Reading 115/341, 1 Chronicles 20-23

...1 Chronicles...

It happened, at the time of the return of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that Joab led forth the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. Joab struck Rabbah, and overthrew it. David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it, and it was set on David's head, and he brought forth the spoil of the city, exceeding much. He brought forth the people who were therein, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Thus did David to all the cities of the children of Ammon. David and all the people returned to Jerusalem. It happened after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines, then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, of the sons of the giant, and they were subdued. There was again war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. There was again war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were twenty-four, six on each hand, and six on each foot, and he also was born to the giant. When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David's brother killed him. These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants. Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me word, that I may know the sum of them. Joab said, the Lord make his people a hundred times as many as they are, but, my lord the king, are not they all my lord's servants? Why does my lord require this thing? Why will he be a cause of guilt to Israel? Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people to David. All those of Israel were one million one hundred thousand men who drew sword, and in Judah were four hundred seventy thousand men who drew sword. But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them; for the king's word was abominable to Joab. God was displeased with this thing; therefore he struck Israel. David said to God, I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing, but now, put away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly. The Lord spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and speak to David, saying, 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 said to him, Thus says the Lord, Take which you will, either three years of famine; or three months to be consumed before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days the sword of the Lord, pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me. David said to Gad, I am in a great strait, let me fall, I pray, into the hand of the Lord; for very great are his mercies, and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, and as he was about to destroy, the Lord saw, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the destroying angel, It is enough; now stay your hand. The angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and the sky, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. David said to God, Is not it I who commanded the people to be numbered? It is I who have sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O the Lord my God, be against me, and against my father's house; but not against your people, that they should be diseased. Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to tell David, that David should go up, and raise an altar to the Lord in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spoke in the name of the Lord. Ornan turned back, and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing floor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, Give me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build thereon an altar to the Lord, for the full price shall you give it me, that the disease may be stayed from the people. Ornan said to David, Take it to you, and let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes, behold, I give you the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering; I give it all. King David said to Ornan, No; but I will most certainly buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer a burnt offering without cost. So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the Lord, and he answered him from the sky by fire on the altar of burnt offering. The Lord commanded the angel, and he put up his sword again into the sheath of it. At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. For the tent of the Lord, which Moses made in the desert, and the altar of burnt offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. But David could not go before it to inquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the Lord. Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel. David commanded to gather together the immigrants who were in the land of Israel, and he set masons to hew worked stones to build the house of God. David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the couplings, and bronze in abundance without weight, and cedar trees without number, for the Sidonians and they of Tyre brought cedar trees in abundance to David. David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries, I will therefore make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death. Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon his son, As for me, it was in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars, you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days, he shall build a house for my name, and he shall be my son, and I will be his father, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever. Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and prosper you, and build the house of the Lord your God, as he has spoken concerning you. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and put you in charge of Israel; that so you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then shall you prosper, if you observe to do the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord gave Moses concerning Israel. Be strong, and of good courage. Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed. Now, behold, in my affliction I have prepared for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold, and one thousand thousand talents of silver, and of bronze and iron without weight; for it is in abundance, timber also and stone have I prepared, and you may add to them. There are also workmen with you in abundance, cutters and workers of stone and timber, and all kinds of men who are skillful in every kind of work, of the gold, the silver, and the bronze, and the iron, there is no number. Arise and be doing, and the Lord be with you. David also commanded all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, Is not the Lord your God with you? Has not he given you rest on every side? for he has delivered the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the Lord, and before his people. Now set your heart and your soul to seek after the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord. Now David was old and full of days, and he made Solomon his son king over Israel. He gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. The Levites were numbered from thirty years old and upward, and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty-eight thousand. Of these, twenty-four thousand were to oversee the work of the house of the Lord, and six thousand were officers and judges, and four thousand were doorkeepers, and four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, for giving praise. David divided them into divisions according to the sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Of the Gershonites, Ladan and Shimei. The sons of Ladan, Jehiel the chief, and Zetham, and Joel, three. The sons of Shimei, Shelomoth, and Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the heads of the fathers' houses of Ladan. The sons of Shimei, Jahath, Zina, and Jeush, and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei. Jahath was the chief, and Zizah the second, but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons; therefore they became a fathers' house in one reckoning. The sons of Kohath, Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four. The sons of Amram, Aaron and Moses, and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the Most Holy things, he and his sons, forever, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister to him, and to bless in his name, forever. But as for Moses the man of God, his sons were named among the tribe of Levi. The sons of Moses, Gershom and Eliezer. The sons of Gershom, Shebuel the chief. The sons of Eliezer were, Rehabiah the chief, and Eliezer had no other sons; but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. The sons of Izhar, Shelomith the chief. The sons of Hebron, Jeriah the chief, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. The sons of Uzziel, Micah the chief, and Isshiah the second. The sons of Merari, Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli, Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died, and had no sons, but daughters only, and their brothers the sons of Kish took them to wife. The sons of Mushi, Mahli, and Eder, and Jeremoth, three. These were the sons of Levi after their fathers' houses, the heads of the fathers' houses of those who were counted individually, in the number of names by their polls, who did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from twenty years old and upward. For David said, the Lord, the God of Israel, has given rest to his people, and he dwells in Jerusalem forever, and also the Levites shall no more have need to carry the tent and all the vessels of it for the service of it. For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered, from twenty years old and upward. For their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, the work of the service of the house of God; for the bread of the Presence also, and for the fine flour for a grain offering, whether of unleavened wafers, or of what is baked in the pan, or of what is soaked, and for all manner of measure and size, and to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise in the evening, and to offer all burnt offerings to the Lord, on the Sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the set feasts, in number according to the ordinance concerning them, continually before the Lord, and that they should keep the charge of the tent of meeting, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brothers, for the service of the house of the Lord.

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