1 Chronicles 19-21
The Ammonites Humiliate David’s Messengers
19 And it happened that after this Nahash the king of the Ammonites[a] died, and his son reigned in his place. 2 And David said, “I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash because his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. And the servants of David came to the land of the Ammonites,[b] to Hanun, to comfort him. 3 But the princes of the Ammonites[c] said to Hanun, “Do you think[d] because David sent comforters to you that David honors your father? Is it not for the purpose of exploring so as to overthrow and spy out the land that his servants have come to you?” 4 So Hanun took the servants of David and shaved them and cut off their garments at the middle, up to the buttocks, and sent them away. 5 And they went and told David concerning the men, and he inquired of them, for the men were very disgraced. And the king said, “Dwell in Jericho until your beards grow out; then return.”
6 And when the Ammonites[e] saw that they made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the Ammonites[f] sent one thousand talents of silver to hire for themselves horses and chariots from Aram-Naharaim, Aram-Maacah, and Zobah. 7 And they hired for themselves thirty-two thousand chariots and the king of Maacah and his people, and they came and encamped before Medeba. And the Ammonites[g] were gathered from their cities and came to the battle. 8 And when David heard, he sent Joab and the entire army of mighty warriors. 9 And the Ammonites[h] went out and took up positions for battle at the entrance of the city. And the kings who had come were alone in the field.
10 When Joab saw that there was a battle line[i] against him at the front and the back, he chose from among the chosen men in Israel and arranged them to meet Aram. 11 And the remainder of the people he put in the hand of Abishai his brother, and they were arranged to meet the Ammonites.[j] 12 And he said, “If Aram is too strong for me, then you must be a help to me, but if the Ammonites[k] are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13 Be strong! Let us strengthen ourselves on behalf of our people and on behalf of the cities of our God. And may Yahweh do what is good in his eyes.” 14 And Joab and the people who were with him drew near before Aram for battle, and they fled before him. 15 And when the Ammonites[l] saw that Aram had fled, they also fled before Abishai his brother, and they came to the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.
16 And when Aram saw that they were defeated before Israel, they sent messengers and brought out Aram, who was from beyond the Euphrates,[m] with Shophach the commander of the army of Hadadezer before them. 17 And when it was told to David, he gathered all Israel and crossed the Jordan. And he came to them and was arrayed against them. Then David was arrayed to meet Aram in battle, and they fought with him. 18 And Aram fled before Israel. And David killed from Aram the men of seven thousand chariots and forty thousand foot soldiers, and he put to death Shophach the commander of the army. 19 And when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were defeated before Israel, they made peace with David and became servants to him. So Aram was no longer willing to help the Ammonites.[n]
The Capture of Rabbah
20 And it happened that in the spring time of year,[o] the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led the troops of the army and destroyed the land of the Ammonites.[p] And he came and besieged Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem. And Joab struck Rabbah and destroyed it. 2 And David took the crown of their king from his head and found it to weigh a talent of gold. And in it was a precious stone. Then it was placed upon the head of David. And he brought out the booty of the city, a large amount. 3 And the people who were in it he brought out, and he set them to work with saws and iron implements and axes.[q] Thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites.[r] Then David returned, and all the nation went with him.
The Philistine Giants Slain
4 And after this there arose a war in Gezer with the Philistines. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Sippai, one of the descendants of the Rephaim. And they were subdued. 5 And again there was war with the Philistines. And Elhanan son of Jair struck down Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 6 And again there was war in Gath. And there was a very tall[s] man there, and he had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all.[t] He himself was also a descendant of the Rephaim. 7 And he taunted Israel, but Jehonathan son of Shimea, brother of David, struck him down. 8 These were born to the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
The Census of David
21 Then Satan[u] stood against Israel and urged David to count Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the commanders of the nation, “Go, count Israel from Beersheba to Dan and bring a report to me that I might know their number.” 3 But Joab said, “May Yahweh add to the people a hundred times what they are! Are they not, O my lord the king, all of them the king’s servants? Why does my lord seek this? Why would he bring guilt to Israel?” 4 But the word of the king prevailed over Joab. Then he went about through all Israel and came to Jerusalem. 5 And Joab gave the number of the enrollment of the people to David. And it happened that all Israel was one million one hundred thousand men drawing a sword, and in Judah were four hundred and seventy thousand men drawing a sword. 6 But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the word of the king was repulsive to Joab.
7 But this word was displeasing in the eyes of God, and he struck Israel. 8 Then David said to God, “I have sinned severely in that I have done this thing. But now, please forgive the sin of your servant, for I have been very foolish.” 9 Then Yahweh spoke to Gad the seer of David, saying, 10 “Go, you must speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh: “Three choices I offer to you. Choose one of them for yourself that I will do to you.”’” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says Yahweh: ‘Choose for yourself: 12 whether three years of famine or three months of devastation by your enemies while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or three days of the sword of Yahweh, with disease in the land and the angel of Yahweh destroying throughout all the territory in Israel.’ So now, see what word I should return to my sender.” 13 Then David said to Gad, “I am very troubled.[v] Let me into the hand of Yahweh, for his compassion is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of a man.”
14 So Yahweh sent a pestilence through Israel, and seventy thousand men from Israel fell. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, and as he was about to destroy it, Yahweh saw and was grieved on account of the calamity. Then he said to the angel, the destroyer, “It is enough; slacken your hand.” And the angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and heaven, with his sword drawn in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 17 Then David said to God, “Was it not I who gave a command to count the people? Now I am he who has sinned, and I have certainly done wickedness, but these sheep, what have they done? O Yahweh, my God, please let your hand be against me and against the house of my father, but against your people, let there be no plague.”
David Builds an Altar
18 Now the angel of Yahweh had spoken to Gad to say to David that David should go up and erect an altar for Yahweh. 19 So David went up at the word of Gad that he had spoken in the name of Yahweh. 20 Now Ornan was threshing wheat, and Ornan turned and saw the angel, and his four sons with him hid themselves. 21 Then David came to Ornan, and Ornan looked and saw David. And he went out from the threshing floor, and they bowed down to David, faces to the ground. 22 Then David said to Ornan, “Please give me the place, the threshing floor, that I might build an altar on it to Yahweh; at full price please give it to me, that the plague against the people might be stopped.” 23 And Ornan said to David, “Take it to yourself; let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. See, I give the cattle for the burnt offerings and threshing sledges for the wood and wheat for the grain offering—I give it all.” 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, for I will certainly buy it at full value; indeed, I will not take what is yours for Yahweh and offer burnt offerings for nothing.” 25 So David gave to Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place. 26 Then David built an altar there to Yahweh, and he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and he called to Yahweh. And he answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. 27 Then Yahweh commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath.
28 At that time, when David saw that Yahweh answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29 Now the tabernacle of Yahweh that Moses had made in the desert and the altar of burnt offering were at that time at the high place of Gibeon. 30 But David was not able to go before it to seek God, for he was afraid on account of the sword of the angel of Yahweh.
- 1 Chronicles 19:1 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:2 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:3 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:3 Literally “In your eyes”
- 1 Chronicles 19:6 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:6 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:7 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:9 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:10 Literally “the face of the battle”
- 1 Chronicles 19:11 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:12 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:15 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 19:16 Or “the river”
- 1 Chronicles 19:19 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 20:1 Literally “at the time of the returning of the year”
- 1 Chronicles 20:1 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 20:3 The translation comes from 2 Samuel 12:31 since the Hebrew text here is uncertain
- 1 Chronicles 20:3 Literally “sons of Ammon”
- 1 Chronicles 20:6 Literally “measured”
- 1 Chronicles 20:6 Literally “and his fingers, six and six, twenty-four”
- 1 Chronicles 21:1 Or “an accuser,” or “an adversary”
- 1 Chronicles 21:13 Literally “Great trouble to me”
25 For circumcision is of value if you do the law, but if you should be a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if the uncircumcised person follows the requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be credited for circumcision? 27 And the uncircumcised person by nature who carries out the law will judge you who, though provided with the precise written code[a] and circumcision are a transgressor of the law. 28 For the Jew is not one outwardly[b], nor is circumcision outwardly[c], in the flesh. 29 But the Jew is one inwardly[d], and circumcision is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter, whose praise is not from people but from God.
Jews Still Have an Advantage
3 Therefore, what is the advantage of the Jew, or what is the use of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. For first, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What is the result[e] if some refused to believe? Their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! But let God be true but every human being a liar, just as it is written,
5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? God, who inflicts wrath, is not unjust, is he? (I am speaking according to a human perspective.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7 But if by my lying, the truth of God abounded to his glory, why am I also still condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not (as we are slandered, and as some affirm that we say), “Let us do evil, in order that good may come of it? Their[h] condemnation is just!
- Romans 2:27 Literally “the letter”
- Romans 2:28 Literally “in the open”
- Romans 2:28 Literally “in the open”
- Romans 2:29 Literally “in secret”
- Romans 3:3 Literally “for what”
- Romans 3:4 Or, if the form is understood as middle voice, “when you yourself judge”
- Romans 3:4 A quotation from Ps 51:4
- Romans 3:8 Literally “whose”
Confidence in Yahweh’s Righteousness
For the music director. Of David.[a]
11 In Yahweh I have taken refuge;
how can you say to my soul,
“Flee to your mountain like a bird”?
2 For look: The wicked string the bow.[b]
They have fitted their arrow to the string,
to shoot from the darkness
at the upright of heart.
3 When the foundations are destroyed
what can the righteous do?[c]
4 Yahweh is in his holy temple;
Yahweh is in the heavens on his throne.
His eyelids see;
they test the children of humankind.
5 Yahweh tests the righteous,
but the wicked and the lover of violence
his soul hates.
6 He will rain coals[d] on the wicked.
Burning sulfur and scorching wind
will be the portion of their cup.
7 For Yahweh is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds.
The upright shall see his face.
- Psalm 11:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm
- Psalm 11:2 Literally “tread the bow,” that is, placing the foot on the bow to bend and string it
- Psalm 11:3 Or “what has the righteous done”
- Psalm 11:6 According to Symmachus (compare also Targum Psalms) a form slightly different from the MT’s “snares”
10 For a fool living in luxury is not fitting,
any more than it is for a slave to rule over princes.
11 The understanding of a person makes him slow to his anger,[a]
and his glory overlooks offense.
12 The rage of a king growls like a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.
- Proverbs 19:11 Literally “nostril”