The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday May 4, 2017 (NIV)

Judges 19-20

Outrage in Benjamin

19 In those days, when there was no king in Israel,(A) a Levite living in a remote part of the hill country of Ephraim acquired a woman from Bethlehem in Judah as his concubine. But she was unfaithful to[a] him and left him for her father’s house in Bethlehem in Judah. She was there for a period of four months. Then her husband got up and went after her to speak kindly to her[b](B) and bring her back. He had his servant with him and a pair of donkeys. So she brought him to her father’s house, and when the girl’s father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. His father-in-law, the girl’s father, detained him, and he stayed with him for three days. They ate, drank, and spent the nights there.

On the fourth day, they got up early in the morning and prepared to go, but the girl’s father said to his son-in-law, “Have something to eat to keep up your strength(C) and then you can go.” So they sat down and the two of them ate and drank together. Then the girl’s father said to the man, “Please agree to stay overnight and enjoy yourself.”(D) The man got up to go, but his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed and spent the night there again. He got up early in the morning of the fifth day to leave, but the girl’s father said to him, “Please keep up your strength.” So they waited until late afternoon and the two of them ate. The man got up to go with his concubine and his servant, when his father-in-law, the girl’s father, said to him, “Look, night is coming. Please spend the night. See, the day is almost over. Spend the night here, enjoy yourself, then you can get up early tomorrow for your journey and go home.”

10 But the man was unwilling to spend the night. He got up, departed, and arrived opposite Jebus (that is, Jerusalem(E)). The man had his two saddled donkeys and his concubine with him. 11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant(F) said to his master, “Please, why not[c] let us stop at this Jebusite city and spend the night here?”

12 But his master replied to him, “We will not stop at a foreign city where there are no Israelites. Let’s move on to Gibeah.”(G) 13 “Come on,” he said,[d] “let’s try to reach one of these places and spend the night in Gibeah or Ramah.” 14 So they continued on their journey, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 They stopped[e] to go in and spend the night in Gibeah. The Levite went in and sat down in the city square, but no one took them into their home to spend the night.

16 In the evening, an old man came in from his work in the field. He was from the hill country of Ephraim(H) but was residing in Gibeah, and the men of that place were Benjaminites. 17 When he looked up and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going, and where do you come from?”

18 He answered him, “We’re traveling from Bethlehem in Judah to the remote hill country of Ephraim, where I am from. I went to Bethlehem in Judah, and now I’m going to the house of the Lord.[f] No one has taken me into his home, 19 although we have both straw and feed for our donkeys, and bread and wine for me, your female servant, and the young man with your servant.[g] There is nothing we lack.”

20 “Peace to you,” said the old man. “I’ll take care of everything you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he brought him to his house and fed the donkeys. Then they washed their feet and ate and drank.(I) 22 While they were enjoying themselves, all of a sudden, perverted men of the city(J) surrounded the house and beat on the door. They said to the old man who was the owner of the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him!”

23 The owner of the house went out and said to them, “No, don’t do this evil, my brothers. After all, this man has come into my house. Don’t do this horrible thing.(K) 24 Here, let me bring out my virgin daughter(L) and the man’s concubine now. Use them(M) and do whatever you want[h] to them. But don’t do this horrible thing to this man.”

25 But the men would not listen to him, so the man seized his concubine and took her outside to them. They raped[i] her and abused her all night until morning. At daybreak they let her go. 26 Early that morning, the woman made her way back, and as it was getting light, she collapsed at the doorway of the man’s house where her master was.

27 When her master got up in the morning, opened the doors of the house, and went out to leave on his journey, there was the woman, his concubine, collapsed near the doorway of the house with her hands on the threshold. 28 “Get up,” he told her. “Let’s go.” But there was no response.(N) So the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he entered his house, he picked up a knife, took hold of his concubine, cut her into 12 pieces, limb by limb, and then sent her throughout the territory of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or has been seen since the day the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt to this day.[j] Think it over, discuss it, and speak up!”

War against Benjamin

20 All the Israelites from Dan to Beer-sheba(O) and from the land of Gilead came out, and the community assembled as one body before the Lord at Mizpah.(P) The leaders(Q) of all the people and of all the tribes of Israel presented themselves in the assembly of God’s people: 400,000 armed foot soldiers. The Benjaminites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.

The Israelites asked, “Tell us, how did this outrage occur?”

The Levite, the husband of the murdered woman, answered: “I went to Gibeah in Benjamin with my concubine to spend the night. Citizens of Gibeah ganged up on me and surrounded the house at night. They intended to kill me, but they raped my concubine, and she died. Then I took my concubine and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout Israel’s territory, because they committed a horrible shame(R) in Israel. Look, all of you are Israelites. Give your judgment and verdict here and now.”

Then all the people stood united and said, “None of us will go to his tent or return to his house. Now this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will go against it by lot. 10 We will take 10 men out of every 100 from all the tribes of Israel, and 100 out of every 1,000, and 1,000 out of every 10,000 to get provisions for the people when they go to Gibeah in Benjamin to punish them for all the horror they did in Israel.”

11 So all the men of Israel gathered united against the city. 12 Then the tribes of Israel sent men throughout the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What is this outrage that has occurred among you? 13 Hand over the perverted men in Gibeah so we can put them to death and eradicate evil from Israel.” But the Benjaminites would not obey their fellow Israelites. 14 Instead, the Benjaminites gathered together from their cities to Gibeah to go out and fight against the Israelites. 15 On that day the Benjaminites rallied 26,000 armed men(S) from their cities, besides 700 choice men rallied by the inhabitants of Gibeah. 16 There were 700 choice men who were left-handed among all these people; all could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.

17 The Israelites, apart from Benjamin, rallied 400,000 armed men, every one an experienced warrior. 18 They set out, went to Bethel, and inquired of God.(T) The Israelites asked, “Who is to go first to fight for us against the Benjaminites?”

And the Lord answered, “Judah will be first.”

19 In the morning, the Israelites set out and camped near Gibeah. 20 The men of Israel went out to fight against Benjamin and took their battle positions against Gibeah. 21 The Benjaminites came out of Gibeah and slaughtered 22,000 men of Israel on the field that day. 22 But the Israelite army rallied and again took their battle positions in the same place where they positioned themselves on the first day. 23 They went up, wept(U) before the Lord until evening, and inquired of Him: “Should we again fight against our brothers the Benjaminites?”

And the Lord answered: “Fight against them.”

24 On the second day the Israelites advanced against the Benjaminites. 25 That same day the Benjaminites came out from Gibeah to meet them and slaughtered an additional 18,000 Israelites on the field; all were armed men.

26 The whole Israelite army went to Bethel where they wept and sat before the Lord.(V) They fasted that day until evening and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. 27 Then the Israelites inquired of the Lord. In those days, the ark of the covenant(W) of God was there, 28 and Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, was serving before it. The Israelites asked: “Should we again fight against our brothers the Benjaminites or should we stop?”

The Lord answered: “Fight, because I will hand them over to you tomorrow.”(X) 29 So Israel set up an ambush(Y) around Gibeah. 30 On the third day the Israelites fought against the Benjaminites and took their battle positions against Gibeah as before. 31 Then the Benjaminites came out against the people and were drawn away from the city.(Z) They began to attack the people as before, killing about 30 men of Israel on the highways, one of which goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah through the open country. 32 The Benjaminites said, “We are defeating them as before.”

But the Israelites said, “Let’s flee and draw them away from the city to the highways.” 33 So all the men of Israel got up from their places and took their battle positions at Baal-tamar, while the Israelites in ambush charged out of their places west of[k] Geba.(AA) 34 Then 10,000 choice men from all Israel made a frontal assault against Gibeah, and the battle was fierce, but the Benjaminites did not know that disaster was about to strike them. 35 The Lord defeated Benjamin in the presence of Israel, and on that day the Israelites slaughtered 25,100 men of Benjamin; all were armed men. 36 Then the Benjaminites realized they had been defeated.

The men of Israel had retreated before Benjamin, because they were confident in the ambush they had set against Gibeah. 37 The men in ambush had rushed quickly against Gibeah; they advanced and put the whole city to the sword. 38 The men of Israel had a prearranged signal with the men in ambush: when they sent up a great cloud of smoke from the city, 39 the men of Israel would return to the battle. When Benjamin had begun to strike them down, killing about 30 men of Israel, they said, “They’re defeated before us, just as they were in the first battle.”(AB) 40 But when the column of smoke began to go up from the city, Benjamin looked behind them, and the whole city was going up in smoke.[l] 41 Then the men of Israel returned, and the men of Benjamin were terrified when they realized that disaster had struck them. 42 They retreated before the men of Israel toward the wilderness,(AC) but the battle overtook them, and those who came out of the cities[m] slaughtered those between them. 43 They surrounded the Benjaminites, pursued them, and easily overtook them near Gibeah toward the east. 44 There were 18,000 men who died from Benjamin; all were warriors. 45 Then Benjamin turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon,(AD) and Israel killed 5,000 men on the highways. They overtook them at Gidom and struck 2,000 more dead.

46 All the Benjaminites who died that day were 25,000 armed men; all were warriors. 47 But 600 men escaped into the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon and stayed there four months. 48 The men of Israel turned back against the other Benjaminites and killed them with their swords—the entire city, the animals, and everything that remained. They also burned down all the cities that remained.


  1. Judges 19:2 LXX, Vg read was angry with
  2. Judges 19:3 Lit speak to her heart
  3. Judges 19:11 Lit Come, please
  4. Judges 19:13 Lit said to his servant
  5. Judges 19:15 Lit stopped there
  6. Judges 19:18 LXX reads to my house
  7. Judges 19:19 Some Hb mss, Syr, Tg, Vg; other Hb mss read servants
  8. Judges 19:24 Lit do what is good in your eyes
  9. Judges 19:25 Lit knew
  10. Judges 19:30 LXX reads day.” He commanded the men he sent out, saying, “You will say this to all the men of Israel: Has anything like this happened since the day the Israelites came out of Egypt until this day?
  11. Judges 20:33 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads places in the plain of, or places in the cave of
  12. Judges 20:40 Lit up to the sky
  13. Judges 20:42 LXX, Vg read city

John 3:22-4:3

Jesus and John the Baptist

22 After this, Jesus and His disciples went to the Judean countryside, where He spent time with them and baptized. 23 John(A) also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were coming and being baptized, 24 since John had not yet been thrown into prison.(B)

25 Then a dispute arose between John’s disciples(C) and a Jew[a] about purification.(D) 26 So they came to John and told him, “Rabbi,(E) the One you testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan,(F) is baptizing—and everyone is flocking to Him.”(G)

27 John responded, “No one can receive a single thing unless it’s given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,(H) but I’ve been sent ahead of Him.’(I) 29 He who has the bride(J) is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly[b] at the groom’s voice. So this joy(K) of mine is complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

The One from Heaven

31 The One who comes from above(L) is above all. The one who is from the earth is earthly and speaks in earthly terms.[c] The One who comes from heaven is above all.(M) 32 He testifies(N) to what He has seen and heard, yet no one accepts His testimony. 33 The one who has accepted His testimony has affirmed that God is true.(O) 34 For God sent Him, and He speaks God’s words, since He[d] gives the Spirit(P) without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son(Q) and has given all things into His hands.(R) 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.(S)

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

When Jesus[e] knew that the Pharisees(T) heard He was making(U) and baptizing more disciples than John(V) (though Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), He left Judea(W) and went again to Galilee.(X)


  1. John 3:25 Other mss read and the Jews
  2. John 3:29 Lit with joy rejoices
  3. John 3:31 Or of earthly things
  4. John 3:34 Other mss read since God
  5. John 4:1 Other mss read the Lord

Psalm 104:24-35

24 How countless are Your works, Lord!
In wisdom You have made them all;
the earth is full of Your creatures.[a](A)
25 Here is the sea, vast and wide,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.(B)
26 There the ships move about,
and Leviathan, which You formed to play there.(C)

27 All of them wait for You
to give them their food at the right time.(D)
28 When You give it to them,
they gather it;
when You open Your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.(E)
29 When You hide Your face,
they are terrified;
when You take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.(F)
30 When You send Your breath,[b]
they are created,
and You renew the face of the earth.(G)

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in His works.(H)
32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the mountains,
and they pour out smoke.(I)
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.(J)
34 May my meditation be pleasing to Him;
I will rejoice in the Lord.(K)
35 May sinners vanish from the earth
and wicked people be no more.(L)
My soul, praise Yahweh!


  1. Psalm 104:24 Lit possessions
  2. Psalm 104:30 Or Spirit

Proverbs 14:22-24

22 Don’t those who plan evil go astray?(A)
But those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.(B)

23 There is profit in all hard work,
but endless talk[a] leads only to poverty.(C)

24 The crown of the wise is their wealth,
but the foolishness of fools produces foolishness.


  1. Proverbs 14:23 Lit but word of lips