The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday May 31, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 17

17 Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek.[a] Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

Hushai Counters Ahithophel’s Advice

But then Absalom said, “Bring in Hushai the Arkite. Let’s see what he thinks about this.” When Hushai arrived, Absalom told him what Ahithophel had said. Then he asked, “What is your opinion? Should we follow Ahithophel’s advice? If not, what do you suggest?”

“Well,” Hushai replied to Absalom, “this time Ahithophel has made a mistake. You know your father and his men; they are mighty warriors. Right now they are as enraged as a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs. And remember that your father is an experienced man of war. He won’t be spending the night among the troops. He has probably already hidden in some pit or cave. And when he comes out and attacks and a few of your men fall, there will be panic among your troops, and the word will spread that Absalom’s men are being slaughtered. 10 Then even the bravest soldiers, though they have the heart of a lion, will be paralyzed with fear. For all Israel knows what a mighty warrior your father is and how courageous his men are.

11 “I recommend that you mobilize the entire army of Israel, bringing them from as far away as Dan in the north and Beersheba in the south. That way you will have an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. And I advise that you personally lead the troops. 12 When we find David, we’ll fall on him like dew that falls on the ground. Then neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. 13 And if David were to escape into some town, you will have all Israel there at your command. Then we can take ropes and drag the walls of the town into the nearest valley until every stone is torn down.”

14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the Lord had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster on Absalom!

Hushai Warns David to Escape

15 Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had said to Absalom and the elders of Israel and what he himself had advised instead. 16 “Quick!” he told them. “Find David and urge him not to stay at the shallows of the Jordan River[b] tonight. He must go across at once into the wilderness beyond. Otherwise he will die and his entire army with him.”

17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been staying at En-rogel so as not to be seen entering and leaving the city. Arrangements had been made for a servant girl to bring them the message they were to take to King David. 18 But a boy spotted them at En-rogel, and he told Absalom about it. So they quickly escaped to Bahurim, where a man hid them down inside a well in his courtyard. 19 The man’s wife put a cloth over the top of the well and scattered grain on it to dry in the sun; so no one suspected they were there.

20 When Absalom’s men arrived, they asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”

The woman replied, “They were here, but they crossed over the brook.” Absalom’s men looked for them without success and returned to Jerusalem.

21 Then the two men crawled out of the well and hurried on to King David. “Quick!” they told him, “cross the Jordan tonight!” And they told him how Ahithophel had advised that he be captured and killed. 22 So David and all the people with him went across the Jordan River during the night, and they were all on the other bank before dawn.

23 When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb.

24 David soon arrived at Mahanaim. By now, Absalom had mobilized the entire army of Israel and was leading his troops across the Jordan River. 25 Absalom had appointed Amasa as commander of his army, replacing Joab, who had been commander under David. (Amasa was Joab’s cousin. His father was Jether,[c] an Ishmaelite.[d] His mother, Abigail daughter of Nahash, was the sister of Joab’s mother, Zeruiah.) 26 Absalom and the Israelite army set up camp in the land of Gilead.

27 When David arrived at Mahanaim, he was warmly greeted by Shobi son of Nahash, who came from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and by Makir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and by Barzillai of Gilead from Rogelim. 28 They brought sleeping mats, cooking pots, serving bowls, wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans, lentils, 29 honey, butter, sheep, goats, and cheese for David and those who were with him. For they said, “You must all be very hungry and tired and thirsty after your long march through the wilderness.”

Footnotes:

  1. 17:3 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads like the return of all is the man whom you seek.
  2. 17:16 Hebrew at the crossing points of the wilderness.
  3. 17:25a Hebrew Ithra, a variant spelling of Jether.
  4. 17:25b As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 1 Chr 2:17); Hebrew reads an Israelite.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


John 19:23-42

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice[a] for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.”[b] So that is what they did.

25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

The Death of Jesus

28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”[c] 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe.[d]) 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,”[e] 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.”[f]

The Burial of Jesus

38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds[g] of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover[h] and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

Footnotes:

  1. 19:24a Greek cast lots.
  2. 19:24b Ps 22:18.
  3. 19:28 See Pss 22:15; 69:21.
  4. 19:35 Some manuscripts read that you also may believe.
  5. 19:36 Exod 12:46; Num 9:12; Ps 34:20.
  6. 19:37 Zech 12:10.
  7. 19:39 Greek 100 litras [32.7 kilograms].
  8. 19:42 Greek because of the Jewish day of preparation.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 119:129-152

Pe

129 Your laws are wonderful.
No wonder I obey them!
130 The teaching of your word gives light,
so even the simple can understand.
131 I pant with expectation,
longing for your commands.
132 Come and show me your mercy,
as you do for all who love your name.
133 Guide my steps by your word,
so I will not be overcome by evil.
134 Ransom me from the oppression of evil people;
then I can obey your commandments.
135 Look upon me with love;
teach me your decrees.
136 Rivers of tears gush from my eyes
because people disobey your instructions.

Tsadhe

137 O Lord, you are righteous,
and your regulations are fair.
138 Your laws are perfect
and completely trustworthy.
139 I am overwhelmed with indignation,
for my enemies have disregarded your words.
140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested;
that is why I love them so much.
141 I am insignificant and despised,
but I don’t forget your commandments.
142 Your justice is eternal,
and your instructions are perfectly true.
143 As pressure and stress bear down on me,
I find joy in your commands.
144 Your laws are always right;
help me to understand them so I may live.

Qoph

145 I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord!
I will obey your decrees.
146 I cry out to you; rescue me,
that I may obey your laws.
147 I rise early, before the sun is up;
I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.
148 I stay awake through the night,
thinking about your promise.
149 In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry;
let me be revived by following your regulations.
150 Lawless people are coming to attack me;
they live far from your instructions.
151 But you are near, O Lord,
and all your commands are true.
152 I have known from my earliest days
that your laws will last forever.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 16:12-13

12 A king detests wrongdoing,
for his rule is built on justice.

13 The king is pleased with words from righteous lips;
he loves those who speak honestly.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday May 30, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 15:23-16

23 Everyone cried loudly as the king and his followers passed by. They crossed the Kidron Valley and then went out toward the wilderness.

24 Zadok and all the Levites also came along, carrying the Ark of the Covenant of God. They set down the Ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices[a] until everyone had passed out of the city.

25 Then the king instructed Zadok to take the Ark of God back into the city. “If the Lord sees fit,” David said, “he will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle[b] again. 26 But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him.”

27 The king also told Zadok the priest, “Look,[c] here is my plan. You and Abiathar[d] should return quietly to the city with your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. 28 I will stop at the shallows of the Jordan River[e] and wait there for a report from you.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the Ark of God back to the city and stayed there.

30 David walked up the road to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His head was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning. And the people who were with him covered their heads and wept as they climbed the hill. 31 When someone told David that his adviser Ahithophel was now backing Absalom, David prayed, “O Lord, let Ahithophel give Absalom foolish advice!”

32 When David reached the summit of the Mount of Olives where people worshiped God, Hushai the Arkite was waiting there for him. Hushai had torn his clothing and put dirt on his head as a sign of mourning. 33 But David told him, “If you go with me, you will only be a burden. 34 Return to Jerusalem and tell Absalom, ‘I will now be your adviser, O king, just as I was your father’s adviser in the past.’ Then you can frustrate and counter Ahithophel’s advice. 35 Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, will be there. Tell them about the plans being made in the king’s palace, 36 and they will send their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan to tell me what is going on.”

37 So David’s friend Hushai returned to Jerusalem, getting there just as Absalom arrived.

David and Ziba

16 When David had gone a little beyond the summit of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth,[f] was waiting there for him. He had two donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 bunches of summer fruit, and a wineskin full of wine.

“What are these for?” the king asked Ziba.

Ziba replied, “The donkeys are for the king’s people to ride on, and the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat. The wine is for those who become exhausted in the wilderness.”

“And where is Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson?” the king asked him.

“He stayed in Jerusalem,” Ziba replied. “He said, ‘Today I will get back the kingdom of my grandfather Saul.’”

“In that case,” the king told Ziba, “I give you everything Mephibosheth owns.”

“I bow before you,” Ziba replied. “May I always be pleasing to you, my lord the king.”

Shimei Curses David

As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family. He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him. “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David. “The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!”

“Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!”

10 “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?”

11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul[g] have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. 12 And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged[h] and will bless me because of these curses today.” 13 So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David.

14 The king and all who were with him grew weary along the way, so they rested when they reached the Jordan River.[i]

Ahithophel Advises Absalom

15 Meanwhile, Absalom and all the army of Israel arrived at Jerusalem, accompanied by Ahithophel. 16 When David’s friend Hushai the Arkite arrived, he went immediately to see Absalom. “Long live the king!” he exclaimed. “Long live the king!”

17 “Is this the way you treat your friend David?” Absalom asked him. “Why aren’t you with him?”

18 “I’m here because I belong to the man who is chosen by the Lord and by all the men of Israel,” Hushai replied. 19 “And anyway, why shouldn’t I serve you? Just as I was your father’s adviser, now I will be your adviser!”

20 Then Absalom turned to Ahithophel and asked him, “What should I do next?”

21 Ahithophel told him, “Go and sleep with your father’s concubines, for he has left them here to look after the palace. Then all Israel will know that you have insulted your father beyond hope of reconciliation, and they will throw their support to you.” 22 So they set up a tent on the palace roof where everyone could see it, and Absalom went in and had sex with his father’s concubines.

23 Absalom followed Ahithophel’s advice, just as David had done. For every word Ahithophel spoke seemed as wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:24 Or Abiathar went up.
  2. 15:25 Hebrew and his dwelling place.
  3. 15:27a As in Greek version; Hebrew reads Are you a seer? or Do you see?
  4. 15:27b Hebrew lacks and Abiathar; compare 15:29.
  5. 15:28 Hebrew at the crossing points of the wilderness.
  6. 16:1 Mephibosheth is another name for Merib-baal.
  7. 16:11 Hebrew this Benjaminite.
  8. 16:12 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads see my iniquity.
  9. 16:14 As in Greek version (see also 17:16); Hebrew reads when they reached their destination.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


John 18:25-19:22

Peter’s Second and Third Denials

25 Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, “You’re not one of his disciples, are you?”

He denied it, saying, “No, I am not.”

26 But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?” 27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.

Jesus’ Trial before Pilate

28 Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor.[a] His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. 29 So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?”

30 “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted.

31 “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them.

“Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. 32 (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die.[b])

33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him.

34 Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?”

35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?”

36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

37 Pilate said, “So you are a king?”

Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. 39 But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?”

40 But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)

Jesus Sentenced to Death

19 Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.

Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”

When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”

The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters[c] again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?”

11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’[d] Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”

13 When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14 It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people,[e] “Look, here is your king!”

15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!”

“What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.

16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth,[f] the King of the Jews.” 20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.

21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’”

22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”

Footnotes:

  1. 18:28 Greek to the Praetorium; also in 18:33.
  2. 18:32 See John 12:32-33.
  3. 19:9 Greek the Praetorium.
  4. 19:12 “Friend of Caesar” is a technical term that refers to an ally of the emperor.
  5. 19:14 Greek Jewish people; also in 19:20.
  6. 19:19 Or Jesus the Nazarene.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 119:113-128

Samekh

113 I hate those with divided loyalties,
but I love your instructions.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
your word is my source of hope.
115 Get out of my life, you evil-minded people,
for I intend to obey the commands of my God.
116 Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live!
Do not let my hope be crushed.
117 Sustain me, and I will be rescued;
then I will meditate continually on your decrees.
118 But you have rejected all who stray from your decrees.
They are only fooling themselves.
119 You skim off the wicked of the earth like scum;
no wonder I love to obey your laws!
120 I tremble in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your regulations.

Ayin

121 Don’t leave me to the mercy of my enemies,
for I have done what is just and right.
122 Please guarantee a blessing for me.
Don’t let the arrogant oppress me!
123 My eyes strain to see your rescue,
to see the truth of your promise fulfilled.
124 I am your servant; deal with me in unfailing love,
and teach me your decrees.
125 Give discernment to me, your servant;
then I will understand your laws.
126 Lord, it is time for you to act,
for these evil people have violated your instructions.
127 Truly, I love your commands
more than gold, even the finest gold.
128 Each of your commandments is right.
That is why I hate every false way.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 16:10-11

10 The king speaks with divine wisdom;
he must never judge unfairly.

11 The Lord demands accurate scales and balances;
he sets the standards for fairness.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday May 29, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 14:1-15:22

Joab Arranges for Absalom’s Return

14 Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom. So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don’t put on lotions.[a] Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time. Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you.” Then Joab told her what to say.

When the woman from Tekoa approached[b] the king, she bowed with her face to the ground in deep respect and cried out, “O king! Help me!”

“What’s the trouble?” the king asked.

“Alas, I am a widow!” she replied. “My husband is dead. My two sons had a fight out in the field. And since no one was there to stop it, one of them was killed. Now the rest of the family is demanding, ‘Let us have your son. We will execute him for murdering his brother. He doesn’t deserve to inherit his family’s property.’ They want to extinguish the only coal I have left, and my husband’s name and family will disappear from the face of the earth.”

“Leave it to me,” the king told her. “Go home, and I’ll see to it that no one touches him.”

“Oh, thank you, my lord the king,” the woman from Tekoa replied. “If you are criticized for helping me, let the blame fall on me and on my father’s house, and let the king and his throne be innocent.”

10 “If anyone objects,” the king said, “bring him to me. I can assure you he will never harm you again!”

11 Then she said, “Please swear to me by the Lord your God that you won’t let anyone take vengeance against my son. I want no more bloodshed.”

“As surely as the Lord lives,” he replied, “not a hair on your son’s head will be disturbed!”

12 “Please allow me to ask one more thing of my lord the king,” she said.

“Go ahead and speak,” he responded.

13 She replied, “Why don’t you do as much for the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished son. 14 All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.

15 “I have come to plead with my lord the king because people have threatened me. I said to myself, ‘Perhaps the king will listen to me 16 and rescue us from those who would cut us off from the inheritance[c] God has given us. 17 Yes, my lord the king will give us peace of mind again.’ I know that you are like an angel of God in discerning good from evil. May the Lord your God be with you.”

18 “I must know one thing,” the king replied, “and tell me the truth.”

“Yes, my lord the king,” she responded.

19 “Did Joab put you up to this?”

And the woman replied, “My lord the king, how can I deny it? Nobody can hide anything from you. Yes, Joab sent me and told me what to say. 20 He did it to place the matter before you in a different light. But you are as wise as an angel of God, and you understand everything that happens among us!”

21 So the king sent for Joab and told him, “All right, go and bring back the young man Absalom.”

22 Joab bowed with his face to the ground in deep respect and said, “At last I know that I have gained your approval, my lord the king, for you have granted me this request!”

23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 24 But the king gave this order: “Absalom may go to his own house, but he must never come into my presence.” So Absalom did not see the king.

Absalom Reconciled to David

25 Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot. 26 He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds![d] 27 He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful.

28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. 30 So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded.

31 Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?”

32 And Absalom replied, “Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn’t intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me.”

33 So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him.

Absalom’s Rebellion

15 After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him. He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where in Israel they were from, and they would tell him their tribe. Then Absalom would say, “You’ve really got a strong case here! It’s too bad the king doesn’t have anyone to hear it. I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment, and I would give them justice!”

When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.

After four years,[e] Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and fulfill a vow I made to him. For while your servant was at Geshur in Aram, I promised to sacrifice to the Lord in Hebron[f] if he would bring me back to Jerusalem.”

“All right,” the king told him. “Go and fulfill your vow.”

So Absalom went to Hebron. 10 But while he was there, he sent secret messengers to all the tribes of Israel to stir up a rebellion against the king. “As soon as you hear the ram’s horn,” his message read, “you are to say, ‘Absalom has been crowned king in Hebron.’” 11 He took 200 men from Jerusalem with him as guests, but they knew nothing of his intentions. 12 While Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, one of David’s counselors who lived in Giloh. Soon many others also joined Absalom, and the conspiracy gained momentum.

David Escapes from Jerusalem

13 A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!”

14 “Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.”

15 “We are with you,” his advisers replied. “Do what you think is best.”

16 So the king and all his household set out at once. He left no one behind except ten of his concubines to look after the palace. 17 The king and all his people set out on foot, pausing at the last house 18 to let all the king’s men move past to lead the way. There were 600 men from Gath who had come with David, along with the king’s bodyguard.[g]

19 Then the king turned and said to Ittai, a leader of the men from Gath, “Why are you coming with us? Go on back to King Absalom, for you are a guest in Israel, a foreigner in exile. 20 You arrived only recently, and should I force you today to wander with us? I don’t even know where we will go. Go on back and take your kinsmen with you, and may the Lord show you his unfailing love and faithfulness.[h]

21 But Ittai said to the king, “I vow by the Lord and by your own life that I will go wherever my lord the king goes, no matter what happens—whether it means life or death.”

22 David replied, “All right, come with us.” So Ittai and all his men and their families went along.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:2 Hebrew don’t anoint yourself with oil.
  2. 14:4 As in many Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions; Masoretic Text reads spoke to.
  3. 14:16 Or the property; or the people.
  4. 14:26 Hebrew 200 shekels [2.3 kilograms] by the royal standard.
  5. 15:7 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads forty years.
  6. 15:8 As in some Greek manuscripts; Hebrew lacks in Hebron.
  7. 15:18 Hebrew the Kerethites and Pelethites.
  8. 15:20 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads and may unfailing love and faithfulness go with you.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


John 18:1-24

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

18 After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.

Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.

“Jesus the Nazarene,”[a] they replied.

I am he,”[b] Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) As Jesus said I am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

“I told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.”[c]

10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”

Jesus at the High Priest’s House

12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they took him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time.[d] 14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”

Peter’s First Denial

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus. 16 Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. 17 The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?”

“No,” he said, “I am not.”

18 Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them. 20 Jesus replied, “Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple, where the people[e] gather. I have not spoken in secret. 21 Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said.”

22 Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face. “Is that the way to answer the high priest?” he demanded.

23 Jesus replied, “If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I’m speaking the truth, why are you beating me?”

24 Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest.

Footnotes:

  1. 18:5a Or Jesus of Nazareth; also in 18:7.
  2. 18:5b Or “The ‘I am’ is here”; or “I am the Lord”; Greek reads I am; also in 18:6, 8. See Exod 3:14.
  3. 18:9 See John 6:39 and 17:12.
  4. 18:13 Greek that year.
  5. 18:20 Greek Jewish people; also in 18:38.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 119:97-112

Mem

97 Oh, how I love your instructions!
I think about them all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are my constant guide.
99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,
for I am always thinking of your laws.
100 I am even wiser than my elders,
for I have kept your commandments.
101 I have refused to walk on any evil path,
so that I may remain obedient to your word.
102 I haven’t turned away from your regulations,
for you have taught me well.
103 How sweet your words taste to me;
they are sweeter than honey.
104 Your commandments give me understanding;
no wonder I hate every false way of life.

Nun

105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
106 I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again:
I will obey your righteous regulations.
107 I have suffered much, O Lord;
restore my life again as you promised.
108 Lord, accept my offering of praise,
and teach me your regulations.
109 My life constantly hangs in the balance,
but I will not stop obeying your instructions.
110 The wicked have set their traps for me,
but I will not turn from your commandments.
111 Your laws are my treasure;
they are my heart’s delight.
112 I am determined to keep your decrees
to the very end.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 16:8-9

Better to have little, with godliness,
than to be rich and dishonest.

We can make our plans,
but the Lord determines our steps.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday May 28, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 13

The Rape of Tamar

13 Now David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. In the course of time David’s son Amnon fell madly in love with her.[a] But Amnon became frustrated because he was so lovesick[b] over his sister Tamar. For she was a virgin, and to Amnon it seemed out of the question to do anything to her.

Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very crafty man. He asked Amnon,[c] “Why are you, the king’s son,[d] so depressed every morning? Can’t you tell me?” So Amnon said to him, “I’m in love with Tamar the sister of my brother Absalom.” Jonadab replied to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick.[e] When your father comes in to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come in so she can fix some food for me. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I can watch. Then I will eat from her hand.’”

So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came in to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come in so she can make a couple of cakes in my sight. Then I will eat from her hand.”

So David sent Tamar to the house saying, “Please go to the house of Amnon your brother and prepare some food for him.” So Tamar went to the house of Amnon her brother, who was lying down. She took the dough, kneaded it, made some cakes while he watched,[f] and baked them.[g] But when she took the pan and set it before him, he refused to eat. Instead Amnon said, “Get everyone out of here!”[h] So everyone left.[i]

10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the cakes into the bedroom; then I will eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes that she had prepared and brought them to her brother Amnon in the bedroom. 11 As she brought them to him to eat, he grabbed her and said to her, “Come on! Get in bed with me,[j] my sister!”

12 But she said to him, “No, my brother! Don’t humiliate me! This just isn’t done in Israel! Don’t do this foolish thing! 13 How could I ever be rid of my humiliation? And you would be considered one of the fools[k] in Israel! Just[l] speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her.[m] He overpowered her and humiliated her by raping her.[n] 15 Then Amnon greatly despised her.[o] His disdain toward her surpassed the love he had previously felt toward her.[p] Amnon said to her, “Get up and leave!”

16 But she said to him, “No I won’t, for sending me away now would be worse than what you did to me earlier!”[q] But he refused to listen to her. 17 He called his personal attendant and said to him, “Take this woman out of my sight[r] and lock the door behind her!” 18 (Now she was wearing a long robe,[s] for this is what the king’s virgin daughters used to wear.) So Amnon’s[t] attendant removed her and bolted the door[u] behind her. 19 Then Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went on her way, wailing as she went.

20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Was Amnon your brother with you? Now be quiet, my sister. He is your brother. Don’t take it so seriously!”[v] Tamar, devastated, lived in the house of her brother Absalom.

21 Now King David heard about all these things and was very angry.[w] 22 But Absalom said nothing to Amnon, either bad or good, yet Absalom hated Amnon because he had humiliated his sister Tamar.

Absalom Has Amnon Put to Death

23 Two years later Absalom’s sheepshearers were in Baal Hazor, near Ephraim. Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Then Absalom went to the king and said, “My shearers have begun their work.[x] Let the king and his servants go with me.”

25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son. We shouldn’t all go. We shouldn’t burden you in that way.” Though Absalom[y] pressed[z] him, the king[aa] was not willing to go. Instead, David[ab] blessed him.

26 Then Absalom said, “If you will not go,[ac] then let my brother Amnon go with us.” The king replied to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But when Absalom pressed him, he sent Amnon and all the king’s sons along with him.

28 Absalom instructed his servants, “Look! When Amnon is drunk[ad] and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ kill him then and there. Don’t fear! Is it not I who have given you these instructions? Be strong and courageous!”[ae] 29 So Absalom’s servants did to Amnon exactly what Absalom had instructed. Then all the king’s sons got up; each one rode away on his mule and fled.

30 While they were still on their way, the following report reached David: “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons; not one of them is left!” 31 Then the king stood up and tore his garments and lay down on the ground. All his servants were standing there with torn garments as well.

32 Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said, “My lord should not say, ‘They have killed all the young men who are the king’s sons.’ For only Amnon is dead. This is what Absalom has talked about[af] from the day that Amnon[ag] humiliated his sister Tamar. 33 Now don’t let my lord the king be concerned about the report that has come saying, ‘All the king’s sons are dead.’ It is only Amnon who is dead.”

34 In the meantime Absalom fled. When the servant who was the watchman looked up, he saw many people coming from the west[ah] on a road beside the hill. 35 Jonadab said to the king, “Look! The king’s sons have come! It’s just as I said.”

36 Just as he finished speaking, the king’s sons arrived, wailing and weeping.[ai] The king and all his servants wept loudly[aj] as well. 37 But Absalom fled and went to King Talmai son of Ammihud of Geshur. And David[ak] grieved over his son every day.

38 After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he remained there for three years. 39 The king longed[al] to go to Absalom, for he had since been consoled over the death of Amnon.[am]

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 13:1 tn Heb “Amnon the son of David loved her.” The following verse indicates the extreme nature of his infatuation, so the translation uses “madly in love” here.sn Amnon was the half-brother of Tamar; Absalom was her full blood-brother.
  2. 2 Samuel 13:2 tn Heb “and there was distress to Amnon so that he made himself sick.”
  3. 2 Samuel 13:4 tn Heb “and he said to him.”
  4. 2 Samuel 13:4 tn A more idiomatic translation might be “Why are you of all people…?”
  5. 2 Samuel 13:5 tn This verb is used in the Hitpael stem only in this chapter of the Hebrew Bible. With the exception of v. 2 it describes not a real sickness but one pretended in order to entrap Tamar. The Hitpael sometimes, as here, describes the subject making oneself appear to be of a certain character. On this use of the stem, see GKC 149-50 §54.e.
  6. 2 Samuel 13:8 tn Heb “in his sight.”
  7. 2 Samuel 13:8 tn Heb “the cakes.”
  8. 2 Samuel 13:9 tn Heb “from upon me.”
  9. 2 Samuel 13:9 tc A few medieval Hebrew mss supported by the LXX and Vulgate read the Hiphil וַיּוֹצִיאוּ (vayyotsiʾu) “and they removed everyone,” rather than the MT’s Qal וַיֵּצְאוּ (vayyetseʾu, “they left”). This verb would then match the instructions more closely.
  10. 2 Samuel 13:11 tn Heb “lie with me” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV); NCV “come and have sexual relations with me.”
  11. 2 Samuel 13:13 tn Heb “and you will be like one of the fools.”
  12. 2 Samuel 13:13 tn Heb “Now.”
  13. 2 Samuel 13:14 tn Heb “to her voice.”
  14. 2 Samuel 13:14 tn Heb “and he humiliated her and lay with her.”
  15. 2 Samuel 13:15 tn Heb “and Amnon hated her with very great hatred.”
  16. 2 Samuel 13:15 tn Heb “for greater was the hatred with which he hated her than the love with which he loved her.”
  17. 2 Samuel 13:16 tn Heb “No, because this great evil is [worse] than the other which you did with me, by sending me away.” Perhaps the broken syntax reflects her hysteria and outrage.
  18. 2 Samuel 13:17 tn Heb “send this [one] from upon me to the outside.”
  19. 2 Samuel 13:18 tn The Hebrew expression used here (כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים, ketonet passim) is found only here and in Gen 37:3, 23, 32. Hebrew פַּס (pas) can refer to the palm of the hand or the sole of the foot; here the idea is probably that of a long robe reaching to the feet and having sleeves reaching to the wrists. The notion of a “coat of many colors” (KJV, ASV “garment of divers colors”), a familiar translation for the phrase in Genesis, is based primarily on the translation adopted in the LXX χιτῶνα ποικίλον (chitōna poikilon) and does not have a great deal of support.
  20. 2 Samuel 13:18 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Amnon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  21. 2 Samuel 13:18 tn The Hebrew verb is a perfect with nonconsecutive vav, probably indicating an action (locking the door) that complements the preceding one (pushing her out the door).
  22. 2 Samuel 13:20 tn Heb “Don’t set your heart to this thing!” Elsewhere this phrase means to disregard or not pay attention to something (e.g. Exod 7:23). It is a callous thing to say to Tamar, but to the degree that what he said becomes known, it misleads people from understanding that he is personally plotting revenge (13:22, 28).
  23. 2 Samuel 13:21 tc The LXX and part of the Old Latin tradition include the following addition to v. 21, also included in some English versions (e.g., NAB, NRSV, CEV): “But he did not grieve the spirit of Amnon his son, because he loved him, since he was his firstborn.” Note David’s attitude toward his son Adonijah in 1 Kgs 1:6.
  24. 2 Samuel 13:24 tn Heb “your servant has sheepshearers.” The phrase “your servant” also occurs at the end of the verse and is translated as "me".
  25. 2 Samuel 13:25 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Absalom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  26. 2 Samuel 13:25 tc Here and in v. 27 the translation follows 4QSama ויפצר (vayyiftsar, “and he pressed”) rather than the MT וַיִּפְרָץ (vayyifrats, “and he broke through”). This emended reading seems also to underlie the translations of the LXX (καὶ ἐβιάσατο, kai ebiasato), the Syriac Peshitta (weʾalseh), and Vulgate (cogeret eum).
  27. 2 Samuel 13:25 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  28. 2 Samuel 13:25 tn Heb “he”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  29. 2 Samuel 13:26 tn Heb “and not.”
  30. 2 Samuel 13:28 tn Heb “when good is the heart of Amnon with wine.”
  31. 2 Samuel 13:28 tn Heb “and become sons of valor.”
  32. 2 Samuel 13:32 tn Heb “it was placed on the mouth of Absalom.”
  33. 2 Samuel 13:32 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Amnon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  34. 2 Samuel 13:34 tn Heb “behind him.”
  35. 2 Samuel 13:36 tn Heb “and they lifted their voice and wept.”
  36. 2 Samuel 13:36 tn Heb “with a great weeping.”
  37. 2 Samuel 13:37 tc The Hebrew text leaves the word “David” to be inferred. The Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate add the word “David.” Most of the Greek tradition includes the words “King David” here.
  38. 2 Samuel 13:39 tc The translation follows 4QSama in reading רוּחַ הַמֶּלֶךְ (ruakh hammelekh, “the spirit of the king”) rather than the MT דָּוִד הַמֶּלֶךְ (david hammelekh, “David the king”). The understanding reflected in the translation above is that David, though alienated during this time from his son Absalom, still had an abiding love and concern for him. He longed for reconciliation with him. A rather different interpretation of the verse supposes that David’s interest in taking military action against Absalom grew slack with the passing of time, and this in turn enabled David’s advisers to encourage him toward reconciliation with Absalom. For the latter view, see P. K. McCarter, II Samuel (AB), 344, and cf. CEV.
  39. 2 Samuel 13:39 tn Heb “was consoled over Amnon, because he was dead.”
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

John 17

Jesus Prays for the Father to Glorify Him

17 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward[a] to heaven[b] and said, “Father, the time[c] has come. Glorify your Son, so that your[d] Son may glorify you— just as you have given him authority over all humanity,[e] so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him.[f] Now this[g] is eternal life[h]—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ,[i] whom you sent. I glorified you on earth by completing[j] the work you gave me to do.[k] And now, Father, glorify me at your side[l] with the glory I had with you before the world was created.[m]

Jesus Prays for the Disciples

“I have revealed[n] your name[o] to the men[p] you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you,[q] and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed[r] your word. Now they understand[s] that everything[t] you have given me comes from you, because I have given them the words you have given me. They[u] accepted[v] them[w] and really[x] understand[y] that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I am praying[z] on behalf of them. I am not praying[aa] on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you.[ab] 10 Everything[ac] I have belongs to you,[ad] and everything you have belongs to me,[ae] and I have been glorified by them.[af] 11 I[ag] am no longer in the world, but[ah] they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe[ai] in your name[aj] that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.[ak] 12 When I was with them I kept them safe[al] and watched over them[am] in your name[an] that you have given me. Not one[ao] of them was lost except the one destined for destruction,[ap] so that the scripture could be fulfilled.[aq] 13 But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience[ar] my joy completed[as] in themselves. 14 I have given them your word,[at] and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world,[au] just as I do not belong to the world.[av] 15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe[aw] from the evil one.[ax] 16 They do not belong to the world[ay] just as I do not belong to the world.[az] 17 Set them apart[ba] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.[bb] 19 And I set myself apart[bc] on their behalf,[bd] so that they too may be truly set apart.[be]

Jesus Prays for Believers Everywhere

20 “I am not praying[bf] only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe[bg] in me through their testimony,[bh] 21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray[bi] that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 The glory[bj] you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—that they may be completely one,[bk] so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am,[bl] so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world[bm] . 25 Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men[bn] know that you sent me. 26 I made known your name[bo] to them, and I will continue to make it known,[bp] so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.”

Footnotes:

  1. John 17:1 tn Grk “he raised his eyes” (an idiom).sn Jesus also looked upward before his prayer in John 11:41. This was probably a common posture in prayer. According to the parable in Luke 18:13 the tax collector did not feel himself worthy to do this.
  2. John 17:1 tn Or “to the sky.” The Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven” depending on the context.
  3. John 17:1 tn Grk “the hour.”sn The time has come. Jesus has said before that his “hour” had come, both in 12:23 when some Greeks sought to speak with him, and in 13:1 where just before he washed the disciples’ feet. It appears best to understand the “hour” as a period of time starting at the end of Jesus’ public ministry and extending through the passion week, ending with Jesus’ return to the Father through death, resurrection, and exaltation. The “hour” begins as soon as the first events occur which begin the process that leads to Jesus’ death.
  4. John 17:1 tc The better witnesses (א B C* W 0109 0301) have “the Son” (ὁ υἱός, ho huios) here, while the majority (C3 L Ψ ƒ13 33 M) read “your Son also” (καὶ ὁ υἱὸς σου, kai ho huios sou), or “your Son” (ὁ υἱὸς σου; A D Θ 0250 1 579 lat sy); the second corrector of C has καὶ ὁ υἱός (“the Son also”). The longer readings appear to be predictable scribal expansions and as such should be considered secondary.tn Grk “the Son”; “your” has been added here for English stylistic reasons.
  5. John 17:2 tn Or “all people”; Grk “all flesh.”
  6. John 17:2 tn Grk “so that to everyone whom you have given to him, he may give to them eternal life.”
  7. John 17:3 tn Using αὕτη δέ (hautē de) to introduce an explanation is typical Johannine style; it was used before in John 1:19; 3:19, and 15:12.
  8. John 17:3 sn This is eternal life. The author here defines eternal life for the readers, although it is worked into the prayer in such a way that many interpreters do not regard it as another of the author’s parenthetical comments. It is not just unending life in the sense of prolonged duration. Rather it is a quality of life, with its quality derived from a relationship with God. Having eternal life is here defined as being in relationship with the Father, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent. Christ (Χριστός, Christos) is not characteristically attached to Jesus’ name in John’s Gospel; it occurs elsewhere primarily as a title and is used with Jesus’ name only in 1:17. But that is connected to its use here: The statement here in 17:3 enables us to correlate the statement made in 1:18 of the prologue, that Jesus has fully revealed what God is like, with Jesus’ statement in 10:10 that he has come that people might have life, and have it abundantly. These two purposes are really one, according to 17:3, because (abundant) eternal life is defined as knowing (being in relationship with) the Father and the Son. The only way to gain this eternal life, that is, to obtain this knowledge of the Father, is through the Son (cf. 14:6). Although some have pointed to the use of know (γινώσκω, ginōskō) here as evidence of Gnostic influence in the Fourth Gospel, there is a crucial difference: For John this knowledge is not intellectual, but relational. It involves being in relationship.
  9. John 17:3 tn Or “and Jesus the Messiah” (Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”).
  10. John 17:4 tn Or “by finishing” or “by accomplishing.” Jesus now states that he has glorified the Father on earth by finishing (τελειώσας [teleiōsas] is best understood as an adverbial participle of means) the work which the Father had given him to do.sn By completing the work. The idea of Jesus being sent into the world on a mission has been mentioned before, significantly in 3:17. It was even alluded to in the immediately preceding verse here (17:3). The completion of the “work” the Father had sent him to accomplish was mentioned by Jesus in 4:34 and 5:36. What is the nature of the “work” the Father has given the Son to accomplish? It involves the Son’s mission to be the Savior of the world, as 3:17 indicates. But this is accomplished specifically through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross (a thought implied by the reference to the Father “giving” the Son in 3:16). It is not without significance that Jesus’ last word from the cross is “It is completed” (19:30).
  11. John 17:4 tn Grk “the work that you gave to me so that I may do it.”
  12. John 17:5 tn Or “in your presence”; Grk “with yourself.” The use of παρά (para) twice in this verse looks back to the assertion in John 1:1 that the Word (the Λόγος [Logos], who became Jesus of Nazareth in 1:14) was with God (πρὸς τὸν θεόν, pros ton theon). Whatever else may be said, the statement in 17:5 strongly asserts the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
  13. John 17:5 tn Grk “before the world was.” The word “created” is not in the Greek text but is implied.sn It is important to note that although Jesus prayed for a return to the glory he had at the Father’s side before the world was created, he was not praying for a “de-incarnation.” His humanity which he took on at the incarnation (John 1:14) remains, though now glorified.
  14. John 17:6 tn Or “made known,” “disclosed.”
  15. John 17:6 sn Mention of the Father’s name occurs again in 17:11, 12, 26, but not often elsewhere in the Gospel of John (only in 5:43; 10:25; 12:28). In one sense the name represents the person (cf. John 1:12) and thus Jesus by saying that he has revealed the Father’s name is saying that he has fully revealed who God is and what he is like (cf. John 1:18; 14:9). But there is probably a further meaning as well in John’s Gospel: Jesus himself is identified with God repeatedly (10:30; 14:11, etc.) and nowhere is this more apparent than in Jesus’ absolute uses of the phrase “I am” without a predicate (8:24, 28, 58; 13:19). The name of the Father which Jesus has revealed to his disciples is thus the divine Name revealed to Moses in Exod 3:14 (R. E. Brown, John [AB], 2:755-56). See also Isa 62:2; 65:15-16.
  16. John 17:6 tn Here “men” is retained as a translation for ἀνθρώποις (anthrōpois) rather than the more generic “people” because in context it specifically refers to the eleven men Jesus had chosen as apostles (Judas had already departed, John 13:30). If one understands the referent here to be the broader group of Jesus’ followers that included both men and women, a translation like “to the people” should be used here instead.
  17. John 17:6 tn Grk “Yours they were.”
  18. John 17:6 tn Or “have kept.”
  19. John 17:7 tn Or “they have come to know,” or “they have learned.”
  20. John 17:7 tn Grk “all things.”
  21. John 17:8 tn Grk And they.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  22. John 17:8 tn Or “received.”
  23. John 17:8 tn The word “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
  24. John 17:8 tn Or “truly.”
  25. John 17:8 tn Or have come to know.”
  26. John 17:9 tn Grk “I am asking.”
  27. John 17:9 tn Grk “I am not asking.”
  28. John 17:9 tn Or “because they are yours.”
  29. John 17:10 tn Grk And all things.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  30. John 17:10 tn Or “Everything I have is yours.”
  31. John 17:10 tn Or “everything you have is mine.”
  32. John 17:10 tn Or “I have been honored among them.”sn The theme of glory with which Jesus began this prayer in 17:1-5 now recurs. Jesus said that he had been glorified by his disciples, but in what sense was this true? Jesus had manifested his glory to them in all of the sign-miracles which he had performed, beginning with the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana (2:11). He could now say that he had been glorified by them in the light of what he had already said in vv. 7-8, that the disciples had come to know that he had come from the Father and been sent by the Father. He would, of course, be glorified by them further after the resurrection, as they carried on his ministry after his departure.
  33. John 17:11 tn Grk And I.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  34. John 17:11 tn The context indicates that this should be translated as an adversative or contrastive conjunction.
  35. John 17:11 tn Or “protect them”; Grk “keep them.”
  36. John 17:11 tn Or “by your name.”sn See the note on name in John 17:6.
  37. John 17:11 tn The second repetition of “one” is implied, and is supplied here for clarity.
  38. John 17:12 tn Or “I protected them”; Grk “I kept them.”
  39. John 17:12 tn Grk “and guarded them.”
  40. John 17:12 tn Or “by your name.”
  41. John 17:12 tn Grk And not one.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  42. John 17:12 tn Grk “the son of destruction” (a Semitic idiom for one appointed for destruction; here it is a reference to Judas).sn The one destined to destruction refers to Judas. Clearly in John’s Gospel Judas is portrayed as a tool of Satan. He is described as “the devil” in 6:70. In 13:2 Satan put into Judas’ heart the idea of betraying Jesus, and 13:27 Satan himself entered Judas. Immediately after this Judas left the company of Jesus and the other disciples and went out into the realm of darkness (13:30). Cf. 2 Thess 2:3, where this same Greek phrase (“the son of destruction”; see tn above) is used to describe the man through whom Satan acts to rebel against God in the last days.
  43. John 17:12 sn A possible allusion to Ps 41:9 or Prov 24:22 LXX. The exact passage is not specified here, but in John 13:18, Ps 41:9 is explicitly quoted by Jesus with reference to the traitor, suggesting that this is the passage to which Jesus refers here. The previous mention of Ps 41:9 in John 13:18 probably explains why the author felt no need for an explanatory parenthetical note here. It is also possible that the passage referred to here is Prov 24:22 LXX, where in the Greek text the phrase “son of destruction” appears.
  44. John 17:13 tn Grk “they may have.”
  45. John 17:13 tn Or “fulfilled.”
  46. John 17:14 tn Or “your message.”
  47. John 17:14 tn Grk “because they are not of the world.”
  48. John 17:14 tn Grk “just as I am not of the world.”
  49. John 17:15 tn Or “that you protect them”; Grk “that you keep them.”
  50. John 17:15 tn The phrase “the evil one” is a reference to Satan. The genitive substantival adjective τοῦ πονηροῦ (tou ponērou) is ambiguous with regard to gender: It may represent the neuter τὸ πονηρόν (to ponēron), “that which is evil,” or the masculine ὁ πονηρός (ho ponēros), “the evil one,” i.e., Satan. In view of the frequent use of the masculine in 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12, and 5:18-19 it seems much more probable that the masculine is to be understood here, and that Jesus is praying for his disciples to be protected from Satan. Cf. BDAG 851 s.v. πονηρός 1.b.β and 1.b.γ.
  51. John 17:16 tn Grk “they are not of the world.” This is a repetition of the second half of v. 14. The only difference is in word order: Verse 14 has οὐκ εἰσὶν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου (ouk eisin ek tou kosmou), while here the prepositional phrase is stated first: ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου οὐκ εἰσίν (ek tou kosmou ouk eisin). This gives additional emphasis to the idea of the prepositional phrase, i.e., origin, source, or affiliation.
  52. John 17:16 tn Grk “just as I am not of the world.”
  53. John 17:17 tn Or “Consecrate them” or “Sanctify them.”sn The Greek word translated set…apart (ἁγιάζω, hagiazō) is used here in its normal sense of being dedicated, consecrated, or set apart. The sphere in which the disciples are to be set apart is in the truth. In 3:21 the idea of “practicing” (Grk “doing”) the truth was introduced; in 8:32 Jesus told some of his hearers that if they continued in his word they would truly be his disciples, and would know the truth, and the truth would make them free. These disciples who are with Jesus now for the Farewell Discourse have continued in his word (except for Judas Iscariot, who has departed), and they do know the truth about who Jesus is and why he has come into the world (17:8). Thus Jesus can ask the Father to set them apart in this truth as he himself is set apart, so that they might carry on his mission in the world after his departure (note the following verse).
  54. John 17:18 sn Jesus now compared the mission on which he was sending the disciples to his own mission into the world, on which he was sent by the Father. As the Father sent Jesus into the world (cf. 3:17), so Jesus now sends the disciples into the world to continue his mission after his departure. The nature of this prayer for the disciples as a consecratory prayer is now emerging: Jesus was setting them apart for the work he had called them to do. They were, in a sense, being commissioned.
  55. John 17:19 tn Or “I sanctify.”sn In what sense does Jesus refer to his own ‘sanctification’ with the phrase I set myself apart? In 10:36 Jesus referred to himself as “the one whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world,” which seems to look at something already accomplished. Here, however, it is something he does on behalf of the disciples (on their behalf) and this suggests a reference to his impending death on the cross. There is in fact a Johannine wordplay here based on slightly different meanings for the Greek verb translated set apart (ἁγιάζω, hagiazō). In the sense it was used in 10:36 of Jesus and in 17:17 and here to refer to the disciples, it means to set apart in the sense that prophets (cf. Jer 1:5) and priests (Exod 40:13, Lev 8:30, and 2 Chr 5:11) were consecrated (or set apart) to perform their tasks. But when Jesus speaks of setting himself apart (consecrating or dedicating himself) on behalf of the disciples here in 17:19 the meaning is closer to the consecration of a sacrificial animal (Deut 15:19). Jesus is “setting himself apart,” i.e., dedicating himself, to do the will of the Father, that is, to go to the cross on the disciples’ behalf (and of course on behalf of their successors as well).
  56. John 17:19 tn Or “for their sake.”
  57. John 17:19 tn Or “they may be truly consecrated,” or “they may be truly sanctified.”
  58. John 17:20 tn Or “I do not pray.”
  59. John 17:20 tn Although πιστευόντων (pisteuontōn) is a present participle, it must in context carry futuristic force. The disciples whom Jesus is leaving behind will carry on his ministry and in doing so will see others come to trust in him. This will include not only Jewish Christians, but other Gentile Christians who are “not of this fold” (10:16), and thus Jesus’ prayer for unity is especially appropriate in light of the probability that most of the readers of the Gospel are Gentiles (much as Paul stresses unity between Jewish and Gentile Christians in Eph 2:10-22).
  60. John 17:20 tn Grk “their word.”
  61. John 17:21 tn The words “I pray” are repeated from the first part of v. 20 for clarity.
  62. John 17:22 tn Grk And the glory.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  63. John 17:23 tn Or “completely unified.”
  64. John 17:24 tn Grk “the ones you have given me, I want these to be where I am with me.”
  65. John 17:24 tn Grk “before the foundation of the world.”
  66. John 17:25 tn The word “men” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The translation uses the word “men” here rather than a more general term like “people” because the use of the aorist verb ἔγνωσαν (egnōsan) implies that Jesus is referring to the disciples present with him as he spoke these words (presumably all of them men in the historical context), rather than to those who are yet to believe because of their testimony (see John 17:20).
  67. John 17:26 sn The theme of the revelation of the Father’s name is picked up from John 17:6 and refers to Jesus’ revelation of the divine Name of Exod 3:14 in his person (see additional discussion at 17:6).
  68. John 17:26 tn The translation “will continue to make it known” is proposed by R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:773).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Psalm 119:81-96

כ (Kaf)

81 I desperately long for[a] your deliverance.
I find hope in your word.
82 My eyes grow tired as I wait for your promise to be fulfilled.[b]
I say,[c] “When will you comfort me?”
83 For[d] I am like a wineskin[e] dried up in smoke.[f]
I do not forget your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure this?[g]
When will you judge those who pursue me?
85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,[h]
which violates your law.[i]
86 All your commands are reliable.
I am pursued without reason.[j] Help me!
87 They have almost destroyed me here on the earth,
but I do not reject your precepts.
88 Revive me with[k] your loyal love,
that I might keep[l] the rules you have revealed.[m]

ל (Lamed)

89 O Lord, your instructions endure;
they stand secure in heaven.[n]
90 You demonstrate your faithfulness to all generations.[o]
You established the earth and it stood firm.
91 Today they stand firm by your decrees,
for all things are your servants.
92 If I had not found encouragement in your law,[p]
I would have died in my sorrow.[q]
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have revived me.
94 I belong to you. Deliver me!
For I seek your precepts.
95 The wicked prepare to kill me,[r]
yet I concentrate on your rules.
96 I realize that everything has its limits,
but your commands are beyond full comprehension.[s]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119:81 tn Heb “my soul pines for.” See Ps 84:2.
  2. Psalm 119:82 tn Heb “my eyes fail for your word.” The psalmist has intently kept his eyes open, looking for God to intervene, but now his eyes are watery and bloodshot, impairing his vision. See Ps 69:3.
  3. Psalm 119:82 tn Heb “saying.”
  4. Psalm 119:83 tn Or “even though.”
  5. Psalm 119:83 tn The Hebrew word נֹאד (noʾd, “leather container”) refers to a container made from animal skin which is used to hold wine or milk (see Josh 9:4, 13; Judg 4:19; 1 Sam 16:20).
  6. Psalm 119:83 tn Heb “in the smoke.”
  7. Psalm 119:84 tn Heb “How long are the days of your servant?”
  8. Psalm 119:85 tn Heb “for me.”
  9. Psalm 119:85 tn Heb “which [is] not according to your law.”
  10. Psalm 119:86 sn God’s commands are a reliable guide to right and wrong. By keeping them the psalmist is doing what is right, yet he is still persecuted.
  11. Psalm 119:88 tn Heb “according to.”
  12. Psalm 119:88 tn The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  13. Psalm 119:88 tn Heb “of your mouth.”
  14. Psalm 119:89 tn Heb “Forever, O Lord, your word stands firm in heaven,” or “Forever, O Lord, [is] your word; it stands firm in heaven.” The translation assumes that “your word” refers here to the body of divine instructions contained in the law (note the frequent references to the law in vv. 92-96). See vv. 9, 16-17, 57, 101, 105, 130, 139 and 160-61. The reference in v. 86 to God’s law being faithful favors this interpretation. Another option is that “your word” refers to God’s assuring word of promise, mentioned in vv. 25, 28, 42, 65, 74, 81, 107, 114, 147 and 169. In this case one might translate, “O Lord, your promise is reliable, it stands firm in heaven.”
  15. Psalm 119:90 tn Heb “to a generation and a generation [is] your faithfulness.”
  16. Psalm 119:92 tn Heb “if your law had not been my delight.”
  17. Psalm 119:92 tn Or “my suffering.”
  18. Psalm 119:95 tn Heb “the wicked wait for me to kill me.”
  19. Psalm 119:96 tn Heb “to every perfection I have seen an end, your command is very wide.” God’s law is beyond full comprehension, which is why the psalmist continually studies it (vv. 95, 97).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Proverbs 16:6-7

Through loyal love and truth[a] iniquity is appeased;[b]
through fearing the Lord[c] one avoids[d] evil.[e]
When a person’s[f] ways are pleasing to the Lord,[g]
he[h] even reconciles his enemies to himself.[i]

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 16:6 sn These two words are often found together to form a nominal hendiadys: “faithful loyal love.” The couplet often characterizes the Lord, but here in parallel to the fear of the Lord it refers to the faithfulness of the believer. Such faith and faithfulness bring atonement for sin.
  2. Proverbs 16:6 tn Heb “is atoned”; KJV “is purged”; NAB “is expiated.” The verb is from I כָּפַר (kafar, “to atone; to expiate; to pacify; to appease”; HALOT 493-94 s.v. I כפר). This root should not be confused with the identically spelled Homonym II כָּפַר (kafar, “to cover over”; HALOT 494 s.v. II *כפר). Atonement in the OT expiated sins, it did not merely cover them over (cf. NLT). C. H. Toy explains the meaning by saying it affirms that the divine anger against sin is turned away and man’s relation to God is as though he had not sinned (Proverbs [ICC], 322). Genuine repentance, demonstrated by loyalty and truthfulness, appeases the anger of God against one’s sin.
  3. Proverbs 16:6 tn Heb “fear of the Lord.” The term יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”) functions as an objective genitive: “fearing the Lord.”
  4. Proverbs 16:6 tn Heb “turns away from”; NASB “keeps away from.”
  5. Proverbs 16:6 sn The Hebrew word translated “evil” (רַע, raʿ) can in some contexts mean “calamity” or “disaster,” but here it seems more likely to mean “evil” in the sense of sin. Faithfulness to the Lord brings freedom from sin. The verse uses synonymous parallelism with a variant: One half speaks of atonement for sin because of the life of faith, and the other of avoidance of sin because of the fear of the Lord.
  6. Proverbs 16:7 tn Heb “ways of a man.”
  7. Proverbs 16:7 tn The first line uses an infinitive in a temporal clause, followed by its subject in the genitive case: “in the taking pleasure of the Lord” = “when the Lord is pleased with.” So the condition set down for the second colon is a lifestyle that is pleasing to God.
  8. Proverbs 16:7 tn The referent of the verb in the second colon is unclear. The straightforward answer is that it refers to the person whose ways please the Lord—it is his lifestyle that disarms his enemies. W. McKane comments that the righteous have the power to mend relationships (Proverbs [OTL], 491); see, e.g., 10:13; 14:9; 15:1; 25:21-22). The life that is pleasing to God will be above reproach and find favor with others. Some would interpret this to mean that God makes his enemies to be at peace with him (cf. KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT). This is workable, but in this passage it would seem God would do this through the pleasing life of the believer (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV).
  9. Proverbs 16:7 tn Heb “even his enemies he makes to be at peace with him.”
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Monday May 27, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 12

Nathan Rebukes David

12 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.

11 “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”

David Confesses His Guilt

13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. 14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord[a] by doing this, your child will die.”

15 After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. 16 David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. 17 The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.

18 Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He wouldn’t listen to reason while the child was ill,” they said. “What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?”

19 When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions,[b] and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.

21 His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”

22 David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”

24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David[c] named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.[d]

David Captures Rabbah

26 Meanwhile, Joab was fighting against Rabbah, the capital of Ammon, and he captured the royal fortifications.[e] 27 Joab sent messengers to tell David, “I have fought against Rabbah and captured its water supply.[f] 28 Now bring the rest of the army and capture the city. Otherwise, I will capture it and get credit for the victory.”

29 So David gathered the rest of the army and went to Rabbah, and he fought against it and captured it. 30 David removed the crown from the king’s head,[g] and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and it weighed seventy-five pounds.[h] David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. 31 He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with[i] saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to work in the brick kilns.[j] That is how he dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:14 As in Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text reads the enemies of the Lord.
  2. 12:20 Hebrew anointed himself.
  3. 12:24 Hebrew he; an alternate Hebrew reading and some Hebrew manuscripts read she.
  4. 12:25 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads because of the Lord.
  5. 12:26 Or the royal city.
  6. 12:27 Or captured the city of water.
  7. 12:30a Or from the head of Milcom (as in Greek version). Milcom, also called Molech, was the god of the Ammonites.
  8. 12:30b Hebrew 1 talent [34 kilograms].
  9. 12:31a Hebrew He also brought out the people [of Rabbah] and put them under.
  10. 12:31b Hebrew and he made them pass through the brick kilns.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


John 16

16 “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. This is because they have never known the Father or me. Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate[a] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

Sadness Will Be Turned to Joy

16 “In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”

17 Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? 18 And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”

19 Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. 21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.

25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.[b] 28 Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”

29 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. 30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”

31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Footnotes:

  1. 16:7 Or Comforter, or Encourager, or Counselor. Greek reads Paraclete.
  2. 16:27 Some manuscripts read from the Father.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 119:65-80

Teth

65 You have done many good things for me, Lord,
just as you promised.
66 I believe in your commands;
now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
but now I closely follow your word.
68 You are good and do only good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Arrogant people smear me with lies,
but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are dull and stupid,
but I delight in your instructions.
71 My suffering was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
72 Your instructions are more valuable to me
than millions in gold and silver.

Yodh

73 You made me; you created me.
Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
74 May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy,
for I have put my hope in your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair;
you disciplined me because I needed it.
76 Now let your unfailing love comfort me,
just as you promised me, your servant.
77 Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live,
for your instructions are my delight.
78 Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me;
meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.
79 Let me be united with all who fear you,
with those who know your laws.
80 May I be blameless in keeping your decrees;
then I will never be ashamed.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 16:4-5

The Lord has made everything for his own purposes,
even the wicked for a day of disaster.

The Lord detests the proud;
they will surely be punished.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday May 26, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 9-11

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked.

“Yes sir, I am,” Ziba replied.

The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.”

Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”

“Where is he?” the king asked.

“In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.”

So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home. His name was Mephibosheth[a]; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.”

Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”

“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”

Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?”

Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and servants are to farm the land for him to produce food for your master’s household.[b] But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will eat here at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Ziba replied, “Yes, my lord the king; I am your servant, and I will do all that you have commanded.” And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table,[c] like one of the king’s own sons.

12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. From then on, all the members of Ziba’s household were Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem and ate regularly at the king’s table.

David Defeats the Ammonites

10 Some time after this, King Nahash[d] of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.

But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.

When David heard what had happened, he sent messengers to tell the men, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back.” For they felt deep shame because of their appearance.

When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, they sent and hired 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers from the lands of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 from the land of Tob. When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them. The Ammonite troops came out and drew up their battle lines at the entrance of the city gate, while the Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the men from Tob and Maacah positioned themselves to fight in the open fields.

When Joab saw that he would have to fight on both the front and the rear, he chose some of Israel’s elite troops and placed them under his personal command to fight the Arameans in the fields. 10 He left the rest of the army under the command of his brother Abishai, who was to attack the Ammonites. 11 “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me,” Joab told his brother. “And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come and help you. 12 Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord’s will be done.”

13 When Joab and his troops attacked, the Arameans began to run away. 14 And when the Ammonites saw the Arameans running, they ran from Abishai and retreated into the city. After the battle was over, Joab returned to Jerusalem.

15 The Arameans now realized that they were no match for Israel. So when they regrouped, 16 they were joined by additional Aramean troops summoned by Hadadezer from the other side of the Euphrates River.[e] These troops arrived at Helam under the command of Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s forces.

17 When David heard what was happening, he mobilized all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, and led the army to Helam. The Arameans positioned themselves in battle formation and fought against David. 18 But again the Arameans fled from the Israelites. This time David’s forces killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers,[f] including Shobach, the commander of their army. 19 When all the kings allied with Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they surrendered to Israel and became their subjects. After that, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites.

David and Bathsheba

11 In the spring of the year,[g] when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.

Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home. Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.”

Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the army were getting along and how the war was progressing. Then he told Uriah, “Go on home and relax.[h]” David even sent a gift to Uriah after he had left the palace. But Uriah didn’t go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.

10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him and asked, “What’s the matter? Why didn’t you go home last night after being away for so long?”

11 Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents,[i] and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.”

12 “Well, stay here today,” David told him, “and tomorrow you may return to the army.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife. Again he slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.

David Arranges for Uriah’s Death

14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. 15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” 16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting. 17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.

18 Then Joab sent a battle report to David. 19 He told his messenger, “Report all the news of the battle to the king. 20 But he might get angry and ask, ‘Why did the troops go so close to the city? Didn’t they know there would be shooting from the walls? 21 Wasn’t Abimelech son of Gideon[j] killed at Thebez by a woman who threw a millstone down on him from the wall? Why would you get so close to the wall?’ Then tell him, ‘Uriah the Hittite was killed, too.’”

22 So the messenger went to Jerusalem and gave a complete report to David. 23 “The enemy came out against us in the open fields,” he said. “And as we chased them back to the city gate, 24 the archers on the wall shot arrows at us. Some of the king’s men were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.”

25 “Well, tell Joab not to be discouraged,” David said. “The sword devours this one today and that one tomorrow! Fight harder next time, and conquer the city!”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:6 Mephibosheth is another name for Merib-baal.
  2. 9:10 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads your master’s grandson.
  3. 9:11 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads my table.
  4. 10:1 As in parallel text at 1 Chr 19:1; Hebrew reads the king.
  5. 10:16 Hebrew the river.
  6. 10:18 As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 1 Chr 19:18); Hebrew reads charioteers.
  7. 11:1 Hebrew At the turn of the year. The first day of the year in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in March or April.
  8. 11:8 Hebrew and wash your feet, an expression that may also have a connotation of ritualistic washing.
  9. 11:11 Or at Succoth.
  10. 11:21 Hebrew son of Jerub-besheth. Jerub-besheth is a variation on the name Jerub-baal, which is another name for Gideon; see Judg 6:32.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


John 15

Jesus, the True Vine

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures[a]: ‘They hated me without cause.’

26 “But I will send you the Advocate[b]—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:25 Greek in their law. Pss 35:19; 69:4.
  2. 15:26 Or Comforter, or Encourager, or Counselor. Greek reads Paraclete.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 119:49-64

Zayin

49 Remember your promise to me;
it is my only hope.
50 Your promise revives me;
it comforts me in all my troubles.
51 The proud hold me in utter contempt,
but I do not turn away from your instructions.
52 I meditate on your age-old regulations;
O Lord, they comfort me.
53 I become furious with the wicked,
because they reject your instructions.
54 Your decrees have been the theme of my songs
wherever I have lived.
55 I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord;
therefore, I obey your instructions.
56 This is how I spend my life:
obeying your commandments.

Heth

57 Lord, you are mine!
I promise to obey your words!
58 With all my heart I want your blessings.
Be merciful as you promised.
59 I pondered the direction of my life,
and I turned to follow your laws.
60 I will hurry, without delay,
to obey your commands.
61 Evil people try to drag me into sin,
but I am firmly anchored to your instructions.
62 I rise at midnight to thank you
for your just regulations.
63 I am a friend to anyone who fears you—
anyone who obeys your commandments.
64 O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth;
teach me your decrees.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 16:1-3

16 We can make our own plans,
but the Lord gives the right answer.

People may be pure in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their motives.

Commit your actions to the Lord,
and your plans will succeed.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Saturday May 25, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 7-8

David’s dancing is part of the celebration and ritual involved with bringing the covenant chest into the city, part of a sacred party where in addition to ritual sacrifice and shouts of joy and playing the trumpet, all of the people feast. As the anointed king of Israel, David could behave with reserve and dignity—which his wife, Saul’s daughter Michal, apparently thinks most fitting in a king—but perhaps it is more fitting for the king God has placed on the throne to join in the worship and celebration welcoming God into their city and into their lives. David tells Michal that he doesn’t care how other people react to his worship and praise of God, for in his own eyes—and in the eyes of the faithful—he has done what is right.

Now when the king was settled in his house and the Eternal had given him rest from battling all his enemies, he spoke to the prophet Nathan.

David: Look at this: I live in a beautiful palace made of cedar, but the covenant chest of the True God rests in a tent made of curtains.

Nathan: Go do whatever you’re planning to do, for the Eternal One is with you.

But that same night, the Eternal spoke to Nathan.

Eternal One: Go and tell My servant David this message is from the Eternal One: “Are you the person who will build a house for Me to live in? I have not lived in a house since I brought My people Israel up from Egypt, but have moved around all this time in a tent, even in the congregation tent. Wherever My travels with the people of Israel have taken Me, did I ever go to one of the tribal leaders who were the shepherds for My sheep and ask, ‘Why haven’t you made Me a house of cedar to live in?’”

So now you shall tell David, My servant this message is from the Eternal One, the Commander of heavenly armies: “I took you from the pastures where you followed sheep and made you king of all My people Israel so you now lead My sheep. I have been with you wherever you journeyed and have given you victory over your enemies; and I will make you highly respected, with a name as great as any who live on earth. 10-11 And I will select a place for My people Israel and plant them firmly in that place, a land they can call their own, a land of peace. The wicked will not bother them again as they did from the time I appointed the judges to govern My people, and I will give you rest from fighting your enemies.

More importantly, I, the Eternal swear to you that I will raise up a dynasty from your family. 12 When you come to the end of your days, and you leave this life to lie down with your fathers, I will raise up from you a descendant, your own flesh and blood, and I will make his kingdom and family sure. 13 He will be the one to build a temple honoring My name, and I will establish the leadership of his kingdom for all time. 14 I will be to him a father, and he will be to Me a son.[a] When he crosses the line and acts badly, I will teach him with a rod used by people for correction and a lash for discipline. 15 But I will not withdraw My love from him as I did from Saul, whom I set aside in favor of you. 16 Your dynasty, your kingdom, will stand perpetually in My sight; your descendants will rule continually.”

17 Nathan did as He had told him and related this vision to David. 18 Then King David was strongly moved and went into the presence of the Eternal.

David: Who am I, O Eternal Lord, and what is my family that You have raised me so high? 19 You have spoken of this as though it were a tiny thing, simple, O Eternal Lord. You have also talked about the future of Your servant’s family and kingdom, a great future stretching off into the distance. This, O Eternal Lord, is Your instruction for humanity. 20 What can I say to You? You know Your servant inside and out, O Eternal Lord. 21 Because You promised it and it pleased You, You have made these amazing things happen, so that Your servant might know You are behind it. 22 So You are great, O Eternal Lord. No one else like You exists, and there is no god greater than You, as we should know from everything we have heard.

23 And who is like Your people, Israel? Is there another nation on the earth where God went to redeem them from Egypt and to distinguish Himself with awe-inspiring deeds of power by driving other nations and their false gods out of their path? 24 You chose to take Israel as Your people perpetually; and You, Eternal One, chose to be their God.

25 So yes, Eternal God, take the words You have spoken about me, Your servant, and my family and kingdom, and make them true perpetually. Do what You have promised. 26 Then Your name will be revered forever in the words, “The Eternal One, the Commander of heavenly armies, is the God over Israel,” and the dynasty of Your servant David will be established before You. 27 For You, O Eternal God, the Commander of heavenly armies, the God of Israel, have shown me what You intend, saying, “I will establish your dynasty,” and that is why I have found the courage to pray this prayer in Your presence. 28 O Eternal Lord, You are the True God, and Your words are always true, and You have made this good promise to me, Your servant. 29 So may it please You to continue to bless me, my family, and my kingdom so that my dynasty may be continually before Your sight. For You, O Eternal Lord, have spoken; and with Your blessing, my descendants and kingdom will always be blessed.

Sometime later, David won a great victory over the Philistines, gaining superiority over them at Metheg-ammah. He also defeated the army of Moab; and making the captured lie down, he determined that ⅔ of them would be put to death while ⅓ would be allowed to live. As a result, the Moabites became servants to David and paid tribute. David also defeated Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah in southern Aram, when Hadadezer went to restore territory all the way to the Euphrates River. David captured from him 1,700 charioteers and 20,000 foot soldiers. He retained enough horses to drive 100 chariots and disabled the rest, cutting their leg tendons.

When the Arameans came from Damascus to fight alongside King Hadadezer of Zobah, David killed 22,000 of their soldiers as well. Then David set up outposts among the Arameans from Damascus, and they became servants of David and paid tribute. The Eternal helped David everywhere he went. David brought the gold shields that had been carried by Hadadezer’s men back to Jerusalem; and he plundered a vast quantity of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns, Betah and Berothai.

When King Toi of Hamath (in southern Aram) heard that David had defeated Hadadezer’s army, 10 he sent his son Joram to greet King David and to congratulate him on his victories because Toi had also defeated Hadadezer. Joram brought as gifts items of silver, gold, and bronze; 11 David dedicated these to the Eternal, as he had all the silver and gold he had received from those nations he defeated: 12 Aram, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek, including the spoil from Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

13 David’s exploits improved his reputation. After his return, he went to war with the Edomites,[b] killing 18,000 in the valley of Salt. 14 David set up outposts throughout the land of Edom. All the Edomites became servants of David, and the Eternal One helped David wherever he went.

15 So David was king over a united Israel, ruling justly and fairly. 16 Joab, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, was his general; Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, was his recorder; 17 Zadok, the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech, the son of Abiathar, served as priests; Seraiah was his royal secretary; 18 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was in charge of the Cherethites and the Pelethites, foreign mercenaries loyal to David; and some of David’s sons served as advisors in David’s kingdom.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:14 2 Corinthians 6:18; Hebrews 1:5
  2. 8:13 Some manuscripts read, “Arameans.”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 14:15-31

15 If you love Me, obey the commandments I have given you. 16 I will ask the Father to send you another Helper, the Spirit of truth, who will remain constantly with you. 17 The world does not recognize the Spirit of truth, because it does not know the Spirit and is unable to receive Him. But you do know the Spirit because He lives with you, and He will dwell in you. 18 I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you. 19 In a little while, the world will not see Me; but I will not vanish completely from your sight. Because I live, you will also live. 20 At that time, you will know that I am in the Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. 21 The one who loves Me will do the things I have commanded. My Father loves everyone who loves Me; and I will love you and reveal My heart, will, and nature to you.

God becomes flesh and lives among humanity, not just to have a transaction with people and ultimately die, but to continue to be with them and to send His Spirit to be present with believers. So God calls His Spirit-indwelled people to something greater, something more significant: they are here as redeeming forces on this earth; their time here is about reclaiming the things He has created. Believing God has created the entire cosmos and that it is restored in Jesus, the believer’s work here through the Spirit is to say, “This belongs to God,” and to help point out the beauty of creation to everyone. And most of all, to live in it themselves by the power of the Holy Spirit who plants the teachings of the Lord in their hearts.

The Other Judas: 22 Lord, why will You reveal Yourself to us, but not to the world?

Jesus: 23 Anyone who loves Me will listen to My voice and obey. The Father will love him, and We will draw close to him and make a dwelling place within him. 24 The one who does not love Me ignores My message, which is not from Me, but from the Father who sent Me.

25 I have spoken these words while I am here with you. 26 The Father is sending a great Helper, the Holy Spirit, in My name to teach you everything and to remind you of all I have said to you. 27 My peace is the legacy I leave to you. I don’t give gifts like those of this world. Do not let your heart be troubled or fearful. 28 You were listening when I said, “I will go away, but I will also return to be with you.” If you love Me, celebrate the fact that I am going to be with the Father because He is far greater than I am. 29 I have told you all these things in advance so that your faith will grow as these things come to pass. 30 I am almost finished speaking to you. The one who rules the world is stepping forward, and he has no part in Me; 31 but to demonstrate to the cosmos My love for the Father, I will do just as He commands. Stand up. It is time for us to leave this place.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 119:33-48

He

33 O Eternal One, show me how to live according to Your statutes,
and I will keep them always.
34 Grant me understanding so that I can keep Your law
and keep it wholeheartedly.
35 Guide me to walk in the way You commanded
because I take joy in it.
36 Turn my head and my heart to Your decrees
and not to sinful gain.
37 Keep my eyes from gazing upon worthless things,
and give me true life according to Your plans.
38 Verify Your word to Your servant,
which will lead me to worship You.
39 Take away the scorn that I dread
because Your actions are just and good.
40 Look and see—I long for Your guidance;
restore me in Your righteousness.

Vav

41 May Your unfailing love find me, O Eternal One.
Keep Your promise, and save me;
42 When that happens, I will have a good response for anyone who taunts me
because I have faith in Your word.
43 Do not take Your message of truth from my mouth
because I wait and rely on Your just decisions.
44 Therefore I will follow Your teachings,
forever and ever.
45 And I will live a life of freedom
because I pursue Your precepts.
46 I will even testify of Your decrees before royalty
and will not be humiliated.
47 I will find my joy in Your commands,
which I love,
48 And I will raise my hands to Your commands, which I love,
and I will fix my mind on what You require.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:33

33 Reverence for the Eternal is the first lesson of wisdom,
and humility always precedes honor.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Friday May 24, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 4-6

When Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, heard that his general Abner was dead, murdered in Hebron, he panicked, and so did all Israel. Now the two captains of Ish-bosheth’s raiding parties were Baanah and Rechab, the sons of Rimmon, a Benjaminite from the town of Beeroth (which was considered to belong to Benjamin since the time its original inhabitants tricked the Israelites into making a pact of friendship with them. The people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim, where they still live as aliens).

Saul’s son Jonathan, David’s friend, had a son named Mephibosheth who was unable to use his feet. When he was only five, the news of his father and grandfather’s defeat came from Jezreel. In her rush to flee, his nurse grabbed him up, and Mephibosheth fell; he had been lame ever since.

Baanah and Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, hatched a plan. They set out, and they came to Ish-bosheth’s residence during the noonday heat as he was taking a nap. 6-7 They crept inside the house as if to get some wheat. There they stabbed Ish-bosheth in the abdomen while he lay asleep on his bed, killing him. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah cut off Ish-bosheth’s head and escaped. They carried his head away and traveled all night across the desert plains.[a]

At Hebron, they brought Ish-bosheth’s head before David.

Baanah and Rechab: Here is the head of your enemy, Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, who tried to kill you. Today the Eternal One has avenged my lord, the king, against Saul and his clan.

David: As the Eternal One lives, the One who has redeemed my life from every danger, 10 when the messenger brought me the word, “Saul is dead”—as though that would be some reason for me to rejoice, that would get him a reward—I seized him and had him killed at Ziklag. That was his reward for bringing me such news. 11 How much more do you deserve to be punished, you wicked men who kill a righteous man in his own bedroom? Don’t you imagine that now I’ll make you answer for his blood with your own and wipe you from the face of the earth?

12 David commanded his young men, and they killed Baanah and Rechab. Then the young men cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies as an example beside the pool at Hebron. But Ish-bosheth’s head they took and buried in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.

Then all the tribes that made up the people of Israel came to David at Hebron.

Leaders of Israel: We are all related: we are flesh of your flesh, bone of your bones. When Saul was king, you always led the army of Israel out and then brought it back safely. The Eternal said to you, “You will be the shepherd of My people Israel, the ruler over all of them.”

All the leaders of Israel came before the king there at Hebron. So King David made a covenant with the leaders there before the Eternal, and they anointed David king over all Israel. David was 30 years old when he first became king, and he was king for 40 years; he reigned in Hebron over Judah alone for 7½ years, and then he reigned over the united kingdom of Judah and Israel for 33 years.

At one point, David and his army marched to Jerusalem to fight the Jebusites who lived there. The Jebusites felt secure behind their walls and were sure David could not enter into the city. They jeered, “Even the blind and the lame could defend this city against you.” Despite the taunts, David and his army managed to capture the fortress of Zion, which became the city of David.[b]

David (to his army): If you want to strike down the Jebusites—these blind and lame defenders whom I hate—then go through the water tunnel.

(From this exchange came the saying, “The blind and the lame cannot enter the house.”)

Once David captured the fortress, he stayed there and named it the city of David. He built it up all around, carefully terracing the hillside from the Millo[c] inward. 10 And David continued to grow in power and reputation because the Eternal God, Commander of heavenly armies, was with him.

11 King Hiram of Tyre sent diplomats to David with cedars and carpenters and masons to build David a palace.

12 David realized then that the Eternal One had established him as king over Israel and that He was increasing David’s kingdom in power and majesty for the sake of His people Israel.

13-14 After the move from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more women from Jerusalem, took more concubines, and fathered more sons and daughters: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

17 When David’s former allies, the Philistines, discovered that David, whom they still considered a vassal of Gath, was now king over a united Israel, they sent an army to battle him; but David heard they were coming and withdrew into the fortress.

18 The Philistines spread their forces in the valley of Rephaim southwest of Jerusalem.

David (to the Lord): 19 Should I go to war against the Philistines? Will You make me victorious over them?

Eternal One: Yes, go. I will certainly give you victory.

20 So David battled the Philistines at Baal-perazim and defeated them.

David: The Eternal has broken through my enemies in front of me like water bursting through a dam.

That is why the place was named Baal-perazim, meaning “the Lord who bursts through.”

21 The Philistines abandoned their idols on the field, and David and his forces carried them away.

22 Yet again the Philistines came up and prepared for battle in the valley of Rephaim. 23 David asked the Eternal One what he should do.

Eternal One: Do not directly face their forces. Circle around behind them, and array yourselves for battle in front of the balsam trees. 24 When you hear the sound of a mighty army marching, reverberating in the tops of the balsam trees, come quickly and fight, for the Eternal has gone ahead of you into battle to destroy the army of the Philistines.

25 David did just as the Eternal One commanded and won a great victory. He struck down the fleeing Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer, just before the coastal plain.

Once again David gathered the elite soldiers of Israel, some 30,000, and they went down to Baale-judah to bring back the covenant chest of the True God, called by the Name: the Eternal One, Commander of heavenly armies, who sits enthroned above the winged creatures who protect the chest.

3-4 They carried the covenant chest of the True God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab on the hill where it had rested, and Abinadab’s sons Uzzah and Ahio directed the new cart, with Ahio walking in front of the chest. David and all the Israelites were joyous before the Eternal; and they were accompanied by wooden lyres and harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.

When they came alongside the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the covenant chest. The Eternal burned with anger against Uzzah, and the True God struck Uzzah dead on the spot for daring to touch the covenant chest.

The covenant chest represents something amazing—it is filled with God’s presence and is supposed to be kept in the most separate, most holy of places. David knows that having the covenant chest near him as he rules is important. Therefore he begins the journey toward Jerusalem. The journey is interrupted with Uzzah’s death. David leaves the covenant chest short of its final resting place, but he eventually completes the journey by bringing it into the city of Jerusalem to its final home—and bringing God’s blessing with it. Although it is dangerous, it is also the most tangible symbol of God’s past victories on Israel’s behalf and represents God’s presence.

David was angry that the Eternal One had broken through to strike Uzzah, so the place was named Perez-uzzah, meaning “Breech against Uzzah,” to remember that act. David was also frightened of the Eternal that day.

David: How can I be responsible for the covenant chest of the Eternal One?

10 So he decided he did not want to take the chest of the Eternal into the city of David, and he left it there in the care of Obed-edom, a man from the Philistine city Gath. 11 The covenant chest of the Eternal One remained there for three months; and in that time, the Eternal One blessed the household and farms of Obed-edom the Gittite.

12 When news was taken to King David that the Eternal had blessed Obed-edom and all his household because of the covenant chest of God, the king went down and brought the chest from Obed-edom’s house up to the city of David, again accompanying it with rejoicing and ceremony. 13 When the people carrying the chest of the Eternal had gone six steps, David sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf; 14 and he danced before the Eternal One with all his might, clad in a priestly vest.

15-16 So David and the house of Israel carried the covenant chest of the Eternal One up to the city of David with shouts and the sounding of the trumpet. When Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Eternal without thought for how he looked, she hated him.

17 They carried the covenant chest of the Eternal One to its place inside the tent David had pitched to house it, and the king offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings to the Eternal. 18 When he had finished with the sacrifices and peace offerings, he spoke a priestly blessing over the people in the name of the Eternal One, the Commander of heavenly armies; and 19 he gave all of the Israelites—every man and woman—a loaf of bread, a date roll,[d] and a raisin cake. Then they all returned to their homes.

20 On David’s return, he wanted to bestow good favor on his household, but Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him.

Michal (sarcastically): The king has distinguished himself today in front of his servants’ maids. He revealed quite a lot, just as the lowest of the low might expose himself.

David: 21 It was for the Eternal One that I danced. The Lord chose me in place of your father Saul and all his descendants; He appointed me to rule over Israel, the Eternal’s people. 22 I will lower myself even further—maybe I will even shame myself in my own eyes—but in the eyes of those maidservants of whom you speak, I will receive honor.

23 And to her dying day, Michal, the daughter of Saul, was humbled before God and did not bear a child. Therefore no descendant of Saul ever regained the throne of Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:6-7 Hebrew, Arabah
  2. 5:7 The city of David is below what would be the temple mount, about seven miles from Bethlehem and adjacent to Jerusalem.
  3. 5:9 The meaning is uncertain. Because the word literally means “filling,” it could have been a terrace or a landfill, or it may be a part of the fortress or a wall.
  4. 6:19 Meaning of the manuscripts is uncertain. Possibly dates or wine. Traditionally translated “a piece of meat,” but more recently “a cake made from dates.”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 13:31-14:14

31 Upon Judas’s departure, Jesus spoke:

Jesus: Now the Son of Man will be glorified as God is glorified in Him. 32 If God’s glory is in Him, His glory is also in God. The moment of this astounding glory is imminent. 33 My children, My time here is brief. You will be searching for Me; and as I told the Jews, “You cannot go where I am going.” 34 So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. 35 Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.

Simon Peter: 36 Lord, where are You going?

Jesus: Peter, you cannot come with Me now, but later you will join Me.

Peter: 37 Why can’t I go now? I’ll give my life for You!

Jesus: 38 Will you really give your life for Me? I tell you the truth: you will deny Me three times before the rooster crows.

Ultimately Peter is telling the truth. He is more than willing to lay down his life. But none of His disciples understand the magnitude of the persecution and hatred that is about to be unleashed.

Even Peter, Jesus’ dear Peter, is afraid. He protests any inference to Jesus’ impending departure. Each of the twelve would do the same. Jesus calms their fears over and over again with stories, metaphors, and outright promises, saying, “I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you” (14:18).

14 Jesus: Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. You know where I am going and how to get there.

Thomas: Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the path?

Jesus: I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you know Me, you know the Father. Rest assured now; you know Him and have seen Him.

Philip: Lord, all I am asking is that You show us the Father.

Jesus (to Philip): I have lived with you all this time, and you still don’t know who I am? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? 10 Don’t you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? I’m not making this up as I go along. The Father has given Me these truths that I have been speaking to you, and He empowers all My actions. 11 Accept these truths: I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done. 12 I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. 13 Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. 14 Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 119:17-32

Gimel

17 Treat Your servant well, Lord,
so that I may live and remain faithful to Your word.
18 Let me see clearly so that I may take in
the amazing things coming from Your law.
19 I am a sojourner in the world;
do not keep Your commands hidden from me.
20 My soul aches from craving
Your wise rulings day and night.
21 You rebuke those who are proud,
and those who stray from Your commands are cursed.
22 Free me from the contempt and disdain of others
because I keep Your decrees.
23 Even though powerful princes conspire against me,
I fix my mind on what You require.
24 Yes, Your testimonies are my joy;
they are like the friends I seek for counsel.

Daleth

25 My very being clings to the dust;
preserve my life, in keeping with Your word.
26 I have admitted my ways are wrong, and You responded;
now help me learn what You require.
27 Compel me to grasp the way of Your statutes
so I will fix my mind on Your wonderful works.
28 My soul weeps, and trouble weighs me down;
give me strength so I can stand according to Your word.
29 Eliminate faithlessness You find in my step,
be gracious, and give me Your guidance.
30 I have decided to take the path of faith;
I have focused my eyes on Your regulations.
31 I cling to Your decrees; O Eternal One,
do not let me face disgrace!
32 I will chase after Your commandments
because You will expand my understanding.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:31-32

31 Those who learn from the lessons of life
will join the others who are wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline sabotage themselves,
but those who are open to correction gain understanding.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday May 23, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 2:12-3:39

12 Abner, the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth (the son of Saul) traveled from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 David’s general Joab, whose mother was David’s sister Zeruiah, and David’s servants went out to meet them at the pool of Gibeon. Abner’s forces were by one side of the pool, Joab’s forces by the other.

Abner (to Joab): 14 Why don’t we send our young soldiers out to have a contest before us?

Joab: All right. Send them forward.

15 Twelve men came forward to represent the people of Benjamin and Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, and twelve to represent David and his people. 16 They all caught their opponents by the head and thrust their swords into their opponents’ sides, so they all fell down together. That is why this place was called the Field of Adversaries, Helkath-hazzurim in Gibeon.

17 The battle that followed this contest was brutal that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by the servants of David.

18 All three of Zeruiah’s sons were fighting for David: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel was a swift runner, fast as a gazelle, 19 and he chased after Abner intently. 20 Abner looked behind him.

Abner: Is that you, Asahel?

Asahel: It is.

Abner: 21 Stop pursuing me. Attack one of the soldiers of your own rank, and take his possessions instead.

But Asahel would not stop in his pursuit.

Abner: 22 If you don’t stop pursuing me, I’ll have no choice but to kill you! And how could I show my face in front of your brother Joab if I do such a thing?

23 But Asahel refused to be diverted. Abner didn’t even use the point of his spear. He thrust with the butt of his spear, and the spear struck Asahel in his abdomen and passed all the way through him. He fell, and there he died. And all those who arrived on that spot stopped and just stood there staring in amazement.

24 But Asahel’s brothers, Joab and Abishai, pursued Abner with their forces. As the sun was setting, they reached the hill of Ammah that is in front of Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 The people of Benjamin banded together to protect Abner, and they made their stand on top of a hill.

Abner (calling to Joab): 26 Are we to continue this killing forever? Don’t you see that this will come to a bitter end? How long until you order your forces to stop pursuing their brothers?

Joab: 27 I swear before the living God that if you had not said this, my forces would have pursued their Israelite brothers until morning.

28 Joab blew the trumpet to call off the attack against the men of Israel, and all pursuit and battle stopped. 29 Abner and his men went on, traveling all night across the desert plain.[a] They crossed the Jordan River, and by traveling all morning reached Mahanaim. 30 Joab and his forces, meanwhile, came back together after pursuing Abner. They discovered that in addition to Asahel, 19 of David’s men were missing; 31 but David’s men had killed 360 of the men of Benjamin and the others who served Abner.

32 They brought Asahel’s body back and buried him in Bethlehem in his ancestral tomb. Joab and his men marched all night and arrived home in Hebron at dawn.

This was the beginning of a long war between the forces loyal to David and the forces loyal to Saul’s son Ish-bosheth. David’s forces continued to grow in strength, while the forces of Saul’s son Ish-bosheth grew ever weaker.

While David was king at Hebron, he fathered these sons: the first was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel; his second was Chileab, whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel; his third was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; his fourth was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith; his fifth was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital; his sixth was Ithream, whose mother was David’s wife Eglah. All of these sons were born at Hebron.

During the war between David and the house of Saul, Abner was carving out a place of power among those who supported Saul’s family. Earlier Saul had a mistress named Rizpah, who was the daughter of Aiah. Ish-bosheth went to Abner and accused him.

Ish-bosheth: Why have you slept with my father’s mistress?

Ish-bosheth is outraged because sleeping with a king’s wife or concubine is tantamount to claiming the throne.

This accusation of disloyalty made Abner very angry.

Abner: Am I no better than a dog, whose head is turned by any female? Do I serve Judah? I have done nothing but give my loyalty to your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends; and I have not betrayed you to David. How can you come to me and accuse me of a crime concerning this woman? Now I will see you are overthrown.

May the True God punish me severely if I don’t do for David what the Eternal One has promised him: 10 to take away the throne from Saul and set up David’s throne, who will be king over both Israel and Judah, from Dan in the far north to Beersheba in the southern desert.

11 Ish-bosheth didn’t dare to say anything else to Abner after this; he was afraid of him.

12 Abner sent this message on his own behalf to David at Hebron:

Abner’s Message: Who is in charge of this land? Make an agreement with me, and I will give you my support. I will persuade everyone in Israel to support your cause.

David: 13 Fine. I will make a covenant with you. But one thing is nonnegotiable: I don’t want to see you unless you have Saul’s daughter Michal with you when you come before me.

14 At the same time, David sent Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, this message:

David’s Message: Send me back my wife, your sister, Michal. I bought her with a bride-price of 100 Philistine foreskins.

15 So Ish-bosheth sent for Michal and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel, the son of Laish. 16 Paltiel followed the party, weeping, all the way to Bahurim in Benjamin. Finally Abner ordered him to stop following them, and he returned home.

17 Abner sent a message to the leaders of Israel.

Abner’s Message: For some time now you have wanted David to be your king; 18 now is the time for you to make it happen. You remember that the Eternal One promised David that He would use him to deliver Israel from the Philistines and from all our enemies.

19 Abner also communicated directly with the people of Benjamin, Saul’s tribe, to enlist their support; and at last he went to Hebron to tell David that the people of Israel—all of them, including Benjamin—were ready to support him.

20 Abner came with 20 of his men to meet with David at Hebron, and David held a great feast for them.

Abner (to David): 21 Let me go now and enlist all of Israel behind you my lord, the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, and you will be ruler over all your heart desires.

David dismissed Abner then and sent him away in peace. 22 But after he left, Joab and some of David’s warriors returned with the spoils of a raid. 23 Joab and his forces arrived and heard that Abner, the son of Ner, had met with the king, and that he had gone his way in peace. 24 Joab went to David.

Joab is still angry over the death of his brother Asahel, and he considers it a blood debt that needs to be collected.

Joab: What have you done? You had Abner in your hands! Why did you let him get away? He’s gone. 25 Don’t you know that Abner, the son of Ner, came here only to deceive you, to find out your strength and what you are up to?

26 When Joab left David’s presence, he sent for messengers to find Abner. They caught up to him at the cistern of Sirah; and without David’s knowledge, 27 Abner returned to Hebron. Then, under the pretext of speaking to Abner privately, Joab took him inside the gateway and stabbed him in the stomach. Joab had his revenge on Abner for killing his brother Asahel, and Abner died.

28 When David heard this news, he wanted it understood:

David: I and my kingdom are guiltless for all time in the eyes of the Eternal of the murder of Abner, son of Ner. 29 May all the guilt fall on Joab and on his descendants. May the men in Joab’s line always have an oozing sore or skin disease, no longer be fit for battle, fall in battle, or go hungry.

30 This was the curse King David pronounced because Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner in revenge for their brother Asahel, whom Abner killed at the battle at Gibeon. 31 Then David gave an order to Joab and his followers.

David: Tear your clothes. Put on sackcloth, and let me see you mourn for Abner in front of the procession.

And King David himself walked in the procession behind the corpse. 32 They buried Abner at Hebron. At the graveside, David lifted his voice and wept for Abner; and the people wept with him.

33 The king sang a song of lament for Abner.

David: Why should Abner die a fool’s death?
34 Your hands were not bound;
your feet were not chained.
You have fallen
as one falls among the wicked.

And the people wept again over Abner’s grave.

This song reminds us that David may be the writer of many psalms, and that David is a great warrior, musician, poet, and soon, a great king. David is also a person of great contradiction—not perfect, by any means—but a man of oversized loves and passions who must generally have his heart in the right place, since we’re reminded again and again that God loves him. He is powerful, and people in his way do tend to have horrible things happen to them. But he respects the dead, and sometimes, as with Saul, grieves in ways that feel—all these centuries later—authentic.

35 After the ceremony, the people came to David and tried to convince him to eat something that day, but he turned them away because fasting until evening was part of the mourning ritual.

David: May the True God punish me severely if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets.

36 The people noticed that he honored Abner by fasting, and they approved—as they approved of everything their king did. 37 So everyone believed it was not David’s intention, nor did he have any part in the murder of Abner, the son of Ner.

David (to his servants): 38 Don’t you know that today a prince, a great man, has fallen in Israel? 39 Although I am his anointed king, today I have no power to punish his murderers. The sons of my sister Zeruiah are too violent for me to restrain. May the Eternal repay the wicked according to their wickedness!

Footnotes:

  1. 2:29 Hebrew, Arabah
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 13:1-30

13 Before the Passover festival began, Jesus was keenly aware that His hour had come to depart from this world and to return to the Father. From beginning to end, Jesus’ days were marked by His love for His people. Before Jesus and His disciples gathered for dinner, the adversary filled Judas Iscariot’s heart with plans of deceit and betrayal. Jesus, knowing that He had come from God and was going away to God, stood up from dinner and removed His outer garments. He then wrapped Himself in a towel, poured water in a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His towel.

Simon Peter (as Jesus approaches): Lord, are You going to wash my feet?

Jesus: Peter, you don’t realize what I am doing, but you will understand later.

Peter: You will not wash my feet, now or ever!

Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you will have nothing to do with Me.

Peter: Then wash me but don’t stop with my feet. Cleanse my hands and head as well.

Jesus: 10 Listen, anyone who has bathed is clean all over except for the feet. But I tell you this, not all of you are clean.

Within pain and filth, there is an opportunity to extend God’s kingdom through an expression of love, humility, and service. This simple act of washing feet is a metaphor for how the world looks through the lens of Jesus’ grace. He sees the people—the world He created—which He loves. He also sees the filthy corruption in the world that torments everyone. His mission is to cleanse those whom He loves from those horrors. This is His redemptive work with feet, families, disease, famine, and hearts.

When Jesus sees disease, He sees the opportunity to heal. When He sees sin, He sees a chance to forgive and redeem. When He sees dirty feet, He sees a chance to wash them.

11 He knew the one with plans of betraying Him, which is why He said, “not all of you are clean.” 12 After washing their feet and picking up His garments, He reclined at the table again.

Jesus: Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and truly, that is who I am. 14 So if your Lord and Teacher washes your feet, then you should wash one another’s feet. 15 I am your example; keep doing what I do. 16 I tell you the truth: a servant is not greater than the master. Those who are sent are not greater than the one who sends them.[a] 17 If you know these things, and if you put them into practice, you will find happiness. 18 I am not speaking about all of you. I know whom I have chosen, but let the Hebrew Scripture be fulfilled that says, “The very same man who eats My bread with Me will stab Me in the back.” 19 Assuredly, I tell you these truths before they happen so that when it all transpires, you will believe that I am. 20 I tell you the truth: anyone who accepts the ones I send accepts Me. In turn, the ones who accept Me also accept the One who sent Me.

21 Jesus was becoming visibly distressed.

Jesus: I tell you the truth: one of you will betray Me.

22 The disciples began to stare at one another, wondering who was the unfaithful disciple. 23 One disciple in particular, who was loved by Jesus, reclined next to Him at the table. 24 Peter motioned to the disciple at Jesus’ side.

Peter (to the beloved disciple): Find out who the betrayer is.

Beloved Disciple (leaning in to Jesus): 25 Lord, who is it?

Jesus: 26 I will dip a piece of bread in My cup and give it to the one who will betray Me.

He dipped one piece in the cup and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After this occurred, Satan entered into Judas.

Jesus (to Judas): Make haste, and do what you are going to do.

28 No one understood Jesus’ instructions to Judas. 29 Because Judas carried the money, some thought he was being instructed to buy the necessary items for the feast or give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas took his piece of bread and departed into the night.

Footnotes:

  1. 13:16 Literally, apostle
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 119:1-16

Psalm 119[a]

Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the collection. It is a hymn in praise of and appreciation for God’s instructions to His people. You see, God not only called Israel to be His people and gave them a wonderful land, but He gave them a blueprint for living. The Hebrew word for that is torah, sometimes translated “law” or “teachings.” In torah God tells them how to structure their lives and communities so that they will live long, prosperous lives in the land He has given them. As you read through the psalm, you will notice words like law, teachings, precepts, word, decrees, and commands. Each of these words is a synonym highlighting some attribute of God’s instructions to His people.

Another memorable feature of this psalm is its form. The psalmist constructs this hymn as an elaborate acrostic poem that moves artfully through each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Essentially, all the elements of this psalm combine to emphasize the importance of God’s Word to His people, to the praise and glory of the one True God.

Aleph

Happy are the people who walk with integrity,
who live according to the teachings of the Eternal.
Happy are the people who keep His decrees,
who pursue Him wholeheartedly.
These are people who do nothing wrong;
they do what it takes to follow His ways.
You have given us Your precepts
so we would be careful about keeping them.
Oh, that every part of my life would remain in line
with what You require!
Then I would feel no shame
when I fix my eyes upon Your commands.
With a pure heart, I will give thanks to You
when I hear about Your just and fair rulings.
I will live within Your limits;
do not abandon me completely!

Beth

How can a young person remain pure?
Only by living according to Your word.
10 I have pursued You with my whole heart;
do not let me stray from Your commands.
11 Deep within me I have hidden Your word
so that I will never sin against You.
12 You are blessed, O Eternal One;
instruct me in what You require.
13 My lips have told how
You have delivered all Your wise rulings.
14 I have celebrated Your testimonies
as though rejoicing over an immeasurable fortune.
15 I will fix my mind on Your instructions
and my eyes on Your path.
16 I will find joy in Your ordinances;
I will remember Your word forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119 A Hebrew acrostic poem
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:29-30

29 The Eternal stays far from the wrongdoers,
but He listens to the prayer of the right-living.
30 Bright eyes and a cheerful expression bring joy to the heart,
and good news revives the spirit and renews health.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday May 22, 2024 (NIV)

2 Samuel 1:1-2:11

After Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle with the Philistines, David returned from defeating the Amalekites, and for two days he rested in Ziklag. On the third day, a man came from Saul’s camp in mourning, his clothes torn, dirt on his head. When he reached David, he fell to the ground facedown before him.

At the end of 1 Samuel, Saul, Jonathan, and the armies of Israel went to war with the Philistines. The Philistine king wanted David and his men to fight for the Philistines against Israel because David was mighty in battle. But the king’s generals convinced him that David could not be trusted, and an attack on his people sent David hurrying off in another direction just as the battle was joined between Israel and Philistia. In that battle, disaster struck: the army of Israel was routed. Saul fought bravely but was defeated, at last falling on his own sword rather than be captured, tortured, and exhibited as a prize; and Saul’s son Jonathan, beloved friend of David, also died in the battle. The fall of the first royal house of Israel is complete, and now Israel faces grave danger.

David: From where have you come?

Soldier: I have come from the camp of Israel; I escaped after the battle.

David: What happened? Tell me!

Soldier: The Israelites ran from the battle, and many of them were killed. King Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.

David: How do you know they are dead?

Soldier: Because I happened to be on Mount Gilboa during the attack, and I saw Saul leaning against his spear as the chariots and cavalry approached. He looked around and saw me, and he called to me. I told him, “I am here, my lord.” He asked who I was, and I told him I am an Amalekite. Then he said, “Come here. Stand over me, and kill me because I am suffering but am still alive.” 10 So I did what he asked, because I knew he would not live after he had fallen. I took the crown from his head and his gold armlet and brought them here to you, my lord whom I recognize as the next king.

11 When David heard these words, he tore his clothing in grief; and all the men with him did the same. 12 They mourned and wept, and they fasted until evening in honor of Saul and Jonathan and the army of the Eternal One of Israel, because they were cut down by the sword of the enemy.

David (to the soldier): 13 Where is your home?

Soldier: I am the son of an alien living in Israel, an Amalekite. Therefore I am bound by some of the Israelite law.

David: 14 Weren’t you afraid to strike down the Eternal One’s anointed king knowing the law would require your death?

15 So David called for one of his soldiers to come forward and kill the Amalekite soldier, which he did.

David: 16 You have only yourself to blame. Your own words convicted you when you said you had killed the Eternal’s anointed king.

17 Then David mourned the death of Saul and his son Jonathan with this song of grief, 18 the Song of the Bow, which he ordered taught to the people of Judah and recorded in the book of the Upright.[a]

Although Saul sought David’s death on many occasions, and although David cannot act as king until Saul dies, David executes the Amalekite mercenary who has the insolence to strike down God’s rightly-anointed king for his disrespect to the position. Demonstrating his respect for Saul, David then composes one of the most beautiful expressions of grief in the Bible, a song of loss and sadness to relay the nation’s sense of sorrow, and his own.

19 David: The beauty of Israel lies dead upon your high places.
O how the mighty have fallen!
20 Don’t speak of this in the city of Gath;
don’t proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon,
Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice.
The daughters of the foreigners[b] will sing for joy.
21 Mountains of Gilboa, let no rain or dew water you;
may your mountain fields offer only dust.
The shield of the mighty was defiled with your enemy’s blood;
even the shield of Saul is no longer anointed with oil by the Eternal.
22 With the blood of the slain
and with the fat of the strong,
Jonathan’s bow never lost aim;
Saul’s sword never came back empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were beloved and delightful,
always together in life and now in death.
They were faster than eagles;
they were mightier than lions.
24 O daughters of Israel, cry out for Saul,
who clothed you in luxurious crimson,
who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
25 O how the mighty have fallen
in the height of the battle!
Jonathan lies dead upon your high places.
26 I agonize over you, my brother Jonathan.
I have delighted in you;
and your love for me was wonderful,
beyond even the love of women.
27 O how the mighty have fallen,
and the weapons of war lie broken!

Jonathan he misses especially because Jonathan was his friend, a companion, David says, whose love was greater than any love a woman could have for a man. David and Jonathan shared a relationship built in adversity, and the secret they kept from Saul that preserved David’s life made the relationship stronger than what most will ever experience.

After David mourned, he asked the Eternal One a question.

David: Should I go up now to one of the cities of Judah?

The Eternal indicated that he should go.

David: Where should I go?

Eternal One: Hebron.

So David went to Hebron, a royal city, with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal from Carmel. David also brought along all his men and their households, and they settled in and around Hebron. Then the people of Judah came and anointed David king over them. They told David how the people of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul with dignity, so David sent messengers to them.

David’s Message: May you be blessed by the Eternal One for your loyalty to your king Saul by burying him. May the Eternal always love and be faithful to you! I will also reward you for this noble act. Now be strong and mighty, for Saul your king is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me as their new king.

But it was not so simple. Abner, Ner’s son who had commanded Saul’s armies, took Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and brought him to Mahanaim; and there Abner named Ish-bosheth king over Gilead and over the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was 40 years old when he began to rule Israel, and he was king for two years. But the people of Judah followed David, 11 and he was king over them in Hebron for 7½ years.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:18 Literally, the book of Jashar
  2. 1:20 Literally, “daughters of the uncircumcised”
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

John 12:20-50

20 Among the crowds traveling to Jerusalem were Greeks seeking to follow God and worship at the great feast. 21-22 Some of them came to Philip with an important request.

Greek Pilgrims (to Philip): Sir, we are hoping to meet Jesus.

Philip, a disciple from the Galilean village of Bethsaida, told Andrew that these Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Together Andrew and Philip approached Jesus to inform Him about the request.

Jesus (to Philip and Andrew): 23 The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. 25 The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore. 26 Anyone who serves Me must follow My path; anyone who serves Me will want to be where I am, and he will be honored by the Father. 27 My spirit is low and unsettled. How can I ask the Father to save Me from this hour? This hour is the purpose for which I have come into the world. But what I can say is this: 28 “Father, glorify Your name!”

Suddenly a voice echoed from the heavens.

The Father: I have glorified My name. And again I will bring glory in this hour that will resound throughout time.

29 The crowd of people surrounding Jesus were confused.

Some in the Crowd: It sounded like thunder.

Others: A heavenly messenger spoke to Him.

Jesus: 30 The voice you hear has not spoken for My benefit, but for yours. 31 Now judgment comes upon this world, and everything will change. The tyrant of this world, Satan, will be thrown out. 32 When I am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me.

33 These words foreshadowed the nature of His death.

Crowd: 34 The law teaches that the Anointed is the One who will remain without end. How can You say it is essential that the Son of Man be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man You are talking about?

Jesus: 35 Light is among you, but very soon it will flicker out. Walk as you have the light, and then the darkness will not surround you. Those who walk in darkness don’t know where they are going. 36 While the light is with you, believe in the light; and you will be reborn as sons and daughters of the light.

After speaking these words, Jesus left the people to go to a place of seclusion. 37 Despite all the signs He performed, they still did not believe in Him. 38 Isaiah spoke of this reality, saying,

Lord, who could accept what we’ve been told?
And who has seen the awesome power of the Lord revealed?[a]

39 This is the reason they are unable to believe. 40 Isaiah also said,

God has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts
So that their eyes cannot see properly
and their hearts cannot understand
and be persuaded
by the truth to turn to Me
and be reconciled by My healing hand.[b]

41 Isaiah could say this because he had seen the glory of the Lord with his own eyes and declared His beauty aloud. 42 Yet many leaders secretly believed in Him but would not declare their faith because the Pharisees continued their threats to expel all His followers from the synagogue; 43 here’s why: they loved to please men more than they desired to glorify God.

Jesus (crying out before the people): 44 Anyone who believes in Me is not placing his faith in Me, but in the One who sent Me here. 45 If one sees Me, he sees the One who sent Me. 46 I am here to bring light in this world, freeing everyone who believes in Me from the darkness that blinds him. 47 If anyone listening to My teachings chooses to ignore them, so be it: I have come to liberate the world, not to judge it. 48 However, those who reject Me and My teachings will be judged: in the last day, My words will be their judge 49 because I am not speaking of My own volition and from My own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak. 50 I know His command is eternal life, so every word I utter originates in Him.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 118:19-29

Early Christians found in the words of this psalm a wonderful way of describing the significance of Jesus. He was the rejected stone whom God made the cornerstone of a brand-new temple (verses 22–24).

19 Open wide to me the gates of justice
so that I may walk through them
and offer praise and worship to the Eternal.

20 This is the gate of the Eternal;
the righteous children of God will go through it.

21 I will praise You because You answered me when I was in trouble.
You have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation.
23 This is the work of the Eternal,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.[a]
24 This is the day the Eternal God has made;
let us celebrate and be happy today.
25 O Eternal One, save us, we beg You.
O Eternal One, we beg You, bring us success!

26 He who comes in the name of the Eternal will be blessed;[b]
we have blessed You from the house of the Eternal.
27 The Eternal is the True God;
He shines His light on us.
Let the feast begin.
Bring the sacrifice, and tie it to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I give You thanks;
You are my God, and I praise You.
29 Give thanks to our Eternal Lord; He is always good.
He never ceases to be loving and kind.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:27-28

27 Those who take illegal gains injure their families,
but those who refuse a bribe will live in peace.
28 The right-living think before they speak,
but wrongdoers simply spew evil.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.