Participate in this summer Scripture study of David’s Life with God by reading along in the books of 1 & 2 Samuel.
1 Samuel 16:1-13
16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long are you going to grieve over Saul? I have rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have found my next king among his sons.”
2 “How can I do that?” Samuel asked. “When Saul hears of it he’ll kill me!”
“Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say, ‘I have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will make clear to you what you should do. You will anoint for me the person I point out to you.”
4 Samuel did what the Lord instructed. When he came to Bethlehem, the city elders came to meet him. They were shaking with fear. “Do you come in peace?” they asked.
5 “Yes,” Samuel answered. “I’ve come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Now make yourselves holy, then come with me to the sacrifice.” Samuel made Jesse and his sons holy and invited them to the sacrifice as well.
6 When they arrived, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, That must be the Lord’s anointed right in front.
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Have no regard for his appearance or stature, because I haven’t selected him. God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the Lord sees into the heart.”
8 Next Jesse called for Abinadab, who presented himself to Samuel, but he said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen this one either.” 9 So Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, “No, the Lord hasn’t chosen this one.” 10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord hasn’t picked any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Is that all of your boys?”
“There is still the youngest one,” Jesse answered, “but he’s out keeping the sheep.”
“Send for him,” Samuel told Jesse, “because we can’t proceed until he gets here.”
12 So Jesse sent and brought him in. He was reddish brown, had beautiful eyes, and was good-looking. The Lord said, “That’s the one. Go anoint him.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him right there in front of his brothers. The Lord’s spirit came over David from that point forward.
Then Samuel left and went to Ramah.
1 Samuel 16:14-23
16:14 Now the Lord’s spirit had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15 Saul’s servants said to him, “Look, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 If our master just says the word, your servants will search for someone who knows how to play the lyre. The musician can play whenever the evil spirit from God is affecting you, and then you’ll feel better.”
17 Saul said to his servants, “Find me a good musician and bring him to me.”
18 One of the servants responded, “I know that one of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a good musician. He’s a strong man and heroic, a warrior who speaks well and is good-looking too. The Lord is with him.”
19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, “Send me your son David, the one who keeps the sheep.”
20 Jesse then took a donkey and loaded it with a homer of bread, a jar of wine, and a young goat, and he sent it along with his son David to Saul. 21 That is how David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked David very much, and David became his armor-bearer. 22 Saul sent a message to Jesse: “Please allow David to remain in my service because I am pleased with him.” 23 Whenever the evil spirit from God affected Saul, David would take the lyre and play it. Then Saul would relax and feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him alone.
1 Samuel 17
17:1 The Philistines assembled their troops for war at Socoh of Judah. They camped between Socoh and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. 2 Saul and the Israelite army assembled and camped in the Elah Valley, where they got organized to fight the Philistines. 3 The Philistines took positions on one hill while Israel took positions on the opposite hill. There was a valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath from Gath came out from the Philistine camp. He was more than nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore bronze scale-armor weighing one hundred twenty-five pounds. 6 He had bronze plates on his shins, and a bronze scimitar hung on his back.7 His spear shaft was as strong as the bar on a weaver’s loom, and its iron head weighed fifteen pounds. His shield-bearer walked in front of him.
8 He stopped and shouted to the Israelite troops, “Why have you come and taken up battle formations? I am the Philistine champion, and you are Saul’s servants. Isn’t that right? Select one of your men, and let him come down against me. 9 If he is able to fight me and kill me, then we will become your slaves, but if I overcome him and kill him, then you will become our slaves and you will serve us. 10 I insult Israel’s troops today!” The Philistine continued, “Give me an opponent, and we’ll fight!”11 When Saul and all Israel heard what the Philistine said, they were distressed and terrified.
12 Now David was Jesse’s son, an Ephraimite from Bethlehem in Judah who had eight sons. By Saul’s time, Jesse was already quite old and far along in age. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had gone with Saul to war. Their names were Eliab the oldest, Abinadab the second oldest, and Shammah the third oldest.14 (David was the youngest.) These three older sons followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul’s side to shepherd his father’s flock in Bethlehem.
16 For forty days straight the Philistine came out and took his stand, both morning and evening. 17 Jesse said to his son David, “Please take your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread. Deliver them quickly to your brothers in the camp. 18 And here, take these ten wedges of cheese to their unit commander. Find out how your brothers are doing and bring back some sign that they are okay. 19 They are with Saul and all the Israelite troops fighting the Philistines in the Elah Valley.”
20 So David got up early in the morning, left someone in charge of the flock, and loaded up and left, just as his father Jesse had instructed him. He reached the camp right when the army was taking up their battle formations and shouting the war cry.21 Israel and the Philistines took up their battle formations opposite each other. 22 David left his things with an attendant and ran to the front line. When he arrived, he asked how his brothers were doing. 23 Right when David was speaking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came forward from the Philistine ranks and said the same things he had said before. David listened. 24 When the Israelites saw Goliath, every one of them ran away terrified of him. (25 Now the Israelite soldiers had been saying to each other: “Do you see this man who keeps coming out? How he comes to insult Israel? The king will reward with great riches whoever kills that man. The king will give his own daughter to him and make his household exempt from taxes in Israel.”)
26 David asked the soldiers standing by him, “What will be done for the person who kills that Philistine over there and removes this insult from Israel? Who is that uncircumcised Philistine, anyway, that he can get away with insulting the army of the living God?”
27 Then the troops repeated to him what they had been saying. “So that’s what will be done for the man who kills him,” they said.
28 When David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him talking to the soldiers, he got very mad at David. “Why did you come down here?” he said. “Who is watching those few sheep for you in the wilderness? I know how arrogant you are and your devious plan: you came down just to see the battle!”
29 “What did I do wrong this time?” David replied. “It was just a question!”
30 So David turned to someone else and asked the same thing, and the people said the same thing in reply. 31 The things David had said were overheard and reported to Saul, who sent for him.
32 “Don’t let anyone lose courage because of this Philistine!” David told Saul. “I, your servant, will go out and fight him!”
33 “You can’t go out and fight this Philistine,” Saul answered David. “You are still a boy. But he’s been a warrior since he was a boy!”
34 “Your servant has kept his father’s sheep,” David replied to Saul, “and if ever a lion or a bear came and carried off one of the flock, 35 I would go after it, strike it, and rescue the animal from its mouth. If it turned on me, I would grab it at its jaw, strike it, and kill it. 36 Your servant has fought both lions and bears. This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them because he has insulted the army of the living God.
37 “The Lord,” David added, “who rescued me from the power of both lions and bears, will rescue me from the power of this Philistine.”
“Go!” Saul replied to David. “And may the Lord be with you!”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own gear, putting a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David strapped his sword on over the armor, but he couldn’t walk around well because he’d never tried it before. “I can’t walk in this,” David told Saul, “because I’ve never tried it before.” So he took them off. 40 He then grabbed his staff and chose five smooth stones from the streambed. He put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag and with sling in hand went out to the Philistine.
41 The Philistine got closer and closer to David, and his shield-bearer was in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked David over, he sneered at David because he was just a boy; reddish brown and good-looking.
43 The Philistine asked David, “Am I some sort of dog that you come at me with sticks?” And he cursed David by his gods.44 “Come here,” he said to David, “and I’ll feed your flesh to the wild birds and the wild animals!”
45 But David told the Philistine, “You are coming against me with sword, spear, and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel’s army, the one you’ve insulted. 46 Today the Lord will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head! Today I will feed your dead body and the dead bodies of the entire Philistine camp to the wild birds and the wild animals. Then the whole world will know that there is a God on Israel’s side. 47 And all those gathered here will know that the Lord doesn’t save by means of sword and spear. The Lord owns this war, and he will hand all of you over to us.”
48 The Philistine got up and moved closer to attack David, and David ran quickly to the front line to face him. 49 David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone. He slung it, and it hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 And that’s how David triumphed over the Philistine with just a sling and a stone, striking the Philistine down and killing him—and David didn’t even have a sword! 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine. He grabbed the Philistine’s sword, drew it from its sheath, and finished him off. Then David cut off the Philistine’s head with the sword.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they fled.52 The soldiers from Israel and Judah jumped up with a shout and chased the Philistines all the way to Gath and the gates of Ekron. The dead Philistines were littered along the Shaarim road all the way to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites came back from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp. 54 David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.
55 Now when Saul saw David go out to meet the Philistine, he asked Abner the army general, “Abner, whose son is that boy?”
“As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know,” Abner answered.
56 “Then find out whose son that young man is,” the king replied.
57 So when David came back from killing the Philistine, Abner sent for him and presented him to Saul. The Philistine’s head was still in David’s hand. 58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, my boy?”
“I’m the son of your servant Jesse from Bethlehem,” David answered.
1 Samuel 18
As soon as David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan’s life became bound up with David’s life, and Jonathan loved David as much as himself. From that point forward, Saul kept David in his service and wouldn’t allow him to return to his father’s household. And Jonathan and David made a covenant together because Jonathan loved David as much as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, as well as his sword, his bow, and his belt. David went out and was successful in every mission Saul sent him to do. So Saul placed him in charge of the soldiers, and this pleased all the troops as well as Saul’s servants.
After David came back from killing the Philistine, and as the troops returned home, women from all of Israel’s towns came out to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with tambourines, rejoicing, and musical instruments. The women sang in celebration:
“Saul has killed his thousands,
but David has killed his tens of thousands!”
Saul burned with anger. This song annoyed him. “They’ve credited David with tens of thousands,” he said, “but only credit me with thousands. What’s next for him—the kingdom itself?” So Saul kept a close eye on David from that point on.
The next day an evil spirit from God came over Saul, and he acted like he was in a prophetic frenzy in his house. So David played the lyre as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand, and he threw it, thinking, I’ll pin David to the wall. But David escaped from him two different times.
Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David but no longer with Saul.So Saul removed David from his service, placing him in command of a unit of one thousand men. David led the men out to war and back. David was successful in everything he did because the Lord was with him. Saul saw that he was very successful, and he was afraid of him. Everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he led them out in war and back again.
Saul said to David, “Look, here is my oldest daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage on this condition: you must be my warrior and fight the Lord’s battles.” I won’t raise my hand against him, Saul thought; let the Philistines do that!
“I’m not worthy,” David replied to Saul, “and neither is my family or my father’s clan in Israel, to become the king’s son-in-law.” And so when the time came for Saul’s daughter Merab to be married to David, she was given to Adriel from Meholah instead.
Now Saul’s younger daughter Michal loved David. When this was reported to Saul, he was happy about it. I’ll give her to him, Saul thought; she’ll cause him problems, and the Philistines will be against him.
So Saul said to David a second time, “Become my son-in-law now.”
Saul instructed his servants, “Tell David in private: ‘Look, the king likes you, and all his servants love you. You should become the king’s son-in-law.’”
Saul’s servants whispered these things in David’s ear. But David said, “Do you think it’s a simple matter to become the king’s son-in-law? I don’t! I’m poor and insignificant.”
Saul’s servants reported what David said, and Saul replied, “Tell David this: ‘The king doesn’t want any bridal gift, just a hundred Philistine foreskins as vengeance on the king’s enemies.’” (Saul was hoping that David would die at the hands of the Philistines.) When the servants reported this to David, he was happy to become the king’s son-in-law. Even before the allotted time had expired, David got up and went with his soldiers and killed one hundred Philistines. David brought their foreskins and counted them out for the king so he could become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave his daughter Michal to him in marriage.
When Saul knew for certain that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved him, then Saul was even more afraid of David. Saul was David’s enemy for the rest of his life. And whenever the Philistine commanders came out for battle, David would have more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, so his fame spread widely.
1 Samuel 24
Even as Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was informed that David was in the En-gedi wilderness. So Saul took three thousand men selected from all Israel and went to look for David and his soldiers near the rocks of the wild goats.He came to the sheep pens beside the road where there was a cave. Saul went into the cave to use the restroom. Meanwhile, David and his soldiers were sitting in the very back of the cave.
David’s soldiers said to him, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he promised you, ‘I will hand your enemy over to you, and you can do to him whatever you think best.’” So David snuck up and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. But immediately David felt horrible that he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
“The Lord forbid,” he told his men, “that I should do something like that to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lift my hand against him, because he’s the Lord’s anointed!” So David held his soldiers in check by what he said, and he wouldn’t allow them to attack Saul. Saul then left the cave and went on his way.
Then David also went out of the cave and yelled after Saul, “My master the king!” Saul looked back, and David bowed low out of respect, nose to the ground.
David said to Saul, “Why do you listen when people say, ‘David wants to ruin you’? Look! Today your own eyes have seen that the Lord handed you over to me in the cave. But I refused to kill you. I spared you, saying, ‘I won’t lift a hand against my master because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ Look here, my protector! See the corner of your robe in my hand? I cut off the corner of your robe but didn’t kill you. So know now that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I haven’t wronged you, but you are hunting me down, trying to kill me. May the Lord judge between me and you! May the Lord take vengeance on you for me, but I won’t lift a hand against you. As the old proverb goes, ‘Evil deeds come from evildoers!’ but I won’t lift a hand against you. So who is Israel’s king coming after? Who are you chasing? A dead dog? A single flea? May the Lord be the judge and decide between you and me. May he see what has happened, argue my case, and vindicate me against you!”
As soon as David finished saying all this to Saul, Saul said, “David, my son, is that your voice?” Then he broke down in tears, telling David, “You are more righteous than I am because you have treated me generously, but I have treated you terribly.Today you’ve told me the good you have done for me—how the Lord handed me over to you, but how you didn’t kill me. When someone finds an enemy, do they send the enemy away in peace? May the Lord repay you with good for what you have done for me today. Now even I know that you will definitely become king, and Israel’s kingdom will flourish in your hands. Because of that, make a solemn pledge to me by the Lord that you won’t kill off my descendants after I’m gone and that you won’t destroy my name from my family lineage.”
David made a solemn pledge to Saul. Then Saul went back home, but David and his soldiers went up to the fortress.
1 Samuel 25
Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered to mourn for him. They buried him at his home in Ramah. David then left and went down to the Maon wilderness.
There was a man in Maon who did business in Carmel. He was a very important man and owned three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. At that time, he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and attractive woman, but her husband was a hard man who did evil things. He was a Calebite.
While in the wilderness, David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten servants, telling them, “Go up to Carmel. When you get to Nabal, greet him for me. Say this to him: ‘Peace to you, your household, and all that is yours!I’ve heard that you are now shearing sheep. As you know, your shepherds were with us in the wilderness. We didn’t mistreat them. Moreover, the whole time they were at Carmel, nothing of theirs went missing. Ask your servants; they will tell you the same. So please receive these young men favorably, because we’ve come on a special day. Please give whatever you have on hand to your servants and to your son David.’”
When David’s young men arrived, they said all this to Nabal on David’s behalf. Then they waited. But Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is David? Who is Jesse’s son? There are all sorts of slaves running away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread, my water, and the meat I’ve butchered for my shearers and give it to people who came here from who knows where?” So David’s young servants turned around and went back the way they came. When they arrived, they reported every word of this to David.
Then David said to his soldiers, “All of you, strap on your swords!” So each of them strapped on their swords, and David did the same. Nearly four hundred men went up with David. Two hundred men remained back with the supplies.
One of Nabal’s servants told his wife Abigail, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he just yelled at them. But the men were very good to us and didn’t mistreat us. Nothing of ours went missing the whole time we were out with them in the fields. In fact, the whole time we were with them, watching our sheep, they were a protective wall around us both night and day.Think about that and see what you can do, because trouble is coming for our master and his whole household. But he’s such a despicable person no one can speak to him.”
Abigail quickly took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep ready for cooking, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes. She loaded all this on donkeys and told her servants, “Go on ahead of me. I’ll be right behind you.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal.
As she was riding her donkey, going down a trail on the hillside, David and his soldiers appeared, descending toward her, and she met up with them. David had just been saying, “What a waste of time—guarding all this man’s stuff in the wilderness so that nothing of his went missing! He has repaid me evil instead of good! May God deal harshly with me, David, and worse still if I leave alive even one single one who urinates on a wall belonging to him come morning!”
When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and fell facedown before him, bowing low to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, “Put the blame on me, my master! But please let me, your servant, speak to you directly. Please listen to what your servant has to say. Please, my master, pay no attention to this despicable man Nabal. He’s exactly what his name says he is! His name means fool, and he is foolish! But I myself, your servant, didn’t see the young men that you, my master, sent. I pledge, my master, as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, that the Lord has held you back from bloodshed and taking vengeance into your own hands! But now let your enemies and those who seek to harm my master be exactly like Nabal! Here is a gift, which your servant has brought to my master. Please let it be given to the young men who follow you, my master. Please forgive any offense by your servant. The Lord will definitely make an enduring dynasty for my master because my master fights the Lord’s battles, and nothing evil will be found in you throughout your lifetime. If someone chases after you and tries to kill you, my master, then your life will be bound up securely in the bundle of life by the Lord your God, but he will fling away your enemies’ lives as from the pouch of a sling. When the Lord has done for my master all the good things he has promised you, and has installed you as Israel’s leader, don’t let this be a blot or burden on my master’s conscience, that you shed blood needlessly or that my master took vengeance into his own hands. When the Lord has done good things for my master, please remember your servant.”
David said to Abigail, “Bless the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! And bless you and your good judgment for preventing me from shedding blood and taking vengeance into my own hands today! Otherwise, as surely as the Lord God of Israel lives—the one who kept me from hurting you—if you hadn’t come quickly and met up with me, there wouldn’t be one single one who urinates on a wall left come morning.” Then David accepted everything she had brought for him. “Return home in peace,” he told her. “Be assured that I’ve heard your request and have agreed to it.”
When Abigail got back home to Nabal, he was throwing a party fit for a king in his house. Nabal was in a great mood and very drunk, so Abigail didn’t tell him anything until daybreak. In the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him everything. Nabal’s heart failed inside him, and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.
When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Bless the Lord, who has rendered a verdict regarding Nabal’s insult to me and who kept me, his servant, from doing something evil! The Lord has brought Nabal’s evil down on his own head.” Then David sent word to Abigail, saying that he would take her as his wife.
When David’s servants reached Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you so you can become his wife.”
She bowed low to the ground and said, “I am your servant, ready to serve and wash the feet of my master’s helpers.” Then Abigail got up quickly and rode on her donkey, with five of her young women going with her. She followed David’s messengers and became his wife.
David also married Ahinoam from Jezreel, so both of them were his wives. But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti, Laish’s son, from Gallim.
1 Samuel 30
Three days later, David and his soldiers reached Ziklag. The Amalekites had raided the arid southern plain and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it down,taking the women and everyone in the city prisoner, whether young or old. They hadn’t killed anyone but carried them off and went on their way. When David and his soldiers got to the town and found it burned down, and their wives, their sons, and their daughters taken prisoner, David and the troops with him broke into tears and cried until they could cry no more. David’s two wives had been captured as well: Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, Nabal’s widow from Carmel.
David was in deep trouble because the troops were talking about stoning him. Each of the soldiers was deeply distressed about their sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. David said to the priest Abiathar, Ahimelech’s son, “Bring the priestly vest to me.” So Abiathar brought it to David.
Then David asked the Lord, “Should I go after this raiding party? Will I catch them?”
“Yes, go after them!” God answered. “You will definitely catch them and will succeed in the rescue!”
So David set off with six hundred men. They came to the Besor ravine, where some stayed behind. David and four hundred men continued the pursuit, while two hundred men stayed there, too exhausted to cross the Besor ravine.
They found an Egyptian in the countryside and brought him to David. They gave him bread, and he ate, and they gave him water to drink. They also gave him a piece of fig cake and two raisin cakes. He ate and regained his strength because he hadn’t eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and nights.
Then David asked him, “Whose slave are you? Where do you come from?”
“I’m an Egyptian servant boy,” he said, “and the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I got sick three days ago. We had raided the arid southern plain belonging to the Cherethites, the territory belonging to Judah, and the southern plain of Caleb. We also burned Ziklag down.”
“Can you guide me to this raiding party?” David asked him.
“Make a pledge to me by God that you won’t kill me or hand me over to my master,” the boy said, “and I will guide you to the raiding party.”
So the boy led David to them, and he found them scattered all over the countryside, eating, drinking, and celebrating over the large amount of plunder they had taken from Philistine and Judean territory.
David attacked them from twilight until evening of the next day. He killed them all.No one escaped except four hundred young men who got on camels and fled.David rescued everything that the Amalekites had taken, including his own two wives. Nothing was missing from the plunder or anything that they had taken, neither old nor young, son nor daughter. David brought everything back. David also captured all the sheep and cattle, which were driven in front of the other livestock. The troops said, “This is David’s plunder!”
David reached the two hundred men who were too exhausted to follow him and had stayed behind at the Besor ravine. They came out to greet him and the troops who were with him. When David approached them, he asked how they were doing. But then all the evil and despicable individuals who had accompanied David said, “We won’t share any of the plunder we rescued with them because they didn’t go with us. Each of them can take his wife and children and go—but that’s it.”
“Brothers!” David said. “Don’t act that way with the things the Lord has given us. He has protected us and handed over to us the raiding party that had attacked us.How could anyone agree with you on this plan? The share of those who went into battle and the share of those who stayed with the supplies will be divided equally.”So from that day forward, David made that a regulation and a law in Israel, which remains in place even now.
When David returned to Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah and to his friends. “Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the Lord’s enemies,” he said. It went to those in Bethel, Ramoth of the arid southern plain, Jattir, Aroer,Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, Racal, the towns of the Jerahmeelites, the towns of the Kenites, Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, Hebron, and all the places where David and his soldiers had spent time.
2 Samuel 1:17-27
2:17 Then David sang this funeral song for Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 David ordered everyone in Judah to learn the Song of the Bow. (In fact, it is written in the scroll from Jashar.)
19 Oh, no, Israel! Your prince lies dead on your heights.
Look how the mighty warriors have fallen!
20 Don’t talk about it in Gath;
don’t bring news of it to Ashkelon’s streets,
or else the Philistines’ daughters will rejoice;
the daughters of the uncircumcised will celebrate.
21 You hills of Gilboa!
Let there be no dew or rain on you,
and no fields yielding grain offerings.
Because it was there that the mighty warrior’s shield was defiled—
the shield of Saul!—never again anointed with oil.
22 Jonathan’s bow never wavered from the blood of the slain,
from the gore of the warriors.
Never did Saul’s sword return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan! So well loved, so dearly cherished!
In their lives and in their deaths they were never separated.
They were faster than eagles,
stronger than lions!
24 Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul!
He dressed you in crimson with jewels;
he decorated your clothes with gold jewelry.
25 Look how the mighty warriors have fallen in the midst of battle!
Jonathan lies dead on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, my brother Jonathan!
You were so dear to me!
Your love was more amazing to me than the love of women.
27 Look how the mighty warriors have fallen!
Look how the weapons of war have been destroyed!
2 Samuel 3:17-39
3:17 Abner then sent word to Israel’s elders. “You’ve wanted David to be your king for some time now,” he said. 18 “It’s time to act because the Lord has said about David: I will rescue my people Israel from the power of the Philistines and all their enemies through my servant David.”
19 Abner also spoke directly to the Benjaminites. He then went to inform David in person at Hebron regarding everything that all Israel and the house of Benjamin were willing to do.
20 When Abner, along with twenty others, reached David at Hebron, David threw a celebration for Abner and his men. 21 Then Abner said to David, “Please let me get going so I can assemble all Israel for my master the king. Then they can make a covenant with you, and you will rule over everything your heart desires.” At that, David sent Abner off in peace.
22 Right then, David’s soldiers and Joab returned from a raid, bringing a great deal of loot with them. Abner was no longer with David in Hebron because David had sent him off in peace. 23 When Joab and all the troops with him returned, Joab was told that Abner, Ner’s son, had come to the king and that David had sent him off in peace.
24 Joab went to the king and asked, “What have you done? Abner came to you here! Why did you send him off? Now he’s gotten away! 25 Don’t you know the evil ways of Abner, Ner’s son? He came to trick you, to find out where you come and go, and to learn everything you do!”
26 Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner. They brought him back from the well at Sirah, but David didn’t know anything of this. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside next to the gate to speak with him in private. But instead Joab stabbed Abner in the stomach, and he died for shedding the blood of Asahel, Joab’s brother.
28 When David heard about this later, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the shedding of the blood of Abner, Ner’s son. 29 May it fall upon the head of Joab and his entire family tree! May Joab’s family never be without someone with a discharge or a skin disease, someone who uses a crutch, someone who dies by the sword, or someone who is hungry!”
30 So that is how Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner, because he killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.
31 Then David ordered Joab and all the troops who were with him, “Tear your clothes and put on funeral clothes! Mourn for Abner!” King David himself walked behind the body. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron. The king wept loudly at Abner’s grave. All the troops cried too. 33 Then the king sang this funeral song for Abner:
“Should Abner have died like a fool dies?
34 Your hands weren’t bound,
your feet weren’t chained,
but you have fallen
like someone falls before the wicked.”
Then the troops cried over Abner again.
35 Then all the soldiers came to urge David to eat something while it was still day, but David swore, “May God deal harshly with me and worse still if I eat bread or anything else before the sun goes down.” 36 All the troops took notice of this and were pleased by it. Indeed, everything that the king did pleased them. 37 So on that day all the troops and all Israel knew that it wasn’t the king’s idea to kill Abner, Ner’s son.
38 The king told his soldiers, “Don’t you know that a prince and a great man in Israel has fallen today? 39 And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak. These men, Zeruiah’s sons, are too strong for me. May the Lord repay the one who does evil according to the evil they did!”
2 Samuel 7
7:1 When the king was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Look! I’m living in a cedar palace, but God’s chest is housed in a tent!”
3 Nathan said to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you are thinking, because the Lord is with you.”
4 But that very night the Lord’s word came to Nathan: 5 Go to my servant David and tell him: This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build the temple for me to live in. 6 In fact, I haven’t lived in a temple from the day I brought Israel out of Egypt until now. Instead, I have been traveling around in a tent and in a dwelling. 7 Throughout my traveling around with the Israelites, did I ever ask any of Israel’s tribal leaders I appointed to shepherd my people: Why haven’t you built me a cedar temple?
8 So then, say this to my servant David: This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says: I took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be leader over my people Israel. 9 I’ve been with you wherever you’ve gone, and I’ve eliminated all your enemies before you. Now I will make your name great—like the name of the greatest people on earth. 10 I’m going to provide a place for my people Israel, and plant them so that they may live there and no longer be disturbed. Cruel people will no longer trouble them, as they had been earlier, 11 when I appointed leaders over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies.
And the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make a dynasty for you. 12 When the time comes for you to die and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your descendant—one of your very own children—to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a temple for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me. Whenever he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod, with blows from human beings. 15 But I will never take my faithful love away from him like I took it away from Saul, whom I set aside in favor of you. 16 Your dynasty and your kingdom will be secured forever before me. Your throne will be established forever.
17 Nathan reported all of these words and this entire vision to David.
18 Then King David went and sat in the Lord’s presence. He asked:
Who am I, Lord God, and of what significance is my family that you have brought me this far? 19 But even this was too small in your eyes, Lord God! Now you have also spoken about your servant’s dynasty in the future and the generation to come, Lord God!
20 What more can David say to you? You know your servant, Lord God. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your own will, you have done this great thing so that your servant would know it.
22 That is why you are so great, Lord God! No one can compare to you, no god except you, just as we have always heard with our own ears.
23 And who can compare to your people Israel? They are the one nation on earth that God redeemed as his own people, establishing his name by doing great and awesome things for them, by driving out nations and their gods before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt. 24 You established your people Israel as your own people forever, and you, Lord, became their God.
25 Now, Lord God, confirm forever the promise you have made about your servant and his dynasty. Do just as you have promised 26 so that your name will be great forever when people say, “The Lord of heavenly forces is Israel’s God!” May your servant David’s household be established before you, 27 because you, Lord of heavenly forces, Israel’s God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a dynasty for him. That is why your servant has found the courage to pray this prayer to you.
28 Lord God, you are truly God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 29 So now willingly bless your servant’s dynasty so that it might continue forever before you, because you, Lord God, have promised. Let your servant’s dynasty be blessed forever by your blessing.
2 Samuel 9
9:1 David asked, “Is there anyone from Saul’s family still alive that I could show faithful love for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 There was a servant from Saul’s household named Ziba, and he was summoned before David.
“Are you Ziba?” the king asked him.
“At your service!” he answered.
3 The king asked, “Is there anyone left from Saul’s family that I could show God’s kindness to?”
“Yes,” Ziba said to the king, “one of Jonathan’s sons, whose feet are crippled.”
4 “Where is he?” the king asked.
“He is at the house of Ammiel’s son Machir at Lo-debar,” Ziba told the king.
5 So King David had him brought from the house of Ammiel’s son Machir at Lo-debar. 6 Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson, came to David, and he fell to the ground, bowing low out of respect.
“Mephibosheth?” David said.
“Yes,” he replied. “I am at your service!”
7 “Don’t be afraid,” David told him, “because I will certainly show you faithful love for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the fields of your grandfather Saul, and you will eat at my table always.”
8 Mephibosheth bowed low out of respect and said, “Who am I, your servant, that you should care about a dead dog like me?”
9 Then David summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything belonging to Saul and his family. 10 You will work the land for him—you, your sons, and your servants—and you will bring food into your master’s house for them to eat. But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will always be at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my master the king commands.”
So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s own sons.12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. All who lived in Ziba’s household became Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table. He was crippled in both feet.