1 Chronicles 10-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
King Saul and His Sons Die
10 The Philistines fought against Israel in a battle at Mount Gilboa. Israel’s soldiers ran from the Philistines, and many of them were killed. 2 The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons and killed three of them: Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. 3 The fighting was fierce around Saul, and he was badly wounded by enemy arrows.
4 Saul told the soldier who carried his weapons, “Kill me with your sword! I don’t want those godless Philistines to torture and make fun of me.”
But the soldier was afraid to kill him. Then Saul stuck himself in the stomach with his own sword and fell on the blade. 5 When the soldier realized that Saul was dead, he killed himself in the same way.
6 Saul, three of his sons, and all his male relatives were dead. 7 The Israelites who lived in Jezreel Valley[a] learned that their army had run away and that Saul and his sons were dead. They ran away too, and the Philistines moved into the towns the Israelites left behind.
8 The next day the Philistines came back to the battlefield to carry away the weapons of the dead Israelite soldiers. When they found the bodies of Saul and his sons on Mount Gilboa, 9 they took Saul’s weapons, pulled off his armor, and cut off his head. Then they sent messengers everywhere in Philistia to spread the news among their people and to thank the idols of their gods. 10 They put Saul’s armor in the temple of their gods and hung his head in the temple of their god Dagon.
11 When the people who lived in Jabesh in Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 some brave men went to get his body and the bodies of his three sons. The men brought the bodies back to Jabesh, where they buried them under an oak tree. Then for seven days, they went without eating to show their sorrow.
13 Saul died because he was unfaithful and disobeyed the Lord. He even asked advice from a woman who talked to spirits of the dead, 14 instead of asking the Lord. So the Lord had Saul killed and gave his kingdom to David, the son of Jesse.
David Becomes King of Israel
11 Israel’s leaders met with David at Hebron and said, “We are your relatives, 2 and we know that you have led our army into battle, even when Saul was still our king. The Lord God has promised that you would rule our country and take care of us like a shepherd. 3 So we have come to crown you king of Israel.”
David made an agreement with the leaders and asked the Lord to be their witness. Then the leaders poured olive oil on David’s head to show that he was now king of Israel. This happened just as the Lord’s prophet Samuel had said.
David Captures Jerusalem
4 Jerusalem was called Jebus at the time, and David led Israel’s army to attack the town. 5 The Jebusites said, “You won’t be able to get in here!” But David captured the fortress of Mount Zion, which is now called the City of David.
6 David had told his troops, “The first soldier to kill a Jebusite will become my army commander.” And since Joab son of Zeruiah attacked first, he became commander.
7 Later, David moved to the fortress—that’s why it’s called the City of David. 8 He had the city rebuilt, starting at the landfill on the east side.[b] Meanwhile, Joab supervised the repairs to the rest of the city.
9 David became a great and strong ruler, because the Lord All-Powerful was on his side.
The Three Warriors
10 The Lord had promised that David would become king, and so everyone in Israel gave David their support. Certain warriors also helped keep his kingdom strong.
11 The first of these warriors was Jashobeam the son of Hachmoni, the leader of the Three Warriors.[c] In one battle he killed three hundred men with his spear.
12 Another one of the Three Warriors was Eleazar son of Dodo the Ahohite. 13 During a battle against the Philistines at Pas-Dammim, all the Israelite soldiers ran away, 14 except Eleazar, who stayed with David. They took their positions in a nearby barley field and defeated the Philistines! The Lord gave Israel a great victory that day.
15 One time the Three Warriors[d] went to meet David among the rocks at Adullam Cave. The Philistine army had set up camp in Rephaim Valley 16 and had taken over Bethlehem. David was in a fortress, 17 and he said, “I’m very thirsty. I wish I had a drink of water from the well by the gate to Bethlehem.”
18 The Three Warriors sneaked through the Philistine camp and got some water from the well near Bethlehem’s gate. They took it back to David, but he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured out the water as a sacrifice to the Lord 19 and said, “Drinking this water would be like drinking the blood of these men who risked their lives to get it for me.”
The Three Warriors did these brave deeds.
The Thirty Warriors
20 Joab’s brother Abishai was the leader of the Thirty Warriors,[e] and in one battle he killed three hundred men with his spear. He was just as famous as the Three Warriors 21 and was more famous than the rest of the Thirty Warriors. He was their commander, but he never became one of the Three Warriors.[f]
22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a brave man from Kabzeel who did some amazing things. One time he killed two of Moab’s best fighters, and one snowy day he went into a pit and killed a lion. 23 Another time he killed an Egyptian who was seven and a half feet tall and was armed with a spear. Benaiah only had a club, so he grabbed the spear from the Egyptian and killed him with it. 24 Benaiah did things like that; he was just as brave as the Three Warriors, 25 even though he never became one of them. And he was certainly as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. So David made him the leader of his own bodyguard.
26-47 Here is a list of the other famous warriors:
Asahel the brother of Joab; Elhanan the son of Dodo from Bethlehem; Shammoth from Haror; Helez from Pelon; Ira the son of Ikkesh from Tekoa; Abiezer from Anathoth; Sibbecai the Hushathite; Ilai[g] the Ahohite; Maharai from Netophah; Heled the son of Baanah from Netophah; Ithai the son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin; Benaiah from Pirathon; Hurai[h] from near the streams on Mount Gaash; Abiel from Arbah; Azmaveth from Baharum; Eliahba from Shaalbon; Hashem[i] the Gizonite; Jonathan the son of Shagee from Harar; Ahiam the son of Sachar the Hararite; Eliphal the son of Ur; Hepher from Mecherah; Ahijah from Pelon; Hezro from Carmel; Naarai the son of Ezbai; Joel the brother of Nathan; Mibhar the son of Hagri; Zelek from Ammon; Naharai from Beeroth who carried Joab’s weapons; Ira the Ithrite; Gareb the Ithrite; Uriah the Hittite; Zabad the son of Ahlai; Adina the son of Shiza, a leader in the Reuben tribe, and thirty of his soldiers; Hanan the son of Maacah; Joshaphat from Mithan; Uzzia from Ashterah; Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham from Aroer; Jediael and Joha the sons of Shimri from Tiz; Eliel from Mahavah; Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam; Ithmah from Moab; Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel from Mezobah.
David’s Men at Ziklag
12 Some time earlier, David had gone to live in the town of Ziklag to escape from King Saul. While David was there, several brave warriors joined him to help fight his battles.[j]
Warriors from the Benjamin tribe
2 Several of these warriors were from King Saul’s own tribe of Benjamin. They were experts at using a bow and arrows, and they could shoot an arrow or sling a stone with either hand. 3-7 Their leaders were Ahiezer and Joash, the sons of Shemaah from Gibeah. Here is a list of those men from Benjamin: Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth; Ishmaiah from Gibeon, who was the leader of the Thirty Warriors; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah; Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph; Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam from the Korah clan; Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.
Warriors from the Gad tribe
8 Men from the tribe of Gad also joined David at his fortress in the desert and served as his warriors. They were also brave soldiers—fierce as lions and quick as gazelles. They were always prepared to fight with shields and spears. 9-13 There were eleven of them, ranked in the following order: Ezer the leader, then Obadiah, Eliab, Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbannai.
14 All these men were army officers; some were high-ranking officers over a thousand troops, and others were officers over a hundred troops. 15 Earlier, they had crossed the Jordan River when it flooded, and they chased out the people who lived in the valleys on each side of the river.
Warriors from the Benjamin and Judah tribes
16 One time a group of men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah went to the fortress where David was staying. 17 David met them outside and said, “If you are coming as friends to fight on my side, then stay and join us. But if you try to turn me over to my enemies, the God our ancestors worshiped will punish you, because I have done nothing wrong.”
18 Amasai, who later became the leader of the Thirty Warriors, was one of these men who went to David. God’s Spirit took control of him, and he said, “We will join you, David son of Jesse! You and your followers will always be successful, because God fights on your side.”
So David agreed to let them stay, and he even put them in charge of his soldiers who raided enemy villages.
Warriors from the Manasseh tribe
19 Some of the warriors who joined David were from the tribe of Manasseh. They had earlier gone with David when he agreed to fight on the side of the Philistines against King Saul. But as soon as the Philistine rulers realized that David might turn against them and rejoin Saul, they sent David away to the town of Ziklag. 20 That’s when the following men from Manasseh joined him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai. They had all been commanders in Saul’s army 21 and brave soldiers, and so David made them officers in his army. They fought on his side when enemy troops attacked.
22 Day after day, new men came to join David, and soon he had a large, powerful army.
David’s Men at Hebron
23-37 The kingdom of Israel had been taken away from Saul, and it now belonged to David. He was ruling from Hebron, and thousands of well-trained soldiers from each tribe went there to crown David king of all Israel, just as the Lord had promised. These soldiers, who were always prepared for battle, included: 6,800 from Judah, who were armed with shields and spears; 7,100 from Simeon; 4,600 from Levi, including Jehoiada, who was a leader from Aaron’s descendants, and his 3,700 men, as well as Zadok, who was a brave soldier, and 22 of his relatives, who were also officers; 3,000 from Benjamin, because this was Saul’s own tribe and most of the men had remained loyal to him; 20,800 from Ephraim, who were not only brave, but also famous in their clans; 18,000 from West Manasseh, who had been chosen to help make David king; 200 leaders from Issachar, along with troops under their command—these leaders knew the right time to do what needed to be done; 50,000 from Zebulun, who were not only loyal, but also trained to use any weapon; 1,000 officers from Naphtali and 37,000 soldiers armed with shields and spears; 28,600 from Dan; 40,000 from Asher; and 120,000 from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh, who were armed with all kinds of weapons.
38 All of these soldiers voluntarily came to Hebron because they wanted David to become king of Israel. In fact, everyone in Israel wanted the same thing. 39 The soldiers stayed in Hebron three days, eating and drinking what their relatives had prepared for them. 40 Other Israelites from as far away as the territories of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali brought cattle and sheep to slaughter for food. They also brought donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen that were loaded down with flour, dried figs, wine, and olive oil.
Everyone in Israel was very happy.
John 6:45-71 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
45 One of the prophets wrote, “God will teach all of them.” And so everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him will come to me.
46 The only one who has seen the Father is the one who has come from him. No one else has ever seen the Father. 47 I tell you for certain that everyone who has faith in me has eternal life.
48 I am the bread that gives life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna[a] in the desert, and later they died. 50 But the bread from heaven has come down, so that no one who eats it will ever die. 51 I am that bread from heaven! Everyone who eats it will live forever. My flesh is the life-giving bread that I give to the people of this world.
52 They started arguing with each other and asked, “How can he give us his flesh to eat?”
53 Jesus answered:
I tell you for certain that you won’t live unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man. 54 But if you do eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have eternal life, and I will raise you to life on the last day. 55 My flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. 56 If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you are one with me, and I am one with you.
57 The living Father sent me, and I have life because of him. Now everyone who eats my flesh will live because of me. 58 The bread that comes down from heaven isn’t like what your ancestors ate. They died, but whoever eats this bread will live forever.
59 Jesus was teaching in a Jewish place of worship in Capernaum when he said these things.
The Words of Eternal Life
60 Many of Jesus' disciples heard him and said, “This is too hard for anyone to understand.”
61 Jesus knew that his disciples were grumbling. So he asked, “Does this bother you? 62 What if you should see the Son of Man go up to heaven where he came from? 63 The Spirit is the one who gives life! Human strength can do nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are from that life-giving Spirit. 64 But some of you refuse to have faith in me.” Jesus said this, because from the beginning he knew who would have faith in him. He also knew which one would betray him.
65 Then Jesus said, “You cannot come to me, unless the Father makes you want to come. That is why I have told these things to all of you.”
66 Because of what Jesus said, many of his disciples turned their backs on him and stopped following him. 67 Jesus then asked his twelve disciples if they were going to leave him. 68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, there is no one else that we can go to! Your words give eternal life. 69 We have faith in you, and we are sure that you are God’s Holy One.”
70 Jesus told his disciples, “I chose all twelve of you, but one of you is a demon!” 71 Jesus was talking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.[b] He would later betray Jesus, even though he was one of the twelve disciples.
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