May 13
     1 Chronicles 21:1 — 23:32

21 And Satan proceeded to stand up against Israel and to incite David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the chiefs of the people: “Go, count Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan and bring it to me that I may know their number.” 3 But Joab said: “May Jehovah add to his people a hundred times as many as they are. Do they not, O my lord the king, all of them belong to my lord as servants? Why does my lord seek this? Why should he become a cause of guilt to Israel?”

4 The king’s word, however, prevailed over Joab, so that Joab went out and walked through all Israel, after which he came to Jerusalem. 5 Joab now gave the number of the registration of the people to David; and all Israel amounted to a million one hundred thousand men drawing sword, and Judah four hundred and seventy thousand men drawing sword. 6 And Levi and Benjamin he did not register in among them, because the king’s word had been detestable to Joab.

7 Now this thing was bad in the eyes of the [true] God, and so he struck down Israel. 8 Consequently David said to the [true] God: “I have sinned very much in that I have done this thing. And now, please, cause your servant’s error to pass away; for I have acted very foolishly.” 9 And Jehovah proceeded to speak to Gad, David’s visionary, saying: 10 “Go, and you must speak to David, saying, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “There are three things that I am directing against you. Choose for yourself one of them, that I may do it to you.”’” 11 Accordingly Gad went in to David and said to him: “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘Take your pick, 12 whether for three years there is to be a famine; or for three months there is to be a sweeping away from before your adversaries and for the sword of your enemies to overtake [you], or for three days there is to be the sword of Jehovah, even pestilence, in the land, with Jehovah’s angel bringing ruin in all the territory of Israel.’ And now see what I should reply to the One sending me.” 13 So David said to Gad: “It is very distressing to me. Please, let me fall into the hand of Jehovah, for very many are his mercies; but into the hand of man do not let me fall.”

14 Then Jehovah gave a pestilence in Israel, so that out of Israel seventy thousand persons fell. 15 Moreover, the [true] God sent an angel to Jerusalem to bring ruin to it; and as soon as he began bringing the ruin, Jehovah saw it and began to feel regret over the calamity; and so he said to the angel that was bringing the ruin: “It is enough! Now let your hand drop.” And Jehovah’s angel was standing close by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16 When David raised his eyes, he got to see Jehovah’s angel standing between the earth and the heavens with his drawn sword in his hand extended toward Jerusalem; and David and the older men, covered with sackcloth, at once fell down upon their faces. 17 And David proceeded to say to the [true] God: “Was it not I that said to make a numbering of the people, and is it not I that have sinned and have unquestionably done bad? As for these sheep, what have they done? O Jehovah my God, let your hand, please, come to be upon me and my father’s house; but not upon your people, for a scourge.”

18 And Jehovah’s angel, for his part, said to Gad to say to David that David should go up to erect an altar to Jehovah on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 Accordingly David went up at the word of Gad that he had spoken in the name of Jehovah. 20 Meantime, Ornan turned back and saw the angel; and his four sons with him were hiding themselves. Now Ornan had been threshing wheat. 21 So David came as far as Ornan. When Ornan looked and saw David, he immediately went out of the threshing floor and bowed down to David with his face to the earth. 22 Then David said to Ornan: “Do give me the place of the threshing floor, that I may build in it an altar to Jehovah. For the money in full give it to me, that the scourge may be halted from upon the people.” 23 But Ornan said to David: “Take it as your own, and let my lord the king do what is good in his own eyes. See, I do give the cattle for burnt offerings and the threshing sledge for the wood and the wheat as a grain offering. The whole I do give.”

24 However, King David said to Ornan: “No, but without fail I shall make the purchase for the money in full, because I shall not carry what is yours to Jehovah to offer up burnt sacrifices without cost.” 25 So David gave Ornan for the place gold shekels to the weight of six hundred. 26 Then David built there an altar to Jehovah and offered up burnt sacrifices and communion sacrifices, and he proceeded to call upon Jehovah, who now answered him with fire from the heavens upon the altar of burnt offering. 27 Moreover, Jehovah said the word to the angel, who accordingly returned his sword to its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that Jehovah had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he continued to sacrifice there. 29 But the tabernacle of Jehovah that Moses had made in the wilderness and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon. 30 And David had not been able to go before it to consult God, for he had been terrified because of the sword of Jehovah’s angel.

22 Then David said: “This is the house of Jehovah the [true] God, and this is an altar for burnt offering for Israel.”

2 David now said to bring together the alien residents that were in the land of Israel, and then he set them as stone hewers to hew squared stones for building the house of the [true] God. 3 And iron in great quantity for nails for the doors of the gates and for clamps David prepared, and also copper in such quantity as to be beyond weighing, 4 and also cedar timbers without number; for the Sidonians and the Tyrians brought in cedar timbers in great quantity to David. 5 Accordingly David said: “Solomon my son is young and delicate, and the house to be built to Jehovah is to be surpassingly magnificent for beauteous distinction to all the lands. Let me, then, make preparation for him.” So David made preparation in great quantities before his death.

6 Moreover, he called Solomon his son that he might command him to build a house to Jehovah the God of Israel. 7 And David went on to say to Solomon his son: “As for myself, it became close to my heart to build a house to the name of Jehovah my God. 8 But Jehovah’s word came against me, saying, ‘Blood in great quantity you have spilled, and great wars you have waged. You will not build a house to my name, for a great deal of blood you have spilled on the earth before me. 9 Look! There is a son being born to you. He himself will prove to be a restful man, and I shall certainly give him rest from all his enemies all around; for Solomon is what his name will become, and peace and quietness I shall bestow upon Israel in his days. 10 It is he that will build a house to my name, and he himself will become a son to me, and I a father to him. And I shall certainly establish the throne of his kingship firmly over Israel to time indefinite.’

11 “Now, my son, may Jehovah prove to be with you, and you must prove successful and build the house of Jehovah your God, just as he has spoken concerning you. 12 Only may Jehovah give you discretion and understanding, and may he give you commandment concerning Israel even to keep the law of Jehovah your God. 13 In that case you will prove successful if you take care to carry out the regulations and the judicial decisions that Jehovah commanded Moses respecting Israel. Be courageous and strong. Do not be afraid nor be terrified. 14 And here during my affliction I have prepared for Jehovah’s house a hundred thousand talents of gold and a million talents of silver, and the copper and the iron there is no means of weighing because they have come to be in such quantity; and timbers and stones I have prepared, but to them you will make additions. 15 And with you there are in great number doers of work, stone hewers and workers in stone and wood and every one skillful in every sort of work. 16 The gold, the silver and the copper and the iron there is no means of numbering. Rise and act, and may Jehovah prove to be with you.”

17 And David went on to command all the princes of Israel to help Solomon his son: 18 “Is not Jehovah YOUR God with YOU, and has he not given YOU rest all around? For he has given into my hand the inhabitants of the land, and the land has been subdued before Jehovah and before his people. 19 Now set YOUR heart and YOUR soul to inquire after Jehovah YOUR God, and rise and build the sanctuary of Jehovah the [true] God, to bring the ark of the covenant of Jehovah and the holy utensils of the [true] God to the house built to the name of Jehovah.”

23 And David himself had grown old and satisfied with days, and so he made Solomon his son king over Israel. 2 And he proceeded to gather all the princes of Israel and the priests and the Levites. 3 Accordingly the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years upward; and their number, head by head of them, able-bodied man by able-bodied man, came to be thirty-eight thousand. 4 Of these for acting as supervisors over the work of the house of Jehovah there were twenty-four thousand; and as officers and judges six thousand; 5 and four thousand gatekeepers and four thousand givers of praise to Jehovah on the instruments that [David said] “I have made for giving praise.”

6 Then David distributed them in divisions to the sons of Levi, to Gershon, Kohath and Merari. 7 To the Gershonites, Ladan and Shimei. 8 The sons of Ladan were Jehiel the headman and Zetham and Joel, three. 9 The sons of Shimei were Shelomoth and Haziel and Haran, three. These were the heads of the fathers for Ladan. 10 And the sons of Shimei were Jahath, Zina and Jeush and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei. 11 And Jahath came to be the head, and Zizah the second. As for Jeush and Beriah, they did not have many sons; so they became a paternal house for one official class.

12 The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel, four. 13 The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. But Aaron was separated that he might sanctify the Most Holy, he and his sons to time indefinite, to make sacrificial smoke before Jehovah, to minister to him and to pronounce blessing in his name to time indefinite. 14 As for Moses the man of the [true] God, his sons themselves continued to be called among the tribe of the Levites. 15 The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. 16 The sons of Gershom were Shebuel the head. 17 And the sons of Eliezer came to be Rehabiah the head; and Eliezer did not come to have other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah did themselves become exceedingly many. 18 The sons of Izhar were Shelomith the headman. 19 The sons of Hebron were Jeriah the head, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third and Jekameam the fourth. 20 The sons of Uzziel were Micah the head and Isshiah the second.

21 The sons of Merari were Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli were Eleazar and Kish. 22 But Eleazar died; and he had come to have, not sons, but daughters. So the sons of Kish their brothers took them [as wives]. 23 The sons of Mushi were Mahli and Eder and Jeremoth, three.

24 These were the sons of Levi by the house of their fathers, the heads of the fathers, by their commissioned ones, in the number of the names, head by head of them, the doers of the work for the service of the house of Jehovah, from the age of twenty years upward. 25 For David had said: “Jehovah the God of Israel has given rest to his people, and he will reside in Jerusalem to time indefinite. 26 And also the Levites will not have to carry the tabernacle or any of its utensils for its service.” 27 For by the last words of David these were the number of the sons of Levi from the age of twenty years upward. 28 For their function was at the disposition of the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of Jehovah over the courtyards and over the dining rooms and over the purification of every holy thing and the work of the service of the house of the [true] God, 29 even for the layer bread and for the fine flour for the grain offering and for the wafers of unfermented bread and for the griddle [cakes] and for the mixed dough and for all measures of quantity and size; 30 and for standing morning by morning to thank and praise Jehovah, and likewise at evening; 31 and for every offering up of the burnt sacrifices to Jehovah at the sabbaths, at the new moons and at the festival seasons, by number according to the rule concerning them, constantly before Jehovah. 32 And they took care of the guarding of the tent of meeting and the guarding of the holy place and the guarding of the sons of Aaron their brothers for the service of the house of Jehovah.