2 Samuel 8-12 English Standard Version

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David Extends His Kingdom

8 After this David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines. 2  And he defeated Moab and he measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground. Two lines he measured to be put to death, and one full line to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute. 3  David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the river Euphrates. 4  And David took from him 1,700 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. And David hamstrung all the chariot horses but left enough for 100 chariots. 5  And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 men of the Syrians. 6  Then David put garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David and brought tribute. And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went. 7  And David took the shields of gold that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8  And from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took very much bronze.

9  When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, 10  Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to ask about his health and to bless him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him, for Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi. And Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold, and of bronze. 11  These also King David dedicated to the Lord, together with the silver and gold that he dedicated from all the nations he subdued, 12  from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13  And David made a name for himself when he returned from striking down 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 14  Then he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David's servants. And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.

David's Officers

15  So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people. 16  Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder, 17  and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests, and Seraiah was secretary, 18  and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over[1] the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and David's sons were priests.

David's Kindness to Mephibosheth

9 And David said, "Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" 2  Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" And he said, "I am your servant." 3  And the king said, "Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?" Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet." 4  The king said to him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said to the king, "He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar." 5  Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 6  And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, "Mephibosheth!" And he answered, "Behold, I am your servant." 7  And David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always." 8  And he paid homage and said, "What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?"

9  Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson. 10  And you and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him and shall bring in the produce, that your master's grandson may have bread to eat. But Mephibosheth your master's grandson shall always eat at my table." Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11  Then Ziba said to the king, "According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so will your servant do." So Mephibosheth ate at David's[2] table, like one of the king's sons. 12  And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba's house became Mephibosheth's servants. 13  So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king's table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

The Defeat of the Ammonites and Syrians

10 After this the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. 2  And David said, "I will deal loyally[3] with Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father dealt loyally with me." So David sent by his servants to console him concerning his father. And David's servants came into the land of the Ammonites. 3  But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Has not David sent his servants to you to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it?" 4  So Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half the beard of each and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away. 5  When it was told David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, "Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return."

6  When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob, 12,000 men. 7  And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men. 8  And the Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the gate, and the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the open country. 9  When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. 10  The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11  And he said, "If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12  Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him." 13  So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 14  And when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians fled, they likewise fled before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.

15  But when the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16  And Hadadezer sent and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the Euphrates.[4] They came to Helam, with Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17  And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan and came to Helam. The Syrians arrayed themselves against David and fought with him. 18  And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David killed of the Syrians the men of 700 chariots, and 40,000 horsemen, and wounded Shobach the commander of their army, so that he died there. 19  And when all the kings who were servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became subject to them. So the Syrians were afraid to save the Ammonites anymore.

David and Bath-sheba

11 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2  It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3  And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4  So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. ( Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 5  And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, "I am pregnant."

6  So David sent word to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7  When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. 8  Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." And Uriah went out of the king's house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9  But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10  When they told David, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" 11  Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing." 12  Then David said to Uriah, "Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13  And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14  In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15  In the letter he wrote, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die." 16  And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17  And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died. 18  Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. 19  And he instructed the messenger, "When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20  then, if the king's anger rises, and if he says to you, 'Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21  Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?' then you shall say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.'" 22  So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23  The messenger said to David, "The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24  Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also." 25  David said to the messenger, "Thus shall you say to Joab, 'Do not let this matter trouble you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.' And encourage him." 26  When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27  And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

Nathan Reproves David

12 And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, "There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2  The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3  but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms,[5] and it was like a daughter to him. 4  Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." 5  Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6  and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." 7  Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8  And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9  Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' 11  Thus says the Lord, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12  For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.'" 13  David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14  Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord,[6] the child who is born to you shall die."

15  Then Nathan went to his house. And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16  David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17  And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18  On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, "Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm." 19  But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" They said, "He is dead." 20  Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21  Then his servants said to him, "What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food." 22  He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, 'Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' 23  But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." 24  Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him 25  and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah,[7] because of the Lord.

David Captures Rabbah

26  Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and took the royal city. 27  And Joab sent messengers to David and said, "I have fought against Rabbah; moreover, I have taken the city of waters. 28  Now then gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and it be called by my name." 29  So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah and fought against it and took it. 30  And he took the crown of their king from his head. The weight of it was a talent[8] of gold, and in it was a precious stone, and it was placed on David's head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount. 31  And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and iron axes and made them toil at[9] the brick kilns. And thus he did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

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Footnotes

[1] 8:18 Compare 20:23, 1 Chronicles 18:17, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks was over

[2] 9:11 Septuagint; Hebrew my

[3] 10:2 Or kindly; twice in this verse

[4] 10:16 Hebrew the River

[5] 12:3 Hebrew bosom; also verse 8

[6] 12:14 Masoretic Text the enemies of the Lord; Dead Sea Scroll the word of the Lord

[7] 12:25 Jedidiah means beloved of the Lord

[8] 12:30 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms

[9] 12:31 Hebrew pass through

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