1 Chronicles 19-21
War with the Ammonites
19 Some time later,(A) King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son became king in his place. 2 Then David said, “I’ll show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.”
So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. However, when David’s emissaries arrived in the land of the Ammonites to console him, 3 the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, “Just because David has sent men with condolences for you, do you really believe he’s showing respect for your father? Instead, haven’t his emissaries come in order to scout out, overthrow, and spy on the land?” 4 So Hanun took David’s emissaries, shaved them, cut their clothes in half at the hips, and sent them away.(B)
5 It was reported to David about his men, so he sent messengers to meet them, since the men were deeply humiliated. The king said, “Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back; then return.”
6 When the Ammonites realized(C) they had made themselves repulsive to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent thirty-eight tons[a] of silver to hire chariots and horsemen from Aram-naharaim, Aram-maacah, and Zobah.(D) 7 They hired thirty-two thousand chariots and the king of Maacah with his army, who came and camped near Medeba.(E) The Ammonites also came together from their cities for the battle.
8 David heard about this and sent Joab and all the elite troops. 9 The Ammonites marched out and lined up in battle formation at the entrance of the city while the kings who had come were in the field by themselves. 10 When Joab saw that there was a battle line in front of him and another behind him, he chose some of Israel’s finest young men[b](F) and lined up in formation to engage the Arameans. 11 He placed the rest of the forces under the command of his brother Abishai. They lined up in formation to engage the Ammonites.
12 “If the Arameans are too strong for me,” Joab said, “then you’ll be my help. However, if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I’ll help you. 13 Be strong! Let’s prove ourselves strong for our people and for the cities of our God.(G) May the Lord’s will be done.”[c]
14 Joab and the people with him approached the Arameans for battle, and they fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had fled, they likewise fled before Joab’s brother Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab went to Jerusalem.
16 When the Arameans realized that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers to summon the Arameans who were beyond the Euphrates River. They were led by Shophach, the commander of Hadadezer’s army.
17 When this was reported to David, he gathered all Israel and crossed the Jordan. He came up to the Arameans and lined up against them. When David lined up to engage them, they fought against him. 18 But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed seven thousand of their charioteers and forty thousand foot soldiers. He also killed Shophach, commander of the army. 19 When Hadadezer’s subjects saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became his subjects. After this, the Arameans were never willing to help the Ammonites again.
Capture of the City of Rabbah
20 In the spring[d] when kings march out to war,(H) Joab led the army and destroyed the Ammonites’ land. He came to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem.(I) Joab attacked Rabbah and demolished it. 2 Then David took the crown from the head of their king,[e][f](J) and it was placed on David’s head. He found that the crown weighed seventy-five pounds[g] of gold, and there was a precious stone in it. In addition, David took away a large quantity of plunder from the city. 3 He brought out the people who were in it and put them to work with saws,[h] iron picks, and axes.[i](K) David did the same to all the Ammonite cities. Then he and all his troops returned to Jerusalem.
The Philistine Giants
5 Once again there was a battle with the Philistines, and Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath of Gath. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam.(N)
6 There was still another battle at Gath where there was a man of extraordinary stature with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He, too, was descended from the giant.[k] 7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of David’s brother Shimei killed him.
8 These were the descendants of the giant in Gath killed by David and his soldiers.
David’s Military Census
21 Satan[l](O) rose up against Israel and incited David(P) to count the people of Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, “Go and count Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan and bring a report to me so I can know their number.”(Q)
3 Joab replied, “May the Lord multiply the number of his people a hundred times over!(R) My lord the king, aren’t they all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?”
4 Yet the king’s order prevailed over Joab. So Joab left and traveled throughout Israel and then returned to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave the total troop registration to David. In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand armed men[m] and in Judah itself four hundred seventy thousand armed men. 6 But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the count because the king’s command was detestable to him. 7 This command was also evil in God’s sight, so he afflicted Israel.
8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly because I have done this thing. Now, please take away your servant’s guilt, for I’ve been very foolish.”(S)
9 Then(T) the Lord instructed Gad,(U) David’s seer,(V) 10 “Go and say to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am offering you three choices. Choose one of them for yourself, and I will do it to you.’”
11 So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Take your choice: 12 three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes with the sword of your enemy overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the Lord—a plague on the land, the angel of the Lord bringing destruction to the whole territory of Israel.’ Now decide what answer I should take back to the one who sent me.”
13 David answered Gad, “I’m in anguish. Please, let me fall into the Lord’s hands because his mercies are very great,(W) but don’t let me fall into human hands.”
14 So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand Israelite men died. 15 Then God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but when the angel was about to destroy the city,[n] the Lord looked, relented concerning the destruction,(X) and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough, withdraw your hand now!” The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Ornan[o] the Jebusite.
16 When David looked up and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem, David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth,(Y) fell facedown. 17 David said to God, “Wasn’t I the one who gave the order to count the people? I am the one who has sinned and acted very wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Lord my God, please let your hand be against me and against my father’s family, but don’t let the plague be against your people.”
18 So the angel of the Lord ordered Gad(Z) to tell David to go and set up an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.(AA) 19 David went up at Gad’s command spoken in the name of the Lord.
20 Ornan was threshing wheat when he turned and saw the angel. His four sons, who were with him, hid. 21 David came to Ornan, and when Ornan looked and saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground.
22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me this threshing-floor plot so that I may build an altar to the Lord on it. Give it to me for the full price, so the plague on the people may be stopped.”
23 Ornan said to David, “Take it! My lord the king may do whatever he wants.[p] See, I give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering—I give it all.”
24 King David answered Ornan, “No, I insist on paying the full price, for I will not take for the Lord what belongs to you or offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
25 So David gave Ornan fifteen pounds of gold[q] for the plot. 26 He built an altar to the Lord there and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and he answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.(AB)
27 Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 28 At that time, David offered sacrifices there when he saw that the Lord answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 29 The tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at the high place in Gibeon,(AC) 30 but David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was terrified of the sword of the Lord’s angel.
- 19:6 Lit 1,000 talents
- 19:10 Lit Israel’s choice ones
- 19:13 Lit the Lord do what is good in his eyes
- 20:1 Lit At the time of the return of the year
- 20:2 LXX, Vg read of Milcom
- 20:2 = Molech; 1Kg 11:5,7
- 20:2 Lit a talent
- 20:3 Text emended; MT reads and sawed them with the saw; 2Sm 12:31
- 20:3 Text emended; MT reads saws; 2Sm 12:31
- 20:4 Or the Rephaites
- 20:6 Or Raphah, also in v. 8
- 21:1 Or An adversary; Jb 1:6; Zch 3:1-2
- 21:5 Lit men drawing the sword
- 21:15 Lit but as he was destroying
- 21:15-28 = Araunah in 2Sm 24:16-24
- 21:23 Lit do what is good in his eyes
- 21:25 Lit 600 shekels of gold by weight
- 19:1-5 : 2Sm 10:1-5
- 19:4 : Is 7:20; 20:4
- 19:6-19 : 2Sm 10:6-19
- 19:6 : 1Ch 18:5,9
- 19:7 : Nm 21:30; Jos 13:9,16; Is 15:2
- 19:10 : 2Sm 6:1
- 19:13 : Jos 1:6
- 20:1-3 : 2Sm 12:26-31
- 20:1 : 2Sm 11:1
- 20:2 : 1Kg 11:5,7
- 20:3 : 2Sm 12:31
- 20:4-8 : 2Sm 21:18-22
- 20:4 : Gn 14:5; Dt 2:11
- 20:5 : 1Sm 17:7; 1Ch 11:23
- 21:1 : Jb 1:6; Zch 3:1-2
- 21:1-8 : 2Sm 24:1-10
- 21:2 : 1Ch 27:23-24
- 21:3 : Dt 1:11
- 21:8 : 2Sm 12:13
- 21:9-17 : 2Sm 24:11-17
- 21:9 : 1Ch 29:29
- 21:9 : 1Sm 9:9; 2Sm 24:11; 1Ch 25:5
- 21:13 : Ps 51:1; 130:4,7
- 21:15 : Ex 32:14; 1Sm 15:11; 2Sm 24:16; Am 7:3,6; Jnh 3:9-10
- 21:16 : 1Kg 21:27
- 21:18-27 : 2Sm 24:18-25
- 21:18 : 2Ch 3:1
- 21:26 : Lv 9:24; Jdg 6:21
- 21:29 : 1Kg 3:4; 1Ch 16:39
Circumcision of the Heart
25 Circumcision benefits you if you observe the law, but if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.(A) 26 So if an uncircumcised(B) man keeps the law’s requirements,(C) will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 A man who is physically uncircumcised, but who keeps the law, will judge you(D) who are a lawbreaker in spite of having the letter of the law and circumcision. 28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly,(E) and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly,(F) and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter.[a](G) That person’s praise is not from people but from God.(H)
Paul Answers an Objection
3 So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2 Considerable in every way. First, they were entrusted(I) with the very words of God.(J) 3 What then? If some were unfaithful,(K) will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Absolutely not!(L) Let God be true, even though everyone is a liar,(M) as it is written:
5 But if our unrighteousness highlights[c] God’s righteousness,(O) what are we to say?(P) I am using a human argument:[d](Q) Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? 6 Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world?(R) 7 But if by my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?(S) 8 And why not say, just as some people slanderously claim we say, “Let us do what is evil so that good may come”?(T) Their condemnation is deserved!
- 2:25 : Jr 4:4; 9:25
- 2:26 : Rm 3:30; 1Co 7:19; Eph 2:11
- 2:26 : Rm 8:4
- 2:27 : Mt 12:41
- 2:28 : Jn 8:39; Rm 9:6; Gl 6:15
- 2:29 : Php 3:3; Col 2:11
- 2:29 : Rm 7:6; 2Co 3:6
- 2:29 : Jn 5:44; 12:43; 1Co 4:5; 2Co 10:18
- 3:2 : Dt 4:8; Ps 147:19; Rm 9:4
- 3:2 : Ac 7:38
- 3:3 : Rm 10:16; Heb 4:2
- 3:4 : Lk 20:16; Rm 3:31
- 3:4 : Ps 116:11
- 3:4 : Ps 51:4
- 3:5 : Rm 5:8; 2Co 6:4; Gl 2:18
- 3:5 : Rm 4:1; 7:7; 8:31; 9:14,30
- 3:5 : Rm 6:19; 1Co 9:8; 15:32; Gl 3:15
- 3:6 : Rm 2:16
- 3:7 : Rm 9:19
- 3:8 : Rm 6:1
Refuge in the Lord
For the choir director. Of David.
1 I have taken refuge in the Lord.(A)
How can you say to me,
“Escape to the mountains[a] like a bird!(B)
2 For look, the wicked string bows;
they put their arrows on bowstrings
to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.(C)
3 When the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”(D)
4 The Lord is in his holy temple;(E)
the Lord—his throne is in heaven.(F)
His eyes watch;
his gaze[b] examines everyone.[c]
5 The Lord examines the righteous,
but he hates the wicked
and[d] those who love violence.(G)
6 Let him rain burning coals[e] and sulfur on the wicked;
let a scorching wind be the portion in their cup.(H)
7 For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds.
The upright will see his face.(I)