Reading 92/341, 2 Samuel 23-1 Kings 1.31

[A] Today the story of David is finished and we enter the book of Kings which will cover the years from about 1000 to 500 BC.
[B] We see Uriah the Hittite listed among the mighty men of David, making his murder all the more offensive. He was a close companion of David and a hero of Israel.
[C] The language of the census story is confusing. God is angry with Israel, so he tells David to count the people. Then, he punishes Israel for having counted the people. If the Lord was really angry with Israel, then why did he need this pretense? Perhaps the first part about God inciting David is merely a figure of speech. The reason that the census was a sin was because by doing a census, David was claiming that the people were his, not God's.
[D] As the book of Kings begins, we see David who began as a "handsome youth, splendid to behold" become a decrepit man with a nurse. Even the greatest men, if they do not succumb to battle, will fall apart and die of old age.

...2 Samuel

Now these are the last words of David: David the son of Jesse says, the man who was raised on high says, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me. His word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel said to me, “When one rules over men righteously, ruling in the fear of God, he shall be for them as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, when the tender grass springs out of the earth from rain. Does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and secure. For will he not cause all my help and desire to grow? But all of the ungodly shall be as thorns to be thrust away, because they cannot be taken with the hand, but the man who touches them must be armed with iron and the staff of a spear. They shall be utterly burned with fire in their place.

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb Basshebeth, a Tahchemonite, chief of the three; he wielded his spear against eight hundred, whom he killed at one time. After him was Eleazar, the son of Dodai, the son of an Ahohi, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines who were gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. He arose, and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand froze to the sword, and the Lord worked a great victory that day, and the people returned after him only to take spoil. After him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the midst of the plot, and defended it, and killed the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory. Three of the thirty chief men went down, and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, and the troop of the Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. David longed, and said, “O that one would give me water to drink of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” The three mighty men broke through the army of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David, but he would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord. He said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.

Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. He lifted up his spear against three hundred and killed them, and had a name among the three. Was he not the most honorable of the thirty? Therefore he was made their captain, however he did not attain to the three. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, struck down two Ariels of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in a pit in time of snow. He killed an Egyptian, a handsome man, and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had a name among the three mighty men. He was honorable among the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. David set him over his guard. Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash, Abialbon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maacathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor bearers to Joab the son of Zeruiah, Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, Uriah the Hittite, thirty-seven in all.

Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” The king said to Joab the captain of the army, who was with him, “Go now back and forth through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the sum of the people.” Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God add to the people, however many they may be, one hundred times, while the eyes of my lord the king see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” Nevertheless, the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the army. Joab and the captains of the army went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. They passed over the Jordan, and encamped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley toward Gad, and to Jazer, then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi, and they came to Dan, and round about to Sidon, and came to the stronghold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the Negeb of Judah, at Beersheba. So when they had gone back and forth through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people to the king, and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand.

David's heart struck him after that he had numbered the people. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done, but now, O Lord, take away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly.” When David rose up in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, I offer you three things, choose you one of them, that I may do it to you.’” So Gad came to David, and told him, and said to him, “Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Choose now, and consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” David said to Gad, I am in great distress, let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercies are great, and let me not fall into the hand of man.” So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning to the time appointed, and there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men. When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented of the evil, and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough, now stay your hand.” The angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who struck the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done perversely; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me, and against my father's house.” Gad came that day to David, and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the Lord in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” David went up according to the saying of Gad, as the Lord commanded. Araunah looked forth, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him, and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor of you, to build an altar to the Lord, that the disease may be stayed from the people.” Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him, behold, the oxen for the burnt offering, and the threshing instruments and the yokes of the oxen for the wood, all this, O king, does Araunah give to the king.” Araunah said to the king, “The Lord your God accept you.” The king said to Araunah, “No, but I will most certainly buy it of you at a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord responded to the entreaty for the land, and the disease was stayed from Israel.

1 Kings...

Now King David was old and stricken in years, and though they covered him with clothes, he got no heat. Therefore his servants said to him, “Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin, and let her stand before the king, and cherish him, and let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may keep warm.” So they sought for a beautiful young lady throughout all the borders of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young lady was very beautiful, and she cherished the king, and ministered to him, but the king knew her not.

Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king, and he prepared chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, “Why have you done so?”, and he was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom. He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed Adonijah and helped him. But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men of David, were not with Adonijah. Adonijah killed sheep and oxen and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel, and he called all his brothers, the king's sons, and all royal officials of Judah, but he did not invite Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother. Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns, and David our lord does not know it? Now therefore come, please let me give you counsel, that you may save your own life, and the life of your son Solomon. Go in at once to King David, and tell him, “Did you not, my lord king, swear to your handmaid, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? Why then does Adonijah reign?” Behold, while you yet talk there with the king, I also will come in after you, and confirm your words.

Bathsheba went in to the king in the chamber, and the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance to the king. The king said, “What do you desire?” She said to him, “My lord, you swore by the Lord your God to your handmaid, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.’ Now, behold, Adonijah reigns, and you, my lord the king, do not know it. He has slain oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the army, but he has not called Solomon your servant. You, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, that you should tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise it will happen, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.” Behold, while she yet spoke with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. They told the king, saying, “Behold, Nathan the prophet.” When he had come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. Nathan said, “My lord, king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne?’ For he is gone down this day, and has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has called all the king's sons, and the captains of the army, and Abiathar the priest, and behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and say, ‘Long live king Adonijah.’ But he has not called me, your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon. Is this thing done by my lord the king, and you have not shown to your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?” Then king David answered, “Call to me Bathsheba.” She came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. The king swore, and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all adversity, most certainly as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’ most certainly so will I do this day.” Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did obeisance to the king, and said, “May my lord king David live forever.”

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