1 Chronicles 18-21 Bible in Basic English

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David Extends His Kingdom

18 1  And it came about after this that David made an attack on the Philistines and overcame them, and took Gath with its daughter-towns out of the hands of the Philistines. 2  And he overcame Moab, and the Moabites became his servants and gave him offerings. 3  Then David overcame Hadadezer, king of Zobah, near Hamath, when he was going to make his power seen by the river Euphrates. 4  And David took from him a thousand war-carriages and seven thousand horsemen and twenty thousand footmen: and he had the leg-muscles of all the horses cut, keeping only enough of them for a hundred war-carriages. 5  And when the Aramaeans of Damascus came to the help of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, David put to the sword twenty-two thousand Aramaeans. 6  Then David put armed forces in Damascus, and the Aramaeans became his servants and gave him offerings. And the Lord made David overcome wherever he went. 7  And the gold body-covers of the servants of Hadadezer, David took to Jerusalem. 8  And from Tibhath and from Cun, towns of Hadadezer, David took a great store of brass, of which Solomon made the great brass water-vessel and the brass pillars and vessels.

9  Now when Tou, king of Hamath, had news that David had overcome all the army of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, 10  He sent his son Hadoram to King David, to give him words of peace and blessing, because he had overcome Hadadezer in the fight, for Hadadezer had been at war with Tou; and he gave him all sorts of vessels of gold and silver and brass. 11  These King David made holy to the Lord, together with the silver and gold he had taken from all nations; from Edom and Moab and from the children of Ammon and from the Philistines and from Amalek. 12  And when he came back from putting to the sword eighteen thousand of the Edomites in the Valley of Salt, 13  David put armed forces in all the towns of Edom; and all the Edomites became servants to David. The Lord made David overcome wherever he went.

David's Officers

14  So David was king over all Israel, judging and giving right decisions for all his people. 15  And Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the army; and Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, was keeper of the records. 16  And Zadok, the son of Ahitub; and Ahimelech, the son of Abiathar, were priests; and Shavsha was the scribe; 17  And Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief of those whose places were at the king's side.

The Defeat of the Ammonites and Syrians

19 1  Now it came about after this that death came to Nahash, the king of the children of Ammon, and his son became king in his place. 2  And David said, I will be a friend to Hanun, the son of Nahash, because his father was a friend to me. So David sent men to him, to give him words of comfort on account of his father. And the servants of David came to Hanun, to the land of the children of Ammon, offering him comfort. 3  But the chiefs of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Does it seem to you that David is honouring your father, by sending comforters to you? is it not clear that these men have only come to go through the land and to make secret observation of it so that they may overcome it? 4  So Hanun took David's servants, and cutting off their hair and the skirts of their robes up to the middle, sent them away. 5  Then certain men went and gave David word of what had been done to them. And he sent out with the purpose of meeting them; for the men were greatly shamed. And the king said, Keep where you are at Jericho till your hair is long again, and then come back.

6  And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves hated by David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver as payment for war-carriages and horsemen from Mesopotamia and Aram-maacah and Zobah. 7  So with this money they got thirty-two thousand war-carriages, and the help of the king of Maacah and his people, who came and took up their position in front of Medeba. And the children of Ammon came together from their towns for the fight. 8  And David, hearing of it, sent Joab with all the army of fighting-men. 9  So the children of Ammon came out and put their forces in position on the way into the town; and the kings who had come were stationed by themselves in the field. 10  Now when Joab saw that their forces were in position against him in front and at his back, he took all the best men of Israel, and put them in line against the Aramaeans; 11  And the rest of the people he put in position against the children of Ammon with Abishai, his brother, at their head. 12  And he said, If the Aramaeans are stronger and get the better of me, then come to my help; and if the children of Ammon get the better of you, I will come to your help. 13  Take heart, and let us be strong for our people and for the towns of our God; and may the Lord do what seems good to him. 14  So Joab and the people who were with him went forward into the fight against the Aramaeans, and they went in flight before him. 15  And when the children of Ammon saw the flight of the Aramaeans, they themselves went in flight from Abishai, his brother, and came into the town. Then Joab came back to Jerusalem. 16  And when the Aramaeans saw that Israel had overcome them, they sent men to get the Aramaeans who were on the other side of the River, with Shophach, the captain of Hadadezer's army, at their head. 17  And word of this was given to David; and he got all Israel together and went over Jordan and came to Helam and put his forces in position against them. And when David's forces were in position against the Aramaeans, the fight was started. 18  And the Aramaeans went in flight before Israel; and David put to the sword the men of seven thousand Aramaean war-carriages and forty thousand footmen, and put to death Shophach, the captain of the army. 19  And when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were overcome by Israel, they made peace with David and became his servants: and the Aramaeans would give no more help to the children of Ammon.

David Captures Rabbah

20 1  Now in the spring, at the time when kings go out to war, Joab went out at the head of the armed forces and made waste all the land of the Ammonites and put his men in position before Rabbah, shutting it in. But David was still at Jerusalem. And Joab took Rabbah and made it waste. 2  And David took the crown of Milcom from off his head; its weight was a talent of gold and it had stones of great price in it; and it was put on David's head, and he took a great store of goods from the town. 3  And he took the people out of the town and put them to work with wood-cutting instruments, and iron grain-crushers, and axes. And this he did to all the towns of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the people went back to Jerusalem.

The Giants Slain by David's Men

4  Now after this there was war with the Philistines at Gezer; then Sibbecai the Hushathite put to death Sippai, one of the offspring of the Rephaim; and they were overcome. 5  And again there was war with the Philistines; and Elhanan, the son of Jair, put to death Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the stem of whose spear was like a cloth-worker's rod. 6  And again there was war at Gath, where there was a very tall man, who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six fingers on his hands and six toes on his feet; he was one of the offspring of the Rephaim. 7  And when he put shame on Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shimea, David's brother, put him to death. 8  These were of the offspring of the Rephaim in Gath; they came to their death by the hands of David and his servants.

David Numbers Israel and Judah

21 1  Now Satan, designing evil against Israel, put into David's mind the impulse to take the number of Israel. 2  And David said to Joab and the captains of the people, Now let all Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan, be numbered; and give me word so that I may be certain of their number. 3  And Joab said, May the Lord make his people a hundred times more in number than they are; but, my lord king, are they not all my lord's servants? why would my lord have this done? why will he become a cause of sin to Israel? 4  But the king's word was stronger than Joab's. So Joab went out and went through all Israel and came to Jerusalem. 5  And Joab gave David the number of all the people; all the men of Israel, able to take up arms, were one million, one hundred thousand men; and those of Judah were four hundred and seventy thousand men, able to take up arms. 6  But Levi and Benjamin were not numbered among them, for Joab was disgusted with the king's order.

7  And God was not pleased with this thing; so he sent punishment on Israel. 8  Then David said to God, Great has been my sin in doing this; but now, be pleased to take away the sin of your servant, for I have done very foolishly. 9  Then the word of the Lord came to Gad, David's seer, saying, 10  Go and say to David, The Lord says, Three things are offered to you: say which of them you will have, so that I may do it to you. 11  So Gad came to David and said to him, The Lord says, Take whichever you will: 12  Three years when there will not be enough food; or three months of war, when you will go in flight before your haters, being in great danger of the sword; or three days of the sword of the Lord, disease in the land, and the angel of the Lord taking destruction through all the land of Israel. Now give thought to the answer I am to take back to him who sent me. 13  And David said to Gad, This is a hard decision for me to make: let me come into the hands of the Lord, for great are his mercies: let me not come into the hands of men. 14  So the Lord sent disease on Israel, causing the death of seventy thousand men. 15  And God sent an angel to Jerusalem for its destruction: and when he was about to do so, the Lord saw, and had regret for the evil, and said to the angel of destruction, It is enough; do no more. Now the angel of the Lord was by the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16  And David, lifting up his eyes, saw the angel of the Lord there between earth and heaven, with an uncovered sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the responsible men, clothed in haircloth, went down on their faces. 17  And David said to God, Was it not I who gave the order for the people to be numbered? It is I who have done the sin and the great wrong; but these are only sheep; what have they done? let your hand, O Lord God, be lifted up against me and against my family, but not against your people to send disease on them.

18  Then the angel of the Lord gave orders to Gad to say to David that he was to go and put up an altar to the Lord on the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19  And David went up, as Gad had said in the name of the Lord. 20  And Ornan, turning back, saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him went to a secret place. Now Ornan was crushing his grain. 21  And when David came, Ornan, looking, saw him, and came out from the grain-floor and went down on his face to the earth before him. 22  Then David said to Ornan, Give me the place where this grain-floor is, so that I may put up an altar here to the Lord: let me have it for its full price; so that this disease may be stopped among the people. 23  And Ornan said to David, Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems right to him. See, I give you the oxen for burned offerings and the grain-cleaning instruments for fire-wood, and the grain for the meal offering; I give it all. 24  And King David said to Ornan, No; I will certainly give you the full price for it, because I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or give a burned offering without payment. 25  So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place. 26  And David put up an altar there to the Lord, offering burned offerings and peace-offerings with prayers to the Lord; and he gave him an answer from heaven, sending fire on the altar of burned offering. 27  Then the Lord gave orders to the angel, and he put back his sword into its cover.

The Site for the Temple

28  At that time, when David saw that the Lord had given him an answer on the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he made an offering there. 29  For the House of the Lord, which Moses had made in the waste land, and the altar of burned offerings, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30  But David was not able to go before it to get directions from the Lord, so great was his fear of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

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