2 Samuel 23–24

1 Now these are the last words of David:

The oracle of David the son of Jesse,

the oracle of the man who was raised on high,

the anointed of the God of Jacob,

and the favorite psalmist of Israel:

2 The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,

and His word was on my tongue.

3 The God of Israel said,

the Rock of Israel spoke to me:

He who rules over man justly,

who rules in the fear of God,

4 is like the light of the morning when the sun rises,

a morning with no clouds,

gleaming after the rain

like grass from the land.

5 Is not my house like this with God?

For He made an everlasting covenant with me,

ordered in all things and secure.

For this is all my salvation and all my desire;

will He not make it flourish?

6 But the worthless individual is like a thorn tossed away, all of them,

for they cannot be taken with the hand.

7 But the man who touches them

must have an iron implement and the shaft of a spear,

and they must be burned with fire on the spot.

8 These are the names of the warriors whom David had:

Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was head of the three. He was also known as Adino the Eznite, on account of eight hundred slain on one occasion.

9 After him was Eleazar the son of Dodai the son of Ahohi. He was among the three warriors with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered together there to fight when the men of Israel withdrew. 10 He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand grew weary and stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the people returned only to plunder.

11 After him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered into a troop, where the plot of the field was full of lentils, and the people fled before the Philistines. 12 He took his stand in the midst of the plot of land, defended it, and defeated the Philistines. The Lord brought about a great victory.

13 Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David at the cave of Adullam during the harvest. Now the Philistine army was in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time, David was in the stronghold while the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 David said longingly, “O that someone would give me a drink of water from the well in Bethlehem by the gate!” 16 The three warriors breached the Philistine camp and drew up water from the well in Bethlehem by the gate, and they brought it to David. However, he was not willing to drink it, so he poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord. 17 He said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, to drink this, the blood of the men who risked their lives.” So he was not willing to drink it.

These things the three warriors did.

18 Now Abishai, the brother of Joab and son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. He wielded his spear against three hundred men and killed them, and won a name beside the three. 19 Was he more honored than the three? He became their commander, but he did not attain to the three.

20 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done great acts. He struck down two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. 21 He struck down an Egyptian, an impressive man. Now the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff, seized the spear from the Egyptian, and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did and won for himself a name alongside the three. 23 He was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. So David set him over his bodyguard.

24 Among the thirty were

Asahel the brother of Joab,

Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,

25 Shammah the Harodite,

Elika the Harodite,

26 Helez the Paltite,

Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite,

27 Abiezer the Anathothite,

Mebunnai the Hushathite,

28 Zalmon the Ahohite,

Maharai the Netophathite,

29 Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,

Ithai the son of Ribai from Gibeah of Benjamin,

30 Benaiah the Pirathonite,

Hiddai from the brooks of Gaash,

31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite,

Azmaveth the Barhumite,

32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

of the sons of Jashen,


33 Shammah the Hararite,

Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite,

34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maakathite,

Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,

35 Hezro the Carmelite,

Paarai the Arbite,

36 Igal the son of Nathan from Zobah,

the son of Hagri,

37 Zelek the Ammonite,

Naharai the Beerothite, the armor bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,

38 Ira the Ithrite,

Gareb the Ithrite,

39 and Uriah the Hittite.

There were thirty-seven in all.

Chapter 24

1 Again the Lord became angry against Israel, and He incited David against them, saying, “Go and count the people of Israel and Judah.”

2 The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go throughout all of the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and muster the people so that I may know the number of the people.”

3 Joab said to the king, “May the Lord your God add to the people however many they are one hundred times over in the sight of my lord the king. But why does my lord the king so desire this thing?”

4 However, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from before the king to register the people of Israel.

5 They crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, south of the city, in the middle of the ravine of Gad toward Jazer. 6 They went toward Gilead to the land of Tahtim Hodshi. Then they went toward Dan Jaan and around to Sidon. 7 They went to the fortress of Tyre and all of the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. They went to the Negev and Beersheba.

8 They went throughout the entire land, and after nine months and twenty days, they came to Jerusalem.

9 Joab gave the count of the census of the people to the king. There were eight hundred thousand capable men who could draw a sword in Israel, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand.

10 Now the heart of David struck him after he had counted the people. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by what I have done. Now may the Lord take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have behaved very foolishly.”

11 When David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, the seer for David, saying, 12 “Go and speak to David: Thus says the Lord: Three options I am laying before you. Choose for yourself one of them, and I will do this to you.”

13 So Gad came to David and told him. He said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days of plague in your land? Now consider and advise what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.”

14 David said to Gad, “I am very distressed. Let us fall by the hand of the Lord, for His mercy is great. May I not fall by the hand of man.”

15 So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time. Seventy thousand men from the people died, from Dan to Beersheba. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity. He said to the angel who was annihilating the people, “Enough! Now stay your hand.” The angel of the Lord was at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

17 On seeing the angel who was striking down the people, David said to the Lord, “I am the one who has sinned and I am the one who has done wrong. These sheep, what have they done? Please, let your hand be against me and against the house of my father.”

18 Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up and erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up according to the word of Gad, as the Lord commanded. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his servants coming toward him, he went out and bowed low to the king with his face on the ground.

21 Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

David replied, “To purchase the threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to the Lord, so that the plague may be averted from the people.”

22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and yokes of the oxen for wood. 23 Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” Araunah also said to the king, “May the Lord your God be favorable toward you.”

24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, for I will certainly purchase from you for a fair price. I will not offer up to the Lord burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

So David purchased the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 David built an altar to the Lord there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Then the land pleaded with the Lord, and the plague was averted from Israel.

Luke 19:1–27

1 Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 A man was there named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 He tried to see who Jesus was, but was not able from the crowd, because he was little in stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was to pass that way.

5 When Jesus came to the vicinity, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must remain at your house.” 6 So he hurried and came down, and received Him joyfully.

7 When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”

8 But Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I will repay him four times as much.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

11 As they heard these things, He continued and told them a parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would immediately appear. 12 Therefore He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called his ten servants and entrusted to them ten pounds and said to them, ‘Trade until I come.’

14 “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’

15 “When he returned, having received the kingdom, he summoned these servants, to whom he had entrusted the money, that he might know what everyone gained by trading.

16 “The first came, saying, ‘Master, your pound has made ten pounds more.’

17 “He said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in very little, take authority over ten cities.’

18 “The second came, saying, ‘Master, your pound has made five pounds more.’

19 “He said in like manner to him, ‘You, take authority over five cities.’

20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, look, here is your pound, which I have kept put away in a napkin. 21 For I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’

22 “He said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an exacting man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not deposit my money in the bank, so that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’

24 “Then he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to him who has ten pounds.’

25 “They said to him, ‘Master, he has ten pounds.’

26 “‘I tell you that to everyone who has will be given. But from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But as for those enemies of mine, who would not let me reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.’”