Friday, May 31, 2013

Bible Readings for May 31, 2013


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 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.
   
Footnotes:
  1. 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. 2 Samuel 17:17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz: See 15.27.
  3. 2 Samuel 17:17 Rogel Spring: South of Jerusalem in Kidron Valley.
  4. 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.
  5. 2 Samuel 17:25 Ithra: Or "Jether."
  6. 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."
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
Footnotes:
  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.




Verse of the Day

“With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever.” - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.




Norman Vincent Peale NYWTS.jpg
Thought for the Day

Minister, author and a progenitor of the theory of “positive thinking” Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “Our problem is to become acquainted with our own selves, letting our personalities loose upon the world for the sheer adventure of their full development and in the positive hope that they may in their own way lift the level of humanity.”

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