1 Samuel 18 New Living Translation (NLT)
Saul Becomes Jealous of David
18 After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. 2 From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. 3 And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. 4 Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.
5 Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander over the men of war, an appointment that was welcomed by the people and Saul’s officers alike.
6 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals.[a] 7 This was their song:
“Saul has killed his thousands,
8 This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” 9 So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
10 The very next day a tormenting spirit[b] from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.
12 Saul was then afraid of David, for the Lord was with David and had turned away from Saul. 13 Finally, Saul sent him away and appointed him commander over 1,000 men, and David faithfully led his troops into battle.
14 David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul recognized this, he became even more afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was so successful at leading his troops into battle.
David Marries Saul’s Daughter
17 One day Saul said to David, “I am ready to give you my older daughter, Merab, as your wife. But first you must prove yourself to be a real warrior by fighting the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “I’ll send him out against the Philistines and let them kill him rather than doing it myself.”
18 “Who am I, and what is my family in Israel that I should be the king’s son-in-law?” David exclaimed. “My father’s family is nothing!” 19 So[c] when the time came for Saul to give his daughter Merab in marriage to David, he gave her instead to Adriel, a man from Meholah.
20 In the meantime, Saul’s daughter Michal had fallen in love with David, and Saul was delighted when he heard about it. 21 “Here’s another chance to see him killed by the Philistines!” Saul said to himself. But to David he said, “Today you have a second chance to become my son-in-law!”
22 Then Saul told his men to say to David, “The king really likes you, and so do we. Why don’t you accept the king’s offer and become his son-in-law?”
23 When Saul’s men said these things to David, he replied, “How can a poor man from a humble family afford the bride price for the daughter of a king?”
24 When Saul’s men reported this back to the king, 25 he told them, “Tell David that all I want for the bride price is 100 Philistine foreskins! Vengeance on my enemies is all I really want.” But what Saul had in mind was that David would be killed in the fight.
26 David was delighted to accept the offer. Before the time limit expired, 27 he and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. Then David fulfilled the king’s requirement by presenting all their foreskins to him. So Saul gave his daughter Michal to David to be his wife.
28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, 29 Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life.
30 Every time the commanders of the Philistines attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul’s officers. So David’s name became very famous.
1 Chronicles 6 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Priestly Line
6 [a]The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
2 The descendants of Kohath included Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
3 The children of Amram were Aaron, Moses, and Miriam.
The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
4 Eleazar was the father of Phinehas.
The Levite Clans
17 The descendants of Gershon included Libni and Shimei.
18 The descendants of Kohath included Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
19 The descendants of Merari included Mahli and Mushi.
The following were the Levite clans, listed according to their ancestral descent:
20 The descendants of Gershon included Libni, Jahath, Zimmah, 21 Joah, Iddo, Zerah, and Jeatherai.
22 The descendants of Kohath included Amminadab, Korah, Assir, 23 Elkanah, Abiasaph,[e] Assir, 24 Tahath, Uriel, Uzziah, and Shaul.
25 The descendants of Elkanah included Amasai, Ahimoth, 26 Elkanah, Zophai, Nahath, 27 Eliab, Jeroham, Elkanah, and Samuel.[f]
28 The sons of Samuel were Joel[g] (the older) and Abijah (the second).
29 The descendants of Merari included Mahli, Libni, Shimei, Uzzah, 30 Shimea, Haggiah, and Asaiah.
The Temple Musicians
31 David assigned the following men to lead the music at the house of the Lord after the Ark was placed there. 32 They ministered with music at the Tabernacle[h] until Solomon built the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. They carried out their work, following all the regulations handed down to them. 33 These are the men who served, along with their sons:
Heman the musician was from the clan of Kohath. His genealogy was traced back through Joel, Samuel, 34 Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliel, Toah, 35 Zuph, Elkanah, Mahath, Amasai, 36 Elkanah, Joel, Azariah, Zephaniah, 37 Tahath, Assir, Abiasaph, Korah, 38 Izhar, Kohath, Levi, and Israel.[i]
39 Heman’s first assistant was Asaph from the clan of Gershon.[j] Asaph’s genealogy was traced back through Berekiah, Shimea, 40 Michael, Baaseiah, Malkijah, 41 Ethni, Zerah, Adaiah, 42 Ethan, Zimmah, Shimei, 43 Jahath, Gershon, and Levi.
44 Heman’s second assistant was Ethan from the clan of Merari. Ethan’s genealogy was traced back through Kishi, Abdi, Malluch, 45 Hashabiah, Amaziah, Hilkiah, 46 Amzi, Bani, Shemer, 47 Mahli, Mushi, Merari, and Levi.
48 Their fellow Levites were appointed to various other tasks in the Tabernacle, the house of God.
49 Only Aaron and his descendants served as priests. They presented the offerings on the altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense, and they performed all the other duties related to the Most Holy Place. They made atonement for Israel by doing everything that Moses, the servant of God, had commanded them.
50 The descendants of Aaron were Eleazar, Phinehas, Abishua, 51 Bukki, Uzzi, Zerahiah, 52 Meraioth, Amariah, Ahitub, 53 Zadok, and Ahimaaz.
Territory for the Levites
54 This is a record of the towns and territory assigned by means of sacred lots to the descendants of Aaron, who were from the clan of Kohath. 55 This territory included Hebron and its surrounding pasturelands in Judah, 56 but the fields and outlying areas belonging to the city were given to Caleb son of Jephunneh. 57 So the descendants of Aaron were given the following towns, each with its pasturelands: Hebron (a city of refuge),[k] Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, 58 Holon,[l] Debir, 59 Ain,[m] Juttah,[n] and Beth-shemesh. 60 And from the territory of Benjamin they were given Gibeon,[o] Geba, Alemeth, and Anathoth, each with its pasturelands. So thirteen towns were given to the descendants of Aaron. 61 The remaining descendants of Kohath received ten towns from the territory of the half-tribe of Manasseh by means of sacred lots.
62 The descendants of Gershon received by sacred lots thirteen towns from the territories of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and from the Bashan area of Manasseh, east of the Jordan.
63 The descendants of Merari received by sacred lots twelve towns from the territories of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.
64 So the people of Israel assigned all these towns and pasturelands to the Levites. 65 The towns in the territories of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin, mentioned above, were assigned to them by means of sacred lots.
66 The descendants of Kohath were given the following towns from the territory of Ephraim, each with its pasturelands: 67 Shechem (a city of refuge in the hill country of Ephraim),[p] Gezer, 68 Jokmeam, Beth-horon, 69 Aijalon, and Gath-rimmon. 70 The remaining descendants of Kohath were assigned the towns of Aner and Bileam from the territory of the half-tribe of Manasseh, each with its pasturelands.
71 The descendants of Gershon received the towns of Golan (in Bashan) and Ashtaroth from the territory of the half-tribe of Manasseh, each with its pasturelands. 72 From the territory of Issachar, they were given Kedesh, Daberath, 73 Ramoth, and Anem, each with its pasturelands. 74 From the territory of Asher, they received Mashal, Abdon, 75 Hukok, and Rehob, each with its pasturelands. 76 From the territory of Naphtali, they were given Kedesh in Galilee, Hammon, and Kiriathaim, each with its pasturelands.
77 The remaining descendants of Merari received the towns of Jokneam, Kartah,[q] Rimmon,[r] and Tabor from the territory of Zebulun, each with its pasturelands. 78 From the territory of Reuben, east of the Jordan River opposite Jericho, they received Bezer (a desert town), Jahaz,[s] 79 Kedemoth, and Mephaath, each with its pasturelands. 80 And from the territory of Gad, they received Ramoth in Gilead, Mahanaim, 81 Heshbon, and Jazer, each with its pasturelands.
Psalm 11 New Living Translation (NLT)
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 I trust in the Lord for protection.
4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple;
Matthew 3 New Living Translation (NLT)
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, 2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.[a]” 3 The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
4 John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 5 People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. 6 And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize,[c] he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize with[d] water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.[e] 12 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.[f]” So John agreed to baptize him.
16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened[g] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
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