1 Chronicles

When the Sacred books began to be organized, the Mosaic books were followed by a history of Israel that went from the Book of Joshua to the Book of Kings. Their authors shared the prophets’ views that were also those of Deuteronomy: God made a Covenant with Israel, gave it the land, provided that Israel would remain faithful to the Covenant. In the course of the centuries, there were more and more infidelities and this is why the two kingdoms, Israel and then Judah, lost their land. Yet, after the disaster, there was still hope. God did not go back on his promise: the land of Palestine and the Temple of Jerusalem remain at the center of God’s plan and the conversion of the people will usher in a new age.

In the fifth century, this hope encouraged those who were returning from the Exile, as well as the last prophets. Then, with Zerubbabel, Nehemiah and Ezra, the Temple and the city were rebuilt and the cult was reorganized. Time was passing by and the Jewish community was getting used to being just a province of the Persian Empire: it was satisfied with having imposed its own identity under the leadership of its priests. This is when the books of the royal period seem dated.

People no longer expected anything from the kings and priests had full authority… There was no interest in the history of the kingdom but rather, in the roles that priests had in it. The Mosaic books were rewritten to put the laws dealing with worship in the first place and this type of work continued until the contemporary period, that is to say, Ezra’s reform. The history of Israel will take its readers from Moses, who foresaw everything, to Ezra, who reformed everything, by way of holy king David who established the liturgy.

The Book of Chronicles was written in this setting. The book is full of genealogies since the religious status of priests depended on their family of origin. Therefore, we should not be surprised by the fabulous genealogies at the beginning of the book. It is full of extraordinary numbers (this was also the case of Numbers with the 600,000 men of Exodus). This history is only interested in the Kingdom of Judah as it ignores or condemns a priori everything the other tribes of Israel had experienced.

Did the authors want Chronicles to replace the previous books that we have mentioned? God did not allow that to happen and Chronicles simply completed Samuel and Kings. They even preserved strange traditions that the latter ignored. At times, they show the narrow-mindedness that characterizes people who live for one or two principles. But they also offer us a grandiose vision of the worship of God, a people’s prayer and the conviction that this chosen people can and must have its own identity. Among other things, we will notice this conviction: unity constitutes both the richness and the first obligation of the people of God, that is to say, the condition for our obedience to God to be authentic. This assertion is still valid for the Church of Christ.

Peoples and cities and their relationship with the Israelites


1Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2Kenan, Mahalel, Jared, 3Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, 4Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth.

5Sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, the Medes, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, Tiras. 6Sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Diphath, Togarmah. 7Sons of Javan: Elisha, Tarshish, the Kittim, the Daanites.

8Sons of Ham: Cush, Misraim, Put, Canaan.

9Sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama, Sabteca, Sons of Raamah: Sheba, Dedan. 10Cush became father of Nimrod, the first potentate on earth.

11Misraim became of the people of Lud, of Anam, of Lehab, of Naptu, 12of Pathros, Casluh and Caphtor, from which the Philistines came. 13Canaan became father of Sidon, his firstborn, then Heth, 14and the Jebusites, the Amorites, Girgashites, 15Hivites, Sinites, 16Arvadites, Zemarites, Hamathites.

17Sons of Shem, Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram. Sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshech. 18Arpachshad became father of Shelah, and Shelah became father of Eber. 19To Eber were born two sons; the first was called Peleg, because it was in his time the earth was divided, and his brother was called Joktan.

20Joktan became father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23Ophir, Havilah, Jobab; all these are sons of Joktan.

24Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, 25Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27Abram, that is Abraham.

Descendants of Abraham

28Sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael. 29Sons of Ishmael: Nebaioth (his firstborn) then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah.

32Sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Sons of Joksham: Sheba and Dedan. 33Sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, Eldaah.

34Abraham was the father of Isaac who had two sons: Esau and Israel. 35The descendants of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah. 36The descendants of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna and Amalek. 37The descendants of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. 38The sons of Seir were: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. 39The clans descended from Lotan were Hori and Homam. Lotan’s sister was named Timna. 40The clans descended from Shobal were Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. The descendants of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah. 41Anah had a son named Dishon, who was the ancestor of the clans of Hamran, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 42Ezer was the ancestor of the clans of Bilhan, Zaavan, and Jaakan. Sons of Dishau: Uz and Aran.

43Here are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before an Israelite king ruled: Bela son of Bero; his city was called Dinhabah. 44When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king. 45When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites became king. 46When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad became king; he defeated the Midianites in the country of Moab, and his city was called Avith. 47When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah became king. 48Samlah died and Saul of Rehoboth-han-nahar became king. 49When Saul died, Baal-hanan son of Achbor became king. 50When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king. His city was called Pai; his wife’s name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, from Mezahab.

51After Hadad died, these were the chiefs of Edom: Chief of Timna, Chief of Aliah, Chief Jetheth, 52Chief Oholibamah, Chief of Elah, Chief Pinon, 53Chief Kenaz, Chief Teman, Chief Mibzar, 54Chief Magdiel, and Chief Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom.

The sons of Jacob and the descendants of Judah


1These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar and Zebulun; 2Dan, Joseph and Benjamin, Nephtali; Gad and Asher.

3Judah had five sons in all. The first three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanite woman. They were Er, Onan and Shelah. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was so evil that Yahweh put him to death. 4By his daughter-in-law Tamar, Judah had two more sons, Perez and Zerah. 5Perez had two sons, Hezron and Hamul. 6His brother Zerah had five sons: Zimri, Hetan, Heman, Calcol and Dara. 7One of them, Achar, son of Carmi—brought trouble upon the people of Israel by keeping loot that had been devoted to God. 8Ethan had one son, Azariah.

9Hezron became the father of Jerahmeel, Ram, and Caleb. 10Ram was the father of Amminadab; Amminadab of Nahshan. 11Nahshan, who was a prince of the tribe of Judah, was the father of Salmon; Salmon of Boaz; 12Boaz of Obed; Obed of Jesse. 13Jesse had seven sons: Eliab, the firstborn, Abinadab, Shammah, 14Nethanel, Raddai, 15Ozem and David, the youngest. Jesse had two daughters: Zerwiah and Abigail. 16Zerwiah had three sons: Abishai, Joab and Asahel. 17Abigail married Jether the Ishmaelite. They had a son named Amasa.

18Caleb, son of Hezron, married Azubah and had a daughter named Jerioth. Jerioth had three sons: Jesher, Shobab and Ardon. 19Azubah died, and Caleb married Ephrath, and they had a son named Hur. 20Hur became father of Uri and grandfather of Bezalel.

21When Hezron was sixty years old he married Machir’s daughter, the sister of Gilead. They had a son named Segub, who had a son named Jair. 22Jair ruled twenty-three towns in the land of Gilead. 23But the kingdoms of Geshur and Aram took from them the villages of Jair, that is Kenath and its towns, sixty towns in all. All this had belonged to the descendants of Machir, father of Gilead.

24After Hezron’s death, his son Caleb married Ephrathah, his father’s widow. They had a son named Ashur, the father of Tekoa.

25Jerahmeel, Hezron’s eldest son, had five sons: Ram, his firstborn, Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. 26Jerahmeel had another wife called Atarah; she was the mother of Onam.

27Ram had three sons: Maaz, Jamin and Eker.

28Onam was the father of Shammai and Jada; Shammai, of Nadab and Abishur. 29Abishur’s wife was called Abihail; she bore him Ahban and Molid. 30Nadab had two sons, Seled and Appaim, but Seled died leaving no son. 31Appaim was the father of Ishi, who was the father of Sheshan; Sheshan was the father of Ahlai. 32Jada, Shammai’s brother, had two sons: Jether and Jonathan. Jether died leaving no sons. 33Jonathan had two sons: Peleth and Zaza.

These were all descendants of Jerahmeel.

34Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. 35He had an Egyptian slave named Jarha to whom he gave his daughter in marriage. 36They had a son named Attai. The ancestral line from Attai to Elishama is as follows: Attai, Nathan, 37Zabad, Ephlal, Obed, 38Jehu, Azariah, 39Helez, Eleasah, 40Sismai, Shallum, 41Jekamiah, and Elishama.

42The first-born son of Caleb, Jerahmeel’s brother, was named Mesha. Mesha was the father of Ziph, who was the father of Meresha. 43Meresha was father of Hebron who had four sons: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44Shema became father of Raham and grandfather of Jorkeam. Rekem became father of Shammai 45and grandfather of Maon. Maon became father of Bethzur.

46Caleb had a concubine named Ephah who gave birth to Haran, Moza and Gazez. Haran also had a son named Gazez. 47Jahdai had six sons: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. 48Caleb had another concubine, Maacah, who gave birth to Sheber and Tirhanah. 49Later she had two more sons: Shaaph, who founded the town of Madmannah, and Sheva, who founded the towns of Machbenah and Gibea. The daughter of Caleb was Achsah.

50The following were also descendants of Caleb. Hur was the first-born son of Ephrath. Hur’s son Shobal was father of Kiriath-jearim; 51Salma, father of Bethlehem, and Haroeh, father of Beth-gader. 52Shobal, the father of Kiriath-jearim was the father of the people of Haroah, that is half of the Manahathites, 53and also the clans living in Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites, Puthites, Shumathites and Mishraites. The people of the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol belonged to these clans.

54Sons of Salma: Bethlehem, Netophath, Atroth Beth-Joab, and the Zorites, who were one of the clans in Manaheth. 55The Soferites lived in the town of Jabez: the Tirathites, Shimeathites, and Sucathites. They were Cainites, descendants of Jamat, the Rechabites’ ancestor.

The descendants of David


1These are the sons of David who were born to him while he was in Hebron: the firstborn Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel; second, Daniel, whose mother was Abigail from Carmel; 2third, Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, daughter of king Talmai of Geshur; fourth, Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; 3fifth, Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital; sixth, Ithream, whose mother was Eglah. 4All six were born to him in Hebron, where he ruled for seven years and six months.

He ruled as king for thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 5Many sons were born to him in Jerusalem. By his wife Bathsheba, daughter of Ammiel, he had four sons: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. Nine other sons were: 6Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

9All these were sons of David, besides other sons by the concubines. Tamar was their sister.

10These are the descendants of king Solomon from father to son: Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, 11Joram, Ahaziah, Joash, 12Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, 13Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, 14Amon, and Josiah. 15Josiah had four sons: Johanan, the firstborn, Jehoiakim second, Zedekiah third, and Shallum fourth. 16The sons of Jehoiakim were: Jeconiah and Zedekiah.

17These are the descendants of king Jeconiah, who was taken captive by the Babylonians. Jeconiah had seven sons: Shealtiel, 18Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. 19Pedaiah had two sons: Zerubbabel and Shimei. Zerubbabel had two sons, Meshullam and Hananiah, and one daughter, Shelomith. 20Meshullam had five sons: Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed. 21Hananiah’s two sons were Pelatish and Jeshiah. Jeshiah was the father of Rephaiah, who was the father of Arnan, who was the father of Obadiah and grandfather of Shecaniah. 22Shecaniah’s son was Shemaiah and his five grandsons were: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Nedariah, and Shaphat. 23Neariah’s three sons were: Elioenai, Hizkiah and Azrikam. 24Elioenai’s seven sons were: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani.

Heads of families of the twelve tribes


1Some of the descendants of Judah are: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. 2Shobal was the father of Reaiah, who was the father of Jahath, the father of Ahumai and Lahad: these people lived in Zorah.

3These were the descendants of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash, whose sister was called Hazzelelponi. 4Penuel became father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These are the descendants of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, father of Bethlehem.

5Ashhur, father of Tekoa, had two wives: Helah and Naarah. 6Naarah bore him four sons: Ahuzaam, Hepher, the Temeni and the Haahashtari. 7Ashur had three sons by Helah: Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan. 8Koz became father of Anub and Zobebah, and the clans of Aharhel son of Harum. 9Jabez was the known of them. His mother had given him the name Jabez, to recall that “In pain she had given birth to him.” 10Jabez called on the God of Israel, “If you truly bless me, you will give me much land. Be with me, and keep me from anything that might harm or cause me pain.” God gave him what he had prayed for.

11Chelub, the brother of Shuhah, became the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton. 12Eshton, had three sons, Bethrapha, Paseah and Tehinnah. Tehinnah was the father of Imahas. The descendants of these men lived in Recah.

13Kenaz had two sons, Othniel and Seraiah. Othniel also had two sons: Hathath and Meonothai, 14who became the father of Ophrah. Seraiah became the father of Joab, the founder of Craftsmen’s Valley, where skilled workers lived.

15Caleb, son of Jephunneh had three sons: Iru, Elah and Naam. Son of Elah: Kenaz.

16The sons of Jehallelel were: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel.

17Ezrah had four sons: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. Mered’s wife Bithiah, a daughter of the king of Egypt, gave birth to a daughter, Miriam, and two sons, Shammai and Ishbah. Ishbah was the father of Eshtemoa. 18Mered also had a wife from the tribe of Judah who gave birth to three sons: Jered, the father of Gedor; Heber, father of Soco; and Jekuthiel, father of Zanoah.

19Hodiah married the sister of Naham. Their descendants formed the clan of Garm, which lived in the town of Keilah, and the clan of Maacath, which lived in the town of Eshtemoa.

20The sons of Shimon were: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon.

The sons of Ishi were: Zoheth and Ben-zoheth.

21The descendants of Shelah son of Judah were: Er, father of Lecah; Laadah, father of Mareshah; and the clans of linen weavers of Beth-ashbea; 22Jokim and the people who lived in Cozeba; Joash and Saraph who went to Moab to take wives before returning to Bethlehem (these are events of long ago.) 23They were potters and lived in the towns of Netaim and Gederah; they stayed with the king there, employed in his workshop.

24Simeon had five sons; Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, and Shaul. 25Shaul’s son was Shallum, his grandson was Mibsam, and his great-grandson was Mishma. 26The sons of Mishma were: Hammuel, Zakur, Simi. 27Simi had sixteen sons and daughters, but his brothers did not have many children, and none of their families increased as the families of Judah did.

28They lived in Beersheba, Moladah and Hazarshual, 29Bilhah, Ezem and Tolad, 30Bethuel, Hormah and Ziklag. 31Beth-marcaboth, Hazarsusim, Bethbiri, Shaaraim. These were their towns until the reign of David. 32Their outlying villages were: Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen and Ashan, five towns, 33with all their surrounding villages as far as Baalath. Here they had their settlements and sorted themselves into their various groups.

34Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah son of Amaziah, 35Joel, Jehu son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, 36Elioenei, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37Ziza, Ben-shiphi, Benallon, Ben-jedaiah, Ben-shimri, Ben-shemaiah. 38These men came with their clans and families; they grew in number and spread. 39As they searched for pasture for their flocks they traveled from the Gerar pass to the eastern end of the valley, 40where they found good, fat pasture; the land was broad, untroubled, peaceful.

Hamites had been living there before them. 41But in the time of Hezekiah king of Judah this group of Simeon’s tribe arrived there, overran their tents and the dwellings they found there. They wiped them out through an anathema still in force today and settled in their place, since there was pasturage for their flocks.

42Some of them, belonging to the sons of Simeon, reached Mount Seir: five hundred men led by Pelathiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43They defeated the surviving fugitives of Amalek and still live there today.


1Descendants of Reuben, firstborn of Israel. He was indeed the firstborn but, when he had relations with his father’s concubine, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel. The group of Joseph, however did not keep this firstborn right 2because Judah proved more powerful than his brothers (and from him proceeds the Ruler), but the firstborn right belongs to the tribes of Joseph.

3Sons of Reuben, firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, Carmi.

4Sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, 5Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, 6Beerah his son, whom Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria carried off into exile. He was a prince of the Reubenites.

7His kinsmen, by clans, grouped according to their kinship: Jeiel, the chief, Zechariah, 8Bela son of Azaz, son of Shema, son of Joel.

These lived in Aroer as far as Nebo and Baal-Mehon. 9These extended to the east toward the River Euphrates, reaching the desert, because their flocks had multiplied in the land of Galaad.

10In the days of Saul they waged war against the Agarites who were defeated, and they occupied their homes east of Galaad.

11The sons of Gad lived opposite them, in the land of Bashan, as far as Salecah. 12First, Joel, and then Shapham, Janai and Shaphat in Bashan.

13The other families of the tribe were those of Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia, and Eber.

14These are the descendants of Abihail, whose ancestors were traced back as follows: Abihail, Huri, Jaroah, Gilead, Michael, Jeshishai, Jahdo, Buz. 15Ahi son of Abdiel, and grandson of Guni, was head of these clans.

16They had settled in the territory of Gilead and Bashan, in the towns there and all over the pasture lands of Sharon. 17(All were listed in the family records in the days of king Jotham of Judah and king Jeroboam of Israel).

18The people of Reuben, Gad, and half tribe of Manasseh, were 44,760valiant men, well-trained in the use of shields, swords, and bows. 19They waged war against the Hagrite tribes of Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab, and as they put their trust in God and called on him for help, 20they were victorious over the Hagrites and all their allies. 21They took with them from the Hagrites’ livestock, 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep, and 2,000 donkeys. 22They took 100,000 prisoners of war, but many of the enemy had been killed for it was God’s war. And they settled in what had been Hagrite territory until the exile.

23The half tribe of Manasseh settled in the land between Bashan and Baal-hermon, Senir and Mount Hermon, and they were very numerous. 24These are the heads of their clans: Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel. These were famous warriors and leaders of their clans.

25But they were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors and worshiped the gods of the peoples whom God had driven out of the land. 26So the God of Israel brought against them the anger of Pul, king of Assyria, and of Tilgath-pilneser, king of Assyria, who deported the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. They were taken off to Halah near Hara and the river Gozan. They are still there today.

The ancestral line of the high priests

27Sons of Levi: Gershom, Kohath and Merari. 28Sons of Kohat: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 29Sons of Amram: Aaron, Moses and Mary. Sons of Aaron: Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

30The descendants of Eleazar from one generation to the next are as follows: Phinehas, Abishua, Bukki, Uzzi, 31Zerahiah, Meraioth, 32Amariah, Ahitub, 33Zadok, Ahimaaz, 34Azariah, Johanan, 35Azariah (the one who served as priest in the Temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem), 36Amariah, Ahitub, 37Zadok, Shallum, 38Hilkiah, Azariah, 39Seraiah, Jehozadak. 40Jehozadak was deported when Yahweh, through king Nebuchadnezzar, sent into exile the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

The families of Levi


1Levi had three sons: Gershom, Kohath and Merari.

2These are the names of the sons of Gershom: Libni and Shimei.

3Sons of Kohath: Amran, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 4Sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of Levi according to their ancestors.

5Descendants of Gershon from one generation to the next: Libni, Jahath, Zimmah, 6Joah, Iddo, Zerah, Jeatheral.

7Descendants of Kohath from one generation to the next: Amminadab, Korah, Assir, 8Elkanah, Ebiasaph, Assir, 9Tahath, Uriel, Uzziah, Shaul. 10Elkanah had two sons, Amasai and Ahimoth. 11Elkanah, son of Ahimoth, Zophai, Nahath, 12Eliab, Jeroham, Elkanah. 13The sons of Elkanah were: Samuel his firstborn, and Abijah. Samuel had two sons: Joel, the firstborn, and Abijah, the younger.

14Descendants of Merari from one generation to the next: Mahli, Libni, 15Shimei, Uzzah, Shimea, Haggiah, Asaiah.

16These are the men David named to lead the singing in the Temple of Yahweh when the Ark had come to rest there. 17They were responsible for the singing before the Holy Tent of the Tent of Meeting until Solomon had built the Temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem. They did their duties in accordance with the rules.

18These are the men who accomplished this ministry, and their sons:

Of the clan of Kohath: Herman, the leader of the first choir, was the son of Joel. His ancestral line went back to Jacob as follows: Herman, Joel, Samuel, 19Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliel, Toah, Zuph, 20Elkanah, Mahath, Amasai, 21Elkanah, Joel, Azariah, Zephaniah, 22Tahath, Assir, Ebiasaph, Korah, 23Izhar, Kohath, Levi, Israel.

24His brother Asaph was leader of the second choir. His ancestral line went back to Levi as follows: Asaph, Berechiah, Shimea, 25Michael, Baaseiah, Malchijah, 26Ethni, Zerah, Adaiah, 27Ethan, Zimmah, Shimei, 28Jahath, Gershon, Levi.

29Ethan of the clan of Merari was the leader of the third choir, at the left side. His ancestral line went back to Levi as follows: Ethan, Kishi, Abdi, Malluch, 30Hashabiah, Amaziah, Hilkiah, 31Amzi, Bani, Shemer, 32Mahli, Mushi, Medrari, Levi.

33Their brother Levites were in charge of the Holy Tent of the Temple of Yahweh. 34Aaron and his descendants burned the offerings on the altar for burnt offering and on the altar of incense. They were responsible for all the worship in the Most Holy Place and for the atonement for Israel’s sins, according to the instructions of Moses, the servant of God.

35This is the line of Aaron’s descendants: Eleazar, Phinehas, Abishua, 36Bukki, Uzzi, Zerahiah, 37Meraioth, Amariah, Ahitub, 38Zadok, Ahimaaz.

39These are the places they lived in, according to the boundaries of their settlements.

40To the sons of Aaron of the Kohath clan (to whom the first share of land was assigned) they gave Hebron in the land of Judah and the pasture lands nearby. 41The fields and villages of this town, however, had been given to Caleb, son of Jephunneh. 42The following towns were given to the descendants of Aaron: Hebron, a city of refuge, Jattir, Libnah, Eshtemoa, 43Hilen, Debir, 44Ashan, and Beth-shemesh, with pasture lands near them. 45In the territory of Benjamin they were given the following towns with their pasture lands: Geba, Alemeth, and Anathoth. A total of thirteen towns were given them for all their families to live in.

46To the rest of the clan of Kohath, family by family, ten towns were given from the territory of the half tribe of Manasseh. 47The clan of Gershom, family by family, were given thirteen towns from the territories of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and from the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan. 48The clan of Merari, family by family, were given twelve towns from the territories of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. 49The people of Israel gave these towns with their pasture lands to the Levites.

50They received from the territories of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin the towns to which they gave names.

51The clans of Kohath obtained towns by lot from the tribe of Ephraim. 52They were given the following towns with their pasture lands: Shechem, the city of refuge in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer, 53Jokmeam, Beth-horon, 54Aijalon, and Gath Rimmon. 55In the territory of the half tribe of Manasseh, they were given the towns of Aner and Beileam with their pasturelands. So much was given to the remaining families of the son of Kohath.

56The clan of Gershon, family by family, were given the following towns with their pasture lands. In the territory of the half tribe of Manasseh: Golan in Bashan, and Ashtaroth. 57In the territory of Issachar: Kedesh, Daberath, 58Ramoth, and Anem. 59In the territory of Asher: Mashal, Abdon, 60Hukok, and Rehob. 61In the territory of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee, Hammon, and Kiriathaim.

62To the rest of the clan of Merari were given the following towns with their pasture lands. In the territory of Zebulun: Rimmono and Tabor. 63In the territory of Reuben, beyond the Jordan River near Jericho: Bezer on the high, flat land, Jahzah, 64Kedemoth, and Mephaath. 65In the territory of Gad: Ramoth in Gilead, Mahanaim, 66Heshbon, and Jazer.

Clans and families of the northern tribes


1Issachar had four sons: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.

2Tola had six sons: Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam, and Shemuel. They were heads of families of the clan of Tola and famous warriors. In the time of David, the descendants numbered 22,600. Uzzi had one son, Izrahiah. 3Izrahiah had four sons: Michael, Obadiah, Joel, and Isshiah. All five of these were chiefs 4and they were obliged to enlist their troops: 36,000men, for they had many wives and children. 5The family records of all the clans of Issachar listed a total of 87,000men able to give military service.

6Benjamin had three sons: Bela, Becher, and Jediael.

7Bela had five sons: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jeri-moth and Iri. They were heads of families in the clan and famous warriors. Their family records listed 22,034 men able to give military service. 8Becher had nine sons: Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth, and Alemeth. 9Their family records listed 20,200 men able to give military service. Shuppin and Huppin also belonged to this tribe. 10Jediael had one son, Bilhan who had seven sons: Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish, and Ahishahar. 11They were heads of families in the clan and famous warriors, 17,200 ready for service in war. 12Shuppin and Huppin were the sons of Ir, Hushim the son of Aher.

13Naphtali had four sons: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shallum. They were descendants of Bilhah.

14Manasseh had Asriel by his Aramean concubine. She gave birth also to Machir, father of Gilead. 15And Machir took a wife for Huppim and for Shuppim. The name of his sister was Maacah. And the name of the second was Zelophehad; and Zelophehad had daughters.

16Maacah, wife of Machir, gave birth to two sons, whom they named Peresh and Sheresh. Peresh had two sons: Ulam and Rakem. 17Ulam had a son named Bedan. These were the descendants of Gilead, the son of Machir and grandson of Manasseh. 18Gilead’s sister Molecheth had three sons: Ishhod, Abiezer, and Mahlah. 19Shemida had four sons: Ahian, Shechem, Likhi and Aniam.

20These are the descendants of Ephraim from one generation to the next: Shuthelah, Bered, Tahath, Eleadah, Tahath, 21Zabad, Shuthelah. Ephraim’s two other sons, Ezer and Elead, were killed when they tried to steal the cattle belonging to the people of Gath. 22Ephraim, their father, mourned for them for a long time and his brothers came to comfort him. 23Then Ephraim went to his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to a son whom she called Beriah, because of the trouble that had come to their family. 24Beriah’s daughter, Sheerah, built Lower and Upper Beth-horon and Uzzen-sheerah.

Ephraim also had a son named Rephah. The descendants of 25Rephah were as follows: Resheph, Telah, Tahan, 26Ladan, Ammihud, Elishama, 27Nun, Joshua. 28They had lands and settlements in Bethel and its towns, in Naasan to the east in Gezep and its towns to the west, Shechem and its towns, as far as Ayyah and its towns. 29Bethshean, Taanach, Megiddo, Dor, each with its towns, were controlled by the descendants of Manasseh. In all these places lived the descendants of Joseph, son of Jacob.

30Asher had four sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah; and one daughter, Serah. 31Sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. Malchiel was the father of Birzaith. 32Heber had three sons: Japhlet, Shomer and Hotham; and one daughter Shura. 33Japhlet had three sons: Pasah, Bimhal and Ashvath. 34Shomar, his brother, also had three sons: Rohgah, Hubbah and Aram. 35His brother Hotham had four sons: Zophah, Imna, Shelesh, and Amal. 36The sons of Zophal were: Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri and Imrah, 37Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran and Beerah. 38The sons of Jether: Jephunneh, Pispa, and Ara. 39The sons of Ulla: Arah, Hamniel, and Rizia, 40all of these were descendants of Asher. They were heads of families, and famous warriors; Asher’s descendants included 26,000 men able to give military service.


1Benjamin became father of Bela, his firstborn, Ashbel second, Ahiram third, 2Nohah fourth, Rapha fifth. 3Bela had sons: Addar, Gera, Abihud, 4Abishua, Naaman and Ahoah, 5Gera, Shephuphan and Huram.

6These are the sons of Ehud. They were heads of families of the inhabitants of Geba and led them into exile at Manahath: 7Naaman, Ahijah and Gera. It was he who led them into exile; he became the father of Uzza and Ahihud.

8He became father of Shaharaim in the plains of Moab after he had dismissed his wives, Hushim and Baara. 9By his new wife he had sons: Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, 10Jeuz, Sachia, Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of families.

11By Hushim he had sons: Abitub and Elpaal. 12Sons of Elpaal: Eber, Misham and Shemed: it was he who built Ono and Lud with its outlying towns.

13Beriah and Shema. They were heads of families of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath. 14Shashak was his brother.

Jeremoth, 15Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16Michael, Ishpah, Joha were sons of Beriah. 17Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Haber, 18Ishmerai, Izliah, Jobab were sons of Elpaal. 19Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, 20Elioenai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21Adaiah, Beraiah, Shimran were sons of Shimei.

22Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, 24Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, 25Iphdeiah, Penuel were sons of Shashak. 26Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, 27Jaareshaiah, Elijah, Zichri were sons of Jeroham. 28These were the heads of families, grouped according to their kinship. They lived in Jerusalem.

29At Gibeon lived Abi-gibeon, whose wife was Macaah. 30His first-born son was Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 31Gedor, Ahio, Zecher 32and Mikloth who became father of Shimeah. These also, near their kinsmen, lived with their kinsmen in Jerusalem.

33Ner was father of Kish, Kish father of Saul, Saul father of Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 34Son of Jonathan: Meribbaal. Meribbaal became father of Micah. 35Sons of Micah: Pithon, Melech, Tarea, Ahaz. 36Ahaz became father of Jehoaddah, Jehoaddah father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri. Zimri became father of Moza, 37Moza father of Binea. Raphah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 38Azel had six sons, whose names were these: Azrikam, Bocheru, his firstborn, then Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, Hanan. All these were sons of Azel. 39Sons of Eshek his brother: Ulam, his firstborn, Jeush second, Eliphelet third. 40Ulam had sons, stout fighting men and bowmen. They had numerous sons and grandsons, a hundred and fifty of them.

All these were sons of Benjamin.

Inhabitants of Jerusalem after the exile


1All the Israelites were classified in related groups, but they were listed in the Book of the Kings of Israel. As for those of Judah, they were deported to Babylon for their faithlessness. 2The first who came back to their towns and their estates were Israelites, priests, Levites and helpers. 3So in Jerusalem lived Judaeans, Benjaminites, Ephraimites and Manassites.

4Uthai son of Ammihud, son of Omri, son of Imri, son of Bani, one of the sons of Perez son of Judah. 5Of the Shilonites: Asaiah, the firstborn, and his sons. 6Of the sons of Zerah: Jeuel. Also their kinsmen: six hundred and ninety.

7Of the tribe of Benjamin: Sallu son of Meshullam, son of Hodaviah, son of Hassenuah; 8Ibneiah son of Jeroham; Elah son of Uzzi, son of Michri; Mesullam son of Shephatiah, son of Reuel, son of Ibnijah. 9They had nine hundred and fifty-six kinsmen, grouped according to their kinship. All these men were heads of families.

10Of the priests: Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, Jachin, 11Azariah son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, ruler of the House of God. 12Adaiah son of Jeroham, son of Pashhur, son of Malchijah, Maasai son of Adiel, son of Jahzerah, son of Meshullam, son of Meshillemith, son of Immer. 13They had kinsmen, heads of families, one thousand seven hundred and sixty men who undertook the duties of the Temple of God.

14Of the Levites: Shemaiah son of Hasshub, son of Azrikam, son of Hashabiah of the sons of Merari, 15Bakbakkar, Heresh, Galal, Mattaniah son of Mica, son of Zichri, son of Asaph, 16Obadiah son of Shemaiah, son of Galal, son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah son of Asa, son of Elkanah who lived in the villages of the Netophathites.

17The keepers of the gate: Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, Ahiman and their kinsmen. Shallum, was their head, 18and they still keep station at the royal gate, to the east. These were the gatekeepers of the camp of the Levites. 19Shallum son of Kore, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, with his brother Korahites, of the same family, were responsible for the liturgical service; they were “keepers of the threshold for the Tent,” for their fathers had guarded the entrance of the camp of Yahweh. 20At one time, Phinehas son of Eleazar had ruled them and they served before Yahweh. 21Zechariah son of Meshelemiah was keeper of the gate at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 22All the keepers of the gate at the thresholds were picked men; there were two hundred and twelve of them and they were registered in their various villages. These were appointed by David and Samuel the seer because of their loyalty. 23They and their sons had the guardianship of the gates of the House of Yahweh, the house of the Tent. 24On the four sides stood the keepers of the gate, east, west, north, and south. 25Their kinsmen in their villages would come to join them for a week from time to time, 26since the four head gatekeepers themselves lived there permanently. Some of them were responsible for the chambers and treasuries of the House of God. 27They spent the night in the precincts of the House of God, their duties being to guard it and they had the keys with them to open the rooms at the morning.

28Some of them were responsible for the furnishings of worship; they counted them whenever they put them away and took them out. 29Others were in charge of the furniture and all the sacred furnishings, the fine flour, the wine, the oil, the incense, the spices, 30but only the priests prepared the mixture for the spices.

31One of the Levites, Mattithiah the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, was responsible for the offerings that were to be baked on the pan. 32Some of their kinsmen the Kohathites were responsible for the loaves to be set out in rows sabbath by sabbath.

33These are the cantors, heads of the levitical families. When free from service they lived in the Temple chambers, because they were on duty day and night.

34These were the heads of the families of the Levites, grouped according to their families. These heads lived in Jerusalem.

The ancestors of Saul. His death.

35In the city of Gibeon lived Abigibeon and Jeiel, whose wife was called Maacah. 36His firstborn was Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 37Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah, and Mikloth. 38Mikloth became father of Shimeam. Their descendants lived in Jerusalem near other families of their clans.

39Ner became father of Kish, Kish father of Saul, Saul father of Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 40Jonathan’s son Merribbaal, became father of Micah. 41Micah had four sons: Pithon, Melech, Tahrea and Ahaz. 42Ahaz became father of Jarah, Jarah father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri; Zimri became father of Moza, 43Moza father of Binea, whose son was 44Rephaiah, whose son was Eleasah, whose son was Azel. Azel had six sons; their names were these: Azrikam, his firstborn, then Ishmael, Bocheru, Sheariah, Obadiah, Hanan. These were the sons of Azel.


1The Philistines attacked Israel, and the Israelites fled or were killed on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines caught up with Saul and killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. 3The fighting grew heavy about Saul; he was hit by enemy arrows and badly wounded. 4Then Saul said to the young man carrying his weapon, “Draw your sword and kill me. I do not want these godless Philistines to come and gloat over me.” But the young man was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and threw himself on it. 5Then the young man threw himself on his sword too and died. 6And so Saul died, he and his three sons and all his own together.

7All the Israelites who were in the valley heard that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead. So they abandoned their towns and ran away. The Philistines then came in and occupied them.

8When the Philistines came on the following day to strip the dead, they found Saul and his sons lying on Mount Gilboa. 9They stripped him and, taking his head and his armor, had them carried around the land of the Philistines to proclaim the good news to their idols and their people. 10They placed his armor in the temple of their god, but his head they hung in the temple of Dagon.

11When all the people of Gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, 12the valiant men went and took the bodies of Saul and his sons away and brought them to Jabesh. They buried their bones under the oak tree in Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.

13Saul died because he had been unfaithful to Yahweh: he had disobeyed the commands of Yahweh; he had even consulted the spirits of the dead. 14As he had not consulted Yahweh, Yahweh put him to death and gave control of the kingdom to David son of Jesse.

David is anointed king


1All the people of Israel went to David at Hebron “Look, we are your own flesh and blood. 2Even when Saul was our king, you led Israel in battle; and Yahweh your God said to you, ‘You are the man who shall be shepherd of my people Israel and shall be ruler over them.’” 3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a Covenant with them at Hebron in the presence of Yahweh, and he became king of Israel, just as Yahweh had promised through Samuel.

4David with all the Israelites attacked Jerusalem (that is to say, Jebus); there lived the Jebusites. 5They said to David, “You will not get in here.” But David captured the fortress of Zion, and it became the city of David. 6David said, “The first man to attack the Jebusites shall become leader and commander of the army.” Joab son of Zeruiah attacked first and became commander. 7David went to live in the fortress, and because of this it was called the city of David. 8He then built a wall around the city, and the Millo as well as the surrounding wall, while Joab restored the rest of the city. 9David grew greater and greater, and Yahweh Sabaoth was with him.

David’s champions

10These are the famous warriors of David, those who during his rule struggled with him and with all Israel, to make him king as Yahweh had promised. 11This is the list of David’s warriors: Jashobeam the Hachmonite, leader of the three; one day he wielded his battle-axe against three hundred whom he killed at one time.

12After him there was Eleazar son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three champions. 13He was with David at Pasdammim where the Philistines had gathered to attack. There was a field full of barley there. When the Israelites started to run away, 14Eleazar took a stand in the middle of the field, defended it and fought the Philistines. So Yahweh brought about a great victory.

15The Thirty leading soldiers went down to David at the rock near the Cave of Adullam while a company of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of the Rephaim. 16David was then on a fortified hill, and a group of Philistines had occupied Bethlehem. 17David sighed, “Oh, if someone would fetch me a drink of water from the well by the gate of Bethlehem!” 18At this The Three, forcing their way through the Philistine camp, drew water from the well by the gate of Bethlehem and, bringing it away, presented it to David. But David would drink none of it and poured it out as an offering to Yahweh. 19“God keep me,” he said, “from doing this! Am I to drink the blood of these men? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.” And so he would not drink it. Such were the deeds of The Three.

20Abishai, the brother of Joab, was leader of The Thirty. He fought with his spear against three hundred whom he killed, winning himself a name among The Thirty. 21He was the most famous of The Thirty and became their captain, but he was not as famous as The Three.

22Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a hero from Kabzeel, did many brave deeds; he killed the two Ariels of Moab. One snowy day, he went down and killed the lion in a pit. 23He also killed an Egyptian, a huge man seven and a half feet tall. The Egyptian had a gigantic spear in his hand, but Benaiah attacked him with a club, snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed the man with it. 24Such were the deeds of Benaiah son of Jehoiada, winning him a name among the thirty leading soldiers. 25He was famous among The Thirty, but he was not as famous as The Three. David put him in command of his bodyguard.

26The other valiant warriors were: Asahel the brother of Joab. Elhanan son of Dodo, from Bethlehem. 27Shammoth from Harod, Helez the Pelonite. 28Ira son of Ikkesh, from Tekoa. Abiezer from Anathoth. 29Sibbecai from Hushah. Ilai from Ahoh. 30Maharai from Netophah. Heled son of Baanah, from Netophah. 31Ithai son of Ribai, from Gibeah of Benjamin. Benaiah from Pirathon. 32Hurai from the valleys near Gaash. Abiel from Bethhaarabah. 33Azmaveth from Baharum. Eliahba from Shaalbon. 34Benehashem from Gizon. Jonathan son of Shagee, from Harar. 35Ahiam son of Sachar, from Harar. Eliphelet son of Ur. 36Hepher from Mecherah. Ahijah the Pelonite. 37Hezro from Carmel. Naarai son of Ezbai. 38Joel the brother of Nathan. Mibhar son of Hagri. 39Zelek the Ammonite. Naharai from Beeroth, armorbearer to Joab son of Zeruiah. 40Ira from Jattir. Gareb from Jattir. 41Uriah the Hittite. Zabad son of Ahlai.

42Adina son of Shiza (a leading member of the tribe of Reuben, with his own group of thirty soldiers). 43Hanan son of Maacah. Joshaphat the Mithnite. 44Uzzia from Ashteroth. Shama and Jeiel, sons of Hotham the Aroerite. 45Jediaelson of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite. 46Eliel the Mahavite. Jeribai and Joshaviah, sons of Elnaam. Ithmah the Moabite. 47Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel from Zoba.

David’s early followers


1The following men came to David in Ziklag where he had gone to escape from king Saul. They were valiant and reliable warriors, members of the tribe of Benjamin, to which Saul belonged. 2They were archers who could use either the right or the left hand, both in slinging stones and in shooting arrows with the bow. 3They were Ahiezer the leader, and Joash, sons of Hashemar from Gibeah, Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth, Berach and Jehu from Anathoth, 4Ismaiah from Gibeon, a famous soldier and one of the leaders of The Thirty; 5Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan and Jozabad from Gederoth, 6Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah from Hariph, 7Elkanah, Eshiah, Azarel, Joezer, Jashobeam, Korahites, 8Joelah, Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham from Gedor.

9Some Gadites also joined David’s troops when he was at the desert fort. They were valiant fighting men and experts with shield and spear. They were as fierce-looking as lions and as quick as mountain deer. 10Ezer was the leader, Obadiah second, Eliab third, 11Mishmannah fourth, Jeremiah fifth. 12Attai sixth, Eliel seventh, 13Johanan eighth, Elzabad ninth, 14Jeremiah tenth, Machbannai eleventh. 15These sons of Gad were troop commanders, each one in command of a unit, the junior officers placed over a hundred, and senior officers over a thousand. 16These are the men who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it overflowed its course, and scattered all the people who lived on its banks, both east and west.

17Those men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah came to David at the fort. 18David went to meet them and said, “If you come to me as friends, to give me help, then I am ready to join you. But if it is to betray me to my enemies, when I have done no wrong, then may the God of our ancestors see and punish you.”

19Then God’s spirit took control of one of them, Amasai, leader of The Thirty, and he called out: “Yours we are, David! We are with you, son of Jesse! Peace to you, peace to him that helps you, for God is on your side.”

David welcomed them and made them officers in his army.

20Some people from the tribe of Manasseh went over to David’s side as he was setting out with the Philistines to fight Saul. But David did not help the Philistines, because their chiefs, after consultation, sent him back to Ziklag. They were afraid he would betray them to his former master Saul. 21He was on his way to Ziklag when these Manassites joined him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, Zillethai, commanders of thousands in Manasseh. 22They were reinforcements for David and his troops, since they were all outstanding soldiers and became officers in the army. 23Indeed new men joined David’s forces almost every day, so that his camp grew into an enormous camp.

The warriors who assured David’s kingship

24These are the figures from the list of experienced warriors who joined David at Hebron to transfer Saul’s kingship to him in accordance with the command of Yahweh:

25Sons of Judah carrying shield and spear: 6,800 men equipped for battle. 26Of the sons of Simeon; 7,100 well-trained men. 27Of the sons of Levi: 4,600 28in addition to Jehoiada, in command of the Aaronites, with 3,700 men; 29Zadok, a young and able fighter and 22 commanders of his family.

30Of the sons of Benjamin: 3,000 kinsmen of Saul, most of them hitherto in the service of the House of Saul. 31Of the sons of Ephraim: 20,800 men famous in their families. 32Of the half tribe of Manasseh: 18,000 men assigned by name to go and proclaim David king. 33Of the sons of Issachar, expert in knowing the times when Israel should take action, and the way to do it: 200 leaders and all their kinsmen under their command.

34Of Zebulun: 50,000 men fit for service, ready to fight with weapons of every kind. 35Of Naphtali: 1,000 commanders, and with them 37,000 men armed with shield and spear. 36Of the Danites: 28,600 men ready for battle. 37Of Asher: 40,000 men fit for service, ready for battle. 38From Transjordania: 120,000 men of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh, with weapons of every kind.

39All these warriors, ready for battle, came to Hebron willingly to proclaim David king over all Israel; and the rest of Israel, too, were all of one mind in making David king. 40For three days they stayed there, eating and drinking with David, for their kinsmen had sent food for them. 41Moreover from as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali their neighbors brought provisions, by donkey and camel, mule and ox—flour cakes, fig cakes, bunches of raisins, wine, oil, quantities of oxen and sheep; for there was joy in Israel.

The Ark is brought to Jerusalem


1David consulted with the commanders of thousands, of hundreds, and with all the leaders. 2To the whole assembly of Israel David said, “If you agree and if Yahweh our God wills it so, we will send messengers to the rest of our brothers throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites in their towns and nearby lands, and tell them to gather here with us. 3We will then go and get the Ark of our God, for in the time of Saul we neglected it.”

4They agreed to this, for in the eyes of all the people it was the right thing to do. 5So David gathered all the people together from the Shihor of Egypt to the Pass of Hamath to bring the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. 6Then David and all Israel went up to Baalah, to Kiriath-jearim in Judah, to bring up the Ark of God which bears the name of Yahweh who is seated on the Cherub. 7At Abinadab’s house they placed the Ark of God on a new cart. Uzzah and Ahio were leading the cart. 8David and all Israel danced before God with all their might, singing to the accompaniment of lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets. 9When they came to the threshing floor of the Javelin, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah stretched out his hand and took hold of the ark. 10Then the anger of Yahweh blazed out against Uzzah, and he killed him because he had laid his hand on the ark, and he died there in the presence of God. 11David was disturbed that Yahweh had punished Uzzah in anger, and so that place has been called Perez-uzzah ever since.

12David went in fear of God that day and said, “How can I bring the Ark of God to my home?” 13So David did not take the Ark home to the city of David, but took it to the house of a man named Obed-edom of Gath. 14The Ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom, in his house, for three months, and Yahweh blessed the family of Obed-edom and everything that belonged to him.


1Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David with cedar wood and stonemasons and carpenters to build him a palace. 2David then knew that Yahweh had established him as king over Israel, and that for the sake of his people Israel his kingdom was being made prosperous.

3At Jerusalem David took more wives and fathered more sons and daughters. 4These are the names of the children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6Nogab, Nepheg, Japhia, 7Elishama, Beeliada, Eliphelet.

8When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king of all Israel, they all marched up to capture him. On hearing this, David went out to meet them. 9When the Philistines arrived, they began plundering the Valley of the Rephaim. 10David consulted Yahweh, “Shall I attack the Philistines? Will you turn them over to me?” Yahweh answered him, “Attack! I will turn them over to you.” 11The Philistines went up to Baal-perazim and there David defeated them. David said, “God has broken through them by my hand just as water breaks through a dam.” For this reason that place was called Baal Perazim. 12They had left their gods behind them there, and David ordered them to be burned.

13Again the Philistines started plundering in the valley. 14David again consulted God, and God answered, “Do not attack them from the front; go around and get ready to attack them from the other side, near the balsam trees. 15When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, launch your attack, for God is going out ahead of you to defeat the army of the Philistines.” 16David did as God had ordered, and they defeated the Philistine army from Gibeon as far as Gezer.

17David became famous everywhere, and Yahweh made every nation afraid of him.


1David put up buildings for himself in the city of David and prepared a place for the Ark of God, and he put up a tent for it. 2Then he said, “Only the Levites shall move the Ark of God, since Yahweh has chosen them to carry the Ark and to serve him always.”

3Then David gathered all Israel together in Jerusalem to bring the Ark of God up to the place he had prepared for it. 4David called together the sons of Aaron and the sons of Levi: 5of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief and his hundred and twenty kinsmen; 6of the sons of Merari, Asaiah and his two hundred and twenty kinsmen; 7of the sons of Gershom, Joel and his hundred and thirty kinsmen; 8of the sons of Elizaphah, Shemaiah and his two hundred kinsmen; 9of the sons of Hebron, Eliel and eighty kinsmen; 10of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab and his hundred and twelve kinsmen.

11David called in the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab. 12He told them, “You are the heads of families of the Levites. Purify yourselves, you and your brothers, and bring the Ark of Yahweh, the God of Israel, up to the place I have prepared for it. 13The first time you were not there to carry it and Yahweh our God punished us for not consulting him as we should have done.”

14So the priests and the Levites purified themselves to bring up the Ark of Yahweh, the God of Israel, 15and the Levites carried the Ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had ordered according to the command of Yahweh.

16David then told the leaders of the Levites to assign duties for some Levites to sing and play a joyful tune with their various musical instruments: harps and lyres and cymbals. 17The Levites then appointed Heman son of Joel, Asaph son of Berechiah, one of his brothers, Ethan son of Kushaiah, one of their Merarite kinsmen; 18and with them, next in rank, their kinsmen as keepers of the gate: Zechariah son of Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel. 19Heman, Asaph and Ethan the cantors, were to clash the cymbals of bronze; 20Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah were to play the keyed harp. 21Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel and Azaziah, giving the beat, were to play the octave lyre. 22Chenaniah was chosen to be in charge of the transportation, because he was very skillful at doing these things. 23Berechiah and Elkanah were to be gatekeepers to the ark. 24The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasal, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer were to sound the trumpet before the Ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah were to be gatekeepers to the ark.

25So David, with the leaders of Israel and the commanders of thousands, went to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh from Obed-edom’s house with great rejoicing. 26And while God was securing the Levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven sheep. 27David was wearing a robe of fine linen, like all the Levites who carried the ark, as well as the cantors and Chenaniah, the officer in charge of its transportation. David also wore the linen. 28Thus all Israel brought up the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh with shouts of joy to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, making music with harp and lyre. 29Now as the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh entered the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul was watching from the window and saw king David dancing and leaping with joy and she despised him.


1They brought the Ark of God in and put it inside the tent that David had prepared for it; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. 2And when David had finished offering the sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of Yahweh. 3He then distributed to all the Israelites, men and women, a loaf of bread each, a piece of roasted meat, and a raisin cake.

David organizes the levitical cult

4David appointed some of the Levites to minister before the Ark of Yahweh, to commemorate, thank and praise Yahweh, the God of Israel: 5first Asaph, second Zechariah, then Uzziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel. These were to play the harp and the lyre, while Asaph was to clash the cymbals. 6The priests Benaiah and Jahaziel were to keep sounding the trumpet before the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh. 7That day, David entrusted this song of praise to Asaph and his brethren:

8Give thanks to Yahweh, call upon his name, proclaim his deeds to the peoples.

9Sing to him, sing his praise; tell of all his marvels.

10Glory in his holy name, let the hearts that seek Yahweh rejoice!

11Seek Yahweh and his strength, seek his face untiringly;

12Recall the wondrous deeds he has done, his miracles, the judgments from his mouth.

13Descendants of Israel his servant, sons of Jacob his chosen one,

14he is Yahweh our God; he rules over all the earth. 15He remembers his Covenant forever, his promises for many generations,

16the Covenant he made with Abraham, his promise to Isaac,

17That he gave as law to Jacob, an everlasting Covenant for Israel.

18For he said, “I give you a land Canaan, your own possession,”

19when they were easily counted, few in number, strangers to the country.

20They wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another.

21But he let no one oppress them, and punished kings for their sake:

22“Do not touch my anointed ones, do not harm my prophets.”

23Sing to Yahweh, all the earth. Proclaim his salvation day after day.

24Tell his glory among the nations and his wonders to every people.

25Yahweh is great, and highly to be praised, more fearsome than all gods.

26Nothingness are all the gods of the nations, Yahweh himself made the heavens;

27splendor and majesty go before him, praise and joy are in his Sanctuary.

28Give to Yahweh, families of the peoples, give to Yahweh glory and praise. 29Give to Yahweh the glory due his name. Bring out offerings and bow before him, worship Yahweh in his sacred ornaments.

30Be quiet before him, all the earth! Firm has he made the world, not to be moved.

31Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Say among the nations, “Yahweh is King!”

32Let the sea thunder and all that it holds, let the fields exult and all that is in them,

33let all the trees cry out for joy, and rejoice before Yahweh, for he comes to rule the earth.

34Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, his love endures forever.

35Say, “Save us, O God, our Savior, gather us and deliver us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in praising you.”

36Blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel from all eternity and forever! And let all the people say, “Amen! Alleluia!”

37David left there, before the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh, Asaph and his brother Levites with the permanent charge of the worship that was held before the Ark as each day’s ritual required. 38He left also Obed-edom, with his sixty-eight kinsmen. Obed-edom son of Jeduthun, and Hosah were to be keepers of the gate.

39He left Zadok the priest and the priests, his kinsmen, before the Holy Tent of Yahweh at the high place in Gibeon 40to offer burnt offerings to Yahweh regularly, morning and evening, on the altar for burnt offerings and to carry out all that is written in the Law of Yahweh laid down for Israel. 41With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those who were chosen and assigned by name to give praise to God, for his love is everlasting. 42With them were Heman and Jeduthun who were to sound the trumpets, cymbals and musical instruments accompanying the hymns to God. The sons of Jeduthun were given charge of the gate.

43Then all went away, each to his own house, and David returned to bless his household.

The prophecy of Nathan


1Once David was living in his palace, he said to the prophet Nathan, “Here am I living in a house of cedar, while the Ark of Yahweh’s Covenant is under a tent.” 2Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your mind, for God is with you.”

3But that very night Yahweh said to Nathan, 4“Go and tell my servant David, ‘Yahweh says this: You yourself are not to build a temple for me to live in. 5I have never lived in a temple from the day I brought Israel out until today, but went from tent to tent, from one shelter to another. 6In all my journeying with the whole of Israel, did I say to any one of the rulers of Israel whom I had appointed as shepherds of my people: Why do you not build me a temple of cedar wood?

7This you must say to my servant David: This is the word of Yahweh Sabaoth: I took you from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel. 8I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have defeated all your enemies as you advanced. I will make your name as great as the name of the greatest on earth. 9I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall live in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked ever again oppress them, as they did 10in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel. For now I will subdue all their enemies. Moreover I tell you that I will build you a house. 11And when your days are ended and you must die and be buried with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will make his kingdom strong. 12He will build a temple for me and I will make his throne firm forever. 13I will be a father to him and he a son to me. I will not withdraw my support from him, as I withdrew it from Saul. 14I will put him in charge of my people and his kingdom shall be established forever.”

15Nathan told David accordingly all these words and this vision.

David’s prayer

16King David then went in and, seated before Yahweh, said: “I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, Yahweh God, nor is my family. 17Yet in your eyes, O God, this is still not enough. For you have made a promise for my descendants reaching into the distant future and you have looked on me as a great man. 18What more can I say to you? For you know your servant David. 19You yourself have done this because you have looked kindly on your servant and you wanted to show your own greatness.

20O Yahweh, there is none like you, no God except you alone, that we have ever heard of. 21Is there another people on the earth like your people Israel, whom you rescued from slavery in Egypt to make them your own people, giving yourself a name for great and terrible things by driving nations out before your people whom you rescued from Egypt?

22You made your people Israel your own people forever; and you, Yahweh, have become their God. 23Now, Yahweh, let the promise you have made to me and to my descendants be always kept. 24May this promise hold good and your name be exalted forever; may they say, ‘Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, is God for Israel.’ And let my descendants be established before you forever.

25O my God, you have just made known to me that you will build me a house; because of this I have to offer this prayer in your presence. 26Yes, Yahweh, you are God indeed, and you have made this kind promise to me. 27Be pleased, then, to bless my house so that they may remain forever in your favor. You, Yahweh, are the one who blesses, and your blessing will rest on them forever.”

The wars of David


1After this, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, taking Gath and its outlying villages. 2He also defeated the Moabites; the Moabites became subject to David, paying him taxes.

3At Hamath David defeated Hadadezer, king of Zobah, who was trying to gain control of the territory by the river Euphrates. 4David captured one thousand chariots, seven thousand horsemen and twenty thousand foot soldiers from him; David hamstrung all the chariot teams, keeping only a hundred of them. 5The Arameans of Damascus came to the help of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, but David killed twenty-two thousand men of the Arameans. 6Then David established governors in Aram of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to David, paying him taxes. Wherever David went, Yahweh gave him victory.

7David took the golden shields of the guards of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8From Tibhath and from Cun, towns belonging to Hadadezer, David took a great quantity of bronze; with this Solomon would make the bronze Sea and the bronze pillars and furnishings.

9When Tou, king of Hamath, heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, 10he sent his son Hadoram to king David to greet him and to congratulate him on fighting and defeating Hadadezer, since Hadadezer was the enemy of Tou. Hadoram brought articles of every kind in gold, silver and bronze, 11which king David also consecrated to Yahweh together with the silver and gold he had taken from all the nations: Edom, Moab, Ammonites, Philistines, Amalek.

12After that David defeated the Edomites in the Valley of Salt, eighteen thousand of them. 13He imposed governors on Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. Wherever David went, Yahweh gave him victory.

14David ruled over all Israel, administering law and justice to all his people. 15Joab son of Zeruiah was in command of the army; Jehoshapat son of Ahilud was recorder; 16Zadok son of Ahitub and Abiathar son of Ahimelech were priests; Shavsha was secretary; 17Benaiah son of Jehoiada was in command of the Cheretites and Pelethites; David’s sons were the chief assistants of the King.


1Afterwards Nahash, king of the Ammonites, died and his son Hanun became king. 2David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun, son of Nahash, since his father was kind to me.” And David sent messengers with his condolences on his father’s death. But when David’s servants reached Hanun in the land of the Ammonites to present these condolences, 3the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, “Do you think David means to honor your father when he sends you messengers of sympathy? On the contrary he has sent them here as spies to explore the land, so that he can conquer it.” 4Hanun had David’s servants seized, shaved their beards, cut their clothes half-way up to the hips and sent them away. 5As soon as David was told what had happened to these men, he sent someone to meet them, for the men were too ashamed to return home. And he said, “Stay in Jericho, until your beards have grown again, and come back then.”

6The Ammonites saw that they had made David their enemy and so Hanun and the Ammonites sent a thousand talents of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from the Aramaeans of Upper Mesopotamia, of Maacah and of Zobah. 7They hired thirty-two thousand chariots; also the king of Maacah with his army. These came and encamped before Medeba, while the Ammonites came out from all their cities and got ready to fight. 8When David heard this, he sent Joab with the whole army and the warriors. 9The Ammonites marched out and took up their positions at the entrance to the town, but the kings who had come remained in the open country. 10Joab, seeing that he had to fight on two fronts, to his front and to his rear, chose the best fighters of the Israelites and drew them up in line facing the Aramaeans. 11He placed the rest of the troops under the command of his brother Abishai, to face the Ammonites. He said to him, 12“If the Aramaeans prove too strong for me, you shall come to my help; if the Ammonites prove too strong for you, I will come to yours. 13Take courage and fight hard for the sake of our people and the towns of our God. And may Yahweh do as he thinks right.”

14Joab and the force with him advanced to attack the Aramaeans, who fled before him. 15When the Ammonites saw that the Aramaeans were running away, they too fled before Abishai, Joab’s brother, and withdrew into their town. Then Joab came back to Jerusalem.

16Seeing that they had been defeated by Israel, the Aramaeans sent messengers and mobilized the Aramaeans from beyond the river, with Shophach, commander of Hadadezer’s army, at their head. 17News of this was brought to David, who gathered the Israelite troops, crossed the Jordan, and met them. David drew up his line of battle facing the Aramaeans, and the fighting began. 18But the Aramaeans fled before Israel, and David killed seven thousand of their chariot teams and forty thousand foot soldiers. He also killed Shophach, their general. 19When the kings who were subject to Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. After this the Aramaeans refused to give help to the Ammonites.


1At the turn of the year, the time when kings go to war, Joab set out with the army to invade the land of the Ammonites and went to lay siege to Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and destroyed it. 2David took the gold crown from the head of the Ammonite idol Milcom; they found that it weighed about seventy-five pounds. In it was set a precious stone which made an ornament for David’s head. He carried off a great quantity of loot from the town. 3He brought away its population and set them to work with saws, iron picks and axes. David treated all the Ammonite towns in the same way. Then David and the whole army returned to Jerusalem.

4After this, war broke out again with the Philistines at Gezer. This was when Sibbecai of Hushah killed Sippai, a descendant of the Rephaim. The Philistines were defeated. 5War with the Philistines broke out again, and Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath of Gath, the shaft of whose spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam. 6There was another battle at Gath, where there was a giant with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all. He too was a descendant of Raphaim. 7He defied Israel and Jonathan, son of David’s brother Shimea, killed him.

8These men were descended from Raphaim of Gath and they were killed by David and his guards.

The census


1Satan wanted to bring trouble on the people of Israel and so he made David take a census of the Israelites. 2David said to Joab and to the senior army officers, “Go, and take a census of Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, then come back that I may know their number.” 3Joab said, “May Yahweh multiply the people a hundred times! My lord king, are they not all your servants? Why do you want to do this? Will you bring guilt upon Israel?”

4But the king enforced his order on Joab, and Joab went away, traveling through the whole country of Israel before he returned to Jerusalem. 5Joab gave David the figures for the census of the people: the whole of Israel numbered one million, one hundred thousand men capable of drawing sword, and Judah four hundred and seventy thousand capable of drawing sword. 6But Joab disapproved of the king’s command, and, because of this he had not taken any census of Levi or of Benjamin.

7God looked with displeasure on what had been done and so he began to punish Israel. 8Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. But now I beg you to forgive me for this fault. I have been very foolish.” 9Then Yahweh spoke to Gad, David’s prophet, 10“Go and say to David, ‘Yahweh says this: I offer you three things; choose one of them for me to do to you.” 11So Gad went to David and said, “Yahweh says this, ‘Take your choice: 12three years of famine, three months running away from the armies of your enemies, or three days of Yahweh’s own sword, an epidemic in your land, with Yahweh’s destroying angel bringing death throughout Israel.’ Now decide how I am to answer him who sends me.” 13David said to Gad, “This is a hard choice, but let me rather fall into the power of Yahweh, since his mercy is very great; and not into the power of men.”

14So Yahweh sent an epidemic on Israel, and seventy thousand Israelites died. 15God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, Yahweh looked and changed his mind; and he said to the destroying angel, “Enough! Now withdraw your hand.” The angel of Yahweh was standing beside the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16David saw the angel of Yahweh standing between the heavens and earth with a naked sword in his hand, ready to destroy Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17And David prayed to God, “Was it not I who sinned, by ordering this wicked census? But these, this flock, what have they done? Yahweh my God, let your hand lie heavy on me and on my family; but let your people escape the plague.”

18The angel of Yahweh then said to Gad, “David must go up and build an altar to Yahweh on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.” 19So David obeyed the command which Gad had spoken in the name of Yahweh. 20Now Ornan, as he turned, had seen the angel and had hidden, with his four sons.

Ornan was threshing wheat 21when David came to him. When Ornan looked up and saw David coming, he left the threshing floor and with his face to the ground did homage to David. 22Then David said to Ornan, “Sell me your threshing floor, to build an altar to Yahweh. Let me have it at its full price, that the plague may be turned away from the people.” 23“Take it,” Ornan said to David, “and let my lord the king do as he thinks right. Look, I will give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing sled for the wood and the wheat for the grain offering; I give them all.”

24But king David said to Ornan, “No, I must buy it from you at the full price; I will not take for Yahweh what is yours, or offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 25So David gave Ornan six hundred gold coins for the threshing place.

26David built an altar there to Yahweh and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called on Yahweh, and Yahweh answered him with fire from heaven on the altar for burnt offerings 27and ordered the angel to put his sword away. 28Then David saw that Yahweh had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, so he kept on offering sacrifices there. 29The Holy Tent of Yahweh that Moses had made in the wilderness and the altar for burnt offerings were at that time at the high place at Gibeon, 30but David had not been able to go there before God to consult him, so fearful was he of the sword of the angel of Yahweh.


1Then David said, “Here is where the Temple of Yahweh God will be; and this is where the people of Israel are to offer burnt offerings.”

Preparations for the building of the temple

2David gave orders to gather all the strangers living in the land of Israel and he set stonecutters to prepare stone blocks for building the Temple of God. 3David furthermore stored up great quantities of iron to make nails for the wooden gates and for clamps, and more bronze than could be weighed; 4logs of cedar too, beyond number, the Sidonians and Tyrians having brought cedar logs to David in great quantities.

5Then David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the Temple to be built for Yahweh must be of great splendor, and famous for its magnificence in every country. I will make preparations for him.” And so, before he died, David laid away large amounts of the materials needed. 6He then sent for his son Solomon and instructed him to build a Temple for Yahweh, the God of Israel, 7“My son, my heart was set on building a temple for the name of Yahweh my God. 8But Yahweh told me, ‘You have shed much blood and fought great battles; it is not for you to build a temple for my name, since you have shed so much blood on the earth in my presence. 9But now a son is born to you. He shall be a man of peace, and I will give him peace from all the enemies that surround him; for Solomon is his name, and in his days I will give Israel peace and quiet. 10He shall build a temple for my name; he shall be a son to me and I a father to him. His dynasty will rule Israel forever. 11Now, my son, may Yahweh be with you and give you success in building a temple for Yahweh your God, as he has said concerning you. 12Yet may he give you insight and wisdom so that you may govern Israel according to his Law. 13Success will be yours if you carefully observe the statutes and the ordinances that Yahweh has prescribed to Moses for Israel. Be strong and stand fast, be fearless, be confident. 14Poor as I am, I have set aside for the Temple of Yahweh four thousand tons of gold, and nearly forty thousand tons of silver and more bronze and iron than can be weighed; I have stored up wood and stone too, to which you must add more. 15You will have many workmen, stonecutters, masons, carpenters, skilled artisans of every kind, 16while your supply of gold and silver, bronze and iron, will be unlimited. Set to work, then, and may Yahweh be with you!”

17David then commanded all the Israelite leaders to help his son Solomon, 18“Is not Yahweh your God with you? He has given you peace on all sides, since he has let me conquer all the people who lived in this land, and the land has been subdued for Yahweh and for his people. 19So now devote heart and soul to the search for Yahweh your God. Begin to build the Sanctuary of Yahweh your God, so that the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh and the holy things of God may be brought to the Temple that is built for the name of Yahweh.”

The work of the Levites


1When David was very old, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. 2He then gathered all the Israelite leaders together, with the priests and Levites.

3A census was taken of those Levites thirty years old or older. The total was thirty-eight thousand; 4twenty-four thousand of these were responsible for the services of the House of Yahweh; six thousand were scribes and judges; 5four thousand were keepers of the gate; four thousand praised Yahweh on the instruments David had made for that purpose.

6Then David divided the Levites into three groups, according to their clans: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

7For the Gershonites: Ladan and Shimei. 8Sons of Ladan: Jehiel first, Zetham, Joel; three in all. 9Sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel, Haran; three in all. These are the heads of families of Ladan. 10Sons of Shimei: Jahath, Zirah, Jeush, Beriah; these were the sons of Shimei; four in all. 11Jahath was the eldest, Zirah the second, then Jeush and Beriah, who had not many children and were counted as one family.

12Sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, Uzziel; four in all. 13Sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were set apart to be in charge of the sacred objects forever, to burn incense in the presence of Yahweh, to serve him and to bless the people in his name forever. 14As for Moses, the man of God, his sons were included among the Levites. 15Sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. 16Sons of Gershom: Shebuel, the first: 17Eliezer had sons: Rehabiah, the first. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very numerous.

18Sons of Izhar: Shelomith, the first. 19Sons of Hebron: Jeriah first, Amariah second, Jahaziel third, Jekameam fourth. 20Sons of Uzziel: Micah first, Isshiah second.

21Sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. Sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish. 22Eleazar died leaving no sons but only daughters; their cousins, the sons of Kish, married these. 23Sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, Jeremoth; three in all.

24These were the sons of Levi by their families, the heads of families, and those registered by name, individually; whoever was twenty years old or older had his duty in the service of the Temple of Yahweh. 25For David had said, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, has given peace to his people, and he dwells in Jerusalem forever. 26The Levites are no longer required to carry the Holy Tent or anything used in its service.”

27According to the last words of David, the Levites who had been registered were of twenty years and older. 28Their duty is to assist the sons of Aaron with the service of the Temple of Yahweh, in the courts and chambers, to purify everything that is sacred; their duty is to serve the Temple of God. 29They are also responsible for the loaves set out in rows, and for the flour for the grain offering, the wafers of unleavened bread, the cakes baked on the griddle or mixed, and they are to weigh and measure the Temple offerings. 30They have to be present every morning to give glory and praise to Yahweh, and also in the evening, 31and at every burnt offering to Yahweh on the sabbath, New Moon or solemn feast, in such numbers as are prescribed. They must always be present before Yahweh. 32In serving the Temple of Yahweh they observe the ritual of the Tent of Meeting, the ritual of the Sanctuary and the ritual of their brethren, the sons of Aaron.

The classification of the Priests


1These are the groups to which the descendants of Aaron belong. Sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, Ithamar. 2Nadab and Abihu died in their father’s lifetime leaving no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar became priests. 3David divided them into groups with the help of Zadok, one of Eleazar’s sons, and Ahimelech, one of the sons of Ithamar, and made a register of them according to their duties. 4The sons of Eleazar were found to have more leading men than the sons of Ithamar; accordingly, from the heads of families of the sons of Eleazar they made sixteen groups, and from those of the sons of Ithamar, eight. 5They divided them, both parties, by lot: there were Temple officials and spiritual leaders among the sons of Eleazar, as well as among the sons of Ithamar. 6One of the Levites, the scribe Shemaiah son of Nethanel, recorded them in the presence of the king, his officers, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar and the heads of the priestly and levitical families. They took turns in drawing lots for each family of the sons of Eleazar and for the sons of Ithamar.

7The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, to Jedaiah the second, 8Harim the third, Seorim the fourth, 9Malchijah the fifth, Mijamin the sixth, 10Hakkoz the seventh, Abijah the eighth, 11Jeshua the ninth, Shecaniah the tenth, 12Eliashib the eleventh, Jakim the twelfth, 13Huppah the thirteenth, Ishbaal the fourteenth, 14Bilgah the fifteenth, Immer the sixteenth, 15Hezir the seventeenth, Happizzez the eighteenth, 16Pethahiah the nineteenth, Jehezkel the twentieth, 17Jachin the twenty-first, Gamul the twenty-second, 18Delaiah the twenty-third, Maaziah the twenty-fourth.

19These men were registered according to their various duties, to enter the Temple of Yahweh according to the regulations that Yahweh, the God of Israel, had given through Aaron, their ancestor.

20As regards the rest of the sons of Levi:

Sons of Aaron: Shubael. Sons of Shubael: Jehdeiah. 21For Rehabiah, for the sons of Rehabiah: the eldest, Isshiah. 22Izharites: Shelomoth: Jahath. 23Sons of Hebron: Jeriah the first, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, Jekameam the fourth. 24Sons of Uzziel: Micah; sons of Micah: Shamir; 25the brother of Micah: Isshiah; of the sons of Isshiah, Zechariah. 26Sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. Sons of Jaaziah: Beno; 27sons of Merari: for Jaaziah his son: Shoham, Zaccur, Ibri: 28for Mahli: Eleazar who had no sons; 29for Kish: the sons of Kish: Jerahmeel. 30Sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, Jerimoth.

31These were the sons of Levi by their families. The head of each family and one of his younger brothers drew lots for their assignments, just as their relatives, the priests descended from Aaron, had done. king David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the heads of families of the priests and of the Levites were witnesses.

The cantors


1For the liturgy, David and the senior army officers set apart the sons of Asaph, of Heman and of Jeduthun, who prophesied playing lyre and harp and cymbal, and a list was made of those with these duties to perform.

2Sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were under the direction of Asaph who prophesied whenever the king commanded.

3For Jeduthun: sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, Mattithiah; there were six of them under the direction of their father Jeduthun who, to the sound of the lyre, sang praise and thanks to the Lord.

4For Heman: sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romantiezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. 5All these were sons of Heman, the king’s seer; these sounded the trumpet when Yahweh’s word came. God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters; 6all of them sang in the Temple of Yahweh under their father’s direction to the sound of cymbal, harp and lyre, for the liturgy in the House of Yahweh at the king’s direction.

7All of these, whether of Asaph, Jeduthun or Heman, who were trained in singing to Yahweh, all of them skilled men, were altogether two hundred and eighty-eight. 8They drew lots to determine the assignment of duties of each of them whether they were young or old, experts or beginners. 9The first lot fell to the Asaphite, Joseph. The second was Gedaliah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 10The third was Zaccur, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 11The fourth was Izri, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 12The fifth was Nethaniah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 13The sixth was Bukkiah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 14The seventh was Jesharelah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 15The eighth was Jeshaiah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 16The ninth was Mattaniah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 17The tenth was Shimei, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 18The eleventh was Azarel, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 19The twelfth was Hashabiah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 20The thirteenth was Shubael, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 21The fourteenth was Mattithiah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 22The fifteenth was Jeremoth, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 23The sixteenth was Hananiah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 24The seventeenth was Joshbekashah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 25The eighteenth was Hanani, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 26The nineteenth was Mallothi, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 27The twentieth was Eliathah, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 28The twenty-first was Hothir, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 29The twenty-second was Giddalti, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 30The twenty-third was Mahazioth, he and his sons and brothers were twelve. 31The twenty-fourth was Romamtiezer, he and his sons and brothers were twelve.

The keepers of the gate


1These are the assignments of work for the Levites who served as Temple guards. For the Korahites: Meshelemiah son of Kore, one of the sons of Ebiasahp. 2Meshelemiah had sons: Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, 3Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Eliehoenai the seventh.

4Obed-edom had sons: Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, Sacar the fourth, Nethanel the fifth, 5Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peullethai the eighth; God had indeed blessed him. 6Shemaiah had sons who were important men in their clan because of their great ability. 7Sons of Shemaiah: Othni, Rephael, Obed, Elzabad and his brothers, Elihu and Semachia, brave men. 8All these were sons of Obed-edom. These and their sons and brothers were highly qualified for this work. For Obed-edom, sixty-two.

9Meshelemiah had sons and brothers: eighteen brave men.

10Hosah, son of Merari, had sons: Shimri was the first, for although he was not the firstborn his father had made him the chief. 11Hilkiah was the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth. Altogether thirteen members of Hosah’s family were Temple guards.

12The Temple guards were divided into groups, according to their families, and they were assigned duties in the Temple, just as the other Levites were. 13They drew lots, junior and senior family alike, to see which gate it would be responsible for. 14For the east side the lot fell to Shelemiah, whose son Zechariah was a shrewd counselor; when they drew lots, the lot for the north side fell to the latter. 15To Obed-edom went the south, and to his sons the storehouse. 16The lots for the West Gate and the Shalleketh Gate on the upper road fell to Shuppim and Hosah. One guard was adjacent to another. 17On the east, six daily; on the north, four daily; on the south, four daily; at the storehouse, two each side; 18at the court on the west there were four posted on the road and two at the court. 19These were the orders of the gatekeepers among the Korahites and Merarites.

20Others of their fellow Levites were in charge of the Temple Treasury and the storerooms for gifts dedicated to God.

21The sons of Ladan, sons of Gershon, through Ladan had the Jehielites for heads of the families of Ladan the Gershonite. 22The Jehielites, Zetham and Joel his brother, were responsible for the treasuries of the Temple of Yahweh.

23As regard the Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites;

24Shebuel son of Gershom, son of Moses, was the officer responsible for the treasuries. 25His kinsmen through Eliezer: Rehabiah his son, Jeshaiah his son, Joram his son, Zichri his son, Shelomoth his son. 26This Shelomoth and his kinsmen were in charge of all the gifts dedicated to Yahweh by king David and by the heads of families as officers of thousands, of hundreds, or as other senior officers. 27There was a part of the loot they captured in battle and dedicated for use in the Temple 28and also the things that Samuel, the seer, and Saul son of Kish, Abner son of Ner, and Joab son of Zeruiah had dedicated. All that had been dedicated was under the responsibility of Shelomoth and his kinsmen.

29For the Izharites: Chananiah and his sons were in charge of Israel’s civil affairs as officials and judges.

30For the Hebronites: Hashabiah and his kinsmen, one thousand seven hundred fighting men, were appointed as overseers of all Israel west of Jordan, for all the service of Yahweh and the service of the king. 31For the Hebronites: Jerijah the chief. In the fortieth year of David’s reign, the family line of the Hebronite families was investigated and fighting men were found belonging to them at Jazer in Gilead. 32King David appointed two thousand seven hundred fighting men, kinsmen to Jerijah and heads of families, as overseers of the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh for all the service of Yahweh and the sacrifices of the king.

Military and civil organization


1Census of the sons of Israel; The heads of families, the commanders of thousands and hundreds, and other officers who served the king in all that referred to the divisions of twenty-four thousand men each, that were on duty for a month, each month of the year. 2For the first month Jashobeam, son of Zabdiel, 3son of Perez, and chief of all the officers of the division had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 4For the second month Dodai, the Ahohite had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 5For the third month Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the chief priest, had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 6Benaiah who was champion of The Thirty, was overseer for The Thirty and for his division. Ammizabad was his son. 7For the fourth month was Asahel, the brother of Joab; his son Zebadiah succeeded him. He had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 8For the fifth month, Shamhuth the Izrahite had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 9For the sixth month, Ira son of Ikkesh of Tekoa had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 10For the seventh month, Helez the Pelonite, an Ephraimite, had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 11For the eighth month, Sibbecai of Hushah, a Zerahite, had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 12For the ninth month, Abiezer of Anathoth, a Benjaminite, had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 13For the tenth month, Maharai of Netophah, a Zerahite, had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 14For the eleventh month, Benaiah of Pirathon, an Ephraimite, had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 15For the twelfth month, Heldai from Netophah, of Othniel, had charge of a division of twenty-four thousand men. 16Overseers for the tribes of Israel: Eliezer son of Zichri was chief officer for the Reubenites, Shephatiah, son of Maacha for the Simeonites, 17Hashabiah, son of Kemuel for the Levites, Zadok for the Aaronites, 18Elihu, one of David’s brothers, for the Judaeans, Omri son of Michael for the Issacharites, 19Ishmaiah, son of Obadiah for the Zebulunites, Jeremoth, son of Azriel for the Naphtalite, 20Hoshea, son of Azaziah for the Ephraimites, Joel, son of Pedaiah for the half tribe of Manasseh, 21Iddo, son of Zechariah for the half tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Jaasiel, son of Abner for the Benjaminites, 22Azarel, son of Jeroham for the Danites. These were the officials for the tribes of Israel.

23David took no census of those who were twenty years old and under, since Yahweh had promised to make Israel as numerous as the stars of heaven. 24Joab, son of Zeruiah began a census, but he did not finish it for God punished Israel because of this census. The final figures were never recorded in the official records of king David.

25This is the list of those who administered the king’s property. Overseers for the king’s storerooms: Azmaveth son of Adiel. Commissioner for the stores in provincial towns, villages, castles: Jonathan son of Uzziah. 26For the agricultural workers employed on the land: Ezri son of Chelub. 27For the vineyards: Shimei of Ramah. For those in the vineyards who looked after the wine cellars: Zabdi of Shepham. 28For the olives and sycamores in the lowlands: Baal-hanan of Geder. For the stores of oil: Joash. 29For cattle in pasture at Sharon: Shitrai of Sharon. For cattle in the valleys: Shaphat son of Adlai. 30For camels: Obil, the Ishmaelite. For donkeys: Jehdeiah of Meranoth. 31For flocks: Jaziz, the Hagrite. All these were overseers for king David’s property.

32Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a skillful adviser and a scholar. Jehiel son of Hachmoni attended the king’s sons. 33Ahithophel was the king’s counselor. Hushai the Archite was friend of the king. 34Jehoiada, son of Benaiah, and Abiathar succeeded Ahithophel. Joab was commander of the king’s armies.

David’s instructions for the temple


1David held a meeting in Jerusalem of all the officials of Israel, the overseers for the tribes, and the officials in the royal service, the commanders of thousands, the commanders of hundreds, the overseers for all the property and livestock of the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, leading soldiers, and important men. 2Then king David got up and said:

“My brothers and my people, listen to me. I had set my heart on building a settled home for the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh, as a footstool for our God. I have made preparations for building, 3but God has said to me, ‘You are not to build a temple for my name, for you have been a man of war and have shed blood.’

4Yahweh, the God of Israel, chose me and my descendants to rule Israel forever. He chose Judah for leader, my family within the tribe of Judah, and of my father’s sons, myself. He was pleased to make me king of all Israel. 5Of all my sons—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of Yahweh over Israel. 6He said to me, ‘Solomon your son is the man to build my Temple and my courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to me and I will be a father to him. 7I will make his kingdom last forever if he continues to obey carefully all my laws and commands as he does now.’

8So now in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of Yahweh, and in the hearing of our God, I tell you to observe and meditate on all the commandments of Yahweh your God, so that you may possess this prosperous land and leave it to your children after you as an inheritance forever.

9And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, serve him with an undivided heart and a willing mind; for Yahweh knows all our thoughts and desires. If you seek him, he will let you find him; but if you turn away from him, he will abandon you forever. 10Realize at this moment that Yahweh has chosen you to build a house for him as Sanctuary. Be strong and set to work.”

11David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, the buildings, the treasuries, the upper rooms, the inner apartments and the room where the mercy seat would be. 12He also gave him a description of all he had in mind for the courts of Yahweh’s House, all the surrounding apartments, the treasuries of Yahweh’s House and the treasuries of votive offerings; 13also of the orders of priests and Levites, the liturgical duties in Yahweh’s House. 14He instructed him about how much silver and gold was to be used for making the utensils, 15the bullion for the golden lampstands and their lamps, the gold bullion for the silver lampstand, for the lampstand and its lamps according to the requirements for each lampstand, 16gold bullion for the tables on which the rows of bread were set, for each of these tables, the silver for the silver tables, 17the forks, the sprinkling bowls, basins of pure gold, the gold bullion for the bowls, for each of the bowls, 18the bullion of refined gold for the altar of incense. He gave him the plans for the chariot, for the golden cherubim with wings outspread covering the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh—19all this in accordance with the plan drawn according to the instructions which Yahweh himself gave him to carry out.

20Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong, stand firm; be fearless, be determined and set to work, because Yahweh God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or abandon you before you have finished all the work to be done for the House of Yahweh. 21Here are the orders of priests and Levites for all the duties of the House of God; every willing man of any aptitude will help you in all this work; the officials and all the people are entirely at your command.”


1Then king David said to the whole assembly, “Solomon my son, whom Yahweh has chosen, is still young and the work is great; this palace is not for people but for Yahweh God. 2With all my means, I have provided for the House of my God, adding gold to gold, silver to silver, bronze to bronze, iron to iron, wood to wood, onyx, inlaid stones, colored and striped stones, precious stones of every kind, masses of alabaster. 3What is more, the gold and silver that I have in my own treasury I give out of love for the House of God, above what I have provided already for the Holy House—4115 tons of the finest gold, gold of Ophir, 265 tons of pure silver for plating the walls of the buildings. 5Whatever gold you have, whatever silver, or workmanship of the craftsman’s hand, will each of you offer it to Yahweh today?”

6Then the heads of families, the officials for the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and those who managed the king’s affairs, 7gave for the service of the House of God 190 tons of gold, 380 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze, and 3,750 tons of iron. 8Those who had precious stones brought them to Jehiel, the Gershonite for the treasury of Yahweh’s House. 9The people rejoiced at what had been given so readily, since their gifts to Yahweh had been made wholeheartedly. king David too was filled with joy. 10David praised Yahweh before the entire assembly:

“May you be blessed, Yahweh God of Israel our ancestor, forever and ever! 11Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, splendor, length of days, glory, for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours. Yours is the sovereignty forever, O Yahweh; you are supreme ruler over all. 12Riches and honor go before you, you are ruler of all, in your hand lie strength and power; You are the one who gives greatness and strength to all.

13At this time, our God, we give you thanks, we praise the splendor of your name. 14For who am I and what is my people to have received all that we give you back now? All comes from you; what we have received from your own hand we have given to you. 15For we are strangers before you, settlers only, as all our ancestors were; our days on earth pass like a shadow, and there is no hope beyond.

16Yahweh, our God, all this wealth that we have brought together to build a house for your holy Name, comes from your hand, all is yours. 17O my God, I know that you examine the heart and delight in honesty, and in honesty of heart I have willingly given all this; and now with joy I have seen your people here offer their gifts willingly. 18O Yahweh, God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep such thoughts in the hearts and minds of your people forever, and direct their hearts toward you. 19Give Solomon my son a heart determined to keep your commandments, your decrees, your statutes; may he practice them all, and build this palace I have prepared for you.”

20David told the entire assembly, “Praise Yahweh your God!” And the whole assembly blessed Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, and went on their knees to give honor to Yahweh and to the king. 21The following day, the Israelites offered sacrifices and burnt offerings to Yahweh: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams, a thousand lambs with their wine offerings, as well as many sacrifices for the whole of Israel. 22They ate and drank that day in Yahweh’s presence with great joy. Then they made Solomon, son of David, their second king and anointed him to rule over them in the name of Yahweh, and anointed Zadok as priest. 23Solomon sat on the throne of Yahweh, in place of David his father. He prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. 24All the officials, all the champions, and even all the sons of king David, swore fidelity to king Solomon. 25Yahweh exalted Solomon greatly in the eyes of all Israel, and gave him a glorious reign such as had not been enjoyed by any king over Israel before him.

26David son of Jesse had reigned over the whole of Israel. 27His reign over Israel had lasted forty years; he had reigned in Hebron for seven years, and in Jerusalem for thirty-three. 28He died at a good old age, with his fill of days, of riches, of honor. Then his son Solomon succeeded him. 29The history of king David, from first to last, can be found in the records of Samuel, the prophet, the records of Nathan the prophet, and the records of Gad, the prophet. 30These records tell how he ruled, how powerful he was, and all the things that happened to him, to Israel, and to the surrounding kingdoms.