1 Chronicles 22-24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
22 David said, “The temple of the Lord God must be built right here at this threshing place. And the altar for offering sacrifices will also be here.”
David Prepares To Build the Temple
2 David ordered the foreigners living in Israel to come to Jerusalem. Then he assigned some to cut blocks of stone for building the temple. 3 He got a large supply of iron to make into nails and hinges for the doors, and he provided so much bronze that it could not be weighed. 4 He also had cedar logs brought in from the cities of Sidon and Tyre.
5 He said, “The temple for the Lord must be great, so that everyone in the world will know about it. But since my son Solomon is young and has no experience, I will make sure that everything is ready for the temple to be built.”
That’s why David did all these things before he died.
David Instructs Solomon To Build the Temple
6 David sent for his son Solomon and told him to build a temple for the Lord God of Israel. 7 He said:
My son, I wanted to build a temple where the Lord my God would be worshiped. 8 But some time ago, he told me, “David, you have killed too many people and have fought too many battles. That’s why you are not the one to build my temple. 9 But when your son becomes king, I will give him peace throughout his kingdom. His name will be Solomon, because during his rule I will keep Israel safe and peaceful.[a] 10 Solomon will build my temple. He will be like a son to me, and I will be like a father to him. In fact, one of his descendants will always rule in Israel.”
11 Solomon, my son, I now pray that the Lord your God will be with you and keep his promise to help you build a temple for him. 12 May he give you wisdom and knowledge, so that you can rule Israel according to his Law. 13 If you obey the laws and teachings that the Lord gave Moses, you will be successful. Be strong and brave and don’t get discouraged or be afraid of anything.
14 I have all the supplies you’ll need to build the temple: You have four thousand tons of gold and forty thousand tons of silver. There’s also plenty of wood, stone, and more bronze and iron than I could weigh. Ask for anything else you need. 15 I have also assigned men who will cut and lay the stone. And there are carpenters and people who are experts in working with 16 gold, silver, bronze, and iron. You have plenty of workers to do the job. Now get started, and I pray that the Lord will be with you in your work.
17 David then gave orders for the leaders of Israel to help Solomon. 18 David said:
The Lord our God has helped me defeat all the people who lived here before us, and he has given you peace from all your enemies. Now this land belongs to the Lord and his people. 19 Obey the Lord your God with your heart and soul. Begin work on the temple to honor him, so that the sacred chest and the things used for worship can be kept there.
David Assigns the Levites Their Duties
23 David was old when he chose his son Solomon to be king of Israel. 2 Some time later, David called together all of Israel’s leaders, priests, and Levites. 3 He then counted the Levite men who were at least thirty years old, and the total was thirty-eight thousand. 4 He said, “Twenty-four thousand of the Levites will be in charge of the temple, six thousand will be temple officials and judges, 5 four thousand will be guards at the temple, and four thousand will praise the Lord by playing the musical instruments I have given them.”
6 David then divided the Levites into three groups according to the clans of Levi’s sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
7 Gershon had two sons: Ladan and Shimei. 8 Ladan was the father of Jehiel, Zetham, and Joel. 9 They were all family leaders among their father’s descendants. Shimei was the father of Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran. 10-11 Later, Shimei had four more sons, in the following order: Jahath, Zina, Jeush, and Beriah. But Jeush and Beriah didn’t have many children, so their descendants were counted as one family.
12 Kohath had four sons: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 13 Amram was the father of Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his descendants were chosen to be in charge of all the sacred things. They served the Lord by offering sacrifices to him and by blessing the people in his name. 14-15 Moses, the man of God, was the father of Gershom and Eliezer, and their descendants were considered Levites. 16 Gershom’s oldest son was Shebuel. 17 Rehabiah, who was Eliezer’s only son, had many children. 18 The second son born to Kohath was Izhar, and his oldest son was Shelomith. 19 Hebron, the third son of Kohath, was the father of Jeriah, Amariah, Jahaziel, and Jekameam. 20 Kohath’s youngest son, Uzziel, was the father of Micah and Isshiah.
21 Merari had two sons: Mahli and Mushi. Mahli was the father of Eleazar and Kish. 22 Eleazar had no sons, only daughters, and they married their uncle’s sons. 23 Mushi the second son of Merari, was the father of Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth.
24 These were the clans and families of the tribe of Levi. Those who were twenty years and older were assigned to work at the Lord’s temple.
25 David said:
The Lord God of Israel has given his people peace, and he will live in Jerusalem forever. 26 And so, the Levites won’t need to move the sacred tent and the things used for worship from place to place. 27 From now on, all Levites at least twenty years old 28 will serve the Lord by helping Aaron’s descendants do their work at the temple, by keeping the courtyards and rooms of the temple clean, and by making sure that everything used in worship stays pure. 29 They will also be in charge of the sacred loaves of bread, the flour for the grain sacrifices, the thin wafers, any offerings to be baked, and the flour mixed with olive oil. These Levites will weigh and measure these offerings.
30 Every morning and evening, the Levites are to give thanks to the Lord and sing praises to him. 31 They must also give thanks and sing praises when sacrifices are offered on each Sabbath, as well as during New Moon Festivals and other religious feasts. There must always be enough Levites on duty at the temple to do everything that needs to be done. 32 They were once in charge of taking care of the sacred tent; now they are responsible for the temple and for helping Aaron’s descendants.
David Assigns the Priests Their Duties
24 Aaron’s descendants were then divided into work groups. Aaron had four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2 But Nadab and Abihu died long before their father, without having any sons. That’s why Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests.
3 David divided Aaron’s descendants into groups, according to their assigned work. Zadok, one of Eleazar’s descendants, and Ahimelech, one of Ithamar’s descendants, helped David.
4 Eleazar’s descendants were divided into sixteen groups, and Ithamar’s were divided into eight groups, because Eleazar’s family included more family leaders. 5 However, both families included temple officials and priests, and so to make sure the work was divided fairly, David asked God what to do.[b]
6 As each group was assigned their duties, Shemaiah the son of Nethanel the Levite wrote down the name of the family leader in charge of that group. The witnesses were David and his officials, as well as Zadok the priest, Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and the family leaders from the clans of the priests and the Levites.
7-18 Each group of priests went by the name of its family leader, and they were assigned their duties in the following order: Jehoiarib, Jedaiah, Harim, Seorim, Malchijah, Mijamin, Hakkoz, Abijah, Jeshua, Shecaniah, Eliashib, Jakim, Huppah, Jeshebeab, Bilgah, Immer, Hezir, Happizzez, Pethahiah, Jehezkel, Jachin, Gamul, Delaiah, Maaziah. 19 These men were assigned their duties at the temple, just as the Lord God of Israel had commanded their ancestor Aaron.
The Rest of the Levites Are Assigned Their Duties
20 Here is a list of the other descendants of Levi:
Amram was the ancestor of Shubael and Jehdeiah.
27 Jaaziah had three sons: Shoham, Zaccur, and Ibri.[c] 28-29 Mahli was the father of Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar had no sons, but Kish was the father of Jerahmeel. 30 Mushi had three sons: Mahli, Eder, and Jerimoth.
These were the descendants of Levi, according to their clans. 31 Each one was assigned his duties in the same way that their relatives the priests had been assigned their duties. David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the family leaders of the priests and Levites were the witnesses.
John 8:28-59 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
28 Jesus went on to say, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man,[a] you will know who I am. You will also know that I don’t do anything on my own. I say only what my Father taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me. I always do what pleases him, and he will never leave me.”
30 After Jesus said this, many of the people put their faith in him.
The Truth Will Set You Free
31 Jesus told the people who had faith in him, “If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered, “We are Abraham’s children! We have never been anyone’s slaves. How can you say we will be set free?”
34 Jesus replied:
I tell you for certain that anyone who sins is a slave of sin! 35 And slaves don’t stay in the family forever, though the Son will always remain in the family. 36 If the Son gives you freedom, you are free! 37 I know that you are from Abraham’s family. Yet you want to kill me, because my message isn’t really in your hearts. 38 I am telling you what my Father has shown me, just as you are doing what your father has taught you.
Your Father Is the Devil
39 The people said to Jesus, “Abraham is our father!”
Jesus replied, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did. 40 Instead, you want to kill me for telling you the truth that God gave me. Abraham never did anything like that. 41 But you are doing exactly what your father does.”
“Don’t accuse us of having someone else as our father!” they said. “We just have one father, and he is God.”
42 Jesus answered:
If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own. 43 Why can’t you understand what I am talking about? Can’t you stand to hear what I am saying? 44 Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.
45 Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me. 46 Can any of you accuse me of sin? If you cannot, why won’t you have faith in me? After all, I am telling you the truth. 47 Anyone who belongs to God will listen to his message. But you refuse to listen, because you don’t belong to God.
Jesus and Abraham
48 The people told Jesus, “We were right to say that you are a Samaritan[b] and that you have a demon in you!”
49 Jesus answered, “I don’t have a demon in me. I honor my Father, and you refuse to honor me. 50 I don’t want honor for myself. But there is one who wants me to be honored, and he is also the one who judges. 51 I tell you for certain that if you obey my words, you will never die.”
52 Then the people said, “Now we are sure that you have a demon. Abraham is dead, and so are the prophets. How can you say that no one who obeys your words will ever die? 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I honored myself, it would mean nothing. My Father is the one who honors me. You claim that he is your God, 55 even though you don’t really know him. If I said I didn’t know him, I would be a liar, just like all of you. But I know him, and I do what he says. 56 Your father Abraham was really glad to see me.”
57 “You are not even fifty years old!” they said. “How could you have seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that even before Abraham was, I was, and I am.”[c] 59 The people picked up stones to kill Jesus, but he hid and left the temple.
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