, all the people were pleased by these things that the king had done before them. 37 And all IsraEl got to know that the king had nothing to do with killing AbNer (the son of Ner).

38 Then the king said to his servants: 'Don't you know that a great leader has fallen in IsraEl today? 39 I feel like one of his closest relatives and as someone who has stood in the presence of a king! However these men, these sons of ZeruJah, are hard for me to bear. May Jehovah repay the one who did this wicked thing with the evil that he deserves.'

Chapter 4

1 Well, when Saul's son IshBosheth heard that AbNer (the son of Ner) had been killed in HebRon, he and all the men in IsraEl just fell weak.

2 And at the time, there were two men who were leaders of the confederation of IshBosheth; one was BaAna and the other was RechAb. They were both sons of RimMon the BeerOthite of the tribe of BenJamin (for BeerOth was considered part of the tribe of BenJamin). 3 These BeerOthites had fled to GetThaim, where [their families] live to this day.

4 Also, Saul's son JoNathan had a five-year-old son who was lame. For when the message came from JezreEl about [the death] of Saul and JoNathan, his nurse picked him up and ran away… but then she dropped him, which damaged his legs. His name was MephiBosheth.

5 Well, as the sons of RimMon the BeerOthite (RechAb and BaAna) were leaving, they went to the house of IshBosheth in the heat of the day during his noontime nap. 6 And because the doorman was out sifting wheat, they were able to slip in without being noticed… 7 and there was IshBosheth in his bedroom asleep in his bed. So they struck him, killed him, and cut off his head, then they traveled west all that day and night so as to 8 bring IshBosheth's head to David in HebRon. Then they said to the king: 'Look, here's the head of Saul's son IshBosheth… your enemy who would have killed you. Jehovah has given him to our lord the king as punishment to the enemies of his seed. For Saul and his seed have been your enemies down to this day.'

9 But David told RechAb and his brother BaAna: 'As Jehovah (the One who has protected my life) lives; 10 The man who reported to me that Saul had died thought he was bringing me good news. However, I had him taken away and killed in ZikLag, despite what he thought. 11 And now, you wicked people have killed a righteous man while he was in his house asleep in bed. So I will require his blood from you… I will wipe you out of this land!'

12 Well at that, David gave orders to his servants, and they killed them both… they cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies near the spring in HebRon, then they took the head of IshBosheth and placed it in the tomb of AbNer (the son of Ner) in HebRon.

Chapter 5

1 Well thereafter, all the tribes of IsraEl came to David in HebRon, and they said to him: 'Look, we're your own flesh and bones. 2 And although Saul used to be our king, you were the one who led the people of IsraEl in our [battles], so you must be the leader over IsraEl.'

3 Then all the elders of IsraEl came [and met with] the king in HebRon, and King David made a treaty with them there in HebRon, in the presence of Jehovah. And thereafter they anointed David to be the king over all IsraEl.

4 Well, David was thirty years old when he started his rule, and he reigned for forty years. 5 He reigned over [the tribe of] Judah in HebRon for seven-and-a-half years, and he reigned over all IsraEl and Judah from JeruSalem for thirty-three years.

6 Thereafter, David and all his men [marched on] JeruSalem, where the Jebusites were living at the time. And the [Jebusites] said to him: 'You're not going to enter here, for the blind and the lame will oppose you! Even they are saying, David will never enter [this city].'

7 However, David took the citadel on Zion, and he made it his own city. 8 Then he told his men: 'Everyone who cuts down a Jebusite should also use his dagger on the lame, the blind, and on anyone else who hates the person of David. And thereafter, the people must say, The blind and the lame will never enter the House of Jehovah!'

9 Well, David took up living there in the citadel, and the place became known as the City of David. Then he built a city around his tower and palace. 10 And from that point on, David kept getting greater, because Jehovah the Almighty was with him.

11 Then HiRam (the king of Tyre) sent envoys to David, who brought along much wood from his cedar trees, as well as some stoneworkers who built a palace for David.

12 Now, David knew that it was Jehovah who had made him king over IsraEl, and that He was the One who was blessing [David's] kingdom, because of His people IsraEl.

13 Well after David moved from HebRon to JeruSalem, he took more wives and concubines, so he had even more sons and daughters. 14 These are the names of the children that were born to him in JeruSalem: SamMous, SoBab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 EbeAr, EliSoWe, NapPek, JePhies, 16 EliSama, EliDae, EliPhalath, SamaE, JessiBath, YalaMaAn, YeBaAr, TheaEsous, EliPhalar, NaGed, NaPhek, JaNathan, LeAsamus, BaAlImath, and EliPhaAth.

17 However, when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed to be the king over IsraEl, they went looking for him. And when David heard about this, he made it back to his citadel 18 just as the Philistines were forming for an attack in the Valley of the Titans. 19 So David went to Jehovah and asked, 'Should I fight the Philistines, and if so, will You give them into my hands?'

And the Lord replied: 'Go, for I will save you and give the Philistines into your hands!'

20 So David attacked them from the mountain passes, and he breached their lines, defeating the Philistines. Then David said: 'Since Jehovah cut through my enemies the Philistines like He cuts through water, we will name this place the High Breaches.'

21 Well at the time, the [Philistines] had left behind all [the images of] their gods. So David and his men picked them up and carried them along. 22 But then the Philistines attacked again, coming to meet them in battle in the Valley of the Titans. 23 So David asked Jehovah once more, and the Lord replied: 'Don't confront them; Go around them to the other side of the Forest of Tears, and I will give them into your hands. 24 Then when you hear the sound of them marching from the Forest of Tears, you must attack! For I will lead you in your battle with the Philistines.'

25 So David did just as the Lord told him, and he cut down the Philistines all the way from GibeOn to the land of GeZer.

Chapter 6

1 After that, David gathered the young men of IsraEl (about seventy thousand of them) 2 and he and all his men, along with rulers from Judah, went to bring back the Chest of God that was used to call on the Name of Jehovah of Armies, which had the [covering of] cherubs. 3 So they went to the house of AmiNidab (which was on a hill) and picked up the Chest of Jehovah, and mounted it on a new wagon. Then the sons of AmiNidab walked ahead of the wagon that carried the Chest.

4 Now, as AmiNidab's sons were leading the wagon along, 5 David and his men were dancing in front of Jehovah and playing musical instruments (they were playing appropriate lively tunes on lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and pipes). 6 And when they arrived at the threshing-floor of NaChon, the oxen [that were hauling the chest] bolted; so Oza stuck out his hand to grab the Chest of God in order to steady it. 7 But this enraged Jehovah, so God struck Oza and he died there next to the Chest of Jehovah… there in the presence of God.

8 Well, David was very depressed over the fact that Jehovah had cut down Oza. So he started calling that place 'the Cutting Down of Oza,' which is what it is still called today. 9 And on that day, David became afraid of Jehovah; for he asked: 'How would it possible for me to transport the Chest of God?' 10 So he decided not to move the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah into his city. Rather, he turned around and carried it to the house of ObedEdom the GitTite, 11 and that's where the Chest of Jehovah was kept for the next three months. But as the result, Jehovah blest the household of ObedEdom and everything that he owned.

12 Then when King David was told that that the house of ObedEdom and all his things were being blest because of the Chest of God, David went and took the Chest of Jehovah from there and brought into the city of David in a joyful [parade]. 13 However, this time when the Chest of Jehovah was being transported, it was led by seven companies of dancers, followed by the calf and the lambs that were to be sacrificed, and David … as [musicians] played music that was appropriate for the presence of Jehovah.

14 Well, David was wearing a fine robe 15 as he and the whole house of IsraEl danced in front of the Chest of Jehovah, shouting and blowing trumpets. 16 But when the Chest reached the city of David, Michal (Saul's daughter) happened to be watching from her window. And when she saw King David dancing and playing music before Jehovah, in her heart she was disgusted by what she saw.

17 Then they brought the Chest of Jehovah in and set it in its place in the middle of the Tent that David had made for it, and David sacrificed whole burnt offerings and peace offerings there before Jehovah. 18 He also blest the people in the name of Jehovah of Armies, 19 and he distributed bread loaves, grilled meat, and pancakes among all the people of IsraEl, both the men and the women, some of whom had come from as far way as Dan and BeerSheba.

So after that, everyone went back home, 20 and David returned to bless his own house. But when he got there, Michal (the daughter of Saul) came out to meet David and she started shouting at him. She asked, 'So, how was the king of IsraEl glorified today as he danced naked in front of the daughters of his servants? For you exposed yourself while you were dancing!'

21 And David replied: 'When I'm in the presence of Jehovah, I'm going to dance. May Jehovah, who chose me over your father and his house, be praised for allowing me to take the lead over His people IsraEl. I will [always] strum and dance in His presence, 22 and I will be uncovered again in front of the girls (before whom you said I dishonored myself), so that I can become even more useless in your eyes.'

23 Well, because she said this, Michal (the daughter of Saul) remained childless until the day that she died.

Chapter 7

1 It was after Jehovah had conquered all [of David's] enemies roundabout him, that one day, as the king was sitting in his palace, 2 he said to the Prophet Nathan: 'Look, here I am living in a palace of cedars, while the Chest of God is just sitting there in a tent.'

3 And Nathan said to the king: 'Then, do whatever your heart moves you to do, because Jehovah is with you!'

4 But that night, the word of the Lord came to Nathan, which said, 5 'Go and speak to My servant David, and tell him that this is what Jehovah says: You must not build a house for Me to dwell in, 6 because I haven't stayed in a house from the time that I led the sons of IsraEl out of Egypt until now. Rather, I've been moving about in a tent 7 in all the places where IsraEl has traveled.

'Now, as you speak to him, ask him this: Have I spoken to any of those whom I've assigned over My people, the tribes of IsraEl, and asked them to build a house of Cedars for Me? 8 Then tell my servant David that Jehovah the Almighty says this: I took you away from your sheep pens to be the leader over My people IsraEl, 9 and wherever you went I've been with you. I've destroyed all your enemies and I've made your name famous among all the great men of the earth. 10 And now I will establish a place for my people IsraEl… I will plant it in a place where they will camp by themselves, and where they won't have to worry anymore. It is a place where the sons of the unrighteousness won't humble them as they did in ancient times, 11 back when I put judges over My people IsraEl. And it's only then, after I provide you with rest from all your enemies, that I will show you how to build a House for Jehovah.

12 'And after your days are finished and you've gone to sleep with your ancestors, I will raise up your seed after you – someone who has come from within you – and I will prepare his kingdom. 13 He's the one who will build a House to My Name, and I will establish his throne through the ages… I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. 14 So when he misbehaves, I will discipline him with the type of switch that men use, and spank him in the same way that the sons of men do [to their sons]. 15 But I will never remove My mercy from him in the same way that I've removed My mercy from others. 16 Rather, his house and his kingdom will stand before Me through the age, and his throne will last through the ages.'

17 Well after that, Nathan went and spoke to David about all the words that he'd heard in the vision. 18 Then King David went in and sat down before Jehovah and asked, 'Just who am I, O my Lord Jehovah, and what is my house that You've shown such love for me? 19 Though I was once very small before You, O my Lord Jehovah, You spoke about my house long ahead of time. So now, what laws are you giving me, O my Lord, 20 and what should David say before You?

'You know Your servant, O my Lord Jehovah, 21 and You've treated Your servant as Your heart has directed… 22 You've brought about all these great things to let your servant know that he should glorify You, O my Lord Jehovah; for there is no one else like You, and we've heard of no God other than You.

23 'And what are Your people IsraEl? For no other nation on the earth is being guided by their God. However, now You have purchased a people to establish Your Name and to show Your greatness and grandeur. You drove nations away in front of these people whom You purchased out of Egypt, and then You had them live in tents. 24 So, You have set aside IsraEl to be Your people through the ages… and You, O Lord, have become their God.

25 'And now, O my Lord Jehovah; May the things that You said about Your servant and his house prove to be true through the ages, just as You said. 26 And may Your Name 27 Jehovah, the Almighty God over IsraEl, be glorified through the ages. For You have uncovered the ears of your servant and told me that I will build a House for You. This is why Your servant's heart has been moved to speak this prayer to You.

28 'And now, O my Lord; You are The God! So, the words that You said about the good things that You will do for Your servant will come true! 29 Therefore, start blessing the house of Your servant, which will stand before You through the ages. For You, O my Lord Jehovah, have spoken, and You've promised to bless the house of your servant through the ages.'

Chapter 8

1 So after that, David attacked the Philistines and routed them, and he took back everything that [IsraEl] had lost to them. 2 David also attacked [and captured] Moab, and he divided their army into two lines as they lay on the ground. Half were to be killed and the rest were to survive. Then the Moabites became David's servants and they were required to pay him a tribute.

3 Next, David attacked HadraAzar (the son of RaAb) the king of Soba as he was marching toward the EuPhrates River. 4 There David captured a thousand chariots, seven thousand of his cavalry, and twenty thousand of his foot soldiers. Then David had all the chariots destroyed, except for a hundred that he kept for himself.

5 And when the Syrians came from Damascus to help HadraAzar (the king of Soba), David cut down twenty-two thousand of their men. 6 Then David sent a detachment to Syria, where they garrisoned near Damascus, and the Syrians had to pay a tribute to David also. So Jehovah was with David wherever he went.

7 Well, David took the gold armlets that the sons of HadraAzar wore and brought them to JeruSalem. However, these were eventually taken by SusAkim (possibly Amenemope) the king of Egypt, when he attacked JeruSalem during the reign of RehoBoam, the son of Solomon.

8 Then David attacked HadraAzar's principal cities and he brought back huge amounts of brass, which was thereafter used by Solomon to create [the Temple's] sacred Brass Sea, its columns, its bathing tubs, and all its utensils.

9 Well, when the king of HaMath heard that David had conquered the armies of HadraAzar, 10 he sent his son JedDouran to King David to sue for peace. He also congratulated David for beating HadraAzar (since HadraAzar was his enemy), and he brought along many items of silver, gold, and brass, 11 which King David dedicated to Jehovah, as he had done with all the silver and gold that he'd taken from the cities he'd conquered 12 (from Idumea, Moab, the sons of AmMon, the Philistines, the Amalechites, and from the spoils of HadraAzar the son of RaAb, the king of Soba).

13 Well after he did that, David became quite famous… and then on his return, he attacked the Idumeans in the Salt Valley, killing eighteen thousand. 14 Then he put detachments throughout all of Idumea, and the Idumeans became the king's servants.

Well, no matter where he went, Jehovah was with David, 15 and he remained the ruler over all IsraEl; for he was fair and just with his people.

16 [At the time], JoAb (the son of ZeruJah) was in charge of his army, JoShaphat (the son of AchiAd) was in charge of the records, 17 ZaDok (the son of AhiTub) and AhiMelech (the son of AbiAthar) were the Priests, Sasa was the Scribe, 18 BenaiJah (the son of JoDai) was David's personal advisor, and the Cherethites, Phelethites, and David's sons were the chiefs of his palace.

Chapter 9

1 Then David asked if there was anyone left from the house of Saul to whom he should be showing [kindness] to because of JoNathan. 2 And at the time, he found that there was a servant from the house of Saul named Ziba, whom they called to David.

So the king asked him: 'Are you Ziba?'

And he replied: 'I am your servant.'

3 And the king asked: 'Is there anyone left from the house of Saul upon whom I should be showing the mercy of God?'

And Ziba replied: 'There is still one of JoNathan's sons… the one whose feet had been damaged.'

4 So the king asked: 'Where is he?'

And Ziba replied: 'Look! He's in the house of MachIr, the son of AmiEl of LodaBar.'

5 So King David sent for him and brought him from the house of MachIr. 6 And when MephiBosheth (the son of JoNathan and the grandson of Saul) came to King David, he fell to his face, bowing to the ground before him.

Then David said: 'MephiBosheth!'

And he replied: 'Look… your servant!'

7 Then David said: 'Don't be afraid, because [the reason why I called you] is to show you mercy because of JoNathan, your father. I'm going to give you back all the fields of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.'

8 And MephiBosheth bowed low again and said: 'Who am I, your servant, to find your favor? For I'm no better that a dying dog.'

9 Then the king called for Ziba (Saul's servant) and told him: 'I'm giving everything that belonged to Saul and his house to the son of your master. 10 So you, your sons, and your servants must work his land for him, and you are to bring the son of your lord loaves of bread to eat. Also, MephiBosheth (the son of your lord) will always eat at my table.'

Now, Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 And he said to the king: 'Whatever my lord the king asks, his servant will do.'

And from then on, MephiBosheth ate at the table of David as though he was one of the king's sons.

12 Now, MephiBosheth had a small son named Micha,whom the whole of house of Ziba also served, 13 and they all lived in JeruSalem and always ate at the table of the king. However, MephiBosheth had been lame in both of his feet since his birth.

Chapter 10

1 Then the king of the sons of AmMon died, and his son became the new king. 2 So David said: 'I'll do something nice for HanNon, the son of NaHash, because his father was so kind to me.' Therefore, David sent his servants to the land of the sons of AmMon to comfort him over his father.

3 However, the governors of the sons of AmMon went to their lord and asked, 'Is David really sending you comforters to glorify your father, or hasn't he in fact sent them as spies to look at [our fortifications]?' 4 As the result, HanNon grabbed David's servants, shaved their beards, cut off their uniforms to their hips, and then he sent them away.

5 Well, when this was reported to David, he sent men to meet those servants, because they had been so extremely dishonored. And the king told them to stay in JeriCho until their beards grew back.

6 Meanwhile, when the sons of AmMon saw how David had been disgraced, they hired twenty-thousand Syrians from BaithRaAm, Soba, and RoOb, as well as a thousand infantrymen from the king of Amalech, and twelve thousand men from IshTob. 7 And when David heard about this, he sent JoAb and all his best soldiers [to confront them].

8 So the sons of AmMon gathered for war at their city gates, and they sent the Syrians from Soba, RoOb, and [the men of] IshTob and MaAcha [to fight] out in the fields. 9 And when JoAb saw what he was facing, with armies on either side, he took the younger men of IsraEl and deployed them opposite the Syrians. 10 Then he put the rest of his army into the hands of his brother AbiShai, who [set up battle lines] facing the sons of AmMon. 11 And he [told his brother]: 'If Syria starts to beat me, you come to help me; and if the sons of AmMon start to beat you, I'll come to help you. 12 However, we must act like men! For if we are strong for our people and the cities of our God, [we can trust that] Jehovah will do what He sees is best!'

13 Well, when JoAb and his men attacked the Syrians, they fled from before him. 14 And when the sons of AmMon saw the Syrians running, they turned and ran from AbiShai, back into their cities. So then JoAb left the land of AmMon and he returned to JeruSalem. 15 However, after the Syrians had lost before IsraEl, they returned and gathered at the same place again. 16 But this time, HadraAzar sent for more Syrians from the other side of the Chalamak River, and he went to AiLam and he put Sobak, the general of his army, over them. 17 Well when this was reported to David, he gathered the whole army of IsraEl and they crossed the Jordan to march against AiLam.

There the Syrians set up battle lines against David, and the battle began… 18 and the Syrians again fled from the IsraElites. This time, David destroyed seven hundred of their chariots and forty thousand of their cavalry. He also killed the general over their army, Sobak. 19 Then when the servants of HadraAzar saw that they had lost to IsraEl, they surrendered and became their servants… and the Syrians were afraid to come to the aid of the sons of AmMon thereafter.

Chapter 11

1 Now, it was the time of year when the kings [traditionally] went out to battle. So David sent JoAb, his servants, and the entire army of IsraEl, and they destroyed the sons of AmMon. Then they laid siege against RabBah. However, David had stayed at home in JeruSalem.

2 Then one evening, David got up from his bed and he walked up to the roof of the king's palace. From there he saw a very pretty woman who was bathing on her roof. 3 So David asked about the woman, saying: 'Isn't that BathSheba, the daughter of EliAb and the woman of UriAh the Hittite?' 4 And thereafter David sent messengers who brought her to him… he went to bed and [had sex] with her, then she went back home. However, she had just been cleansed from her monthly period; 5 so when she sent a message to David telling him that she was pregnant, David said, 'It's my baby.'

6 As the result, David sent [a message] to JoAb, saying, 'Send UriAh the Hittite to me.' And JoAb sent UriAh to him.

7 Well when UriAh arrived, David first asked how JoAb was doing, how the army was doing, and then how the war was going. 8 And David said to UriAh: 'Now, just go back home and wash your feet!'

So UriAh left the king's palace, and the king had a gift sent to him. 9 However, UriAh bedded down next to the door to the king's palace, along with his lord's servants, and he didn't go home. 10 Then when David was told that UriAh hadn't gone home, he went and asked UriAh: 'Didn't you just return from some distance? Why don't you go home?' 11 And UriAh replied: 'Well, the [sacred] Chest and the armies of Judah and IsraEl are all staying in tents, and my lord JoAb and his men are also camped out in fields; so, how could I go to my house to eat, drink, and go to bed with my woman… as you are living, how could I do such a thing?'

12 Then David told him: 'Well, stay here for the rest of the [evening], and tomorrow I'll send for you.'

So UriAh stayed in JeruSalem throughout that night. And the next day, 13 David called for him. Then he fed him and gave him so much to drink that he got him drunk. Yet that evening, he again went to bed with the servants of his lord, and he didn't return to his home. 14 So the next morning, David wrote a letter to JoAb, which he asked UriAh to deliver. 15 It said, 'Send UriAh into the toughest part of the fighting – right up to the city gate – and then leave him there so he will be cut down and killed.'

16 So when JoAb attacked the city, he put UriAh in a place where he knew that the hardest fighting would be done. 17 Then when the men of the city came out to fight with JoAb, many of David's men died along with UriAh the Hittite. 18 And thereafter, JoAb sent a report to David with all the details of the battle He also sent a private message to the king… 19 he told the messenger this: 'When you're describing the battle to the king; 20 if the king should get angry and tell you to ask me, Why did you approached the city walls to fight them? Didn't you know that they would shoot down on you from the walls? 21 For, who struck AbiMelek, the son of JeroBaal and grandson of Ner? Didn't a woman drop a piece of a millstone on him from the wall, killing him there in ThamAsi? Why did you attack the wall? You must answer, Well, your servant UriAh the Hittite also died.'

22 So JoAb's messenger went to the king in JeruSalem and he told David everything that JoAb told him to say about the war. And predictably, David was furious with JoAb, and he said to the messenger: 'Why did he lead [the men] right up to the city to fight? Didn't he know that they would attack from the walls? For, who struck AbiMelek, the son of JeroBaal? Didn't a woman toss a piece of millstone from the wall and kill him in ThamAsi? Why did he attack the wall?'

23 And the messenger said to David: 'Well, the men attacked us… they came out into the field to meet us, so we fought them there at their city gate. 24 Meanwhile, they were also shooting at us from the walls, and many of the king's servants were killed… including your subject, UriAh the Hittite.'

25 So David said to the messenger, 'Then tell JoAb not to feel bad about it, because the sword cuts two ways. He should intensify the battle against the city, then tear it down and establish a garrison there.'

26 Well, when the wife of UriAh heard that her husband had been killed, she was deeply saddened. 27 Then after her period of mourning, David sent for her and had her brought to his palace. So he married her and she gave birth to his son. However, this whole thing appeared to be wicked in the eyes of Jehovah.

Chapter 12

1 As the result, Jehovah sent the Prophet Nathan to David, who went in and told him this story: 'There were two men who lived in the same city; one was rich, and the other was poor. 2 Now, the rich man had huge flocks and herds, 3 but the only thing that the poor man owned was a small female lamb that he had purchased. He protected it and fed it, and it grew up with his children. It ate the same bread, drank from his cup, and slept inside of his robe; for it was just like a daughter to him. 4 Well, it so happened that a traveler came along who stopped in to see the rich man. Then, because he didn't want to take anything from his own flocks or herds to prepare [a meal] for a stranger, he took the lamb that belonged to the poor man and cooked it for the person who had come to visit.'

5 Well at this, David was outraged and he said: 'As Jehovah lives, that man deserves to die! 6 He should also have to pay for the lamb with seven of his own, because of this evil thing that he did.'

7 And Nathan said to David: 'But you are the man who did this! So, Jehovah the God of IsraEl told me to say this to you: I'm the One who anointed you to be the king over IsraEl, and I'm the One who saved you from the hands of Saul. 8 I'm also the One who gave you the house of your lord and brought his women to your chest, and thereafter I gave you the houses of IsraEl and Judah… and if you had remained faithful, I would have given you even more!

9 So, why have you treated the Word of Jehovah as worthless by doing this wicked thing before His eyes? For you cut down UriAh the Hittite with the broadsword and took his woman as yours… when the sons of AmMon killed him, it was really you who killed him! 10 And because you did this, the broadsword will not leave your house through the ages. For you treated Me with contempt by taking the wife of UriAh the Hittite as your woman.

11 'And this is what Jehovah said: Look, I will cause evil things to awaken in your own house… I will take your women from before you and give them to your neighbor, then he will go to bed with them in the daylight. 12 Though you did it secretly, I will do this in the daylight and before all IsraEl!'

13 Then David said to Nathan: 'I have truly sinned against Jehovah!'

And Nathan said to David: 'Well, Jehovah has forgiven your sin, so you're not going to die. 14 However, by doing such an unrighteous thing you've even made Jehovah's enemies angry. Therefore, the son that will be born to you will die.' 15 And at that, Nathan left David's palace.

Well, Jehovah caused the child that was born to the woman of UriAh by David to be sickly and weak. 16 So David [prayed to] God about the boy, and he fasted and slept on the ground. 17 And when the elders of his house came to lift him off the ground, he wouldn't get up, nor would he eat with them.

18 Well after seven days the boy died, and then David's servants were afraid to tell him, for they said: '{Look!} When we spoke to him about the boy while [the child] was still alive, he didn't listen to us. So how can we now tell [David] that he's dead, for he'll surely do bad things to us!'

19 Meanwhile, David noticed that his servants were whispering, and he suspected that the boy had died. So he asked his servants: 'Has the boy died?'

And they replied, 'He has.'

20 Then David got up from the ground, took a bath, rubbed himself with oil, and changed his clothes. And thereafter, he went to the [Tent] of God and bowed before Him. And when he got back home, he asked for some bread to eat, which they brought to him, and he ate it. 21 So his servants asked: 'Why have you acted this way concerning the boy? For while he was still alive you fasted, cried, and wouldn't sleep. But after he died, you got up and ate and drank something.'

22 And David replied: 'I fasted and cried while the boy was still living, because I hoped that Jehovah would show mercy on me and allow the boy to live. 23 But now that he has died, why should I fast? I won't be able to go and see him again, nor can I carry him to me, because I can't bring him back.'

24 And thereafter, David went to comfort his woman BathSheba.

Well, he went to bed with her again, and she got pregnant and gave birth to a son whom she named Solomon… and Jehovah loved him. 25 So He sent for Nathan the Prophet, who renamed him JediDiAh (Beloved of Jehovah), following the Lord's instructions.

26 After that, JoAb went to war with RabBah of the sons of AmMon again, and he subdued that kingdom's capital city. 27 So JoAb sent messengers to David to say, 'I have fought against RabBah and subdued the City of Waters. 28 Therefore, gather your men and come to our camp so you can be the first to take it. I don't want to be the first to take the city, for I don't wish to have it called by my name.'

29 As the result, David gathered his men and he went to RabBah and conquered it. 30 Then he took their king's crown from his head (which was made of gold and precious gems) and had it placed on his own head. They also looted the city and brought back a tremendous amount of goods. 31 Then he took the [city's] people away and put them to work as carpenters, farm laborers, iron smelters, blacksmiths, and brick makers… that's what he did in all the cities of the sons of AmMon. And thereafter, David and his men returned to JeruSalem.

Chapter 13

1 AbSalom (one of David's sons) had a very pretty sister named Thamar, and AmNon (another son of David) was in love with her. 2 In fact, he was so smitten with her that he was sick. Thamar (who was also his sister) was a virgin, and AmNon would have done anything to have her.

3 Well, AmNon had a friend named JoNadab (the son of SamaA, David's brother), and JoNadab was a very wise man. 4 Then one day, JoNadab asked AmNon: 'Why are you so puny every morning, O son of the king… tell me what's wrong.'

And AmNon, replied: 'It's because of Thamar, my brother AbSalom's sister… I love her.'

5 And JoNadab said to him, 'Then do this: Go to bed and act like you're sick. And when your father comes to see you, tell him, 'Send my sister Thamar to prepare my food before me and feed me, so I can see her and eat from her hands.'

6 So AmNon went to bed and pretended to be sick. And when the king came to see him, AmNon said: 'Send my sister Thamar to me and have her bake a couple of biscuits, then I'll eat them from her hands'

7 Well, David sent for Thamar at her home, saying, 'Go to the house of your brother AmNon and prepare some food for him.' 8 Therefore, Thamar went to the house of her brother AmNon. And when she found him lying on a cot, she took some dough and mixed it in front of him to make some biscuits, then she fried them 9 and took the frying pan and laid them before him. However, he wouldn't eat them.

So at that, AmNon [told his servants] to send everyone else away, which they did. 10 And AmNon said to Thamar: 'Now, carry the food into my bedroom and I'll eat it from your hands there.'

As the result, Thamar took the biscuits she had made and carried them into her brother AmNon's bedroom. 11 And when she brought them to him, he grabbed her and said: 'Now, get into bed with me, my sister!'

12 But she said to him: 'No, my brother, don't rape me; for such things aren't done in IsraEl! Don't be so foolish, 13 for I could never handle the scandal, and you'd be considered one of the fools in IsraEl. Just speak to the king and ask him to let you [marry me]!'

14 However, AmNon wouldn't listen to her. He just overpowered her, shoved her onto his bed, and raped her.

15 Well [after he was finished], AmNon's love turned to hate. In fact, his hatred was greater than the love that he once had for her. So he told her to get up and leave. 16 But she said: 'No, O my brother! For sending me away like this is even worse than the terrible thing that you just did to me!'

But AmNon wouldn't listen that. 17 So he called his head servant in and said to him: 'Take her away from me, then throw her outside and lock the door!'

18 Well at the time, all she had on was a long-sleeved slip (for that's what the virgin daughters of the king wore under their clothes). Nevertheless, the servant led her outside and then he locked the door behind her. 19 So Thamar took ashes and put them on her head and she ripped the slip she was wearing, then she put her hands on her head and ran away screaming.

20 And later, her brother AbSalom asked her: 'Has your brother AmNon been with you? If so my sister, don't say anything because he's your brother… don't put it into your heart to say anything about this!'

So from that time on, Thamar lived as a widow in the house of her brother AbSalom.

21 Well when King David heard what had happened, he was furious… but he wasn't angry with his son AmNon, since he was his firstborn, 22 nor did he say anything bad or good to AbSalom about AmNon. However, AbSalom detested AmNon because he'd raped his sister Thamar.

23 It was exactly two years later that [all the brothers] went out to shear sheep for AbSalom at BelAsor (near the land of Ephraim), because AbSalom had called for all the sons of the king to help him. 24 He'd gone before the king and said, 'Look, your servant has to do some shearing. So, may the king and his servants come along me.'

25 However the king said to AbSalom: 'No my son, we shouldn't all go, for we'd just be a burden on you.' So David refused (because he really didn't want to go), but he blest him. And AbSalom said: 'Then send my brother AmNon along with me.' And the king asked: 'Why should he go with you?' 27 But because AbSalom kept insisting, he sent along AmNon and all of his other sons to help him.

Well when they got there, AbSalom prepared a banquet that was fit for a king. 28 Then he told his servants: 'When AmNon starts feeling the wine, I want you to strike him down and kill him. Don't be afraid, because I'm the one who's telling you to do this. 29 Just be strong and act like men!'

29 So, AbSalom's servants did just as they were told… and after they did that, all the sons of the king mounted their mules and fled.

30 Well, as they were headed back, a report came to David that AbSalom had killed all of the king's sons… that none of them had been spared. 31 So the king ripped his clothes and fell to the ground, and all his servants who were standing around him also ripped their clothes.

32 But then JoNadab (the son of ShimeAh, David's brother) said: 'They shouldn't have told our lord that all of his sons were killed, for it was just AmNon. He died alone at the instructions of AbSalom, because this is the same day thatAmNon had raped his sister Thamar. 33 May my lord the king not think in his heart that all of his sons have died, for it was just AmNon!'

34 Meanwhile, AbSalom had run away.

Well just then, [David's] watchman happened to look out and he noticed many people coming along the road down the side of the mountain. So he went and reported to the king, saying, 'I see men coming down the mountain along the road to OrOnen.' 35 And JoNadab said to the king: 'Look, it's your sons! They're coming back, just as your servant said they would.'

36 Then, shortly after he had finished speaking, {Look!} the king's sons came in, shouting and crying. And the king and all his servants wailed and cried along with them.

37 Well at the time, AbSalom had run away and gone to stay with Tholmi the son of EmiUd (the king of GedSur) in the land of HamAchad. And because King David mourned over his son for a long time, 38 AbSalom spent three years in GedSur. 39 But by then, the [wrath] of the king had abated and he was no longer chasing AbSalom, for he was no longer grieving over the death of AmNon.

Chapter 14

1 Now, JoAb (the son of ZeruJah) knew that the king [still loved] AbSalom. 2 So he sent for a woman in Thecoe who was very wise, and he said to her: 'I want you to dress in mourning clothes [and pretend] to be in mourning. Don't rub yourself with oil, for I want you to appear to be a woman who has been mourning over her dead for many days,'

3 So she went to the king and said the words that JoAb told her to say… 4 this ThecoEthite woman went in to the king, fell with her face to the ground bowing before him, and said: 'Save me, oh king! Save me!'

5 And the king asked her: 'What's wrong?'

Then she said: 'I'm now a widow, because my husband has just died. 6 However, your servant had two sons who started arguing with each other while they were out in the fields, and where there was no one to break it up. Then the one hit the other and killed him. 7 So now {Look} the whole family is against your servant, because they're telling me to hand over my son so they can kill him for murdering his brother. But if they do that, they'll be taking away my only heir and they'll extinguish the little spark [of hope] that remains for leaving my husband a name and property on the face of this land.'

8 So the king said to the woman: 'Don't worry; just go back home and I'll handle this matter for you.'

9 Then the ThecoEthite woman said to the king: 'O my lord the king; may this lawlessness be on me and on the house of my father, not on the king and on his throne.'

10 And the king said: 'Who was the one that spoke to you? Bring [your son] to me, and don't let anyone touch him!'

11 Then the woman said: 'May Jehovah your God remind the king not to allow them to take away my son so that our family line [may continue].'

And he said: 'As Jehovah lives; not a hair of your son's head will fall on the ground.'

12 Then the woman asked: 'May your servant say one more thing to her lord the king?'

And he said, 'Speak!'

13 Then the woman said: 'Why have you made such a decision for the people of God? For when you say such things, you're finding yourself guilty, since the king hasn't allowed the one he banished to return to him. 14 Each of us is dying the death, and like water that's being poured on the ground, we're not returned to each other thereafter. Only God [has the right to] take a life, and only He has the means to drive someone away if He wishes.

15 'Now, as to the thing about which I came to speak to my lord the king; the people told your servant to speak to you, to see what you would do for your servant. 16 They said that you would rescue your servant from the hands of the man who is trying to take away my son and my inheritance from God. 17 And they also told me that the words of my lord the king would be as good as a sacrifice. For my lord the king is like a messenger from God in that you listen to both the good and the bad. So may Jehovah your God be with you.'

18 Well at that, the king said to the woman: 'I want to ask you something… and I want you to tell me the truth!'

And the woman said: 'Please speak, my lord the king!'

19 And the king asked: 'Did JoAb put you up to this?'

And the woman replied: 'As you are living, O my lord the king; doesn't the king ever change his mind after he has made a decision? Yes, JoAb is the one who put me up to this, and he put the words into my mouth. 20 But your servant JoAb did this just to bring the matter to a head. For my lord the king has the wisdom of a messenger from God in that he understands everything on earth.'

21 And the king said to JoAb: 'Look, I'm going to do what you're asking. So, go and bring back the young man AbSalom!'

22 Well at that, JoAb fell and bowed with his face to the ground. Then he praised the king, saying: 'Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, O my lord the king; for you have handled this matter for your servant.'

23 So then JoAb got up and went to GedSur, and he brought AbSalom back to JeruSalem. 24 However, the king had said: 'Let him return to his home… but I don't want to see his face!' As the result, AbSalom returned home, but he wasn't allowed to see the face of the king.

25 Now, there wasn't a man in all IsraEl who was more admired than AbSalom. For from the sole of his feet to the top of his head, there wasn't a blemish; 26 and when it came to cutting his hair, it took so long that it became bothersome, because whenever he cut it and set it aside, it weighed as much as two royal coins!

27 AbSalom had three sons and a daughter whose name was Themar. She was a pretty woman, and she married Solomon's son RehoBoam, to whom she gave birth to AbiJah.

28 Well, AbSalom stayed in JeruSalem for two years, during which he never saw the face of the king. 29 But thereafter he sent for JoAb, because he wanted to send him to the king. However, JoAb wouldn't come to him. So he sent for him a second time, but he just didn't want to come. 30 As the result, AbSalom said to his servants: 'You know that field of JoAb's next to mine where he's growing barley? Go and burn it!' So AbSalom's servants went and burned JoAb's field.

Then JoAb's servants went to him ripping their clothes, and said: 'The servants of AbSalom have burned your portion of the field!' 31 So JoAb got up and went to the house of AbSalom, and asked him: 'Why did your servants burn my field?' 32 And AbSalom replied: 'Look, I called for you and asked you to come here, because I wanted to send you to the king and ask, Why did you bring me from GedSur, since things were good for me there? However, {Look!} since then I haven't seen the face of the king! If [you consider me so] unrighteous, why don't you just kill me?'

33 Well after that, JoAb went to the king and spoke to him. Then he called for AbSalom and he went in to the king, bowed before him, and fell with his face to the ground before him, and the king kissed AbSalom.

Chapter 15

1 Well thereafter, AbSalom obtained some chariots and horsemen, and he recruited fifty men to run in front of him. 2 Then he would get up early each morning and station himself along the street by the city gate. And whenever he saw someone who was coming to try a case before the king, he would call to him and ask, 'What city are you coming from?' And if he replied, 'Your servant is from one of the tribes of IsraEl,' 3 he would say, 'Look, you have a good case; however, no one from the king will listen to it. 4 Why doesn't he appoint me as the judge of the land and let me handle the disputes and cases? For I would give you justice!' 5 And whenever some man would come and bow before him, he would reach out and grab him, then kiss him. 6 Well, AbSalom was doing this to everyone from IsraEl who came to the king for a judgment, and he was winning the hearts of the men of IsraEl.

7 Then at the end of four years, AbSalom went to his father and said: 'I'm going to HebRon to pay a vow that I made to Jehovah. 8 For while I was in GedSur, Syria, I vowed to Jehovah that if He would return me to JeruSalem, I would be His servant.'

9 And the king said to him: 'Go in peace.' So he got up and went to HebRon.

10 Now, AbSalom had sent spies among all the tribes of IsraEl, who were told: 'When you hear the sound of trumpets blowing, you must shout, AbSalom is now reigning as king in HebRon!'

11 So after that, AbSalom left JeruSalem along with two hundred men (who really didn't suspect anything). 12 Then, while he was offering his sacrifices, AbSalom sent for AhiThophel the Gelamonite (David's advisor) from his city of Gola. And there he formed a strong confederation of many people who started following AbSalom.

13 Well, when the report came to David that the hearts of the men of IsraEl had turned toward AbSalom, 14 David said to all his servants in JeruSalem: 'We must get up and run from here, for nothing can save us from AbSalom! Let's hurry and go, so he doesn't overtake us and do bad things to us, then destroy the city with swords.'

15 And the king's servants replied: 'We'll do whatever our lord the king says… Look! We are your servants!'

16 So the king and his whole house just walked away… however, he left ten of his concubines behind to guard the house. 17 Then the king and all his servants traveled on foot to a house that was very far away.

18 Well, while the king and his servants were on the way into the desert, they [met up with some] Cherethites and Phelethites who were waiting [for him] on the Mount of Olives. So, along with all the people who came with [David], there were now six hundred great men and warriors from the Cherethites, Phelethites, and Gethites, because six hundred men had walked from Gath to join the king. 19 But the king asked ItTai (the Gethite): 'Why are you traveling with us? You should return and stay with the [new] king! Since you are foreigners who have just left your homes to join me, 20 why are you [planning to] travel with us… are you moving away from your homes?'

And he replied: 'I will go wherever you are going.'

[But David said]: 'Go back, and take your brothers with you; for Jehovah will bring you kindness and truth!

21 But ItTai replied to the king: 'As Jehovah lives, and as my lord the king lives; no matter what happens to my lord… whether he lives or dies, I will be his servant.'

22 And the king said: 'Then come with me!' And ItTai the Gethite and all his servants (a huge number of them) traveled with the king.

23 Well, throughout the land people were crying and wailing. Then the king and all his people crossed the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi and traveled toward the edge of the desert. 24 {Look!} There they met up with ZaDok and all the Levites who were carrying the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah from the [Sacred Tent]. Then they set the Chest of God down, and AbiAthar and all the people from the city [of JeruSalem] said they were going to come with him.

25 But the king said to ZaDok: 'Just take the Chest of God back to the city. For if I should find favor in the eyes of Jehovah and He returns me, He will show it to me in all its glory once again. 26 But if He should say that He doesn't want me; then look… here I am! May He do to me whatever is good in His eyes.'

27 And the king told ZaDok the Priest: 'Look! You, your son AhiMaAz, your other two sons, and JoNathan (the son of AbiAthar) should return to the city in peace. 28 For though I'm now going to live like a soldier in the desert, I'll wait there for you to send word to me.'

29 So ZaDok and AbiAthar returned the Chest of God to JeruSalem, and it stayed there.

30 Then David climbed the Mount of Olives barefoot and with his head covered, crying. And all the people came with him with their heads covered and crying.

31 Well, when David was told that AhiThophel had joined the confederation with AbSalom, he said: 'O Jehovah, my God; Confuse the counsel of AhiThophel!'

32 Then when David got to Ros, he bowed there before God. And {Look} coming to meet him was HuShai, David's best friend, ripping his clothes and piling dirt on his head. 33 But David said to him: 'If you come with me, you'll just be a burden to me. 34 So, return to the city, and say this to AbSalom: Since your brothers left me to follow your father, I'm your servant now, O king; so, please allow me to live. Although I was once your father's servant, I'm yours now. And if you'll do this for me, you will confuse the counsel of AhiThophel.

35 'Look, there are the Priests, ZaDok and AbiAthar. Go back with them and report everything to them that you hear from the [palace] of the king. 36 And here are their two sons, AhiMaAz (ZaDok's son) and JoNathan (AbiAthar's son). Use them to send back every word that you hear.'

37 So HuShai (David's best friend) returned to the city, as AbSalom entered JeruSalem.

Chapter 16

1 Well, after David had traveled a short distance from Ros, {Look!} Ziba (MephiBosheth's servant) came to meet him with a pair of saddled burros, two hundred loaves of bread, a bushel of raisins, a hundred clusters of dried fruit, and a skin flask of wine. 2 So the king asked Ziba, 'What is this for?'

And Ziba replied: 'The animals are for the house of the king to ride, 3 the bread and the dried fruit are for your servants to eat, and the wine is for those who get weak [as they travel] through the desert.'

3 Then the king asked: 'So, where is your lord's ([JoNathan's]) son?'

And Ziba replied: '{Look!} He's sitting in JeruSalem; for he said: Today the kingdom of IsraEl will return to the house of my father.'

4 Then the king said: '{Look!} I am giving everything that MephiBosheth has, to you.'

And as he bowed [before David], Ziba said: 'May I find favor in your eyes, O my lord the king.'

5 Well, when King David got to BaUrim, {Look!} a man who was related to the house of Saul (ShiMei, the son of Gera) came there cursing 6 and throwing stones at David and all his servants.

Meanwhile, all the people (including the mighty ones) were walking on either side of the king. 7 And ShiMei shouted (as he was cursing), 'Get out of here you murderer… you criminal! 8 For Jehovah has finally brought all the blood of the house of Saul down on you for taking his place as the ruler, and He has handed your kingdom over to your son AbSalom. So now you're getting some of your own badness for being a murderer!'

9 Well at that, AbiShai (the son of ZeruJah) said to the king: 'Why does my lord the king put up with the cursing of this dead dog? Allow me to go over there and remove his head.'

10 But the king said to AbiShai: 'What does it matter to me and to you sons of ZeruJah? Leave him alone and let him curse. It was Jehovah told him to curse David, so there's no reason to ask him why he's doing this.'

11 And then David said to AbiShai and his servants: 'The son who came from my own belly now wants to kill me; so let the son of the BenJaminite curse, because Jehovah told him to do it. 12 May Jehovah see my humiliation and provide good things for me in place of [this man's] curses today.'

13 So David and all his men just kept traveling along, as ShiMei ran alongside them next to the mountain cursing and throwing stones and dirt. 14 And then finally, the king and all his people got tired and they stopped to rest.

15 Well, when AbSalom, AhiThophel, and all of his men of IsraEl arrived in JeruSalem, 16 HuShai (David's best friend) went to see to AbSalom and said, 'Long live the king!'

17 But AbSalom asked HuShai: 'Is this the way you're treating your friend? Why didn't you go along with your buddy?'

18 Then HuShai said: 'I'll follow whomever Jehovah and His people (the men of IsraEl) have chosen… I'll stick with him and stay with him. 19 For, who is it that I'll be serving? I'll be serving [David's] son! So, as I served your father is how I will serve you now.'

20 But then AbSalom turned to to AhiThophel and asked what he should do next. 21 And AhiThophel told AbSalom: 'Your father left some concubines behind to guard his palace. Why don't you go to bed with them, so that all IsraEl will hear how you've disgraced your father… for that will strengthen your hand with the people.'

22 As the result, they pitched a tent on the [palace] roof. Then AbSalom took his father's concubines to bed with him in front of all IsraEl.

23 And from that point on, AbSalom sought AhiThophel's council on how he should go about asking things of God. So as AhiThophel had once given council to David, he now gave council to AbSalom.

Chapter 17

1 Then AhiThophel said to AbSalom: 'I'll choose twelve thousand men and we'll go after David tonight; 2 for when I get there, he'll be tired and weak. We'll catch them unaware and startle them, then his people will flee, and I can kill the king when there's no one around. 3 And after that, I'll carry all his people back to you the way a bride is brought before her husband. So after [we've taken] the life of the man for whom you're searching, all the people will be at peace.'

4 Well, this sounded like a good idea to AbSalom and all the elders of IsraEl. 5 But AbSalom then said: 'Call HuShai the Arachite… I want to hear what he has to say about this.'

6 So HuShai came to AbSalom, and AbSalom told him about the plan. Then he asked: 'Do you think we should do what [AhiThophel] is suggesting? If not, speak up!'

7 And HuShai said to AbSalom: 'This counsel that AhiThophel has given to you isn't a good idea this time. 8 For you know your father and his men; they're very brave and strong, and they're as angry as a bear that has lost its cub in a field or a wild boar that has been cornered. Your father is a warrior, so he would never sleep with his family. 9 Look! He'll be hiding in the hills or somewhere else. So when the attack begins, he'll hear it and say, AbSalom's people are attacking.

10 'However, this mighty man who has the heart of a lion will just melt away once he realizess that he's finished; for all IsraEl knows how mighty your father and his men are. 11 So this is what I advise: Gather all [the men of] IsraEl from Dan to BeerSheba, [and create an army] as large as the sands of the sea… and you should lead them. 12 Then when you catch up with [David] – no matter where he may be – you must camp all around him and [attack him] just as the dew is settling on the ground… don't leave him or any of his men alive. 13 Or if you should find him in a city, you must bring all IsraEl against that city, tear it down, and throw each of its stones into a riverbed.'

14 Well, AbSalom and all the men of IsraEl said: 'The counsel of HuShai the Arachite is better than the counsel of AhiThophel.' (However, it was Jehovah who caused the good counsel of AhiThophel to lose out, so He could bring bad things to AbSalom).

15 Then HuShai (the Arachite) went word to ZaDok and AbiAthar (the Priests), telling them of the advice that AhiThophel had given to AbSalom and the elders of IsraEl. 16 And he said, 'Send a message to David quickly, so that the king and his people aren't caught off guard!'

17 It was while JoNathan and AhiMaAz had stopped at Rogel Springs that a young female servant arrived and brought them the message [from HuShai]; so they traveled on to report it to King David. However, they didn't want to be seen entering the city. 18 But a young man had noticed them and he sent a report to AbSalom. So the two men ran to the house of someone [they knew] in BaUrim and hid in a cistern in his courtyard. 19 And although a woman came and took the cover off the cistern to allow the desert [winds] to cool the water, she didn't notice them. 20 So when AbSalom's men came to the house and asked her, 'Where are AhiMaAz and JoNathan?' She just said, 'They went to get some water.'

Well, they looked around but they couldn't find them, so they returned to JeruSalem. 21 Then after they left, [AhiMaAz and JoNathan] climbed out of the cistern and went to give the report to King David. They said to him: 'You must get up and quickly and cross the river, for AhiThophel has [planned a trap] for you!'

22 So David and his people got up and crossed the Jordan before daylight, so that no one would know.

23 In the meantime, when AhiThophel realized that his counsel had been rejected, he saddled his burro and went back to his home… then he discharged his staff and hung himself. And thereafter, they buried him in the tomb of his father.

24 Well, David had traveled all the way to ManaIm, as AbSalom and all his men crossed the Jordan [in pursuit].

25 Now, AbSalom had put Amasa in charge of his army (in place of JoAb). Amasa was the son of Jether, an IsraElite from JezreEl. 26 And he went to see AbiGail, the daughter of JesSe and the sister of ZeruJah, who was the mother of JoAb. Meanwhile, AbSalom and the army of IsraEl had camped in the land of GileAd.

27 Well, when David entered ManaIm, WesBi (the son of NaAs from RabBath, an AmMonite), MachIr (the son of AmiEl from LodaBar), and BarZilLai (the GileAdite from RogelLim) 28 brought ten cots and blankets, ten pots, as well as some dishes, along with some wheat, barley, flour, toasted grain, beans, lentils, 29 honey, butter, mutton, and cheese, and they gave it to David and his people to eat. For they said: 'They are starving, thirsty, and weak from traveling through the desert.'

Chapter 18

1 It was then that David counted his men to see how many were with him, and he assigned generals and officers to be over them, 2 as he readied them for battle (a third under the direction of JoAb, a third under the direction of AbiShai the son of ZeruJah, JoAb's brother, and a third under the direction of ItTai the Gethite). Then David said to his men, 'From now on, I'll be leading you.'

3 But they said, 'You can't come; for if [AbSalom's people] kill half of us, losing you would be like losing ten thousand men. It's really best for you stay in the city and direct us from there.' 4 And the king said, 'I'll do whatever you wish.' So the king stood at the city gate as his army passed by in companies and divisions.

5 Now, the king had given orders to JoAb, AbiShai, and ItTai, saying, 'I want you to spare the young man AbSalom for me!' And everyone heard what the king had said to them about AbSalom.

6 Well from there, [David's army] marched into a forest that was directly across from [the army of] IsraEl, and the battle started there in the Woods of Ephraim. 7 But the army of IsraEl didn't fare well against the followers of David, for they lost twenty thousand of their men, 8 as the war raged on throughout the land… and the thick forest killed as many men as were killed with swords that day.

9 But soon, David's men caught up with AbSalom. He had been riding his mule, and the mule had taken off into a dense thicket. There AbSolom's head got caught in the branches of an oak tree, which left him hanging between the sky and the ground… the mule just took off and left him hanging there.

10 Well, one of the men saw what had happened, so he went and told JoAb, 'I've found AbSalom; he's hanging in an oak tree!'

11 And JoAb said, 'You saw this and you didn't cut him to the ground? I would have given you ten large silver coins if you had done that.'

12 But the man told JoAb: 'If you were to give me a thousand large silver coins, I wouldn't do that; for I would never raise a hand against a son of the king. And we all heard the king tell you (both AbiShai and ItTai) to guard the young man AbSalom for him. 13 So it would have been wrong for me to kill him! For the king would surely hear about it, and then you and I would find ourselves on opposite sides.'

14 But JoAb said: 'Well, that's what's going to happen… I'm not going to put up with this!'

So JoAb took three arrows and shot them into the chest of AbSalom as he was still alive, hanging there in the middle of the oak tree. 15 Then ten of his young men took JoAb's weapons and stabbed AbSalom [to make sure] he was dead.

16 Thereafter, JoAb blew his battle horn to call his people back from their pursuit of IsraEl, because he wanted to spare the rest of the people. 17 Then JoAb took AbSalom's body and threw it into a deep gulley in the forest, and he formed a huge pile of rocks over it as a monument, while the whole army of IsraEl was retreating to their tents.

18 Now, while AbSalom was still alive, he had built a monument to himself in the Valley of the Kings; for he said: 'I have no sons to remind people of my name.' So he named the monument after himself, calling it 'The Hand of AbSalom,' which is still there today.

19 Well after all this happened, AhiMaAz (the son of ZaDok) had decided to run and take the good news to the king that Jehovah had passed judgment on his enemies. 20 But JoAb told him: 'You shouldn't bring this as good news today… save that for another day; for it isn't good news that a son of the king has died. 21 Rather, just go to the king and tell him what you've seen!' And at that, HuShai bowed before JoAb and left.

22 Then AhiMaAz (the son of ZaDok) said to JoAb: 'Let me run after HuShai!'

But JoAb asked: 'Why do you want to do this, my son? Come along, for there's no good news that will be of any benefit to you if you go there.'

23 And AhiMaAz said, 'But what if I run?'

Then JoAb said, 'Okay, then run!' So AhiMaAz ran along the road to KeChar, and he passed HuShai.

24 Well, David was sitting between the two city gates, as the watchman was on the roof of the gate next to the wall. And when the watchman looked out and saw a man running toward them, 25 he yelled and reported it to the king. And the king asked, 'Is he is alone… is he bringing good news?'

Then, as this one was approaching, 26 the watchman saw another man running. And he yelled out, 'Look, there's another man running by himself!'

And the king said: 'Surely he's bringing good news!'

27 Then the watchman said: 'I see that the man running ahead is AhiMaAz, the son of ZaDok… so he must be bringing good news!'

28 And at that, AhiMaAz yelled to the king: 'Peace!' (as he bowed to the ground before the king). Then he said: 'Praise your God Jehovah, for he has closed the mouths of those who have raised their hands against my lord the king.'

29 So the king asked him: 'Do we now have peace with the young man AbSalom?'

And AhiMaAz said: 'Well I saw a large happy crowd standing around the king's servant JoAb, so I came here. However, I'm not sure of all that happened there.'

30 Then the king said: 'Step aside and stand over there!' So he stepped aside and stood nearby, 31 as HuShai came and reported this to the king: 'I have good news to announce to my lord the king. For today Jehovah has passed judgment upon all those who opposed you!'

32 And the king asked HuShai: 'So, how is the young man AbSalom?'

And he replied: 'The young man has fared the same as all the enemies who have done evil things against my lord the king.'

33 Well at this, the king became very upset, so he went up into the room above the gate and wept. He cried, 'O my son AbSalom! O my son! O my son AbSalom! Why couldn't I have died instead of you, AbSalom? O my son! O my son!'

Chapter 19

1 So thereafter, a message was sent to JoAb that the king was crying and mourning over AbSalom, 2 rather than celebrating a victory. And as the result, his people went into mourning because they heard that the king was [so disturbed over the death of] his son… 3 they just melted away into the city like men who were running from a battle. 4 Meanwhile, the king refused to show his face, for he kept crying and sobbing, 'O my son AbSalom! AbSalom! O my son!'

5 Well finally, JoAb went into the king's house, and said to him: 'You're disgracing all your servants who fought to save you today, as well as your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your concubines; 6 for you're showing that you love the one who hated you, and that you hate those who love you! You're giving the impression that your leaders and your servants are nothing, and that if AbSalom were alive today while all the rest of us were dead, it would be a better thing in your eyes! 7 Now, get up and go outside, then talk to your servants and tell them how you really feel! For I swear by Jehovah that unless you go out there today, there won't be a man standing with you tonight. Realize that the evil you're doing here is worse that all the other evil things that have happened to you since you were young.'

8 Well at that, the king went out and sat down at the [city] gate. And all the people started shouting, 'Look, the king is sitting at the gate.' So then all the people gathered to him there.

Now, [AbSalom's men], the army of IsraEl, had all retreated to their tents, 9 and these tribes of IsraEl were arguing with each other. They were saying, 'King David was the one who rescued us from our enemies, and he saved us from the hands of the Philistines. But then he had to flee the land and his kingdom, because he was running from AbSalom. 10 However, now that AbSalom (whom we anointed to be [our king]) has died in the battle, we should just quietly return to the king.' So thereafter, all IsraEl then returned to the king.

11 Then King David sent for ZaDok and AbiAthar (the Priests) and he said: 'Speak to the elders of Judah and ask them why they've been the last to welcome their king back.' Well, these words of the king were spread throughout all IsraEl. 12 For he had said, 'My brothers; you are my own flesh and bones, so why are you the last to welcome the king back to his palace? 13 Are you now going to turn to Amasa and say, You are our flesh and bones? No! May God curse me and add more to it if the one in charge of my armies is anyone other than JoAb.'

14 Well, this turned the hearts of all the men of Judah, and they sent a message to the king saying, 'You and all your servants should return to us!'

15 So at that, the king traveled toward the Jordan, and all the men of Judah came to GilGal to welcome him and to accompany him across [the river]. 16 ShiMei (the son of Gera, the son of the BenJaminite from BaUrim) hurried with his men of Judah to meet King David, 17 and he brought along a thousand men from BenJamin, as well as Ziba (the servant of the house of Saul) and his fifteen sons and twenty servants. They all went straight to the king at the Jordan 18 to officially welcome him as he crossed the ford (in order to satisfy his family, and to do the right thing in his eyes).

Then ShiMei (the son of Gera) fell to his face before the king at the Jordan and said: 19 'Please, my lord; forgive the lawless way that your servant acted when the king left JeruSalem… please put it out of your heart, 20 for your servant knows that he has sinned! Now look; I've come here before all IsraEl and the house of JoSeph today, to welcome back my lord the king.'

21 But AbiShai (the son of ZeruJah) asked: 'Shouldn't ShiMei be put to death for cursing the anointed of Jehovah?'

22 And David said: 'Why are you sons of ZeruJah always coming to me with plots? No man of IsraEl will be put to death today, for I still don't know whether I'm even their ruler!'

23 Then the king said to ShiMei: 'You won't die,' and he swore an oath to him.

24 Well thereafter, MephiBosheth (the son of JoNathan and grandson of Saul) came to welcome the king. However, he hadn't washed his feet, cut his nails, or trimmed his mustache, and his clothes hadn't been washed since the day he left to ask the king for peace. 25 So when he came from JeruSalem to greet him, the king asked: 'Why didn't you come along with me, MephiBosheth?'

26 And MephiBosheth answered: 'O my lord, O king; it was because my servant had misled me. When I told him to saddle my burro and help me mount it (because your servant is lame) to go with the king, 27 he wouldn't do it. However, my lord the king is as a messenger of God; so, do whatever is good in your eyes! 28 But back when there was no one else left of the house of my father (other than those who deserved death from my lord the king), you allowed your servant to eat at your table. So, what reason would I have to speak out against the king?'

29 And the king said to him: 'Why are you still talking? From now on you must give your field to Ziba!'

30 And MephiBosheth said: 'Yes, may he take everything, now that my lord the king is returning in peace to his palace.'

31 Then BarZilLai (the GileAdite) came to the king at the Jordan from RogelLim, to accompany him on his way back home. 32 BarZilLai was very old (eighty years old), but he had fed the king while he was living in ManaIm, because he was very wealthy. 33 So the king said to BarZilLai: 'Now, come to JeruSalem with me, and I will care for you in your old age.'

34 But BarZilLai said to the king: 'How many years do you think I have left, so that I should travel with the king to JeruSalem? 35 Since I'm eighty years old today, how could I really appreciate what you're doing? Can I still enjoy the taste of the food and drink that you will offer me? Or can I still enjoy the voices of men and women singing? Why should I burden my lord the king? 36 So, your servant will just travel with the king for a short way to the Jordan, since, what reward or payment can you give me? 37 Let your servant stay here to die in my city and to be buried with my father and mother. But look; your servant's son CamaAm will cross [the Jordan] with my lord the king… please do for him whatever you find good in your eyes.'

38 And the king said: 'Then let CamaAm cross over with me, and I will do what is good in my eyes for him… whatever you ask of me, I will do for you.'

39 Well, as all the people were crossing the Jordan, the king also prepared to cross. So he kissed BarZilLai and blest him, then he returned to his people. 40 And as the king was crossing over toward GilGal, CamaAm crossed [the river] with him, along with all the people of Judah and half of the people of IsraEl.

41 Then men from IsraEl approached the king and asked him: 'Why did you allow our brothers of Judah to steal you and help the king, his household, and his army to cross the Jordan?'

42 And men from Judah shouted: 'Because the king is our close relative! Why are you so irritated about this? Has the king given us any more food, or gifts, or brought us a tribute?'

43 Then the men of IsraEl replied: 'Since we have ten [tribes] that serve the king, and since we're the firstborn, how do you have [a greater claim] to David? We even came here [to welcome him back] before you did; so, why are you insulting us by not allowing us to be the first to escort the king?'

However, the men of Judah just shouted down the men of IsraEl.

Chapter 20

1 Well, there was a man who was referred to as the Son of a Lawbreaker. His name was SabeE, and he was the son of BoChori, a BenJaminite. He then blew his horn and shouted: 'David [doesn't have any respect] for us, nor does the son of Jesse have an inheritance for us. So men of IsraEl; let's return to our tents!' 2 And at that, all the men of IsraEl who were following David turned and started following the son of BoChori. However, the men of Judah stuck by their king [and followed him] from the Jordan to JeruSalem.

3 Then, when David arrived at his palace in JeruSalem, he took the ten concubines whom he had left to guard the house, and had them put under guard. He took care of them, but he never went to bed with them again. So they lived in custody as widows until the day they died.

4 Thereafter, the king then said to Amasa (the man who had served as the commander-in-chief of AbSalom's army): 'Call the army of Judah to assemble here in three days… I also want you to come back here!'

5 So Amasa went and called [the army of] Judah, but he stayed away longer than David told him that he should, 6 because David had told Amasa that he was going to do something worse to the son of BoChori than had been done to AbSalom. He told him to gather his servants and chase the man down before he could find a fortified city [where they couldn't reach him].

7 As the result, JoAb's men (the Cherethites, the Phelethites, and all the mightiest of his warriors) went to get Amasa, and they'd also left JeruSalem to chase down the son of BoChori. 8 Well, when they reached Great Stone in GibeOn, they found Amasa standing there before them. So at that, JoAb (who was dressed in full uniform and carrying a sword in its sheath) drew his sword 9 as he asked Amasa: 'Are you in good health, O brother?' Then he grabbed Amasa's beard with his right hand as if to kiss him 10 (for Amasa didn't notice the sword in JoAb's other hand), and JoAb stuck the sword into his belly, pouring his guts out on the ground. Then he stabbed him a second time, killing him.

Well after that, JoAb and his brother AbiShai got ready to go after the son of BoChori. 11 So one of JoAb's servants stood up next to him and shouted at those in Amasa's army: 'Which of you are on JoAb's side and which of you for David? Let them follow JoAb!'

12 Well, Amasa was lying there dead in the middle of the road covered in blood, so one of his men carried his body from the road into a field and covered it with a cape, to keep people from coming there and stopping to look at it. 13 And after he took the body out of the road, all the men of IsraEl went with JoAb to hunt down the son of BoChori.

14 Meanwhile, [the son of BoChori] had traveled throughout all the tribes of IsraEl on his way to Abel BethMacha. 15 And after he got there, JoAb formed to attack him at Abel BethMacha, building a ramp around the city wall, because he planned to tear the wall down. 16 But a wise woman yelled from the wall: 'Listen! Listen! Tell JoAb to come here, because I want to speak to him!'

17 So he got up close to her, and the woman asked, 'Are you JoAb?'

And he said, 'I am.'

Then she said, 'Listen to what your servant has to say!'

And JoAb said, 'I'm listening.'

18 So she said, 'There's an old saying that goes:
All you must do is ask Abel,
And all of the problems will be solved
.

19 'Now, I'm one of the peaceful ones who is in support of IsraEl; however, you're still planning to destroy our city… and a mother-city of IsraEl, at that. So, why would you want to sink the inheritance of Jehovah?'

20 And JoAb replied: 'Unless you are kind and friendly with me, I'll not only sink it, I'll totally destroy it! 21 For, isn't this the place where a man from the hills of Ephraim who is called the son of BoChori is staying… this one who lifted his hand against King David? Hand him over to me personally, and I'll leave your city.'

And the woman said to JoAb: 'Look! I'll toss his head over the wall to you.'

22 So the woman went to her people and told everyone in the city of her wise plan, then they cut off the head of the son of BoChori and tossed it to JoAb. So JoAb blew his horn and all his men went back to their tents, as he returned to the king in JeruSalem.

23 Thereafter, [David put] JoAb in charge of all the armies of IsraEl. Then he put BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) over the Cherethites and the Phelethites, 24 AdoniRam was in charge of the tributes, JoSaphat (the son of AchiLuth) was in charge of the records, 25 Susa was his scribe, ZaDok and AbiAthar were the Priests, 26 and Iras (the son of JaRin) was David's personal Priest.

Chapter 21

1 Well, there were three consecutive years of famine in the days of David, so he asked Jehovah, and the Lord said: 'This is happening because the house of Saul was guilty of shedding [innocent] blood when he killed the GibeOnites.'

2 So the king called the GibeOnites, and he said: 'The GibeOnites [really] aren't IsraElites, they're just what remains of the Amorites. However, although the sons of IsraEl swore an oath to them, Saul attacked them in his zeal for the sons of IsraEl and Judah.'

3 Then David asked the GibeOnites: 'What must I do for you… what must I do to [pay for our sins], and to get you to bless the inheritance of Jehovah?'

4 And the GibeOnites replied: 'The problem can't be paid for with silver or gold by Saul and his house, and none of [his family] remain anywhere in IsraEl whom we can put to death.'

5 So [David] asked: 'Then, what can I do for you?'

And they told the king: '[Saul] would have finished us off. For he chased us down, tried to trick us, and he attempted to wipe us out. Therefore, we would like to remove [any trace] of him, so that his ways won't endure anywhere within the borders of IsraEl. 6 Give us seven of his descendants, and we will hang them in the sun before Jehovah, there in Saul's town of GibeOn.'

Then the king promised: 'I will give them to you.'

7 However, the king [had promised to] spare MephiBosheth (the son of JoNathan and the grandson of Saul), because of the oath that they had sworn before Jehovah… the one between David and JoNathan (Saul's son). 8 So the king took ErMoni and MephiBosheth, the two sons of ResPha (who was the daughter of Saul's concubine AiAh), and the five sons of Michol (Saul's daughter), whom she had born to EsdriEl (the son of BarZilLai the Moulathite), 9 and handed them over to the GibeOnites, who hung them on the mountain in the sun before Jehovah. And there they fell, all seven of them together.

Well, this happened at the beginning of the barley harvest. 10 So ResPha (the daughter of AiAh) took sackcloth and made a bed for herself on a rock, [which she slept on] from the beginning of the barley harvest until water from God dripped from the sky… she wouldn't allow the flying creatures of the skies to rest there during the day, or the wild animals to rest there during the night.

11 Then, when all the things that ResPha (the daughter of Saul's concubine AiAh) was doing were reported to David, 12 he sent and had the bones of Saul and his son JoNathan taken from the sons of JabIsh GileAd (which they had stolen from the city square of BethSan where the Philistines put them after they'd killed Saul at GilBoa), 13 and they gathered the bones of the men who'd been hung in the sun, 14 and carried all their bones (those of Saul, JoNathan, and the men who were hung in the sun) to the land of BenJamin, where they were buried on the side of a hill, in the tomb of Kish, Saul's father. They did exactly as the king told them; and after that, God started paying attention to the land once again.

15 Meanwhile, there was still a state of war between the Philistines and IsraEl, so David took his men and went to fight the Philistines. But then David started feeling poorly.

16 Now, JesBi (who was a descendant of Rapha) had a brass spear that weighed as much as three hundred large silver coins, and he was wearing heavy armor when he decided to attack David. 17 However, AbiShai (the son of ZeruJah) came to his aid and struck down the Philistine, killing him. And that's when David's men swore an oath to him saying: 'You may never again come with us to a battle, so that the lamp of IsraEl won't be extinguished.'

18 Well at the time, the war with the Philistines was still being fought at Gath, where SeboCha (the AstaTothite) eventually conquered the descendants of the giants. 19 They were also fighting the Philistines at Gob, which is where EleAnan (the son of AriOrgim the BethLehemite) killed GoliAth the GitTite, whose spear was as large as a weaving loom.

20 Then, as the battle raged on in Gath, a man from Madon who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot (for a total of twenty-four), the son of Rapha, 21 came and shouted insults at IsraEl. However, JoNathan (the son of ShimeAh, David's brother) cut him down. 22 All of these men were descendants of the giants in Gath from the house of Rapha, but David and his servants had cut them all down.

Chapter 22

1 Then, after the Lord rescued David from the hands of Saul and all his enemies, he sang this song to Jehovah:

2 'Jehovah's my rock and my fortress;
He's the One who comes to my rescue.
3 My God is a guard that's before me,
So, upon Him, I will lean.

4 'He is the One that defends me;
He's the trumpet of my salvation…
My shield and my refuge from the unrighteous.

'You saved me, so You deserve all the praise…
I have called on the Lord and was saved.
5 For by deadly battles, I was surrounded,
And by lawless dry streams, I was upset.
6 Fear of losing my life, had me enwrapped,
And I awaited the harshness of death.

7 'But in my pain, I called to the Lord;
Yes, I yelled to my God,
And from His great Temple, He Heard me…
My voice and my cries reached His ears.

8 'Then the ground started to tremble,
And the sky was disturbed by His anger.
9 Smoke ascended, because of His rage;
And the fire from His mouth became so consuming,
That even the coals burned away.

10 'He leaned on the sky and it fell,
As darkness was under His feet.
11 He mounted a cherub upon its spread wings,
And He was seen on the wings of the winds.

12 'He concealed Himself in the gloom of His Tent,
And in the darkness of waters.
Then He thickened the clouds in the sky,
13 As the brightness before Him lit fires.

14 'He thundered from out of the sky…
Jehovah shouted down from His place in the heights.
15 Then He grabbed His arrows and shot them,
And with flashes of lightning, He scared them away.

16 'Then the things in the sea were exposed,
And the foundations of man's habitation.
[God] sent His accusations among them…
The breath of the spirit of His rage.

17 'From up above, He then grabbed me and took me…
He lifted me from those deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my enemies' strength…
From those by whom I was hated.

19 'He saw all the problems I faced,
And the Lord became my foundation.
20 He provided a space and He saved me,
For He chose to do good things for me.

21 'Jehovah has rewarded all my righteous ways;
It's my reward for undefiled hands.
22 For I've paid attention to the ways of the Lord…
Before my God, I showed deep respect.

23 'I've kept His decisions before me,
And His Laws have never left me.
24 So I'll stand before Him unblemished,
And away from the lawless, I'll stay.

25 ----
26 'With the holy, You will always be holy;
And with the perfect, You'll always be perfect;
27 The elected, You'll treat as Your chosen,
And to the crooked, You'll send crooked ways.

28 'By You, the poor will be saved,
And You'll humble the eyes of the proud.
29 By You, my lamp will be lit, O Jehovah…
My Lord sends me light in the darkness.

30 'So in You, I will run lightly armed,
And by my God, I'll pass over walls.
31 For flawless are the ways of the Almighty,
And the sayings of Jehovah are very refined.

'He's the defender of all who obey Him;
32 And who is as strong as Jehovah?
For who else than our God can create?
33 Since He is the only Almighty.

'He strengthens me with His power;
And removes the flaws of my ways.
34 He sets my feet firm like a stag,
And into the heights, He then lifts me.

35 'He teaches my hands to fight battles,
And to break brass bows with my arms.
36 He gives me a shield to protect me…
Because I obeyed, He has made me strong.
37 He enlarges my footsteps beneath me,
And my trembling knees, He [makes firm].

38 'So, I will pursue and remove them,
And I'll not return til they're gone.
39 I'll crush them and then they won't rise again;
They'll fall [to the ground] 'neath my feet.

40 'You'll strengthen me for great battles,
And bend those who rise from beneath me.
41 All my enemies, You've handed to me,
And You've broken the backs of all those who hate me.

42 'They yelled, but [God] didn't come to their aid;
For to them, He never would listen.
43 So I ground them to dust on the ground,
And made them fine like the mud in the streets.

44 'You saved me when men came to fight,
And made me as the head over nations.
So people I didn't know came to serve me…
45 Then they listened and did as I asked.

46 'The sons of liars will reel,
And into confinement, they'll stumble.
47 As Jehovah lives; may my great Guard be praised…
May my God who guards me, be lifted.

48 'For Jehovah is strong and sends vengeance…
He corrects the people who serve me.
49 From those who hate me, He lifts me away;
He lifts me high over those who oppose me.

'From unrighteous men, You'll continue to save me,
50 And for this, to the Gentiles I'll praise You.

'I'll strum tunes to Your Name, O Jehovah.
51 For You saved Your king in great awesome ways…
You've shown mercy to Your anointed
To David and his seed through the ages.'

Chapter 23

1 And these were the last words of David.

David (the son of Jesse) was a trustworthy man whom the Lord elevated to the position of the anointed of the God of Jacob. He also wrote many of the beautiful psalms of IsraEl… such as:

2 'Through me, spoke the Breath of Jehovah,
And His words were there on my tongue.
3 It was IsraEl's God who guards us,
And who gave this parable to me.

'I once asked this of a man:
How can I teach you to fear [God's] anointed?
4 For it's God who brings light in the morning…
The sun as it rises into the day,
And after its brightness, it then fades away.

'He's the One who sends us the rain,
That causes tender shoots to sprout from the ground.
5 And He's the One who made my house strong…
Who made it stand through the ages,
Through a promise that He gave to me.

'He's the One who guarded and saved me,
So I'll serve Jehovah and not break His Laws.
6 For, thorn-bushes couldn't stand and oppose me;
And by the hands of men, they were taken away.

7 'Though there were some who worked hard,
Turning iron and wood into spears.
These things were then burned in the flames…
In their shame, they were consumed.'

8 These are the names of the three mighty ones of David:
Š JeBosthe the CanaAnite, who was the greatest of the three. He [was also known as] AdiNon the Asonite; for he was the one who unsheathed his broadsword and killed eight hundred men in one battle.
Š 9 EliYanan (AdiNin's nephew). He was with David in SeiRa when he berated the Philistines as they gathered for war against him. It was then that this man of IsraEl went right up to them 10 and kept killing Philistines until his hand got tired; so he tied his sword to his hand [and kept fighting]. Jehovah gave him a great victory that day, and the only reason why the rest of the people had to return to [the field] was just to strip the dead.
Š 11 SamaiJa (the son of Asa the Arachite). When the Philistines went to Theria and people there were picking lentils in a field, they all ran from the Philistines. 12 But he stood there like a stone monument in the middle of the field and protected it, cutting down the Philistines in a great victory.

13 It was these three (from among the thirty of the leaders) who went to David when he was at Kason in the cave of OdolLam, as the Philistines camped [against him] in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 Also, when David was in the citadel and the Philistines were in BethLehem, 15 and David [got thirsty] and asked, 'Who will go to the well that's at the city gate in BethLehem to get me some water to drink?' (although all the Philistines were assembled in BethLehem)… 16 it was these same three mighty ones who tore up the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well that was in BethLehem, and brought it to David. However, he wouldn't drink it and offered it to Jehovah instead. 17 For he said: 'Please be kind to me, O Jehovah, for offering this. How could I drink it after these men risked their blood and their lives to bring it to me?' So he didn't drink it. And it was these three mighty ones did these things.

18 Now, AbiShai (the brother of JoAb and the son of ZeruJah) was over the three. And because he had killed three hundred men, he was also considered to be with the three. 19 He was never part of the group, but he was the most highly regarded, so he was put in charge over them.

20 Then there was BenaiJah, the son of JehoiAda. He also did many marvelous things. For at KabeseEl, he struck down the two sons of AriEl the Moabite. And he's the one who went and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. 21 He also cut down a remarkable Egyptian man who carried a wooden spear that was as large as a ladder. He went right up to him with a rod, grabbed the wooden spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with his spear. 22 Yes, these are things that BenaiJah (the son of JehoiAda) did, and that's why he was also considered among the mighty ones. 23 So he was considered one of the three, but he was never part of their group though he was given more honor; for David appointed him [to be the head of his guards].

And these are the names of the mighty ones of King David:
Š 24 AshaEl, 25 the brother of JoAb (who was also one of the thirty).
Š ElAnan (his uncle, the son of Dudi of BethLehem)
Š 25 Samai the Arudite
Š EliKa the Arodite
Š 26 Seles the KelOthite
Š Iras (the son of EkKas the Thekoite)
Š 27 AbiEzer the AnathOthite (from the sons of the Asothites)
Š 28 ElLon the Awiite
Š MoOr the NetoPhathite
Š 29 Ethi (the son of Riba of GabeOth, a BenJaminite)
Š 30 BenaiJah the Pharathenite
Š Uri from NachaLiga
Š 31 GadabiEl (the son of the ArabOthite)
Š AzMoth the BarSamite
Š 32 EliAsou the Salabonite, and his sons, Jaban and JoNathan
Š 33 SamNan the Arodite
Š Acian (the son of Arai the SaraUrite)
Š 34 AlipPhaleth (the son the Asbitite and grandson of MaAchathi)
Š EliAb (the son of AhiThophel the Gelonite)
Š 35 AsarAi the Carmelite
Š PharAi the Erchite
Š 36 GaAl (the son of Nathan, from the armies of the GileAdites)
Š 37 ElYe the Ammanite
Š GelorAi the BerOthite, who was the arms bearer for JoAb (the son of ZeruJah)
Š 38 Iras the Jethirite
Š Gareb the Ethenite
Š 39 UriAh the Hittite.

In all, they numbered thirty-seven [mighty men].

Chapter 24

1 Well, the anger of Jehovah started to burn in IsraEl, because David was moved to say, 'Go and take a census of IsraEl and Judah!'

2 For the king had said to JoAb (who was in charge of the army): 'Go throughout all the tribes of IsraEl and Judah, from Dan to BeerSheba, and count the men, so I will know how many there are.'

3 But JoAb said to the king: 'May Jehovah your God add to your people, and may you find that they have grown to be a hundred times greater. However, my Lord the king; why would you want to do you such a thing?'

4 But the king refused to listen to JoAb and to those who were in charge of his army, so JoAb and his men left the presence of the king and went to take a census of the people of IsraEl. 5 They crossed the JorDan and camped to the right of AroEr in the ravine of Gad and EliEzer. 6 Then they went to GileAd and into the land of ThaBason (AdasSai). And from there, they traveled to DaniDan and UDan, and they camped around Sidon. 7 Then they traveled to MapSar of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites and CanaAnites; and finally they went to the south of Judah, into BeerSheba. 8 So they traveled throughout the entire land, returning to JeruSalem at the end of nine months and twenty days, 9 and JoAb gave the numbers of the people to the king. He found that there were eight-hundred-thousand men in the armies of IsraEl who carried the broadsword, plus five-hundred-thousand warriors from Judah.

10 Well, after he had the census performed, David [was ashamed] of what he had done, and he said to Jehovah: 'I have really sinned by doing this thing. And now, O Lord, please overlook this lawlessness on the part of your servant; for I was very foolish.'

11 But when David got up the next morning, [he found that] the word of Jehovah had come to the Prophet Gad, the Seer, who was told, 12 'Go and speak to David. Tell him that this is what Jehovah has said: I am giving you your choice of three [penalties]. You must choose the one you prefer, and I will bring it against you!'

13 So Gad went to David and told him: 'Choose for yourself what is going to come upon you; three years of famine in our land, three months when your enemies will chase you and you will run from them, or three days of death in your land. Now, give me a reply for the One who sent me.'

14 And David said to Gad: 'Those are all tough choices, but of the three, I choose to put myself into the hands of Jehovah, because He is very compassionate. He will never allow me to fall into the hands of [my enemies].'

15 So David chose the death.

Now, it was the season of the wheat harvest when Jehovah sent death throughout IsraEl from the morning until dinnertime. Devastation started among the people, killing seventy thousand men from Dan to BeerSheba. 16 Then the messenger of God turned his hand toward JeruSalem… to destroy it. However, [Jehovah then forgave] the evil that was done, and He said to the messenger who was destroying the people, 'That's enough!'

Well at the time, the messenger of Jehovah was at the threshing-floor of Orna the Jebusite. 17 And David said to Jehovah (when he saw the messenger striking the people): 'Look… I was the one who did the wrong! Yes, I'm the shepherd who sinned, and these are just the sheep… what have they done? May Your hand come against me and the house of my father instead!'

18 Then Gad came to David that day and said to him: 'Now go and erect an Altar to Jehovah at the threshing-floor of Orna the Jebusite.'

19 So, following the instructions of the Prophet Gad, he did what the Lord told him to do. 20 And when Orna saw the king and his servants coming toward him, he bowed before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Then Orna asked, 'Why is my lord the king coming to his servant?'

And David replied: 'I'm here to buy your threshing-floor from you in order to build an Altar to Jehovah, so that He will stop destroying the people.'

22 And Orna said to David: 'Then, take it and offer it to Jehovah, my lord the king… do whatever is good in your eyes. Look, here are some oxen to sacrifice as whole burnt-offerings… and use the wooden [ox-cart] and its wheels to burn [the sacrifices]!'

23 So Orna offered it all to the king. And he said: 'May Jehovah your God bless you.'

24 But the king said to Orna: 'No, I want to purchase it from you for a price; because, I won't offer a whole burnt-offering to Jehovah my God free of charge.'

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen, paying for it with fifty large silver coins. 25 And there he built an Altar to Jehovah, where he sacrificed whole burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then [later on], Solomon added to the size of the Altar, because it was small at first. But [Jehovah's favor] returned to the land, and He ended the devastation that He was bringing upon IsraEl.

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