When their fathers or brothers come and protest to us, 1 we’ll say to them, “Do us a favor and let them be, 2 for we could not get each one a wife through battle. 3 Don’t worry about breaking your oath! 4 You would only be guilty if you had voluntarily given them wives.’” 5
Goliath 1 stood and called to Israel’s troops, 2 “Why do you come out to prepare for battle? Am I not the Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose 3 for yourselves a man so he may come down 4 to me!
When David’s 1 oldest brother Eliab heard him speaking to the men, he became angry 2 with David and said, “Why have you come down here? To whom did you entrust those few sheep in the desert? I am familiar with your pride and deceit! 3 You have come down here to watch the battle!”
David said to the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing upset you. 1 There is no way to anticipate whom the sword will cut down. 2 Press the battle against the city and conquer 3 it.’ Encourage him with these words.” 4
But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to David’s aid, striking the Philistine down and killing him. Then David’s men took an oath saying, “You will not go out to battle with us again! You must not extinguish the lamp of Israel!”
When the king passed by, he called out to the king, “Your servant went out into the heat 1 of the battle, and then a man turned aside and brought me a prisoner. 2 He told me, ‘Guard this prisoner. If he ends up missing for any reason, 3 you will pay with your life or with a talent 4 of silver.’ 5
All these were the descendants of Asher. They were the leaders of their families, the most capable men, who were warriors and served as head chiefs. There were 26,000 warriors listed in their genealogical records as capable of doing battle. 1
Some of the Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the desert. They were warriors who were trained for battle; they carried shields and spears. They were as fierce as lions and could run as quickly as gazelles across the hills. 1
In the spring, at the time when kings normally conduct wars, 1 Joab led the army into battle and devastated the land of the Ammonites. He went and besieged Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem. Joab defeated Rabbah and tore it down.
He said: “Pay attention, all you people of Judah, 1 residents of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Don’t be afraid and don’t panic 2 because of this huge army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
You will not fight in this battle. Take your positions, stand, and watch the Lord deliver you, 1 O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! 2 Tomorrow march out toward them; the Lord is with you!’”
During 1 the reign of Ahaz son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel marched up to Jerusalem 2 to do battle, but they were unable to prevail against it. 3
I said, 1 “Oh, the feeling in the pit of my stomach! 2 I writhe in anguish. Oh, the pain in my heart! 3 My heart pounds within me. I cannot keep silent. For I hear the sound of the trumpet; 4 the sound of the battle cry pierces my soul! 5
Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride forth on their horses. Lined up in formation like men going into battle to attack you, Daughter Zion.’” 1
I have listened to them very carefully, 1 but they do not speak honestly. None of them regrets the evil he has done. None of them says, “I have done wrong!” 2 All of them persist in their own wayward course 3 like a horse charging recklessly into battle.
If I go out into the countryside, I see those who have been killed in battle. If I go into the city, I see those who are sick because of starvation. 1 For both prophet and priest go about their own business in the land without having any real understanding.’” 2
The sounds of battle 1 will resound to the ends of the earth. For the Lord will bring charges against the nations. 2 He will pass judgment on all humankind and will hand the wicked over to be killed in war.’ 3 The Lord so affirms it! 4
Some who survive in battle will return to the land of Judah from the land of Egypt. But they will be very few indeed! 1 Then the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will know whose word proves true, 2 mine or theirs.’
Shout the battle cry from all around the city. She will throw up her hands in surrender. 1 Her towers 2 will fall. Her walls will be torn down. Because I, the Lord, am wreaking revenge, 3 take out your vengeance on her! Do to her as she has done!
Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears. They are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride forth on their horses. Lined up in formation like men going into battle, they are coming against you, fair Babylon! 1