Tag Archives: 2 Samuel



King David said to Joab and to the senior army officers who were with him, “Now go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and take a census of the people; I wish to know the size of the population.”

Joab gave the king the figures for the census of the people; Israel numbered eight hundred thousand armed men capable of drawing sword, and Judah five hundred thousand men.

But afterwards David’s heart misgave him for having taken a census of the people. “I have committed a grave sin,” David said to the Lord. “But now, Lord, I beg you to forgive your servant for this fault. I have been very foolish.” But when David got up the next morning, the following message had come from the Lord to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, “Go and say to David, ‘The Lord says this: I offer you three things; choose one of them for me to do to you.'”

So Gad went to David and told him. “Are three years of famine to come on you in your country,” he said, “or will you flee for three months before your pursuing enemy, or would you rather have three day’s pestilence in your country? Now think, and decide how I am to answer him who sends me.” David said to Gad, “This is a hard choice. But let us rather fall into the power of the Lord, since his mercy is great, and not into the power of men.” So David chose the pestilence.

It was the time of the wheat harvest. The Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning till the time appointed and plague ravaged the people, and from Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of them died. The angel stretched out his hand towards Jerusalem to destroy it, but the Lord thought better of this evil, and he said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! now withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was beside the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel who was ravaging the people, he spoke to the Lord. “It was I who sinned”; he said, “I who did this wicked thing. But these, this flock, what have they done? Let your hand lie heavy on me then, and on my family.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.


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4th FEBRUARY, BIBLE READING (2 SAMUEL 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30-19:3)


Absalom happened to run into some of David’s followers. Absalom was riding a mule and the mule passed under the thick branches of a great oak. Absalom’s head caught fast in the oak and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule he was riding went on. Someone saw this and told Joab. “I have just seen Absalom,” he said, “hanging from an oak.” And Joab took three lances in his hand and thrust them into Absalom’s heart while he was still alive there in the oak tree.

David was sitting between the two gates. The look-out had gone up to the roof of the gate, on the ramparts; he looked up and saw a man running all by himself. The watch called out to the king and told him. The king said, “Move aside and stand there.” He moved aside and stood waiting.

Then the Cushite arrived. “Good news for my lord the king!” cried the Cushite. “The Lord has vindicated your cause today by ridding you of all who rebelled against you.” “Is all well with young Absalom?” the king asked the Cushite. “May the enemies of my lord the king,” the Cushite answered, “and all who rebelled against you to your hurt, share the lot of that young man.”

The king shuddered. He went up to the room over the gate and burst into tears, and weeping said, “My son Absalom! My son! My son Absalom! Would I had died in your place! Absalom, my son, my son!” Word was brought to Joab. “The king is now weeping and mourning for Absalom.” And the day’s victory was turned to mourning for all the troops, because they learned that the king was grieving for his son. And the troops returned stealthily that day to the town, as troops creep back ashamed when routed in battle.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.


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3rd FEBRUARY, BIBLE READING (2 SAMUEL 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13)


A messenger came to tell David, “The hearts of the men of Israel are now with Absalom.” So David said to all his officers who were with him in Jerusalem, “Let us be off, let us fly, or we shall never escape from Absalom. Leave as quickly as you can in case he mounts a surprise attack and worsts us and puts the city to the sword.”

David then made his way up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, his head covered and his feet bare. And all the people with him had their heads covered and made their way up, weeping as they went.

As David was reaching Bahurim, out came a man of the same clan as Saul’s family. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and as he came he uttered curse after curse and threw stones at David and at all King David’s officers, though the whole army and all the champions flanked the king right and left. The words of his curse were these, “Be off, be off, man of blood, scoundrel! The Lord has brought on you all the blood of the House of Saul whose sovereignty you have usurped; and the Lord has transferred that same sovereignty to Absalom your son. Now your doom has overtaken you, man of blood that you are.” Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Is this dead dog to curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut his head off.” But the king replied, “What business is it of mine and yours, son of Zeruiah? Let him curse. If the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ what right has anyone to say, ‘Why have you done this?'” David said to Abishai and all his officers, “Why, my own son, sprung from my body, is now seeking my life; so now how much more this Benjaminite? Let him curse if the Lord has told him to. Perhaps the Lord will look on my misery and repay me with good for his curse today.” So David and his men went on their way.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.


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1st FEBRUARY, BIBLE READING (2 SAMUEL 12:1-7, 10-17)


The Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David. He came to him and said:

“In the same town were two men,
one rich, the other poor.
The rich man had flocks and herds
in great abundance;
the poor man had nothing but a ewe lamb,
only one, a small one he had bought.
This he fed, and it grew up with him and his children,
eating his bread, drinking from his cup,
sleeping on his breast; it was like a daughter to him.
When there came a traveller to stay the rich man
refused to take one of his own flock or herd
to provide for the wayfarer who had come to him.
Instead he took the poor man’s lamb
and prepared it for his guest.”

David’s anger flared up against the man. “As the Lord lives,” he said to Nathan, “the man who did this deserves to die! He must make fourfold restitution for the lamb, for doing such a thing and showing no compassion.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man. So now the sword will never be far from your House, since you have shown contempt for me and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”

“Thus the Lord speaks, ‘I will stir up evil for you out of your own House. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to your neighbour, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. You worked in secret, I will work this in the face of all Israel and in the face of the sun.'”

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Then Nathan said to David, “The Lord, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die. Yet because you have outraged the Lord by doing this, the child that is born to you is to die.” Then Nathan went home.

The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David and it fell gravely ill. David pleaded with the Lord for the child; he kept a strict fast and went home and spent the night on the bare ground, covered with sacking. The officials of his household came and stood round him to get him to rise from the ground, but he refused, nor would he take food with them.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.


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31st JANUARY, BIBLE READING (2 SAMUEL 11:1-10, 13-17)


At the turn of the year, the time when kings go campaigning, David sent Joab and with him his own guards and the whole of Israel. They massacred the Ammonites and laid siege to Rabbah. David however remained in Jerusalem.

It happened towards evening when David had risen from his couch and was strolling on the palace roof, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David made enquiries about this woman and was told, “Why, that is Bathsheba, Eliam’s daughter, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers and had her brought. She came to him, and he slept with her; now she had just purified herself from her courses. She then went home again. The woman conceived and sent word to David, “I am with child.”

Then David sent Joab a message, “Send me Uriah the Hittite,” whereupon Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came into his presence, David asked after Joab and the army and how the war was going. David then asked Uriah, “Go down to your house and enjoy yourself.” Uriah left the palace, and was followed by a present from the king’s table. Uriah however slept by the palace door with his master’s bodyguard and did not go down to his house.

This was reported to David; “Uriah,” they said, “did not go down to his house.” The next day David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk. In the evening Uriah went out and lay on his couch with his master’s bodyguard, but he did not go down to his house.

Next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. In the letter he wrote, “Station Uriah in the thick of the fight and then fall back behind him so that he may be struck down and die.” Joab, then besieging the town, posted Uriah in a place where he knew there were fierce fighters. The men of the town sallied out and engaged Joab; the army suffered casualties, including some of David’s bodyguard; and Uriah the Hittite was killed too.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.


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30th JANUARY, BIBLE READING (2 SAMUEL 7:18-19, 24-29)


King David went in and, seated before the Lord, said:
“Who am I, Lord, and what is my House, that you have led me as far as this? Yet in your sight, Lord, this is still not far enough, and you make your promises extend to the House of your servant for a far-distant future. You have constituted your people Israel to be your own people for ever; and you, Lord, have become their God. Now, Lord, always keep the promise you have made your servant and his House, and do as you have said. Your name will be exalted for ever and men will say, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel.’ The House of your servant David will be made secure in your presence, since you yourself, Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, ‘I will build you a House’; hence your servant has ventured to offer this prayer to you. Yes, Lord, you are God indeed, your words are true and you have made this fair promise to your servant. Be pleased, then, to bless the House of your servant, that it may continue for ever in your presence; for you, Lord, have spoken; and with your blessing the House of your servant will be for ever blessed.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.


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The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I have never stayed in a house from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until today, but have always led a wanderer’s life in a tent. In all my journeying with the whole people of Israel, did I say to any one of the judges of Israel, whom I had appointed as shepherds of Israel my people: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’ This is what you must say to my servant David, ‘The Lord of hosts says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you are laid to rest with your ancestors, I will preserve the offspring of your body after you and make his sovereignty secure. (It is he who shall build a house for my name, and I will make his royal throne secure for ever.) I will be a father to him and he a son to me; if he does evil, I will punish him with the rod such as men use, with strokes such as mankind gives. Yet I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.'”
Nathan related all these words to David and this whole revelation.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.


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