The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday May 11, 2023 (NIV)

1 Samuel 10-11

10 Samuel took a vial of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head, anointing him, and then kissed him.

Samuel: The Eternal One of Israel has anointed you as ruler over His possession, over all Israel. [You will be king over the people of the Eternal One, and you will deliver them from the enemies that surround them now. And this will be the sign to you that I am speaking truth, and God has anointed you king over what is His]:[a] when you leave me today, you will meet two men not far from Rachel’s tomb, in Benjamin’s territory at Zelzah. These men will tell you, “The donkeys you sought have been found. Your father has stopped worrying about them, and now he is worried about you. He asks, ‘But what about my son?’” When you leave them behind and reach the oak of Tabor, you will meet three men going to sacrifice to God at Bethel. One will have three young goats; one will have three loaves of bread; another will have a skin full of wine. They will greet you and offer you two of the loaves of bread. Take them, and go on. When you leave them behind and reach the Philistine garrison at the hill of God (Gibeath-elohim), just as you come into the city, you will meet a group of prophets returning from the high place. Musicians leading them will be playing harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres; and the prophets will be caught up in prophetic ecstasy. Then the Spirit of the Eternal One will overtake you, you will be caught up in the same prophetic spirit as these prophets, and you will be changed into a different person. When these signs come to pass, do what you think is best. The True God is with you. Go down to Gilgal ahead of me. I will come to present peace sacrifices and burnt offerings. Wait for seven days, and I will show you what to do.

As Saul turned to leave Samuel, the True God transformed his heart. As a result, all that Samuel had predicted came to pass that day. 10 When Saul came up to the hill of God, he met a band of prophets; and as Samuel had said, the Spirit of God overtook him, and he was caught up in their prophetic ecstasy.

11 Then the people who knew him saw that he began to prophesy with the prophets.

People (among themselves): What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul one of the prophets now?

Local Citizen: 12 And who is their father?

This is one way the saying, “Is Saul one of the prophets?” originated.

13 When Saul finished prophesying, he went to a high place to a local shrine.

14 When Saul returned home, his uncle asked him and his servant where they had been.

Saul: We went to look for the donkeys. When we couldn’t find them, we spoke with the seer, Samuel.

Uncle: 15 What did Samuel tell you?

Saul: 16 He told us that the donkeys had been found.

But Saul did not tell him anything about the kingdom or anything else Samuel had said.

Why is Saul chosen as the first king? He is from the tiny tribe of Benjamin, so he seems to be outside the mainstream of political power. But he is a handsome and tall young man, meaning he is appealing in appearance and able to inspire confidence in warriors. At this first appearance, it even seems as if his inner qualities might match his outer qualities—God transforms him and gives him the power to prophesy—but as the story goes on, his insecurities and his jealousy of David are his undoing.

17 Sometime later Samuel called the people to come and gather in the presence of the Eternal One at Mizpah. 18 He stood before the Israelites with an important message.

Samuel: Listen to what the Eternal One, the God of Israel, has to say to you: “I brought Israel up from Egypt and rescued you from Egyptian bondage, and then I delivered you from all of the nations that sought to burden you.” 19 Today, though, you have rejected the True God who has saved you from every disaster and distress, and you have asked for a king to rule over you. If that is what you want, then line up by tribe and clan in front of the Eternal One.

20 So Samuel brought all of the tribes of Israel in front of him, and he chose the tribe of Benjamin by drawing lots. 21 Then he sorted through the clans of the tribe of Benjamin by the same method, and the clan of the Matrites was chosen. [Within that clan, he brought each man forward one by one,][b] and Saul, son of Kish, was chosen. But when they looked for him, he was nowhere to be found.

22 So they asked the Eternal One if the man had yet arrived.

Eternal One: Look! He has hidden himself among the baggage.

23 Then they hurried to find him and bring him in front of the people; and when he emerged, he stood head and shoulders above everyone else.

Samuel (to the people): 24 Do you see the man whom the Eternal One has chosen for you as king? No one else among the people of Israel can compare to him.

People (cheering and chanting): Long live the king!

25 Samuel informed the people about the rights and responsibilities of the king, and he wrote all these details in a book that he placed in the presence of the Eternal One. Then he sent all the people to their homes. 26 Saul, too, went home to Gibeah, accompanied by a group of warriors who had been moved by the True God to accompany him. 27 Still, some worthless skeptics and unbelievers asked, “How can this no-name from Benjamin protect us?” and they refused to honor him with an appropriate gift. But Saul kept silent.

[At that time, Nahash, the king of the Ammonites, tyrannized the men of the tribes of Dan and Reuben, putting out one of each man’s eyes and denying the possibility of their deliverance. Not one of the Israelites across the Jordan still had both his eyes, but 7,000 men had escaped from this conflict and reached Jabesh-gilead.][c]

11 So after a month had passed, Nahash the Ammonite besieged Jabesh-gilead. The men of Jabesh tried to make a treaty with Nahash, telling him they would serve him.

Nahesh: I will make this treaty with you on one condition: I will put out the right eye of every one of you and so humiliate Israel.

Elders: Give us seven days to send messengers throughout Israel. If no one comes to deliver us, we will surrender to you.

When the messengers reached Gibeah, where Saul was ruling, they told the people about Nahash and his cruelty, and it made them weep out loud. Now Saul was just coming in from plowing in the fields when he heard the commotion.

Saul: What has happened? Why is everyone so sad?

So they told the king about the predicament and request from the people of Jabesh. When he heard their story, the Spirit of the True God moved upon Saul, and he was furious. He took a team of oxen, just like the one he had just been plowing the fields with, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces throughout the land of Israel with his first royal decree: “May those who refuse to answer this call from Saul and Samuel have their oxen torn apart like this!” Because they were afraid of making the Eternal One angry, people from every tribe came forward to fight as one.

Saul gathered them at Bezek, and the Israelites numbered 300,000 fighting men, with Judah providing 30,000. The messengers who had come from Jabesh were sent back to tell the people in Jabesh-gilead to look for deliverance before the heat of the next day. They were thrilled by the news.

10 So the citizens of Jabesh sent a message to Nahash.

People of Jabesh: Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you may do whatever you wish to us.

11 The next morning Saul divided the people into three regiments; they entered the Ammonite camp that night under the cloak of darkness during the morning watch and slaughtered the soldiers until the next afternoon. The survivors were so few and so scattered you could not find two Ammonites together.

People (to Samuel): 12 Who are those people who jeered, “Is Saul going to be our king?” Where are they now? Hand them over so we can kill them!

Saul: 13 No. Not one man will be executed today because the Eternal One has given a great victory to Israel.

Samuel (to the people): 14 Come with me to Gilgal. There we will renew the kingdom and crown Saul as our king.

15 So representatives from all the tribes went to Gilgal. There Saul was installed as king of Israel before the Eternal One; then they joyfully offered peace offerings to the Eternal, and Saul and all the Israelites celebrated.


  1. 10:1 Hebrew manuscripts omit this portion.
  2. 10:21 Hebrew manuscripts omit this portion.
  3. 10:27 This portion appears in the LXX; most ancient texts omit it.
The Voice (VOICE)

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

John 6:43-71

Jesus: 43 Stop grumbling under your breaths. 44 If the Father who sent Me does not draw you, then there’s no way you can come to Me. But I will resurrect everyone who does come on the last day. 45 Among the prophets, it’s written, “Everyone will be taught of God.”[a] So everyone who has heard and learned from the Father finds Me. 46 No one has seen the Father, except the One sent from God. He has seen the Father. 47 I am telling you the truth: the one who accepts these things has eternal life. 48 I am the bread that gives life. 49 Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died as you know. 50 But there is another bread that comes from heaven; if you eat this bread, you will not die. 51 I am the living bread that has come down from heaven to rescue those who eat it. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. The bread that I will give breathes life into the cosmos. This bread is My flesh.

52 The low whispers of some of Jesus’ detractors turned into an out-and-out debate.

Crowd: What is He talking about? How is He able to give us His flesh to eat?

Jesus: 53 I tell you the truth; unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you will not know life. 54 If you eat My flesh and drink My blood, then you will have eternal life and I will raise you up at the end of time. 55 My flesh and blood provide true nourishment. 56 If you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you will abide in Me and I will abide in you. 57 The Father of life who sent Me has given life to Me; and as you eat My flesh, I will give life to you. 58 This is bread that came down from heaven; I am not like the manna that your fathers ate and then died! If you eat this bread, your life will never end.

59 He spoke these words in the synagogue as part of His teaching mission in Capernaum. 60 Many disciples heard what He said, and they had questions of their own.

Disciples: How are we supposed to understand all of this? It is a hard teaching.

61 Jesus was aware that even His disciples were murmuring about this.

How is it possible to follow this path and believe these truths? To be honest, it is not easy. In fact, some find this so hard that they leave Jesus for good. The rest readily admit they are still working on what it means to follow Him. So Jesus leaves behind a number of practices to help believers. One of these is known as the Lord’s Supper. Jesus instructs His disciples to break bread and share wine to remember how He will allow His body to be broken for all humankind. In some beautiful, mysterious way, Jesus is present in the simple elements of bread and wine, so the worshiper may touch Him, taste His richness, and remember His most glorious hours on the cross. In that moment, He embraces all darkness and shame and transforms them into light. As believers come to the table together and feast on His light, life seems more hopeful and complete. Taking the bread and the wine means affirming the reality that the One who has come to liberate souls is among and within His people.

Jesus: Has My teaching offended you? 62 What if you were to see the Son of Man ascend to return to where He came from? 63 The Spirit brings life. The flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have been teaching you are spirit and life, 64 but some of you do not believe.

From the first day Jesus began to call disciples, He knew those who did not have genuine faith. He knew, too, who would betray Him.

Jesus: 65 This is why I have been telling you that no one comes to Me without the Father’s blessing and guidance.

66 After hearing these teachings, many of His disciples walked away and no longer followed Jesus.

Jesus (to the twelve): 67 Do you want to walk away too?

Simon Peter: 68 Lord, if we were to go, whom would we follow? You speak the words that give everlasting life. 69 We believe and recognize that You are the Holy One sent by God.[b]

Jesus: 70 I chose each one of you, the twelve, Myself. But one of you is a devil.

71 This cryptic comment referred to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, for he was the one of the twelve who was going to betray Him.


  1. 6:45 Isaiah 54:13
  2. 6:69 Other ancient manuscripts read, “You are God’s Anointed, the Liberating King, the Son of the Living God.”
The Voice (VOICE)

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

Psalm 107

Book Five

Book Five (Psalms 107–150) succinctly presents many of the major themes of the previous psalms. It tracks along Israel’s history as God’s nation, from the united monarchy, through the exile, to the restoration. Psalm 107 is a song of thanksgiving composed by those who survived exile and made their way home. As in Isaiah, the return from exile is described as a new exodus. Three Davidic psalms toward the beginning of Book Five represent the monarchy and recall Israel’s golden age. The Songs for the Journey to Worship (Psalm 120–134) are composed for use by God’s people as they traveled from their homes up to Zion to worship God at the temple. Representing their time in exile are songs of lament, heartbreaking testimonies to individuals’ pain when they are crushed by their enemies and separated from God’s blessings. Finally, Book Five concludes the collection by offering praise and thanks to God, for the story of Israel does not end with its exile and separation; rather, it ends in restoration and hope. Those who edited and compiled the Book of Psalms were relieved to be back in the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—rebuilding their temple and reestablishing their connection with God.

Psalm 107

Erupt with thanks to the Eternal, for He is good
and His loyal love lasts forever.
Let all those redeemed by the Eternal—
those rescued from times of deep trouble—join in giving thanks.
He has gathered them across the earth,
from east and west,
from [north and south].[a]

Some drifted around in the desert
and found no place where they could live.
Their bellies growled with hunger; their mouths were dry with thirst;
their souls grew weak and weary.
In their distress, they called out to the Eternal,
and He saved them from their misery.
He showed them the best path; then He led them down the right road
until they arrived at an inhabited town.
May they erupt with praise and give thanks to the Eternal
in honor of His loyal love
And all the wonders He has performed for humankind!
He has quenched their thirst,
and He has satisfied their hunger with what is good.

10 Some people were locked up in dark prisons, confined in gloom as bleak as death.
They were captives bound by iron chains and misery,
11 All because they had rebelled against the directives of the True God
and had rejected the wisdom of the Most High.
12 So they suffered the heaviness of slave labor;
when they stumbled and fell, there was no one to help them up.
13 In their distress, they called out to the Eternal;
He saved them from their misery.
14 He rescued them from the darkness, delivered them from the deepest gloom of death;
He shattered their iron chains.
15 May they erupt with praise and give thanks to the Eternal
in honor of His loyal love
And all the wonders He has performed for humankind!
16 He has broken down the bronze gates
and severed the iron bars that imprisoned them.

17 Some people became fools infected by their rebellious ways,
and sickness followed because of their sins.
18 Afflicted and weak, they refused any sort of food
as they approached the gates of death.
19 In their distress, they called out to the Eternal,
and He saved them from their misery.
20 He gave the order and healed them
and rescued them from certain death.
21 May they erupt with praise and give thanks to the Eternal
in honor of His loyal love
And all the wonders He has performed for humankind!
22 Let them present to Him thanksgiving sacrifices
and tell stories of His great deeds through songs of joy.

23 Some set out to sea in ships,
traveling across mighty seas in order to trade in foreign lands.
24 They witnessed the powerful acts of the Eternal,
marveled at the great wonders He revealed over the deep waters.
25 For He spoke and summoned a violent wind
that whipped up the waves of the sea.
26 Relentless waves lifted the ships high in the sky, then drove them down to the depths;
the sailors’ courage dissolved into misery.
27 They staggered and stumbled around like drunkards,
and they had no idea what to do.
28 In their distress, they called out to the Eternal,
and He saved them from their misery.
29 He commanded the storm to calm down, and it became still.
A hush came over the waves of the sea,
30 The sailors were delighted at the quiet,
and He guided them to their port.
31 May they erupt with praise and give thanks to the Eternal
in honor of His loyal love
And all the wonders He has performed for humankind!
32 Let them glorify Him in the assembly of His people
and worship Him in the presence of the elders.

33 God transforms wild, flowing rivers into dry, lonely deserts,
lively springs of water into thirsty ground.
34 He turns lush gardens into lifeless wastelands,
all because of the wickedness of those who reside there.
35 Yet He transforms a dry, lonely desert into pools of living water,
parched ground into lively springs.
36 And He allows those who are hungry to live there
so that they might build a livable city.
37 There they sow fields and plant vineyards
and gather up an abundant harvest.
38 He anoints them with His blessings, and they greatly increase in number.
He does not allow their herds to dwindle.

39 When His people lessen in number and are humbled
through persecution, suffering, and brokenheartedness,
40 He pours out contempt on those responsible leaders
and then makes them drift around in an uncharted wasteland.
41 But He raises the poor away from their suffering
and multiplies their families like a flock.
42 The righteous see God’s actions, and they take delight in what He does,
but the unrighteous don’t dare to speak.
43 Is there anyone wise? If so, may the wise take notice of these things
and reflect upon the loyal love of the Eternal.


  1. 107:3 Hebrew manuscripts read, “and the sea.”
The Voice (VOICE)

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

Proverbs 15:1-3

15 A tender answer turns away rage,
but a prickly reply spikes anger.
The words of the wise extend knowledge,
but foolish people utter nonsense.
The Eternal can see all things;
His gaze is fixed on both the evil and the good.

The Voice (VOICE)

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