1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36
15 David founded the city of David as his capital and built his palaces there. But in his zeal to rebuild Jerusalem and build his palaces, He prepared a place for the covenant chest of God in a tent adjacent to the palace. 2-3 Then David invited the people of Israel to Jerusalem for a parade celebrating the arrival of the covenant chest of the Eternal.
David (to the assembly): Because of Uzza’s fiasco when we tried to move the chest three months ago, no one but the Levites may carry the covenant chest of God. The Eternal has selected them and them alone to bear it and to serve Him forever.
4 So David gathered the men of Aaron and the other Levites: 5 the men of Kohath (Uriel the chief and 120 of his relatives), 6 the men of Merari (Asaiah the chief and 220 of his relatives), 7 the men of Gershom (Joel the chief and 130 of his relatives), 8 the men of Elizaphan (Shemaiah the chief and 200 of his relatives), 9 the men of Hebron (Eliel the chief and 80 of his relatives), and 10 the men of Uzziel (Amminadab the chief and 112 of his relatives).
11 When they had all gathered together, David summoned Zadok and Abiathar (two priests) and the other Levites: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab.
David (commissioning them): 12 You are the heads of the households of the Levites. You are the ones whom God wants to carry His covenant chest. Sanctify yourselves and your relatives, so you may deliver the covenant chest of the Eternal One, God of Israel, to the tent I have prepared for it next to my palace in Jerusalem. 13 You did not carry the chest from Kiriath-jearim the first time we moved it, so the Eternal our God was infuriated at us for ignoring His commands. This time, we will bring it to Jerusalem in the way He told us to.
14 After the priests and the Levites were consecrated for their duty, David and the Levites organized the city’s processional in honor of the chest of the Eternal, the God of Israel. 15 The Levites picked up the covenant chest of God and carried it by wooden poles on their shoulders as the Eternal commanded them to do through His prophet Moses. 16 David told the leaders of the Levites to select their relatives as musicians and singers in the parade, playing instruments such as lutes, lyres, and cymbals and raising their voices in joy. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman (son of Joel) and his kinsmen, Asaph (son of Berechiah), the sons of Merari, and Ethan (son of Kushaiah). 18 With these men were their assistants: Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah, along with Obed-edom and Jeiel who were gatekeepers.
19 The celebration began with a parade. The assembled singers (Heman, Asaph, and Ethan) sounded their bronze cymbals; 20 Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah played their lutes tuned to alamoth, 21 and Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah played their lyres tuned to sheminith. 22 Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, directed the singing because of his musical ability, 23 while Berechia and Elkanah led the gatekeepers. 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer (all priests) blew their clarions at the front of the parade in front of the covenant chest of God, as Obed-edom and Jehiah carried it. 25 In this manner, David, the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands prepared to move the covenant chest of the Eternal from the house of Obed-edom into its high place in Jerusalem with rejoicing. 26 As God was helping the Levites to carry the heavy covenant chest, they offered seven wild bulls and seven stags to Him. 27 David, all the Levites carrying the chest, the singers, and Chenaniah the song leader were dressed in fine linen robes. The king also wore a linen priestly vest. 28 All Israel celebrated the chest’s journey to its tent, rejoicing with the sound of trumpets, clarions, and cymbals, and worshiping with harps and lyres.
29 When the covenant chest of the Eternal entered the city of David, Michal (the daughter of Saul and David’s wife) gazed out of a window and saw her husband dancing and celebrating in the parade. At that moment, Michal hated David.
16 The Levites set the covenant chest of God down in the middle of the tent David had built for it, and they made sacrifices and burnt offerings before God. 2 When David finished these rituals of burnt offerings and peace offerings he blessed the people under the Eternal’s authority. 3 He gave a loaf of bread, a date roll,[a] and a raisin cake to every man and woman in Israel. 4 He appointed some of the Levites as servants of the covenant chest of the Eternal, as officers to commemorate, to give thanks, and to give praise to the Eternal One, God of Israel. 5 Asaph was the head of the servants, next Zechariah, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, and Obed-edom. Jeiel was over all instruments, including a ten-stringed harp and lyre, while Asaph played the cymbals. 6 Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests played trumpets regularly before the covenant chest of God. 7 That day, at the end of the parade, David gave this first song of thanks to Asaph and his brothers:
8 Give thanks to the Eternal, and call out to Him.
Teach the people His deeds.
9 Sing to Him! Sing praises to Him!
Talk about all His wonders.
10 Brag about His holy name;
let your heart rejoice in following the Eternal.
11 Always follow the Eternal,
His strength and His face.
12 Remember the wonders which He did,
and the judgments which He spoke.
13 Seed of Israel, you are His servants;
sons of Jacob, you are His chosen.
14 He is the Eternal One, your God.
His judgments fill the earth.
15 Always remember His covenant,
the word He commanded to 1,000 generations
16 Which is His covenant with Abraham
and His pledge to Isaac,
17 His statute with Jacob
and His covenant with Israel forever:
18 “I will give the land of Canaan to you,
a territory as your inheritance.”
19 When He promised this, you were a diminished few,
mere strangers in the land.
20 You went from nation to nation
and from one kingdom to another,
21 But He did not let those nations oppress you.
He reproved the kings:
22 “Do not strike My anointed people
or do evil to My prophets.”
23 Now, sing to the Eternal, all the earth!
Announce the good news of His salvation each and every day!
24 Enlighten the nations to His splendor;
describe His wondrous acts to all people!
25 For the Eternal is great indeed and praiseworthy,
feared and reverenced above all gods.
26 For all gods are worthless idols,
but the Eternal plotted the vast heavens.
27 Honor and majesty precede Him;
strength and beauty infuse His holy sanctuary.
28 Give all credit to the Eternal, families of the world!
Credit Him with honor and strength!
29 Credit Him with the glory worthy of His magnificent name;
gather your sacrifice, and present it before Him.
Bow down to the Eternal, adorned in holiness.
30 Fear Him, all the earth.
For the earth is firmly rooted; it cannot move.
31 Heavens, be glad; earth, rejoice.
Say to the nations, “The Eternal One reigns.”
32 The sea roars, as do its creatures.
The field rejoices, as do its crops.
33 Then will the forest and its trees cry out
before the Eternal, for He comes to judge the earth.
34 Give testimony about the Eternal because He is good;
His loyal love lasts forever.
35 Say, “Save us, God of our salvation.
Gather us and free us from the nations
To thank Your holy name,
to boast in Your praise.”
36 Blessed is the Eternal One, God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
People: So may it be! We will praise the Eternal.
18 For the wrath of God is breaking through from heaven, opposing all manifestations of ungodliness and wickedness by the people who do wrong to keep God’s truth in check. 19 These people are not ignorant about what can be known of God, because He has shown it to them with great clarity. 20 From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses and ignorant claims of these people 21 because, despite the fact that they knew the one true God, they have failed to show the love, honor, and appreciation due to the One who created them! Instead, their lives are consumed by vain thoughts that poison their foolish hearts. 22 They claim to be wise; but they have been exposed as fools, frauds, and con artists— 23 only a fool would trade the splendor and beauty of the immortal God to worship images of the common man or woman, bird or reptile, or the next beast that tromps along.
24 So God gave them just what their lustful hearts desired. As a result, they violated their bodies and invited shame into their lives. 25 How? By choosing a foolish lie over God’s truth. They gave their lives and devotion to the creature rather than to the Creator Himself, who is blessed forever and ever. Amen. 26-27 This is why God released them to their own vile pursuits, and this is what happened: they chose sexual counterfeits—women had sexual relations with other women and men committed unnatural, shameful acts because they burned with lust for other men. This sin was rife, and they suffered painful consequences.
28 Since they had no mind to recognize God, He turned them loose to follow the unseemly designs of their depraved minds and to do things that should not be done. 29 Their days are filled with all sorts of godless living, wicked schemes, greed, hatred, endless desire for more, murder, violence, deceit, and spitefulness. And, as if that were not enough, they are gossiping, 30 slanderous, God-hating, rude, egotistical, smug people who are always coming up with even more dreadful ways to treat one another. They don’t listen to their parents; 31 they lack understanding and character. They are simple-minded, covenant-breaking, heartless, and unmerciful; they are not to be trusted. 32 Despite the fact that they are fully aware that God’s law says this way of life deserves death, they fail to stop. And worse—they applaud others on this destructive path.
1 Why, O Eternal One, are You so far away?
Why can’t You be found during troubling times?
2 Mean and haughty people hunt down the poor.
May they get caught up in their own wicked schemes.
3 For the wicked celebrates the evil cravings of his heart
as the greedy curses and rejects the Eternal.
4 The arrogance of the wicked one keeps him from seeking the True God.
He truly thinks, “There is no God.”
5 His ways seem always to be successful;
Your judgments, too, seem far beyond him, out of his reach.
He looks down on all his enemies.
6 In his heart he has decided, “Nothing will faze me.
From generation to generation I will not face trouble.”
7 His mouth is full of curses, lies, and oppression.[b]
Beneath his tongue lie trouble and wickedness.
8 He hides in the shadows of the villages,
waiting to ambush and kill the innocent in dark corners.
He eyes the weak and the poor.
9 Ominously, like a lion in its lair,
he lurks in secret to waylay those who are downtrodden.
When he catches them, he draws them in and drags them off with his net.
10 Quietly crouching, lying low,
ready to overwhelm the next by his strength,
11 The wicked thinks in his heart, “God has forgotten us!
He has covered His face and will never notice!”
12 Arise, O Eternal, my True God. Lift up Your hand.
Do not forget the downtrodden.
13 Why does the wicked revile the True God?
He has decided, “He will not hold me responsible.”
14 But wait! You have seen,
and You will consider the trouble and grief he caused.
You will impose consequences for his actions.
The helpless, the orphans, commit themselves to You,
and You have been their Helper.
15 Break the arm of the one guilty of doing evil;
investigate all his wicked acts;
hold him responsible for every last one of them.
6 Many try to win the favor of a generous person,
and everyone is a friend to someone who gives gifts.
7 If a poor man is hated by his relatives,
it is even more likely his friends will avoid him too!
Anyone who is calling after them
[is not to be found].[a]
- 19:7 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.