The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday June 25, 2017 (NIV)

2 Kings 8:1-9:13

The Woman from Shunem Is Given Back Her Land

Elisha told the woman whose son he had brought back to life,[a] “The Lord has warned that there will be no food here for seven years. Take your family and go live somewhere else for a while.” The woman did exactly what Elisha had said and went to live in Philistine territory.

She and her family lived there seven years. Then she returned to Israel and immediately begged the king to give back her house and property.

Meanwhile, the king was asking Gehazi the servant of Elisha about the amazing things Elisha had been doing. While Gehazi was telling him that Elisha had brought a dead boy back to life, the woman and her son arrived.

“Here’s the boy, Your Majesty,” Gehazi said. “And this is his mother.”

The king asked the woman to tell her story, and she told him everything that had happened. He then said to one of his officials, “I want you to make sure that this woman gets back everything that belonged to her, including the money her crops have made since the day she left Israel.”

Hazael Kills Benhadad

Some time later Elisha went to the capital city of Damascus to visit King Benhadad of Syria, who was sick. And when Benhadad was told he was there, he said to Hazael,[b] “Go meet with Elisha the man of God and have him ask the Lord if I will get well. And take along a gift for him.”

Hazael left with forty camel loads of the best things made in Damascus as a gift for Elisha. He found the prophet and said, “Your servant, King Benhadad, wants to know if he will get well.”

10 “Tell him he will,” Elisha said to Hazael. “But the Lord has already told me that Benhadad will definitely die.” 11 Elisha stared at him until Hazael was embarrassed, then Elisha began crying.[c]

12 “Sir, why are you crying?” Hazael asked.

Elisha answered, “Because I know the terrible things you will do to the people of Israel. You will burn down their walled cities and slaughter their young men. You will even crush the heads of their babies and rip open their pregnant women.”

13 “How could I ever do anything like that?” Hazael replied. “I’m only a servant and don’t have that kind of power.”

“Hazael, the Lord has told me that you will be the next king of Syria.”

14 Hazael went back to Benhadad and told him, “Elisha said that you will get well.” 15 But the very next day, Hazael got a thick blanket; he soaked it in water and held it over Benhadad’s face until he died. Hazael then became king.

King Jehoram of Judah

16 Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah in Joram’s fifth year as king of Israel, while Jehoshaphat was still king of Judah.[d] 17 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled eight years from Jerusalem.

18 Jehoram disobeyed the Lord by doing wrong. He married Ahab’s daughter and was as sinful as Ahab’s family and the kings of Israel. 19 But the Lord refused to destroy Judah, because he had promised his servant David that someone from his family would always rule in Judah.

20 While Jehoram was king, the people of Edom rebelled and chose their own king. 21 So Jehoram[e] and his cavalry marched to Zair, where the Edomite army surrounded him and his commanders. During the night he attacked the Edomites, but he was defeated, and his troops escaped to their homes.[f] 22 Judah was never able to regain control of Edom. Even the town of Libnah[g] rebelled at that time.

23 Everything else Jehoram did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 24 Jehoram died and was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem.[h] His son Ahaziah then became king.

King Ahaziah of Judah

25 Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah in the twelfth year of Joram’s rule in Israel. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled from Jerusalem for only one year. His mother was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27 Since Ahaziah was related to Ahab’s family,[i] he acted just like them and disobeyed the Lord by doing wrong.

28 Ahaziah went with King Joram of Israel to attack King Hazael and the Syrian troops at Ramoth in Gilead. Joram was wounded in that battle, 29 so he went to the town of Jezreel to recover. Ahaziah went there to visit him.

Jehu Becomes King of Israel

One day, Elisha called for one of the other prophets and said:

Take this bottle of olive oil and get ready to go to the town of Ramoth in Gilead. When you get there, find Jehu son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi. Take him to a place where the two of you can be alone, then pour olive oil on his head to show that he is the new king. Say to him, “The Lord has chosen you to be king of Israel.” Then leave quickly—don’t wait around for anything!

The young prophet left for Ramoth. When he arrived, the army officers were meeting together. “Sir, I have a message for you,” he said.

“For which one of us?” Jehu asked.

“You, sir,” the prophet answered. So Jehu got up and went inside.[j] The prophet poured olive oil on Jehu’s head and told him:

The Lord God of Israel has this message for you: “I am the Lord, and I have chosen you to be king of my people Israel. I want you to wipe out the family of Ahab, so Jezebel will be punished for killing the prophets and my other servants. Every man and boy in Ahab’s family must die, whether slave or free. His whole family must be destroyed, just like the families of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 As for Jezebel, her body will be eaten by dogs in the town of Jezreel. There won’t be enough left of her to bury.”

Then the young prophet opened the door and ran out.

11 Jehu went back to his officers, and one of them asked, “What did that crazy prophet want? Is everything all right?”

“You know him and how he talks,” Jehu answered.

12 “No, we don’t. What did he say?” they asked.

“He had a message from the Lord,” Jehu replied. “He said that the Lord has chosen me to be the next king of Israel.”

13 They quickly grabbed their coats and spread them out on the steps where Jehu was standing. Someone blew a trumpet, and everyone shouted, “Jehu is king!”

Footnotes:

  1. 8.1 Elisha. . . life: See 4.8-37.
  2. 8.8 Hazael: Probably one of Benhadad’s officials.
  3. 8.11 Elisha stared. . . crying: Or “Hazael stared at him until Elisha was embarrassed and began to cry.”
  4. 8.16 while Jehoshaphat. . . Judah: In biblical times, a father and son would sometimes rule as kings at the same time. That way, when the father died, his son would already have control of the kingdom.
  5. 8.21 Jehoram: The Hebrew text has “Joram,” another spelling of the name.
  6. 8.21 he attacked. . . homes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 8.22 Even the town of Libnah: This was a town on the border between Philistia and Judah, which means that Jehoram was facing rebellion on two sides of his kingdom.
  8. 8.24 Jerusalem: Hebrew “the city of David.”
  9. 8.27 Since. . . family: Ahaziah’s mother was Ahab’s daughter (see verse 18).
  10. 9.6 went inside: The officers were probably meeting outside in an open courtyard of some building.

Acts 16:16-40

Paul and Silas Are Put in Jail

16 One day on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl. She had a spirit in her that gave her the power to tell the future. By doing this she made a lot of money for her owners. 17 The girl followed Paul and the rest of us and kept yelling, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They are telling you how to be saved.”

18 This went on for several days. Finally, Paul got so upset that he turned and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I order you to leave this girl alone!” At once the evil spirit left her.

19 When the girl’s owners realized that they had lost all chances for making more money, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them into court. 20 They told the officials, “These Jews are upsetting our city! 21 They are telling us to do things we Romans are not allowed to do.”

22 The crowd joined in the attack on Paul and Silas. Then the officials tore the clothes off the two men and ordered them to be beaten with a whip. 23 After they had been badly beaten, they were put in jail, and the jailer was told to guard them carefully. 24 The jailer did as he was told. He put them deep inside the jail and chained their feet to heavy blocks of wood.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God, while the other prisoners listened. 26 Suddenly a strong earthquake shook the jail to its foundations. The doors opened, and the chains fell from all the prisoners.

27 When the jailer woke up and saw that the doors were open, he thought that the prisoners had escaped. He pulled out his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! No one has escaped.”

29 The jailer asked for a torch and went into the jail. He was shaking all over as he knelt down in front of Paul and Silas. 30 After he had led them out of the jail, he asked, “What must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Have faith in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved! This is also true for everyone who lives in your home.”

32 Then Paul and Silas told him and everyone else in his house about the Lord. 33 While it was still night, the jailer took them to a place where he could wash their cuts and bruises. Then he and everyone in his home were baptized. 34 They were very glad that they had put their faith in God. After this, the jailer took Paul and Silas to his home and gave them something to eat.

35 The next morning the officials sent some police with orders for the jailer to let Paul and Silas go. 36 The jailer told Paul, “The officials have ordered me to set you free. Now you can leave in peace.”

37 But Paul told the police, “We are Roman citizens,[a] and the Roman officials had us beaten in public without giving us a trial. They threw us into jail. Now do they think they can secretly send us away? No, they cannot! They will have to come here themselves and let us out.”

38 When the police told the officials that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, the officials were afraid. 39 So they came and apologized. They led them out of the jail and asked them to please leave town. 40 But Paul and Silas went straight to the home of Lydia, where they saw the Lord’s followers and encouraged them. Then they left.

Footnotes:

  1. 16.37 Roman citizens: Only a small number of the people living in the Roman Empire were citizens, and they had special rights and privileges.

Psalm 143

(A psalm by David.)

A Prayer in Time of Danger

143 Listen, Lord, as I pray!
You are faithful and honest
and will answer my prayer.
I am your servant.
Don’t try me in your court,
because no one is innocent
by your standards.
My enemies are chasing me,
crushing me in the ground.
I am in total darkness,
like someone long dead.
I have given up all hope,
and I feel numb all over.

I remember to think about
the many things
you did
in years gone by.
Then I lift my hands in prayer,
because my soul is a desert,
thirsty for water from you.

Please hurry, Lord,
and answer my prayer.
I feel hopeless.
Don’t turn away
and leave me here to die.
Each morning let me learn
more about your love
because I trust you.
I come to you in prayer,
asking for your guidance.

Please rescue me
from my enemies, Lord!
I come to you for safety.[a]
10 You are my God. Show me
what you want me to do,
and let your gentle Spirit
lead me in the right path.

11 Be true to your name, Lord,
and keep my life safe.
Use your saving power
to protect me from trouble.
12 I am your servant.
Show how much you love me
by destroying my enemies.

Footnotes:

  1. 143.9 I. . . safety: Or “You are my hiding place.”

Proverbs 17:26

26 It isn’t fair
to punish the innocent
and those who do right.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday June 24, 2017 (NIV)

2 Kings 6-7

An Axhead Floats

The company(A) of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.”

And he said, “Go.”

Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?”

“I will,” Elisha replied. And he went with them.

They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”

The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw(B) it there, and made the iron float. “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

Elisha Traps Blinded Arameans

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

The man of God sent word to the king(C) of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned(D) the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12 “None of us, my lord the king(E),” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.”(F) 14 Then he sent(G) horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,”(H) the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more(I) than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots(J) of fire all around Elisha.

18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.”(K) So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father?(L) Shall I kill them?”

22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured(M) with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands(N) from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

Famine in Besieged Samaria

24 Some time later, Ben-Hadad(O) king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege(P) to Samaria. 25 There was a great famine(Q) in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels[a] of silver, and a quarter of a cab[b] of seed pods[c](R) for five shekels.[d]

26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”

27 The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” 28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate(S) him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

30 When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore(T) his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and they saw that, under his robes, he had sackcloth(U) on his body. 31 He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”

32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders(V) were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead, but before he arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Don’t you see how this murderer(W) is sending someone to cut off my head?(X) Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s footsteps behind him?” 33 While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him.

The king said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait(Y) for the Lord any longer?”

Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah[e] of the finest flour will sell for a shekel[f] and two seahs[g] of barley for a shekel(Z) at the gate of Samaria.”

The officer on whose arm the king was leaning(AA) said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates(AB) of the heavens, could this happen?”

“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat(AC) any of it!”

The Siege Lifted

Now there were four men with leprosy[h](AD) at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound(AE) of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired(AF) the Hittite(AG) and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled(AH) in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

The men who had leprosy(AI) reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” 11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

12 The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide(AJ) in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’”

13 One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”

14 So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.” 15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight.(AK) So the messengers returned and reported to the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered(AL) the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel,(AM) as the Lord had said.

17 Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died,(AN) just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. 18 It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

19 The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates(AO) of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!” 20 And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 6:25 That is, about 2 pounds or about 920 grams
  2. 2 Kings 6:25 That is, probably about 1/4 pound or about 100 grams
  3. 2 Kings 6:25 Or of doves’ dung
  4. 2 Kings 6:25 That is, about 2 ounces or about 58 grams
  5. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, probably about 12 pounds or about 5.5 kilograms of flour; also in verses 16 and 18
  6. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, about 2/5 ounce or about 12 grams; also in verses 16 and 18
  7. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, probably about 20 pounds or about 9 kilograms of barley; also in verses 16 and 18
  8. 2 Kings 7:3 The Hebrew for leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin; also in verse 8.
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Acts 15:36-16:15

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns(A) where we preached the word of the Lord(B) and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,(C) with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them(D) in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas(E) and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.(F) 41 He went through Syria(G) and Cilicia,(H) strengthening the churches.(I)

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

16 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra,(J) where a disciple named Timothy(K) lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer(L) but whose father was a Greek. The believers(M) at Lystra and Iconium(N) spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.(O) As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders(P) in Jerusalem(Q) for the people to obey.(R) So the churches were strengthened(S) in the faith and grew daily in numbers.(T)

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia(U) and Galatia,(V) having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.(W) When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus(X) would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.(Y) During the night Paul had a vision(Z) of a man of Macedonia(AA) standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we(AB) got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel(AC) to them.

Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi

11 From Troas(AD) we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi,(AE) a Roman colony and the leading city of that district[a] of Macedonia.(AF) And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath(AG) we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira(AH) named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart(AI) to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household(AJ) were baptized,(AK) she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 16:12 The text and meaning of the Greek for the leading city of that district are uncertain.
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Psalm 142

Psalm 142[a]

A maskil[b] of David. When he was in the cave.(A) A prayer.

I cry aloud(B) to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.(C)
I pour out before him my complaint;(D)
before him I tell my trouble.(E)

When my spirit grows faint(F) within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;(G)
no one cares(H) for my life.

I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,(I)
my portion(J) in the land of the living.”(K)

Listen to my cry,(L)
for I am in desperate need;(M)
rescue me(N) from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong(O) for me.
Set me free from my prison,(P)
that I may praise your name.(Q)
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.(R)

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 142:1 In Hebrew texts 142:1-7 is numbered 142:2-8.
  2. Psalm 142:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
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Proverbs 17:24-25

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
but a fool’s eyes(A) wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
and bitterness to the mother who bore him.(B)

New International Version (NIV)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday June 24, 2017 (NIV)

2 Kings 6-7

An Axhead Floats

The company(A) of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.”

And he said, “Go.”

Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?”

“I will,” Elisha replied. And he went with them.

They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!”

The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw(B) it there, and made the iron float. “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.

Elisha Traps Blinded Arameans

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

The man of God sent word to the king(C) of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned(D) the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12 “None of us, my lord the king(E),” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.”(F) 14 Then he sent(G) horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,”(H) the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more(I) than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots(J) of fire all around Elisha.

18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.”(K) So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father?(L) Shall I kill them?”

22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured(M) with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands(N) from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

Famine in Besieged Samaria

24 Some time later, Ben-Hadad(O) king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege(P) to Samaria. 25 There was a great famine(Q) in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels[a] of silver, and a quarter of a cab[b] of seed pods[c](R) for five shekels.[d]

26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”

27 The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” 28 Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?”

She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ 29 So we cooked my son and ate(S) him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

30 When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore(T) his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and they saw that, under his robes, he had sackcloth(U) on his body. 31 He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”

32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders(V) were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead, but before he arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Don’t you see how this murderer(W) is sending someone to cut off my head?(X) Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s footsteps behind him?” 33 While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him.

The king said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait(Y) for the Lord any longer?”

Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah[e] of the finest flour will sell for a shekel[f] and two seahs[g] of barley for a shekel(Z) at the gate of Samaria.”

The officer on whose arm the king was leaning(AA) said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates(AB) of the heavens, could this happen?”

“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat(AC) any of it!”

The Siege Lifted

Now there were four men with leprosy[h](AD) at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound(AE) of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired(AF) the Hittite(AG) and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled(AH) in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

The men who had leprosy(AI) reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” 11 The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

12 The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide(AJ) in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’”

13 One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here—yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”

14 So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.” 15 They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight.(AK) So the messengers returned and reported to the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered(AL) the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of the finest flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel,(AM) as the Lord had said.

17 Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died,(AN) just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. 18 It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

19 The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates(AO) of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!” 20 And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 6:25 That is, about 2 pounds or about 920 grams
  2. 2 Kings 6:25 That is, probably about 1/4 pound or about 100 grams
  3. 2 Kings 6:25 Or of doves’ dung
  4. 2 Kings 6:25 That is, about 2 ounces or about 58 grams
  5. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, probably about 12 pounds or about 5.5 kilograms of flour; also in verses 16 and 18
  6. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, about 2/5 ounce or about 12 grams; also in verses 16 and 18
  7. 2 Kings 7:1 That is, probably about 20 pounds or about 9 kilograms of barley; also in verses 16 and 18
  8. 2 Kings 7:3 The Hebrew for leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin; also in verse 8.
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Acts 15:36-16:15

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns(A) where we preached the word of the Lord(B) and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,(C) with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them(D) in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas(E) and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.(F) 41 He went through Syria(G) and Cilicia,(H) strengthening the churches.(I)

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

16 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra,(J) where a disciple named Timothy(K) lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer(L) but whose father was a Greek. The believers(M) at Lystra and Iconium(N) spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.(O) As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders(P) in Jerusalem(Q) for the people to obey.(R) So the churches were strengthened(S) in the faith and grew daily in numbers.(T)

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia(U) and Galatia,(V) having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.(W) When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus(X) would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.(Y) During the night Paul had a vision(Z) of a man of Macedonia(AA) standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we(AB) got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel(AC) to them.

Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi

11 From Troas(AD) we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi,(AE) a Roman colony and the leading city of that district[a] of Macedonia.(AF) And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath(AG) we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira(AH) named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart(AI) to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household(AJ) were baptized,(AK) she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 16:12 The text and meaning of the Greek for the leading city of that district are uncertain.
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Psalm 142

Psalm 142[a]

A maskil[b] of David. When he was in the cave.(A) A prayer.

I cry aloud(B) to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.(C)
I pour out before him my complaint;(D)
before him I tell my trouble.(E)

When my spirit grows faint(F) within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;(G)
no one cares(H) for my life.

I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,(I)
my portion(J) in the land of the living.”(K)

Listen to my cry,(L)
for I am in desperate need;(M)
rescue me(N) from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong(O) for me.
Set me free from my prison,(P)
that I may praise your name.(Q)
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.(R)

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 142:1 In Hebrew texts 142:1-7 is numbered 142:2-8.
  2. Psalm 142:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
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Proverbs 17:24-25

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
but a fool’s eyes(A) wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
and bitterness to the mother who bore him.(B)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday June 22, 2017 (NIV)

2 Kings 3:1-4:17

Moab Revolts

Joram[a](A) son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years. He did evil(B) in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father(C) and mother had done. He got rid of the sacred stone(D) of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless he clung to the sins(E) of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he did not turn away from them.

Now Mesha king of Moab(F) raised sheep, and he had to pay the king of Israel a tribute of a hundred thousand lambs(G) and the wool of a hundred thousand rams. But after Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled(H) against the king of Israel. So at that time King Joram set out from Samaria and mobilized all Israel. He also sent this message to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight(I) against Moab?”

“I will go with you,” he replied. “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”

“By what route shall we attack?” he asked.

“Through the Desert of Edom,” he answered.

So the king of Israel set out with the king of Judah and the king of Edom.(J) After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them.

10 “What!” exclaimed the king of Israel. “Has the Lord called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?”

11 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire(K) of the Lord?”

An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha(L) son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.[b](M)

12 Jehoshaphat said, “The word(N) of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why do you want to involve me? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.”

“No,” the king of Israel answered, “because it was the Lord who called us three kings together to deliver us into the hands of Moab.”

14 Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you. 15 But now bring me a harpist.”(O)

While the harpist was playing, the hand(P) of the Lord came on Elisha 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: I will fill this valley with pools of water. 17 For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water,(Q) and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18 This is an easy(R) thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands. 19 You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones.”

20 The next morning, about the time(S) for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water.(T)

21 Now all the Moabites had heard that the kings had come to fight against them; so every man, young and old, who could bear arms was called up and stationed on the border. 22 When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites across the way, the water looked red—like blood. 23 “That’s blood!” they said. “Those kings must have fought and slaughtered each other. Now to the plunder, Moab!”

24 But when the Moabites came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and fought them until they fled. And the Israelites invaded the land and slaughtered the Moabites. 25 They destroyed the towns, and each man threw a stone on every good field until it was covered. They stopped up all the springs and cut down every good tree. Only Kir Hareseth(U) was left with its stones in place, but men armed with slings surrounded it and attacked it.

26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle had gone against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but they failed. 27 Then he took his firstborn(V) son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall. The fury against Israel was great; they withdrew and returned to their own land.

The Widow’s Olive Oil

The wife of a man from the company(W) of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor(X) is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”(Y)

Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

She went and told the man of God,(Z) and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

The Shunammite’s Son Restored to Life

One day Elisha went to Shunem.(AA) And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay(AB) there whenever he comes to us.”

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.”(AC) So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.

Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”

15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time(AD) next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”

“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 3:1 Hebrew Jehoram, a variant of Joram; also in verse 6
  2. 2 Kings 3:11 That is, he was Elijah’s personal servant.
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Acts 14:8-28

In Lystra and Derbe

In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth(A) and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed(B) 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!”(C) At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.(D)

11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”(E) 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.(F) 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes(G) and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human,(H) like you. We are bringing you good news,(I) telling you to turn from these worthless things(J) to the living God,(K) who made the heavens and the earth(L) and the sea and everything in them.(M) 16 In the past, he let(N) all nations go their own way.(O) 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony:(P) He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons;(Q) he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”(R) 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

19 Then some Jews(S) came from Antioch and Iconium(T) and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul(U) and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples(V) had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

21 They preached the gospel(W) in that city and won a large number(X) of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium(Y) and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.(Z) “We must go through many hardships(AA) to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a](AB) for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting,(AC) committed them to the Lord,(AD) in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia,(AE) 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.

26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch,(AF) where they had been committed to the grace of God(AG) for the work they had now completed.(AH) 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them(AI) and how he had opened a door(AJ) of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.(AK)

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 14:23 Or Barnabas ordained elders; or Barnabas had elders elected
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Psalm 140

Psalm 140[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Rescue me,(A) Lord, from evildoers;
protect me from the violent,(B)
who devise evil plans(C) in their hearts
and stir up war(D) every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as(E) a serpent’s;
the poison of vipers(F) is on their lips.[b]

Keep me safe,(G) Lord, from the hands of the wicked;(H)
protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare(I) for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net(J)
and have set traps(K) for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”(L)
Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.(M)
Sovereign Lord,(N) my strong deliverer,
you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked(O) their desires, Lord;
do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
may the mischief of their lips engulf them.(P)
10 May burning coals fall on them;
may they be thrown into the fire,(Q)
into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down the violent.(R)

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor(S)
and upholds the cause(T) of the needy.(U)
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,(V)
and the upright will live(W) in your presence.(X)

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 140:1 In Hebrew texts 140:1-13 is numbered 140:2-14.
  2. Psalm 140:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 5 and 8.
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Proverbs 17:22

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed(A) spirit dries up the bones.(B)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday June 22, 2017 (NIV)

2 Kings 3:1-4:17

Moab Revolts

Joram[a](A) son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years. He did evil(B) in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father(C) and mother had done. He got rid of the sacred stone(D) of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless he clung to the sins(E) of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he did not turn away from them.

Now Mesha king of Moab(F) raised sheep, and he had to pay the king of Israel a tribute of a hundred thousand lambs(G) and the wool of a hundred thousand rams. But after Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled(H) against the king of Israel. So at that time King Joram set out from Samaria and mobilized all Israel. He also sent this message to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight(I) against Moab?”

“I will go with you,” he replied. “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”

“By what route shall we attack?” he asked.

“Through the Desert of Edom,” he answered.

So the king of Israel set out with the king of Judah and the king of Edom.(J) After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them.

10 “What!” exclaimed the king of Israel. “Has the Lord called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?”

11 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire(K) of the Lord?”

An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha(L) son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.[b](M)

12 Jehoshaphat said, “The word(N) of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why do you want to involve me? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.”

“No,” the king of Israel answered, “because it was the Lord who called us three kings together to deliver us into the hands of Moab.”

14 Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you. 15 But now bring me a harpist.”(O)

While the harpist was playing, the hand(P) of the Lord came on Elisha 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: I will fill this valley with pools of water. 17 For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water,(Q) and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18 This is an easy(R) thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands. 19 You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones.”

20 The next morning, about the time(S) for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water.(T)

21 Now all the Moabites had heard that the kings had come to fight against them; so every man, young and old, who could bear arms was called up and stationed on the border. 22 When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites across the way, the water looked red—like blood. 23 “That’s blood!” they said. “Those kings must have fought and slaughtered each other. Now to the plunder, Moab!”

24 But when the Moabites came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and fought them until they fled. And the Israelites invaded the land and slaughtered the Moabites. 25 They destroyed the towns, and each man threw a stone on every good field until it was covered. They stopped up all the springs and cut down every good tree. Only Kir Hareseth(U) was left with its stones in place, but men armed with slings surrounded it and attacked it.

26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle had gone against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but they failed. 27 Then he took his firstborn(V) son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall. The fury against Israel was great; they withdrew and returned to their own land.

The Widow’s Olive Oil

The wife of a man from the company(W) of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor(X) is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”(Y)

Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

She went and told the man of God,(Z) and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

The Shunammite’s Son Restored to Life

One day Elisha went to Shunem.(AA) And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay(AB) there whenever he comes to us.”

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.”(AC) So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.

Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”

15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time(AD) next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”

“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 3:1 Hebrew Jehoram, a variant of Joram; also in verse 6
  2. 2 Kings 3:11 That is, he was Elijah’s personal servant.
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Acts 14:8-28

In Lystra and Derbe

In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth(A) and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed(B) 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!”(C) At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.(D)

11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”(E) 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.(F) 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes(G) and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human,(H) like you. We are bringing you good news,(I) telling you to turn from these worthless things(J) to the living God,(K) who made the heavens and the earth(L) and the sea and everything in them.(M) 16 In the past, he let(N) all nations go their own way.(O) 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony:(P) He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons;(Q) he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”(R) 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

19 Then some Jews(S) came from Antioch and Iconium(T) and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul(U) and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples(V) had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

21 They preached the gospel(W) in that city and won a large number(X) of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium(Y) and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.(Z) “We must go through many hardships(AA) to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a](AB) for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting,(AC) committed them to the Lord,(AD) in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia,(AE) 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.

26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch,(AF) where they had been committed to the grace of God(AG) for the work they had now completed.(AH) 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them(AI) and how he had opened a door(AJ) of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.(AK)

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 14:23 Or Barnabas ordained elders; or Barnabas had elders elected
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Psalm 140

Psalm 140[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Rescue me,(A) Lord, from evildoers;
protect me from the violent,(B)
who devise evil plans(C) in their hearts
and stir up war(D) every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as(E) a serpent’s;
the poison of vipers(F) is on their lips.[b]

Keep me safe,(G) Lord, from the hands of the wicked;(H)
protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare(I) for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net(J)
and have set traps(K) for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”(L)
Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.(M)
Sovereign Lord,(N) my strong deliverer,
you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked(O) their desires, Lord;
do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
may the mischief of their lips engulf them.(P)
10 May burning coals fall on them;
may they be thrown into the fire,(Q)
into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down the violent.(R)

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor(S)
and upholds the cause(T) of the needy.(U)
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,(V)
and the upright will live(W) in your presence.(X)

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 140:1 In Hebrew texts 140:1-13 is numbered 140:2-14.
  2. Psalm 140:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 5 and 8.
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Proverbs 17:22

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed(A) spirit dries up the bones.(B)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday June 18, 2017 (NIV)

1 Kings 19

Elijah Flees to Horeb

19 Now Ahab told Jezebel(A) everything Elijah had done and how he had killed(B) all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely,(C) if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”(D)

Elijah was afraid[a] and ran(E) for his life.(F) When he came to Beersheba(G) in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush,(H) sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life;(I) I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.(J)

All at once an angel(K) touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty(L) days and forty nights until he reached Horeb,(M) the mountain of God. There he went into a cave(N) and spent the night.

The Lord Appears to Elijah

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”(O)

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous(P) for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant,(Q) torn down your altars,(R) and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left,(S) and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain(T) in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”(U)

Then a great and powerful wind(V) tore the mountains apart and shattered(W) the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire,(X) but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.(Y) 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face(Z) and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left,(AA) and now they are trying to kill me too.”

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael(AB) king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint(AC) Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha(AD) son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah(AE) to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael,(AF) and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.(AG) 18 Yet I reserve(AH) seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed(AI) him.”

The Call of Elisha

19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak(AJ) around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,”(AK) he said, “and then I will come with you.”

“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen(AL) and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.(AM)

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 19:3 Or Elijah saw
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Acts 12:1-23

Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison

12 It was about this time that King Herod(A) arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John,(B) put to death with the sword.(C) When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews,(D) he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.(E) After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.(F)

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.(G)

The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains,(H) and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel(I) of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.(J)

Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.(K) 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself,(L) and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

11 Then Peter came to himself(M) and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me(N) from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”

12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark,(O) where many people had gathered and were praying.(P) 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.(Q) 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed(R) she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”

15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”(S)

16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand(T) for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James(U) and the other brothers and sisters(V) about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.

18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.(W)

Herod’s Death

Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea(X) and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon;(Y) they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.(Z)

21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel(AA) of the Lord struck him down,(AB) and he was eaten by worms and died.

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Psalm 136

Psalm 136

Give thanks(A) to the Lord, for he is good.(B)
His love endures forever.(C)
Give thanks(D) to the God of gods.(E)
His love endures forever.
Give thanks(F) to the Lord of lords:(G)
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,(H)
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding(I) made the heavens,(J)
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth(K) upon the waters,(L)
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights(M)
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern(N) the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn(O) of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out(P) from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand(Q) and outstretched arm;(R)
His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a](S) asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through(T) the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;(U)
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;(V)
His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings,(W)
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings(X)
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites(Y)
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan(Z)
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land(AA) as an inheritance,(AB)
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance(AC) to his servant Israel.(AD)
His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us(AE) in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us(AF) from our enemies.(AG)
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food(AH) to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks(AI) to the God of heaven.(AJ)
His love endures forever.(AK)

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 136:13 Or the Sea of Reeds; also in verse 15
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Proverbs 17:14-15

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.(A)

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent(B)
the Lord detests them both.(C)

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The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday June 17, 2017 (NIV)

1 Kings 18

Elijah versus Baal’s prophets

18 After many days, the Lord’s word came to Elijah (it was the third year of the drought): Go! Appear before Ahab. I will then send rain on the earth. So Elijah went to appear before Ahab.

Now the famine had become especially bad in Samaria. Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace affairs. (Obadiah greatly feared the Lord. When Jezebel killed the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah took one hundred of them and hid them, fifty each in two caves. He supplied them with food and water.) Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go throughout the land and check every spring of water and every brook. Perhaps we can find some grass to keep our horses and mules alive so we don’t have to kill any of them.” To search, they divided the land between themselves. Ahab went one way by himself, while Obadiah went a different way by himself.

While Obadiah was out searching, suddenly Elijah met up with him. When Obadiah saw him, he fell on his face. “My master!” he said. “Are you Elijah?”

Elijah replied, “I am. Go and say to your master, ‘Elijah is here!’”

Then Obadiah said, “How have I sinned that you are handing me, your servant, over to Ahab so he can kill me? 10 As surely as the Lord your God lives, there’s no nation or kingdom where my master Ahab hasn’t looked for you. They would insist, ‘He’s not here,’ but Ahab would make them swear that they couldn’t find you. 11 And now you are commanding me: ‘Go and say to your master, “Elijah is here”?’ 12 But here’s what will happen: As soon as I leave you, the Lord’s spirit will carry you off somewhere—I don’t know where—then I’ll report to Ahab, but he won’t be able to find you. Then he will kill me! But your servant has feared the Lord from my youth. 13 Wasn’t my master told what I did when Jezebel killed the Lord’s prophets? I hid one hundred of the Lord’s prophets, fifty each in two caves. I also supplied them with food and water. 14 But even after all that, you tell me, ‘Say to your master, “Elijah is here!”’ Ahab will kill me!”

15 Elijah said, “As surely as the Lord of heavenly forces lives, the one I serve, I will appear before Ahab today.”

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab. He told him what had happened. Then Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is that you, the one who troubles Israel?”

18 Elijah answered, “I haven’t troubled Israel; you and your father’s house have! You did as much when you deserted the Lord’s commands and followed the Baals. 19 Now send a message and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel. Gather the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

20 Ahab sent the message to all the Israelites. He gathered the prophets at Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you hobble back and forth between two opinions? If the Lord[a] is God, follow God. If Baal is God, follow Baal.” The people gave no answer.

22 Elijah said to the people, “I am the last of the Lord’s prophets, but Baal’s prophets number four hundred fifty. 23 Give us two bulls. Let Baal’s prophets choose one. Let them cut it apart and set it on the wood, but don’t add fire. I’ll prepare the other bull, put it on the wood, but won’t add fire. 24 Then all of you will call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers with fire—that’s the real God!”

All the people answered, “That’s an excellent idea.”

25 So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of these bulls. Prepare it first since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but don’t add fire.”

26 So they took one of the bulls that had been brought to them. They prepared it and called on Baal’s name from morning to midday. They said, “Great Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound or answer. They performed a hopping dance around the altar that had been set up.

27 Around noon, Elijah started making fun of them: “Shout louder! Certainly he’s a god! Perhaps he is lost in thought or wandering or traveling somewhere.[b] Or maybe he is asleep and must wake up!”

28 So the prophets of Baal cried with a louder voice and cut themselves with swords and knives as was their custom. Their blood flowed all over them. 29 As noon passed they went crazy with their ritual until it was time for the evening offering. Still there was no sound or answer, no response whatsoever.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here!” All the people closed in, and he repaired the Lord’s altar that had been damaged. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob—to whom the Lord’s word came: “Your name will be Israel.” 32 He built the stones into an altar in the Lord’s name, and he dug a trench around the altar big enough to hold two seahs[c] of dry grain. 33 He put the wood in order, butchered the bull, and placed the bull on the wood. “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the sacrifice and on the wood,” he commanded. 34 “Do it a second time!” he said. So they did it a second time. “Do it a third time!” And so they did it a third time. 35 The water flowed around the altar, and even the trench filled with water. 36 At the time of the evening offering, the prophet Elijah drew near and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. I have done all these things at your instructions. 37 Answer me, Lord! Answer me so that this people will know that you, Lord, are the real God and that you can change their hearts.”[d] 38 Then the Lord’s fire fell; it consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up the water in the trench!

39 All the people saw this and fell on their faces. “The Lord is the real God! The Lord is the real God!” they exclaimed.

40 Elijah said to them, “Seize Baal’s prophets! Don’t let any escape!” The people seized the prophets, and Elijah brought them to the Kishon Brook and killed them there. 41 Elijah then said to Ahab, “Get up! Celebrate with food and drink because I hear the sound of a rainstorm coming.” 42 So Ahab got up to celebrate with food and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. He bowed down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 43 He said to his assistant, “Please get up and look toward the sea.”

So the assistant did so. He said, “I don’t see anything.”

Seven times Elijah said, “Do it again.”

44 The seventh time the assistant said, “I see a small cloud the size of a human hand coming up from the sea.”

Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Pull yourself together, go down the mountain, and don’t let the rain hold you back.’” 45 After a little while, the sky became dark with clouds, and a wind came up with a huge rainstorm. Ahab was already riding on his way to Jezreel, 46 but the Lord’s power strengthened Elijah. He gathered up his clothes and ran in front of Ahab until he came to Jezreel.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 18:21 The contrast between the Lord’s divine name (YHWH) and Baal’s name is crucial throughout this passage.
  2. 1 Kings 18:27 Heb uncertain
  3. 1 Kings 18:32 One seah is approximately seven and a half quarts.
  4. 1 Kings 18:37 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Acts 11

Jerusalem church questions Peter

11 The apostles and the brothers and sisters throughout Judea heard that even the Gentiles had welcomed God’s word. When Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him. They accused him, “You went into the home of the uncircumcised and ate with them!”

Step-by-step, Peter explained what had happened. “I was in the city of Joppa praying when I had a visionary experience. In my vision, I saw something like a large linen sheet being lowered from heaven by its four corners. It came all the way down to me. As I stared at it, wondering what it was, I saw four-legged animals—including wild beasts—as well as reptiles and wild birds.[a] I heard a voice say, ‘Get up, Peter! Kill and eat!’ I responded, ‘Absolutely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ The voice from heaven spoke a second time, ‘Never consider unclean what God has made pure.’ 10 This happened three times, then everything was pulled back into heaven. 11 At that moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them even though they were Gentiles. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered that man’s house. 13 He reported to us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is known as Peter. 14 He will tell you how you and your entire household can be saved.’ 15 When I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as the Spirit fell on us in the beginning. 16 I remembered the Lord’s words: ‘John will baptize with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, then who am I? Could I stand in God’s way?”

18 Once the apostles and other believers heard this, they calmed down. They praised God and concluded, “So then God has enabled Gentiles to change their hearts and lives so that they might have new life.”

The Antioch church

19 Now those who were scattered as a result of the trouble that occurred because of Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. They proclaimed the word only to Jews. 20 Among them were some people from Cyprus and Cyrene. They entered Antioch and began to proclaim the good news about the Lord Jesus also to Gentiles. 21 The Lord’s power was with them, and a large number came to believe and turned to the Lord.

22 When the church in Jerusalem heard about this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw evidence of God’s grace, he was overjoyed and encouraged everyone to remain fully committed to the Lord. 24 Barnabas responded in this way because he was a good man, whom the Holy Spirit had endowed with exceptional faith. A considerable number of people were added to the Lord. 25 Barnabas went to Tarsus in search of Saul. 26 When he found him, he brought him to Antioch. They were there for a whole year, meeting with the church and teaching large numbers of people. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first labeled “Christians.”

27 About that time, some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, Agabus, stood up and, inspired by the Spirit, predicted that a severe famine would overtake the entire Roman world. (This occurred during Claudius’ rule.) 29 The disciples decided they would send support to the brothers and sisters in Judea, with everyone contributing to this ministry according to each person’s abundance. 30 They sent Barnabas and Saul to take this gift to the elders.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 11:6 Or birds in the sky
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 135

Psalm 135

135 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord’s name!
All you who serve the Lord, praise God!
All you who stand in the Lord’s house—
who stand in the courtyards of our God’s temple—
praise the Lord, because the Lord is good!
Sing praises to God’s name because it is beautiful!
Because the Lord chose Jacob as his own,
God chose Israel as his treasured possession.

Yes, I know for certain that the Lord is great—
I know our Lord is greater than all other gods.
The Lord can do whatever he wants
in heaven or on earth,
in the seas and in every ocean depth.
God forms clouds at the far corners of the earth.
God makes lightning for the rain.
God releases the wind from its storeroom.
God struck down the Egyptians’ oldest offspring—
both human and animal!
God sent signs and wonders into the very center of Egypt—
against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 God struck down many nations
and killed mighty kings:
11 Sihon the Amorite king,
Og the king of Bashan,
and all the Canaanite kings.
12 Then God handed their land over as an inheritance—
as an inheritance to Israel, his own people.

13 Lord, your name is forever!
Lord, your fame extends from one generation to the next!
14 The Lord gives justice to his people
and has compassion on those who serve him.

15 The nations’ idols are just silver and gold—
things made by human hands.
16 They have mouths, but they can’t speak.
They have eyes, but they can’t see.
17 They have ears, but they can’t listen.
No, there’s no breath in their lungs!
18 Let the people who made these idols
and all who trust in them
become just like them!

19 House of Israel, bless the Lord!
House of Aaron, bless the Lord!
20 House of Levi, bless the Lord!
You who honor the Lord, bless the Lord!
21 Bless the Lord from Zion—
bless the one who lives in Jerusalem!

Praise the Lord!

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Proverbs 17:12-13

12 Safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
than fools in their folly.
13 Evil will never depart from the house
of those who return evil for good.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible