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2 Samuel 2:12-3:39 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

12 Abner son of Ner and soldiers of Ish-bosheth son of Saul marched out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 So Joab son of Zeruiah and David’s soldiers marched out and met them by the pool of Gibeon. The two groups took up positions on opposite sides of the pool.

14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have the young men get up and compete in front of us.”

“Let them get up,” Joab replied.

15 So they got up and were counted off—12 for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth son of Saul, and 12 from David’s soldiers. 16 Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his sword into his opponent’s side so that they all died together. So this place, which is in Gibeon, is named Field of Blades.[a]

17 The battle that day was extremely fierce, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by David’s soldiers. 18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel was a fast runner, like one of the wild gazelles. 19 He chased Abner and did not turn to the right or the left in his pursuit of him. 20 Abner glanced back and said, “Is that you, Asahel?”

“Yes it is,” Asahel replied.

21 Abner said to him, “Turn to your right or left, seize one of the young soldiers, and take whatever you can get from him.” But Asahel would not stop chasing him. 22 Once again, Abner warned Asahel, “Stop chasing me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How could I ever look your brother Joab in the face?”

23 But Asahel refused to turn away, so Abner hit him in the stomach with the end of his spear. The spear went through his body, and he fell and died right there. When all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, they stopped, 24 but Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. By sunset, they had gone as far as the hill of Ammah, which is opposite Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon.

25 The Benjaminites rallied to Abner; they formed a single unit and took their stand on top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called out to Joab: “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize this will only end in bitterness? How long before you tell the troops to stop pursuing their brothers?”

27 “As God lives,” Joab replied, “if you had not spoken up, the troops wouldn’t have stopped pursuing their brothers until morning.” 28 Then Joab blew the ram’s horn, and all the troops stopped; they no longer pursued Israel or continued to fight. 29 So Abner and his men marched through the Arabah all that night. They crossed the Jordan, marched all morning,[b] and arrived at Mahanaim.

30 When Joab had turned back from pursuing Abner, he gathered all the troops. In addition to Asahel, 19 of David’s soldiers were missing, 31 but they had killed 360 of the Benjaminites and Abner’s men. 32 Afterward, they carried Asahel to his father’s tomb in Bethlehem and buried him. Then Joab and his men marched all night and reached Hebron at dawn.

Civil War

The war between the house of Saul and the house of David was long and drawn out, with David growing stronger and the house of Saul becoming weaker.

Sons were born to David in Hebron:

his firstborn was Amnon,
by Ahinoam the Jezreelite;
his second was Chileab,
by Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite;
the third was Absalom,
son of Maacah the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur;
the fourth was Adonijah,
son of Haggith;
the fifth was Shephatiah,
son of Abital;
the sixth was Ithream,
by David’s wife Eglah.

These were born to David in Hebron.

During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner kept acquiring more power in the house of Saul. Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah, and Ish-bosheth questioned Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”

Abner was very angry about Ish-bosheth’s accusation. “Am I a dog’s head[c] who belongs to Judah?” he asked. “All this time I’ve been loyal to the house of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends and haven’t handed you over to David, but now you accuse me of wrongdoing with this woman! May God punish Abner and do so severely if I don’t do for David what the Lord swore to him: 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish the throne of David over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beer-sheba.” 11 Ish-bosheth could not answer Abner because he was afraid of him.

12 Abner sent messengers as his representatives to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make your covenant with me, and you can be certain I am on your side to hand all Israel over to you.”

13 David replied, “Good, I will make a covenant with you. However, there’s one thing I require of you: Do not appear before me unless you bring Saul’s daughter Michal here when you come to see me.”

14 Then David sent messengers to say to Ish-bosheth son of Saul, “Give me back my wife, Michal. I was engaged to her for the price of 100 Philistine foreskins.”

15 So Ish-bosheth sent someone to take her away from her husband, Paltiel son of Laish. 16 Her husband followed her, weeping all the way to Bahurim. Abner said to him, “Go back.” So he went back.

The Assassination of Abner

17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel: “In the past you wanted David to be king over you. 18 Now take action, because the Lord has spoken concerning David: ‘Through My servant David I will save My people Israel from the power of the Philistines and the power of all Israel’s enemies.’”

19 Abner also informed the Benjaminites and went to Hebron to inform David about all that was agreed on by Israel and the whole house of Benjamin. 20 When Abner and 20 men came to David at Hebron, David held a banquet for him and his men.

21 Abner said to David, “Let me now go and I will gather all Israel to my lord the king. They will make a covenant with you, and you will rule over all you desire.” So David dismissed Abner, and he went in peace.

22 Just then David’s soldiers and Joab returned from a raid and brought a large amount of plundered goods with them. Abner was not with David in Hebron because David had dismissed him, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all his army arrived, Joab was informed, “Abner son of Ner came to see the king, the king dismissed him, and he went in peace.”

24 Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look here, Abner came to you. Why did you dismiss him? Now he’s getting away. 25 You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you and to find out about your activities and everything you’re doing.” 26 Then Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner. They brought him back from the well[d] of Sirah, but David was unaware of it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab pulled him aside to the middle of the gateway, as if to speak to him privately, and there Joab stabbed him in the stomach. So Abner died in revenge for the death of Asahel,[e] Joab’s brother.

28 David heard about it later and said: “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29 May it hang over Joab’s head and his father’s whole house, and may the house of Joab never be without someone who has a discharge or a skin disease, or a man who can only work a spindle,[f] or someone who falls by the sword or starves.” 30 Joab and his brother Abishai killed Abner because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon.

31 David then ordered Joab and all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner.” And King David walked behind the funeral procession.[g]

32 When they buried Abner in Hebron, the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept, 33 and the king sang a lament for Abner:

Should Abner die as a fool dies?
34 Your hands were not bound,
your feet not placed in bronze shackles.
You fell like one who falls victim to criminals.

And all the people wept over him even more.

35 Then they came to urge David to eat bread while it was still day, but David took an oath: “May God punish me and do so severely if I taste bread or anything else before sunset!” 36 All the people took note of this, and it pleased them. In fact, everything the king did pleased them. 37 On that day all the troops and all Israel were convinced that the king had no part in the killing of Abner son of Ner.

38 Then the king said to his soldiers, “You must know that a great leader has fallen in Israel today. 39 As for me, even though I am the anointed king, I have little power today. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too fierce for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil!”

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 2:16 Or Helkath-hazzurim
  2. 2 Samuel 2:29 Or marched through the Bithron
  3. 2 Samuel 3:8 = a despised person
  4. 2 Samuel 3:26 Or cistern
  5. 2 Samuel 3:27 Lit And he died for the blood of Asahel
  6. 2 Samuel 3:29 LXX reads who uses a crutch
  7. 2 Samuel 3:31 Or the bier; lit the bed

John 13:1-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

13 Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.[a]

Now by the time of supper, the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Him. Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God. So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.

He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?”

Jesus answered him, “What I’m doing you don’t understand now, but afterward you will know.”

“You will never wash my feet—ever!” Peter said.

Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”

10 “One who has bathed,” Jesus told him, “doesn’t need to wash anything except his feet, but he is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him. This is why He said, “You are not all clean.”

The Meaning of Footwashing

12 When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined[b] again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.

16 “I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master,[c] and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I’m not speaking about all of you; I know those I have chosen. But the Scripture must be fulfilled: The one who eats My bread[d] has raised his heel against Me.[e]

19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. 20 I assure you: Whoever receives anyone I send receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

Judas’s Betrayal Predicted

21 When Jesus had said this, He was troubled in His spirit and testified, “I assure you: One of you will betray Me!”

22 The disciples started looking at one another—uncertain which one He was speaking about. 23 One of His disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining close beside Jesus.[f] 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to find out who it was He was talking about. 25 So he leaned back against Jesus and asked Him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus replied, “He’s the one I give the piece of bread to after I have dipped it.” When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son.[g] 27 After Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Therefore Jesus told him, “What you’re doing, do quickly.”

28 None of those reclining at the table knew why He told him this. 29 Since Judas kept the money-bag, some thought that Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 After receiving the piece of bread, he went out immediately. And it was night.

Footnotes:

  1. John 13:1 = completely or always
  2. John 13:12 At important meals the custom was to recline on a mat at a low table and lean on the left elbow.
  3. John 13:16 Or lord
  4. John 13:18 Other mss read eats bread with Me
  5. John 13:18 Ps 41:9
  6. John 13:23 Lit reclining at Jesus’ breast; that is, on His right; Jn 1:18
  7. John 13:26 Other mss read Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son

Psalm 119:1-16 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 119

Delight in God’s Word

א Alef

How[a] happy are those whose way is blameless,
who live according to the Lord’s instruction!
Happy are those who keep His decrees
and seek Him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong;
they follow His ways.
You have commanded that Your precepts
be diligently kept.
If only my ways were committed
to keeping Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed
when I think about all Your commands.
I will praise You with a sincere heart
when I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes;
never abandon me.

ב Bet

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping Your[b] word.
10 I have sought You with all my heart;
don’t let me wander from Your commands.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against You.
12 Lord, may You be praised;
teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I proclaim
all the judgments from Your mouth.
14 I rejoice in the way revealed by Your decrees
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
and think about Your ways.
16 I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119:1 The stanzas of this poem form an acrostic.
  2. Psalm 119:9 Or keeping it according to Your

Proverbs 15:29-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
but He hears the prayer of the righteous.

30 Bright eyes cheer the heart;
good news strengthens[a] the bones.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 15:30 Lit makes fat

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