1 Samuel 26-28New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Once Again David Doesn’t Kill Saul When He Has the Chance
26 Some people from Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah. They said, “David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah. It faces Jeshimon.”
2 So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph. He took 3,000 of the best soldiers in Israel with him. They went to the desert to look for David. 3 Saul set up his camp beside the road. It was on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon. But David stayed in the desert. He saw that Saul had followed him there. 4 So he sent out scouts. From them he learned that Saul had arrived.
5 Then David started out. He went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner were lying down. Saul was lying inside the camp. The army was camped all around him. Abner was commander of the army. He was the son of Ner.
6 Then David spoke to Ahimelek, the Hittite. He also spoke to Joab’s brother Abishai, the son of Zeruiah. He asked them, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?”
“I’ll go with you,” said Abishai.
7 So that night David and Abishai went into the camp. They found Saul lying asleep inside the camp. His spear was stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him.
8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has handed your enemy over to you. So let me pin him to the ground. I can do it with one jab of the spear. I won’t even have to strike him twice.”
9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! No one can do any harm to the Lord’s anointed king and not be guilty. 10 You can be sure that the Lord lives,” he said. “And you can be just as sure that the Lord himself will strike Saul down. Perhaps he’ll die a natural death. Or perhaps he’ll go into battle and be killed. 11 May the Lord keep me from doing anything to harm his anointed king. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head. Then let’s leave.”
12 So David took the spear and water jug that were near Saul’s head. Then he and Abishai left. No one saw them. No one knew about what they had done. In fact, no one even woke up. Everyone was sleeping. That’s because the Lord had put them into a deep sleep.
13 David went across to the other side of the valley. He stood on top of a hill far away from Saul’s camp. There was a wide space between them. 14 He called out to the army and to Abner, the son of Ner. He said, “Abner! Aren’t you going to answer me?”
Abner replied, “Who is calling out to the king?”
15 David said, “You are a great soldier, aren’t you? There isn’t anyone else like you in Israel. So why didn’t you guard the king? He’s your master, isn’t he? Someone came into the camp to destroy him. 16 You didn’t guard him. And that isn’t good. You can be sure that the Lord lives. And you can be just as sure that you and your men must die. That’s because you didn’t guard your master. He’s the Lord’s anointed king. Look around you. Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?”
17 Saul recognized David’s voice. He said, “My son David, is that your voice?”
David replied, “Yes it is, King Saul, my master.” 18 He continued, “Why are you chasing me? What evil thing have I done? What am I guilty of? 19 King Saul, please listen to what I’m saying. Was it the Lord who made you angry with me? If it was, may he accept my offering. Was it people who made you angry at me? If it was, may the Lord see them cursed. They have driven me today from my share of the Lord’s land. By doing that, they might as well have said, ‘Go and serve other gods.’ 20 Don’t spill my blood on the ground far away from where the Lord lives. King Saul, you have come out to look for nothing but a flea. It’s as if you were hunting a partridge in the mountains.”
21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. My son David, come back. Today you thought my life was very special. So I won’t try to harm you again. I’ve really acted like a foolish person. I’ve made a huge mistake.”
22 “Here’s your spear,” David answered. “Send one of your young men over to get it. 23 The Lord rewards everyone for doing what is right and being faithful. He handed you over to me today. But I wouldn’t harm you. You are the Lord’s anointed king. 24 Today I thought your life had great value. In the same way, may the Lord think of my life as having great value. May he save me from all trouble.”
25 Then Saul said to David, “May the Lord bless you, David my son. You will do great things. You will also have great success.”
So David went on his way. And Saul returned home.
David Among the Philistines
27 David thought, “Some day Saul will destroy me. So the best thing I can do is escape. I’ll go to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will stop looking for me everywhere in Israel. His hand won’t be able to reach me.”
2 So David and his 600 men left Israel. They went to Achish, the king of Gath. He was the son of Maok. 3 David and his men made their homes in Gath near Achish. Each of David’s men had his family with him. David had his two wives with him. They were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail from Carmel. Abigail was Nabal’s widow. 4 Saul was told that David had run away to Gath. So he didn’t look for David anymore.
5 David said to Achish, “If you are pleased with me, give me a place in one of your country towns. I can live there. I don’t really need to live near you in the royal city.”
6 So on that day Achish gave David the town of Ziklag. It has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since that time. 7 David lived in Philistine territory for a year and four months.
8 Sometimes David and his men would go up and attack the Geshurites. At other times they would attack the Girzites or the Amalekites. All those people had lived in the land that reached all the way to Shur and Egypt. They had been there for a long time. 9 When David would attack an area, he wouldn’t leave a man or woman alive. But he would take their sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels and clothes. Then he would return to Achish.
10 Achish would ask, “Who did you attack today?” David would answer, “The people who live in the Negev Desert of Judah.” Or he would answer, “The people in the Negev Desert of Jerahmeel.” Or he would answer, “The people in the Negev Desert of the Kenites.” 11 David wouldn’t leave a man or woman alive to be brought back to Gath. He thought, “They might tell on us. They might tell Achish who we really attacked.” That’s what David did as long as he lived in Philistine territory. 12 Achish trusted David. He thought, “David’s own people, the Israelites, can’t stand him anymore. So he’ll be my servant for life.”
28 While David was living in Ziklag, the Philistines gathered their army together. They planned to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “Here is what you must understand. You and your men must march out with me and my army.”
2 David said, “I understand. You will see for yourself what I can do.”
Achish replied, “All right. I’ll make you my own personal guard for life.”
Saul and the Woman at Endor
3 Samuel had died. The whole nation of Israel was filled with sorrow because he was dead. They had buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had thrown out of the land people who get messages from those who have died. He had also thrown out people who talk to the spirits of the dead.
4 The Philistines gathered together and set up camp at Shunem. At the same time, Saul gathered together all the Israelites. They set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid. Terror filled his heart. 6 He asked the Lord for advice. But the Lord didn’t answer him through dreams or prophets. He didn’t answer him when Saul had the priest cast lots by using the Urim. 7 Saul spoke to his attendants. He said, “Find me a woman who gets messages from those who have died. Then I can go and ask her some questions.”
“There’s a woman like that in Endor,” they said.
8 Saul put on different clothes so people wouldn’t know who he was. At night he and two of his men went to see the woman. “I want you to talk to a spirit for me,” he said. “Bring up the spirit of the dead person I choose.”
9 But the woman said to him, “By now you must know what Saul has done. He has removed everyone who gets messages from those who have died. He has also removed everyone who talks to the spirits of the dead. He has thrown all of them out of the land. Why are you trying to trap me? Why do you want to have me put to death?”
10 Saul made a promise in the name of the Lord. He said to the woman, “You can be sure that the Lord lives. And you can be just as sure that you won’t be punished for helping me.”
11 Then the woman asked, “Whose spirit should I bring up for you?”
“Bring Samuel up,” he said.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she let out a loud scream. She said to Saul, “Why have you tricked me? You are King Saul!”
13 He said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Tell me what you see.”
The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure. He’s coming up out of the earth.”
14 “What does he look like?” Saul asked.
“An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.
Then Saul knew it was Samuel. He bowed down. He lay down flat with his face toward the ground.
15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you troubled me by bringing me up from the dead?”
“I’m having big problems,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me. God has left me. He doesn’t answer me anymore. He doesn’t speak to me through prophets or dreams. So I’ve called on you to tell me what to do.”
16 Samuel said, “The Lord has left you. He has become your enemy. So why are you asking me what you should do? 17 The Lord has spoken through me and has done what he said he would do. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands. He has given it to one of your neighbors. He has given it to David. 18 You didn’t obey the Lord. You didn’t show his great anger against the Amalekites by destroying them. So he’s punishing you today. 19 He will hand both Israel and you over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be down here with me. The Lord will also hand Israel’s army over to the Philistines.”
20 Immediately Saul fell flat on the ground. What Samuel had said filled Saul with fear. His strength was gone. He hadn’t eaten anything all that day and all that night.
21 The woman went over to Saul because she saw that he was very upset. She said, “Look, I’ve obeyed you. I put my own life in danger by doing what you told me to do. 22 So please listen to me. Let me give you some food. Eat it. Then you will have the strength to go on your way.”
23 But he refused. He said, “I don’t want anything to eat.”
Then his men joined the woman in begging him to eat. Finally, he paid attention to them. He got up from the ground and sat on a couch.
24 The woman had a fat calf at her house. She killed it at once. She got some flour. She mixed it and baked some bread that didn’t have any yeast in it. 25 Then she set the food in front of Saul and his men. They ate it. That same night they got up and left.
John 11:1-54New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
11 A man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2 Mary would later pour perfume on the Lord. She would also wipe Jesus’ feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick in bed. 3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus. “Lord,” they told him, “the one you love is sick.”
4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory. God’s Son will receive glory because of it.” 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So after he heard Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. 7 And then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short time ago the Jews there tried to kill you with stones. Are you still going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there 12 hours of daylight? Anyone who walks during the day won’t trip and fall. They can see because of this world’s light. 10 But when they walk at night, they’ll trip and fall. They have no light.”
11 After he said this, Jesus went on speaking to them. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep,” he said. “But I am going there to wake him up.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking about the death of Lazarus. But his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 For your benefit, I am glad I was not there. Now you will believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas, who was also called Didymus, spoke to the rest of the disciples. “Let us go also,” he said. “Then we can die with Jesus.”
Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus
17 When Jesus arrived, he found out that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem. 19 Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary. They had come to comfort them because their brother was dead. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him. But Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “I wish you had been here! Then my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you anything you ask for.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again. This will happen when people are raised from the dead on the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even if they die. 26 And whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied. “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God. I believe that you are the one who is supposed to come into the world.”
28 After she said this, she went back home. She called her sister Mary to one side to talk to her. “The Teacher is here,” Martha said. “He is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Jesus had not yet entered the village. He was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 Some Jews had been comforting Mary in the house. They noticed how quickly she got up and went out. So they followed her. They thought she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 Mary reached the place where Jesus was. When she saw him, she fell at his feet. She said, “Lord, I wish you had been here! Then my brother would not have died.”
33 Jesus saw her crying. He saw that the Jews who had come along with her were crying also. His spirit became very sad, and he was troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how much he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “He opened the eyes of the blind man. Couldn’t he have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
38 Once more Jesus felt very sad. He came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone in front of the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad smell. Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see God’s glory?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up. He said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. 42 I know that you always hear me. But I said this for the benefit of the people standing here. I said it so they will believe that you sent me.”
43 Then Jesus called in a loud voice. He said, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out. His hands and feet were wrapped with strips of linen. A cloth was around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the clothes he was buried in and let him go.”
The Plan to Kill Jesus
45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary saw what Jesus did. So they believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees. They told the Pharisees what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
“What can we do?” they asked. “This man is performing many signs. 48 If we let him keep on doing this, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will come. They will take away our temple and our nation.”
49 One of the Jewish leaders spoke up. His name was Caiaphas. He was high priest at that time. He said, “You don’t know anything at all! 50 You don’t realize what is good for you. It is better if one man dies for the people than if the whole nation is destroyed.”
51 He did not say this on his own because he was high priest at that time. He prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation. 52 He also prophesied that Jesus would die for God’s children scattered everywhere. He would die to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on, the Jewish rulers planned to kill Jesus.
54 Jesus no longer moved around openly among the people of Judea. Instead, he went away to an area near the desert. He went to a village called Ephraim. There he stayed with his disciples.
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