Read the Bible in a Year

Each day, we'll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year. This is part of The Colossians 13:16 Project, sponsored by Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia. You're invited to worship with us Sundays, at 11:00 a.m. or Saturdays, at 6:30 p.m. You may also want to consider joining one our adult Bible Studies: Thursdays at 12:00 noon and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We also have a full range of programs for children. If you want more information about the church, check out the other blogs. And please feel free to leave any comments.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bible Readings for May 31, 2011

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 17:1-29; John 19:23-42; Psalm 119:129-152; and Proverbs 16:12-13. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


2 Samuel 17:1-29 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 17

1Ahithophel said to Absalom:

Let me choose twelve thousand men and attack David tonight, 2while he is tired and discouraged. He will panic, and everyone with him will run away. I won't kill anyone except David, 3since he's the one you want to get rid of. Then I'll bring the whole nation back to you like a bride coming home to her husband. a] This way there won't be a civil war.

Hushai Fools Absalom

4Absalom and all the leaders of the tribes of Israel agreed that Ahithophel had a good plan. 5Then Absalom said, "Bring in Hushai the Archite. Let's hear what he has to say."

6Hushai came in, and Absalom told him what Ahithophel had planned. Then Absalom said, "Should we do what he says? And if we shouldn't, can you come up with anything better?"

7Hushai said:

This time Ahithophel's advice isn't so good. 8You know that your father and his followers are real warriors. Right now they are as fierce as a mother bear whose cubs have just been killed. Besides, your father has a lot of experience in fighting wars, and he won't be spending the night with the others. 9He has probably already found a hiding place in a cave or somewhere else.

As soon as anyone hears that some of your soldiers have been killed, everyone will think your whole army has been destroyed. 10Then even those who are as brave as a lion will lose their courage. All Israel knows what a great warrior your father is and what brave soldiers he has.

11My advice is to gather all the fighting men of Israel from the town of Dan in the north down to the town of Beersheba in the south. You will have more soldiers than there are grains of sand on the seashore. Absalom, you should lead them yourself, 12and we will all go to fight David wherever he is. We will fall on him just as dew falls and covers the ground. He and all his soldiers will die! 13If they go into a walled town, we will put ropes around that town and drag it into the river. We won't leave even one small piece of a stone.

14Absalom and the others liked Hushai's plan better than Ahithophel's plan. This was because the LORD had decided to keep Ahithophel's plan from working and to cause trouble for Absalom.

Jonathan and Ahimaaz Tell David the News

15Right away, Hushai went to Zadok and Abiathar. He told them what advice Ahithophel had given to Absalom and to the leaders of Israel. He also told them about the advice he had given. 16Then he said, "Hurry! Send someone to warn David not to spend the night on this side of the river. He must get across the river, so he and the others won't be wiped out!"

17Jonathan and Ahimaaz b] had been waiting at Rogel Spring c] because they did not want to be seen in Jerusalem. A servant girl went to the spring and gave them the message for David. 18But a young man saw them and went to tell Absalom. So Jonathan and Ahimaaz left and hurried to the house of a man who lived in Bahurim. Then they climbed down into a well in the courtyard. 19The man's wife put the cover on the well and poured grain on top of it, so the well could not be seen. d] 20Absalom's soldiers came to the woman and demanded, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?"

The woman answered, "They went across the stream."

The soldiers went off to look for the two men. But when they did not find the men, they went back to Jerusalem.

21After the soldiers had gone, Jonathan and Ahimaaz climbed out of the well. They went to David and said, "Hurry! Get ready to cross the river!" Then they told him about Ahithophel's plan.

22David and the others got ready and started crossing the Jordan River. By sunrise all of them were on the other side.

Ahithophel Kills Himself

23When Ahithophel saw that Absalom and the leaders of Israel were not going to follow his advice, he saddled his donkey and rode back to his home in Gilo. He told his family and servants what to do. Then he hanged himself, and they buried him in his family's burial place.

Absalom Puts Amasa in Charge of the Army

24David went to the town of Mahanaim, and Absalom crossed the Jordan River with the army of Israel. 25Absalom put Amasa in Joab's place as commander of the army. Amasa's father was Ithra e] from the family of Ishmael, f] and his mother was Abigal, g] the daughter of Nahash and the sister of Joab's mother Zeruiah. 26The Israelites under Absalom's command set up camp in the region of Gilead.

Friends Bring Supplies to David

27After David came to the town of Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash came from Rabbah in Ammon, h] Machir the son of Ammiel came from Lo-Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite came from Rogelim. 28-29Here is a list of what they brought: sleeping mats, blankets, bowls, pottery jars, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, yogurt, sheep, and cheese.

They brought the food for David and the others because they knew that everyone would be hungry, tired, and thirsty from being out in the desert.

2 Samuel 17:3 back to you. . . husband: One ancient translation; Hebrew "back to you. The man you are chasing is like bringing back the whole nation."
2 Samuel 17:17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz: See 15.27.
2 Samuel 17:17 Rogel Spring: South of Jerusalem in Kidron Valley.
2 Samuel 17:19 The man's wife. . . seen: Everyone would have thought that the woman was drying grain on a mat that she had spread on the ground.
2 Samuel 17:25 Ithra: Or "Jether."
2 Samuel 17:25 the family of Ishmael: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation; other manuscripts of the same translation "the town of Jezreel"; Hebrew "the people of Israel."
2 Samuel 17:25 Amasa. . . Abigal: Abigal and Zeruiah (Joab's mother) were full sisters, and David was evidently their half brother with the same mother, but a different father. This made Amasa one of David's nephews (see 1 Chronicles 2.12-17).
2 Samuel 17:27 Shobi. . . Ammon: Shobi was probably the new king of the Ammonites that David had appointed after he captured Rabbah (see 2 Samuel 10.1-3; 12.26-31).

John 19:23-42 (Contemporary English Version)

23After the soldiers had nailed Jesus to the cross, they divided up his clothes into four parts, one for each of them. But his outer garment was made from a single piece of cloth, and it did not have any seams. 24The soldiers said to each other, "Let's not rip it apart. We will gamble to see who gets it." This happened so that the Scriptures would come true, which say,

"They divided up my clothes
and gambled
for my garments."

The soldiers then did what they had decided.

25Jesus' mother stood beside his cross with her sister and Mary the wife of Clopas. Mary Magdalene was standing there too. a] 26When Jesus saw his mother and his favorite disciple with her, he said to his mother, "This man is now your son." 27Then he said to the disciple, "She is now your mother." From then on, that disciple took her into his own home.

The Death of Jesus
(Matthew 27.45-56; Mark 15.33-41; Luke 23.44-49)

28Jesus knew that he had now finished his work. And in order to make the Scriptures come true, he said, "I am thirsty!" 29A jar of cheap wine was there. Someone then soaked a sponge with the wine and held it up to Jesus' mouth on the stem of a hyssop plant. 30After Jesus drank the wine, he said, "Everything is done!" He bowed his head and died.

A Spear Is Stuck in Jesus' Side

31The next day would be both a Sabbath and the Passover. It was a special day for the Jewish people, b] and they did not want the bodies to stay on the crosses during that day. So they asked Pilate to break the men's legs c] and take their bodies down. 32The soldiers first broke the legs of the other two men who were nailed there. 33But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, and they did not break his legs. 34One of the soldiers stuck his spear into Jesus' side, and blood and water came out. 35We know this is true, because it was told by someone who saw it happen. Now you can have faith too. 36All this happened so that the Scriptures would come true, which say, "No bone of his body will be broken" 37and, "They will see the one in whose side they stuck a spear."

Jesus Is Buried
(Matthew 27.57-61; Mark 15.42-47; Luke 23.50-56)

38Joseph from Arimathea was one of Jesus' disciples. He had kept it secret though, because he was afraid of the Jewish leaders. But now he asked Pilate to let him have Jesus' body. Pilate gave him permission, and Joseph took it down from the cross.

39Nicodemus also came with about seventy-five pounds of spices made from myrrh and aloes. This was the same Nicodemus who had visited Jesus one night. d] 40The two men wrapped the body in a linen cloth, together with the spices, which was how the Jewish people buried their dead. 41In the place where Jesus had been nailed to a cross, there was a garden with a tomb that had never been used. 42The tomb was nearby, and since it was the time to prepare for the Sabbath, they were in a hurry to put Jesus' body there.

John 19:25 Jesus' mother stood beside his cross with her sister and Mary the wife of Clopas. Mary Magdalene was standing there too: The Greek text may also be understood to include only three women (" Jesus' mother stood beside the cross with her sister, Mary the mother of Clopas. Mary Magdalene was standing there too." ) or merely two women (" Jesus' mother was standing there with her sister Mary of Clopas, that is, Mary Magdalene." ). " Of Clopas" may mean " daughter of" or " mother of."
John 19:31 a special day for the Jewish people: Passover could be any day of the week. But according to the Gospel of John, Passover was on a Sabbath in the year that Jesus was nailed to a cross.
John 19:31 break the men's legs: This was the way that the Romans sometimes speeded up the death of a person who had been nailed to a cross.
John 19:39 Nicodemus who had visited Jesus one night: See 3.1-21.

Psalm 119:129-152 (Contemporary English Version)

129Your teachings are wonderful,
and I respect them all.

130Understanding your word
brings light
to the minds
of ordinary people.

131I honestly want to know
everything you teach.

132Think about me and be kind,
just as you are to everyone
who loves your name.

133Keep your promise
and don't let me stumble
or let sin control my life.

134Protect me from abuse,
so I can obey your laws.

135Smile on me, your servant,
and teach me your laws.

136When anyone disobeys you,
my eyes overflow with tears.

137Our LORD, you always do right,
and your decisions are fair.

138All of your teachings are true
and trustworthy.

139It upsets me greatly
when my enemies neglect
your teachings.

140Your word to me, your servant,
is like pure gold;
I treasure what you say.

141Everyone calls me a nobody,
but I remember your laws.

142You will always do right,
and your teachings are true.

143I am in deep distress,
but I love your teachings.

144Your rules are always fair.

Help me to understand them
and live.

145I pray to you, LORD!

Please answer me.

I promise to obey your laws.

146I beg you to save me,
so I can follow your rules.

147Even before sunrise,
I pray for your help,
and I put my hope
in what you have said.

148I lie awake at night,
thinking of your promises.

149Show that you love me, LORD,
and answer my prayer.

Please do the right thing
and save my life.

150People who disobey your Law
have made evil plans
and want to hurt me,
151but you are with me,
and all of your commands
can be trusted.

152From studying your laws,
I found out long ago
that you made them
to last forever.

Proverbs 16:12-13 (Contemporary English Version)

12Justice makes rulers powerful.
They should hate evil
13and like honesty and truth.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bible Readings from May 30, 2011

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 15:23–16:23; John 18:25-19:22; Psalm 119:113-128; and Proverbs 16:10-11. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


2 Samuel 15:23-16:23 (Contemporary English Version)

David Sends the Sacred Chest Back to Jerusalem

23The people of Jerusalem were crying and moaning as David and everyone with him passed by. He led them across Kidron Valley [a] and along the road toward the desert. 24Zadok and Abiathar the priests were there along with several men from the tribe of Levi who were carrying the sacred chest. They set the chest down, and left it there until David and his followers had gone out of the city.

25Then David said:

Zadok, take the sacred chest back to Jerusalem. If the LORD is pleased with me, he will bring me back and let me see it and his tent again. 26But if he says he isn't pleased with me, then let him do what he knows is best.

27Zadok, you are a good judge of things, [b] so return to the city and don't cause any trouble. Take your son Ahimaaz with you. Abiathar and his son Jonathan will also go back. 28I'll wait at the river crossing in the desert until I hear from you. 29Zadok and Abiathar took the sacred chest back into Jerusalem and stayed there. 30David went on up the slope of the Mount of Olives. He was barefoot and crying, and he covered his head to show his sorrow. Everyone with him was crying, and they covered their heads too.

31Someone told David, "Ahithophel is helping Absalom plot against you!"

David said, "Please, LORD, keep Ahithophel's plans from working!"

David Sends Hushai Back as a Spy

32When David reached the top of the Mount of Olives, he met Hushai the Archite [c] at a place of worship. Hushai's robe was torn, and dust was on his head. [d] 33David told him: If you come with me, you might slow us down. [e] 34Go back into the city and tell Absalom, "Your Majesty, I am your servant. I will serve you now, just as I served your father in the past." Hushai, if you do that, you can help me ruin Ahithophel's plans. 35Zadok and Abiathar the priests will be there with you, and you can tell them everything you hear in the palace. 36Then have them send their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan to tell me what you've heard.

37David's advisor Hushai slipped back into Jerusalem, just about the same time that Absalom was coming in.

2 Samuel 16

Ziba Gives Food to David

1David had started down the other side of the Mount of Olives, when he was met by Ziba, the chief servant of Mephibosheth. [f] Ziba had two donkeys that were carrying two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred handfuls of raisins, a hundred figs, [g] and some wine. 2"What's all this?" David asked.

Ziba said, "The donkeys are for your family to ride. The bread and fruit are for the people to eat, and the wine is for them to drink in the desert when they are tired out."

3"And where is Mephibosheth?" David asked.

Ziba answered, "He stayed in Jerusalem, because he thinks the people of Israel want him to rule the kingdom of his grandfather Saul."

4David then told him, "Everything that used to belong to Mephibosheth is now yours."

Ziba said, "Your Majesty, I am your humble servant, and I hope you will be pleased with me."

Shimei Curses David

5David was near the town of Bahurim when a man came out and started cursing him. The man was Shimei the son of Gera, and he was one of Saul's distant relatives. 6He threw stones at David, at his soldiers, and at everyone else, including the bodyguards who walked on each side of David.

7Shimei was yelling at David, "Get out of here, you murderer! You good-for-nothing, 8the LORD is paying you back for killing so many in Saul's family. You stole his kingdom, but now the LORD has given it to your son Absalom. You're a murderer, and that's why you're in such big trouble!"

9Abishai said, "Your Majesty, this man is as useless as a dead dog! He shouldn't be allowed to curse you. Let me go over and chop off his head."

10David replied, "What will I ever do with you and your brother Joab? If Shimei is cursing me because the LORD has told him to, then who are you to tell him to stop?"

11Then David said to Abishai and all his soldiers:

My own son is trying to kill me! Why shouldn't this man from the tribe of Benjamin want me dead even more? Let him curse all he wants. Maybe the LORD did tell him to curse me. 12But if the LORD hears these curses and sees the trouble I'm in, maybe he will have pity on me instead.

13David and the others went on down the road. Shimei went along the hillside by the road, cursing and throwing rocks and dirt at them. 14When David and those with him came to the Jordan River, they were tired out. But after they rested, they [h] felt much better.

Hushai Meets Absalom

15By this time, Absalom, Ahithophel, and the others had reached Jerusalem. 16David's friend Hushai came to Absalom and said, "Long live the king! Long live the king!"

17But Absalom asked Hushai, "Is this how you show loyalty to your friend David? Why didn't you go with him?"

18Hushai answered, "The LORD and the people of Israel have chosen you to be king. I can't leave. I have to stay and serve the one they've chosen. 19Besides, it seems right for me to serve you, just as I served your father."

Ahithophel's Advice

20Absalom turned to Ahithophel and said, "Give us your advice! What should we do?"

21Ahithophel answered, "Some of your father's wives [i] were left here to take care of the palace. You should have sex with them. Then everyone will find out that you have publicly disgraced your father. This will make you and your followers even more powerful." 22Absalom had a tent set up on the flat roof of the palace, and everyone watched as he went into the tent with his father's wives.

23Ahithophel gave such good advice in those days that both Absalom and David thought it came straight from God.

2 Samuel 15:23 Kidron Valley: This was considered the eastern boundary of Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 15:27 you. . . things: Or "You are a prophet" or "You are not a prophet."
2 Samuel 15:32 Archite: The Archites were part of the tribe of Benjamin (see Joshua 16.2).
2 Samuel 15:32 Hushai's. . . head: See the note at 1.2.
2 Samuel 15:33 you might slow us down: Hushai was probably very old.
2 Samuel 16:1 chief servant of Mephibosheth: See 9.1-13.
2 Samuel 16:1 figs: Or "pomegranates," a bright red fruit that looks like an apple.
2 Samuel 16:14 they: Hebrew "he."
2 Samuel 16:21 wives: See the note at 3.7.

John 18:25-19:22 (Contemporary English Version)

Peter Again Denies that He Knows Jesus
(Matthew 26.71-75; Mark 14.69-72; Luke 22.58-62)

25While Simon Peter was standing there warming himself, someone asked him, "Aren't you one of Jesus' followers?"

Again Peter denied it and said, "No, I am not!"

26One of the high priest's servants was there. He was a relative of the servant whose ear Peter had cut off, and he asked, "Didn't I see you in the garden with that man?"

27Once more Peter denied it, and right then a rooster crowed.

Jesus Is Tried by Pilate
(Matthew 27.1,2,11-14; Mark 15.1-5; Luke 23.1-5)

28It was early in the morning when Jesus was taken from Caiaphas to the building where the Roman governor stayed. But the crowd waited outside. Any of them who had gone inside would have become unclean and would not be allowed to eat the Passover meal. [a] 29Pilate came out and asked, "What charges are you bringing against this man?"

30They answered, "He is a criminal! That's why we brought him to you."

31Pilate told them, "Take him and judge him by your own laws."

The crowd replied, "We are not allowed to put anyone to death." 32And so what Jesus said about his death [b] would soon come true. 33Pilate then went back inside. He called Jesus over and asked, "Are you the king of the Jews?"

34Jesus answered, "Are you asking this on your own or did someone tell you about me?"

35"You know I'm not a Jew!" Pilate said. "Your own people and the chief priests brought you to me. What have you done?"

36Jesus answered, "My kingdom doesn't belong to this world. If it did, my followers would have fought to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. No, my kingdom doesn't belong to this world."

37"So you are a king," Pilate replied.

"You are saying that I am a king," Jesus told him. "I was born into this world to tell about the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth knows my voice."

38Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?"

Pilate went back out and said, "I don't find this man guilty of anything!

Jesus Is Sentenced to Death
(Matthew 27.15-31; Mark 15.6-20; Luke 23.13-25)

39And since I usually set a prisoner free for you at Passover, would you like for me to set free the king of the Jews?"

40They shouted, "No, not him! We want Barabbas." Now Barabbas was a terrorist. [c]

John 19

1Pilate gave orders for Jesus to be beaten with a whip. 2The soldiers made a crown out of thorn branches and put it on Jesus. Then they put a purple robe on him. 3They came up to him and said, "Hey, you king of the Jews!" They also hit him with their fists.

4Once again Pilate went out. This time he said, "I will have Jesus brought out to you again. Then you can see for yourselves that I have not found him guilty."

5Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said, "Here is the man!" [d] 6When the chief priests and the temple police saw him, they yelled, "Nail him to a cross! Nail him to a cross!"

Pilate told them, "You take him and nail him to a cross! I don't find him guilty of anything."

7The crowd replied, "He claimed to be the Son of God! Our Jewish Law says that he must be put to death."

8When Pilate heard this, he was terrified. 9He went back inside and asked Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus did not answer.

10"Why won't you answer my question?" Pilate asked. "Don't you know that I have the power to let you go free or to nail you to a cross?"

11Jesus replied, "If God had not given you the power, you couldn't do anything at all to me. But the one who handed me over to you did something even worse."

12Then Pilate wanted to set Jesus free. But the crowd again yelled, "If you set this man free, you are no friend of the Emperor! Anyone who claims to be a king is an enemy of the Emperor."

13When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out. Then he sat down on the judge's bench at the place known as "The Stone Pavement." In Aramaic this pavement is called "Gabbatha." 14It was about noon on the day before Passover, and Pilate said to the crowd, "Look at your king!"

15"Kill him! Kill him!" they yelled. "Nail him to a cross!"

"So you want me to nail your king to a cross?" Pilate asked.

The chief priests replied, "The Emperor is our king!" 16Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be nailed to a cross.

Jesus was taken away,

Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
(Matthew 27.32-44; Mark 15.21-32; Luke 23.26-43)

17and he carried his cross to a place known as "The Skull." [e] In Aramaic this place is called "Golgotha." 18There Jesus was nailed to the cross, and on each side of him a man was also nailed to a cross. 19Pilate ordered the charge against Jesus to be written on a board and put above the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." 20The words were written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.

The place where Jesus was taken wasn't far from the city, and many of the Jewish people read the charge against him. 21So the chief priests went to Pilate and said, "Why did you write that he is King of the Jews? You should have written, `He claimed to be King of the Jews.' "

22But Pilate told them, "What is written will not be changed!"

John 18:28 would have become unclean and would not be allowed to eat the Passover meal: Jewish people who came in close contact with foreigners right before Passover were not allowed to eat the Passover meal.
John 18:32 about his death: Jesus had said that he would die by being " lifted up," which meant that he would die on a cross. The Romans killed criminals by nailing them on a cross, but they did not let the Jews kill anyone in this way.
John 18:40 terrorist: Someone who stirred up trouble against the Romans in the hope of gaining freedom for the Jewish people.
John 19:5 " Here is the man!" : Or " Look at the man!"
John 19:17 The Skull: The place was probably given this name because it was near a large rock in the shape of a human skull.

Psalm 119:113-128 (Contemporary English Version)

113I hate anyone
whose loyalty is divided,
but I love your Law.

114You are my place of safety
and my shield.

Your word is my only hope.

115All of you worthless people,
get away from me!

I am determined to obey
the commands of my God.

116Be true to your word, LORD.

Keep me alive and strong;
don't let me be ashamed
because of my hope.

117Keep me safe and secure,
so that I will always
respect your laws.

118You reject all deceitful liars
because they refuse
your teachings.

119As far as you are concerned,
all evil people are [a] garbage,
and so I follow your rules.

120I tremble all over
when I think of you
and the way you judge.

121I did what was fair and right!

Don't hand me over to those
who want to mistreat me.

122Take good care of me,
your servant,
and don't let me be harmed
by those conceited people.

123My eyes are weary from waiting
to see you keep your promise
to come and save me.

124Show your love for me,
your servant,
and teach me your laws.

125I serve you,
so let me understand
your teachings.

126Do something, LORD!

They have broken your Law.

127Your laws mean more to me
than the finest gold.

128I follow all of your commands, [b]
but I hate anyone
who leads me astray.

Psalm 119:119 As far as. . . are: A few Hebrew manuscripts and ancient translations. Most Hebrew manuscripts have " You get rid of evil people as if they were."
Psalm 119:128 I. . . commands: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 16:10-11 (Contemporary English Version)

10Rulers speak with authority
and are never wrong.

11The LORD doesn't like it
when we cheat in business.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bible Reading for May 29, 2011

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 14:1–15:22; John 18:1-24; Psalm 119:97-112; and Proverbs 16:8-9. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


2 Samuel 14-15:22 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 14

1Joab knew that David couldn't stop thinking about Absalom, 2-3and he sent someone to bring in the wise woman who lived in Tekoa. Joab told her, "Put on funeral clothes and don't use any makeup. Go to the king and pretend you have spent a long time mourning the death of a loved one." Then he told her what to say.

4The woman from Tekoa went to David. She bowed very low and said, "Your Majesty, please help me!"

5David asked, "What's the matter?"

She replied:

My husband is dead, and I'm a widow. 6I had two sons, but they got into a fight out in a field where there was no one to pull them apart, and one of them killed the other. 7Now all of my relatives have come to me and said, "Hand over your son! We're going to put him to death for killing his brother." But what they really want is to get rid of him, so they can take over our land.

Please don't let them put out my only flame of hope! There won't be anyone left on this earth to carry on my husband's name.

8"Go on home," David told her. "I'll take care of this matter for you."

9The woman said, "I hope your decision doesn't cause any problems for you. But if it does, you can blame me." [a] 10He said, "If anyone gives you any trouble, bring them to me, and it won't happen again!"

11"Please," she replied, "swear by the LORD your God that no one will be allowed to kill my son!"

He said, "I swear by the living LORD that no one will touch even a hair on his head!"

12Then she asked, "Your Majesty, may I say something?"

"Yes," he answered.

13The woman said:

Haven't you been hurting God's people? Your own son had to leave the country. And when you judged in my favor, it was the same as admitting that you should have let him come back. 14We each must die and disappear like water poured out on the ground. But God doesn't take our lives. [b] Instead, he figures out ways of bringing us back when we run away. 15Your Majesty, I came here to tell you about my problem, because I was afraid of what someone might do to me. I decided to come to you, because I thought you could help. 16In fact, I knew that you would listen and save my son and me from those who want to take the land that God gave us. [c] 17I can rest easy now that you have given your decision. You know the difference between right and wrong just like an angel of God, and I pray that the LORD your God will be with you.

18Then David said to the woman, "Now I'm going to ask you a question, and don't try to hide the truth!"

The woman replied, "Please go ahead, Your Majesty."

19David asked, "Did Joab put you up to this?"

The woman answered, "Your Majesty, I swear by your life that no one can hide the truth from you. Yes, Joab did tell me what to say, 20but only to show you the other side of this problem. You must be as wise as the angel of God to know everything that goes on in this country."

21David turned to Joab and said, "It seems that I have already given my decision. Go and bring Absalom back."

22Joab bowed very low and said, "Your Majesty, I thank you for giving your permission. It shows that you approve of me."

23Joab went to Geshur to get Absalom. But when they came back to Jerusalem, 24David told Joab, "I don't want to see my son Absalom. Tell him to stay away from me." So Absalom went to his own house without seeing his father.

Absalom Was Handsome

25No one in all Israel was as handsome and well-built as Absalom. 26He got his hair cut once a year, and when the hair was weighed, it came to about five pounds.

27Absalom had three sons. He also had a daughter named Tamar, who grew up to be very beautiful.

Absalom Finally Sees David

28Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without seeing his father. 29He wanted Joab to talk to David for him. So one day he sent a message asking Joab to come over, but Joab refused. Absalom sent another message, but Joab still refused. 30Finally, Absalom told his servants, "Joab's barley field is right next to mine. Go set it on fire!" And they did.

31Joab went to Absalom's house and demanded, "Why did your servants set my field on fire?"

32Absalom answered, "You didn't pay any attention when I sent for you. I want you to ask my father why he told me to come back from Geshur. I was better off there. I want to see my father now! If I'm guilty, let him kill me."

33Joab went to David and told him what Absalom had said. David sent for Absalom, and Absalom came. He bowed very low, and David leaned over and kissed him.

2 Samuel 15

Absalom Rebels against David

1Some time later, Absalom got himself a chariot with horses to pull it, and he had fifty men run in front. 2He would get up early each morning and wait by the side of the road that led to the city gate. [d] Anyone who had a complaint to bring to King David would have to go that way, and Absalom would ask each of them, "Where are you from?" If they said, "I'm from a tribe in the north," 3Absalom would say, "You deserve to win your case. It's too bad the king doesn't have anyone to hear complaints like yours. 4I wish someone would make me the judge around here! I would be fair to everyone."

5Whenever anyone would come to Absalom and start bowing down, he would reach out and hug and kiss them. 6That's how he treated everyone from Israel who brought a complaint to the king. Soon everyone in Israel liked Absalom better than they liked David.

7Four years [e] later, Absalom said to David, "Please, let me go to Hebron. I have to keep a promise that I made to the LORD, 8when I was living with the Arameans in Geshur. I promised that if the LORD would bring me back to live in Jerusalem, I would worship him in Hebron." [f] 9David gave his permission, and Absalom went to Hebron. 10-12He took two hundred men from Jerusalem with him, but they had no idea what he was going to do. Absalom offered sacrifices in Hebron and sent someone to Gilo to tell David's advisor Ahithophel to come.

More and more people were joining Absalom and supporting his plot. Meanwhile, Absalom had secretly sent some messengers to the northern tribes of Israel. The messengers told everyone, "When you hear the sound of the trumpets, you must shout, `Absalom now rules as king in Hebron!' "

David Has To Leave Jerusalem

13A messenger came and told David, "Everyone in Israel is on Absalom's side!"

14David's officials were in Jerusalem with him, and he told them, "Let's get out of here! We'll have to leave soon, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Hurry! If he moves fast, he could catch us while we're still here. Then he will kill us and everyone else in the city."

15The officials said, "Your Majesty, we'll do whatever you say."

16-17David left behind ten of his wives [g] to take care of the palace, but the rest of his family and his officials and soldiers went with him. They stopped at the last house at the edge of the city. 18Then David stood there and watched while his regular troops and his bodyguards [h] marched past. The last group was the six hundred soldiers who had followed him from Gath. [i] Their commander was Ittai. 19David spoke to Ittai and said, "You're a foreigner from the town of Gath. You don't have to leave with us. Go back and join the new king! 20You haven't been with me very long, so why should you have to follow me, when I don't even know where I'm going? Take your soldiers and go back. I pray that the Lord will be [j] kind and faithful to you." 21Ittai answered, "Your Majesty, just as surely as you and the LORD live, I will go where you go, no matter if it costs me my life."

22"Then come on!" David said.

So Ittai and all his men and their families walked on past David.

2 Samuel 14:9 I hope. . . me: Or "May I speak some more?"
2 Samuel 14:14 take our lives: Or "make any exceptions."
2 Samuel 14:16 take. . . us: Or "make sure we have no part in God's people."
2 Samuel 15:2 the city gate: Or "the entrance to the king's palace."
2 Samuel 15:7 Four years: The Hebrew text has "forty years."
2 Samuel 15:8 in Hebron: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
2 Samuel 15:16 wives: See the note at 3.7.
2 Samuel 15:18 bodyguards: See the note at 8.18.
2 Samuel 15:18 the six. . . Gath: These were Philistine soldiers who were loyal to David.
2 Samuel 15:20 I pray. . . be: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.

John 18:1-24 (Contemporary English Version)

John 18

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
(Matthew 26.47-56; Mark 14.43-50; Luke 22.47-53)

1When Jesus had finished praying, he and his disciples crossed the Kidron Valley and went into a garden. [a] 2Jesus had often met there with his disciples, and Judas knew where the place was. 3-5Judas had promised to betray Jesus. So he went to the garden with some Roman soldiers and temple police, who had been sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees. They carried torches, lanterns, and weapons. Jesus already knew everything that was going to happen, but he asked, "Who are you looking for?"

They answered, "We are looking for Jesus from Nazareth!"

Jesus told them, "I am Jesus!" [b] 6At once they all backed away and fell to the ground. 7Jesus again asked, "Who are you looking for?"

"We are looking for Jesus from Nazareth," they answered.

8This time Jesus replied, "I have already told you that I am Jesus. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go. 9Then everything will happen, just as I said, `I did not lose anyone you gave me.' "

10Simon Peter had brought along a sword. He now pulled it out and struck at the servant of the high priest. The servant's name was Malchus, and Peter cut off his right ear. 11Jesus told Peter, "Put your sword away. I must drink from the cup [c] that the Father has given me."

Jesus Is Brought to Annas
(Matthew 26.57,58; Mark 14.53,54; Luke 22.54)

12The Roman officer and his men, together with the temple police, arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13They took him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14This was the same Caiaphas who had told the Jewish leaders, "It is better if one person dies for the people."

Peter Says He Doesn't Know Jesus
(Matthew 26.69,70; Mark 14.66-68; Luke 22.55-57)

15Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That disciple knew the high priest, and he followed Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest's house. 16Peter stayed outside near the gate. But the other disciple came back out and spoke to the girl at the gate. She let Peter go in, 17but asked him, "Aren't you one of that man's followers?"

"No, I am not!" Peter answered.

18It was cold, and the servants and temple police had made a charcoal fire. They were warming themselves around it, when Peter went over and stood near the fire to warm himself.

Jesus Is Questioned by the High Priest
(Matthew 26.59-66; Mark 14.55-64; Luke 22.66-71)

19The high priest questioned Jesus about his followers and his teaching. 20But Jesus told him, "I have spoken freely in front of everyone. And I have always taught in our meeting places and in the temple, where all of our people come together. I have not said anything in secret. 21Why are you questioning me? Why don't you ask the people who heard me? They know what I have said."

22As soon as Jesus said this, one of the temple police hit him and said, "That's no way to talk to the high priest!"

23Jesus answered, "If I have done something wrong, say so. But if not, why did you hit me?" 24Jesus was still tied up, and Annas sent him to Caiaphas the high priest.

John 18:1 garden: The Greek word is usually translated " garden," but probably referred to an olive orchard.
John 18:3 I am Jesus: The Greek text has " I am" (see the note at 8.24).
John 18:11 drink from the cup: In the Scriptures a cup is sometimes used as a symbol of suffering. To " drink from the cup" is to suffer.

Psalm 119:97-112 (Contemporary English Version)

97I deeply love your Law!

I think about it all day.

98Your laws never leave my mind,
and they make me much wiser
than my enemies.

99Thinking about your teachings
gives me better understanding
than my teachers,
100and obeying your laws
makes me wiser
than those
who have lived a long time.

101I obey your word
instead of following a way
that leads to trouble.

102You have been my teacher,
and I won't reject
your instructions.

103Your teachings are sweeter
than honey.

104They give me understanding
and make me hate all lies.

105Your word is a lamp
that gives light
wherever I walk.

106Your laws are fair,
and I have given my word
to respect them all.

107I am in terrible pain!

Save me, LORD,
as you said you would.

108Accept my offerings of praise
and teach me your laws.

109I never forget your teachings,
although my life is always
in danger.

110Some merciless people
are trying to trap me,
but I never turn my back
on your teachings.

111They will always be
my most prized possession
and my source of joy.

112I have made up my mind
to obey your laws forever,
no matter what.

Proverbs 16:8-9 (Contemporary English Version)

8It's better to be honest
and poor
than to be dishonest
and rich.

9We make our own plans,
but the LORD decides
where we will go.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bible Readings for May 28, 2011

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 13:1-39; John 17:1-26; Psalm 119:81-96; and Proverbs 16:6-7. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


2 Samuel 13:1-39 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 13

Amnon Disgraces Tamar

1David had a beautiful daughter named Tamar, who was the sister of Absalom. She was also the half sister of Amnon, [a] who fell in love with her. 2But Tamar was a virgin, and Amnon could not think of a way to be alone with her. He was so upset about it that he made himself sick. 3Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, who was the son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab always knew how to get what he wanted, 4and he said to Amnon, "What's the matter? You're the king's son! You shouldn't have to go around feeling sorry for yourself every morning."

Amnon said, "I'm in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."

5Jonadab told him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, ask him to send Tamar, so you can watch her cook something for you. Then she can serve you the food."

6So Amnon went to bed and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said, "Please, ask Tamar to come over. She can make some special bread [b] while I watch, and then she can serve me the bread." 7David told Tamar, "Go over to Amnon's house and fix him some food." 8When she got there, he was lying in bed. She mixed the dough, made the loaves, and baked them while he watched. 9Then she took the bread out of the pan and put it on his plate, but he refused to eat it.

Amnon said, "Send the servants out of the house." After they had gone, 10he said to Tamar, "Serve the food in my bedroom."

Tamar picked up the bread that she had made and brought it into Amnon's bedroom. 11But as she was taking it over to him, he grabbed her and said, "Come to bed with me!"

12She answered, "No! Please don't force me! This sort of thing isn't done in Israel. It's too disgusting! 13Think of me. I'll be disgraced forever! And think of yourself. Everyone in Israel will say you're nothing but trash! Just ask the king, and he will let you marry me."

14But Amnon would not listen to what she said. He was stronger than she was, so he overpowered her and raped her. 15Then Amnon hated her even more than he had loved her before. So he told her, "Get up and get out!"

16She said, "Don't send me away! That would be worse than what you have already done."

But Amnon would not listen. 17He called in his servant and said, "Throw this woman out and lock the door!"

18The servant made her leave, and he locked the door behind her.

The king's unmarried daughters used to wear long robes with sleeves. [c] 19Tamar tore the robe she was wearing and put ashes on her head. Then she covered her face with her hands and cried loudly as she walked away.

Absalom Kills Amnon

20Tamar's brother Absalom said to her, "How could Amnon have done such a terrible thing to you! But since he's your brother, don't tell anyone what happened. Just try not to think about it."

Tamar soon moved into Absalom's house, but she was always sad and lonely. 21When David heard what had happened to Tamar, he was very angry. But Amnon was his oldest son and also his favorite, and David would not do anything to make Amnon unhappy. [d] 22Absalom treated Amnon as though nothing had happened, but he hated Amnon for what he had done to his sister Tamar.

23Two years later, Absalom's servants were cutting wool from his sheep in Baal-Hazor near the town of Ephraim, and Absalom invited all of the king's sons to be there. [e] 24Then he went to David and said, "My servants are cutting the wool from my sheep. Please come and join us!" 25David answered, "No, my son, we won't go. It would be too expensive for you." Absalom tried to get him to change his mind, but David did not want to go. He only said that he hoped they would have a good time.

26Absalom said, "If you won't go, at least let my brother Amnon come with us."

David asked, "Why should he go with you?" 27But Absalom kept on insisting, and finally David let Amnon and all his other sons go with Absalom.

Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king. [f] 28But he told his servants, "Keep an eye on Amnon. When he gets a little drunk from the wine and is feeling good, I'll give the signal. Then kill him! I've commanded you to do it, so don't be afraid. Be strong and brave." 29Absalom's servants killed Amnon, just as Absalom had told them. The rest of the king's sons quickly rode away on their mules to escape from Absalom.

30While they were on their way to Jerusalem, someone told David, "Absalom has killed all of your sons! Not even one is left." 31David got up, and in his sorrow he tore his clothes and lay down on the ground. His servants remained standing, but they tore their clothes too.

32Then David's nephew [g] Jonadab said, "Your Majesty, not all of your sons were killed! Only Amnon is dead. On the day that Amnon raped Tamar, Absalom decided to kill him. 33Don't worry about the report that all your sons were killed. Only Amnon is dead, 34and Absalom has run away." One of the guards noticed a lot of people coming along the hillside on the road to Horonaim. [h] He went and told the king, "I saw some men coming along Horonaim Road." [i] 35Jonadab said, "Your Majesty, look! Here come your sons now, just as I told you."

36No sooner had he said it, than David's sons came in. They were weeping out loud, and David and all his officials cried just as loudly. 37-38David was sad for a long time because Amnon was dead.

Absalom had run away to Geshur, where he stayed for three years with King Talmai [j] the son of Ammihud.

David Lets Absalom Come Home
39David still felt so sad over the loss of Amnon that he wanted to take his army there and capture Absalom. [k]

2 Samuel 13:1 Tamar. . . Absalom. . . Amnon: David was their father, but Amnon had a different mother.
2 Samuel 13:6 special bread: Or "heart-shaped bread" or "dumplings."
2 Samuel 13:18 long. . . sleeves: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
2 Samuel 13:21 But Amnon. . . unhappy: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; these words are not in the Standard Hebrew Text.
2 Samuel 13:23 invited. . . there: Cutting the wool from sheep was a time for celebrating as well as working.
2 Samuel 13:27 Absalom prepared. . . king: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
2 Samuel 13:32 David's nephew: The Hebrew text has "the son of David's brother Shimeah."
2 Samuel 13:34 the road to Horonaim: Or "the road behind him" or "the road to the west."
2 Samuel 13:34 He. . . Road: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
2 Samuel 13:37 King Talmai: Absalom's grandfather (see 3.3).
2 Samuel 13:39 David. . . Absalom: Or "David was comforted over the loss of Amnon, and he no longer wanted to take his army there to capture Absalom."

John 17:1-26 (Contemporary English Version)

John 17

Jesus Prays

1After Jesus had finished speaking to his disciples, he looked up toward heaven and prayed:

Father, the time has come for you to bring glory to your Son, in order that he may bring glory to you. 2And you gave him power over all people, so that he would give eternal life to everyone you give him. 3Eternal life is to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, the one you sent. 4I have brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you gave me to do. 5Now, Father, give me back the glory that I had with you before the world was created.

6You have given me some followers from this world, and I have shown them what you are like. They were yours, but you gave them to me, and they have obeyed you. 7They know that you gave me everything I have. 8I told my followers what you told me, and they accepted it. They know that I came from you, and they believe that you are the one who sent me. 9I am praying for them, but not for those who belong to this world. [a] My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them. 10All that I have is yours, and all that you have is mine, and they will bring glory to me. 11Holy Father, I am no longer in the world. I am coming to you, but my followers are still in the world. So keep them safe by the power of the name that you have given me. Then they will be one with each other, just as you and I are one. 12While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost, except the one who had to be lost. This happened so that what the Scriptures say would come true.

13I am on my way to you. But I say these things while I am still in the world, so that my followers will have the same complete joy that I do. 14I have told them your message. But the people of this world hate them, because they don't belong to this world, just as I don't.

15Father, I don't ask you to take my followers out of the world, but keep them safe from the evil one. 16They don't belong to this world, and neither do I. 17Your word is the truth. So let this truth make them completely yours. 18I am sending them into the world, just as you sent me. 19I have given myself completely for their sake, so that they may belong completely to the truth.

20I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. 21I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.

22I have honored my followers in the same way that you honored me, in order that they may be one with each other, just as we are one. 23I am one with them, and you are one with me, so that they may become completely one. Then this world's people will know that you sent me. They will know that you love my followers as much as you love me.

24Father, I want everyone you have given me to be with me, wherever I am. Then they will see the glory that you have given me, because you loved me before the world was created. 25Good Father, the people of this world don't know you. But I know you, and my followers know that you sent me. 26I told them what you are like, and I will tell them even more. Then the love that you have for me will become part of them, and I will be one with them.

John 17:9 world: See the note at 12.31.

Psalm 119:81-96 (Contemporary English Version)

81I long for you to rescue me!

Your word is my only hope.

82I am worn out from waiting
for you to keep your word.

When will you have mercy?

83My life is wasting away
like a dried-up wineskin, [a]
but I have not forgotten
your teachings.

84I am your servant!

How long must I suffer?

When will you punish
those troublemakers?

85Those proud people reject
your teachings,
and they dig pits
for me to fall in.

86Your laws can be trusted!

Protect me from cruel liars.

87They have almost killed me,
but I have been faithful
to your teachings.

88Show that you love me
and let me live,
so that I may obey all
of your commands.

89Our LORD, you are eternal!
Your word will last as long
as the heavens. [b]

90You remain faithful
in every generation,
and the earth you created
will keep standing firm.

91All things are your servants,
and the laws you made
are still in effect today.

92If I had not found happiness
in obeying your Law,
I would have died in misery.

93I won't ever forget
your teachings,
because you give me new life
by following them.

94I belong to you,
and I have respected your laws,
so keep me safe.

95Brutal enemies are waiting
to ambush and destroy me,
but I obey your rules.

96Nothing is completely perfect,
except your teachings.

Psalm 119:83 a dried-up wineskin: The Hebrew text has " a wineskin in the smoke." In ancient times bags were made from animal skins to hold wine, but when the bags dried up they cracked and could no longer be used.
Psalm 119:89 Our. . . heavens: Or " Our LORD, your word is eternal. It will last as long as the heavens."

Proverbs 16:6-7 (Contemporary English Version)

6If we truly love God,
our sins will be forgiven;
if we show him respect,
we will keep away from sin.

7When we please the LORD,
even our enemies
make friends with us.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bible Readings for May 27, 2011

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 12:1-31; John 16:1-33; Psalm 119:65-80; and Proverbs 16:4-5. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


2 Samuel 12:1-31 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 12

The LORD's Message for David

1and he sent Nathan the prophet to tell this story to David:

A rich man and a poor man lived in the same town. 2The rich man owned a lot of sheep and cattle, 3but the poor man had only one little lamb that he had bought and raised. The lamb became a pet for him and his children. He even let it eat from his plate and drink from his cup and sleep on his lap. The lamb was like one of his own children.

4One day someone came to visit the rich man, but the rich man didn't want to kill any of his own sheep or cattle and serve it to the visitor. So he stole the poor man's little lamb and served it instead.

5David was furious with the rich man and said to Nathan, "I swear by the living LORD that the man who did this deserves to die! 6And because he didn't have any pity on the poor man, he will have to pay four times what the lamb was worth."

7Then Nathan told David:

You are that rich man! Now listen to what the LORD God of Israel says to you: "I chose you to be the king of Israel. I kept you safe from Saul 8and even gave you his house and his wives. I let you rule Israel and Judah, and if that had not been enough, I would have given you much more. 9Why did you disobey me and do such a horrible thing? You murdered Uriah the Hittite by having the Ammonites kill him, so you could take his wife.

10"Because you wouldn't obey me and took Uriah's wife for yourself, your family will never live in peace. 11Someone from your own family will cause you a lot of trouble, and I will take your wives and give them to another man before your very eyes. He will go to bed with them while everyone looks on. 12What you did was in secret, but I will do this in the open for everyone in Israel to see."

13-14David said, "I have disobeyed the LORD."

"Yes, you have!" Nathan answered. "You showed you didn't care what the LORD wanted. a] He has forgiven you, and you won't die. But your newborn son will." 15Then Nathan went back home. The LORD made David's young son very sick.

David's Young Son Dies

16So David went without eating to show his sorrow, and he begged God to make the boy well. David would not sleep on his bed, but spent each night lying on the floor. 17His officials stood beside him and tried to talk him into getting up. But he would not get up or eat with them.
18After the child had been sick for seven days, he died, but the officials were afraid to tell David. They said to each other, "Even when the boy was alive, David wouldn't listen to us. How can we tell him his son is dead? He might do something terrible!"

19David noticed his servants whispering, and he knew the boy was dead. "Did my son die?" he asked his servants.

"Yes, he did," they answered.

20David got up off the floor; he took a bath, combed his hair, and dressed. He went into the LORD's tent and worshiped, then he went back home. David asked for something to eat, and when his servants brought him some food, he ate it.

21His officials said, "What are you doing? You went without eating and cried for your son while he was alive! But now that he's dead, you're up and eating."

22David answered:

While he was still alive, I went without food and cried because there was still hope. I said to myself, "Who knows? Maybe the LORD will have pity on me and let the child live." 23But now that he's dead, why should I go without eating? I can't bring him back! Someday I will join him in death, but he can't return to me.

Solomon Is Born

24David comforted his wife Bathsheba and slept with her. Later on, she gave birth to another son and named him Solomon. The LORD loved Solomon 25and sent Nathan the prophet to tell David, "The LORD will call him Jedidiah." b]

The End of the War with Ammon
(1 Chronicles 20.1b-3)

26Meanwhile, Joab had been in the country of Ammon, attacking the city of Rabbah. He captured the royal fortress 27and sent a messenger to tell David:

I have attacked Rabbah and captured the fortress guarding the city water supply. 28Call the rest of the army together. Then surround the city, and capture it yourself. If you don't, everyone will remember that I captured the city.

29David called the rest of the army together and attacked Rabbah. He captured the city 30and took the crown from the statue of their god Milcom. c] The crown was made of seventy-five pounds of gold, and there was a valuable jewel on it. David put the jewel on his own crown. d] He also carried off everything else of value. 31David made the people of Rabbah tear down the city walls e] with iron picks and axes, and then he put them to work making bricks. He did the same thing with all the other Ammonite cities. David went back to Jerusalem, and the people of Israel returned to their homes.

2 Samuel 12:13 what. . . wanted: One manuscript of one ancient translation; one Hebrew manuscript "what the LORD had said"; most Hebrew manuscripts "what the enemies of the LORD would think."
2 Samuel 12:25 Jedidiah: In Hebrew this name means "Loved by the LORD."
2 Samuel 12:30 the statue of their god Milcom: Or "their king."
2 Samuel 12:30 David. . . crown: Or "and David wore the crown."
2 Samuel 12:31 tear. . . walls: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

John 16:1-33 (Contemporary English Version)

John 16

1I am telling you this to keep you from being afraid. 2You will be chased out of the Jewish meeting places. And the time will come when people will kill you and think they are doing God a favor. 3They will do these things because they don't know either the Father or me. 4I am saying this to you now, so that when the time comes, you will remember what I have said.

I was with you at the first, and so I didn't tell you these things.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

5But now I am going back to the Father who sent me, and none of you asks me where I am going. 6You are very sad from hearing all of this. 7But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.

8The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God's justice and the judgment. 9The Spirit will show them that they are wrong about sin, because they didn't have faith in me. 10They are wrong about God's justice, because I am going to the Father, and you won't see me again. 11And they are wrong about the judgment, because God has already judged the ruler of this world.

12I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand. 13The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn't speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen. 14The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.

Sorrow Will Turn into Joy

16Jesus told his disciples, "For a little while you won't see me, but after a while you will see me. "

17They said to each other, "What does Jesus mean by saying that for a little while we won't see him, but after a while we will see him? What does he mean by saying that he is going to the Father? 18What is this `little while' that he is talking about? We don't know what he means."

19Jesus knew that they had some questions, so he said:

You are wondering what I meant when I said that for a little while you won't see me, but after a while you will see me. 20I tell you for certain that you will cry and be sad, but the world will be happy. You will be sad, but later you will be happy.

21When a woman is about to give birth, she is in great pain. But after it is all over, she forgets the pain and is happy, because she has brought a child into the world. 22You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel. 23When that time comes, you won't have to ask me about anything. I tell you for certain that the Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. 24You have not asked for anything in this way before, but now you must ask in my name. a] Then it will be given to you, so that you will be completely happy. 25I have used examples to explain to you what I have been talking about. But the time will come when I will speak to you plainly about the Father and will no longer use examples like these. 26You will ask the Father in my name, b] and I won't have to ask him for you. 27God the Father loves you because you love me, and you believe that I have come from him. 28I came from the Father into the world, but I am leaving the world and returning to the Father. 29The disciples said, "Now you are speaking plainly to us! You are not using examples. 30At last we know that you understand everything, and we don't have any more questions. Now we believe that you truly have come from God."

31Jesus replied:

Do you really believe me? 32The time will come and is already here when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go back home and leave me by myself. But the Father will be with me, and I won't be alone. 33I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world. c]

John 16:24 in my name. . . in my name: Or " as my disciples. . . as my disciples."
John 16:26 in my name: Or " because you are my followers."
John 16:33 world: See the note at 12.31.

Psalm 119:65-80 (Contemporary English Version)

65I am your servant, LORD,
and you have kept your promise
to treat me with kindness.

66Give me wisdom and good sense.

I trust your commands.

67Once you corrected me
for not obeying you,
but now I obey.

68You are kindhearted,
and you do good things,
so teach me your laws.

69My reputation is being ruined
by conceited liars,
but with all my heart
I follow your teachings.

70Those liars have no sense,
but I find happiness
in your Law.

71When you corrected me,
it did me good
because it taught me
to study your laws.

72I would rather obey you
than to have a thousand pieces
of silver and gold.

73You created me
and put me together.

Make me wise enough to learn
what you have commanded.

74Your worshipers will see me,
and they will be glad
that I trust your word.

75Your decisions are correct,
and you were right
to punish me.

76I serve you, LORD.

Comfort me with your love,
just as you have promised.

77I love to obey your Law!

Have mercy and let me live.

78Put down those proud people
who hurt me with their lies,
because I have chosen
to study your teachings.

79Let your worshipers come to me,
so they will learn
to obey your rules.

80Let me truly respect your laws,
so I won't be ashamed.

Proverbs 16:4-5 (Contemporary English Version)

4The LORD has a reason
for everything he does,
and he lets evil people live
only to be punished.

5The LORD doesn't like
anyone who is conceited--
you can be sure
they will be punished.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bible Readings for May 26, 2011

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 9:1–11:27; John 15:1-27; Psalm 119:49-64; and Proverbs 16:1-3. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


2 Samuel 9-11:27 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 9

David Is Kind to Mephibosheth

1One day, David thought, "I wonder if any of Saul's family are still alive. If they are, I will be kind to them, because I made a promise to Jonathan." 2David called in Ziba, one of the servants of Saul's family. David said, "So you are Ziba."

"Yes, Your Majesty, I am."

3David asked, "Are any of Saul's family still alive? If there are, I want to be kind to them."

Ziba answered, "One of Jonathan's sons is still alive, but he can't walk."

4"Where is he?" David asked.

Ziba replied, "He lives in Lo-Debar with Machir the son of Ammiel."

5-6David sent some servants to bring Jonathan's son from Lo-Debar. His name was Mephibosheth, [a] and he was the grandson of Saul. He came to David and knelt down. David asked, "Are you Mephibosheth?"

"Yes, I am, Your Majesty."

7David said, "Don't be afraid. I'll be kind to you because Jonathan was your father. I'm going to give you back the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul. Besides that, you will always eat with me at my table."

8Mephibosheth knelt down again and said, "Why should you care about me? I'm worth no more than a dead dog."

9David called in Ziba, Saul's chief servant, and told him, "Since Mephibosheth is Saul's grandson, I've given him back everything that belonged to your master Saul and his family. 10You and your fifteen sons and twenty servants will work for Mephibosheth. You will farm his land and bring in his crops, so that Saul's family and servants [b] will have food. But Mephibosheth will always eat with me at my table." 11-13Ziba replied, "Your Majesty, I will do exactly what you tell me to do." So Ziba's family and servants worked for Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth was lame, but he lived in Jerusalem and ate at David's [c] table, just like one of David's own sons. And he had a young son of his own, named Mica.

2 Samuel 10

Israel Fights Ammon
(1 Chronicles 19.1-19)

1Some time later, King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2David said, "Nahash was kind to me, and I will be kind to his son." So he sent some officials to the country of Ammon to tell Hanun how sorry he was that his father had died.

3But Hanun's officials told him, "Do you really believe David is honoring your father by sending these people to comfort you? He probably sent them to spy on our city, so he can destroy it." 4Hanun arrested David's officials and had their beards shaved off on one side of their faces. He had their robes cut off just below the waist, and then he sent them away. 5They were terribly ashamed.

When David found out what had happened to his officials, he sent a message and told them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back. Then you can come home."

6The Ammonites realized that they had made David very angry, so they hired more foreign soldiers. Twenty thousand of them were foot soldiers from the Aramean cities of Beth-Rehob and Zobah, one thousand were from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand were from the region of Tob. 7David heard what they had done, and he sent out Joab with all of his well-trained soldiers.

8The Ammonite troops came out and got ready to fight in front of the gate to their city. The Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the soldiers from Tob and Maacah formed a separate group in the nearby fields.

9Joab saw that he had to fight in front and behind at the same time, and he picked some of the best Israelite soldiers to fight the Arameans. 10He put his brother Abishai in command of the rest of the army and had them fight the Ammonites. 11Joab told his brother, "If the Arameans are too much for me to handle, you can come and help me. If the Ammonites are too strong for you, I'll come and help you. 12Be brave and fight hard to protect our people and the cities of our God. I pray that the LORD will do whatever pleases him."

13Joab and his soldiers attacked the Arameans, and the Arameans ran from them. 14When the Ammonite soldiers saw that the Arameans had run away, they ran from Abishai's soldiers and went back into their own city. Joab stopped fighting the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.

15The Arameans realized they had lost the battle, so they brought all their troops together again. 16Hadadezer sent messengers to call in the Arameans who were on the other side of the Euphrates River. Then Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer's army, led them to the town of Helam.

17David found out what the Arameans were doing, and he brought Israel's whole army together. They crossed the Jordan River and went to Helam, where the Arameans were ready to meet them. 18The Arameans attacked, but then they ran from Israel. David killed seven hundred chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry. [d] He also killed Shobach, their commander. 19When the kings who had been under Hadadezer's rule saw that Israel had beaten them, they made peace with Israel and accepted David as their ruler. The Arameans were afraid to help Ammon any more.

2 Samuel 11

David and Bathsheba
(1 Chronicles 20.1a)

1It was now spring, the time when kings go to war. [e] David sent out the whole Israelite army under the command of Joab and his officers. They destroyed the Ammonite army and surrounded the capital city of Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem. 2-4Late one afternoon, David got up from a nap and was walking around on the flat roof of his palace. A beautiful young woman was down below in her courtyard, bathing as her religion required. [f] David happened to see her, and he sent one of his servants to find out who she was. The servant came back and told David, "Her name is Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam, and she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite."

David sent some messengers to bring her to his palace. She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she returned home. 5But later, when she found out that she was going to have a baby, she sent someone to David with this message: "I'm pregnant!"

6David sent a message to Joab: "Send Uriah the Hittite to me."

Joab sent Uriah 7to David's palace, and David asked him, "Is Joab well? How is the army doing? And how about the war?" 8Then David told Uriah, "Go home and clean up." [g] Uriah left the king's palace, and David had dinner sent to Uriah's house. 9But Uriah didn't go home. Instead, he slept outside the entrance to the royal palace, where the king's guards slept. 10Someone told David that Uriah had not gone home. So the next morning David asked him, "Why didn't you go home? Haven't you been away for a long time?"

11Uriah answered, "The sacred chest and the armies of Israel and Judah are camping out somewhere in the fields [h] with our commander Joab and his officers and troops. Do you really think I would go home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? I swear by your life that I would not!" 12Then David said, "Stay here in Jerusalem today, and I will send you back tomorrow."

Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. Then the next day, 13David invited him for dinner. Uriah ate with David and drank so much that he got drunk, but he still did not go home. He went out and slept on his mat near the palace guards. 14Early the next morning, David wrote a letter and told Uriah to deliver it to Joab. 15The letter said: "Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is the worst. Then pull the troops back from him, so that he will be wounded and die."

16Joab had been carefully watching the city of Rabbah, and he put Uriah in a place where he knew there were some of the enemy's best soldiers. 17When the men of the city came out, they fought and killed some of David's soldiers--Uriah the Hittite was one of them.

18Joab sent a messenger to tell David everything that was happening in the war. 19He gave the messenger these orders:

When you finish telling the king everything that has happened, 20he may get angry and ask, "Why did you go so near the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21Don't you know how Abimelech the son of Gideon [i] was killed at Thebez? Didn't a woman kill him by dropping a large rock from the top of the city wall? Why did you go so close to the city walls?" Then you tell him, "One of your soldiers who was killed was Uriah the Hittite."

22The messenger went to David and reported everything Joab had told him. 23He added, "The enemy chased us from the wall and out into the open fields. But we pushed them back as far as the city gate. 24Then they shot arrows at us from the top of the wall. Some of your soldiers were killed, and one of them was Uriah the Hittite."

25David replied, "Tell Joab to cheer up and not to be upset about what happened. You never know who will be killed in a war. Tell him to strengthen his attack against the city and break through its walls." [j] 26When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27Then after the time for mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to the palace. She became David's wife, and they had a son.

The LORD was angry at what David had done,

2 Samuel 9:5 Mephibosheth: Or "Mephibaal" (see the note at 4.4).
2 Samuel 9:10 Saul's family and servants: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation; Hebrew "the son of your master."
2 Samuel 9:11 David's: Hebrew "my."
2 Samuel 10:18 cavalry: The Hebrew manuscripts and ancient translations differ as to how many and what kind of soldiers were killed.
2 Samuel 11:1 when. . . war: Or "when the messengers had gone to Ammon" (see 10.2) or "the time when the kings had gone to war" (see 10.6-8).
2 Samuel 11:2 as. . . required: This bathing was often a requirement for worshiping God.
2 Samuel 11:8 and clean up: Or "and sleep with your wife."
2 Samuel 11:11 somewhere in the fields: Or "at Succoth."
2 Samuel 11:21 Gideon: The Hebrew text has Jerubbesheth, which stands for "Jerubbaal," another name for Gideon. See Judges 6.32 and the note on "bosheth" at 2.8 ("besheth" means the same as "bosheth").
2 Samuel 11:25 break. . . walls: Or "destroy it."

John 15:1-27 (Contemporary English Version)

John 15

Jesus Is the True Vine

1Jesus said to his disciples:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit. 3You are already clean because of what I have said to you.

4Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. 5I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me. 6If you don't stay joined to me, you will be thrown away. You will be like dry branches that are gathered up and burned in a fire.

7Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered. 8When you become fruitful disciples of mine, my Father will be honored. 9I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you. 10If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.

11I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am. 12Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you. 13The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them. 14And you are my friends, if you obey me. 15Servants don't know what their master is doing, and so I don't speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.

16You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. [a] 17So I command you to love each other.

The World's Hatred

18If the people of this world [b] hate you, just remember that they hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don't belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and that is why its people hate you. 20Remember how I told you that servants are not greater than their master. So if people mistreat me, they will mistreat you. If they do what I say, they will do what you say. 21People will do to you exactly what they did to me. They will do it because you belong to me, and they don't know the one who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.

23Everyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24I have done things that no one else has ever done. If they had not seen me do these things, they would not be guilty. But they did see me do these things, and they still hate me and my Father too. 25That is why the Scriptures are true when they say, "People hated me for no reason."

26I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help [c] you and will tell you about me. 27Then you will also tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.

John 15:16 in my name: Or " because you are my followers."
John 15:18 world: See the note at 12.31.
John 15:26 help: See the note at 14.16.

Psalm 119:49-64 (Contemporary English Version)

49Don't forget your promise
to me, your servant.

I depend on it.

50When I am hurting,
I find comfort in your promise
that leads to life.

51Conceited people sneer at me,
but I obey your Law.

52I find true comfort, LORD,
because your laws have stood
the test of time.

53I get furious when evil people
turn against your Law.

54No matter where I am,
your teachings
fill me with songs.

55Even in the night
I think about you, LORD,
and I obey your Law.

56You have blessed me
because I have always followed
your teachings.

57You, LORD, are my choice,
and I will obey you.

58With all my heart
I beg you to be kind to me,
just as you have promised.

59I pay careful attention
as you lead me,
and I follow closely.

60As soon as you command,
I do what you say.

61Evil people may set a trap,
but I obey your Law.

62Your laws are so fair
that I wake up
and praise you
in the middle of the night.

63I choose as my friends
everyone who worships you
and follows your teachings.

64Our LORD, your love is seen
all over the world.

Teach me your laws.

Proverbs 16:1-3 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 16

The LORD Has the Final Word

1We humans make plans,
but the LORD
has the final word.

2We may think we know
what is right,
but the LORD is the judge
of our motives.

3Share your plans with the LORD,
and you will succeed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bible Readings for May 25, 2011

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 7:1–8:18; John 14:15-31; Psalm 119:33-48; and Proverbs 15:33. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.


2 Samuel 7-8:18 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 7

The LORD's Message to David
(1 Chronicles 17.1-15)

1King David moved into his new palace, and the LORD let his kingdom be at peace. 2Then one day, as David was talking with Nathan the prophet, David said, "Look around! I live in a palace made of cedar, but the sacred chest has to stay in a tent."

3Nathan replied, "The LORD is with you, so do what you want!"

4That night, the LORD told Nathan 5to go to David and give him this message:

David, you are my servant, so listen to what I say. Why should you build a temple for me? 6I didn't live in a temple when I brought my people out of Egypt, and I don't live in one now. A tent has always been my home wherever I have gone with them. 7I chose leaders and told them to be like shepherds for my people Israel. But did I ever say anything to even one of them about building a cedar temple for me?

8David, this is what I, the LORD All-Powerful, say to you. I brought you in from the fields where you took care of sheep, and I made you the leader of my people. 9Wherever you went, I helped you and destroyed your enemies right in front of your eyes. I have made you one of the most famous people in the world.

10I have given my people Israel a land of their own where they can live in peace, and they won't have to tremble with fear any more. Evil nations won't bother them, as they did 11when I let judges rule my people. And I have kept your enemies from attacking you.

Now I promise that you and your descendants will be kings. 12I'll choose one of your sons to be king when you reach the end of your life and are buried in the tomb of your ancestors. I'll make him a strong ruler, 13and no one will be able to take his kingdom away from him. He will be the one to build a temple for me. 14I will be his father, and he will be my son.

When he does wrong, I'll see that he is corrected, just as children are corrected by their parents. 15But I will never put an end to my agreement with him, as I put an end to my agreement with Saul, who was king before you. 16I will make sure that one of your descendants will always be king.

17Nathan told David exactly what he had heard in the vision.

David Gives Thanks to the LORD
(1 Chronicles 17.16-27)

18David went into the tent he had set up for the sacred chest. Then he sat there and prayed:

LORD All-Powerful, my family and I don't deserve what you have already done for us, 19and yet you have promised to do even more. Is this the way you usually treat people? [a] 20I am your servant, and you know my thoughts, so there is nothing more that I need to say. 21You have done this wonderful thing, and you have let me know about it, because you wanted to keep your promise. 22LORD All-Powerful, you are greater than all others. No one is like you, and you alone are God. Everything we have heard about you is true. 23And there is no other nation on earth like Israel, the nation you rescued from slavery in Egypt to be your own. You became famous by using great and wonderful miracles to force other nations and their gods out of your land, so your people could live here. [b] 24You have chosen Israel to be your people forever, and you have become their God. 25And now, LORD God, please do what you have promised me and my descendants. 26Then you will be famous forever, and everyone will say, "The LORD God All-Powerful rules Israel, and David's descendants are his chosen kings." 27After all, you really are Israel's God, the LORD All-Powerful. You've told me that you will let my descendants be kings. That's why I have the courage to pray to you like this, even though I am only your servant.

28LORD All-Powerful, you are God. You have promised me some very good things, and you can be trusted to do what you promise. 29Please bless my descendants and let them always be your chosen kings. You have already promised, and I'm sure that you will bless my family forever.

2 Samuel 8

A List of David's Victories in War
(1 Chronicles 18.1-13)

1Later, David attacked and badly defeated the Philistines. Israel was now free from their control. [c] 2David also defeated the Moabites. Then he made their soldiers lie down on the ground, and he measured them off with a rope. He would measure off two lengths of the rope and have those men killed, then he would measure off one length and let those men live. The people of Moab had to accept David as their ruler and pay taxes to him.

3David set out for the Euphrates River to build a monument [d] there. On his way, [e] he defeated the king of Zobah, whose name was Hadadezer the son of Rehob. 4In the battle, David captured seventeen hundred cavalry [f] and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He also captured war chariots, but he destroyed all but one hundred of them. [g] 5When troops from the Aramean kingdom of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, David killed twenty thousand of them. 6He left some of his soldiers in Damascus, and the Arameans had to accept David as their ruler and pay taxes to him. Everywhere David went, the LORD helped him win battles.

7Hadadezer's officers had carried their arrows in gold cases hung over their shoulders, but David took these cases [h] and brought them to Jerusalem. 8He also took a lot of bronze from the cities of Betah and Berothai, which had belonged to Hadadezer. 9-10King Toi of Hamath and King Hadadezer had been enemies. So when Toi heard that David had attacked and defeated [i] Hadadezer's whole army, he sent his son Joram to praise and congratulate David. Joram also brought him gifts made of silver, gold, and bronze. 11David gave these to the LORD, just as he had done with the silver and gold that he had captured from 12Edom, [j] Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and from King Hadadezer of Zobah. 13David fought the Edomite [k] army in Salt Valley and killed eighteen thousand of their soldiers. When he returned, he built a monument. [l] 14David left soldiers all through Edom, and the people of Edom had to accept him as their ruler. Wherever David went, the LORD helped him.

A List of David's Officials
(1 Chronicles 18.14-17)

15David ruled all Israel with fairness and justice.

16Joab the son of Zeruiah was the commander in chief of the army.

Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud kept the government records.

17Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abiathar the son of Ahimelech, [m] were the priests. Seraiah was the secretary.

18Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was the commander of [n] David's bodyguard. [o] David's sons were priests.

2 Samuel 7:19 Is this. . . people: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
2 Samuel 7:23 You. . . here: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
2 Samuel 8:1 Israel. . . control: Or "David also took the town of Metheg-Ammah away from them."
2 Samuel 8:3 monument: Kings sometimes set up monuments in lands they had conquered.
2 Samuel 8:3 David. . . way: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. It may have been Hadadezer who was going to the Euphrates River. And he may have gone there either to build a monument or to put down a rebellion.
2 Samuel 8:4 seventeen hundred cavalry: Hebrew; one ancient translation and 1 Chronicles 18.4 "a thousand chariots and seven thousand cavalry."
2 Samuel 8:4 He also captured. . . them: Or "He crippled all but one hundred of the horses."
2 Samuel 8:7 Hadadezer's. . . cases: Or "Hadadezer's soldiers carried gold shields, but David took these shields."
2 Samuel 8:9 defeated: Or "killed."
2 Samuel 8:12 Edom: Some Hebrew manuscripts and two ancient translations (see also 1 Chronicles 18.11); most Hebrew manuscripts "Aram." In Hebrew the words for "Edom" and "Aram" look almost alike.
2 Samuel 8:13 Edomite: Some Hebrew manuscripts and two ancient translations (see also 1 Chronicles 18.12); most Hebrew manuscripts "Aramean." In Hebrew the words for "Edomite" and "Aramean" look almost alike.
2 Samuel 8:13 built a monument: Or "was famous."
2 Samuel 8:17 Abiathar the son of Ahimelech: One ancient translation and 1 Samuel 22.11-23; Hebrew "Ahimelech the son of Abiathar."
2 Samuel 8:18 was the commander of: Not in the Hebrew text of this verse, but see 1 Chronicles 18.17.
2 Samuel 8:18 David's bodyguard: The Hebrew text has "the Cherethites and the Pelethites," who were foreign soldiers hired by David to be his bodyguard.

John 14:15-31 (Contemporary English Version)

The Holy Spirit Is Promised

15Jesus said to his disciples:

If you love me, you will do as I command. 16Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help [a] you and always be with you. 17The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. 18I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. 19In a little while the people of this world won't be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live. 20Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you. 21If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.

22The other Judas, not Judas Iscariot, [b] then spoke up and asked, "Lord, what do you mean by saying that you will show us what you are like, but you will not show the people of this world?" 23Jesus replied:

If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. 24But anyone who doesn't love me, won't obey me. What they have heard me say doesn't really come from me, but from the Father who sent me.

25I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26But the Holy Spirit will come and help [c] you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you. 27I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid.

28You have already heard me say that I am going and that I will also come back to you. If you really love me, you should be glad that I am going back to the Father, because he is greater than I am.

29I am telling you this before I leave, so that when it does happen, you will have faith in me. 30I cannot speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. But he has no power over me. 31I obey my Father, so that everyone in the world might know that I love him.

It is time for us to go now.

John 14:16 help: The Greek word may mean " comfort," " encourage," or " defend."
John 14:22 Iscariot: See the note at 6.71.
John 14:26 help: See the note at 14.16.

Psalm 119:33-48 (Contemporary English Version)

33Point out your rules to me,
and I won't disobey
even one of them.

34Help me to understand your Law;
I promise to obey it
with all my heart.

35Direct me by your commands!

I love to do what you say.

36Make me want to obey you,
rather than to be rich.

37Take away my foolish desires,
and let me find life
by walking with you.

38I am your servant!

Do for me what you promised
to those who worship you.

39Your wonderful teachings
protect me from the insults
that I hate so much.

40I long for your teachings.

Be true to yourself
and let me live.

41Show me your love
and save me, LORD,
as you have promised.

42Then I will have an answer
for everyone
who insults me
for trusting your word.

43I rely on your laws!

Don't take away my chance
to speak your truth.

44I will keep obeying your Law
forever and ever.

45I have gained perfect freedom
by following your teachings,
46and I trust them so much
that I tell them to kings.

47I love your commands!

They bring me happiness.

48I love and respect them
and will keep them in mind.

Proverbs 15:33 (Contemporary English Version)

33Showing respect to the LORD
will make you wise,
and being humble
will bring honor to you.