1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17
Worship at Jerusalem and Gibeon
37 David arranged for Asaph and his fellow Levites to serve regularly before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, doing whatever needed to be done each day. 38 This group included Obed-edom (son of Jeduthun), Hosah, and sixty-eight other Levites as gatekeepers.
39 Meanwhile, David stationed Zadok the priest and his fellow priests at the Tabernacle of the Lord at the place of worship in Gibeon, where they continued to minister before the Lord. 40 They sacrificed the regular burnt offerings to the Lord each morning and evening on the altar set aside for that purpose, obeying everything written in the Law of the Lord, as he had commanded Israel. 41 David also appointed Heman, Jeduthun, and the others chosen by name to give thanks to the Lord, for “his faithful love endures forever.” 42 They used their trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments to accompany their songs of praise to God.[a] And the sons of Jeduthun were appointed as gatekeepers.
43 Then all the people returned to their homes, and David turned and went home to bless his own family.
The Lord’s Covenant Promise to David
17 When David was settled in his palace, he summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace,[b] but the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant is out there under a tent!”
2 Nathan replied to David, “Do whatever you have in mind, for God is with you.”
3 But that same night God said to Nathan,
4 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: You are not the one to build a house for me to live in. 5 I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. My home has always been a tent, moving from one place to another in a Tabernacle. 6 Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s leaders, the shepherds of my people. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”’
7 “Now go and say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before your eyes. Now I will make your name as famous as anyone who has ever lived on the earth! 9 And I will provide a homeland for my people Israel, planting them in a secure place where they will never be disturbed. Evil nations won’t oppress them as they’ve done in the past, 10 starting from the time I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. And I will defeat all your enemies.
“‘Furthermore, I declare that the Lord will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings! 11 For when you die and join your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, one of your sons, and I will make his kingdom strong. 12 He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for me. And I will secure his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my favor from him as I took it from the one who ruled before you. 14 I will confirm him as king over my house and my kingdom for all time, and his throne will be secure forever.’”
15 So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the Lord had said in this vision.
David’s Prayer of Thanks
16 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed,
“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And now, O God, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! You speak as though I were someone very great,[c] O Lord God!
18 “What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like. 19 For the sake of your servant, O Lord, and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known.
20 “O Lord, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 21 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations that stood in their way. 22 You chose Israel to be your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.
23 “And now, O Lord, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. May it be a promise that will last forever. 24 And may your name be established and honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.
25 “O my God, I have been bold enough to pray to you because you have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him—a dynasty of kings! 26 For you are God, O Lord. And you have promised these good things to your servant. 27 And now, it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, so that it will continue forever before you. For when you grant a blessing, O Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”
David’s Military Victories
18 After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath and its surrounding towns. 2 David also conquered the land of Moab, and the Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.
3 David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, as far as Hamath,[d] when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. 4 David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots.
5 When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. 6 Then he placed several army garrisons[e] in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
7 David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem, 8 along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah[f] and Cun. Later Solomon melted the bronze and molded it into the great bronze basin called the Sea, the pillars, and the various bronze articles used at the Temple.
9 When King Toi[g] of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Joram[h] to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of gold, silver, and bronze.
11 King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord, along with the silver and gold he had taken from the other nations—from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.
12 Abishai son of Zeruiah destroyed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He placed army garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
14 So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech[i] son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah[j] was the court secretary. 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard.[k] And David’s sons served as the king’s chief assistants.
- 16:42 Or to accompany the sacred music; or to accompany singing to God.
- 17:1 Hebrew a house of cedar.
- 17:17 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 18:3 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 18:6 As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate (see also 2 Sam 8:6); Hebrew lacks several army garrisons.
- 18:8 Hebrew reads Tibhath, a variant spelling of Tebah; compare parallel text at 2 Sam 8:8.
- 18:9 As in parallel text at 2 Sam 8:9; Hebrew reads Tou; also in 18:10.
- 18:10 As in parallel text at 2 Sam 8:10; Hebrew reads Hadoram, a variant spelling of Joram.
- 18:16a As in some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac version, and Latin Vulgate (see also 2 Sam 8:17); most Hebrew manuscripts read Abimelech.
- 18:16b As in parallel text at 2 Sam 8:17; Hebrew reads Shavsha.
- 18:17 Hebrew of the Kerethites and Pelethites.
God’s Judgment of Sin
2 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. 9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.[a] 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. 13 For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. 14 Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. 16 And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
The Jews and the Law
17 You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. 18 You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. 19 You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. 20 You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth.
21 Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? 22 You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples?[b] 23 You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. 24 No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”[c]
16 The Lord is king forever and ever!
The godless nations will vanish from the land.
17 Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so mere people can no longer terrify them.
8 To acquire wisdom is to love yourself;
people who cherish understanding will prosper.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and a liar will be destroyed.