The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday June 1, 2023 (NIV)

2 Samuel 18:1-19:10

Absalom’s Defeat

18 David reviewed his troops and appointed commanders of thousands and of hundreds over them. He then sent out the troops, a third under Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai of Gath. The king said to the troops, “I must also march out with you.”

“You must not go!” (A) the people pleaded. “If we have to flee, they will not pay any attention to us. Even if half of us die, they will not pay any attention to us because you are worth[a] ten thousand of us. Therefore, it is better if you support us from the city.”

“I will do whatever you think is best,” the king replied to them. So he stood beside the city gate while all the troops marched out by hundreds and thousands. The king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “Treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake.” All the people heard the king’s orders to all the commanders about Absalom.

Then David’s forces marched into the field to engage Israel in battle, which took place in the forest of Ephraim. Israel’s army was defeated by David’s soldiers, and the slaughter there was vast that day—twenty thousand dead. The battle spread over the entire area, and that day the forest claimed more people than the sword.

Absalom’s Death

Absalom was riding on his mule when he happened to meet David’s soldiers. When the mule went under the tangled branches of a large oak tree, Absalom’s head was caught fast in the tree. The mule under him kept going, so he was suspended in midair.[b] 10 One of the men saw him and informed Joab. He said, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree!”

11 “You just saw him!” Joab exclaimed.[c] “Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? I would have given you ten silver pieces[d] and a belt!”

12 The man replied to Joab, “Even if I had the weight of a thousand pieces of silver[e] in my hand, I would not raise my hand against the king’s son. For we heard the king command you, Abishai, and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for me.’[f](B) 13 If I had jeopardized my own[g] life—and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have abandoned me.”

14 Joab said, “I’m not going to waste time with you!” He then took three spears[h] in his hand and thrust them into Absalom’s chest. While Absalom was still alive in the oak tree, 15 ten young men who were Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him, and killed him. 16 Joab blew the ram’s horn, and the troops broke off their pursuit of Israel because Joab restrained them. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a large pit in the forest, and raised up a huge mound of stones over him.(C) And all Israel fled, each to his tent.(D)

18 When he was alive, Absalom had taken a pillar and raised it up(E) for himself in the King’s Valley,(F) since he thought, “I have no son(G) to preserve the memory of my name.” So he named the pillar after himself. It is still called Absalom’s Monument today.

19 Ahimaaz son of Zadok(H) said, “Please let me run and tell the king the good news that the Lord has vindicated him by freeing him from his enemies.”

20 Joab replied to him, “You are not the man to take good news today. You may do it another day, but today you aren’t taking good news, because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Joab then said to a Cushite, “Go tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed to Joab and took off running.

22 However, Ahimaaz son of Zadok persisted and said to Joab, “No matter what, please let me also run behind the Cushite!”

Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to run since you won’t get a reward?” [i]

23 “No matter what, I want to run!”

“Then run!” Joab said to him. So Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite.

24 David was sitting between the city gates(I) when the watchman went up to the roof of the city gate and over to the wall.(J) The watchman looked out and saw a man running alone. 25 He called out and told the king.

The king said, “If he’s alone, he bears good news.”

As the first runner came closer, 26 the watchman saw another man running. He called out to the gatekeeper, “Look! Another man is running alone!”

“This one is also bringing good news,” said the king.

27 The watchman said, “The way the first man runs looks to me like the way Ahimaaz son of Zadok runs.”(K)

“This is a good man; he comes with good news,”(L) the king commented.

28 Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well,” and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. He continued, “Blessed be the Lord your God! He delivered up the men who rebelled against my lord the king.”

29 The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom all right?”

Ahimaaz replied, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and your servant, I saw a big disturbance, but I don’t know what it was.”

30 The king said, “Move aside and stand here.” So he stood to one side.

31 Just then the Cushite came and said, “May my lord the king hear the good news: The Lord has vindicated you today by freeing you from all who rise against you!”

32 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom all right?”

The Cushite replied, “I wish that the enemies of my lord the king, along with all who rise up against you with evil intent, would become like that young man.”(M)

33 The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber above the city gate and wept. As he walked, he cried, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!” (N)

David’s Kingdom Restored

19 It was reported to Joab, “The king is weeping. He’s mourning over Absalom.” That day’s victory was turned into mourning for all the troops because on that day the troops heard, “The king is grieving over his son.” So they returned to the city quietly that day like troops come in when they are humiliated after fleeing in battle. But the king covered his face(O) and cried loudly, “My son Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”

Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have shamed all your soldiers—those who saved your life as well as your sons, your wives, and your concubines— by loving your enemies and hating those who love you! Today you have made it clear that the commanders and soldiers mean nothing to you. In fact, today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, it would be fine with you![j]

“Now get up! Go out and encourage[k] your soldiers, for I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will remain with you tonight.(P) This will be worse for you than all the trouble that has come to you from your youth until now!”

So the king got up and sat in the city gate,(Q) and all the people were told, “Look, the king is sitting in the city gate.” Then they all came into the king’s presence.

Meanwhile, each Israelite had fled to his tent.(R) People throughout all the tribes of Israel were arguing among themselves, saying, “The king rescued us from the grasp of our enemies,(S) and he saved us from the grasp of the Philistines,(T) but now he has fled from the land because of Absalom.(U) 10 But Absalom, the man we anointed over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about restoring the king?”


  1. 18:3 Some Hb mss, LXX, Vg; other Hb mss read because there would now be about
  2. 18:9 Lit was between heaven and earth
  3. 18:11 Lit Joab said to the man who told him
  4. 18:11 About four ounces of silver
  5. 18:12 About 25 pounds of silver
  6. 18:12 Some Hb mss, LXX, Tg, Vg; other Hb mss read ‘Protect, whoever, the young man Absalom’; Hb obscure
  7. 18:13 Alt Hb tradition reads jeopardized his
  8. 18:14 Lit rods
  9. 18:22 Or you have no good news?
  10. 19:6 Lit be right in your eyes
  11. 19:7 Lit speak to the heart of
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

John 20

The Empty Tomb

20 On(A) the first day of the week(B) Mary Magdalene(C) came to the tomb(D) early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone(E) had been removed from the tomb. So she went running to Simon Peter(F) and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb,(G) and we don’t know where they’ve put him!”

At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths(H) lying there, but he did not go in. Then, following him, Simon Peter also came. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. The wrapping(I) that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths(J) but was folded up in a separate place by itself. The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then also went in, saw, and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture(K) that he must rise(L) from the dead.(M) 10 Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.

Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord

11 But(N) Mary stood outside the tomb,(O) crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels(P) in white sitting where Jesus’s body(Q) had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“Because they’ve taken away my Lord,”(R) she told them, “and I don’t know where they’ve put him.”

14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus.(S) 15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?”

Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve carried him away, tell me where you’ve put him, and I will take him away.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

Turning around, she said to him in Aramaic,[a] “Rabboni!”—which means “Teacher.”(T)

17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus told her, “since I have not yet ascended(U) to the Father.(V) But go to my brothers(W) and tell them that I am ascending to my Father(X) and your Father, to my God(Y) and your God.”

18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” (Z) And she told them what[b] he had said to her.

The Disciples Commissioned

19 When it was evening on that first day of the week,(AA) the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”(AB)

20 Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side.(AC) So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me,(AD) I also send you.”(AE) 22 After saying this, he breathed on them(AF) and said,[c] “Receive the Holy Spirit.(AG) 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”(AH)

Thomas Sees and Believes

24 But Thomas(AI) (called “Twin”[d]), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were telling him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails,(AJ) and put my hand into his side,(AK) I will never believe.”(AL)

26 A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.”(AM)

28 Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed.[e] Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”(AN)

The Purpose of This Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs(AO) in the presence of his disciples that are not written(AP) in this book.(AQ) 31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah,(AR) the Son(AS) of God,[f](AT) and that by believing you may have life in his name.(AU)


  1. 20:16 Or Hebrew
  2. 20:18 Lit these things
  3. 20:22 Lit he breathed and said to them
  4. 20:24 Gk Didymus
  5. 20:29 Or have you believed?
  6. 20:31 Or that the Messiah, the Son of God, is Jesus
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Psalm 119:153-176

ר Resh

153 Consider my affliction and rescue me,(A)
for I have not forgotten your instruction.(B)
154 Champion my cause and redeem me;(C)
give me life as you promised.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked
because they do not study your statutes.(D)
156 Your compassions are many, Lord;(E)
give me life according to your judgments.
157 My persecutors and foes are many.(F)
I have not turned from your decrees.(G)
158 I have seen the disloyal(H) and feel disgust(I)
because they do not keep your word.
159 Consider how I love your precepts;
Lord, give me life according to your faithful love.(J)
160 The entirety of your word is truth,
each of your righteous judgments endures forever.(K)

שׂ Sin

161 Princes have persecuted me without cause,
but my heart fears only your word.(L)
162 I rejoice over your promise(M)
like one who finds vast treasure.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood,(N)
but I love your instruction.(O)
164 I praise you seven times a day
for your righteous judgments.(P)
165 Abundant peace belongs to those(Q)
who love your instruction;
nothing makes them stumble.(R)
166 Lord, I hope for your salvation(S)
and carry out your commands.
167 I obey your decrees
and love them greatly.(T)
168 I obey your precepts and decrees,
for all my ways are before you.(U)

ת Taw

169 Let my cry reach you, Lord;(V)
give me understanding according to your word.(W)
170 Let my plea reach you;(X)
rescue me according to your promise.(Y)
171 My lips pour out praise,(Z)
for you teach me your statutes.(AA)
172 My tongue sings about your promise,(AB)
for all your commands are righteous.(AC)
173 May your hand be ready to help me,(AD)
for I have chosen your precepts.(AE)
174 I long for your salvation, Lord,
and your instruction is my delight.(AF)
175 Let me live, and I will praise you;(AG)
may your judgments help me.
176 I wander like a lost sheep;(AH)
seek your servant,(AI)
for I do not forget your commands.(AJ)

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 16:14-15

14 A king’s fury is a messenger of death,
but a wise person appeases it.(A)

15 When a king’s face lights up, there is life;
his favor is like a cloud with spring rain.

Cross references:

  1. 16:14 : Ec 10:4
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.