2 Samuel 8-12 The Message Bible

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David Extends His Kingdom

8 1  In the days that followed, David struck hard at the Philistines - brought them to their knees and took control of the countryside. 2  He also fought and defeated Moab. He chose two-thirds of them randomly and executed them. The other third he spared. So the Moabites fell under David's rule and were forced to bring tribute. 3  On his way to restore his sovereignty at the River Euphrates, David next defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob the king of Zobah. 4  He captured from him a thousand chariots, seven thousand cavalry, and twenty thousand infantry. He hamstrung all the chariot horses, but saved back a hundred. 5  When the Arameans from Damascus came to the aid of Hadadezer king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand of them. 6  David set up a puppet government in Aram-Damascus. The Arameans became subjects of David and were forced to bring tribute. God gave victory to David wherever he marched. 7  David plundered the gold shields that belonged to the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8  He also looted a great quantity of bronze from Tebah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer.

9  Toi, king of Hamath, heard that David had struck down the entire army of Hadadezer. 10  So he sent his son Joram to King David to greet and congratulate him for fighting and defeating them, for Toi and Hadadezer were old enemies. He brought with him gifts of silver, gold, and bronze. 11  King David consecrated these along with the silver and gold from all the nations he had conquered 12  - from Aram, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and from Amalek, along with the plunder from Hadadezer son of Rehob king of Zobah. 13  David built a victory monument on his return from defeating the Arameans. 14  David set up a puppet government in Edom, and the Edomites became subjects under David. God gave David victory wherever he marched.

David's Officers

15  Thus David ruled over all of Israel. He ruled well - fair and evenhanded in all his duties and relationships. 16  Joab son of Zeruiah was head of the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was clerk; 17  Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18  Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; And David's sons were priests.

David's Kindness to Mephibosheth

9 1  One day David asked, "Is there anyone left of Saul's family? If so, I'd like to show him some kindness in honor of Jonathan." 2  It happened that a servant from Saul's household named Ziba was there. They called him into David's presence. The king asked him, "Are you Ziba?" "Yes sir," he replied. 3  The king asked, "Is there anyone left from the family of Saul to whom I can show some godly kindness?" Ziba told the king, "Yes, there is Jonathan's son, lame in both feet." 4  "Where is he?" "He's living at the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar." 5  King David didn't lose a minute. He sent and got him from the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar. 6  When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan (who was the son of Saul), came before David, he bowed deeply, abasing himself, honoring David. David spoke his name: "Mephibosheth." "Yes sir?" 7  "Don't be frightened," said David. "I'd like to do something special for you in memory of your father Jonathan. To begin with, I'm returning to you all the properties of your grandfather Saul. Furthermore, from now on you'll take all your meals at my table." 8  Shuffling and stammering, not looking him in the eye, Mephibosheth said, "Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?"

9  David then called in Ziba, Saul's right-hand man, and told him, "Everything that belonged to Saul and his family, I've handed over to your master's grandson. 10  You and your sons and your servants will work his land and bring in the produce, provisions for your master's grandson. Mephibosheth himself, your master's grandson, from now on will take all his meals at my table." Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11  "All that my master the king has ordered his servant," answered Ziba, "your servant will surely do." 12  Mephibosheth also had a small son named Mica. All who were part of Ziba's household were now the servants of Mephibosheth. 13  Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, taking all his meals at the king's table. He was lame in both feet.

The Defeat of the Ammonites and Syrians

10 1  Sometime after this, the king of the Ammonites died and Hanun, his son, succeeded him as king. 2  David said, "I'd like to show some kindness to Hanun, the son of Nahash - treat him as well and as kindly as his father treated me." So David sent Hanun condolences regarding his father. 3  the Ammonite leaders warned Hanun, their head delegate, "Do you for a minute suppose that David is honoring your father by sending you comforters? Don't you think it's because he wants to snoop around the city and size it up that David has sent his emissaries to you?" 4  So Hanun seized David's men, shaved off half their beards, cut off their robes halfway up their buttocks, and sent them packing. 5  When all this was reported to David, he sent someone to meet them, for they were seriously humiliated. The king told them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow out. Only then come back."

6  When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned they stunk to high heaven, they hired Aramean soldiers from Beth-Rehob and Zobah - twenty thousand infantry - and a thousand men from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand men from Tob. 7  When David heard of this, he dispatched Joab with his strongest fighters in full force. 8  The Ammonites marched out and arranged themselves in battle formation at the city gate. The Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah took up a position out in the open fields. 9  When Joab saw that he had two fronts to fight, before and behind, he took his pick of the best of Israel and deployed them to confront the Arameans. 10  The rest of the army he put under the command of Abishai, his brother, and deployed them to confront the Ammonites. 11  Then he said, "If the Arameans are too much for me, you help me. And if the Ammonites prove too much for you, I'll come and help you. 12  Courage! We'll fight with might and main for our people and for the cities of our God. And God will do whatever he sees needs doing!" 13  But when Joab and his soldiers moved in to fight the Arameans, they ran off in full retreat. 14  Then the Ammonites, seeing the Arameans run for dear life, took to their heels from Abishai and went into the city. So Joab left off fighting the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.

15  When the Arameans saw how badly they'd been beaten by Israel, they picked up the pieces and regrouped. 16  Hadadezer sent for the Arameans who were across the River. They came to Helam. Shobach, commander of Hadadezer's army, led them. 17  All this was reported to David. 18  But the Arameans again scattered before Israel. David killed seven hundred chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry. And he mortally wounded Shobach, the army commander, who died on the battlefield. 19  When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace and became Israel's vassals. The Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites ever again.

David and Bath-sheba

11 1  When that time of year came around again, the anniversary of the Ammonite aggression, David dispatched Joab and his fighting men of Israel in full force to destroy the Ammonites for good. They laid siege to Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem. 2  One late afternoon, David got up from taking his nap and was strolling on the roof of the palace. From his vantage point on the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was stunningly beautiful. 3  David sent to ask about her, and was told, "Isn't this Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4  David sent his agents to get her. After she arrived, he went to bed with her. (This occurred during the time of "purification" following her period.) Then she returned home. 5  Before long she realized she was pregnant. Later she sent word to David: "I'm pregnant."

6  David then got in touch with Joab: "Send Uriah the Hittite to me." Joab sent him. 7  When he arrived, David asked him for news from the front - how things were going with Joab and the troops and with the fighting. 8  Then he said to Uriah, "Go home. Have a refreshing bath and a good night's rest." 9  But Uriah didn't go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance, along with the king's servants. 10  David was told that Uriah had not gone home. He asked Uriah, "Didn't you just come off a hard trip? So why didn't you go home?" 11  Uriah replied to David, "The Chest is out there with the fighting men of Israel and Judah - in tents. My master Joab and his servants are roughing it out in the fields. So, how can I go home and eat and drink and enjoy my wife? On your life, I'll not do it!" 12  "All right," said David, "have it your way. Stay for the day and I'll send you back tomorrow." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem the rest of the day. 13  David invited him to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. But in the evening Uriah again went out and slept with his master's servants. He didn't go home.

14  In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15  In the letter he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front lines where the fighting is the fiercest. Then pull back and leave him exposed so that he's sure to be killed." 16  So Joab, holding the city under siege, put Uriah in a place where he knew there were fierce enemy fighters. 17  When the city's defenders came out to fight Joab, some of David's soldiers were killed, including Uriah the Hittite. 18  Joab sent David a full report on the battle. 19  He instructed the messenger, "After you have given to the king a detailed report on the battle, 20  if he flares in anger, 21  say, 'And by the way, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.'" 22  Joab's messenger arrived in Jerusalem and gave the king a full report. 23  He said, "The enemy was too much for us. They advanced on us in the open field, and we pushed them back to the city gate. 24  But then arrows came hot and heavy on us from the city wall, and eighteen of the king's soldiers died." 25  When the messenger completed his report of the battle, David got angry at Joab. He vented it on the messenger: "Why did you get so close to the city? Didn't you know you'd be attacked from the wall? Didn't you remember how Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth got killed? Wasn't it a woman who dropped a millstone on him from the wall and crushed him at Thebez? Why did you go close to the wall!" "By the way," said Joab's messenger, "your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead." Then David told the messenger, "Oh. I see. Tell Joab, 'Don't trouble yourself over this. War kills - sometimes one, sometimes another - you never know who's next. Redouble your assault on the city and destroy it.' Encourage Joab." 26  When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she grieved for her husband. 27  When the time of mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. But God was not at all pleased with what David had done,

Nathan Reproves David

12 1  and sent Nathan to David. Nathan said to him, "There were two men in the same city - one rich, the other poor. 2  The rich man had huge flocks of sheep, herds of cattle. 3  The poor man had nothing but one little female lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up with him and his children as a member of the family. It ate off his plate and drank from his cup and slept on his bed. It was like a daughter to him. 4  "One day a traveler dropped in on the rich man. He was too stingy to take an animal from his own herds or flocks to make a meal for his visitor, so he took the poor man's lamb and prepared a meal to set before his guest." 5  David exploded in anger. "As surely as God lives," he said to Nathan, "the man who did this ought to be lynched! 6  He must repay for the lamb four times over for his crime and his stinginess!" 7  "You're the man!" said Nathan. "And here's what God, the God of Israel, has to say to you: I made you king over Israel. I freed you from the fist of Saul. 8  I gave you your master's daughter and other wives to have and to hold. I gave you both Israel and Judah. And if that hadn't been enough, I'd have gladly thrown in much more. 9  So why have you treated the word of God with brazen contempt, doing this great evil? You murdered Uriah the Hittite, then took his wife as your wife. Worse, you killed him with an Ammonite sword! 10  And now, because you treated God with such contempt and took Uriah the Hittite's wife as your wife, killing and murder will continually plague your family. 11  This is God speaking, remember! I'll make trouble for you out of your own family. I'll take your wives from right out in front of you. I'll give them to some neighbor, and he'll go to bed with them openly. 12  You did your deed in secret; I'm doing mine with the whole country watching!" 13  Then David confessed to Nathan, "I've sinned against God." 14  But because of your blasphemous behavior, the son born to you will die."

15  After Nathan went home, God afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he came down sick. 16  David prayed desperately to God for the little boy. He fasted, wouldn't go out, and slept on the floor. 17  The elders in his family came in and tried to get him off the floor, but he wouldn't budge. Nor could they get him to eat anything. 18  On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him. They said, "What do we do now? While the child was living he wouldn't listen to a word we said. Now, with the child dead, if we speak to him there's no telling what he'll do." 19  David noticed that the servants were whispering behind his back, and realized that the boy must have died. He asked the servants, "Is the boy dead?" "Yes," they answered. "He's dead." 20  David got up from the floor, washed his face and combed his hair, put on a fresh change of clothes, then went into the sanctuary and worshiped. Then he came home and asked for something to eat. They set it before him and he ate. 21  His servants asked him, "What's going on with you? While the child was alive you fasted and wept and stayed up all night. Now that he's dead, you get up and eat." 22  "While the child was alive," he said, "I fasted and wept, thinking God might have mercy on me and the child would live. 23  But now that he's dead, why fast? Can I bring him back now? I can go to him, but he can't come to me." 24  David went and comforted his wife Bathsheba. And when he slept with her, they conceived a son. When he was born they named him Solomon. God had a special love for him 25  and sent word by Nathan the prophet that God wanted him named Jedidiah (God's Beloved).

David Captures Rabbah

26  Joab, at war in Rabbah against the Ammonites, captured the royal city. 27  He sent messengers to David saying, "I'm fighting at Rabbah, and I've just captured the city's water supply. 28  Hurry and get the rest of the troops together and set up camp here at the city and complete the capture yourself. Otherwise, I'll capture it and get all the credit instead of you." 29  So David marshaled all the troops, went to Rabbah, and fought and captured it. 30  He took the crown from their king's head - very heavy with gold, and with a precious stone in it. It ended up on David's head. And they plundered the city, carrying off a great quantity of loot. 31  David emptied the city of its people and put them to slave labor using saws, picks, and axes, and making bricks. He did this to all the Ammonite cities. Then David and the whole army returned to Jerusalem.

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