The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday May 21, 2017 (NIV)

1 Samuel 29-31

David Is Rejected by the Philistines

29 The Philistines brought all their troops together at Aphek, while the Israelites camped at the spring in Jezreel Valley. The five Philistine kings marched out with their units of a hundred and of a thousand men; David and his men marched in the rear with King Achish. The Philistine commanders saw them and asked, “What are these Hebrews doing here?”

Achish answered, “This is David, an official of King Saul of Israel. He has been with me for quite some time now. He has done nothing I can find fault with since the day he came over to me.”

But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said to him, “Send that fellow back to the town you gave him. Don't let him go into battle with us; he might turn against us during the fighting. What better way is there for him to win back his master's favor than by the death of our men? (A)After all, this is David, the one about whom the women sang, as they danced, ‘Saul has killed thousands, but David has killed tens of thousands.’”

Achish called David and said to him, “I swear by the living God of Israel that you have been loyal to me; and I would be pleased to have you go with me and fight in this battle. I have not found any fault in you from the day you came over to me. But the other kings don't approve of you. So go back home in peace, and don't do anything that would displease them.”

David answered, “What have I done wrong, sir? If, as you say, you haven't found any fault in me since the day I started serving you, why shouldn't I go with you, my master and king, and fight your enemies?”

“I agree,” Achish replied. “I consider you as loyal as an angel of God. But the other kings have said that you can't go with us into battle. 10 So then, David, tomorrow morning all of you who left Saul and came over to me will have to get up early and leave as soon as it's light.”

11 So David and his men started out early the following morning to go back to Philistia, and the Philistines went on to Jezreel.

The War against the Amalekites

30 Two days later David and his men arrived back at Ziklag. The Amalekites had raided southern Judah and attacked Ziklag. They had burned down the town and captured all the women; they had not killed anyone, but had taken everyone with them when they left. When David and his men arrived, they found that the town had been burned down and that their wives, sons, and daughters had been carried away. David and his men started crying and did not stop until they were completely exhausted. (B)Even David's two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail, had been taken away.

David was now in great trouble, because his men were all very bitter about losing their children, and they were threatening to stone him; but the Lord his God gave him courage. (C)David said to the priest Abiathar son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod,” and Abiathar brought it to him. David asked the Lord, “Shall I go after those raiders? And will I catch them?”

He answered, “Go after them; you will catch them and rescue the captives.”

So David and his six hundred men started out, and when they arrived at Besor Brook, some of them stayed there. 10 David continued on his way with four hundred men; the other two hundred men were too tired to cross the brook and so stayed behind. 11 The men with David found a young Egyptian out in the country and brought him to David. They gave him some food and water, 12 some dried figs, and two bunches of raisins. After he had eaten, his strength returned; he had not had anything to eat or drink for three full days. 13 David asked him, “Who is your master, and where are you from?”

“I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite,” he answered. “My master left me behind three days ago because I got sick. 14 We had raided the territory of the Cherethites in the southern part of Judah and the territory of the clan of Caleb, and we burned down Ziklag.”

15 “Will you lead me to those raiders?” David asked him.

He answered, “I will if you promise me in God's name that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master.” 16 And he led David to them.

The raiders were scattered all over the place, eating, drinking, and celebrating because of the enormous amount of loot they had captured from Philistia and Judah. 17 At dawn the next day David attacked them and fought until evening. Except for four hundred young men who mounted camels and got away, none of them escaped. 18 David rescued everyone and everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives; 19 nothing at all was missing. David got back all his men's sons and daughters, and all the loot the Amalekites had taken. 20 He also recovered all the flocks and herds; his men drove all the livestock in front of them[a] and said, “This belongs to David!”

21 Then David went back to the two hundred men who had been too weak to go with him and had stayed behind at Besor Brook. They came forward to meet David and his men, and David went up to them and greeted them warmly. 22 But some mean and worthless men who had gone with David said, “They didn't go with us, and so we won't give them any of the loot. They can take their wives and children and go away.”

23 But David answered, “My brothers, you can't do this with what the Lord has given us! He kept us safe and gave us victory over the raiders. 24 No one can agree with what you say! All must share alike: whoever stays behind with the supplies gets the same share as the one who goes into battle.” 25 David made this a rule, and it has been followed in Israel ever since.

26 When David returned to Ziklag, he sent part of the loot to his friends, the leaders of Judah, with the message, “Here is a present for you from the loot we took from the Lord's enemies.” 27 He sent it to the people in Bethel, to the people in Ramah in the southern part of Judah, and to the people in the towns of Jattir, 28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29 and Racal; to the clan of Jerahmeel, to the Kenites, 30 and to the people in the towns of Hormah, Borashan, Athach, 31 and Hebron. He sent it to all the places where he and his men had roamed.

The Death of Saul and His Sons(D)

31 The Philistines fought a battle against the Israelites on Mount Gilboa. Many Israelites were killed there, and the rest of them, including King Saul and his sons, fled. But the Philistines caught up with them and killed three of Saul's sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. The fighting was heavy around Saul, and he himself was hit by enemy arrows and badly wounded. He said to the young man carrying his weapons, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that these godless Philistines won't gloat over me and kill me.” But the young man was too terrified to do it. So Saul took his own sword and threw himself on it. The young man saw that Saul was dead, so he too threw himself on his own sword and died with Saul. And that is how Saul, his three sons, and the young man died; all of Saul's men died that day. When the Israelites on the other side of Jezreel Valley and east of the Jordan River heard that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had been killed, they abandoned their towns and fled. Then the Philistines came and occupied the towns.

The day after the battle the Philistines went to plunder the corpses, and they found the bodies of Saul and his three sons lying on Mount Gilboa. They cut off Saul's head, stripped off his armor, and sent messengers with them throughout Philistia to tell the good news to their idols and to their people. 10 Then they put his weapons in the temple of the goddess Astarte, and they nailed his body to the wall of the city of Beth Shan.

11 When the people of Jabesh in Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 the bravest men started out and marched all night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall, brought them back to Jabesh, and burned them there. 13 Then they took the bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in town, and fasted for seven days.


  1. 1 Samuel 30:20 Probable text his men … front of them; Hebrew unclear.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

John 11:55-12:19

55 The time for the Passover Festival was near, and many people went up from the country to Jerusalem to perform the ritual of purification before the festival. 56 They were looking for Jesus, and as they gathered in the Temple, they asked one another, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” 57 The chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where Jesus was, he must report it, so that they could arrest him.

Jesus Is Anointed at Bethany(A)

12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from death. They prepared a dinner for him there, which Martha helped serve; Lazarus was one of those who were sitting at the table with Jesus. (B)Then Mary took a whole pint of a very expensive perfume made of pure nard, poured it on Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house. One of Jesus' disciples, Judas Iscariot—the one who was going to betray him—said, “Why wasn't this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins[a] and the money given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. He carried the money bag and would help himself from it.

But Jesus said, “Leave her alone! Let her keep what she has for the day of my burial. (C)You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me.”

The Plot against Lazarus

A large number of people heard that Jesus was in Bethany, so they went there, not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from death. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus too, 11 because on his account many Jews were rejecting them and believing in Jesus.

The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem(D)

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the Passover Festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 (E)So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the King of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the scripture says,

15 (F)“Do not be afraid, city of Zion!
Here comes your king,
riding on a young donkey.”

16 His disciples did not understand this at the time; but when Jesus had been raised to glory, they remembered that the scripture said this about him and that they had done this for him.

17 The people who had been with Jesus when he called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from death had reported what had happened. 18 That was why the crowd met him—because they heard that he had performed this miracle. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, we are not succeeding at all! Look, the whole world is following him!”


  1. John 12:5 See 6.7.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Psalm 118:1-18

A Prayer of Thanks for Victory

118 (A)Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good,
and his love is eternal.
Let the people of Israel say,
“His love is eternal.”
Let the priests of God say,
“His love is eternal.”
Let all who worship him say,
“His love is eternal.”

In my distress I called to the Lord;
he answered me and set me free.
(B)The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid;
what can anyone do to me?
It is the Lord who helps me,
and I will see my enemies defeated.
It is better to trust in the Lord
than to depend on people.
It is better to trust in the Lord
than to depend on human leaders.

10 Many enemies were around me;
but I destroyed them by the power of the Lord!
11 They were around me on every side;
but I destroyed them by the power of the Lord!
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
but they burned out as quickly as a brush fire;
by the power of the Lord I destroyed them.
13 I was fiercely attacked and was being defeated,
but the Lord helped me.
14 (C)The Lord makes me powerful and strong;
he has saved me.

15 Listen to the glad shouts of victory in the tents of God's people:
“The Lord's mighty power has done it!
16 His power has brought us victory—
his mighty power in battle!”

17 I will not die; instead, I will live
and proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 He has punished me severely,
but he has not let me die.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Proverbs 15:24-26

24 Wise people walk the road that leads upward to life, not the road that leads downward to death.

25 The Lord will destroy the homes of arrogant men, but he will protect a widow's property.

26 The Lord hates evil thoughts, but he is pleased with friendly words.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society