1 Kings 16-18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
16 The Lord sent Jehu son of Hanani to say to Baasha:
2 Nobody knew who you were until I, the Lord, chose you[a] to be the leader of my people Israel. And now you’re acting exactly like Jeroboam by causing the Israelites to sin. What you’ve done has made me so angry 3 that I will destroy you and your family, just as I did the family of Jeroboam. 4 Dogs will eat the bodies of your relatives who die in town, and vultures will eat the bodies of those who die in the country.
5-7 Baasha made the Lord very angry, and that’s why the Lord gave Jehu this message for Baasha and his family. Baasha constantly disobeyed the Lord by following Jeroboam’s sinful example—but even worse, he killed everyone in Jeroboam’s family!
Everything else Baasha did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. Baasha died and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah became king.
King Elah of Israel
8 Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel after Asa had been king of Judah for twenty-five years, and he ruled from Tirzah for two years.
9 Zimri commanded half of Elah’s chariots, and he made plans to kill Elah.
One day, Elah was in Tirzah, getting drunk at the home of Arza, his prime minister, 10 when Zimri went there and killed Elah. So Zimri became king in the twenty-seventh year of Asa’s rule in Judah.
11 As soon as Zimri became king, he killed everyone in Baasha’s family. Not one man or boy in his family was left alive—even his close friends were killed. 12 Baasha’s family was completely wiped out, just as the Lord’s prophet Jehu had warned. 13 Baasha and Elah sinned and caused the Israelites to sin, and they made the Lord angry by worshiping idols.
14 Everything else Elah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Israel.
King Zimri of Israel
15-16 Zimri became king of Israel in Asa’s twenty-seventh year as king of Judah, but he ruled only seven days from Tirzah.
Israel’s army was camped near Gibbethon in Philistia under the command of Omri. The soldiers heard that Zimri had killed Elah, and they made Omri their king that same day. 17 At once, Omri and his army marched to Tirzah and attacked. 18 When Zimri saw that the town was captured, he ran into the strongest part of the palace and killed himself by setting it on fire. 19 Zimri had disobeyed the Lord by following the evil example of Jeroboam, who had caused the Israelites to sin.
20 Everything else Zimri did while he was king, including his rebellion against Elah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel.
King Omri of Israel
21 After Zimri died, some of the Israelites wanted Tibni son of Ginath to be king, but others wanted Omri. 22 Omri’s followers were stronger than Tibni’s, so Tibni was killed, and Omri became king of Israel 23 in the thirty-first year of Asa’s rule in Judah.
Omri ruled Israel for twelve years. The first six years he ruled from Tirzah, 24 then he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for about one hundred fifty pounds of silver. He built a town there and named it Samaria, after Shemer who had owned the hill.
25 Omri did more evil things than any king before him. 26 He acted just like Jeroboam and made the Lord God of Israel angry by causing the Israelites to sin and to worship idols.
27 Everything else Omri did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 28 Omri died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Ahab became king.
King Ahab of Israel
29 Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s rule in Judah, and he ruled twenty-two years from Samaria.
30 Ahab did more things to disobey the Lord than any king before him. 31 He acted just like Jeroboam. Even worse, he married Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of Sidon[b] and started worshiping Baal. 32 Ahab built an altar and temple for Baal in Samaria 33 and set up a sacred pole[c] for worshiping the goddess Asherah. Ahab did more to make the Lord God of Israel angry than any king of Israel before him.
34 While Ahab was king, a man from Bethel named Hiel rebuilt the town of Jericho. But while Hiel was laying the foundation for the town wall, his oldest son Abiram died. And while he was finishing the gates, his youngest son Segub died. This happened just as the Lord had told Joshua to say many years ago.[d]
Elijah Stops the Rain
17 Elijah was a prophet from Tishbe in Gilead.[e] One day he went to King Ahab and said, “I’m a servant of the living Lord, the God of Israel. And I swear in his name that it won’t rain until I say so. There won’t even be any dew on the ground.”
2 Later, the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Leave and go across the Jordan River so you can hide near Cherith Creek. 4 You can drink water from the creek, and eat the food I’ve told the ravens to bring you.”
5 Elijah obeyed the Lord and went to live near Cherith Creek. 6 Ravens brought him bread and meat twice a day, and he drank water from the creek. 7 But after a while, it dried up because there was no rain.
Elijah Helps a Widow in Zarephath
8 The Lord told Elijah, 9 “Go to the town of Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I’ve told a widow in that town to give you food.”
10 When Elijah came near the town gate of Zarephath, he saw a widow gathering sticks for a fire. “Would you please bring me a cup of water?” he asked. 11 As she left to get it, he asked, “Would you also please bring me a piece of bread?”
12 The widow answered, “In the name of the living Lord your God, I swear that I don’t have any bread. All I have is a handful of flour and a little olive oil. I’m on my way home now with these few sticks to cook what I have for my son and me. After that, we will starve to death.”
13 Elijah said, “Everything will be fine. Do what you said. Go home and fix something for you and your son. But first, please make a small piece of bread and bring it to me. 14 The Lord God of Israel has promised that your jar of flour won’t run out and your bottle of oil won’t dry up before he sends rain for the crops.”
15 The widow went home and did exactly what Elijah had told her. She and Elijah and her family had enough food for a long time. 16 The Lord kept the promise that his prophet Elijah had made, and she did not run out of flour or oil.
Elijah Brings a Boy Back to Life
17 Several days later, the son of the woman who owned the house[f] got sick, and he kept getting worse, until finally he died.
18 The woman shouted at Elijah, “What have I done to you? I thought you were God’s prophet. Did you come here to cause the death of my son as a reminder that I’ve sinned against God?”[g]
19 “Bring me your son,” Elijah said. Then he took the boy from her arms and carried him upstairs to the room where he was staying. Elijah laid the boy on his bed 20 and prayed, “Lord God, why did you do such a terrible thing to this woman? She’s letting me stay here, and now you’ve let her son die.” 21 Elijah stretched himself out over the boy three times, while praying, “Lord God, bring this boy back to life!”
22 The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer, and the boy started breathing again. 23 Elijah picked him up and carried him downstairs. He gave the boy to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive.”
24 “You are God’s prophet!” the woman replied. “Now I know that you really do speak for the Lord.”
Elijah Proves He Is the Lord’s Prophet
18 1-2 For three years no rain fell in Samaria, and there was almost nothing to eat anywhere. The Lord said to Elijah, “Go and meet with King Ahab. I will soon make it rain.” So Elijah went to see Ahab.
3-4 At that time Obadiah was in charge of Ahab’s palace, but he faithfully worshiped the Lord. In fact, when Jezebel was trying to kill the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah hid one hundred of them in two caves and gave them food and water.
Ahab sent for Obadiah 5 and said, “We have to find something for our horses and mules to eat. If we don’t, we will have to kill them. Let’s look around every creek and spring in the country for some grass. 6 You go one way, and I’ll go the other.” Then they left in separate directions.
7 As Obadiah was walking along, he met Elijah. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down, and asked, “Elijah, is it really you?”
8 “Yes. Go tell Ahab I’m here.”
9 Obadiah replied:
King Ahab would kill me if I told him that. And I haven’t even done anything wrong. 10 I swear to you in the name of the living Lord your God that the king has looked everywhere for you. He sent people to look in every country, and when they couldn’t find you, he made the leader of each country swear that you were not in that country. 11 Do you really want me to tell him you’re here?
12 What if the Lord’s Spirit takes you away as soon as I leave? When Ahab comes to get you, he won’t find you. Then he will surely kill me.
I have worshiped the Lord since I was a boy. 13 I even hid one hundred of the Lord’s prophets in caves when Jezebel was trying to kill them. I also gave them food and water. 14 Do you really want me to tell Ahab you’re here? He will kill me!
15 Elijah said, “I’m a servant of the living Lord All-Powerful, and I swear in his name that I will meet with Ahab today.”
16 Obadiah left and told Ahab where to find Elijah.
Ahab went to meet Elijah, 17 and when he saw him, Ahab shouted, “There you are, the biggest troublemaker in Israel!”
18 Elijah answered:
You’re the troublemaker—not me! You and your family have disobeyed the Lord’s commands by worshiping Baal.
19 Call together everyone from Israel and have them meet me on Mount Carmel. Be sure to bring along the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.
20 Ahab got everyone together, then they went to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you try to have things both ways? If the Lord is God, worship him! But if Baal is God, worship him!”
The people did not say a word.
22 Then Elijah continued:
I am the Lord’s only prophet, but Baal has four hundred fifty prophets.
23 Bring us two bulls. Baal’s prophets can take one of them, kill it, and cut it into pieces. Then they can put the meat on the wood without lighting the fire. I will do the same thing with the other bull, and I won’t light a fire under it either.
24 The prophets of Baal will pray to their god, and I will pray to the Lord. The one who answers by starting the fire is God.
“That’s a good idea,” everyone agreed.
25 Elijah said to Baal’s prophets, “There are more of you, so you go first. Pick out a bull and get it ready, but don’t light the fire. Then pray to your god.”
26 They chose their bull, then they got it ready and prayed to Baal all morning, asking him to start the fire. They danced around the altar and shouted, “Answer us, Baal!” But there was no answer.
27 At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. “Pray louder!” he said. “Baal must be a god. Maybe he’s day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he’s asleep, and you have to wake him up.”
28 The prophets kept shouting louder and louder, and they cut themselves with swords and knives until they were bleeding. This was the way they worshiped, 29 and they kept it up all afternoon. But there was no answer of any kind.
30 Elijah told everyone to gather around him while he repaired the Lord’s altar. 31-32 Then he used twelve stones to build an altar in honor of the Lord. Each stone stood for one of the tribes of Israel, which was the name the Lord had given to their ancestor Jacob. Elijah dug a ditch around the altar, large enough to hold about thirteen quarts. 33 He placed the wood on the altar, then they cut the bull into pieces and laid the meat on the wood.
He told the people, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and the wood.” After they did this, 34 he told them to do it two more times. They did exactly as he said 35 until finally, the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch.
36 When it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed:
Our Lord, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Now, prove that you are the God of this nation,[h] and that I, your servant, have done this at your command. 37 Please answer me, so these people will know that you are the Lord God, and that you will turn their hearts back to you.[i]
38 The Lord immediately sent fire, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones. It scorched the ground everywhere around the altar and dried up every drop of water in the ditch. 39 When the crowd saw what had happened, they all bowed down and shouted, “The Lord is God! The Lord is God!”
40 Just then, Elijah said, “Grab the prophets of Baal! Don’t let any of them get away.”
So the people captured the prophets and took them to Kishon River, where Elijah killed every one of them.
It Starts To Rain
41 Elijah told Ahab, “Get something to eat and drink. I hear a heavy rain coming.”
42 Ahab left, but Elijah climbed back to the top of Mount Carmel. Then he stooped down with his face almost to the ground 43 and said to his servant, “Look toward the sea.”
The servant left. And when he came back, he said, “I looked, but I didn’t see anything.” Elijah told him to look seven more times.
44 After the seventh time the servant replied, “I see a small cloud coming this way. But it’s no bigger than a fist.”
Elijah told him, “Tell Ahab to get his chariot ready and start home now. Otherwise, the rain will stop him.”
45-46 A few minutes later, it got very cloudy and windy, and rain started pouring down. So Elijah wrapped his coat around himself, and the Lord gave him strength to run all the way to Jezreel. Ahab followed him.
Luke 22:47-71 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Jesus Is Arrested
47 While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd came up. It was led by Judas, one of the twelve apostles. He went over to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss.[a]
48 Jesus asked Judas, “Are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus' disciples saw what was about to happen, they asked, “Lord, should we attack them with a sword?” 50 One of the disciples even struck at the high priest’s servant with his sword and cut off the servant’s right ear.
51 “Enough of that!” Jesus said. Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed it.
52 Jesus spoke to the chief priests, the temple police, and the leaders who had come to arrest him. He said, “Why do you come out with swords and clubs and treat me like a criminal? 53 I was with you every day in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But this is your time, and darkness[b] is in control.”
Peter Says He Doesn’t Know Jesus
54 Jesus was arrested and led away to the house of the high priest, while Peter followed at a distance. 55 Some people built a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were sitting around it. Peter sat there with them, 56 and a servant girl saw him. Then after she had looked at him carefully, she said, “This man was with Jesus!”
57 Peter said, “Woman, I don’t even know that man!”
58 A little later someone else saw Peter and said, “You are one of them!”
“No, I’m not!” Peter replied.
59 About an hour later another man insisted, “This man must have been with Jesus. They both come from Galilee.”
60 Peter replied, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” Right then, while Peter was still speaking, a rooster crowed.
61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” 62 Then Peter went out and cried hard.
63 The men who were guarding Jesus made fun of him and beat him. 64 They put a blindfold on him and said, “Tell us who struck you!” 65 They kept on insulting Jesus in many other ways.
Jesus Is Questioned by the Council
66 At daybreak the nation’s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses got together and brought Jesus before their council. 67 They said, “Tell us! Are you the Messiah?”
Jesus replied, “If I said so, you wouldn’t believe me. 68 And if I asked you a question, you wouldn’t answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right side of God All-Powerful.”
70 Then they asked, “Are you the Son of God?”[c]
Jesus answered, “You say I am!”[d]
71 They replied, “Why do we need more witnesses? He said it himself!”
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