2 Samuel 20:14-21:22
14 Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel (Beth Maacah). All the Berites were gathered together and followed him to the city. 15 Joab’s army came and attacked him in Abel (Beth Maacah). They put up a dirt ramp against the city, and it stood level with the outer wall. All the troops with Joab were trying to destroy the wall and tear it down.
16 Then a clever woman called from the city, “Listen, listen! Tell Joab to come here so that I can talk to him.”
17 He came near, and she asked, “Are you Joab?”
“I am,” he answered.
“Listen to what I have to say,” she told him.
“I’m listening,” he answered.
18 So she said, “There’s an old saying: ‘Be sure to ask at Abel before doing anything. That’s the way they settle matters.’ 19 We are peaceful and faithful Israelites. Are you trying to destroy a mother city in Israel? Why should you swallow up what belongs to the Lord?”
20 Joab answered, “That’s unthinkable! I don’t wish to swallow it up or destroy it. 21 That isn’t the case. A man from the mountains of Ephraim by the name of Sheba, son of Bichri, has rebelled against King David. Give him to me, and I’ll withdraw from the city.”
“That’s fine,” the woman told Joab. “His head will be thrown to you from the wall.” 22 Then the woman went to all the people with her clever plan. They cut off Sheba’s head and threw it to Joab. He blew the ram’s horn, and everyone scattered and withdrew from the city and went home. Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem.
23 Now, Joab was put in charge of Israel’s whole army. Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was in charge of the Cherethites and Pelethites. 24 Adoram was in charge of forced labor. Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, was the royal historian. 25 Sheva was the royal scribe. Zadok and Abiathar were priests. 26 And Ira, a descendant of Jair, was a priest to David.
David and the People of Gibeon
21 In the time of David, there was a famine for three successive years, and David asked the Lord’s advice about it. The Lord answered, “It’s because of Saul and his family. They are guilty of murder because they killed the people of Gibeon.”
2 (The Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were left over from the Amorites. Although the Israelites had sworn to spare them, Saul, in his eagerness, tried to destroy them for Israel and Judah.)
The king called the Gibeonites 3 and asked them, “What can I do for you? What should I give you to make peace with you so that you will bless what belongs to the Lord?”
4 “We do not want silver or gold from Saul’s family,” the Gibeonites answered him. “And none of us wants to kill anyone in Israel.”
The king asked, “What are you saying that I should do for you?”
5 They answered the king, “Give us seven of the male descendants of the man who wanted to finish us off. He planned to wipe us out to keep us from staying anywhere in Israel’s territory. 6 We will execute them in the Lord’s presence at Saul’s town Gibeah.” (It was Saul whom the Lord had chosen.)
“I will give them to you,” the king said.
7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson, because of the oath in the Lord’s name between David and Jonathan, son of Saul. 8 The king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons whom Rizpah (Aiah’s daughter) gave birth to for Saul, and five sons whom Merab[a] (Saul’s daughter) gave birth to for Adriel, son of Barzillai from Meholah. 9 The king handed them over to the Gibeonites, who executed them on the mountain in the Lord’s presence. All seven died together. They were killed at the beginning of the harvest, when people started harvesting barley.
10 Rizpah (Aiah’s daughter) took sackcloth and stretched it out on the rock for herself from the beginning of the harvest until the sky rained on the dead bodies. She wouldn’t let any birds land on them during the day or any wild animals come near them during the night.
11 When David was told what Saul’s concubine[b] Rizpah (Aiah’s daughter) had done, 12 David went and took the bones of Saul and of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. They had stolen them from the public square of Beth Shean, where the Philistines had hung them the day they killed Saul at Gilboa. 13 When David brought up the bones of Saul and Jonathan, his men gathered the bones of those who had been executed. 14 Then they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin, in Zela, in the tomb of Saul’s father Kish. They did everything the king ordered. After that, God answered the prayers for the land.
The Giants of the Philistines Defeated(A)
15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. So David and his men went to fight the Philistines, but David became exhausted. 16 A descendant of Haraphah named Benob, who had a bronze spear weighing 7½ pounds which he wore on a new belt, captured David and intended to kill him. 17 But Abishai, son of Zeruiah, came to help David. He attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore an oath, saying, “You’ll never go into battle with us again. The lamp of Israel must never be extinguished.”
18 After this, there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of Haraphah. 19 When more fighting broke out with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan, son of Jaare Oregim from Bethlehem, killed Goliath of Gath. (The shaft of Goliath’s spear was like a beam used by weavers.) 20 In another battle at Gath, there was a tall man who had a total of 24 fingers and toes: six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He also was a descendant of Haraphah. 21 When he challenged Israel, Jonathan, son of David’s brother Shimei, killed him. 22 These four were descendants of Haraphah from Gath, and David and his men killed them.
1 In my first book, Theophilus, I wrote about what Jesus began to do and teach. This included everything from the beginning of his life 2 until the day he was taken to heaven. Before he was taken to heaven, he gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles, whom he had chosen.
Jesus Ascends to Heaven
3 After his death Jesus showed the apostles a lot of convincing evidence that he was alive. For 40 days he appeared to them and talked with them about God’s kingdom.
4 Once, while he was meeting with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there for what the Father had promised. Jesus said to them, “I’ve told you what the Father promises: 5 John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 So when the apostles came together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you’re going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 Jesus told them, “You don’t need to know about times or periods that the Father has determined by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he had said this, he was taken to heaven. A cloud hid him so that they could no longer see him.
10 They were staring into the sky as he departed. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood near them. 11 They asked, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking at the sky? Jesus, who was taken from you to heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.”
A New Apostle Takes Judas’ Place
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives. It is near Jerusalem, about half a mile away.
13 When they came into the city, Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon the Zealot, and Judas (son of James) went to the second-story room where they were staying.
14 The apostles had a single purpose as they devoted themselves to prayer. They were joined by some women, including Mary (the mother of Jesus), and they were joined by his brothers.
15 At a time when about 120 disciples had gathered together, Peter got up and spoke to them.
He said, 16 “Brothers, what the Holy Spirit predicted through David in Scripture about Judas had to come true. Judas led the men to arrest Jesus. 17 He had been one of us and had been given an active role in this ministry. 18 With the money he received from the wrong he had done, he bought a piece of land where he fell headfirst to his death. His body split open, and all his internal organs came out. 19 Everyone living in Jerusalem knows about this. They even call that piece of land Akeldama, which means ‘Field of Blood’ in their dialect. 20 You’ve read in Psalms, ‘Let his home be deserted, and let no one live there,’ and ‘Let someone else take his position.’”
“Therefore, someone must be added to our number to serve with us as a witness that Jesus came back to life. 21 He must be one of the men who accompanied Jesus with us the entire time that the Lord Jesus was among us. 22 This person must have been with us from the time that John was baptizing people to the day that Jesus was taken from us.”[a]
23 The disciples determined that two men were qualified. These men were Joseph (who was called Barsabbas and was also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s thoughts. Show us which of these two you have chosen. 25 Show us who is to take the place of Judas as an apostle, since Judas abandoned his position to go to the place where he belongs.”
26 They drew names to choose an apostle. Matthias was chosen and joined the eleven apostles.
- Acts 1:22 Verses 21–22 have been rearranged to express the complex Greek sentence structure more clearly in English.
1 I look up toward the mountains.
Where can I find help?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let you fall.
Your guardian will not fall asleep.
4 Indeed, the Guardian of Israel never rests or sleeps.
5 The Lord is your guardian.
The Lord is the shade over your right hand.
6 The sun will not beat down on you during the day,
nor will the moon at night.
7 The Lord guards you from every evil.
He guards your life.
8 The Lord guards you as you come and go,
now and forever.
A song by David for going up to worship.
18 Pride precedes a disaster,
and an arrogant attitude precedes a fall.