1 Samuel 19-21 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Saul Tries To Have David Killed
19 One day, Saul told his son Jonathan and his officers to kill David. But Jonathan liked David a lot, 2-3 and he warned David, “My father is trying to have you killed, so be very careful. Hide in a field tomorrow morning, and I’ll bring him there. Then I’ll talk to him about you, and if I find out anything, I’ll let you know.”
4-5 The next morning, Jonathan reminded Saul about the many good things David had done for him. Then he said, “Why do you want to kill David? He hasn’t done anything to you. He has served in your army and has always done what’s best for you. He even risked his life to kill Goliath. The Lord helped Israel win a great victory that day, and it made you happy.”
6 Saul agreed and promised, “I swear by the living Lord that I won’t have David killed!”
7 Jonathan called to David and told him what Saul had said. Then he brought David to Saul, and David served in Saul’s army just as he had done before.
8 The next time there was a war with the Philistines, David fought hard and forced them to retreat.
Michal Helps David Escape
9-10 One night, David was in Saul’s home, playing the harp for him. Saul was sitting there, holding a spear, when an evil spirit from the Lord took control of him. Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but David dodged, and it stuck in the wall. David ran out of the house and escaped.
11 Saul sent guards to watch David’s house all night and then to kill him in the morning.
Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you don’t escape tonight, they’ll kill you tomorrow!” 12 She helped David go through a window and climb down to the ground.[a] As David ran off, 13 Michal put a statue in his bed. She put goat hair on its head and dressed it in some of David’s clothes.
14 The next morning, Saul sent guards to arrest David. But Michal told them, “David is sick.”
15 Saul sent the guards back and told them, “Get David out of his bed and bring him to me, so I can have him killed.”
16 When the guards went in, all they found in the bed was the statue with the goat hair on its head.
17 “Why have you tricked me this way?” Saul asked Michal. “You helped my enemy get away!”
She answered, “He said he would kill me if I didn’t help him escape!”
Samuel Helps David Escape
18 Meanwhile, David went to Samuel at Ramah and told him what Saul had done. Then Samuel and David went to Prophets Village[b] and stayed there.
19 Someone told Saul, “David is at Prophets Village in Ramah.”
20 Saul sent a few soldiers to bring David back. They went to Ramah and found Samuel in charge of a group of prophets who were all prophesying. Then the Spirit of God took control of the soldiers and they started prophesying too.
21 When Saul heard what had happened, he sent another group of soldiers, but they prophesied the same way. He sent a third group of soldiers, but the same thing happened to them. 22 Finally, Saul left for Ramah himself. He went as far as the deep pit[c] at the town of Secu, and he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”
“At Prophets Village in Ramah,” the people answered.
23 Saul left for Ramah. But as he walked along, the Spirit of God took control of him, and he started prophesying. Then, when he reached Prophets Village, 24 he stripped off his clothes and prophesied in front of Samuel. He dropped to the ground and lay there naked all day and night. That’s how the saying started, “Is Saul now a prophet?”
Jonathan Helps David Escape
20 David escaped from Prophets Village. Then he ran to see Jonathan and asked, “Why does your father Saul want to kill me? What have I done wrong?”
2 “My father can’t be trying to kill you! He never does anything without telling me about it. Why would he hide this from me? It can’t be true!”
3 “Jonathan, I swear it’s true! But your father knows how much you like me, and he didn’t want to break your heart. That’s why he didn’t tell you. I swear by the living Lord and by your own life that I’m only one step ahead of death.”
4 Then Jonathan said, “Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.”
5 David answered:
Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival,[d] and I’m supposed to eat dinner with your father. But instead, I’ll hide in a field until the evening of the next day. 6 If Saul wonders where I am, tell him, “David asked me to let him go to his hometown of Bethlehem, so he could take part in a sacrifice his family makes there every year.”
7 If your father says it’s all right, then I’m safe. But if he gets angry, you’ll know he wants to harm me. 8 Be kind to me. After all, it was your idea to promise the Lord that we would always be loyal friends. If I’ve done anything wrong, kill me yourself, but don’t hand me over to your father.
9 “Don’t worry,” Jonathan said. “If I find out that my father wants to kill you, I’ll certainly let you know.”
10 “How will you do that?” David asked.
11 “Let’s go out to this field, and I’ll tell you,” Jonathan answered.
When they got there, 12 Jonathan said:
I swear by the Lord God of Israel, that two days from now I’ll know what my father is planning. Of course I’ll let you know if he’s friendly toward you. 13 But if he wants to harm you, I promise to tell you and help you escape. And I ask the Lord to punish me severely if I don’t keep my promise.
I pray that the Lord will bless you, just as he used to bless my father. 14-15 Someday the Lord will wipe out all of your enemies. Then if I’m still alive, please be as kind to me as the Lord has been. But if I’m dead, be kind to my family.
16 Jonathan and David made an agreement that even David’s descendants would have to keep.[e] Then Jonathan said, “I pray that the Lord will take revenge on your descendants if they break our promise.”[f]
17 Jonathan thought as much of David as he did of himself, so he asked David to promise once more that he would be a loyal friend. 18 After this Jonathan said:
Tomorrow is the New Moon Festival, and people will wonder where you are, because your place will be empty. 19 By the day after tomorrow, everyone will think you’ve been gone a long time.[g] Then go to the place where you hid before and stay beside Going-Away Rock.[h] 20 I’ll shoot three arrows at a target off to the side of the rock, 21 and send my servant to find the arrows.
You’ll know if it’s safe to come out by what I tell him. If it is safe, I swear by the living Lord that I’ll say, “The arrows are on this side of you! Pick them up!” 22 But if it isn’t safe, I’ll say to the boy, “The arrows are farther away!” This will mean that the Lord wants you to leave, and you must go. 23 But he will always watch us to make sure that we keep the promise we made to each other.
24 So David hid there in the field.
During the New Moon Festival, Saul sat down to eat 25 by the wall, just as he always did. Jonathan sat across from him,[i] and Abner sat next to him. But David’s place was empty. 26 Saul didn’t say anything that day, because he was thinking, “Something must have happened to make David unfit to be at the Festival.[j] Yes, something must have happened.”
27 The day after the New Moon Festival, when David’s place was still empty, Saul asked Jonathan, “Why hasn’t that son of Jesse come to eat with us? He wasn’t here yesterday, and he still isn’t here today!”
28-29 Jonathan answered, “The reason David hasn’t come to eat with you is that he begged me to let him go to Bethlehem. He said, ‘Please let me go. My family is offering a sacrifice, and my brother told me I have to be there. Do me this favor and let me slip away to see my brothers.’”
30 Saul was furious with Jonathan and yelled, “You’re no son of mine, you traitor! I know you’ve chosen to be loyal to that son of Jesse. You should be ashamed of yourself! And your own mother should be ashamed that you were ever born. 31 You’ll never be safe, and your kingdom will be in danger as long as that son of Jesse is alive. Turn him over to me now! He deserves to die!”
32 “Why do you want to kill David?” Jonathan asked. “What has he done?”
33 Saul threw his spear at Jonathan and tried to kill him. Then Jonathan was sure that his father really did want to kill David. 34 Jonathan was angry that his father had insulted David[k] so terribly. He got up, left the table, and didn’t eat anything all that day.
35 In the morning, Jonathan went out to the field to meet David. He took a servant boy along 36 and told him, “When I shoot the arrows, you run and find them for me.”
The boy started running, and Jonathan shot an arrow so that it would go beyond him. 37 When the boy got near the place where the arrow had landed, Jonathan shouted, “Isn’t the arrow on past you?” 38 Jonathan shouted to him again, “Hurry up! Don’t stop!”
The boy picked up the arrows and brought them back to Jonathan, 39 but he had no idea about what was going on. Only Jonathan and David knew. 40 Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and told him, “Take these back into town.”
41 After the boy had gone, David got up from beside the mound[l] and bowed very low three times. Then he and Jonathan kissed[m] each other and cried, but David cried louder. 42 Jonathan said, “Take care of yourself. And remember, we each have asked the Lord to watch and make sure that we and our descendants keep our promise forever.”
David left and Jonathan went back to town.
Ahimelech Helps David
21 David went to see Ahimelech, a priest who lived in the town of Nob. Ahimelech was trembling with fear as he came out to meet David. “Why are you alone?” Ahimelech asked. “Why isn’t anyone else with you?”
2 “I’m on a mission for King Saul,” David answered. “He ordered me not to tell anyone what the mission is all about, so I had my soldiers stay somewhere else. 3 Do you have any food you can give me? Could you spare five loaves of bread?”
4 “The only bread I have is the sacred bread,” the priest told David. “You can have it if your soldiers didn’t sleep with women last night.”[n]
5 “Of course we didn’t sleep with women,” David answered. “I never let my men do that when we’re on a mission. They have to be acceptable to worship God even when we’re on a regular mission, and today we’re on a special mission.”
6 The only bread the priest had was the sacred bread that he had taken from the place of worship after putting out the fresh loaves. So he gave it to David.
8 David asked Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or a sword? I had to leave so quickly on this mission for the king that I didn’t bring along my sword or any other weapons.”
9 The priest answered, “The only sword here is the one that belonged to Goliath the Philistine. You were the one who killed him in Elah Valley, and so you can take his sword if you want to. It’s wrapped in a cloth behind the statue.”
“It’s the best sword there is,” David said. “I’ll take it!”
David Tries To Find Safety in Gath
10 David kept on running from Saul that day until he came to Gath,[q] where he met with King Achish. 11 The officers of King Achish were also there, and they asked Achish, “Isn’t David a king back in his own country? Don’t the Israelites dance and sing,
‘Saul has killed
12 David thought about what they were saying, and it made him afraid of Achish. 13 So right there in front of everyone, he pretended to be insane. He acted confused and scratched up the doors of the town gate, while drooling in his beard.
14 “Look at him!” Achish said to his officers. “You can see he’s crazy. Why did you bring him to me? 15 I have enough crazy people without your bringing another one here. Keep him away from my palace!”
Luke 11:29-54 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Sign from God
29 As crowds were gathering around Jesus, he said:
You people of today are evil! You keep looking for a sign from God. But what happened to Jonah[a] is the only sign you will be given. 30 Just as Jonah was a sign to the people of Nineveh, the Son of Man will be a sign to the people of today. 31 When the judgment comes, the Queen of the South[b] will stand there with you and condemn you. She traveled a long way to hear Solomon’s wisdom, and yet here is something far greater than Solomon. 32 The people of Nineveh will also stand there with you and condemn you. They turned to God when Jonah preached, and yet here is something far greater than Jonah.
33 No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a clay pot. A lamp is put on a lampstand, so that everyone who comes into the house can see the light. 34 Your eyes are the lamp for your body. When your eyes are good, you have all the light you need. But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark. 35 So be sure that your light isn’t darkness. 36 If you have light, and nothing is dark, then light will be everywhere, as when a lamp shines brightly on you.
Jesus Condemns the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law of Moses
37 When Jesus finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him home for a meal. Jesus went and sat down to eat.[c] 38 The Pharisee was surprised that he did not wash his hands[d] before eating. 39 So the Lord said to him:
You Pharisees clean the outside of cups and dishes, but on the inside you are greedy and evil. 40 You fools! Didn’t God make both the outside and the inside?[e] 41 If you would only give what you have to the poor, everything you do would please God.
42 You Pharisees are in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your gardens, such as mint and rue. But you cheat people, and you don’t love God. You should be fair and kind to others and still give a tenth to God.
43 You Pharisees are in for trouble! You love the front seats in the meeting places, and you like to be greeted with honor in the market. 44 But you are in for trouble! You are like unmarked graves[f] that people walk on without even knowing it.
45 A teacher of the Law of Moses spoke up, “Teacher, you said cruel things about us.”
46 Jesus replied:
You teachers are also in for trouble! You load people down with heavy burdens, but you won’t lift a finger to help them carry the loads. 47 Yes, you are really in for trouble. You build monuments to honor the prophets your own people murdered long ago. 48 You must think that was the right thing for your people to do, or else you would not have built monuments for the prophets they murdered.
49 Because of your evil deeds, the Wisdom of God said, “I will send prophets and apostles to you. But you will murder some and mistreat others.” 50 You people living today will be punished for all the prophets who have been murdered since the beginning of the world. 51 This includes every prophet from the time of Abel to the time of Zechariah,[g] who was murdered between the altar and the temple. You people will certainly be punished for all of this.
52 You teachers of the Law of Moses are really in for trouble! You carry the keys to the door of knowledge about God. But you never go in, and you keep others from going in.
53 Jesus was about to leave, but the teachers and the Pharisees wanted to get even with him. They tried to make him say what he thought about other things, 54 so that they could catch him saying something wrong.
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