1 Samuel 17-18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Goliath Challenges Israel’s Army
17 The Philistines got ready for war and brought their troops together to attack the town of Socoh in Judah. They set up camp at Ephes-Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah.[a] 2-3 King Saul and the Israelite army set up camp on a hill overlooking Elah Valley, and they got ready to fight the Philistine army that was on a hill on the other side of the valley.
4 The Philistine army had a hero named Goliath who was from the town of Gath and was over nine feet[b] tall. 5-6 He wore a bronze helmet and had bronze armor to protect his chest and legs. The chest armor alone weighed about one hundred twenty-five pounds. He carried a bronze sword strapped on his back, 7 and his spear was so big that the iron spearhead alone weighed more than fifteen pounds. A soldier always walked in front of Goliath to carry his shield.
8 Goliath went out and shouted to the army of Israel:
Why are you lining up for battle? I’m the best soldier in our army, and all of you are in Saul’s army. Choose your best soldier to come out and fight me! 9 If he can kill me, our people will be your slaves. But if I kill him, your people will be our slaves. 10 Here and now I challenge Israel’s whole army! Choose someone to fight me!
11 Saul and his men heard what Goliath said, but they were so frightened of Goliath that they couldn’t do a thing.
David Decides to Challenge Goliath
12 David’s father Jesse was an old man, who belonged to the Ephrath clan and lived in Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons: 13-14 the oldest was Eliab, the next was Abinadab, and Shammah was the third. The three of them had gone off to fight in Saul’s army.
David was Jesse’s youngest son. 15 He took care of his father’s sheep, and he went back and forth between Bethlehem and Saul’s camp.
16 Goliath came out and gave his challenge every morning and every evening for forty days.
17 One day, Jesse told David, “Hurry and take this sack of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread to your brothers at the army camp. 18 And here are ten large chunks of cheese to take to their commanding officer. Find out how your brothers are doing and bring back something that shows that they’re all right. 19 They’re with Saul’s army, fighting the Philistines in Elah Valley.”
20 David obeyed his father. He got up early the next morning and left someone else in charge of the sheep; then he loaded the supplies and started off. He reached the army camp just as the soldiers were taking their places and shouting the battle cry. 21 The army of Israel and the Philistine army stood there facing each other.
22 David left his things with the man in charge of supplies and ran up to the battle line to ask his brothers if they were well. 23 While David was talking with them, Goliath came out from the line of Philistines and started boasting as usual. David heard him.
24 When the Israelite soldiers saw Goliath, they were scared and ran off. 25 They said to each other, “Look how he keeps coming out to insult us. The king is offering a big reward to the man who kills Goliath. That man will even get to marry the king’s daughter, and no one in his family will ever have to pay taxes again.”
26 David asked some soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and stopping him from insulting our people? Who does that worthless Philistine think he is? He’s making fun of the army of the living God!”
27 The soldiers told David what the king would give the man who killed Goliath.
28 David’s oldest brother Eliab heard him talking with the soldiers. Eliab was angry at him and said, “What are you doing here, anyway? Who’s taking care of that little flock of sheep out in the desert? You spoiled brat! You came here just to watch the fighting, didn’t you?”
29 “Now what have I done?” David answered. “Can’t I even ask a question?” 30 Then he turned and asked another soldier the same thing he had asked the others, and he got the same answer.
31 Some soldiers overheard David talking, so they told Saul what David had said. Saul sent for David, and David came. 32 “Your Majesty,” he said, “this Philistine shouldn’t turn us into cowards. I’ll go out and fight him myself!”
33 “You don’t have a chance against him,” Saul replied. “You’re only a boy, and he’s been a soldier all his life.”
34 But David told him:
Your Majesty, I take care of my father’s sheep. And when one of them is dragged off by a lion or a bear, 35 I go after it and beat the wild animal until it lets the sheep go. If the wild animal turns and attacks me, I grab it by the throat and kill it.
36 Sir, I have killed lions and bears that way, and I can kill this worthless Philistine. He shouldn’t have made fun of the army of the living God! 37 The Lord has rescued me from the claws of lions and bears, and he will keep me safe from the hands of this Philistine.
“All right,” Saul answered, “go ahead and fight him. And I hope the Lord will help you.”
38 Saul had his own military clothes and armor put on David, and he gave David a bronze helmet to wear. 39 David strapped on a sword and tried to walk around, but he was not used to wearing those things.
“I can’t move with all this stuff on,” David said. “I’m just not used to it.”
David took off the armor 40 and picked up his shepherd’s stick. He went out to a stream and picked up five smooth rocks and put them in his leather bag. Then with his sling in his hand, he went straight toward Goliath.
David Kills Goliath
41 Goliath came toward David, walking behind the soldier who was carrying his shield. 42 When Goliath saw that David was just a healthy, good-looking boy, he made fun of him. 43 “Do you think I’m a dog?” Goliath asked. “Is that why you’ve come after me with a stick?” He cursed David in the name of the Philistine gods 44 and shouted, “Come on! When I’m finished with you, I’ll feed you to the birds and wild animals!”
45 David answered:
You’ve come out to fight me with a sword and a spear and a dagger. But I’ve come out to fight you in the name of the Lord All-Powerful. He is the God of Israel’s army, and you have insulted him too!
46 Today the Lord will help me defeat you. I’ll knock you down and cut off your head, and I’ll feed the bodies of the other Philistine soldiers to the birds and wild animals. Then the whole world will know that Israel has a real God. 47 Everybody here will see that the Lord doesn’t need swords or spears to save his people. The Lord always wins his battles, and he will help us defeat you.
48 When Goliath started forward, David ran toward him. 49 He put a rock in his sling and swung the sling around by its straps. When he let go of one strap, the rock flew out and hit Goliath on the forehead. It cracked his skull, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 David defeated Goliath with a sling and a rock. He killed him without even using a sword.
51 David ran over and pulled out Goliath’s sword. Then he used it to cut off Goliath’s head.
When the Philistines saw what had happened to their hero, they started running away. 52 But the soldiers of Israel and Judah let out a battle cry and went after them as far as Gath[c] and Ekron. The bodies of the Philistines were scattered all along the road from Shaaraim to Gath and Ekron.
53 When the Israelite army returned from chasing the Philistines, they took what they wanted from the enemy camp. 54 David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem, but he kept Goliath’s weapons in his own tent.
David Becomes One of Saul’s Officers
55 After King Saul had watched David go out to fight Goliath, Saul turned to the commander of his army and said, “Abner, who is that young man?”
“Your Majesty,” Abner answered, “I swear by your life that I don’t know.”
56 “Then find out!” Saul told him.
57 When David came back from fighting Goliath, he was still carrying Goliath’s head.
Abner took David to Saul, 58 and Saul asked, “Who are you?”
“I am David the son of Jesse, a loyal Israelite from Bethlehem.”
18 David and Saul finished talking, and soon David and Jonathan[d] became best friends. Jonathan thought as much of David as he did of himself. 2 From that time on, Saul kept David in his service and would not let David go back to his own family.
3 Jonathan liked David so much that they promised to always be loyal friends. 4 Jonathan took off the robe that he was wearing and gave it to David. He also gave him his military clothes,[e] his sword, his bow and arrows, and his belt.
5 David was a success in everything that Saul sent him to do, and Saul made him a high officer in his army. That pleased everyone, including Saul’s other officers.
Saul Becomes David’s Enemy
6 David had killed Goliath, the battle was over, and the Israelite army set out for home. As the army went along, women came out of each Israelite town to welcome King Saul. They were singing happy songs and dancing to the music of tambourines and harps. 7 They sang:
Saul has killed
8 This song made Saul very angry, and he thought, “They are saying that David has killed ten times more enemies than I ever did. Next they will want to make him king.” 9 Saul never again trusted David.
10 The next day the Lord let an evil spirit take control of Saul, and he began acting like a crazy man inside his house. David came to play the harp for Saul as usual, but this time Saul had a spear in his hand. 11 Saul thought, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” He threw the spear at David twice, but David dodged and got away both times.
12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was helping David and was no longer helping him. 13 Saul put David in charge of a thousand soldiers and sent him out to fight. 14 The Lord helped David, and he and his soldiers always won their battles. 15 This made Saul even more afraid of David. 16 But everyone else in Judah and Israel was loyal to[f] David, because he led the army in battle.
17 One day, Saul told David, “If you’ll be brave and fight the Lord’s battles for me, I’ll let you marry my oldest daughter Merab.” But Saul was really thinking, “I don’t want to kill David myself, so I’ll let the Philistines do it for me.”
18 David answered, “How could I possibly marry your daughter? I’m not very important, and neither is my family.”
19 But when the time came for David to marry Saul’s daughter Merab, Saul told her to marry Adriel from the town of Meholah.
20 Saul had another daughter. Her name was Michal, and Saul found out that she was in love with David. This made Saul happy, 21 and he thought, “I’ll tell David he can marry Michal, but I’ll set it up so that the Philistines will kill him.” He told David, “I’m going to give you a second chance to marry one of my daughters.”
22-23 Saul ordered his officials to speak to David in private, so they went to David and said, “Look, the king likes you, and all of his officials are loyal to you. Why not ask the king if you can marry his daughter Michal?”
“I’m not rich[g] or famous enough to marry princess Michal!” David answered.
24 The officials went back to Saul and told him exactly what David had said. 25 Saul was hoping that the Philistines would kill David, and he told his officials to tell David, “The king doesn’t want any silver or gold. He only wants to get even with his enemies. All you have to do is to bring back proof that you have killed a hundred Philistines!”[h] 26 The officials told David, and David wanted to marry the princess.
King Saul had set a time limit, and before it ran out, 27 David and his men left and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought back the proof and showed it to Saul, so he could marry Michal. Saul agreed to let David marry Michal. 28 Saul knew that she loved David,[i] and he also realized that the Lord was helping David. 29 But knowing those things made Saul even more afraid of David, and he was David’s enemy for the rest of his life.
30 The Philistine rulers kept coming to fight Israel, but whenever David fought them, he won. He was famous because he won more battles against the Philistines than any of Saul’s other officers.
Luke 11:1-28 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
11 When Jesus had finished praying, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his followers to pray.”
2 So Jesus told them, “Pray in this way:
‘Father, help us
5 Then Jesus went on to say:
Suppose one of you goes to a friend in the middle of the night and says, “Let me borrow three loaves of bread. 6 A friend of mine has dropped in, and I don’t have a thing for him to eat.” 7 And suppose your friend answers, “Don’t bother me! The door is bolted, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you something.”
8 He may not get up and give you the bread, just because you are his friend. But he will get up and give you as much as you need, simply because you are not ashamed to keep on asking.
9 So I tell you to ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you. 10 Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. 11 Which one of you fathers would give your hungry child a snake if the child asked for a fish? 12 Which one of you would give your child a scorpion if the child asked for an egg? 13 As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks.
Jesus and the Ruler of Demons
14 Jesus forced a demon out of a man who could not talk. And after the demon had gone out, the man started speaking, and the crowds were amazed. 15 But some people said, “He forces out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons!”
16 Others wanted to put Jesus to the test. So they asked him to show them a sign from God. 17 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said:
A kingdom where people fight each other will end up in ruin. And a family that fights will break up. 18 If Satan fights against himself, how can his kingdom last? Yet you say that I force out demons by the power of Beelzebul. 19 If I use his power to force out demons, whose power do your own followers use to force them out? They are the ones who will judge you. 20 But if I use God’s power to force out demons, it proves that God’s kingdom has already come to you.
21 When a strong man arms himself and guards his home, everything he owns is safe. 22 But if a stronger man comes and defeats him, he will carry off the weapons in which the strong man trusted. Then he will divide with others what he has taken. 23 If you are not on my side, you are against me. If you don’t gather in the crop with me, you scatter it.
Return of an Evil Spirit
24 When an evil spirit leaves a person, it travels through the desert, looking for a place to rest. But when it doesn’t find a place, it says, “I will go back to the home I left.” 25 When it gets there and finds the place clean and fixed up, 26 it goes off and finds seven other evil spirits even worse than itself. They all come and make their home there, and that person ends up in worse shape than before.
Being Really Blessed
27 While Jesus was still talking, a woman in the crowd spoke up, “The woman who gave birth to you and nursed you is blessed!”
28 Jesus replied, “That’s true, but the people who are really blessed are the ones who hear and obey God’s message!”[b]
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