Thematic Bible: Who reigned over all israel


Thematic Bible



Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. They told David: “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.”

The length of time David reigned over Israel was 40 years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem.


Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard [about it], for he was still in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon's presence, Jeroboam stayed in Egypt. They summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam: read more.
"Your father made our yoke harsh. You, therefore, lighten your father's harsh service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you." Rehoboam replied, "Go home for three days and then return to me." So the people left. Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, "How do you advise me to respond to these people?" They replied, "Today if you will be a servant to these people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever." But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and served him. He asked them, "What message do you advise that we send back to these people who said to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?" Then the young men who had grown up with him told him, "This is what you should say to these people who said to you, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us!' This is what you should tell them: 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins! Although my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with barbed whips.' " So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had ordered: "Return to me on the third day." Then the king answered the people harshly. He rejected the advice the elders had given him and spoke to them according to the young men's advice: "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with barbed whips." The king did not listen to the people, because the turn of events came from the Lord to carry out His word, which the Lord had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat. When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people answered him: What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Israel, return to your tents; David, now look after your own house! So Israel went to their tents, but Rehoboam reigned over the Israelites living in the cities of Judah. Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to get into the chariot and flee to Jerusalem. Israel is in rebellion against the house of David until today. When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they summoned him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. No one followed the house of David except the tribe of Judah alone.

Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard [about it]-for he was in Egypt where he had fled from King Solomon's presence-Jeroboam returned from Egypt. So they summoned him. Then Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam: read more.
Your father made our yoke difficult. You, therefore, lighten your father's harsh service and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you." Rehoboam replied, "Return to me in three days." So the people left. Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon when he was alive, asking, "How do you advise me to respond to this people?" They replied, "If you will be kind to these people and please them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever." But he rejected the advice of the elders who had advised him and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him, the ones serving him. He asked them, "What message do you advise we send back to this people who said to me, 'Lighten the yoke your father put on us'?" Then the young men who had grown up with him told him, "This is what you should say to the people who said to you, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you, make it lighter on us!' This is what you should say to them: 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins. Now therefore, my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I, with barbed whips.' " So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had ordered, saying, "Return to me on the third day." Then the king answered them harshly. King Rehoboam rejected the elders' advice and spoke to them according to the young men's advice, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I, with barbed whips." The king did not listen to the people because the turn of events came from God, in order that the Lord might carry out His word that He had spoken through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam son of Nebat. When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people answered the king: What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Israel, each man to your tent; David, look after your own house now! So all Israel went to their tents.


So all the people went to Gilgal, and there in the Lord's presence they made Saul king. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings in the Lord's presence, and Saul and all the men of Israel greatly rejoiced. Then Samuel said to all Israel, "I have carefully listened to everything you said to me and placed a king over you. But now, you can see that the king is leading you. As for me, I'm old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have led you from my youth until today. read more.
Here I am. Bring charges against me before the Lord and His anointed: Whose ox or donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged or mistreated? From whose hand have I taken a bribe to overlook something?I will return it to you." "You haven't wronged us, you haven't mistreated us, and you haven't taken anything from anyone's hand," they responded. He said to them, "The Lord is a witness against you, and His anointed is a witness today that you haven't found anything in my hand." "[He is] a witness," they said. Then Samuel said to the people, "The Lord, who appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors up from the land of Egypt, is a witness. Now present yourselves, so I may judge you before the Lord about all the righteous acts He has done for you and your ancestors. "When Jacob went to Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the Lord, and He sent them Moses and Aaron, who led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place. But they forgot the Lord their God, so He handed them over to Sisera commander of the army of Hazor, to the Philistines, and to the king of Moab. [These enemies] fought against them. Then they cried out to the Lord and said, 'We have sinned, for we abandoned the Lord and worshiped the Baals and the Ashtoreths. Now deliver us from the power of our enemies, and we will serve You.' So the Lord sent Jerubbaal, Barak, Jephthah, and Samuel. He rescued you from the power of the enemies around you, and you lived securely. But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was coming against you, you said to me, 'No, we must have a king rule over us'-even though the Lord your God is your king. "Now here is the king you've chosen, the one you requested. Look, this is the king the Lord has placed over you. If you fear the Lord, worship and obey Him, and if you don't rebel against the Lord's command, then both you and the king who rules over you will follow the Lord your God. However, if you disobey the Lord and rebel against His command, the Lord's hand will be against you and against your ancestors. "Now, therefore, present yourselves and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. Isn't the wheat harvest today? I will call on the Lord and He will send thunder and rain, so that you will know and see what a great evil you committed in the Lord's sight by requesting a king for yourselves." Samuel called on the Lord, and on that day the Lord sent thunder and rain. As a result, all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. They pleaded with Samuel, "Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, so we won't die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of requesting a king for ourselves." Samuel replied, "Don't be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don't turn away from following the Lord. Instead, worship the Lord with all your heart. Don't turn away to follow worthless things that can't profit or deliver you; they are worthless. The Lord will not abandon His people, because of His great name and because He has determined to make you His own people. "As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way. Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart, considering the great things He has done for you. However, if you continue to do what is evil, both you and your king will be swept away." Saul was 30 years old when he became king, and he reigned 42 years over Israel. He chose 3,000 men from Israel for himself: 2,000 were with Saul at Michmash and in Bethel's hill country, and 1,000 were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. He sent the rest of the troops away, each to his own tent. Jonathan attacked the Philistine garrison that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. So Saul blew the ram's horn throughout the land saying, "Let the Hebrews hear!" And all Israel heard the news, "Saul has attacked the Philistine garrison, and Israel is now repulsive to the Philistines." Then the troops were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal. The Philistines also gathered to fight against Israel: 3,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and troops as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven. The men of Israel saw that they were in trouble because the troops were in a difficult situation. They hid in caves, thickets, among rocks, and in holes and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul, however, was still at Gilgal, and all his troops were gripped with fear. He waited seven days for the appointed time that Samuel had set, but Samuel didn't come to Gilgal, and the troops were deserting him. So Saul said, "Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings." Then he offered the burnt offering. Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. So Saul went out to greet him, and Samuel asked, "What have you done?" Saul answered, "When I saw that the troops were deserting me and you didn't come within the appointed days and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash, I thought: The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven't sought the Lord's favor. So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering." Samuel said to Saul, "You have been foolish. You have not kept the command which the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man loyal to Him,and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded." Then Samuel went from Gilgal to Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul registered the troops who were with him, about 600 men. Saul, his son Jonathan, and the troops who were with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin, and the Philistines were camped at Michmash. Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three divisions. One division headed toward the Ophrah road leading to the land of Shual. The next division headed toward the Beth-horon road, and the last division headed down the border road that looks out over the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. No blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, "Otherwise, the Hebrews will make swords or spears." So all the Israelites went to the Philistines to sharpen their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles. The price was two-thirds of a shekel for plowshares and mattocks, and one-third [of a shekel] for pitchforks and axes, and for putting a point on an oxgoad. So on the day of battle not a sword or spear could be found in the hand of any of the troops who were with Saul and Jonathan; only Saul and his son Jonathan had [weapons]. Now a Philistine garrison took control of the pass at Michmash. That same day Saul's son Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his weapons, "Come on, let's cross over to the Philistine garrison on the other side." However, he did not tell his father. Saul was staying under the pomegranate tree in Migron on the outskirts of Gibeah. The troops with him numbered about 600. Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod, [was also there]. He was the son of Ahitub, the brother of Ichabod son of Phinehas, son of Eli the Lord's priest at Shiloh. But the troops did not know that Jonathan had left. There were sharp columns of rock on both sides of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine garrison. One was named Bozez and the other Seneh; one stood to the north in front of Michmash and the other to the south in front of Geba. Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his weapons, "Come on, let's cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will help us. Nothing can keep the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few." His armor-bearer responded, "Do what is in your heart. You choose. I'm right here with you whatever you decide." "All right," Jonathan replied, "we'll cross over to the men and then let them see us. If they say, 'Wait until we reach you,' then we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, 'Come on up,' then we'll go up, because the Lord has handed them over to us-that will be our sign." They let themselves be seen by the Philistine garrison, and the Philistines said, "Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they've been hiding!" The men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armor-bearer. "Come on up, and we'll teach you a lesson!" they said. "Follow me," Jonathan told his armor-bearer, "for the Lord has handed them over to Israel." Jonathan went up using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer behind him. Jonathan cut them down, and his armor-bearer followed and finished them off. In that first assault Jonathan and his armor-bearer struck down about 20 men in a half-acre field. Terror spread through the [Philistine] camp and the open fields to all the troops. Even the garrison and the raiding parties were terrified. The earth shook, and terror from God spread. When Saul's watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, they saw the panicking troops scattering in every direction. So Saul said to the troops with him, "Call the roll and determine who has left us." They called the roll and saw that Jonathan and his armor-bearer were gone. Saul told Ahijah, "Bring the ark of God," for it was with the Israelites at that time. While Saul spoke to the priest, the panic in the Philistine camp increased in intensity. So Saul said to the priest, "Stop what you're doing." Saul and all the troops with him assembled and marched to the battle, and there, the Philistines were fighting against each other in great confusion! There were Hebrews from the area who had gone earlier into the camp to join the Philistines, but even they joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. When all the Israelite men who had been hiding in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they also joined Saul and Jonathan in the battle. So the Lord saved Israel that day. The battle extended beyond Beth-aven, and the men of Israel were worn out that day, for Saul had placed the troops under an oath: "Cursed is the man who eats food before evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies." So none of the troops tasted [any] food. Everyone went into the forest, and there was honey on the ground. When the troops entered the forest, they saw the flow of honey, but none of them ate any of it because they feared the oath. However, Jonathan had not heard his father make the troops swear the oath. He reached out with the end of the staff he was carrying and dipped it into the honeycomb. When he ate the honey, he had renewed energy. Then, one of the troops said, "Your father made the troops solemnly swear, 'Cursed is the man who eats food today,' and the troops are exhausted." Jonathan replied, "My father has brought trouble to the land. Just look at how I have renewed energy because I tasted a little honey. How much better if the troops had eaten freely today from the plunder they took from their enemies! Then the slaughter of the Philistines would have been much greater." The Israelites struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash all the way to Aijalon. Since the Israelites were completely exhausted, they rushed to the plunder, took sheep, cattle, and calves, slaughtered them on the ground, and ate [meat] with the blood [still in it.] Some reported to Saul: "Look, the troops are sinning against the Lord by eating [meat] with the blood [still in it.]" Saul said, "You have been unfaithful. Roll a large stone over here at once." He then said, "Go among the troops and say to them, 'Each man must bring me his ox or his sheep. Do the slaughtering here and then you can eat. Don't sin against the Lord by eating [meat] with the blood [in it.]' " So every one of the troops brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there. Then Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first time he had built an altar to the Lord. Saul said, "Let's go down after the Philistines tonight and plunder them until morning. Don't let even one remain!" "Do whatever you want," the troops replied. But the priest said, "We must consult God here." So Saul inquired of God, "Should I go after the Philistines? Will You hand them over to Israel?" But God did not answer him that day. Saul said, "All you leaders of the troops, come here. Let us investigate how this sin has occurred today. As surely as the Lord lives who saves Israel, even if it is because of my son Jonathan, he must die!" Not one of the troops answered him. So he said to all Israel, "You will be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side." And the troops replied, "Do whatever you want." So Saul said to the Lord, "God of Israel, give us the right [decision]." Jonathan and Saul were selected, and the troops were cleared [of the charge]. Then Saul said, "Cast [the lot] between me and my son Jonathan," and Jonathan was selected. Saul commanded him, "Tell me what you did." Jonathan told him, "I tasted a little honey with the end of the staff I was carrying. I am ready to die!" Saul declared to him, "May God punish me severely if you do not die, Jonathan!" But the people said to Saul, "Must Jonathan die, who accomplished such a great deliverance for Israel? No, as the Lord lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, for he worked with God's help today." So the people rescued Jonathan, and he did not die. Then Saul gave up the pursuit of the Philistines, and the Philistines returned to their own territory. When Saul assumed the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies in every direction: against Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he caused havoc. He fought bravely, defeated the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hand of those who plundered them. Saul's sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua. The names of his two daughters were: Merab, his firstborn, and Michal, the younger. The name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of his army was Abner son of Saul's uncle Ner. Saul's father was Kish. Abner's father was Ner son of Abiel. The conflict with the Philistines was fierce all of Saul's days, so whenever Saul noticed any strong or brave man, he enlisted him. Samuel told Saul, "The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people Israel. Now, listen to the words of the Lord. This is what the Lord of Hosts says: 'I witnessed what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt. Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.' " Then Saul summoned the troops and counted them at Telaim: 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men from Judah. Saul came to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the wadi. He warned the Kenites, "Since you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, go on and leave! Get away from the Amalekites, or I'll sweep you away with them." So the Kenites withdrew from the Amalekites. Then Saul struck down the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is next to Egypt. He captured Agag king of Amalek alive, but he completely destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword. Saul and the troops spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, cattle, and fatlings, as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things. Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: "I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from following Me and has not carried out My instructions." So Samuel became angry and cried out to the Lord [all] night. Early in the morning Samuel got up to confront Saul, but it was reported to Samuel, "Saul went to Carmel where he set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gilgal." When Samuel came to him, Saul said, "May the Lord bless you. I have carried out the Lord's instructions." Samuel replied, "Then what is this sound of sheep and cattle I hear?" Saul answered, "The troops brought them from the Amalekites and spared the best sheep and cattle in order to offer a sacrifice to the Lord your God, but the rest we destroyed." "Stop!" exclaimed Samuel. "Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night." "Tell me," he replied. Samuel continued, "Although you once considered yourself unimportant, have you not become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel and then sent you on a mission and said: 'Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.' So why didn't you obey the Lord? Why did you rush on the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord's sight?" "But I did obey the Lord!" Saul answered. "I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back Agag, king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites. The troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder-the best of what was set apart for destruction-to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal." Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention [is better] than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king. Saul answered Samuel, "I have sinned. I have transgressed the Lord's command and your words. Because I was afraid of the people, I obeyed them. Now therefore, please forgive my sin and return with me so I can worship the Lord." Samuel replied to Saul, "I will not return with you. Because you rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel." When Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the hem of his robe, and it tore. Samuel said to him, "The Lord has torn the kingship of Israel away from you today and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you. Furthermore, the Eternal One of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for He is not man who changes his mind." Saul said, "I have sinned. Please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Come back with me so I can bow and worship the Lord your God." Then Samuel went back, following Saul, and Saul bowed down to the Lord. Samuel said, "Bring me Agag king of Amalek." Agag came to him trembling, for he thought, "Certainly the bitterness of death has come." Samuel declared: As your sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless among women. Then he hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal. Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. Even to the day of his death, Samuel never again visited Saul. Samuel mourned for Saul, and the Lord regretted He had made Saul king over Israel. The Lord said to Samuel, "How long are you going to mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have selected a king from his sons." Samuel asked, "How can I go? Saul will hear [about it] and kill me!" The Lord answered, "Take a young cow with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will let you know what you are to do. You are to anoint for Me the one I indicate to you." Samuel did what the Lord directed and went to Bethlehem. When the elders of the town met him, they trembled and asked, "Do you come in peace?" "In peace," he replied. "I've come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and said, "Certainly the Lord's anointed one is here before Him." But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart." Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. "The Lord hasn't chosen this one either," Samuel said. Then Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, "The Lord hasn't chosen this one either." After Jesse presented seven of his sons to him, Samuel told Jesse, "The Lord hasn't chosen any of these." Samuel asked him, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," he answered, "but right now he's tending the sheep." Samuel told Jesse, "Send for him. We won't sit down to eat until he gets here." So Jesse sent for him. He had beautiful eyes and a healthy, handsome appearance. Then the Lord said, "Anoint him, for he is the one." So Samuel took the horn of oil, anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord took control of David from that day forward. Then Samuel set out and went to Ramah. Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord began to torment him, so Saul's servants said to him, "You see that an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command your servants here in your presence to look for someone who knows how to play the harp. Whenever the evil spirit from God [troubles] you, that person can play the harp, and you will feel better." Then Saul commanded his servants, "Find me someone who plays well and bring him to me." One of the young men answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play [the harp]. He is also a valiant man, a warrior, eloquent, handsome, and the Lord is with him." Then Saul dispatched messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep." So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and one young goat and sent them by his son David to Saul. When David came to Saul and entered his service, Saul admired him greatly, and David became his armor-bearer. Then Saul sent word to Jesse: "Let David remain in my service, for I am pleased with him." Whenever the spirit from God [troubled] Saul, David would pick up his harp and play, and Saul would then be relieved, feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him. The Philistines gathered their forces for war at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes-dammim. Saul and the men of Israel gathered and camped in the Valley of Elah; then they lined up in battle formation to face the Philistines. The Philistines were standing on one hill, and the Israelites were standing on another hill with a ravine between them. Then a champion named Goliath, from Gath, came out from the Philistine camp. He was nine feet, nine inches tall and wore a bronze helmet and bronze scale armor that weighed 125 pounds. There was bronze armor on his shins, and a bronze sword was slung between his shoulders. His spear shaft was like a weaver's beam, and the iron point of his spear weighed 15 pounds. In addition, a shield-bearer was walking in front of him. He stood and shouted to the Israelite battle formations: "Why do you come out to line up in battle formation?" He asked them, "Am I not a Philistine and are you not servants of Saul? Choose one of your men and have him come down against me. If he wins in a fight against me and kills me, we will be your servants. But if I win against him and kill him, then you will be our servants and serve us." Then the Philistine said, "I defy the ranks of Israel today. Send me a man so we can fight each other!" When Saul and all Israel heard these words from the Philistine, they lost their courage and were terrified. Now David was the son of the Ephrathite from Bethlehem of Judah named Jesse. Jesse had eight sons, and during Saul's reign was [already] an old man. Jesse's three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war, and their names were Eliab, the firstborn, Abinadab, the next, and Shammah, the third, and David was the youngest. The three oldest had followed Saul, but David kept going back and forth from Saul to tend his father's flock in Bethlehem. Every morning and evening for 40 days the Philistine came forward and took his stand. [One day], Jesse had told his son David, "Take this half-bushel of roasted grain along with these loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. Also, take these 10 portions of cheese to the field commander. Check on the welfare of your brothers and bring a confirmation from them. They are with Saul and all the men of Israel are in the Valley of Elah fighting with the Philistines." So David got up early in the morning, left the flock with someone to keep it, loaded up, and set out as Jesse had instructed him. He arrived at the perimeter of the camp as the army was marching out to its battle formation shouting their battle cry. Israel and the Philistines lined up in battle formation facing each other. David left his supplies in the care of the quartermaster and ran to the battle line. When he arrived, he asked his brothers how they were. While he was speaking with them, suddenly the champion named Goliath, the Philistine from Gath, came forward from the Philistine battle line and shouted his usual words, which David heard. When all the Israelite men saw Goliath, they retreated from him terrified. Previously, an Israelite man had declared, "Do you see this man who keeps coming out? He comes to defy Israel. The king will make the man who kills him very rich and will give him his daughter. The king will also make the household of that man's father exempt from paying taxes in Israel." David spoke to the men who were standing with him: "What will be done for the man who kills that Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" The people told him about the offer, concluding, "That is what will be done for the man who kills him." David's oldest brother Eliab listened as he spoke to the men, and became angry with him. "Why did you come down here?" he asked. "Who did you leave those few sheep with in the wilderness? I know your arrogance and your evil heart-you came down to see the battle!" "What have I done now?" protested David. "It was just a question." Then he turned from those beside him to others in front of him and asked about the offer. The people gave him the same answer as before. What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, so he had David brought to him. David said to Saul, "Don't let anyone be discouraged by him; your servant will go and fight this Philistine!" But Saul replied, "You can't go fight this Philistine. You're just a youth, and he's been a warrior since he was young." David answered Saul, "Your servant has been tending his father's sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, I went after it, struck it down, and rescued [the lamb] from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God." Then David said, "The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and may the Lord be with you." Then Saul had his own military clothes put on David. He put a bronze helmet on David's head and had him put on armor. David strapped his sword on over the military clothes and tried to walk, but he was not used to them. "I can't walk in these," David said to Saul, "I'm not used to them." So David took them off. Instead, he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pouch, in his shepherd's bag. Then, with his sling in his hand, he approached the Philistine. The Philistine came closer and closer to David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he despised him because he was just a youth, healthy and handsome. He said to David, "Am I a dog that you come against me with sticks?" Then he cursed David by his gods. "Come here," the Philistine called to David, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts!" David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel's armies- you have defied Him. Today, the Lord will hand you over to me. Today, I'll strike you down, cut your head off, and give the corpses of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the creatures of the earth. Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord's. He will hand you over to us." When the Philistine started forward to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in the bag, took out a stone, slung [it], and hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. David defeated the Philistine with a sling and a stone. Even though David had no sword, he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He grabbed the Philistine's sword, pulled it from its sheath, and used it to kill him. Then he cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they ran. The men of Israel and Judah rallied, shouting their battle cry, and chased the Philistines to the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron. Philistine bodies were strewn all along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. When the Israelites returned from the pursuit of the Philistines, they plundered their camps. David took Goliath's head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put Goliath's weapons in his [own] tent. When Saul had seen David going out to confront the Philistine, he asked Abner the commander of the army, "Whose son is this youth, Abner?" "[My] king, as surely as you live, I don't know," Abner replied. The king said, "Find out whose son this young man is!" When David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the Philistine's head still in his hand. Saul said to him, "Whose son are you, young man?" "The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem," David answered. When David had finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan committed himself to David, and loved him as much as he loved himself. Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him return to his father's house. Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as much as himself. Then Jonathan removed the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt. David marched out [with the army], and was successful in everything Saul sent him to do. Saul put him in command of the soldiers, which pleased all the people and Saul's servants as well. As David was returning from killing the Philistine, the women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing with tambourines, with shouts of joy, and with three-stringed instruments. As they celebrated, the women sang: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands. Saul was furious and resented this song. "They credited tens of thousands to David," he complained, "but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?" So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward. The next day an evil spirit from God took control of Saul, and he began to rave inside the palace. David was playing [the harp] as usual, but Saul was holding a spear, and he threw it, thinking, "I'll pin David to the wall." But David got away from him twice. Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had left from Saul. Therefore, Saul reassigned David and made him commander over 1,000 men. David led the troops and continued to be successful in all his activities because the Lord was with him. When Saul observed that David was very successful, he dreaded him. But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was leading their troops. Saul told David, "Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I'll give her to you as a wife, if you will be a warrior for me and fight the Lord's battles." But Saul was thinking, "My hand doesn't need to be against him; let the hand of the Philistines be against him." Then David responded, "Who am I, and what is my family or my father's clan in Israel that I should become the king's son-in-law?" When it was time to give Saul's daughter Merab to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife. Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David, and when it was reported to Saul, it pleased him. "I'll give her to him," Saul thought. "She'll be a trap for him, and the hand of the Philistines will be against him." So Saul said to David a second time, "You can now be my son-in-law." Saul then ordered his servants, "Speak to David in private and tell him, 'Look, the king is pleased with you, and all his servants love you. Therefore, you should become the king's son-in-law.' " Saul's servants reported these words directly to David, but he replied, "Is it trivial in your sight to become the king's son-in-law? I am a poor man who is common." The servants reported back to Saul, "These are the words David spoke." Then Saul replied, "Say this to David: 'The king desires no other bride-price except 100 Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.' " Actually, Saul intended to cause David's death at the hands of the Philistines. When the servants reported these terms to David, he was pleased to become the king's son-in-law. Before the wedding day arrived, David and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented them as full payment to the king to become his son-in-law. Then Saul gave his daughter Michal to David as his wife. Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved him, and he became even more afraid of David. As a result, Saul was David's enemy from then on. Every time the Philistine commanders came out to fight, David was more successful than all of Saul's officers. So his name became very famous. Saul ordered his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul's son Jonathan liked David very much, so he told him: "My father Saul intends to kill you. Be on your guard in the morning and hide in a secret place and stay there. I'll go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are and talk to him about you. When I see what [he says], I'll tell you." Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul. He said to him: "The king should not sin against his servant David. He hasn't sinned against you; in fact, his actions have been a great advantage to you. He took his life in his hands when he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced, so why would you sin against innocent blood by killing David for no reason?" Saul listened to Jonathan's advice and swore an oath: "As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be killed." So Jonathan summoned David and told him all these words. Then Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served him as [he did] before. When war broke out again, David went out and fought against the Philistines. He defeated them with such a great force that they fled from him. Now an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his palace holding a spear. David was playing [the harp], and Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear. As the spear struck the wall, David eluded Saul and escaped. That night he ran away. Saul sent agents to David's house to watch for him and kill him in the morning. But his wife Michal warned David: "If you don't escape tonight, you will be dead tomorrow!" So she lowered David from the window, and he fled and escaped. Then Michal took the household idol and put it on the bed, placed some goats' hair on its head, and covered it with a garment. When Saul sent agents to seize David, Michal said, "He's sick." Saul sent the agents [back] to see David and said, "Bring him on his bed so I can kill him." When the messengers arrived, to their surprise, the household idol was on the bed with some goats' hair on its head. Saul asked Michal, "Why did you deceive me like this? You sent my enemy away, and he has escaped!" She answered him, "He said to me, 'Let me go! Why should I kill you?' " So David fled and escaped and went to Samuel at Ramah and told him everything Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel left and stayed at Naioth. When it was reported to Saul that David was at Naioth in Ramah, Saul sent agents to seize David. However, when they saw the group of prophets prophesying with Samuel leading them, the Spirit of God came on Saul's agents, and they also started prophesying. When they reported to Saul, he sent other agents, and they also began prophesying. So Saul tried again and sent a third group of agents, and even they began prophesying. Then Saul himself went to Ramah. He came to the large cistern at Secu, looked around, and asked, "Where are Samuel and David?" "At Naioth in Ramah," someone said. So he went to Naioth in Ramah. The Spirit of God also came on him, and as he walked along, he prophesied until he entered Naioth in Ramah. Saul then removed his clothes and also prophesied before Samuel; he collapsed [and lay] naked all that day and all that night. That is why they say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came to Jonathan and asked, "What have I done? What did I do wrong? How have I sinned against your father so that he wants to take my life?" Jonathan said to him, "No, you won't die. Listen, my father doesn't do anything, great or small, without telling me. So why would he hide this matter from me? This can't be [true]." But David said, "Your father certainly knows that you have come to look favorably on me. He has said, 'Jonathan must not know of this, or else he will be grieved.' " David also swore, "As surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death." Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you say, I will do for you." So David told him, "Look, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I'm supposed to sit down and eat with the king. Instead, let me go, and I'll hide in the field until the third night. If your father misses me at all, say, 'David urgently requested my permission to quickly go to his town Bethlehem for an annual sacrifice there involving the whole clan.' If he says, 'Good,' then your servant is safe, but if he becomes angry, you will know he has evil intentions. Deal faithfully with your servant, for you have brought me into a covenant before the Lord with you. If I have done anything wrong, then kill me yourself; why take me to your father?" "No!" Jonathan responded. "If I ever find out my father has evil intentions against you, wouldn't I tell you about it?" So David asked Jonathan, "Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?" He answered David, "Come on, let's go out to the field." So both of them went out to the field. "By the Lord, the God of Israel, if I sound out my father by this time tomorrow or the next day and I find out that he is favorable toward you, and if I do not send for you and tell you, then may God punish Jonathan and do so severely. If my father intends to bring evil on you, then I will tell you, and I will send you away, and you will go in peace. May the Lord be with you, just as He was with my father. If I continue to live, treat me with the Lord's faithful love, but if I die, don't ever withdraw your faithful love from my household-not even when the Lord cuts off every one of David's enemies from the face of the earth." Then Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, "May the Lord hold David's enemies accountable." Jonathan once again swore to David in his love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself. Then Jonathan said to him, "Tomorrow is the New Moon; you'll be missed because your seat will be empty. The following day hurry down and go to the place where you hid on the day this incident began and stay beside the rock Ezel. I will shoot three arrows beside it as if I'm aiming at a target. Then I will send the young man [and say], 'Go and find the arrows!' Now, if I expressly say to the young man, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you-get them,' then come, because as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no problem. But if I say this to the youth: 'Look, the arrows are beyond you!' then go, for the Lord is sending you away. As for the matter you and I have spoken about, the Lord will be a witness between you and me forever." So David hid in the field. At the New Moon, the king sat down to eat the meal. He sat at his usual place on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat facing him and Abner took his place beside Saul, but David's place was empty. Saul did not say anything that day because he thought, "Something unexpected has happened; he must be ceremonially unclean-yes, that's it, he is unclean." However, the day after the New Moon, the second day, David's place was [still] empty, and Saul asked his son Jonathan, "Why didn't Jesse's son come to the meal either yesterday or today?" Jonathan answered, "David asked for my permission to go to Bethlehem. He said, 'Please let me go because our clan is holding a sacrifice in the town, and my brother has told me to be there. So now, if you are pleased with me, let me go so I can see my brothers.' That's why he didn't come to the king's table." Then Saul became angry with Jonathan and shouted, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you are siding with Jesse's son to your own shame and to the disgrace of your mother? Every day Jesse's son lives on earth you and your kingship are not secure. Now send for him and bring him to me-he deserves to die." Jonathan answered his father back: "Why is he to be killed? What has he done?" Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him, so he knew that his father was determined to kill David. He got up from the table in fierce anger and did not eat any food that second day of the New Moon, for he was grieved because of his father's shameful behavior toward David. In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for the appointed meeting with David. A small young man was with him. He said to the young man, "Run and find the arrows I'm shooting." As the young man ran, Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. He came to the location of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, but Jonathan called to him and said, "The arrow is beyond you, isn't it?" Then Jonathan called to him, "Hurry up and don't stop!" Jonathan's young man picked up the arrow and returned to his master. He did not know anything; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement. Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the young man who was with him and said, "Go, take it back to the city." When the young man had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone Ezel, fell with his face to the ground, and bowed three times. Then he and Jonathan kissed each other and wept with each other, though David wept more. Jonathan then said to David, "Go in the assurance the two of us pledged in the name of the Lord when we said: The Lord will be [a witness] between you and me and between my offspring and your offspring forever." Then David left, and Jonathan went into the city. David went to Ahimelech the priest at Nob. Ahimelech was afraid to meet David, so he said to him, "Why are you alone and no one is with you?" David answered Ahimelech the priest, "The king gave me a mission, but he told me, 'Don't let anyone know anything about the mission I'm sending you on or what I have ordered you [to do].' I have stationed [my] young men at a certain place. Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever can be found." The priest told him, "There is no ordinary bread on hand. However, there is consecrated bread, but the young men may eat it only if they have kept themselves from women." David answered him, "I swear that women are being kept from us, as always when I go out [to battle]. The young men's bodies are consecrated even on an ordinary mission, so of course their bodies are consecrated today." So the priest gave him the consecrated [bread], for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord. When the bread was removed, it had been replaced with warm bread. One of Saul's servants, detained before the Lord, was there that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, chief of Saul's shepherds. David said to Ahimelech, "Do you have a spear or sword on hand? I didn't even bring my sword or my weapons since the king's mission was urgent." The priest replied, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want to take it for yourself, then take it, for there isn't another one here." "There's none like it!" David said. "Give it to me." David fled that day from Saul's presence and went to King Achish of Gath. But Achish's servants said to him, "Isn't this David, the king of the land? Don't they sing about him during their dances: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands?" David took this to heart and became very afraid of King Achish of Gath, so he pretended to be insane in their presence. He acted like a madman around them,scribbling on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. "Look! You can see the man is crazy," Achish said to his servants. "Why did you bring him to me? Do I have such a shortage of crazy people that you brought this one to act crazy around me? Is this one going to come into my house?" So David left Gath and took refuge in the cave of Adullam. When David's brothers and his father's whole family heard, they went down and joined him there. In addition, every man who was desperate, in debt, or discontented rallied around him, and he became their leader. About 400 men were with him. From there David went to Mizpeh of Moab where he said to the king of Moab, "Please let my father and mother stay with you until I know what God will do for me." So he left them in the care of the king of Moab, and they stayed with him the whole time David was in the stronghold. Then the prophet Gad said to David, "Don't stay in the stronghold. Leave and return to the land of Judah." So David left and went to the forest of Hereth. Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. At that time Saul was in Gibeah, sitting under the tamarisk tree at the high place. His spear was in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. Saul said to his servants, "Listen, men of Benjamin: Is Jesse's son going to give all of you fields and vineyards? [Do you think] he'll make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? That's why all of you have conspired against me! Nobody tells me when my own son makes a covenant with Jesse's son. None of you cares about me or tells me that my son has stirred up my own servant to wait in ambush for me, as [is the case] today." Then Doeg the Edomite, who was in charge of Saul's servants, answered: "I saw Jesse's son come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob. Ahimelech inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions. He also gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine." The king sent [messengers] to summon Ahimelech the priest, son of Ahitub, and his father's whole family, who were priests in Nob. All of them came to the king. Then Saul said, "Listen, son of Ahitub!" "I'm at your service, my lord," he said. Saul asked him, "Why did you and Jesse's son conspire against me? You gave him bread and a sword and inquired of God for him, so he could rise up against me and wait in ambush, as [is the case] today." Ahimelech replied to the king: "Who among all your servants is as faithful as David? He is the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your house. Was today the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Please don't let the king make an accusation against your servant or any of my father's household, for your servant didn't have any idea about all this." But the king said, "You will die, Ahimelech-you and your father's whole family!" Then the king ordered the guards standing by him, "Turn and kill the priests of the Lord because they sided with David. For they knew he was fleeing, but they didn't tell me." But the king's servants would not lift a hand to execute the priests of the Lord. So the king said to Doeg, "Go and execute the priests!" So Doeg the Edomite went and executed the priests himself. On that day, he killed 85 men who wore linen ephods. He also struck down Nob, the city of the priests, with the sword-both men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep. However, one of the sons of Ahimelech son of Ahitub escaped. His name was Abiathar, and he fled to David. Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. Then David said to Abiathar, "I knew that Doeg the Edomite was there that day and that he was sure to report to Saul. I myself am responsible for the lives of everyone in your father's family. Stay with me. Don't be afraid, for the one who wants to take my life wants to take your life. You will be safe with me." It was reported to David: "Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and raiding the threshing floors." So David inquired of the Lord: "Should I launch an attack against these Philistines?" The Lord answered David, "Launch an attack against the Philistines and rescue Keilah." But David's men said to him, "Look, we're afraid here in Judah; how much more if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!" Once again, David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him: "Go at once to Keilah, for I will hand the Philistines over to you. Then David and his men went to Keilah, fought against the Philistines, drove their livestock away, and inflicted heavy losses on them. So David rescued the inhabitants of Keilah. Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, and he brought an ephod with him. When it was reported to Saul that David had gone to Keilah, he said, "God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself by entering a town with barred gates." Then Saul summoned all the troops to go to war at Keilah and besiege David and his men. When David learned that Saul was plotting evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod." Then David said, "Lord God of Israel, Your servant has heard that Saul intends to come to Keilah and destroy the town because of me. Will the citizens of Keilah hand me over to him? Will Saul come down as Your servant has heard? Lord God of Israel, please tell Your servant." The Lord answered, "He will come down." Then David asked, "Will the citizens of Keilah hand me and my men over to Saul?" "They will," the Lord responded. So David and his men, numbering about 600, left Keilah at once and moved from place to place. When it was reported to Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he called off the expedition. David then stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hill country of the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul searched for him every day, but God did not hand David over to him. David was in the Wilderness of Ziph in Horesh when he saw that Saul had come out to take his life. Then Saul's son Jonathan came to David in Horesh and encouraged him in [his faith in] God, saying, "Don't be afraid, for my father Saul will never lay a hand on you. You yourself will be king over Israel, and I'll be your second-in-command. Even my father Saul knows it is true." Then the two of them made a covenant in the Lord's presence. Afterwards, David remained in Horesh, while Jonathan went home. Some Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah and said, "David is hiding among us in the strongholds in Horesh on the hill of Hachilah south of Jeshimon. Now, whenever the king wants to come down, let him come down. Our part will be to hand him over to the king." "May you be blessed by the Lord," replied Saul, "for you have taken pity on me Go and check again. Investigate and watch carefully where he goes and who has seen him there; they tell me he is extremely cunning. Look and find out all the places where he hides. Then come back to me with accurate information, and I'll go with you. If it turns out he really is in the region, I'll search for him among all the clans of Judah." So they went to Ziph ahead of Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness near Maon in the Arabah south of Jeshimon, and Saul and his men went to look for [him]. When David was told about it, he went down to the rock and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. Saul heard of this and pursued David there. Saul went along one side of the mountain and David and his men went along the other side. Even though David was hurrying to get away from Saul, Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them. Then a messenger came to Saul saying, "Come quickly, because the Philistines have raided the land!" So Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to engage the Philistines. Therefore, that place was named the Rock of Separation. From there David went up and stayed in the strongholds of En-gedi. When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, "David is in the wilderness near En-gedi." So Saul took 3,000 of Israel's choice men and went to look for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. When Saul came to the sheep pens along the road, a cave was there, and he went in to relieve himself. David and his men were staying in the back of the cave, so they said to him, "Look, this is the day the Lord told you about: 'I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.'" Then David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul's robe. Afterwards, David's conscience bothered him because he had cut off the corner of Saul's robe. He said to his men, "I swear before the Lord: I would never do such a thing to my lord, the Lord's anointed. [I will never] lift my hand against him, since he is the Lord's anointed." With these words David persuaded his men, and he did not let them rise up against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went on his way. After that, David got up, went out of the cave, and called to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked behind him, David bowed to the ground in homage. David said to Saul, "Why do you listen to the words of people who say, 'Look, David intends to harm you'? You can see with your own eyes that the Lord handed you over to me today in the cave. [Someone] advised [me] to kill you, but I took pity on you and said: I won't lift my hand against my lord, since he is the Lord's anointed. See, my father! Look at the corner of your robe in my hand, for I cut it off, but I didn't kill you. Look and recognize that there is no evil or rebellion in me. I haven't sinned against you even though you are hunting me down to take my life. "May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord take vengeance on you for me, but my hand will never be against you. As the old proverb says, 'Wickedness comes from wicked people.' My hand will never be against you. Who has the king of Israel come after? What are you chasing after? A dead dog? A flea? May the Lord be judge and decide between you and me. May He take notice and plead my case and deliver me from you." When David finished saying these things to him, Saul replied, "Is that your voice, David my son?" Then Saul wept aloud and said to David, "You are more righteous than I, for you have done what is good to me though I have done what is evil to you. You yourself have told me today what good you did for me: when the Lord handed me over to you, you didn't kill me. When a man finds his enemy, does he let him go unharmed?May the Lord repay you with good for what you've done for me today. "Now I know for certain you will be king, and the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. Therefore swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father's family." So David swore to Saul. Then Saul went back home, and David and his men went up to the stronghold. Samuel died, and all Israel assembled to mourn for him, and they buried him by his home in Ramah. David then went down to the Wilderness of Paran. A man in Maon had a business in Carmel; he was a very rich man with 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and was shearing his sheep in Carmel. The man's name was Nabal, and his wife's name, Abigail. The woman was intelligent and beautiful, but the man, a Calebite, was harsh and evil in [his] dealings. While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep, so David sent 10 young men instructing them, "Go up to Carmel, and when you come to Nabal, greet him in my name. Then say this: 'Long life to you, and peace to you, to your family, and to all that is yours. I hear that you are shearing. When your shepherds were with us, we did not harass them, and nothing of theirs was missing the whole time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. So let [my] young men find favor with you, for we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you can afford to your servants and to your son David.' " David's young men went and said all these things to Nabal on David's behalf, and they waited. Nabal asked them, "Who is David? Who is Jesse's son? Many slaves these days are running away from their masters. Am I supposed to take my bread, my water, and my meat that I butchered for my shearers and give them to men who are from I don't know where?" David's men retraced their steps. When they returned to him, they reported all these words. He said to his men, "All of you, put on your swords!" So David and all his men put on their swords. About 400 men followed David while 200 stayed with the supplies. One of Nabal's young men informed Abigail, Nabal's wife: "Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he yelled at them. The men treated us well. When we were in the field, we weren't harassed and nothing of ours was missing the whole time we were living among them. They were a wall around us, both day and night, the entire time we were herding the sheep. Now consider carefully what you must do, because there is certain to be trouble for our master and his entire family. He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!" Abigail hurried, taking 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she said to her male servants, "Go ahead of me. I will be right behind you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal. As she rode the donkey down a mountain pass hidden from view, she saw David and his men coming toward her and met them. David had just said, "I guarded everything that belonged to this man in the wilderness for nothing. He was not missing anything, yet he paid me back evil for good. May God punish me, and even more if I let any of his men [survive] until morning." When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and fell with her face to the ground in front of David. She fell at his feet and said, "The guilt is mine, my lord, but please let your servant speak to you directly. Listen to the words of your servant. My lord should pay no attention to this worthless man Nabal, for he lives up to his name: His name is Nabal, and stupidity is all he knows. I, your servant, didn't see my lord's young men whom you sent. Now my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, it is the Lord who kept you from participating in bloodshed and avenging yourself by your own hand. May your enemies and those who want trouble for my lord be like Nabal. Accept this gift your servant has brought to my lord, and let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive your servant's offense, for the Lord is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the Lord's battles. Throughout your life, may evil not be found in you. "When someone pursues you and attempts to take your life, my lord's life will be tucked safely in the place where the Lord your God protects the living. However, He will fling away your enemies' lives like [stones] from a sling. When the Lord does for my lord all the good He promised and appoints you ruler over Israel, there will not be remorse or a troubled conscience for my lord because of needless bloodshed or my lord's revenge. And when the Lord does good things for my lord, may you remember [me] your servant." Then David said to Abigail, "Praise to the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! Blessed is your discernment, and blessed are you. Today you kept me from participating in bloodshed and avenging myself by my own hand. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord God of Israel lives, who prevented me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, Nabal wouldn't have had any men left by morning light." Then David accepted what she had brought him and said, "Go home in peace. See, I have heard what you said and have granted your request." Then Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was in his house, feasting like a king. Nabal was in a good mood and very drunk, so she didn't say anything to him until morning light. In the morning when Nabal sobered up, his wife told him about these events. Then he had a seizure and became paralyzed. About 10 days later, the Lord struck Nabal dead. When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Praise the Lord who championed my cause against Nabal's insults and restrained His servant from doing evil. The Lord brought Nabal's evil deeds back on his own head." Then David sent messengers to speak to Abigail about marrying him. When David's servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, "David sent us to bring you to him as a wife." She bowed her face to the ground and said, "Here I am, your servant, to wash the feet of my lord's servants." Then Abigail got up quickly, and with her five female servants accompanying her, rode on the donkey following David's messengers. And so she became his wife. David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and the two of them became his wives. But Saul gave his daughter Michal, David's wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from Gallim. Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah saying, "David is hiding on the hill of Hachilah opposite Jeshimon." So Saul, accompanied by 3,000 of the choice men of Israel, went to the Wilderness of Ziph to search for David there. Saul camped beside the road at the hill of Hachilah opposite Jeshimon. David was living in the wilderness and discovered Saul had come there after him. So David sent out spies and knew for certain that Saul had come. Immediately, David went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw the place where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the general of his army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the inner circle of the camp with the troops camped around him. Then David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Joab's brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, "Who will go with me into the camp to Saul?" "I'll go with you," answered Abishai. That night, David and Abishai came to the troops, and Saul was lying there asleep in the inner circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the troops were lying around him. Then Abishai said to David, "Today God has handed your enemy over to you. Let me thrust the spear through him into the ground just once. I won't [have to strike] him twice!" But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him, for who can lift a hand against the Lord's anointed and be blameless?" David added, "As the Lord lives, the Lord will certainly strike him down: either his day will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. However, because of the Lord, I will never lift my hand against the Lord's anointed. Instead, take the spear and the water jug by his head, and let's go." So David took the spear and the water jug by Saul's head, and they went their way. No one saw them, no one knew, and no one woke up; they all remained asleep because a deep sleep from the Lord came over them. David crossed to the other side and stood on top of the mountain at a distance; there was a considerable space between them. Then David shouted to the troops and to Abner son of Ner: "Aren't you going to answer, Abner?" "Who are you who calls to the king?" Abner asked. David called to Abner, "You're a man, aren't you? Who in Israel is your equal? So why didn't you protect your lord the king when one of the people came to destroy him? What you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, all of you deserve to die since you didn't protect your lord, the Lord's anointed. Now look around; where are the king's spear and water jug that were by his head?" Saul recognized David's voice and asked, "Is that your voice, my son David?" "It is my voice, my lord and king," David said. Then he continued, "Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done? What evil is in my hand? Now, may my lord the king please hear the words of his servant: If it is the Lord who has incited you against me, then may He accept an offering. But if it is people, may they be cursed in the presence of the Lord, for today they have driven me away from sharing in the inheritance of the Lord saying, 'Go and worship other gods.' So don't let my blood fall to the ground far from the Lord's presence, for the king of Israel has come out to search for a flea, like one who pursues a partridge in the mountains." Saul responded, "I have sinned. Come back, my son David, I will never harm you again because today you considered my life precious. I have been a fool! I've committed a grave error." David answered, "Here is the king's spear; have one of the young men come over and get it. May the Lord repay every man for his righteousness and his loyalty. I wasn't willing to lift my hand against the Lord's anointed, even though the Lord handed you over to me today. Just as I considered your life valuable today, so may the Lord consider my life valuable and rescue me from all trouble." Saul said to him, "You are blessed, my son David. You will certainly do great things and will also prevail." Then David went on his way, and Saul returned home. David said to himself, "One of these days I'll be swept away by Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape immediately to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will stop searching for me everywhere in Israel, and I'll escape from him." So David set out with his 600 men and went to Achish son of Maoch, the king of Gath. David and his men stayed with Achish in Gath. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal's widow. When it was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him. Now David said to Achish, "If I have found favor with you, let me be given a place in one of the outlying towns, so I can live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?" That day Achish gave Ziklag to him, and it still belongs to the kings of Judah today. The time that David stayed in the Philistine territory amounted to a year and four months. David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. From ancient times they had been the inhabitants of the region through Shur as far as the land of Egypt. Whenever David attacked the land, he did not leave a single person alive, either man or woman, but he took flocks, herds, donkeys, camels, and clothing. Then he came back to Achish, who inquired, "Where did you raid today?" David replied, "The south country of Judah," "The south country of the Jerahmeelites," or "Against the south country of the Kenites." David did not let a man or woman live to be brought to Gath, for he said, "Or they will inform on us and say, 'This is what David did.' " This was David's custom during the whole time he stayed in the Philistine territory. So Achish trusted David, thinking, "Since he has made himself detestable to his people Israel, he will be my servant forever." At that time, the Philistines brought their military units together into one army to fight against Israel. So Achish said to David, "You know, of course, that you and your men must march out in the army with me." David replied to Achish, "Good, you will find out what your servant can do." So Achish said to David, "Very well, I will appoint you as my permanent bodyguard." By this time Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his city, and Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from the land. The Philistines came together and camped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel, and they camped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine camp, he was afraid and trembled violently. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him in dreams or by the Urim or by the prophets. Saul then said to his servants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, so I can go and consult her." His servants replied, "There is a woman at Endor who is a medium." Saul disguised himself by putting on different clothes and set out with two of his men. They came to the woman at night, and Saul said, "Consult a spirit for me. Bring up for me the one I tell you." But the woman said to him, "You surely know what Saul has done, how he has killed the mediums and spiritists in the land. Why are you setting a trap for me to get me killed?" Then Saul swore to her by the Lord: "As surely as the Lord lives, nothing bad will happen to you because of this." "Who is it that you want me to bring up for you?" the woman asked. "Bring up Samuel for me," he answered. When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, and then she asked Saul, "Why did you deceive me? You are Saul!" But the king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?" "I see a spirit form coming up out of the earth," the woman answered. Then Saul asked her, "What does he look like?" "An old man is coming up," she replied. "He's wearing a robe." Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed his face to the ground and paid homage. "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" Samuel asked Saul. "I'm in serious trouble," replied Saul. "The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me. He doesn't answer me any more, either through the prophets or in dreams. So I've called on you to tell me what I should do." Samuel answered, "Since the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy, why are you asking me? The Lord has done exactly what He said through me: The Lord has torn the kingship out of your hand and given it to your neighbor David. You did not obey the Lord and did not carry out His wrath against Amalek; therefore the Lord has done this to you today. The Lord will also hand Israel over to the Philistines along with you. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me, and the Lord will hand Israel's army over to the Philistines." Immediately, Saul fell flat on the ground. He was terrified by Samuel's words and was also weak because he hadn't had any food all day and all night. The woman came over to Saul, and she saw that he was terrified and said to him, "Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my life in my hands and did what you told me [to do]. Now please listen to your servant. Let me set some food in front of you. Eat and it will give you strength so you can go on your way." He refused, saying, "I won't eat," but when his servants and the woman urged him, he listened to them. He got up off the ground and sat on the bed. The woman had a fattened calf at her house, and she quickly slaughtered it. She also took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread. She served it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Afterwards, they got up and left that night. The Philistines brought all their military units together at Aphek while Israel was camped by the spring in Jezreel. As the Philistine leaders were passing [in review with their units of] hundreds and thousands, David and his men were passing [in review] behind them with Achish. Then the Philistine commanders asked, "What are these Hebrews [doing here]?" Achish answered the Philistine commanders, "That is David, servant of King Saul of Israel. He has been with me a considerable period of time. From the day he defected until today, I've found no fault with him." The Philistine commanders, however, were enraged with Achish and told him, "Send that man back and let him return to the place you assigned him. He must not go down with us into battle only to become our adversary during the battle. What better way could he regain his master's favor than with the heads of our men? Isn't this the David they sing about during their dances: Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands?" So Achish summoned David and told him, "As the Lord lives, you are an honorable man. I think it is good to have you working with me in the camp, because I have found no fault in you from the day you came to me until today. But the leaders don't think you are reliable. Now go back quietly and you won't be doing [anything] the Philistine leaders think is wrong." "But what have I done?" David replied to Achish. "From the first day I was with you until today, what have you found against your servant to keep me from going along to fight against the enemies of my lord the king?" Achish answered David, "I'm convinced that you are as reliable as an angel of God. But the Philistine commanders have said, 'He must not go into battle with us.' So get up early in the morning, you and your masters' servants who came with you. When you've all gotten up early, go as soon as it's light." So David and his men got up early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel. David and his men arrived in Ziklag on the third day. The Amalekites had raided the Negev and attacked and burned down Ziklag. They also had kidnapped the women and everyone in it from the youngest to the oldest. They had killed no one but had carried them off as they went on their way. When David and his men arrived at the town, they found it burned down. Their wives, sons, and daughters had been kidnapped. David and the troops with him wept loudly until they had no strength left to weep. David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had also been kidnapped. David was in a difficult position because the troops talked about stoning him, for they were all very bitter over [the loss of] their sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. David said to Abiathar the priest, son of Ahimelech, "Bring me the ephod." So Abiathar brought it to him, and David asked the Lord: "Should I pursue these raiders? Will I overtake them?" The Lord replied to him, "Pursue [them], for you will certainly overtake [them] and rescue [the people]." David and the 600 men with him went as far as the Wadi Besor, where where 200 men who were to remain behind would stop. They stopped because they were too exhausted to cross the Wadi Besor. David and 400 of the men continued in pursuit. They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. They gave him some bread to eat and water to drink. Then they gave him some pressed figs and two clusters of raisins. After he ate he revived, for he hadn't eaten food or drunk water for three days and three nights. Then David said to him, "Who do you belong to? Where are you from?" "I'm an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite man," he said. "My master abandoned me when I got sick three days ago. We raided the south country of the Cherethites, [the territory] of Judah, and the south country of Caleb, and we burned down Ziklag." David then asked him, "Will you lead me to these raiders?" He said, "Swear to me by God that you won't kill me or turn me over to my master, and I will lead you to them." So he led him, and there were the Amalekites, spread out over the entire area, eating, drinking, and celebrating because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and the land of Judah. David slaughtered them from twilight until the evening of the next day. None of them escaped, except 400 young men who got on camels and fled. David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken; he also rescued his two wives. Nothing [of theirs] was missing from the youngest to the oldest, including the sons and daughters, of all the plunder the Amalekites had taken. David got everything back. He took all the sheep and cattle, which were driven ahead of the other livestock, and the people shouted, "This is David's plunder!" When David came to the 200 men who had been too exhausted to go with him and had been left at the Wadi Besor, they came out to meet him and to meet the troops with him. When David approached the men, he greeted them, but all the worthless men among those who had gone with David retorted, "Because they didn't go with us, we will not give any of the plunder we recovered to them except for each man's wife and children. They may take them and go." But David said, "My brothers, you must not do this with what the Lord has given us. He protected us and handed over to us the raiders who came against us. Who can agree to your proposal? The share of the one who goes into battle is to be the same as the share of the one who remains with the supplies. They will share equally." And it has been so from that day forward. David established [this policy] as a law and an ordinance for Israel [and it continues] to this very day. When David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, "Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the Lord's enemies." [He sent gifts] to those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negev, and in Jattir; to those in Aroer, in Siphmoth, and in Eshtemoa; to those in Racal, in the towns of the Jerahmeelites, and in the towns of the Kenites; to those in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, and in Athach; to those in Hebron, and to [those in] all the places where David and his men had roamed. The Philistines fought against Israel, and Israel's men fled from them. Many were killed on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons and killed his sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. When the battle intensified against Saul, the archers caught up with him and severely wounded him. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through with it, or these uncircumcised men will come and run me through and torture me." But his armor-bearer would not do it because he was terrified. Then Saul took his sword and fell on it. When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his own sword and died with him. So on that day, Saul died together with his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his men. When the men of Israel on the other side of the valley and on the other side of the Jordan saw that Israel's men had run away and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled. So the Philistines came and settled in them. The next day when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons dead on Mount Gilboa. They cut off Saul's head, stripped off his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to spread the good news in the temples of their idols and among the people. Then they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and hung his body on the wall of Beth-shan. When the residents of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all their brave men set out, journeyed all night, and retrieved the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan. When they arrived at Jabesh, they burned the bodies there. Afterwards, they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days.


Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the ram's horn, and all the people proclaimed, "Long live King Solomon!" All the people followed him, playing flutes and rejoicing with such a great joy that the earth split open from the sound. Adonijah and all the invited guests who were with him heard [the noise] as they finished eating. Joab heard the sound of the ram's horn and said, "Why is the town in such an uproar?" read more.
He was still speaking when Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest, suddenly arrived. Adonijah said, "Come in, for you are an excellent man, and you must be bringing good news." "Unfortunately not," Jonathan answered him. "Our lord King David has made Solomon king. And with Solomon, the king has sent Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have had him ride on the king's mule. Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon. They have gone from there rejoicing. The town has been in an uproar; that's the noise you heard. Solomon has even taken his seat on the royal throne. "The king's servants have also gone to congratulate our lord King David, saying, 'May your God make the name of Solomon more famous than your name, and may He make his throne greater than your throne.' Then the king bowed in worship on his bed. And the king went on to say this: 'May the Lord God of Israel be praised! Today He has provided one to sit on my throne, and I am a witness.' " Then all of Adonijah's guests got up trembling and went their separate ways. Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, so he got up and went to take hold of the horns of the altar. It was reported to Solomon: "Look, Adonijah fears King Solomon, and he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, 'Let King Solomon first swear to me that he will not kill his servant with the sword.' " Then Solomon said, "If he is a man of character, then not a single hair of his will fall to the ground, but if evil is found in him, then he dies." So King Solomon sent for him, and they took him down from the altar. He came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, "Go to your home." As the time approached for David to die, he instructed his son Solomon, "As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth. Be strong and brave, and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commandments, judgments, and testimonies. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn, and so that the Lord will carry out His promise that He made to me: 'If your sons are careful to walk faithfully before Me with their whole mind and heart, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.' "You also know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me and what he did to the two commanders of Israel's army, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He murdered them [in a time] of peace to avenge blood shed in war. He spilled that blood on his own waistband and on the sandals of his feet. Act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray head descend to Sheol in peace. "Show loyalty to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table because they supported me when I fled from your brother Absalom. "Keep an eye on Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim who is with you. He uttered malicious curses against me the day I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, and I swore to him by the Lord: 'I will never kill you with the sword.' So don't let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man. You know how to deal with him to bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood." Then David rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. The [length of] time David reigned over Israel was 40 years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and 33 years in Jerusalem. Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his kingship was firmly established. Now Adonijah son of Haggith came to Bathsheba, Solomon's mother. She asked, "Do you come peacefully?" "Peacefully," he replied, and then asked, "May I talk with you?" "Go ahead," she answered. "You know the kingship was mine," he said. "All Israel expected me to be king, but then the kingship was turned over to my brother, for the Lord gave it to him. So now I have just one request of you; don't turn me down." She said to him, "Go on." He replied, "Please speak to King Solomon since he won't turn you down. Let him give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife." "Very well," Bathsheba replied. "I will speak to the king for you." So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king stood up to greet her, bowed to her, sat down on his throne, and had a throne placed for the king's mother. So she sat down at his right hand. Then she said, "I have just one small request of you. Don't turn me down." "[Go ahead and] ask, mother," the king replied, "for I won't turn you down." So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife." King Solomon answered his mother, "Why are you requesting Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Since he is my elder brother, you might as well ask the kingship for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah." Then Solomon took an oath by the Lord: "May God punish me and do so severely if Adonijah has not made this request at the cost of his life. And now, as the Lord lives, the One who established me, seated me on the throne of my father David, and made me a dynasty as He promised-I swear Adonijah will be put to death today!" Then King Solomon gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada, who struck down Adonijah, and he died. The king said to Abiathar the priest, "Go to your fields in Anathoth. Even though you deserve to die, I will not put you to death today, since you carried the ark of the Lord God in the presence of my father David and you suffered through all that my father suffered." So Solomon banished Abiathar from being the Lord's priest, and it fulfilled the Lord's prophecy He had spoken at Shiloh against Eli's family. The news reached Joab. Since he had supported Adonijah but not Absalom, Joab fled to the Lord's tabernacle and took hold of the horns of the altar. It was reported to King Solomon: "Joab has fled to the Lord's tabernacle and is now beside the altar." Then Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada and told [him], "Go and strike him down!" So Benaiah went to the tabernacle and said to Joab, "This is what the king says: 'Come out!' " But Joab said, "No, for I will die here." So Benaiah took a message back to the king, "This is what Joab said, and this is how he answered me." The king said to him, "Do just as he says. Strike him down and bury him in order to remove from me and from my father's house the blood that Joab shed without just cause. The Lord will bring back his own blood on his own head because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, without my father David's knowledge. With his sword, Joab murdered Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel's army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah's army. Their blood will come back on Joab's head and on the head of his descendants forever, but for David, his descendants, his dynasty, and his throne, there will be peace from the Lord forever." Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, struck down Joab, and put him to death. He was buried at his house in the wilderness. Then the king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada in Joab's place over the army, and he appointed Zadok the priest in Abiathar's place. Then the king summoned Shimei and said to him, "Build a house for yourself in Jerusalem and live there, but don't leave there [and go] anywhere else. On the day you do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die. Your blood will be on your own head." Shimei said to the king, "The sentence is fair; your servant will do as my lord the king has spoken." And Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time. But then, at the end of three years, two of Shimei's slaves ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. Shimei was informed, "Look, your slaves are in Gath." So Shimei saddled his donkey and set out to Achish at Gath to search for his slaves. He went and brought them back from Gath. It was reported to Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had returned. So the king summoned Shimei and said to him, "Didn't I make you swear by the Lord and warn you, saying, 'On the day you leave and go anywhere else, know for sure that you will certainly die'? And you said to me, 'The sentence is fair; I will obey.' So why have you not kept the Lord's oath and the command that I gave you?" The king also said, "You yourself know all the evil that you did to my father David. Therefore, the Lord has brought back your evil on your head, but King Solomon will be blessed, and David's throne will remain established before the Lord forever." Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down, and he died. So the kingdom was established in Solomon's hand. Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marrying Pharaoh's daughter. Solomon brought her to the city of David until he finished building his palace, the Lord's temple, and the wall surrounding Jerusalem. However, the people were sacrificing on the high places, because until that time a temple for the Lord's name had not been built. Solomon loved the Lord by walking in the statutes of his father David, but he also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered 1,000 burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, "Ask. What should I give you?" And Solomon replied, "You have shown great and faithful love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. "Lord my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David's place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?" Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this. So God said to him, "Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to understand justice, I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again. In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no man in any kingdom will be your equal during your entire life. If you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commandments just as your father David did, I will give you a long life." Then Solomon woke up and realized it had been a dream. He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord's covenant, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he held a feast for all his servants. Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One woman said, "Please my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was in the house. On the third day after I gave birth, she also had a baby and we were alone. No one else was with us in the house; just the two of us were there. During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him. She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was asleep. She laid him at her breast, and she put her dead son in my arms. When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. That morning, when I looked closely at him I realized that he was not the son I gave birth to." "No," the other woman said. "My son is the living one; your son is the dead one." The first woman said, "No, your son is the dead one; my son is the living one." So they argued before the king. The king replied, "This woman says, 'This is my son who is alive, and your son is dead,' but that woman says, 'No, your son is dead, and my son is alive.' " The king continued, "Bring me a sword." So they brought the sword to the king. Solomon said, "Cut the living boy in two and give half to one and half to the other." The woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she felt great compassion for her son. "My lord, give her the living baby," she said, "but please don't have him killed!" But the other one said, "He will not be mine or yours. Cut [him in two]!" The king responded, "Give the living baby to the first woman, and don't kill him. She is his mother." All Israel heard about the judgment the king had given, and they stood in awe of the king because they saw that God's wisdom was in him to carry out justice. King Solomon ruled over Israel, and these were his officials: Azariah son of Zadok, priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha, secretaries; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud, historian; Benaiah son of Jehoiada, in charge of the army; Zadok and Abiathar, priests; Azariah son of Nathan, in charge of the deputies; Zabud son of Nathan, a priest and adviser to the king; Ahishar, in charge of the palace; and Adoniram son of Abda, in charge of forced labor. Solomon had 12 deputies for all Israel. They provided food for the king and his household; each one made provision for one month out of the year. These were their names: Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elon-beth-hanan; Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (he had Socoh and the whole land of Hepher); Ben-abinadab, in all Naphath-dor (Taphath daughter of Solomon was his wife); Baana son of Ahilud, in Taanach, Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam; Ben-geber, in Ramoth-gilead (he had the villages of Jair son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, 60 great cities with walls and bronze bars); Ahinadab son of Iddo, [in] Mahanaim; Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also had married a daughter of Solomon-Basemath); Baana son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; Jehoshaphat son of Paruah, in Issachar; Shimei son of Ela, in Benjamin; Geber son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. There was one deputy in the land of Judah. Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea; [they were] eating, drinking, and rejoicing. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far as the border of Egypt. They offered tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. Solomon's provisions for one day were 150 bushels of fine flour and 300 bushels of meal, 10 fattened oxen, 20 range oxen, and 100 sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and pen-fed poultry, for he had dominion over everything west of the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza and over all the kings west of the Euphrates. He had peace on all his surrounding borders. Throughout Solomon's [reign], Judah and Israel lived in safety from Dan to Beer-sheba, each man under his own vine and his own fig tree. Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. Each of those deputies for a month in turn provided food for King Solomon and for everyone who came to King Solomon's table. They neglected nothing. Each man brought the barley and the straw for the chariot teams and the other horses to the required place according to his assignment. God gave Solomon wisdom, very great insight, and understanding as [vast] as the sand on the seashore. Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone-wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, sons of Mahol. His reputation extended to all the surrounding nations. Solomon composed 3,000 proverbs, and his songs numbered 1,005. He described trees, from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall. He also taught about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish. People came from everywhere, [sent] by every king on earth who had heard of his wisdom, to listen to Solomon's wisdom. Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father's place, for Hiram had always been friends with David. Solomon sent [this message] to Hiram: "You know my father David was not able to build a temple for the name of the Lord his God. This was because of the warfare all around him until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. The Lord my God has now given me rest all around; there is no enemy or crisis. So I plan to build a temple for the name of the Lord my God, according to what the Lord promised my father David: 'I will put your son on your throne in your place, and he will build the temple for My name.' "Therefore, command that cedars from Lebanon be cut down for me. My servants will be with your servants, and I will pay your servants' wages according to whatever you say, for you know that not a man among us knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians." When Hiram heard Solomon's words, he greatly rejoiced and said, "May the Lord be praised today! He has given David a wise son to be over this great people!" Then Hiram sent [a reply] to Solomon, saying, "I have heard your message; I will do everything you want regarding the cedar and cypress timber. My servants will bring [the logs] down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will break them apart there, and you can take them away. You then can meet my needs by providing my household with food." So Hiram provided Solomon with all the cedar and cypress timber he wanted, and Solomon provided Hiram with 100,000 bushels of wheat as food for his household and 110,000 gallons of beaten oil. Solomon did this for Hiram year after year. The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as He had promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty. Then King Solomon drafted forced laborers from all Israel; the labor force numbered 30,000 men. He sent 10,000 to Lebanon each month in shifts; one month they were in Lebanon, two months they were at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. Solomon had 70,000 porters and 80,000 stonecutters in the mountains, not including his 3,300 deputies in charge of the work. They ruled over the people doing the work. The king commanded them to quarry large, costly stones to lay the foundation of the temple with dressed stones. So Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders, along with the Gebalites, quarried [the stone] and prepared the timber and stone for the temple's construction. Solomon [began to] build the temple for the Lord in the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of his reign over Israel, in the second month, in the month of Ziv. The temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high. The portico in front of the temple sanctuary was 30 feet long extending across the temple's width, and 15 feet deep in front of the temple. He also made windows with beveled frames for the temple. He then built a chambered structure along the temple wall, encircling the walls of the temple, that is, the sanctuary and the inner sanctuary. And he made side chambers all around. The lowest chamber was seven and a half feet wide, the middle was nine feet wide, and the third was 10 and a half feet wide. He also provided offset ledges for the temple all around the outside so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls. The temple's construction used finished stones cut at the quarry so that no hammer, chisel, or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built. The door for the lowest side chamber was on the right side of the temple. They went up a stairway to the middle [chamber], and from the middle to the third. When he finished building the temple, he paneled it with boards and planks of cedar. He built the chambers along the entire temple, joined to the temple with cedar beams; [each story was] seven and a half feet high. The word of the Lord came to Solomon: "As for this temple you are building-if you walk in My statutes, execute My ordinances, and keep all My commandments by walking in them, I will fulfill My promise to you, which I made to your father David. I will live among the Israelites and not abandon My people Israel." When Solomon finished building the temple, he paneled the interior temple walls with cedar boards; from the temple floor to the surface of the ceiling he overlaid the interior with wood. He also overlaid the floor with cypress boards. Then he lined 30 feet of the rear of the temple with cedar boards from the floor to the surface of the ceiling, and he built the interior as an inner sanctuary, the most holy place. The temple, that is, the sanctuary in front of the most holy place, was 60 feet long. The cedar paneling inside the temple was carved with [ornamental] gourds and flower blossoms. Everything was cedar; not a stone could be seen. He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple to put the ark of the Lord's covenant there. The interior of the sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high; he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the cedar altar. Next, Solomon overlaid the interior of the temple with pure gold, and he hung gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary and overlaid it with gold. So he added the gold overlay to the entire temple until everything was completely finished, including the entire altar that belongs in the inner sanctuary. In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim 15 feet high out of olive wood. One wing of the [first] cherub was seven and a half feet long, and the other wing was seven and a half feet long. The wingspan was 15 feet from tip to tip. The second cherub also was 15 feet; both cherubim had the same size and shape. The first cherub's height was 15 feet and so was the second cherub's. Then he put the cherubim inside the inner temple. Since their wings were spread out, the first one's wing touched [one] wall while the second cherub's wing touched the other wall, and in the middle of the temple their wings were touching wing to wing. He also overlaid the cherubim with gold. He carved all the surrounding temple walls with carved engravings-cherubim, palm trees and flower blossoms-in both the inner and outer sanctuaries. He overlaid the temple floor with gold in both the inner and outer sanctuaries. For the entrance of the inner sanctuary, he made olive wood doors. The pillars of the doorposts were five-sided. The two doors were made of olive wood. He carved cherubim, palm trees and flower blossoms on them and overlaid them with gold, hammering gold over the cherubim and palm trees. In the same way, he made four-sided olive wood doorposts for the sanctuary entrance. The two doors were made of cypress wood; the first door had two folding sides, and the second door had two folding panels. He carved cherubim, palm trees and flower blossoms on them and overlaid them with gold applied evenly over the carving. He built the inner courtyard with three rows of dressed stone and a row of trimmed cedar beams. The foundation of the Lord's temple was laid in [Solomon's] fourth year in the month of Ziv. In [his] eleventh year in the eighth month, in the month of Bul, the temple was completed in every detail and according to every specification. So he built it in seven years. Solomon completed his entire palace-complex after 13 years of construction. He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on top of the pillars. It was paneled above with cedar at the top of the chambers that [rested] on 45 pillars, fifteen per row. There were three rows of window frames, facing each other in three tiers. All the doors and doorposts had rectangular frames, the openings facing each other in three tiers. He made the hall of pillars 75 feet long and 45 feet wide. A portico was in front of the pillars, and a canopy with pillars was in front of them. He made the Hall of the Throne where he would judge-the Hall of Judgment. It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the rafters. Solomon's own palace where he would live, in the other courtyard behind the hall, was of similar construction. And he made a house like this hall for Pharaoh's daughter, his wife. All of these [buildings] were of costly stones, cut to size and sawed with saws on the inner and outer surfaces, from foundation to coping and from the outside to the great courtyard. The foundation was made of large, costly stones 12 and 15 feet long. Above were also costly stones, cut to size, as well as cedar wood. Around the great courtyard, as well as the inner courtyard of the Lord's temple and the portico of the temple, were three rows of dressed stone and a row of trimmed cedar beams. King Solomon had Hiram brought from Tyre. He was a widow's son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a bronze craftsman. Hiram had great skill, understanding, and knowledge to do every kind of bronze work. So he came to King Solomon and carried out all his work. He cast two [hollow] bronze pillars: each 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference. He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on top of the pillars; seven and a half feet was the height of the first capital, and seven and a half feet was also the height of the second capital. The capitals on top of the pillars had gratings of latticework, wreaths made of chainwork-seven for the first capital and seven for the second. He made the pillars with two encircling rows of pomegranates on the one grating to cover the capital on top; he did the same for the second capital. And the capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were shaped like lilies, six feet [high]. The capitals on the two pillars were also immediately above the rounded surface next to the grating, and 200 pomegranates were in rows encircling each capital. He set up the pillars at the portico of the sanctuary: he set up the right pillar and named it Jachin; then he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz. The tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. Then the work of the pillars was completed. He made the cast [metal] reservoir, 15 feet from brim to brim, perfectly round. It was seven and a half feet high and 45 feet in circumference. [Ornamental] gourds encircled it below the brim, 10 every half yard, completely encircling the reservoir. The gourds were cast in two rows when the reservoir was cast. It stood on 12 oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The reservoir was on top of them and all their hindquarters were toward the center. The reservoir was three inches thick, and its rim was fashioned like the brim of a cup or of a lily blossom. It held 11,000 gallons. Then he made 10 bronze water carts. Each water cart was six feet long, six feet wide, and four and a half feet high. This was the design of the carts: They had frames; the frames were between the cross-pieces, and on the frames between the cross-pieces were lions, oxen, and cherubim. On the cross-pieces there was a pedestal above, and below the lions and oxen were wreaths of hanging work. Each cart had four bronze wheels with bronze axles. Underneath the four corners of the basin were cast supports, each next to a wreath. And the water cart's opening inside the crown on top was 18 inches wide. The opening was round, made as a pedestal 27 inches wide. On it were carvings, but their frames were square, not round. There were four wheels under the frames, and the wheel axles were part of the water cart; each wheel was 27 inches tall. The wheels' design was similar to that of chariot wheels: their axles, rims, spokes, and hubs were all of cast metal. Four supports were at the four corners of each water cart; each support was one piece with the water cart. At the top of the cart was a band nine inches high encircling it; also, at the top of the cart, its braces and its frames were one piece with it. He engraved cherubim, lions, and palm trees on the plates of its braces and on its frames, wherever each had space, with encircling wreaths. In this way he made the 10 water carts using the same casting, dimensions, and shape for all of them. Then he made 10 bronze basins-each basin holding 220 gallons and each was six feet wide-one basin for each of the 10 water carts. He set five water carts on the right side of the temple and five on the left side. He put the reservoir near the right side of the temple toward the southeast. Then Hiram made the basins, the shovels, and the sprinkling basins. So Hiram finished all the work that he was doing for King Solomon on the Lord's temple: two pillars; bowls for the capitals that were on top of the two pillars; the two gratings for covering both bowls of the capitals that were on top of the pillars; the 400 pomegranates for the two gratings (two rows of pomegranates for each grating covering both capitals' bowls on top of the pillars); the 10 water carts; the 10 basins on the water carts; the reservoir; the 12 oxen underneath the reservoir; and the pots, shovels, and sprinkling basins. All the utensils that Hiram made for King Solomon at the Lord's temple [were made] of burnished bronze. The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. Solomon left all the utensils unweighed because there were so many; the weight of the bronze was not determined. Solomon also made all the equipment in the Lord's temple: the gold altar; the gold table that the bread of the Presence was placed on; the pure gold lampstands in front of the inner sanctuary, five on the right and five on the left; the gold flowers, lamps, and tongs; the pure gold ceremonial bowls, wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, ladles, and firepans; and the gold hinges for the doors of the inner temple (that is, the most holy place) and for the doors of the temple sanctuary. So all the work King Solomon did in the Lord's temple was completed. Then Solomon brought in the consecrated things of his father David-the silver, the gold, and the utensils-and put them in the treasuries of the Lord's temple. At that time Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, all the tribal heads and the ancestral leaders of the Israelites before him at Jerusalem in order to bring the ark of the Lord's covenant from Zion, the city of David. So all the men of Israel were assembled in the presence of King Solomon in the seventh month, the month of Ethanim at the festival. All the elders of Israel came, and the priests picked up the ark. The priests and the Levites brought the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and the holy utensils that were in the tent. King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel, who had gathered around him and were with him in front of the ark, were sacrificing sheep and cattle that could not be counted or numbered, because there were so many. The priests brought the ark of the Lord's covenant to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the most holy place beneath the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim were spreading their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim covered the ark and its poles from above. The poles were so long that their ends were seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they were not seen from outside [the sanctuary]; they are there to this day. Nothing was in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had put there at Horeb,where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites when they came out of the land of Egypt. When the priests came out of the holy place, the cloud filled the Lord's temple, and because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Then Solomon said: The Lord said that He would dwell in thick darkness, but I have indeed built an exalted temple for You, a place for Your dwelling forever. The king turned around and blessed the entire congregation of Israel while they were standing. He said: May the Lord God of Israel be praised! He spoke directly to my father David, and He has fulfilled [the promise] by His power. He said, "Since the day I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city to build a temple in among any of the tribes of Israel, so that My name would be there. But I have chosen David to rule My people Israel." It was in the desire of my father David to build a temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, "Since it was your desire to build a temple for My name, you have done well to have this desire. Yet you are not the one to build it; instead, your son, your own offspring, will build it for My name." The Lord has fulfilled what He promised. I have taken the place of my father David, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built the temple for the name of the Lord God of Israel. I have provided a place there for the ark, where the Lord's covenant is that He made with our ancestors when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. He said: Lord God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below, keeping the gracious covenant with Your servants who walk before You with their whole heart. You have kept what You promised to Your servant, my father David. You spoke directly [to him] and You fulfilled [Your promise] by Your power as it is today. Therefore, Lord God of Israel, keep what You promised to Your servant, my father David: You will never fail to have a man to sit before Me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons guard their walk before Me as you have walked before Me. Now Lord God of Israel, please confirm what You promised to Your servant, my father David. But will God indeed live on earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You, much less this temple I have built. Listen to Your servant's prayer and his petition, Lord my God, so that You may hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant prays before You today, so that Your eyes may watch over this temple night and day, toward the place where You said: My name will be there, and so that You may hear the prayer that Your servant prays toward this place. Hear the petition of Your servant and Your people Israel, which they pray toward this place. May You hear in Your dwelling place in heaven. May You hear and forgive. When a man sins against his neighbor and is forced to take an oath, and he comes to take an oath before Your altar in this temple, may You hear in heaven and act. May You judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing what he has done on his own head and providing justice for the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness. When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and praise Your name, and they pray and plead with You for mercy in this temple, may You hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel. May You restore them to the land You gave their ancestors. When the skies are shut and there is no rain, because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and praise Your name, and they turn from their sins because You are afflicting them, may You hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel, so that You may teach them the good way they should walk in. May You send rain on Your land that You gave Your people for an inheritance. When there is famine on the earth, when there is pestilence, when there is blight, mildew, locust, or grasshopper, when their enemy besieges them in the region of their fortified cities, [when there is] any plague or illness, whatever prayer or petition anyone from Your people Israel might have- each man knowing his own afflictions and spreading out his hands toward this temple- may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and may You forgive, act, and repay the man, according to all his ways, since You know his heart, for You alone know every human heart, so that they may fear You all the days they live on the land You gave our ancestors. Even for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of Your name- for they will hear of Your great name, mighty hand, and outstretched arm, and will come and pray toward this temple- may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and do according to all the foreigner asks You for. Then all the people on earth will know Your name, to fear You as Your people Israel do and know that this temple I have built is called by Your name. When Your people go out to fight against their enemies, wherever You send them, and they pray to the Lord in the direction of the city You have chosen and the temple I have built for Your name, may You hear their prayer and petition in heaven and uphold their cause. When they sin against You- for there is no one who does not sin- and You are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, and their captors deport them to the enemy's country- whether distant or nearby- and when they come to their senses in the land where they were deported and repent and petition You in their captors' land: "We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked," and when they return to You with their whole mind and heart in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and when they pray to You in the direction of their land that You gave their ancestors, the city You have chosen, and the temple I have built for Your name, may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, their prayer and petition and uphold their cause. May You forgive Your people who sinned against You and all their rebellions against You, and may You give them compassion in the eyes of their captors, so that they may be compassionate to them. For they are Your people and Your inheritance; You brought them out of Egypt, out of the middle of an iron furnace. May Your eyes be open to Your servant's petition and to the petition of Your people Israel, listening to them whenever they call to You. For You, Lord God , have set them apart as Your inheritance from all the people on earth, as You spoke through Your servant Moses when You brought their ancestors out of Egypt. When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the Lord, with his hands spread out toward heaven, and he stood and blessed the whole congregation of Israel with a loud voice: "May the Lord be praised! He has given rest to His people Israel according to all He has said. Not one of all the good promises He made through His servant Moses has failed. May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors. May He not abandon us or leave us. May He incline our hearts toward Him to walk in all His ways and to keep His commands, ordinances, and judgments, which He commanded our ancestors. May my words I have made my petition with before the Lord be near the Lord our God day and night, so that He may uphold His servant's cause and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, and so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God. There is no other! Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God to walk in His ordinances and to keep His commands, as it is today." The king and all Israel with him were offering sacrifices in the Lord's presence. Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the Lord: 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. In this manner the king and all the Israelites dedicated the Lord's temple. On the same day, the king consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the Lord's temple because that was where he offered the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the fellowship offerings since the bronze altar before the Lord was too small to accommodate the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the fellowship offerings. Solomon and all Israel with him-a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt-observed the festival at that time in the presence of the Lord our God, seven days, and seven [more] days-14 days. On the fifteenth day he sent the people away. So they blessed the king and went home to their tents rejoicing and with joyful hearts for all the goodness that the Lord had done for His servant David and for His people Israel. When Solomon finished building the temple of the Lord, the royal palace, and all that Solomon desired to do, the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time just as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. The Lord said to him: I have heard your prayer and petition you have made before Me. I have consecrated this temple you have built, to put My name there forever; My eyes and My heart will be there at all times. As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and ordinances, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David: You will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel. If you or your sons turn away from following Me and do not keep My commands-My statutes that I have set before you-and if you go and serve other gods and worship them, I will cut off Israel from the land I gave them, and I will reject the temple I have sanctified for My name. Israel will become an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples. Though this temple is [now] exalted, every passerby will be appalled and will hiss. They will say: Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple? Then they will say: Because they abandoned the Lord their God who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and worshiped and served them. Because of this, the Lord brought all this ruin on them. At the end of 20 years during which Solomon had built the two houses, the Lord's temple and the royal palace- Hiram king of Tyre having supplied him with cedar and cypress logs and gold for his every wish-King Solomon gave Hiram 20 towns in the land of Galilee. So Hiram went out from Tyre to look over the towns that Solomon had given him, but he was not pleased with them. So he said, "What are these towns you've given me, my brother?" So he called them the Land of Cabul, as they are [still called] today. Now Hiram had sent the king 9,000 pounds of gold. This is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon had imposed to build the Lord's temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He then burned it down, killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife. Then Solomon rebuilt Gezer, Lower Beth-horon, Baalath, Tamar in the Wilderness of Judah, all the storage cities that belonged to Solomon, the chariot cities, the cavalry cities, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, or anywhere else in the land of his dominion. As for all the peoples who remained of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were not Israelites- their descendants who remained in the land after them, those whom the Israelites were unable to annihilate-Solomon imposed forced labor on them; [it is this way] until today. But Solomon did not consign the Israelites to slavery; they were soldiers, his servants, his commanders, his captains, and commanders of his chariots and his cavalry. These were the deputies who were over Solomon's work: 550 who ruled over the people doing the work. Pharaoh's daughter moved from the city of David to the house that Solomon had built for her; he then built the terraces. Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord, and he burned incense with them in the Lord's presence. So he completed the temple. King Solomon put together a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom. With the fleet, Hiram sent his servants, experienced seamen, along with Solomon's servants. They went to Ophir and acquired gold there-16 tons-and delivered it to Solomon. The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon's fame connected with the name of the Lord and came to test him with difficult questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels bearing spices, gold in great abundance, and precious stones. She came to Solomon and spoke to him about everything that was on her mind. So Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too difficult for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba observed all of Solomon's wisdom, the palace he had built, the food at his table, his servants' residence, his attendants' service and their attire, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he offered at the Lord's temple, it took her breath away. She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your words and about your wisdom is true. But I didn't believe the reports until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, I was not even told half. Your wisdom and prosperity far exceed the report I heard. How happy are your men. How happy are these servants of yours, who always stand in your presence hearing your wisdom. May the Lord your God be praised! He delighted in you and put you on the throne of Israel, because of the Lord's eternal love for Israel. He has made you king to carry out justice and righteousness." Then she gave the king four and a half tons of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones. Never again did such a quantity of spices arrive as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. In addition, Hiram's fleet that carried gold from Ophir brought from Ophir a large quantity of almug wood and precious stones. The king made the almug wood into steps for the Lord's temple and the king's palace and into harps and lyres for the singers. Never [before] had such almug wood come, and [the like] has not been seen [again] even to this very day. King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba her every desire-whatever she asked-besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she, along with her servants, returned to her own country. The weight of gold that came to Solomon annually was 25 tons, besides what came from merchants, traders' merchandise, and all the Arabian kings and governors of the land. King Solomon made 200 large shields of hammered gold; 15 pounds of gold went into each shield. He made 300 small shields of hammered gold; about four pounds of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. The king also made a large ivory throne and overlaid it with fine gold. The throne had six steps; there was a rounded top at the back of the throne, armrests on either side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the armrests. Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps, one at each end. Nothing like it had ever been made in any other kingdom. All of King Solomon's drinking cups were gold, and all the utensils of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. There was no silver, since it was considered as nothing in Solomon's time, for the king had ships of Tarshish at sea with Hiram's fleet, and once every three years the ships of Tarshish would arrive bearing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the world in riches and in wisdom. The whole world wanted an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart. Every man would bring his annual tribute: items of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, and horses and mules. Solomon accumulated 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen and stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar as abundant as sycamore in the Judean foothills. Solomon's horses were imported from Egypt and Kue. The king's traders bought them from Kue at the going price. A chariot was imported from Egypt for 15 pounds [of silver], and a horse for about four pounds. In the same way, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Aram through their agents. King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh's daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations that the Lord had told the Israelites about, "Do not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn you away [from Me] to their gods." Solomon was deeply attached to these women and loved [them]. He had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 concubines, and they turned his heart away [from the Lord]. When Solomon was old, his wives seduced him [to follow] other gods. His heart was not completely with the Lord his God, as his father David's heart had been. Solomon followed Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the Lord's sight, and unlike his father David, he did not completely follow the Lord. At that time, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable idol of Moab, and for Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites on the hill across from Jerusalem. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who were burning incense and offering sacrifices to their gods. The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. He had commanded him about this, so that he would not follow other gods, but Solomon did not do what the Lord had commanded. Then the Lord said to Solomon, "Since you have done this and did not keep My covenant and My statutes, which I commanded you, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. However, I will not do it during your lifetime because of your father David; I will tear it out of your son's hand. Yet, I will not tear the entire kingdom away from him. I will give one tribe to your son because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem that I chose." So the Lord raised up Hadad the Edomite as an enemy against Solomon. He was of the royal family in Edom. Earlier, when David was in Edom, Joab, the commander of the army, had gone to bury the dead and had struck down every male in Edom. For Joab and all Israel had remained there six months, until he had killed every male in Edom. Hadad fled to Egypt, along with some Edomites from his father's servants. At the time Hadad was a small boy. Hadad and his men set out from Midian and went to Paran. They took men with them from Paran and went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house, ordered that he [be given] food, and gave him land. Pharaoh liked Hadad so much that he gave him a wife, the sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes. Tahpenes' sister gave birth to Hadad's son Genubath. Tahpenes [herself] weaned him in Pharaoh's palace, and Genubath [lived] there along with Pharaoh's sons. When Hadad heard in Egypt that David rested with his fathers and that Joab, the commander of the army, was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, "Let me leave, so I can go to my own country." But Pharaoh asked him, "What do you lack here with me for you to want to go back to your own country?" "Nothing," he replied, "but please let me leave." God raised up Rezon son of Eliada as an enemy against Solomon. Rezon had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah and gathered men to himself. He became captain of a raiding party when David killed the Zobaites. He went to Damascus, lived there, and became king in Damascus. Rezon was Israel's enemy throughout Solomon's reign, adding to the trouble Hadad [had caused]. He ruled over Aram, but he loathed Israel. Now Solomon's servant, Jeroboam son of Nebat, was an Ephraimite from Zeredah. His widowed mother's name was Zeruah. Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon, and this is the reason he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the supporting terraces [and] repaired the opening in the wall of the city of his father David. Now the man Jeroboam was capable, and Solomon noticed the young man because he was getting things done. So he appointed him over the entire labor force of the house of Joseph. During that time, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite met Jeroboam on the road as Jeroboam came out of Jerusalem. Now Ahijah had wrapped himself with a new cloak, and the two of them were alone in the open field. Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he had on, tore it into 12 pieces, and said to Jeroboam, "Take 10 pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: 'I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hand. I will give you 10 tribes, but one tribe will remain his because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem, the city I chose out of all the tribes of Israel. For they have abandoned Me; they have bowed the knee to Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, to Chemosh, the god of Moab, and to Milcom, the god of the Ammonites. They have not walked in My ways to do right in My eyes and to carry out My statutes and My judgments as his father David did. " 'However, I will not take the whole kingdom from his hand but will let him be ruler all the days of his life because of My servant David, whom I chose and who kept My commandments and My statutes. I will take 10 tribes of the kingdom from his son's hand and give them to you. I will give one tribe to his son, so that My servant David will always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city I chose for Myself to put My name there. I will appoint you, and you will reign as king over all you want, and you will be king over Israel. " 'After that, if you obey all I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight in order to keep My statutes and My commandments as My servant David did, I will be with you. I will build you a lasting dynasty just as I built for David, and I will give you Israel. I will humble David's descendants, because of [their unfaithfulness], but not forever.' " Therefore, Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, where he remained until Solomon's death. The rest of the events of Solomon's [reign], along with all his accomplishments and his wisdom, are written about in the Book of Solomon's Events. The length of Solomon's reign in Jerusalem over all Israel totaled 40 years. Solomon rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David. His son Rehoboam became king in his place.


Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.