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Judges 4:1-5:31; Luke 22:35-53; Psalms 94:1-23; Proverbs 14:3-4 (New Living Translation)

Judges 4-5

Deborah Becomes Israel’s Judge

After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord turned them over to King Jabin of Hazor, a Canaanite king. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-haggoyim. Sisera, who had 900 iron chariots, ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help.

Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment. One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.”

Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.”

“Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 At Kedesh, Barak called together the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali, and 10,000 warriors went up with him. Deborah also went with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite, a descendant of Moses’ brother-in-law[a] Hobab, had moved away from the other members of his tribe and pitched his tent by the oak of Zaanannim near Kedesh.

12 When Sisera was told that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 he called for all 900 of his iron chariots and all of his warriors, and they marched from Harosheth-haggoyim to the Kishon River.

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! This is the day the Lord will give you victory over Sisera, for the Lord is marching ahead of you.” So Barak led his 10,000 warriors down the slopes of Mount Tabor into battle. 15 When Barak attacked, the Lord threw Sisera and all his chariots and warriors into a panic. Sisera leaped down from his chariot and escaped on foot. 16 Then Barak chased the chariots and the enemy army all the way to Harosheth-haggoyim, killing all of Sisera’s warriors. Not a single one was left alive.

17 Meanwhile, Sisera ran to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because Heber’s family was on friendly terms with King Jabin of Hazor. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come into my tent, sir. Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.

19 “Please give me some water,” he said. “I’m thirsty.” So she gave him some milk from a leather bag and covered him again.

20 “Stand at the door of the tent,” he told her. “If anybody comes and asks you if there is anyone here, say no.”

21 But when Sisera fell asleep from exhaustion, Jael quietly crept up to him with a hammer and tent peg in her hand. Then she drove the tent peg through his temple and into the ground, and so he died.

22 When Barak came looking for Sisera, Jael went out to meet him. She said, “Come, and I will show you the man you are looking for.” So he followed her into the tent and found Sisera lying there dead, with the tent peg through his temple.

23 So on that day Israel saw God defeat Jabin, the Canaanite king. 24 And from that time on Israel became stronger and stronger against King Jabin until they finally destroyed him.

The Song of Deborah

On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:

“Israel’s leaders took charge,
    and the people gladly followed.
Praise the Lord!

“Listen, you kings!
    Pay attention, you mighty rulers!
For I will sing to the Lord.
    I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel.

Lord, when you set out from Seir
    and marched across the fields of Edom,
the earth trembled,
    and the cloudy skies poured down rain.
The mountains quaked in the presence of the Lord,
    the God of Mount Sinai—
in the presence of the Lord,
    the God of Israel.

“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
    and in the days of Jael,
people avoided the main roads,
    and travelers stayed on winding pathways.
There were few people left in the villages of Israel[b]
    until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel.
When Israel chose new gods,
    war erupted at the city gates.
Yet not a shield or spear could be seen
    among forty thousand warriors in Israel!
My heart is with the commanders of Israel,
    with those who volunteered for war.
Praise the Lord!

10 “Consider this, you who ride on fine donkeys,
    you who sit on fancy saddle blankets,
    and you who walk along the road.
11 Listen to the village musicians[c]
    gathered at the watering holes.
They recount the righteous victories of the Lord
    and the victories of his villagers in Israel.
Then the people of the Lord
    marched down to the city gates.

12 “Wake up, Deborah, wake up!
    Wake up, wake up, and sing a song!
Arise, Barak!
    Lead your captives away, son of Abinoam!

13 “Down from Tabor marched the few against the nobles.
    The people of the Lord marched down against mighty warriors.
14 They came down from Ephraim—
    a land that once belonged to the Amalekites;
    they followed you, Benjamin, with your troops.
From Makir the commanders marched down;
    from Zebulun came those who carry a commander’s staff.
15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah and Barak.
    They followed Barak, rushing into the valley.
But in the tribe of Reuben
    there was great indecision.
16 Why did you sit at home among the sheepfolds—
    to hear the shepherds whistle for their flocks?
Yes, in the tribe of Reuben
    there was great indecision.
17 Gilead remained east of the Jordan.
    And why did Dan stay home?
Asher sat unmoved at the seashore,
    remaining in his harbors.
18 But Zebulun risked his life,
    as did Naphtali, on the heights of the battlefield.

19 “The kings of Canaan came and fought,
    at Taanach near Megiddo’s springs,
    but they carried off no silver treasures.
20 The stars fought from heaven.
    The stars in their orbits fought against Sisera.
21 The Kishon River swept them away—
    that ancient torrent, the Kishon.
March on with courage, my soul!
22 Then the horses’ hooves hammered the ground,
    the galloping, galloping of Sisera’s mighty steeds.
23 ‘Let the people of Meroz be cursed,’ said the angel of the Lord.
    ‘Let them be utterly cursed,
because they did not come to help the Lord
    to help the Lord against the mighty warriors.’

24 “Most blessed among women is Jael,
    the wife of Heber the Kenite.
    May she be blessed above all women who live in tents.
25 Sisera asked for water,
    and she gave him milk.
In a bowl fit for nobles,
    she brought him yogurt.
26 Then with her left hand she reached for a tent peg,
    and with her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera with the hammer, crushing his head.
    With a shattering blow, she pierced his temples.
27 He sank, he fell,
    he lay still at her feet.
And where he sank,
    there he died.

28 “From the window Sisera’s mother looked out.
    Through the window she watched for his return, saying,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
    Why don’t we hear the sound of chariot wheels?’

29 “Her wise women answer,
    and she repeats these words to herself:
30 ‘They must be dividing the captured plunder—
    with a woman or two for every man.
There will be colorful robes for Sisera,
    and colorful, embroidered robes for me.
Yes, the plunder will include
    colorful robes embroidered on both sides.’

31 Lord, may all your enemies die like Sisera!
    But may those who love you rise like the sun in all its power!”

Then there was peace in the land for forty years.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:11 Or father-in-law.
  2. 5:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  3. 5:11 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Luke 22:35-53

35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?”

“No,” they replied.

36 “But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! 37 For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’[a] Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.”

38 “Look, Lord,” they replied, “we have two swords among us.”

“That’s enough,” he said.

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”

41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.[b]

45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

47 But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. 48 But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” 50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.

51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? 53 Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.”

Footnotes:

  1. 22:37 Isa 53:12.
  2. 22:43-44 Verses 43 and 44 are not included in many ancient manuscripts.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Psalm 94

Psalm 94

O Lord, the God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!
Arise, O judge of the earth.
    Give the proud what they deserve.
How long, O Lord?
    How long will the wicked be allowed to gloat?
How long will they speak with arrogance?
    How long will these evil people boast?
They crush your people, Lord,
    hurting those you claim as your own.
They kill widows and foreigners
    and murder orphans.
“The Lord isn’t looking,” they say,
    “and besides, the God of Israel[a] doesn’t care.”

Think again, you fools!
    When will you finally catch on?
Is he deaf—the one who made your ears?
    Is he blind—the one who formed your eyes?
10 He punishes the nations—won’t he also punish you?
    He knows everything—doesn’t he also know what you are doing?
11 The Lord knows people’s thoughts;
    he knows they are worthless!

12 Joyful are those you discipline, Lord,
    those you teach with your instructions.
13 You give them relief from troubled times
    until a pit is dug to capture the wicked.
14 The Lord will not reject his people;
    he will not abandon his special possession.
15 Judgment will again be founded on justice,
    and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.

16 Who will protect me from the wicked?
    Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had helped me,
    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

20 Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—
    leaders whose decrees permit injustice?
21 They gang up against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord is my fortress;
    my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
23 God will turn the sins of evil people back on them.
    He will destroy them for their sins.
    The Lord our God will destroy them.

Footnotes:

  1. 94:7 Hebrew of Jacob. See note on 44:4.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 14:3-4

A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him,
    but the words of the wise keep them safe.

Without oxen a stable stays clean,
    but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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