David Captures Rabbah
20 In the spring of the year,[a] when kings normally go out to war, Joab led the Israelite army in successful attacks against the land of the Ammonites. In the process he laid siege to the city of Rabbah, attacking and destroying it. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.
2 Then David went to Rabbah and removed the crown from the king’s head,[b] and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and he found that it weighed seventy-five pounds.[c] David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. 3 He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes.[d] That is how David dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.
Battles against Philistine Giants
4 After this, war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph,[e] a descendant of the giants,[f] and so the Philistines were subdued.
5 During another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath of Gath. The handle of Lahmi’s spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!
6 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. 7 But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.
8 These Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.
David Takes a Census
21 Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the people of Israel—from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north—and bring me a report so I may know how many there are.”
3 But Joab replied, “May the Lord increase the number of his people a hundred times over! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?”
4 But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab traveled throughout all Israel to count the people. Then he returned to Jerusalem 5 and reported the number of people to David. There were 1,100,000 warriors in all Israel who could handle a sword, and 470,000 in Judah. 6 But Joab did not include the tribes of Levi and Benjamin in the census because he was so distressed at what the king had made him do.
Judgment for David’s Sin
7 God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. 8 Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.”
9 Then the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer. This was the message: 10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will give you three choices. Choose one of these punishments, and I will inflict it on you.’”
11 So Gad came to David and said, “These are the choices the Lord has given you. 12 You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”
13 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great. Do not let me fall into human hands.”
14 So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 people died as a result. 15 And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But just as the angel was preparing to destroy it, the Lord relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Araunah[g] the Jebusite.
16 David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth with his sword drawn, reaching out over Jerusalem. So David and the leaders of Israel put on burlap to show their deep distress and fell face down on the ground. 17 And David said to God, “I am the one who called for the census! I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? O Lord my God, let your anger fall against me and my family, but do not destroy your people.”
David Builds an Altar
18 Then the angel of the Lord told Gad to instruct David to go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 19 So David went up to do what the Lord had commanded him through Gad. 20 Araunah, who was busy threshing wheat at the time, turned and saw the angel there. His four sons, who were with him, ran away and hid. 21 When Araunah saw David approaching, he left his threshing floor and bowed before David with his face to the ground.
22 David said to Araunah, “Let me buy this threshing floor from you at its full price. Then I will build an altar to the Lord there, so that he will stop the plague.”
23 “Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David. “I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, and the threshing boards for wood to build a fire on the altar, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give it all to you.”
24 But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” 25 So David gave Araunah 600 pieces of gold[h] in payment for the threshing floor.
26 David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And when David prayed, the Lord answered him by sending fire from heaven to burn up the offering on the altar. 27 Then the Lord spoke to the angel, who put the sword back into its sheath.
28 When David saw that the Lord had answered his prayer, he offered sacrifices there at Araunah’s threshing floor. 29 At that time the Tabernacle of the Lord and the altar of burnt offering that Moses had made in the wilderness were located at the place of worship in Gibeon. 30 But David was not able to go there to inquire of God, because he was terrified by the drawn sword of the angel of the Lord.
22 Then David said, “This will be the location for the Temple of the Lord God and the place of the altar for Israel’s burnt offerings!”
Preparations for the Temple
2 So David gave orders to call together the foreigners living in Israel, and he assigned them the task of preparing finished stone for building the Temple of God. 3 David provided large amounts of iron for the nails that would be needed for the doors in the gates and for the clamps, and he gave more bronze than could be weighed. 4 He also provided innumerable cedar logs, for the men of Tyre and Sidon had brought vast amounts of cedar to David.
5 David said, “My son Solomon is still young and inexperienced. And since the Temple to be built for the Lord must be a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world, I will begin making preparations for it now.” So David collected vast amounts of building materials before his death.
6 Then David sent for his son Solomon and instructed him to build a Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel. 7 “My son, I wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God,” David told him. 8 “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon,[i] and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a Temple to honor my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will secure the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
11 “Now, my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow his directions in building the Temple of the Lord your God. 12 And may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the Law of the Lord your God as you rule over Israel. 13 For you will be successful if you carefully obey the decrees and regulations that the Lord gave to Israel through Moses. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!
14 “I have worked hard to provide materials for building the Temple of the Lord—nearly 4,000 tons of gold, 40,000 tons of silver,[j] and so much iron and bronze that it cannot be weighed. I have also gathered timber and stone for the walls, though you may need to add more. 15 You have a large number of skilled stonemasons and carpenters and craftsmen of every kind. 16 You have expert goldsmiths and silversmiths and workers of bronze and iron. Now begin the work, and may the Lord be with you!”
17 Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to assist Solomon in this project. 18 “The Lord your God is with you,” he declared. “He has given you peace with the surrounding nations. He has handed them over to me, and they are now subject to the Lord and his people. 19 Now seek the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. Build the sanctuary of the Lord God so that you can bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant and the holy vessels of God into the Temple built to honor the Lord’s name.”
20:1 Hebrew At the turn of the year. The first day of the year in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in March or April.
20:2a Or from the head of Milcom (as in Greek version and Latin Vulgate). Milcom, also called Molech, was the god of the Ammonites.
20:2b Hebrew 1 talent [34 kilograms].
20:3 As in parallel text at 2 Sam 12:31; Hebrew reads and cut them with saws, iron picks, and saws.
20:4a As in parallel text at 2 Sam 21:18; Hebrew reads Sippai.
20:4b Hebrew descendant of the Rephaites; also in 20:6, 8.
21:15 As in parallel text at 2 Sam 24:16; Hebrew reads Ornan, another name for Araunah; also in 21:18-28.
21:25 Hebrew 600 shekels of gold, about 15 pounds or 6.8 kilograms in weight.
22:9 Solomon sounds like and is probably derived from the Hebrew word for “peace.”
22:14 Hebrew 100,000 talents [3,400 metric tons] of gold, 1,000,000 talents [34,000 metric tons] of silver.
33 He changes rivers into deserts,
and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
34 He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands,
because of the wickedness of those who live there.
35 But he also turns deserts into pools of water,
the dry land into springs of water.
36 He brings the hungry to settle there
and to build their cities.
37 They sow their fields, plant their vineyards,
and harvest their bumper crops.
38 How he blesses them!
They raise large families there,
and their herds of livestock increase.
39 When they decrease in number and become impoverished
through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
40 the Lord pours contempt on their princes,
causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
41 But he rescues the poor from trouble
and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
42 The godly will see these things and be glad,
while the wicked are struck silent.
43 Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.
Sin’s Power Is Broken
6 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
12 Do not let sin control the way you live;[a] do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.
20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. 21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
6:12 Or Do not let sin reign in your body, which is subject to death.
A psalm of David.
1 Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
8 Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
10 Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs,
for he sees their day of judgment coming.
14 The wicked draw their swords
and string their bows
to kill the poor and the oppressed,
to slaughter those who do right.
15 But their swords will stab their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 It is better to be godly and have little
than to be evil and rich.
17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
but the Lord takes care of the godly.
18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,
and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
19 They will not be disgraced in hard times;
even in famine they will have more than enough.
20 But the wicked will die.
The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field—
they will disappear like smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and never repay,
but the godly are generous givers.
22 Those the Lord blesses will possess the land,
but those he curses will die.
37 This psalm is a Hebrew acrostic poem; each stanza begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.