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.


  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.